We created a site which aims to be a community of travelers sharing "off-the-beaten" track spots around the world with other travelers. We went live a month ago, we have about 150 users, 500 spots (half of them in Portugal, our home country). We have limited this to Europe, merely because we feel the spots are already very disperse. At any point we can include the rest of the world.
We did not really do extensive promotion, because we wanted to make the most of the initial user feedback to improve the website. However, now we would like to really start promoting this, but we are a bit lost on how to do it. So far, we have just spread it on Facebook and we contacted people using CouchSurfing, a travelers community.
Any suggestions on where we can promote our site?
Utilize PPC Ads I would just recommend looking into pay per click (PPC ) ads.
Most major Search engines (google, bing, yahoo) and Social networks (primarily) like facebook offer pay per click ads.
You could easily spend very little on very niche keywords and find higher quality leads depending on your pay per click ads.
You can also geo-target these ads utilizing any of the search engines that offer this service.
Create an email list I would target your ads to a landing page where you can collect email addresses and you can randomly enable or provide invites to users. Creating an invite only system could possibly provide you buzz from early adopters and weed out the less serious users.
I'd suggest being an active participant in other travel community sites, and listing your site in your profile / signature.
You should also look to engage travelers coming through your own area. Flyers in hostels, in the guidebooks in bookstores, and at popular tourist destinations could all gain you members.
I'd get a blog going on your site. Blog entries are much more likely to be shared and spread through social media than individual business reviews, and you can use the blog to feature the best content being added to the site.