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I Don't Need to Make Money with My Web Site, But ...

You built your Web site because you care about the subject matter, not because you want to make money off it.  Sure, it would be nice if your ads would generate enough revenue to pay for the hosting fees, but you're not really in it for the money.  All these promises of quick and easy riches from your Web site sound kind of sleazy, and you don't want any part of it.  But you would like to get more people to visit your Web site and read what you have to say.  This article will show you how to promote your Web site without getting all mercenary about it.

You know you need to promote your Web site if you ever want anyone besides your friends and family to look at it.  But every time you look into ways to increase your Web site traffic, you find yourself looking into the slimy underbelly of internet marketing.  It seems that everyone who wants to "help" you to draw more visitors to your Web site is passionate about making money, without much regard for the ethics of it.

If your passion is for the subject matter of your Web site and not for the money, you probably shy away from this whole questionable business.  You might have two main reasons for wanting to steer clear:

  1. You don't want to involve yourself in anything underhanded, even if it is legal.
  2. You know that anyone who is that passionate about making money online is just as likely to relieve you of your money without giving you much in return.

You are absolutely right to be skeptical and cautious.

But it is possible to promote your Web site, even using the techniques promoted by the snake oil salesmen, without either becoming a snake oil salesman or buying snake oil.

Keep that healthy caution with you, and look for the truth behind what the Web marketing experts are saying.  You will soon find that some are exaggerating wildly, and some are only exaggerating a little.  (Yes, we're all exaggerating, at least a little.  It is marketing, after all.  Sorry.  And that toothpaste you saw advertized on TV last night won't really make you irresistible to the opposite sex, either.)

Through the eyes of healthy caution, you will see that the Web is like the real world in at least this much:  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

So when you read a pitch that says, "I made umpteen godzillion dollars last week while lounging around in my pajamas, and for $19.95, I'll show you how!"  You can simply pity the godzillion suckers who each gave this shyster $19.95, and turn the page.

But when the pitch says, "Here is a technique that works really well to increase your Web site traffic.  It's easy to use, and it produces measurable results in a matter of days when properly applied."  You know there might be something to it.  The pitch is reasonable.  It implies that you have to do something to make the technique work, and it implies that the results you get are determined by the effort you put in.

You get the idea.  Filter out the hype and exaggeration the same way you would if you saw an ad on TV or in a newspaper.  If there's nothing left after filtering, then you can ignore it.  But if it still seems like there's something to it even without the hype, maybe you should look into it.

With your hype-filters on and your skepticism set to a reasonable value, consider this list of techniques that are worth looking into.  These are honest techniques that really do work to increase your Web site traffic and that really don't cost you any money:

  • Make sure your Web site is rich in valuable, meaningful content.  If you really are passionate about your subject matter, you've probably got that covered.
  • Make sure your Web site is well written.  Ask a friend who might be better at such things than you are, if spelling and grammar are not your passion.
  • Make sure your Web site makes appropriate use of the keywords that people are going to use to find your site.  There are excellent keyword research services you can buy, and a few good ones for free.  Search for "keyword research" on any search engine, or check back here in a few days for an article I'll be posting on the subject.
  • Create a sitemap for your Web site and submit it to the major search engines.  Don't know how?  Search for "sitemap" on any search engine, or check back here in a few days for an article I'll be posting on the subject.
  • Promote your Web site with articles posted on Article Directories and Ezines like this one.  You can write your own articles for free, and you can publish them for free, and you will get results.  Better articles will get better results.  If you really can't write effective articles, or think you can't, you can pay someone to write them for you, and the better results you get may well pay for the additional cost.  Search for "ghost writer" on any search engineFree Web Content, and you will almost certainly find a writer who specializes in the subject matter of your Web site.  (But keep your filters on.  There are snake oil salesmen who call themselves "ghost writers.")

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Charles J. Bonner is the founder and principal project manager of  Find out more about promoting your Web site in a conscientious way, especially using Article Marketing, at

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