I spoke to an artist over the weekend about how he markets his artwork online. He told me he recently closed down his web site because it was costing him too much money to make changes and updates. He was completely dependent on his web designer to do all that for him. I wasn't surprised to hear his complaints. As the Internet becomes less dependent on designers, fewer people should have to pay a lot of money for a web presence.
There’s nothing wrong with web designers, I’ve known some good ones. But I’ve found that while web designers are very interested in the “design” part, many are not so "into" the boring maintenance part. Lack of responsiveness can be a real problem for the owner of the site. Keeping a web site fresh and up-to-date is important for search engine rankings. If you don’t work at it and keep it current, visitors don’t come back and search engines rank the site progressively lower and nobody will ever find your site.
Here are some ideas for people who want an online presence but do not want to pay for it. These options are offered free on large sites that get high rankings so some search engine favoritism is built in making it easier to find you. These are a few options that I use so I will direct you to the pages I’ve created there so you can see some basic layouts and how the content is presented on them.
Squidoo – On Squidoo you create what they call a Lens. You may create many of them which are actually content pages about whatever you want to write about. Mine is about Grant Writing Tips. I have Squidoo connected to Posterous so everything I post there goes to Squidoo as well.
Tumblr – This is a web site set up to act as a web site/blog. Here is the tumblr staff blog so you can see a pretty nice example of what you can create here.
Posterous – This is an online service where you can set up a blog like mine here. Posterous is also nicely organized so you can enable reposting to your other sites such as Squidoo and Tumblr. Perhaps the nicest feature of Posterous is that it allows you to post via email. All you do is send your post by email to your personal account and it not only posts it to your Posterous blog, Posterous also posts it to every service you have connected. It’s pretty slick and a fast way to get your information out there around the web with one click.
Twitter – Twitter is so talked about it probably doesn’t need to be described here. I advise using it for two reasons. First, we know at our company that putting out tweets on a daily basis has a huge impact on our website traffic. Second, search results in Google are increasingly from Twitter posts (tweets), this tells me that Google thinks Twitter traffic is important. You can connect your Posterous blog to Twitter so a tweet will be issued whenever you email a blog post via Posterous. You can also create custom twitter backgrounds like Veronica's instead of using the stock ones that Twitter provides.
You may be reasonably asking why you would want to re-post the same content across several sites as I have advised here. The primary reason is that your audience is probably not all finding their information in the same place so you want to establish the broadest footprint on the web that you can in order not to miss anyone!
These are a few online marketing tools that can help you drive traffic back to your web site without spending a ton of money on design, Using these resources, you can build your own reputation as an expert and share information that is useful to improving the field of grant writing. Free online services such as those above can help customers find you at a low cost.
About Creative Resources & Research
- Grant Goddess
- Woodland, CA, United States
- Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.