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Promote Yourself On The Internet For FREE

Updated on February 13, 2010

I Need A Website But I Can't Afford One

I know that websites are indispensable tools for businesspeople who want to sell their products or services or for people who simply want to promote their writing or themselves. Unfortunately, I can't afford one. Wrong! While creating a website with a web design company could be very expensive, doing it yourself is much easier than you think and either free or for a monthly fee less than the cost of a meal at McDonald's. I'm not a geek nor am I an Internet guru. I'm just a plain ole person like you who doesn't understand technical jargon and who has a need to promote my business and my writing. If I did it, you can do it too!

How Do I Get A FREE Or Very Low Cost Website?

Begin by doing a Google search using the words "free website hosting". You'll come across offers for free websites from sites such as "Webs", "Bravenet", "110MB", "Doteasy" "Yola" "Homestead" and dozens of others.

My experience is with Homestead. Before signing up, I had no experience whatsoever developing a website. The free website building software they provided was very user friendly. I built my website in just a few hours and have never had the need to call their toll-free customer support for assistance.

When I began, I didn't have to start from scratch. I was able to choose a template from a list of 2,000 examples. Each template included five unique pages, working navigation, relevant images and text. Without any instruction whatsoever, I was immediately able to use the editing tools to add photos, change text, add links to videos and other sites, incorporate a guest book to collect and publish comments from visitors, and much more. While my website is designed simply to lead potential customers to the service I perform, you can easily create an online store by adding a catalog and a PayPal shopping cart,

How Do I Get Listed And Ranked High For FREE On Google, Yahoo, And Other Search Engines?

Your FREE or nearly free website is almost useless since neither you nor anyone else will likely find it when using a search engine. Therefore, you did all of that work for nothing. Wrong again! You just completed step one. Now, the real work begins, but it's easy, fun, and free of charge.

First, check out the social networking sites. You may not recognize this terminology, but you are very likely familiar with Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Join several social networking sites and take every opportunity to advertise your business by posting your website's URL. Not only will others click and link to your website, but you can do it too. Even if nobody who links to your site takes advantage of what you have to offer, those clicks will benefit you because Google and the gang are watching and these one-way links mean a lot to them.

Next, write a blog. You might write about your business, a hobby, an interest, or even about your personal life. Make it interesting to others and always include a link to your URL. Remember, no matter who does the clicking, you'll be the beneficiary. Check out Blogger and Wordpress.

If you're promoting a business, write ads and post them for free. You can do this using Freeads, BizHWY, Yelp, MerchantCircle, Yahoo Local, CitySquares, and dozens of other free business directories. Again, don't forget to post a link to your website.

If you're promoting your writing, submit your articles or your site URL to free directories. These sites will permit you to write blurbs or abstracts and to include a link to your website or to the website where you maintain your written work. I write my articles on HubPages and promote them through Xomba, Propeller, and a few others.

There's an electronic magazine for just about every topic imaginable. Take advantage. Many of them will accept submissions free of charge. For example, I teach salsa and Latin dance and have submitted photographs, videos, and my bio containing a link to my business URL to TheMamboScene.com Magazine. Surely you can find one or more e-zines that fit what you are trying to promote.

Submit your website to as many web directories as you can. A web directory is simply a directory that lists web sites by category and by subcategory. However, their greatest value is that they are a very effective way of building one-way links. Remember, Google looks for one-way links and this a very easy and cost-free way of establishing many. Some of them require you to post a reciprocal link on your website. I wouldn't suggest you do so. It's so easy to find ones that don't have this requirement and the value of reciprocal links is far less than one-way links.

52% of Internet traffic is now video, 70% of web surfers watch video online, and the average YouTube visitor spends 27 minutes a day watching videos. That should tell you that posting video on YouTube and other video sites has great potential as a way to promote your website. When posting on YouTube, make sure you include a link to your website.

Finally, take the time to establish a favorites folder on your web browser where you save the links to each of the websites where you or your business is promoted. Then, you can casually visit each of these sites when you have the time to engage in self-promotion. In addition, you may wish to establish one or more of these sites as your web browsers home page.

If you want to succeed at anything in life, you must inspect that which you expect. Every so often, do a web search using more than one of the major search engines. Think like the person whom you want to discover your website and type the words he/she would use and do the search. If your website is not number one, you need to review the aforementioned recommendations and think about the things you can do to make your listing rise in the rankings. Good luck and happy promoting!

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    • nadp profile image

      nadp 7 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

      Thanks for the advice. It's all somewhat overwhelming - so many others are saying these same things yet it seems harder than it sounds. Are you getting business from all of this? How long did it take before these efforts started paying off?

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      I think it's difficult when people try to explain things to us using language we don't understand. That's why I wrote this in as simplistic a manner as possible. I hoped that I would encourage the novice to take the plunge. I can tell you that my business has increased very significantly since using the Internet to draw customers. When I did the research to learn how to do this, I thought it would take me months and I secretly hid my doubts. I shouldn't have had any doubts. I started getting listed high on Google within weeks. This is relatively easy to do and you learn a great deal as you go. Besides, it's FREE with the exception of your time and effort. "You can do it!" I wrote a hub with that title. Read it and then take the plunge.

    • nadp profile image

      nadp 7 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

      This is so encouraging! It really helps to know that you felt the same way I do before you began. Thank you.

    • profile image

      James Bond 7 years ago

      VERY POWERFUL stuff! Thank you ElGringo.

      I would assume that you have tried all of this yourself. I'm wondering if you could give me some advice in regards to implementing these tactics on my online classifieds website to let the World know that there is an alternative to craigslist called www.NBAY.com

      Any ways hope to hear from you with a brainstorm idea or perhaps the brainstorm is right here on your page and all I have to do is..... "DO IT".

      Anyways, thankyou!

      Sincerely, Calvin Merritt

      http://www.nBay.com/classifieds

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Dear James(Calvin?)

      At the moment, you only have one website. Your website is like a new little town. You need to build roads leading to it from every major city in the world. The more roads, the more traffic leading into your little town, until your little town is no longer a little town but a great metropolis. That's the concept.

      The first three roads to your city can be Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Then, you can build three more by writing articles about your alternative to Craigslist. Sign up on HubPages Xomba, and Propeller. An article titled "The Craigslist Alternative" would certainly get my attention. I'm not going to repeat the advice in this article because I feel certain you now understand it better.

      Good luck and keep me posted on your success. After all, I may need to list something on your classified or make a purchase.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Oh goodness, El Gringo, our paths cross again..this hub is a Hubnugget too???!! Woweeee....we should celebrate, we should! :)

      To vote and see the Hubnuggets, please click this link: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/hubnuggets-th...

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 7 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      Congrats on the Hubnuggets nomination. You got my vote. I bookmarked this one. Thanks for the great information.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Wow Ripplemaker! I'm honored. Now I can reveal my true identity. While I appear to be Mr. Clean, I am, in reality, Captain Picard and I welcome you t accompany me on one of my future journeys. Okay, I tried! Clearly you are more creative than I.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Dear MyWebs. I really feel taken aback by your incredible compliment. To be bookmarked is the height of flattery.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      OOh I love mysteries. Hahahhaha Captain Picard, congratulations for the success of your mission! Ahem...

      Lt Commander Ripplemaker

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      I voted for you based soley on the title, now I know I was justified in making that decision. I'm going to bookmark this one. Very good hub.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      I can't wait to tell my friends and family that I'm "bookmarked". They won't even know what I'm talking about, but who cares. Just being read and appreciated is such a euphoric feeling. Thanks for making my day. Oh, by the way, keep in touch with Ripplemaker. She's selling real estate that's out of this world.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      hahahahahah yes it does feel good to be read and appreciated. That is so true. :)

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

      very interesting hub-I can actually understand it and usually things like this goes over my head. Well done on your nomimation.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      I can see from your photograph why you might have difficulty understanding some things. I tried to write this piece so a third grader would understand it. Now that I know a different species has understood it, I am beside myself with pleasure. Thanks for taking the time to read my work.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Obviously your experience is now paying off. I am pleased that you produced this hub... it is so difficult for newbies to set off. Well done x

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Very interesting and informative! Congrats on your nomination!

    • leigia67 profile image

      leigia67 7 years ago

      Great Hub...I have been seriously thinking about starting a website but have also been overwhelmed by the thought of the cost and the knowledge required. You have inspired me! Thanks

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 7 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      Excellent hub, my friend! You certainly gave me good pointers! I think this is very easy even for a neophyte!

      Congrats, on your nomination,Caballero!!

      Thumbs up!

      warmest regards and blessings,

      Al de Venezuela

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      I love the "jill of alltrades" handle you've chosen. I like to think of myself in that same way. Thanks for your comment. Jack

    • Wrath Warbone profile image

      Terry Chestnutt 7 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Terrific! Just what I've been wanting to know about and have such a hard time finding. Thanks much.

    • ntweisen profile image

      ntweisen 7 years ago

      Great hub with sounds advice. Hopefully I can use it do my adavantge.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      I am truly grateful for the lovely comments. It was my intent to provide good advice that is easy to understand.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Great Hub! Congratulations for the notary of this hub!

    • Sue Adams profile image

      Juliette Kando 7 years ago from Andalusia

      Thanks for the useful tips ElGringo. I voted for "Promote Yourself On The Internet For FREE".

      And you are right, I get a lot of paid clicks from my facebook followers.

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 7 years ago

      real good ways and tips.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Sue. I am pleased that you took the time to give an example of your success. Hopefully, this will convince others that they can do it too. Maybe reading my hub "You Can Do It!" will put people over the edge. https://hubpages.com/education/You-Can-Do-It-but-i...

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Really good hub with lots of good information. I also voted for you in the hubnugget competition.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Thanks for your vote and for the kind words.

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Thanks for your vote and for the kind words.

    • profile image

      Golden Mama 7 years ago

      Thanks ElGringo this was a very Interesting Hub, I have been trying to promote online to and someone else told me anything you want you can find is on the Internet for free, Don't pay those Gurus for info you can find yourself. You just validated that for me. Thanks.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 7 years ago from California

      Very good advice! Too bad it entails so much work! Weren't computers supposed to make our lives simpler? We seem to be busier than we ever have been. What's that? You found a new social Web site? Gotta join!!! Thanks for the tips. Later!

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Validating something for someone is a great accolade. Thanks Mama for the compliment. Kosmo, I like your point of view and think that you have the kernal of a good idea for a hub. Go for it!

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 7 years ago from Florida

      I've read so much about website promotion that I'm overwhelmed. But you have really simplified the process. Now to just find the time to do it. (sigh)Great hub!

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Simplifying this process was indeed my goal. First, get your website established. Then, relax and take things slowly. Chopping little bits at a time will get you where you want to go.

    • profile image

      Free Ads 7 years ago

      You can also post free links on the whynotad.com website this always helps your website on google, and you get a free backlink.

    • cupul profile image

      cupul 7 years ago from jakarta

      thanks EL very helpul, great hub!

    • profile image

      dekorasyon 7 years ago

      thanks.. you are helpful ;)

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 7 years ago

      Thanks El - some great pointers here. Useful hub. One to bookmark!!

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Being bookmarket is one of the greatest comliments. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Chris Eke 7 years ago

      Thanks Elgringo. Your hub serves as a beginner's manual. I have had serious thoughts about setting up a website,not knowing how to go about it and the cost implications. This is a useful guide that should be followed. Thanks once more and remain a great hubber!

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 7 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      Chris. I am very appreciative of your comment. It was my hope that this hub would serve as a roadmap for promting oneself on the Internet. I'm glad you found the roadmap helpful.

    • profile image

      Mom61 5 years ago

      Geez, there is so much More info and I've had Hub in my favorites for over a year and just now looked into it, Simply Stunning,Amazingly Applicable,Thanks so much for taking the time in letting us know so much

    • ElGringoSalsero profile image
      Author

      ElGringoSalsero 5 years ago from Palm City, Florida

      You are so kind to have expressed such positive thoughts. If you feel that I've given you the nuts and bolts, it's time to take out the wrench and start working. Best wishes.

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