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    My main site at the moment is a personal one with no commercial value, hence all the work on it has been done by myself for the fresh cost of $0. This poses the small issue of how to actually drive traffic to it. I’ve been writing it since January, so I’ve got a fair amount of original content now. I had no intention of trying to publicise a site that was still in absolute infancy, but at the same time it’s always a bit disconcerting to write several articles a week that only attract less than 25 unique hits a day! It’s time to make a push for traffic.

    Obviously, I’ve got the social network thing in motion. Twitter and Facebook pages, both of which I’ll be linking in the footer so they’re in a consistent place and don’t take up content area, as well as an RSS feed. The ‘blog’ part is on Tumblr which is obviously another community, and the latest articles from that are integrated into my front page. As well as finishing the footer, I’ll be going back and sorting out all the ‘meta’ data, and ensuring all my pages are validating correctly just to aid search engine pickups.

    Naturally different sites need their own way of spreading the word, and as mine mainly focuses on TV and Movie reviews/articles any relevant site I’m on that allows advertised signatures has mine. I also use the Feedburner animated signature that imprints the last 5 articles onto a GIF which is quite useful as it collects displays/hits as well. My site isn’t unique, and I’m currently the only person writing for it so it’s difficult to stand out and get people to click.

    During the EuroMillions lottery fever we had, I wrote a quick ’24 hour project’ site where every refresh generated the user a set of ‘Lucky Dip’ numbers (based on the UK National Lottery) and then generated 10 years of results, telling you your winnings. I posted the link on a few high traffic forums and got around 5,000 hits overnight and a few thousand more over the next week. I popped my banner on the bottom and got a few clicks out of it but nothing substantial. The lottery site got hits because it was a fun concept (I’d seen it done for a US MegaMillions, and adapted it and made it a bit prettier etc) and it was a site people would refresh up to a 100 times trying to score a ‘big win’. It’s not the type ot thing that’s likely to keep people coming back time and time again mind. (The site is at if you want to play, hit refresh to generate another decades worth).

    I’m not a big fan of link farms, I think if someone links to you it should be because they genuinely like your site as opposed to trying to trick the system. Black hat tactics to get 1,000 unwanted hits on my site mean nothing if none of those people intend to return, afterall. While most of the people on here design for others, and this situation is in their hands I’m sure there’s plenty of people who’ve built successful sites up out of nothing.

    (Just FYI: my ‘new years resolution’ as such for this year was to get off my arse and actually build my site up as I’d been umming and arring it for too long. Now I’ve done that, I’m attempting to take it up a huge notch and some time over the next few years get accepted on to the RottenTomatoes critic list. For an online site this means 100 reviews over a 2 year calendar period (I’m 33 down for this year currently and I slacked off in the middle a bit) and needing to get around 500,000 hits a month according to Nielson or comScore. The site is at if you’re interested. Cheap plug.)

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