I have started a small startup online business. I need to drive traffic to the site and create new users - a classic "inbound marketing" problem. I have seen that people have asked similar questions in the past and they have been recommended to read "Inbound Marketing" By Shah and Halligan. I have placed an order with Amazon today for that book.
I notice also, that in most responses to these sort of questions, the OP is advised to create great content. That makes sense naturally, but in cases (such as mine) where the site is based on user generated content, that sound advice poses me with a chicken and egg dilema - namely, I have a site with great content generating functionality etc, but nobody knows the site exists, so no one generates content, and so therefore the site has no useful content (from the Googlebot POV at least) - so the site dosen't rank. On the other hand, if the site is able to attract sufficient people who then start generating content, once the site attains critical mass, there will be sufficient 'great content' on the site to make Googlebot situp and take notice.
I tried the route of getting friends to register and start using the tools etc, in an attempt to gain critical mass but that failed for two reasons:
- The subject area covered by the site, is not one that my "friends" are generally familiar with (they tend to work in different industries)
- The few ones that visited the site, were interested, agreed it was a good concept - but turned out they were jealous of my 'perceived' success (I found this out from another source later) - the old "crab mentality" syndrome.
So how does one go about breaking out of this vicious circle? Can someone with actual practical experience layout the few simple steps that I need to take to drive traffic to the site (bearing in mind that most of the content will be user generated), so as to gain critical mass for the site?
Last but not the least, the steps should be simple ones that I can implement myself, as I am funding all of this out of my savings.
Any useful and practical help that gets me started and produces results will be very much appreciated.