Section 2.1. Creating a Plan and a Story


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:

  • Understanding your target audience (or audiences )

  • Creating a story (or stories ) that will meet the needs of and intrigue your target audience

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,

Digital photography resources, techniques, software, equipment reviews, and photo galleries

is a story that will probably attract people interested in digital photography. On the other hand,

Ramblings of a grouchy, cranky person who, well, rambles about everything is not a targeted story likely to interest anyone for long.

Use your plan and story to create a summary of your site, a list of keywords related to your site content, and one or more press releases (as I explain in this chapter, in the "Publishing Press Releases" section). The site summary and keyword list can be also be used to create meta information for your site, as I explain in Chapter 3.


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.

The Cult of Personality

Life writ large with the cult of personality might well describe the times we live in. Paris Hilton, an heiress with an apparently vacuous personality, has a television show, and is famous, because (and not despite) of that vacuous personality. I think the reality is that Paris is a great deal smarter than she seemsalthough another moral you can certainly draw from the Paris Hilton success story is that sex sells.

My point is that people, particularly celebrities, get attention these days. If you have celebrity, have access to celebrities, or have ideas about how to create celebrity, I say: "Go for it! Milk it!" And don't forget to mention your web site.

It's reasonable that people should be interested in people. People are interesting. As the poet Alexander Pope said a long time ago, "The proper study of mankind is man." (If Pope had included both genders, we moderns could surely go along with this.)

It's really very simple. Getting web site traffic requires publicity. Publicity is best generated using stories about people, particularly interesting or notorious people. If your web site has an interesting story about people, let others know about it (perhaps using a press release). Your people story will draw traffic.


Ideally, a site name, as I mentioned, should tell, or evoke, the story of your site and be memorable. Consider these classics:

  • Amazon: the world's greatest river meets the world's largest inventory.

  • eBay: I don't know why this one works, but it does.

  • Google: a very big number fits with the very large quantity of information Google indexes.



Google Advertising Tools. Cashing in with AdSense, AdWords, and the Google APIs
Google Advertising Tools: Cashing in with Adsense, Adwords, and the Google APIs
ISBN: 0596101082
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 145
Authors: Harold Davis

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