Best Free Online Advertising Methods

Value View Media manages and works with a number of forums, blogs, and other websites. One prominent question we receive is;

How do I generate traffic on my site?

Its often ineffective to pay for advertising if your site earns its money through advertising. Purchasing traffic may get your site blacklisted by ad networks and advertising exchanges. So the question remains, where do you find members for your site?

We’re going to disclose a few of our YouTube related methods of generating traffic for blogs, forums, and other sites we manage in this article.

1. Free Advertising on YouTube

Most people are familiar with YouTube as an entertainment medium. However, its also a highly targeted source of directed social interaction. In short, people gather in the comments to talk about something specific, the video on that page. If you can find videos related to your niche, then you have direct access to the audience you want on your site. Of course, there are no free lunches; When things don’t cost money, they cost time.

Advertising in the comments section on YouTube videos is typically ineffective. People will mark your post as spam, and it will quickly be removed. Its important to make your comments relevant to the video. If you can cultivate a comment that is liked and gets upvoted, that will greatly increase your exposure. If you’re simply looking for views on your site, you want to craft comments that get upvoted and have a link to your site imbedded in it. Its even better if there is a call to action to go to your site. If the video incites a controversy, use that to your advantage, and offer a continuation of the controversy on your site. Remember video owners can delete comments and ban users from posting on their videos, and small video owners sometimes look at EVERY comment they receive. So its important to create relevant comments and NOT spam.

If you’re starting a forum or blog, and your main goal is attracting active members, you can use a much more targeted approach. Active members who regularly visit your site and comment on your posts or start new topics of discussion are far more valuable than users who lurk your site or simply visit once. All forums need a base base of active members to get the community started. In addition, blogs benefit when there are helpful comments. It lends credibility to the site when there is the perception of activity. Its easy to see who the ‘big fans’ are on YouTube videos. People who have strong opinions, post multiple comments, reply to the comments of others. Those are the active community members that you want on your site. Our experience has been that if you reply to their comments, they’re very likely to continue the conversation with you. Its your goal to get to know them, break the ice so to speak, and invite them to your community. The art of this sales pitch depends greatly on what information you gather from their comments and the topic at hand. Its important not to go direct to the matter and come off as a spammer, as you will be immediately rejected. Don’t think of this as advertising. Think of this as making friends, and inviting your new friends to hang out at your site. This is actually the #1 method we use for starting forums, and gathering a base of active members and volunteers.

2. Advertising Partnerships with YouTubers

Most YouTubers are normal people. They aren’t all millionaires, in fact, a lot of them are struggling to get by making videos that get hundreds of thousands of views. Often times these people are willing to work with you if you have a site in a similar niche and are going to add some type of value to HIS community of viewers. If you already have a sizable audience on your site, you can offer him a link to his YouTube channel in exchange for a shout-out in a few of his videos or a link in the description. Its generally a bad idea to spam a videos comments, and then try to create some type of partnership with them. However, it doesn’t hurt to socialize in the comments with his viewers. In the past, we’ve had success offering tshirt contests that are directly related to videos. YouTubers love being able to give their viewers the chance to win something.

3. Creating YouTube Videos To Drive Traffic

This is typically reserved for entertainment or information based sites. If you can create a video marketable to your niche, its a great way to access the billions of users searching YouTube. If you have a general niche, you can use general marketing techniques to capture your audience. For example, a montage of cat photos with information about your site nestled in can easily garner thousands of views. Best of all, you’ll be able to earn revenues on your videos if you are accepted into the Adsense program on YouTube.


Stay tuned for future articles and other effective free online advertising techniques for publishers and webmasters!