kittycat asks: Hi, I’m just an ordinary girl that randomly makes a website about her favorite animals in the world, CATS! I’m frustrated, because the only member is me, and I’m the site owner, so it’s really kind of dull. How can I make my website more popular among people not including family and friends, I already got that under control.
Hi kittycat –
Well of course the first key to making your site popular is that it has to have something on it that people like, so your first job is to get rid of those nasty stinky cats! I mean, no one likes them, right?!
Oh, sorry. You’re right. I always forget about that. Well, if some folks want to look at those irritating faces, and even find them cute, who am I to say they’re wrong?
(Well, I’m a DOG, that’s who! But back to your question…)
When I started this website, it was really hard to get people to join, or even visit. I wrote an email to all my friends, and all of Handsome’s, but only a few of them joined. The big trick was that I didn’t give up. I kept adding new material to the site, so there’d be fresh stuff for anyone who came back. And, since the core of AskShirelle is my answering questions, I sought out questions everywhere I could. And I utilized my friends for that too: If someone asked me a question about kids, I’d suggest they should write in to ask. And before long, Handsome’s friends started doing the same.
I know you say you’ve already got family and friends looking at the site. But if you can encourage them to keep coming back, that’ll increase the traffic to it, which will improve your placement in search engines (i.e. if someone types “pictures of cats” in Google or Yahoo or something like that, your site will come up sooner), and that will get more people coming to your site as well.
Now there are other things you can do to improve your traffic even more, but they tend to cost time and money. You can advertise online, print up pamphlets and put them in places where cat-lovers hang out (veterinarian offices maybe?), or even put the website’s address on a t-shirt you wear, or a bumper sticker on your parents’ car (but ASK FIRST!). Anything can work – it’s just a question of how much effort and money you want to put in.
Eventually, though, the popularity of your site will be determined by how much people like it, tell their friends about it, and return to it. So I just want to make sure you remember: Popularity does not equal Quality. Just because your site isn’t as popular as Kim Kardashian’s doesn’t mean your site isn’t good… it just serves a more specific taste.
Good Luck with it!!