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The Absolute Best Way to Promote Your Site For Free

I can't stress the importance of effective linking strategies enough - they are the hidden power of the World Wide Web. There are two benefits to exchanging links. One is the immediate increase in traffic to your website from referral partners who are thinking of networking with you. This can quite often lead to sales. The second benefit, and most important in our minds, is the ongoing funnel of new, pre-qualified prospects it brings to your doorstep.

This is still one of the best ways to promote your site for free. And it s easy to do. Make a simple page called "Favorite Resourcs", and start adding links to other people s web sites. Be sure to put your display ad in the middle of it. Then contact website owners and ask if they would like to exchange links with you. You will be pleasantly surprised by how many will be happy to promote your site!

Here is a step-by-step approach:

First, identify a group of people who know how to reach your target audience. Think of people who come into contact with your market at the time they would be considering making a purchase. Find these people through search engines, web rings, and link pages on other websites.

Then, call them or send them an e-mail that talks about the things you both have in common. Mention the way you came across their name. Tell them the reason you think you share a common market. Mention something about your website and show them your "Favorite Resources" page.

Offer to provide them with a link because they would be able to provide a good product, service, or resource that your customers are interested in. Make it very easy for them to come to your site and exchange links. In the friendliest way you can, tell them to feel free to come by your site anytime and you will be glad to add their link.

Let them know that your marketing research suggests that your customers would be willing buyers of THEIR products - and their customers could benefit from the things you provide. Ask them if there is anything specific they would like you to mention about their website, and offer to write something really nice about them when you add their link.

Do you think anyone will flame you for doing this? Won t they look at your site? Hasn t everyone heard about how important it is to exchange links on the Internet? But don t misunderstand, this is not a trick or ploy, you must truly feel that you can provide some mutual benefit to each other.

The sure-fire way to make this even more effective is to add a link to them yourself. Do this first, before you contact them. Say something wonderful and glowing, give them a tremendous endorsement, mention the things on their website that you liked, encourage your visitors to take a look at their site.

Will people click immediately on your site when they hear that you have added a link to their website? Will they look for their link? Will they beam when they read what you said about them? Will they tell other people about your website? Will they add a link to their page cross-promoting you? Will they be open to discussing joint-ventures and other cross-marketing opportunities? You bet! In fact they will do anything you suggest that is easy for them to do.

Follow-up with people after you have placed their link. Do they see some value in furthering the relationship? Would they like to be placed on top of your list? What can they do for you that would make you want to promote them even more? Ask the question . . . you ll be very pleased with the answers!

Patrick Anderson is the founder of Active Marketplace and author of "Right On The Money", from which this article is excerpted. You can find out more about the book at

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