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Festival Network Online Newsletter
                May - 2003
            https://festivalnet.com
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A note from the editor.....

Websites are a very popular tool right now, and will probably be the consumer's choice of the future for reference tools and shopping. Just look at how much Festivalnet.com has helped you with your show choices. If not used for sales or reference, websites are certainly the best virtual business card or  dynamic portfolio you can have today.  Musicians can even have audio clips of their latest work for prospective clients to hear.   If you don't have a website - get one! There are many one page sites available for free, probably through your own server.  Don't get left behind - keep up with the times.  Inevitably, you'll be asking - "okay, I have a website now - how do I get people to visit it?" - The following article should give you some insight into that very question.
As always, keep on, keeping on.  Diane

How to get thousands of links to your website.

      Links generate FREE traffic for you, and shoot you to the top of the search engine rankings.  This article explains the top methods for getting links to your site. Apply these methods properly, and you may not need to use any other method of getting traffic.

Why links get you to the top of the search engines
     You may already be aware that links are probably the most important factor to getting a number one rankings on the search engines. However there is something that most people forget when trying to get links: It's not just the quantity, but the quality of the links which is important.  Basically, "link farms" where there are thousands of unrelated links, do not work any more. It won't hurt your site if you have a link FROM a link farm. HOWEVER, if you link to a link farm your site can be severely penalized, especially with Google.com. This is a crucial point: If you link to poor quality sites, search engines such as Google will penalize your site and you will get a poor search engine ranking.

How to find good sites to link to you
     So, you need to find good quality sites, how do you do it? Well, there are a few different ways. There is actually some software which will do it for you, called the Internet Success Spider (http://scamfreezone.com/spider), which is the same software you can use to find "super affiliates."  Good quality sites are going to have high search engine rankings. So, what you can do is simply to search for the top 100 ranking sites on Google, or other search engines, for the keyword that you are interested in. For example, if your site sells pottery, then you search for "buy pottery" or "pottery" and find the top 100 sites for each of those keywords.

How to get the sites to link to you
    
     Method 1 - offer an incentive
         If your product has an affiliate program, then you simply suggest that they promote your affiliate program on their site, and they will be able to get a commission for each sale for people coming from their site. Alternatively you can advertise on their site and pay a fixed fee. Another type of incentive is to offer your product for free, or offer free advertising for their site on your site. There are several alternative ways to do this.

     Method 2 - get the links for free
         A great way to do this is to the following: Firstly, look at the site and carefully determine if your product or site fits with the topic of their site. If it does, look for the best place for them to have a link to your site. Then, put a link to their site on your site - do this before they even put a link to your site.  Next you need to email them. Tell the site owner that you have put a link to their site (show them the page where you have put a link, and make sure it is a quality link). Then tell the owner why it will benefit their visitors to have a link to your site. Lastly, give an example of exactly where you suggest the link should be on their site, and an example of the wording that they could use. This makes it really easy for them to link to you. The potential problem with method 2 is that it can take a lot of time to find the best sites to link to you. There is some software which can do it for you which is the Internet Success Spider as mentioned above.

Other resources to help you
         Before you even start doing all of this you should check and see how many links are already pointing to your site. This information is available at Market Leap (www.marketleap.com/publinkpop/).

Other things that will dramatically increase your chances of getting "linked to:"
     1. Try faxing or phoning Website owners. Faxes receive a lot more attention than emails.
     2. Make sure that your email (or fax) is individualized, and states the benefits for their site and their visitors.
     3. Make sure that your site has good quality content that people are going to want to link to.
     4. Make the email (or fax) personal. Use the webmaster's name if you can find it.
     5. If the webmaster doesn't respond to your first email, try emailing again a week later as a gentle reminder. This can often work well.
     6. Use a database to keep track of who you have emailed and their responses.
     7. Create a template email that you can use to save time BUT don't send the same email to everyone, make sure that you individualize.
     8. If you are sending out lots of emails you can use an emailing program such as Mailloop (www.marketingtips.com/mailloop/mailloop.html)  to
         individualize each email.

Article provided by:
Reprinted with permission from "Rob" at www.profitpuppy.com

Newsletter Editor:
Diane Elliott Bruckner
Diane@festivalnet.com - dianebruckner.com

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