If you have been trying to get traffic to your site without paying for it, you must know by now that participating in online communities is one of the best ways. There are many different types of online communities that you can join and most will help you get a certain amount of traffic to your site. For this article, I will focus on only three types. Most commonly, new webmasters try to promote their website by subscribing to an online forum or a news site such as Slashdot or Digg. In addition, there are two other overlooked communities that can help you drive lots of traffic to your website and that includes social search engines and social bookmarking sites.
When it comes to using an online forum or news site as part of your marketing campaign it is important that you remember the most essential rule and that is, do not spam. Make sure that you are actively participating in the discussion and that you are not there just to promote your website. Many of these forums such as Slashdot and Digg use a moderation system that allows other users to give your posting such a low score that the vast majority of people will never see it. This is what will happen to you if you spam the forum other than of course getting banned all together. If you ad meaningful comments to a discussion, other users will become interested in what else you have to say and they will visit your website either via your signature or your profile.
In addition, social search engines have, recently, been gaining popularity. The internet consists of billions of websites and dishonest webmasters have been busy keyword optimizing their sites just to profit from Adsense. It has become very difficult for surfers to find the most relevant sites to their queries. Even Google’s results even though the best compared to other search engines often are not the most relevant. In an effort to avoid this clutter, web users are coming together in social search engines to create a searchable collection of websites with useful content. If you are a webmaster and you want to promote your content rich site and your search engine optimization is not working then you might want to consider submitting your website to one of these social search engines.
Finally, social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us are becoming very popular and you can definitely use them to promote your site. In social bookmarking, you store links to your favorite websites online so you can access them from any computer that you are using. Most importantly, you can make your collection of links public so that others can also use them. In addition, you specify a set of tags for each link that you submit. You and other web surfers can use these tags to search for links of similar interest to their own. This is how you can promote your site. Simply bookmark your site and tag it with the most relevant keywords. Then, when other people search using these keywords, your site will come up and they might pay you a visit. If people enjoy your website, they might bookmark it themselves increasing the chances that others will come across it.