Online marketing expertise needed
September 29, 2005 8:01 AM   Subscribe

Looking for online marketing expertise, suggestions, options, etc. for a new product I've developed. Any ideas?

A while back I came up with a fun idea for cookbooks... nothing earth-shattering, just a new twist. I wrote and designed them, had some printed up and have actually sold a number of them at regional gift and market shows.

As of yesterday, the website went live, and now I need help figuring how to market the online presence. I know zip about meta tags, search engines, key words, word of mouth advertising, etc. Also, my marketing budget is near zero.

Any resource suggestions for marketing a web-based shop/product online?
posted by gyrom to Shopping (12 answers total)
Might want to plug it in the recipe newsgroups. Maybe provide a free recipe or something on the post with a link to your website.
posted by white_devil at 8:39 AM on September 29, 2005

Well, you have me engrossed already, but no link to your website...
posted by londonmark at 8:54 AM on September 29, 2005

Yeah, spamming newsgroups is one way.

Do you know anyone with an established website that google crawls regularly? Ask them to link to your site for a few months.

What you put into marketing is what you get out. If you have a small budget, you will have to get out and pound the pavement (virtual).
posted by mischief at 8:56 AM on September 29, 2005

The Google cost per click avenue is reasonably priced and you only pay for the times your ad is clicked. (These are the ads on the right side of the search results under 'Sponsored Links.)

I suggest you stay away from general interest sites (e.g. newspaper sites) as your product is very niche and they price on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis. You'll be lucky to get five clicks out of a thousand impressions.

Perhaps advertising on food blogs if they offer a conglomeration (Like the Liberal Blog Network) or on recipe sites (Epicurious.) The CPM may be higher but the readers would be "qualified."

Best of luck.
posted by UncleHornHead at 9:04 AM on September 29, 2005

I would also check into the possibility of having your website posted in the back sections which can appear similar to newspapers "classifieds" of cooking magazines such as Bon Appetit, or Cooking Light. I think that can be done fairly cheap.

I also know that doing PR with a press release and sending to such magazines can sometimes create the "buzz"possibility that they would do a write up or a review and a product mention in the magazine content directing them towards your product.
posted by Gooney at 9:20 AM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for some awesome ideas. Also, I didn't list the site in the original query because it seemed so... well... self-serving. If you're interested, it's at If you visit, any feedback on the site or the idea would be appreciated.
posted by gyrom at 9:56 AM on September 29, 2005

That's so cute! Have you approached Ronco?
posted by mischief at 10:03 AM on September 29, 2005

Nice pimp job, self serving too.

Joking, gyrom.

Good idea, I'll look for you on the Food Network or HSC.
posted by UncleHornHead at 10:30 AM on September 29, 2005

You could try contacting Lifehacker or Gizmodo to see if it interests them at all. It's not the sort of thing they usually put on their blogs, but I don't see what you'd lose by trying.

I like the idea, and the website is very well designed.
posted by cerebus19 at 11:22 AM on September 29, 2005

I'd suggest you keep your eye out for blogs and discussion areas where this would go well. An example, though perhaps not perfect, the Cool Tools website. If the name of the game is eyeballs on your product then you have 2 goals. Improve your google (or whoever) rankings and get direct exposure.

An example of both: I do craft fairs with what I make and have met some people there who do interesting things. One makes purses out of old books. When I saw a boingBoing post about a keyboard purse I was reminder of her stuff so I submitted it.

It's been a big success for her in immediate sales but I expect it'll also mean a better google ranking.... without being a doucebag and gaming the system. If you're not aware, your rank is greatly impacted by the number of places linking to you and also impacted by their rank. Grab a cup of coffee and go read one of the many books on the subject in Borders.
posted by phearlez at 11:23 AM on September 29, 2005

You could improve the site's performance in search engines by crafting some better page titles. For the home page, start with the site's name and follow it with a short but keyword-rich description of the site (maybe 8-10 words). There's a lot of other stuff you could do to optimise the site further, but you can easily improve the titles and get some benefit.

Please don't spam comments/newsgroups, but do respond to queries and articles on othe relevant sites in a genuinely helpful manner rather than plugging your site.

Many of the commercial weblog networks rely on submitted stories to maintain a frenetic pace of posting. If you politely send something interesting to a relevant site then you've got a fair chance of getting a mention.

Do some sort of innovative promotion, e.g. get people to submit family recipes and put together a collection of the winners (I'm sure you can think of something far better).

Give some products to various sites/podcasts for them to give away as prizes. Maybe sponsor a really good cooking blog or something.

If you're a one-person company then you need to make that a positive thing. Be helpful and approachable, involve yourself in things online, and get across your enthusiasm for the topic and your product.
posted by malevolent at 2:10 PM on September 29, 2005

I'd also suggest creating either a news page with a rss feed or a mailing list, to ensure site 'stickiness' for when you have new information to send around.

n+1 on the lifestyle blogs. You might also try contacting one of the recipe sites to see if they might be interested in doing a "best of" version of your product, and then you can get the word out to their pre-existing userbase.
posted by softlord at 5:57 AM on September 30, 2005

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