10 steps to promoting your site before it’s out

Promoting a site prior to launch might seem like a daunting task, luckily, there are several creative ways this can be achieved without spending millions in advertising money.  These are some of the guidelines that proved helpful for us. Some of them might seem obvious but they remain effective nonetheless:

1. Create a landing page: landing pages are a simple and effective way to collect emails from your (future) first adopters. You don’t need to invest tons of time to do this. Services like launchrock.com let you do this in a snap.

2.  Make your landing page interesting: make it easy to sign up, make it possible for people to invite their friends to your site via your landing page. A simple share button would do. Offer incentives to sign up. At expulp, we promise users who invite their friends to be given priority for our Beta program.  You can also offer prizes to the top 5 users who sent the most invites.

3. Create a blog: an obvious one at this day and age. Blog about stuff that’s related to what your site is about.  A link back to your site from a well read blog (i.e. yours) is worth gold. First bring users to your blog, then remind them once in a while in your blog posts to sign up to be notified when you launch.  If they like what they’re reading, they’ll most likely do it and get other people to do the same.

4. Promote your blog: with little money you can pay for users to come to your site. Stumbleupon Paid Discovery program is a good start. Don’t bother advertising your landing page on StumbleUpon as it will get turned down. StumbleUpon favors sites with content. Facebook Ads are also another channel that, if used well, can bring your blog targeted audience.

5. Reach out to your Friends and Family:  these are the people who (usually) trust you and believe in you. Ask them to spread the word about your new and cool site, and they’ll do it.

6. Tweet: tweet about what your site does. Twitter does a good job suggesting your profile to those who have something in common with you. Ideally you are using a Twitter username that matches the name of your site. Ours is expulp

7. Follow Twitter users who you want to visit your site: identify influencers/users who you want among your initial user base and follow them on Twitter. They might follow you back. Make sure you don’t end up with considerably more followees than followers.

8. Send emails to influencers/bloggers in your field: be genuine and talk about your service before it’s out. Explain how you are solving a problem better than others and offer them a scoop. Offer them to use your service before it’s out, give them an invitation to a private event in your city to talk to you/your developers, etc… Make them remember you and hopefully talk about you one day.

9. Link back to your Blog and your site on your social accounts: add your site to your LinkedIn profile. Add it to your email signature as well. Create a Facebook page for your site. Post your updates on it. Get your friends and followers to like it.

10. Post your site to directories: it might take some time before it shows on Yahoo or Dmoz but when it does, that’s a valuable link back to have.

Expulp is actively in development as we speak. Though we don’t have a definitive date for our Beta launch, we are making great progress. If you haven’t signed up yet for our Beta program. Please do so now.