Necessary to spend money to promote a website?

PenguinManiac

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Alright, we get it, promotion can go a long way: social medias, SMO and SEO, guest posting, ads and the more the better. Some of them are free and only require effort and dedication, whereas some others would like a word or two with your wallet.
Buying traffic, follower bots for both Twitter and Instagram, Facebook ad campaign... they all require money. Or, rather, it's better to look at them as investments, right? But how necessary are them?

If I don't want to, can I still successfully promote my website only through free techniques, even if this means taking a little more time?
If I paid, instead, would the trade-off in terms of time and traffic be worth it? Can I still achieve such goals without having to wait forever?
 

runswithleaves

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Either way it doesn't matter, business is a risk, investing money is a risk. This means you may not get any return on investment at all.

You gotta set some goals for what you want to achieve with your business/website/venture in 30 day cycles, if you don't achieve the goal or goals, try again, keep trying until you succeed, month after month.

Traffic is such a large topic, there are so many ways to get traffic, if you stand out in the street with a sign with your website name on it - > traffic.

Yes you can use free techniques, i do it all the time.

The trade off works only if you pay your tuition to google, facebook, or bing. Tuition is as expensive as it takes for you to master the technical skill.

Yes you can achieve the goals in record time, start, time yourself, keep the 30 day cycles in mind and your focus on your goals.

Think in terms of opportunity pipeline, fail forward, and start.

You can't fail.

Good luck and have fun!!!!
 

PenguinManiac

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PenguinManiac
Thank you so much for the tips! I never thought about setting a goal schedule, now that you mention it. I guess I never really approached the subject with a business mindset, to be fair, but it could really help in this case.
The issue, though, is that it's hard to set realistic goals at first. If you set them too small, you won't grow fast enough; if you set them too high, you're in for disappointment. However, as you said, one must fail forward to get somewhere, right? We all have to start somewhere!
 

Rob Whisonant

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It's so much easier and faster to just pay for traffic. Sure, if you have a lot of time you can devote to site promotion, free methods work. Personally I am in business to make money, not spend all my time working it. So I prefer to go the paid traffic route.
 

PenguinManiac

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It's so much easier and faster to just pay for traffic. Sure, if you have a lot of time you can devote to site promotion, free methods work. Personally I am in business to make money, not spend all my time working it. So I prefer to go the paid traffic route.
So you're seeing it as an investment. Yup, I can see why, you'll want to get the best value for your money and time and start earning as soon as possible. From your experience, does bought traffic necessary translate to real traffic in an acceptable volume?

Yes. You can harness traffic for free, from places like reddit. I know people who used reddit to bring in thousands of organic traffic.
Reddit is not as populated as other social medias, but because of the way it's structured it really manages to generate a lot more traffic than its competitors. Still, I recall Reddit doesn't approve the use of accounts solely for advertising purposes, but things might have changed (and even then, you just have to balance things out).
 

HostLittle

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Pay for the traffic, but make sure that you aren't wasting your money. You will have to do extensive keyword research, landing page creation or conversion optimization, email / other lead information capture, etc.. Otherwise you could blow through a lot of money and not get the return you were hoping for.

The nice thing about paid traffic is you can start small and do AB testing to see what works the best.

For example, we ran Adwords for a local best control company. The keyword (local) "pest control services" had a bounce rate of 35% compared to "pest control" which had a bounce rate of over 80%. So we doubled down on "pest control services" and paused "pest control". This is one of the most basic forms of optimizing your campaign, so just keep that in mind if you start paid campaigns and aren't seeing the results you hoped for. It takes time to find the sweet spot and it's hard to get it right the first tim
 

dahunsi

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Promoting your website is as big an investment as is any other thing you're actually doing as regards your website itself and while there are platforms that just require a little effort and no money to work, these platforms rarely get you the results you need.
If you're to make a mark and set the ball rolling fast, you are definitely going to have t make some tangible investments...tangible MONETARY investments.
If you pay someone or a service to help with promoting your website, you can be sure that your money will bring back reasonable returns and even if it doesn't, you'll have someone to hold accountable.
Either way, you win!
 

PenguinManiac

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The nice thing about paid traffic is you can start small and do AB testing to see what works the best.

For example, we ran Adwords for a local best control company. The keyword (local) "pest control services" had a bounce rate of 35% compared to "pest control" which had a bounce rate of over 80%. So we doubled down on "pest control services" and paused "pest control". This is one of the most basic forms of optimizing your campaign, so just keep that in mind if you start paid campaigns and aren't seeing the results you hoped for. It takes time to find the sweet spot and it's hard to get it right the first tim
It's all about trial and error, huh? I guess it gets even harder with local services, since you're working with a restricted batch of viewers, and it's difficult to predict how they'll behave compared to the mass of delocalized, online viewers.

If you pay someone or a service to help with promoting your website, you can be sure that your money will bring back reasonable returns and even if it doesn't, you'll have someone to hold accountable.
Either way, you win!
This looks like another good investment, but I'm always wary when it comes down to depend off someone else when dealing with such fundamental things. Unless you find someone willing to explain to you how things work and how they're done (why would someone give away professional secrets, though?), you'll hardly get any hands-on experience, and you won't be able to handle things yourself when you'll need it. However, it's a risk I'd take if the trade-off was really convenient.
 

anand

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After some time, you'll realize that you don't "have to" get paid traffic, but it's the best way to go in combination with your efforts to get more organic traffic. For example, if you're working on SEO for a particular keyword, then you may want to set a goal of how many conversions you want. Assume that at present, you have zero conversions for this keyword. You start a paid campaign or campaigns on different platforms (Adwords, Outbrain/taboola, Reddit, Quora, etc.) to get the required number of new sales. You're also doing SEO, and as your website gets more organic visitors and sales, you have the option of slowly reducing your paid traffic - or not. That's why I'm saying - you don't have to get paid traffic, but you'll end up doing it as a complement to your SEO.
 

rozzski89

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Alright, we get it, promotion can go a long way: social medias, SMO and SEO, guest posting, ads and the more the better. Some of them are free and only require effort and dedication, whereas some others would like a word or two with your wallet.
Buying traffic, follower bots for both Twitter and Instagram, Facebook ad campaign... they all require money. Or, rather, it's better to look at them as investments, right? But how necessary are them?
If you are talking about buying traffic from social media then its quite useless, the traffic has low conversions and you should consider Google adwords.

If I don't want to, can I still successfully promote my website only through free techniques, even if this means taking a little more time?
Of course, you can use free methods as promoting on forums, guest blogging, building email lists, SEO..etc.
For SEO, its still be the best free method to generate traffic for my blog sites.
 

homebizmom

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Of course you can use free methods, if you are willing to put the work in. Just takes a lot of patience and consistency, but in time you will start seeing results. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day ;)
 

hynds

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I think there're many methods for you to promo your site, on both free & paid methods

Free methods such as: Doing SEO, Social Media Content sharing, Youtube sharing, Facebook Content (Fanpage, Group), Twitter, Google+, Pinterest,...and many other channels that give you free using and promotions

Paid methods such as: Doing SEM such as Google Adwords, GDN, Solo ads, Facebook ads, banner ads,...

So it depends on your budgets that you will choose which methods can give you the best effort, or you need to combine between free & paid methods in order to get the highest effective results

I hope this helps.
 

shilpa

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Yes, it's better to pay for the traffic if your website has a lot of quality services and products to offer, and if you're sure that you'll have guaranteed sales. See it all as an investment, which will surely bear fruits if you have appropriate quality and quantity.
 

Yourpwet

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Nah, it's not mandatory for you to pay for the promotion of your website and increases in traffic. You could manually do the promotion yourself. You could promote your site in every social media network by sharing a link to your friends and followers, you could comment on each and every forum that you are a member of while leaving a link to your site in the process, you could do blog commenting, etc etc. It's a slow and hard process and the results are not guaranteed. But if you do it right, you're gonna reap the benefits.

If you want to see instant results with very little to no effort, then you could result to paid promotion. Just make sure that you're availing of the right services from a reputable provider. Or else, your money would be wasted.
 

LinkHeros

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Paid promotion should be used if you have the budget for it, as it will bring you traffic and sales instantly.

Free traffic can be easily acquired if you know where to look. If you think about it, there are millions of websites online that have decent traffic that you could somehow direct to your site. Google is just one website, yet most people spend all of their time and effort trying to get traffic from it.
 

PenguinManiac

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I think there're many methods for you to promo your site, on both free & paid methods

Free methods such as: Doing SEO, Social Media Content sharing, Youtube sharing, Facebook Content (Fanpage, Group), Twitter, Google+, Pinterest,...and many other channels that give you free using and promotions

Paid methods such as: Doing SEM such as Google Adwords, GDN, Solo ads, Facebook ads, banner ads,...

So it depends on your budgets that you will choose which methods can give you the best effort, or you need to combine between free & paid methods in order to get the highest effective results

I hope this helps.
It definitely did, thanks! From what I've gathered so far, it seems to be a sort of competition between ad campaigns and social media promotion as best tools for respectively paid and free tools. Mix matching them could lead to good results with minimal investment, hopefully.

Nah, it's not mandatory for you to pay for the promotion of your website and increases in traffic. You could manually do the promotion yourself. You could promote your site in every social media network by sharing a link to your friends and followers, you could comment on each and every forum that you are a member of while leaving a link to your site in the process, you could do blog commenting, etc etc. It's a slow and hard process and the results are not guaranteed. But if you do it right, you're gonna reap the benefits.

If you want to see instant results with very little to no effort, then you could result to paid promotion. Just make sure that you're availing of the right services from a reputable provider. Or else, your money would be wasted.
Basically like leaving around handouts, right? It is effective, yeah. It takes time, but I believe that this could be a nice test to see how long you can keep it up. After all, you need to stick to your website to reap good results, and if you're not willing to spend enough time to promote it, then maybe that's not well suited for you. It may not be directly useful, but it's a good test nonetheless.
 

Angel07

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I believe it's not really necessary as you have a lot of free options to promote your website but I would say it's better to spend some money if you want to do a good job, free options take time, you need to be patient, while spending some money will provide you better results in less time, it really depends on you, if you prefer to wait a little bit to avoid spending money then stick to the free options available, good luck!
 

PenguinManiac

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Yeah, it seems it all boils down to that, in the end. If you want to turn it into a job, you'll want to make the most out of it, and quickly. If you only consider it to be a hobby, though, then there's no reason to be in a rush. It's good to know it's actually possible to succeed without spending a dime, though. Thanks for the answer!
 

jessicarousey

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There's a huge difference between paid and free methods. Ofcourse when you pay, there is more effectiveness and benefits you could attain and not in free methods. Im not saying that you cant side with free methods though. In the end the output is whats important really. But you'll see the difference.
 

pjprins

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it depends on where you are at in your business. if you are just starting out and scraping by, paid advertising may not be an option.

On the other end of the journey, if you have reached the point where your time is worth more (to you) than the money spent on promotion, it makes business sense to make the most of your time, and outsource the rest.

There is one solid exception, though:

If you sell ebooks, course, etc about generating free traffic, it would be hypocritical to pay for all of your traffic. You need to be using the methods you teach - even if only for a part of your total traffic, and even if only to prove your methods still work.
 
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Ithinkmom

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Why not exhaust first the free ways or methods to promote your website. If the result is not satisfying for you then you can proceed with paid advertisement and spend some money to buy or increase your traffic. Whether it's necessary to spend money I guess it's not really necessary but it may help.
 
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