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The Secret to Generating Web Traffic: Give Away Free Maps

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How an entrepreneur from the Gold Rush of 1849 can help us generate web traffic.  The number one challenge facing you today is how to get internet traffic to your website.  A website is useless if people can't find you. Your job is to give away free maps so people can find you (or the gold)

During the gold rush era many prospectors, business people andentrepreneurs of all types made a bee line for the California gold fields.  Many of them traveled by boat but the majority of them traveled overland.  The majority of those who traveled overland came from the east to St Louis Missouri and then on across the great plains to the California boom towns.

It's hard to imagine the journey facing most of the people who came out west.  It was customary for a trip from Virginia to California to take from three to six months.   Sort of like the early days of the internet if you used a dial up modem.  It makes me shudder just thinking about how long it would take to download even the smallest file back then.

A very enterprising entrepreneur in St Louis got rich by giving away free maps.   You see, he knew that potential prospectors and business people headed to the gold fields of California had no idea of where they were going.  In order to reach California they would need maps to get there.  So, he gave away free maps detailing how to reach the California gold fields.   Of course, since they were already in his store to get the free maps why not stock up on all those essentials you might need before you embarked on a three month journey.    You see, St Louis was the last place before you reached California that carried everything you might need.  Axes, wagons, mules, oxen, blankets, rifles and food stocks were just some of the items that a prospector would need to survive the journey across the Great Plains.

He succeeded at this strategy because he had billboards all over town advertising the free maps and where people could get them.  He even paid young boys to act as town criers.  They ran all over town announcing that people could "Get Yer Free Gold Mine Maps at Joe's Dry Goods and Emporium".

Your potential prospects are a lot like those early prospectors and entrepreneurs.  They face an incredible journey just to find you, your website or your blog.   They have no idea where to find you.  Your job is to give away free maps and to announce it all over the internet so that people will know where to find you. 

Today we call that generating internet traffic.  There are a number of very effective strategies for giving away free maps so that prospectors and fellow entrepreneurs can find their way to you.  For the purpose of keeping this article as short as possible I am only including the five most effective methods for giving away free maps.

Natural Search Engine Traffic; The number one way to direct people to your website or blog is to submit your website to the major search engines.  Google, Windows Live , Yahoo, Ask and Open Directory Project.  Open Directory is not as big as the others but it is a good search engine to submit to especially if your site is not over commercialized.  After submitting your site to the major search engines you can focus on the hundreds of smaller search engines that exist.  Don't try to tackle them all at once.  If you are doing it manually pick five search engines a week to submit to and spend 15 minutes a week submitting to those five.

Article Directories; Every internet marketing guru and guru wannabe is promoting this strategy because it works.  Write 1 to 2 articles every week and submit them to an article directory such as ezinearticles.com or articledashboard.com.  If you have difficulty writing I highly encourage you to develop that skill or to pay someone to write articles for you.

Email/Forum Signatures; One way to generate traffic is to participate in forums and/or send out emails.  The trick is to have a signature at the end of your email or forum post that advertises the fact that you give away free maps.  Something as simple as "free map to the gold mine - click here"   with a link to your website or blog.  The nice thing about it is that if you participate in a forum online and you post several hundred posts that is several hundred small boys all shouting out "Get Yer Free Gold Mine Maps".  

Blogs;  Blogs are a way to keep your prospector up to date if you have a new map to offer or just to share useful and helpful information with him.  It's another way to give  away free maps.  If you have some website experience and are technology savvy then wordpress is a great tool for setting up your blog right from your own hosting service.  For those of us who are technology challenged or who don't want to be distracted by the technology so we can get on with giving away free gold mine maps there is blogger.com.   Both  blog creators are free.   You can use the blog to share, invite prospectors to comment and even link back to your website. 

Gold Nugget:  I just stole..er I mean borrowed this idea from Jim Daniels publisher of the New Age Work at Home Plan.  He recommends that you read blogs related to your gold mine (Niche) and that you leave comments or posts on the blogs with your signature link.   These comments will be read by readers of the blog and if you arouse their curiosity they will click on your link.   Remember to make the comment relevant. Comment spam is deleted almost faster than it is posted on most sites.

E-zine Advertising;   One fast, direct way to get the word out that you are giving away free gold mine maps is to advertise in an e-zine.  There are literally thousands of e-zines and some of them will even let you advertise for free or for a very low cost.   One example of  an e-zine advertising clearinghouse is ezinead.net.  Click Here For a really good article on e-zine advertising   

Gold Nugget: The key is to work on just one or two things at a time.  Set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour each week or each day to do one or two things to promote your website or blog and you will be amazed at the results that happen over time. 

copyright 2011. Articles may be shared as long as original author and website information are included. 

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