Whether you are using your blog to promote your business as a whole, or you want to monetize your blog at some point, it is vital that you invest time, energy, and advertising dollars into your blog. However, you don't just want to throw money here and there. It is important to know where you can get value for your advertising dollars.
You also may be on an extremely tight budget at first until the site begins to bring in some revenue. With that in mind, we've come up with ways you can use just $10 to promote your blog and gain visitors.
Social Media Ads
Jon Loomer actually advocates that just $5 on Twitter will get you in front of eyeballs you wouldn't have reached otherwise. He points to the fact that you'll “glean highly specific demographic information about your audience” off Twitter that can help you reach out to even more like-minded people. So, you aren't just paying for an ad on social media. You're also paying for information you can use for future marketing.
A Facebook campaign is very simple to set up. Login to your Facebook business page. Don't have one? You definitely need a professional, business presence, so set one up.
Just login to your Facebook account, navigate to the home page and look for the button on the far left that says “Create a Page”. You can then choose a category and set everything up.
Now, once you have your page setup, you can start posting little ads, images, sayings, specials, etc.
Under each post, you'll see a little blue button that says “Boost Post”. To the right is a sample of what one of mine looks like:
When you click on that button, a pop up screen will appear that allows you to choose the ad parameters. You can choose the locations, interests of person, age, gender and so much more. You'll also be able to set your budget for the campaign and when you want it to run.
One of the things that is so terrific about Facebook ads is that you can check how the ad is performing and make adjustments to your target demographic at any time. You can also pause or stop a campaign if you don't feel your money is being used in the right way.
Twitter is a great place to invest $10 in advertising, because of the ability to see who is clicking on your ads and further refining your target demographic from the information you glean.
Once you have a Twitter account, go to your “Home” page. On the left, look under your profile picture and click under the red words that say “Promote your account”.
You'll be taken to a page to create your ad. (See below)
Click on the blue button to the right that says “Create New Campaign” and you can choose from some different types of ads, such as one geared right to your followers, one to find new leads or one to gather conversions. The system is very easy to use and will walk you through each step.
Even better, you can access some detailed analytics that will provide further info such as what demographic of people are most interested in your advertising campaigns.
Other Places to Spend $10
While social media is an obvious place to spend $10 to promote your website, there are many other ways you can use $10 to build traffic and your brand.
Buy Business Cards
If you don't already have a business card with your name, website and what exactly your niche is, then investing $10 in this simple little marketing tool will pay off for you. A business card shows that you are a professional and you take your business seriously. It gives you an opportunity to network with others. Imagine that you are at a trade conference and you meet someone who wants to partner up with you on a project. You will have a business card to give them.
You can buy basic business cards at your local office supply store or online through sources like Vista Print.
Buy a Slot in a Newsletter
Although really large newsletters may charge quite a bit for an ad spot, smaller newsletters will often sell you space for a very small fee. Sometimes you can even work out a trade. You want to look for a newsletter that reaches the type of site visitors you want to attract but is not your direct competition.
So, if you have a website that offers technical guides, then you'll want to look for a newsletter about computers, consumer research, or news about tech advances.
Hire Someone to Create Social Media Buzz
College students are usually thrilled to get work that pays $10/hour, which is a bit above minimum wage. Today's college students are also extremely Internet savvy. Hire a college student to schedule some social media posts or stir up some buzz for you on Twitter and Facebook. It will free up your time to focus on other tasks, but still get the word out about your brand.
Invest in a Tool to Automate Twitter
For about $10/month, you can automate some of your social media tasks. Unfollowers allows you to see who is unfriending you, follow back new followers, and see who has given you shout outs for about $6.90/month. You can also set it to auto welcome new followers or tweet them.
Another tool you can look into is Commun.it, which allows you to do similar things as well as thank new followers or those who share your content. It is $19.99 a month, so you'd have to combine two $10 promotions. You can try it out and cancel at any time. They do have a free version with more limited capabilities.
Host a Contest
I recently wrote a piece about “7 Surefire Ways to Have a Successful Social Media Sweepstakes Campaign“. Sweepstakes can attract new subscribers to your list or drive traffic to your site. The goal is to get new people to take a look who otherwise might not have converted into subscribers or site visitors. You don't have to give out a crazy expensive prize either. Even a $10 Amazon gift card, Starbucks gift card or other prize that makes sense for your site and the audience you are trying to connect with will work.
Most localities have a free weekly newspaper that is passed out to everyone in that area. Their advertising sections are typically very inexpensive. For example, my local free weekly charges $6.00 for a 15-word ad and then $0.40 for each additional word. You can easily stress that you are a local business. Keep your message short and to the point and you'll at least be getting the word out in the community about what you do. You may also want to write up a press release that could serve as a short article, include a photo and submit it for a possible article, which would be free advertising for you.
Invest in High Quality Photos
A really great blog must have engaging images. Really great images will not only attract more views, but more back links. When you're originally building a site and are on a very tight budget, it is tempting to use free photos that allow people to reuse and repost, such as those from places like Photopin. However, those images might not be as high quality as your competitors. If you have an extra $10 to spend, you should be able to purchase around $10 photos that are 500 pixels or so wide from places like Deposit Photo. If you have enough to buy a bigger bundle of credits, the price goes down slightly.
Think Outside the Box
As you can see, there are a lot of little things you can do online and off to gain traction for your website. You'll be surprised at how easily and quickly that $10 here and $10 there adds up to more traffic for your site and new, loyal site visitors.