2.1. Creating a Plan and a Story
Many of the steps I suggest in this chapter for publicizing your site are essentially mechanical, for example, submitting your site to a variety of search engines. Even so, you should have a plan for marketing your content sites. No brick-and-mortar business in its right mind would attempt a marketing or publicity campaign without a plan, and you shouldn't proceed online without one, either.
Having a plan will help you accomplish even mechanical steps more effectively. For example, when you submit your site to a search engine or a directory, you will often be asked for a description of your offering. Understanding your site in the context of a marketing plan will help you hone a site description.
The two most important aspects of a plan for online marketing and publicity are:
2.1.1. The Elevator Pitch
You should be able to summarize your story in a sentence or two. (This is sometimes called an elevator pitch .) For example,
is a story that will probably attract people interested in digital photography. On the other hand,
2.1.2. Creating a Checklist
In addition, your plan should provide a checklist with specific "to do" itemsessentially, all of the techniques used to create online publicity described in this chapter. The list should also include offline marketing and publicity placements appropriate to your target audience and your story.
Successfully getting online publicity and generating traffic is largely a matter of focus and keeping track of the details. Creating a checklist as part of your plan will help you make sure that none of these details fall through the cracks.
2.1.3. Naming Your Site
If you haven't already picked a name for your web site, try to select a name that helps to tell your story. Good names, at least with a .com suffix, are hard to find these days. It's worth working hard to find the right name.
Ideally, a site name, as I mentioned, should tell, or evoke, the story of your site and be memorable. Consider these classics: