I have an early-stage site that I think is pretty good. I won't put the link here because I don't want to seem like spam. But the link is in my bio.
While I have been able to get some attention to it, getting big publications to cover the site seems impossible. Small sites get no traffic themselves, so getting their attention is not helpful.
Has anyone had success with getting attention or PR, or some useful links that drive traffic? (Free is best of course)
Be Patient. Stay the Course. It took twitter a couple of years of
under the radar" activity before gaining the attention they deserved.
Promote your site by yourself, convince bloggers to talk about it, start a facebook/twitter presence for your site, be active in forums that may be related and sign with links to your site, use google Ads...
..or hire a social networks marketing specialist if you can afford one.
and most importantly: don't be discouraged for lack of results. If you stay the course and your site is really good -- it'll come.
I agree with Geo. You need to update your site with fresh content to attract visitors.
Also, to jump-start the site it would really help if you spend a little bit of money on SEO and advertising.
Patience will only bear results if you prepared well and continuously worked for it. ;)
I visited your site and I feel it can use more engaging user interface and features.
Just my 2 cents.
You probably have an email list of at least a hundred people interested in hiking, but keep building on it. Keep them posted with new features. Keep reminding them to forward to others. The site can be utilized to gather users, but few are just going to stumble on the site; someone they know/trust will need to make the recommendation. There should be no confusion that you want people to sign up and not just browse the site.
There should be current users, hiking groups and events displayed on the home page. As you build up a larger user base, you can use this space to reward users and groups who are promoting the site. Have two distinct paths: those organizing hikes and those looking for hikes. Either way, encourge them to register.
Take advantage of any pay per click you have and work on identifying the keywords.
Blog if you can or provide a place for a few people you know that would be interested in teaming up on your site. Blog content can take advantage of SEO as well. A large amount of changing content with the same theme is appealing to Google.
Build links. Know someone with an old site and lots of links? Build this up gradually, but continuously. Google won't like it if you try and outsmart them.
Offer some advertising space to someone who has a small product niche or is a local hiking guide or a non-profit summer camp.
If you're more of a programmer, create the tools to allow others to help with the content.
Go to your local sport center, and leave some cards with the link.
Comment on bloggers that talk about hiking. Build momentum. Don't play it safe, make bold statements, even if you put some people off.
PR is about getting out of your comfort zone.
One more thing: be patient.
First launch a home page and give a small intro where people can get curios to know what exactly the product is and ask them to subscribe it and give updates about the product in a blog about where it is and when it will release and other things about the product. Use social media a lot and market it as much as possible.Go to twitter and update your profile with it and also go to all the people which twitter suggests and tell about your product.
This i feel is a perfect marketing strategy and this increases your clicks.