Free Advertising For Web Sites

All websites need traffic and there are many ways to get traffic. Most of them cost money, lots of it. Pay per click programs are guaranteed to bring you instant traffic. In fact, as much as you can afford. Once you money runs out, so does the traffic. Some people swear by this method, but they are usually making a fortune from it, or more precisely, they are making a fortune from selling you theories on how to profit from pay per click. If most of these so called gurus were making the fortunes they claim, they wouldn’t be peddling $20 ebooks on how to create competitors in their own market and kill their own, supposed, large pay per click incomes.

So what are your alternatives for web site advertising? Well, several to be honest. First of all, there is of course article marketing. A well discussed topic and an invaluable tool of any one serious about making money online. Secondly, community forums. No matter what topic you are involved in, there is almost certainly a forum community built up around it. If there is not, then build your own. You can join the community and add valuable information to discussions and answer questions all while including your all important back link to your site in your signature. If you join a community make sure you contribute quality information to the community. Do not spam. Its pointless, unfair to the community, and in the long run will discredit you and your product in very short time.

Thirdly, advertising sites. There are advertising sites out there that welcome you to post advertisements for your product, business, web site, etc. These sites usually allow you to write a sales copy, add pictures, and most importantly, a link to your site or product. Amazingly, this can be done for free, yes free advertising.

Free web site advertising on a site such as these will bring you traffic in a steady stream direct from the advertising site, and in some cases, from organic search engine results. Once you experience the traffic from sites like this, you will no longer put pay per click as your first choice of traffic sources. This is not to say you should not use pay per click, it is phenomenal as far as traffic, but paid traffic should not be your first choice over free traffic.

How to Make Your Web Site Advertising, Newspaper and Phone Directory Advertising More Profitable!

The results I have seen achieved from newspaper, phone directory and web site advertising, have been nothing short of amazing. It has all been accomplished using simple, but powerful, strategies.

Whether you are running web site advertising or any other kind of advertising – it still needs to get results. Your advertising will cost you the same, regardless of whether it pulls in two sales or does 1000% better and pulls in 22 sales.

So, how do you make your advertising work like crazy?

Your first task is not to get your prospect to read your advertising. You first need them to notice your advertising. I might be old school but, from years of “hands on” experience, I know that EVERY written advertisement needs a powerful headline. That goes for mail order, phone directory advertising, web site advertising, newspaper advertising etc. Every advertisement needs to grab attention with a powerful headline.

When I sort through my mail I do it next to the wastepaper basket. Unless it is something important, or a bill I need to pay, most of it gets trashed.

If I spot an eye-catching headline, I might be tempted to read a couple of paragraphs to see what it is all about. The same goes for web site advertising; if the web page doesn’t immediately grab my attention, I will move on to the next web site.

So, the first job of any advertising is to get attention. The second job is to keep the reader interested in what you have to say. You just have to get the person to read the first sentence, then the next sentence, then the one after that, and so on. Keep them interested and you may start to create a desire for what you have to sell.

Take just one step at a time. Get their attention and then keep them interested. Create a desire. Then, introduce a call to action and ask them to buy.

It is really important to work through the process in the correct order. There is no point in asking for the sale if you haven’t first grabbed their attention and created the desired.

That is why so many advertisements fail to pull in satisfactory results. A lot of advertisers put their company name at the top of the advertisement (boring!), and expect that to grab the attention of a reader. The business owner might like to see his or her company name big and bold at the top of the ad, but the average reader won’t have the same interest. The reader is more interested in “what’s in it for me.”

We are all interested in ourselves and want to know how we can benefit in some way. This is an important point all advertisers need to understand if they want better results from their advertising.

Now, before I go, take another look at the headline of this article. You will see it includes a benefit, which is exactly what I have just been talking about. If you have read this far, then you must have been interested in what I had to say. Hopefully you now have the desire to improve your advertising. However, I will stop there and not ask for a sale, because that is not the purpose of this article.

The important thing is that you understand the important sequence of the AIDA process – Get Attention, Create Interest, Generate Desire, and then Call for Action.

Where to Get Free Web Site Advertising

There is a whole bunch of methods to drive traffic to your website by paid methods. These include Pay Per Click advertising, banner or text link advertising, Media Buys, and similar.

But now I am going to reveal the most profitable, but many times overlooked by marketers, free web site advertising strategies. The ones that you can implement right away, and start seeing results as soon as in a few hours.

1) Forum Marketing. This is so simple, yet 95% of the marketers do it wrong. You don`t have to promote anything you do in the forum. All you have to do, is provide QUALITY information, answers to people`s questions, just be helpful. Share your experience and thoughts on the subject. Help those people. In a few days, they will start noticing you, and following you. Then you add a signature to your posts, which links to your website, or web page. Remember – no promotion.

2) Yahoo! Answers. Again, you are NOT going to get any value of it, if you do it wrong. This is not a place for advertising. However, if you play it right, you can get more value than by having your banner on a very high traffic website. Which you pay hundreds monthly for. What you have to do, is post not more than 5 links in your answers daily, out of 20 answered questions. And those links have to point to at least 3 different websites. That is, you answer 20 questions daily, and only 5 links to your pages. Think 5 is not enough? Trust me – it is so, so worth it!

3) Blog commenting. You need to leave comments on high traffic blogs, on interesting posts. These comments do not have to be just “oh, what a nice post!”. They have to bring value to the readers as well. They have to be controversial, so people who see your comment, come and visit your website. Blog comments work extremely well, if you are one of the first people to comment. This way your comment gets even more exposure.

Hire Web Developer – 10 Important Points to Ponder Upon

Nowadays it is almost an outdated thought to run a business without online presence! Besides that people know that online presence increases or just double the Return on Investment for all the businesses! Also institutions or organization do also keep their presence online to establish or spread themselves to the world. And to make the effort of building a website there are lots of web development companies who offer the customer or the clients to hire web developer. In this way the website building process has become easy and affordable too!

But there are some aspects in website development. One of those factors is to hire web developer who is or are really helpful or worthy to be hired. This is the reason I am trying to put down just 10 important points that always come in consideration at the time of hiring web developers. Let’s have a look on the points:

  1. Before you decide to hire web developer, just assess your requirements. It is very important to know what kind of development you are looking for. Do you need a simple static website or e-commerce site. Depending on these you have to search for the web developers.
  2. Are you looking for open source development or the hard code? It may be the case that your projects can be best done in open source or vice-versa. So before you go to hire web developer make sure that you have determined the technologies/programming languages. It is essential because there are developers who are expert and specialist at open source or the hard code. You need to choose your ones.
  3. You need to find out the expert and experienced people for your projects. You should never hire web developers who are having little experience in the kind of development you are looking for. Why not check out the portfolio of works? It will let you decide the quality of people you are choosing.
  4. Try to assess the knowledge base and the professionalism of the developers you are considering to hire. You should clear the queries about the project you are thinking to offer to the developers. Again the work ethics or the process of work (milestone deliverables, project documentation etc) will let you know the developers. So when you hire web developer never forget to take interview.
  5. When you are thinking to build a website you should find the market trend to know if the project can be given to a local developer or it is best to think of outsourcing. These days it is best to hire web developer from offshore companies. Not only the cost but also the growing competition has eased the availability of best services from anywhere in the world.
  6. You may hire web developer as dedicated to your projects or may go time-based hiring as you require. Both are good. But dedicated hiring is the best ploy as in this case your headache is less to complete the project. Even the flow of project is smooth and time of development becomes less.
  7. You may hire web developer from a company or a freelancer. If you hire from a company you will get many types of developers or the specialist altogether and the development process becomes smooth. But in the matter of freelancers you have to be very much choosy and careful to know the professionalism or the quality of work of the particular developers. Sometimes multiple hiring of personnel becomes essential in the case of freelancers.
  8. It is very much important to know that you hire web developer from somewhere that has proper infrastructure to complete your project. It is particularly essential as many a time it is found that you go for hiring a freelancer who does not have access to latest technologies and tools or the true setup to finish the projects. So proper search and confirmation of the infrastructure has become mandatory (also for companies).
  9. Try to find out how is the reputation of the developer in providing support to the project both throughout the project completion and afterward maintenance. Never hire web developer with poor record in support or do not forget to judge the communication level of them. Otherwise total investment in the project may go in vain.
  10. When you decide to hire web developer, do not go behind affordability always, care for the legal issues too. It is fact that affordable web development is now highly possible. But it is not that all the companies provide best service at affordable cost. Find out the reputed companies who do not only provide affordable service but also clears legal dealings, say money back guarantee issues, copyright, document & resource transfer and all.

Hope after going through the above points, you will understand how important it is to be careful in the process of hiring developers for getting best development of the website you are thinking to build. Always remember the responsibility of best website development never only rest on the developers. It is also your discretion to hire single web developer from multiple companies or team of developer from one company. However, never feel helpless if you find the things little lengthy. You may take help of directories and tactfully choose the request a quote process for searching and getting best developers. Never hurry but be steady in the website building initiative – you will be successful.

What Makes a Good Web Development Company

The world of web development is still very much misunderstood. We’ve even heard people call it a “dark art”. So when you need help turning your ideas and designs into a high quality website or web application, how do you know who you can trust to get this done?

The purpose of this post is to provide some key points on what makes a good web development company, and will help you understand the kind of questions you should be asking development companies.

This is going to be a very opinionated post and we make no apologies for it. If you disagree with anything we are certainly open to discussing it further.

Now to get on with the post. Below are the key areas we are going to be looking at, and what you should be looking for in a web development company.

  • Able to do both front-end and back-end development
  • Don’t specialise in one back-end technology
  • Should follow best practices
  • Understanding of marketing strategies surrounding the projects
  • Invests time in research and development
  • Has a rigorous testing process, including automated tests
  • Flexible to change
  • Use source control

Able to do both front-end and back-end development
We don’t subscribe to idea of developers that do front-end development and developers that do back-end development. That’s the equivalent of having a plumber who only fits pipes and leaves the fitting of the baths, showers, sinks and toilets to someone else.

We agree there is a separation between web developers and web designers, there’s a completely different thought process going on there, but the separation between front-end and back-end is just wrong. To be a good web developer you need to understand the full development cycle and to be able to get involved in the project from start to finish. There is also much to be learnt from the working with the varying technologies, but we’ll come on to that.

Don’t specialise in one back-end technology
There are a number of good back-end technologies that are appropriate for web development including Ruby on Rails, ASP.Net and PHP (and others). They all have their strengths and weaknesses and not one is perfect. A good web development company should be flexible in which technologies they use, so that they use the most appropriate one for their clients’ needs.

The key reason we have spent time learning a number of technologies is to able to pick and choose the bits we like. Over the years the developers involved in The League have been able to take the good parts of each technology and formulate a number of best practices and use them across all platforms.

Should follow best practices
The key to being a good web developer is not the technologies that you use, but the best practices that you follow. As technologies come and go in our very fast moving industry those best practices will remain, or at least evolve. As a developer if you have a good grounding then you can move with the times and technologies fairly easily.

So what are these best practices that we are talking about. Below are some of the key ones we follow.

  • Writing semantic HTML
  • Follow web standards for all front end coding
  • Automated testing of both front-end and back-end code
  • Use of a MVC framework

Understanding of marketing strategies surrounding the projects
We’ve heard this complaint many times that web developers don’t think about the marketing strategy of a project. This is generally because developers don’t care. Well they should. How can they advise clients and think about helping clients produce the right solution, if they aren’t thinking about the “bigger picture” (sorry, we know it’s a horrid phrase, we’ll go wash our mouths out now). If a developer blindly does the work, they are not offering the client a service, they are just being a meat puppet.

The most important question a developer can ask is “Why?”. Take time to understand the client’s requirements fully, and advise them, after all the client doesn’t understand the ins and outs of web development, you do. Make the development cycle a two way conversation.

Invests time in research and development
As everyone knows the web industry is a very fast moving industry. Things come and go in the blink of an eye. A good web development company gives it’s developers allocated time each week to look at new trends and technologies. Admittedly some of these trends and technologies are dead ends, but you won’t know unless you look into them.

If you want to know if a web development company knows there stuff, simply ask them what their developers have been looking into recently. You don’t have to understand everything you are told, note them down though and look them up on the internet to understand if the company are looking at new trends or not.

R&D is probably the most important time each week for a developer. If developers don’t evolve, the solutions they build will become stagnate and dated very quickly. As a client do you want an out of date solution before you even start?

Has a rigorous testing process, including automated tests
Too often we have seen the client is the tester for a project. If this is happening, then, to put it bluntly, the development company don’t understand your project well enough, they are just “banging out” code.

A good web development company should be writing automated tests (integration tests, unit-tests etc) for all their code, both front-end and back-end. On a simple level, tests help developers to concentrate on the code they are writing at that given time, they also help developers to write more concise code. More concise code means the code base is easier to understand and cheaper to maintain.

The major benefit of a test suite to a client is that when changes are made to the code in the project there can be a lot more confidence in the fact that the change, or new code, hasn’t broken anything else.

We are not saying automated testing is the silver bullet of web development, and tests are only effective if they are written well, but they certainly should be part of any web developers toolset.

Automated tests aren’t the only important aspect of testing. The web development company should also have a level of human testing as well, and this is certainly something clients should be involved in. User stories are key to this process. As part of the development process, clients should work with the web development company to put together User stories, so that all parties involved understand how users will interact with the site or application and the results of those interactions.

Flexible to change
We’ve all heard developers complaining how their clients’ change the requirements of a project midway thought a project. Developers need to stop complaining about this, it happens to us all and it’s never going to change. A good web development company should have processes in place to cope with change. If you are a client, ask how change requests will be handled.

Web developers should work to short release cycles, preferably 1 – 2 weeks. The worst thing that can happen to a project is that the developers get the brief, start the work and then 2 months later they announce it’s finished, only for the client to say “This isn’t what I asked for!”. By working to short release cycles, clients can be involved at all stages. At the end of each release the client should review the project so far and submit any change requests.

Use source control
Our final recommendation is a pretty obvious and simple one, to most people, but we still speak to developers who don’t use any form of source control. This seems more prevalent with freelancers as they don’t see the need as they are the only ones working on the code. If that’s how they see it, then they are missing the point.

There are lots of reasons why all code should be source controlled. We’re are only going to mention a couple of key points here. Firstly it’s a great way of keeping a log of changes made to code. (As long as developers put a comment into the commit). Secondly and most importantly is allows developers to change code without the fear of losing already work already done. This is especially useful when trying out other possible coding solutions to a problem.