General Question

bluemukaki's avatar

How should I market a start-up website?

Asked by bluemukaki (4332points) March 4th, 2008

Without spending millions of dollars in advertising… how do you find new websites normally?

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8 Answers

cwilbur's avatar

Consider what did. It’s a social networking site for fiber arts – knitting, spinning, crocheting.

They built the site, and included an “invitations” feature. You can sign up for an account, and they invite a certain number of people a day, to make sure they can scale controllably.

Then they invited several of the best-known crafting bloggers (Grumperina, the Yarn Harlot) to take a look at what was there.

The end result was that the bloggers wrote about how cool it was, and then when people read about it and heard about how cool it was, they found that there was a waiting list. Oddly enough, this didn’t deter them, but gave them something to talk about—“oh, I’m #2105 on the Ravelry queue!” “You lucky bum, I’m #7154!”—thus further spreading it via word of mouth.

So consider who the target market for this website is, and what their patterns of interaction are. Is there an online community (or, better yet, several online communities) where people likely to be interested in your product hang out? Is there something cool you can do to get people in those communities to talk about you?

Vincentt's avatar

Even though invitations are really cliche nowadays, I’m inclined to agree with cwilbur that they do work. (Makes me think of South Park’s “You can’t come!”-episode)
Make people curious and make sure that those whose curiosity is finally satisfied are really impressed with the product.

cwilbur's avatar

Well, in the case of Ravelry, they were also (justifiably) concerned about throwing the gates open and having 20,000 people sign up in 3 days. Far better to add 100 people a day and make sure the servers can handle it than add 10,000 people in a day and have the servers crashing every 2 minutes.

mirza's avatar

I would also recommend sending information about your start-up to tech-blogs like Techcrunch, Download Squad, Webware,etc. A good review from a reputable blog can bring you a lot of hype and more importantly a lot of traffic

glial's avatar

Evidently, getting on helps a little too.

Vincentt's avatar

@glial – whaha, absolutely :D

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