My Internet Marketer’s Diary: Chapter 1 – Sowing the Seeds

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A few weeks ago, I officially launched my newest online venture, Hollywoozy, the first Website devoted to reviewing movie domain names.

One of the many reasons I am always launching new things is that it gives me a chance to experiment with and refine different marketing tactics, and Hollywoozy is no different.

What is different this time, however, is that I am going to lift up the curtain and share some of the marketing tactics I am using to promote my venture, along with the results. In most cases, these tactics do not involve spending any money, although they all require spending some time to implement.

In this first chapter of my Internet Marketer’s Diary, I am going to list five of the key tactics I used leading up to Hollywoozy‘s official launch on July 20, 2008. I consider these the essential building blocks of a good online marketing campaign.

1. Build the Site with Search Engines in Mind

In addition to following SEO (search engine optimization) best practices, one of the best ways to ensure a site is very search engine friendly is to create it using a blog platform, because search engines love blogs. My site was created using TypePad, which is my favourite professional blogging platform, however you could probably achieve similar results using WordPress. I also made sure that my site featured the most heavily searched keywords and key phrases that I was targeting. For instance, since Hollywoozy is about movie domain names, I made sure the phrase "domain names" was used extensively throughout the site on every single page.

2. Invite the Search Engines to Crawl the Website Prior to Launch

I wanted to give the search engines a head start on finding my site, so I added discrete links to my new site from some of the other heavily trafficked Websites that I own. This got my site indexed by Google a few days prior to its official launch, so that when people started to search for "Hollywoozy" in Google on the day of launch (which many did, according to my Web analytics reports), the site was already listed in Google’s search results.

3. Use Tags to Define the Content of the Website

Prior to launch, I registered my site with Technorati (the leading blog directory and search engine), complete with a keyword-loaded description and lots of relevant tags. Technorati is frequently and deeply crawled by the search engine spiders, and within 24 hours Google had found Hollywoozy’s listing on Technorati.

4. Generate Targeted Traffic via a Multiple Domain Name Strategy

I am proud of the unusual brand name I came up with for my site, however I am the first to admit that "Hollywoozy‘" is not a descriptive name. That’s why I also registered moviedomainnames.com and a few other descriptive, keyword-loaded domain names, which I pointed to my new site. The $28 (total) I spent registering the four domain names was the only cash outlay I made towards marketing the Website. That’s peanuts to pay for the targeted type-in traffic my site will likely get from these domains over time.

5. Invite Some Enthusiasts to a Sneak Peek

In the week prior to launch, I used my Facebook status line (and Facebook’s message service) to invite my friends and colleagues to let me know if they were interested in getting a "sneak preview" of my newest venture. The curious keeners who responded got early access to my site. Not only did they tell some of their friends and colleagues about the site (thank you, everyone!), but they were also a great source of feedback and ideas. Michel Neray, for instance, suggested I make a small but important tweak to how I displayed my domain name reviews, and I quickly took him up on the idea. All told, about 20 people in my personal network got an early peek at the site, and they helped to quickly spread the word post-launch.

In the next chapter of my Marketer’s Diary, I will reveal the tactics I used to kick off the official launch of the site, as well as share some of the results to date. For a taste of how successful the launch was, try doing a Google search for "movie domain names" (which is the focus of my site) and see if you can spot Hollywoozy in the search results. ;+)

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