An opt-in mailing list is the core of a successful online business. The best way to grow your email mailing list is by attracting prospects to visit your website or blog. Once they visit your website, they can be induced to subscribe to your email opt-in list in exchange for free bonuses such as an informative e-book.

If you cannot spare money for Google AdWords PPC advertising, you can use these nine strategies to attract visitors and increase traffic to your website:

1. Submission of Blog URL to Search Engines

The first step to promote your blog is to submit your blog URL to search engines. Although there are hundreds of search engines, you need to submit it only to the three main search engines: Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Bing.

The submission process is simple and hardly takes a few minutes. This will ensure that your blog has a chance of appearing in their results pages. Best of all, it is free!

2. Article Marketing

Another effective step is to submit articles to article directories and add a link to your website in the resource box at the end of the article. The article must have enough value to make readers eager to visit your website for more information.

3. Regular Contact With Email Subscribers

You should stay in constant touch with the subscribers in your email list, by means of an ezine, preferably once a week and include useful information as well as free offers and services.

4. Social Network Marketing

A great way to optimize your marketing efforts is to invite your Twitter followers and Facebook friends to subscribe to the email mailing list and invite email subscribers to follow you on Twitter and Facebook.

5. Forum Marketing

Posting messages on forums is a very effective way to promote your website. Writing informative comments and adding a link to your website in the signature text in the posts can yield rich dividends.

6. Question & Answer Websites

Similar to forum marketing, you can check sites such as Yahoo Answers for relevant questions and provide answers with a link to your website for more information.

7. Press Releases

You can send press release to free online distribution services such as PR Log and PR Free as well as to other websites interested in your products and services.

8. Submission of Podcasts

A podcast is an audio file, usually in MP3 format. You can record podcasts using free software and submit to sites such as iTunes.

9. Uploading Videos to YouTube

Video-marketing has become the first choice of every online business. No online writer can afford to ignore video-marketing any longer because of the rocketing popularity of YouTube. Fortunately, it is surprisingly easy to set up, shoot and edit videos. You can then add titles and captions promoting your website and upload to YouTube. YouTube also offers the option of embedding videos in your own website.

You can use the above nine strategies to attract a steady stream of visitors to your website or blog. Once people visit the website homepage, there is a good chance some of them will subscribe in the opt-in box, especially if you offer a valuable incentive. The more the number of subscribers in the opt-in email list, the better the chances of sales of your products and services.

7 March 2012

Rohi Shetty is a medical doctor, Vipassana meditator, writer, editor, translator and blogger. His short stories and articles have been published online and in print.

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