Making a website popular is one of the easiest ways to build wealth online. Whether you’re interested in selling a specific product or service or just using advertising to monetize your visitors, if you can make a website popular enough, you won’t have a problem making a lot of money.
You can always pay to attract visitors to a website. With the help of strategies like paid advertising (and maybe even a bit of bribery), the sky is the limit for the number of people you can attract. Obviously, if you don’t have an unlimited budget, this isn’t really an option for you.
So what if you are on a budget or what if you start with next to nothing? Is it possible to make a website popular for free?
What is free”?
First we have to delve into the semantics. What exactly is “free”? You may be able to use a strategy to make your website more popular without spending any money, but that usually means you will have to spend a lot of time doing it. For example, you could go door-to-door introducing people to your website one at a time; Eventually you could generate hundreds or thousands of new visitors and you wouldn’t have to spend a dollar to do so, but this would be a total waste of your time.
If you consider time as a cost, then the answer is no, it is not possible to make a website popular for free. That said, if you consider both time and monetary costs, it is possible to make a website popular for little money.
Create a website
It all starts with your ability to create a website. You can’t make a site popular if it never exists in the first place. There are currently a large number of free website builders claiming to let you create your website for free. But this is a bit misleading. While you may be able to create a website without spending money, there are several drawbacks that you should also be aware of:
- Advertising. Some website builders require you to host their advertising as a form of payment. You might get stuck with a different domain name and won’t be able to host your own advertising.
- Limited templates. You may also be forced to choose from a small number of different templates as the basis for your site. This can restrict you, preventing you from executing your creative vision for the site. More importantly, because many business owners and webmasters will choose from this group of templates, your site will end up looking unoriginal.
- Limited security and accommodation options. Free website builders also offer limited security and hosting options. By extension, your site you can end up with significant security vulnerabilities. It may also not work according to your expectations.
- Limited constructions. Most free website builders are only effective if you are creating a simple website such as a blog or informational site. If you need something more advanced, you will have no choice but to create it from scratch.
If you want to create your own website and avoid relying on templates, you can wait pay at least a few thousand dollars. This is a reasonable cost and a good investment, but it obviously prohibits you from creating a website for free.
Free Marketing Strategies
But let’s imagine that your website is already created and you are not worried about startup costs. Is there a way to make your site more popular for free?
- On-site content marketing. One of the best tools at your disposal will be on-site content marketing. The basic idea here is to write high-quality content that makes your site more trustworthy and authoritative while attracting new people to your site. You can start with a simple blog, writing articles relevant to your audience and your industry. As you start to develop a better reputation, the number of your blog readers can grow and you can start to increase your content efforts, developing white papers and e-books to invite more subscribers. On-site content marketing also has useful synergies with a variety of other inbound marketing strategies, as we’ll see. You can pay someone to write your content and plan your strategy, but this is also a strategy that you could technically do yourself for free, as long as you put in the time and effort.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Optimizing your website for search engines is another free way to increase your site’s visibility, if you don’t mind taking the time to do so. Google and other search engines prioritize websites that they consider to be trustworthy and relevant to user searches. You can make your site more trustworthy by writing keyword-optimized content, making your site more functional and secure, and linking to top trusted publishers. It is a long-term strategy that takes many months to start to pay off, but it is not exceptionally difficult to learn. If you’re having a hard time getting off the ground, you can always work with an agency to increase your chances of success.
- Social media marketing. Social media marketing is also a free thing, as you can create your profiles and business pages without spending any money. It’s hard to get organic reach naturally on social media platforms that have paid advertising options, but if you post consistently, engage with new people, and become active in local groups, you can facilitate a much better following.
- External content marketing. External content is the perfect counterpart to content on the site. With the right strategy, you can routinely get articles published to external publishers. In this way, you will gain more brand visibility and have the opportunity to create valuable links to your site; These links, in turn, will be able to drive as much referral traffic directly to your site as a higher authority, ultimately increasing your search engine rankings. Over time, you will gain a better reputation as an author and be able to work with larger and more influential publishers, broadening your audience in the process. Again, it takes a lot of time and effort, but it doesn’t have to cost you money.
- Junk mail. Despite countless other digital marketing strategies that have emerged in the last two decades, email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing strategies you can use. This is partly due to how inexpensive it is. You can create an account with an email marketing platform for free and usually send regular emails to thousands of subscribers for free. As long as your content is interesting and you are actively working to build your email subscriber list, you should be able to generate significant recurring traffic and improve your site’s visibility.
- Networks and references. Don’t forget about networking and referrals. It’s free to meet and talk to new people, and while it may take a long time, it can pay off, too. If you introduce your website to even a handful of new people and everyone is impressed enough to share the website with your circle of friends and colleagues, you could quickly reach hundreds of new people.
Reach maximum popularity
Part of your success will depend on factors beyond your control, like your industry, their time and economic conditions. But much of your success will be entirely in your hands. Even if you don’t have a significant budget, if you’re willing to put in a little time, it has the potential to make your website that much more popular and ultimately attract thousands or tens of thousands of unique monthly visitors. It is not something that can happen overnight, and it will not be “free” in the strictest sense of the word, but it is doable, easily understandable, and appropriate for most websites.