Be Organized

The first thing you must do before initiating any sort of promotion plan for a website, small or large, is to be organized. Yes, I know this sounds easy but believe me in practice the discipline required here can prove quite an obstacle for some of us! The objective of this article is to present some ideas that I have used to successfully promote websites.

I believe these often overlooked secrets about successful website promotion are essential for any long term success. Put simply, you will avoid making a hash of things and possibly (virtually) embarrassing situations!. Lets all of this into a real life scenario:

"Some time ago you sent an email to a site which contains a page of links to sites similar to yours. Seeing the obvious benefits of being listed on this high traffic site you emailed the webmaster asking for your site to be added to this hot list of links.

Not having made any notes about this action you took, you unknowingly forgot all about it. A few days ago upon reading about this hot link site (again) you repeated your email request for a reciprocal link. The recipient of your email checked his site and found your site already listed! Two minutes later a polite-but-angry email is making its way to your inbox. Oops!"

This sort of mistake is so easy too make and can be avoided simply by organizing yourself better. And yes, in case your wondering I've made exactly that mistake myself!

So, how can you make life easier on yourself and stop wasting time which can be better spent searching for a new reciprocal link or replying to requests for information?

Well, the first step I always take when launching a new website is to create a file called detail.txt. In this file I setup several headings on the lines of: TITLE, URL, EMAIL, KEYWORDS DESCRIPTION (SHORT) and DESCRIPTION (LONG). Under each heading I fill in the details. It doesn't matter if you don't know all the details immediately, (you can always edit the file later) but for starters this information is going to become frequently referred to. You will understand the reason for frequently later on in this article!

Now, the second thing I do is create a copy of a spreadsheet which contains a master list of search engines and directories. The top row of the spreadsheet defines the title of each column, they are: NAME, URL, DESCRIPTION, DATE SUBMITTED, COMMENTS and LISTED?. These column names give you obvious clues about the contents of each. Every row in the spreadsheet consists of all the details about the various directory or search engine I am going to submit my site to.

Next up is the email signatures that I will be using to support my various email campaigns that I intend to draw upon. A simple text file called sig.txt will suffice. In this file I prepare half a dozen email signatures that I can call on depending on the posting.

Additionally, I need another spreadsheet which will contain a list of websites that contain lists of links or maybe contain suitable material that my customers may be referred from. The top row of this spreadsheet defines the column titles as: URL, EMAIL, DATE, LINKED?. As before, each entry contains the details for each site that I have identified as a potential source of visitors to my site. Working through this list I can contact each webmaster individually offering my website as a suitable link from their site.

Finally, I also keep another 'scrap book' file which contains random snippets of information that I may find as a result of surfing or reading emails etc.

Now grouping all these files together in an appropriate directory on my desktop I have access to all the information I need to successfully implement my plan. Obviously there is no point in preparing these files without keeping them up to date with the results that will come your way. Of course you can always expand this type of setup to include the results of award sites you may submit to, or even mailing lists/newsgroup postings/news digests that you may be involved with.

Now with all these various files at hand in an easily updatable fashion I find whenever I am involved in any type of promotion or just random surfing I can always add information to the lists of just store useful bits of information in an easily accessible manner.

Hopefully I have given you some starting points about how you can make your life much, much easier when promoting your websites. It certainly works for me so why not give it a go, you can always fall back on scraps of paper, human memory and post-it notes if things don't work out!