Can you make a popular website for free?


Making a website popular is one of the easiest ways to build wealth online. Whether you want to sell a specific product or service or just want to use advertising to monetize your visitors, if you can make a website popular enough, you won’t have a hard time making a lot of money.

You can always pay to attract visitors to a website. With the help of strategies like paid advertising (and maybe even a little bribery) the sky’s the limit on how many people you can attract. Obviously, if you don’t have an unlimited budget, this isn’t really an option for you.

What if you’re on a budget or starting with next to nothing? Is it possible to make a popular website for free?

What is “free?” “

We first need to dig into the semantics. What exactly is “free”? You might be able to use a strategy to make your website more popular without spending any money, but that usually means you will need to spend a lot of time on it. For example, you can go door-to-door to introduce people to your website one at a time; eventually you could generate hundreds or thousands of new visitors and you wouldn’t have to spend a dollar to do so, but it would be a total waste of your time.

If you think of time as a cost, the answer is no, you can’t make a popular website for free. Having said that, if you consider both the cost of time and money, it is possible to make a website popular for less.

Website creation

It all starts with your ability to build a website. You can’t make a site popular if it never exists. There are currently an abundance of free website builders that claim to let you build your website for free. But it is a bit misleading. While you can build a website without spending any money, there are a number of disadvantages that you should also keep in mind:

  • Advertising. Some website builders require that you host their advertising as a form of payment. You may be blocked with a different domain name and you will not be able to host your own ad.
  • Limited models. You may also be forced to choose from a small number of different templates as the basis for your site. This can restrict you, preventing you from executing your creative vision for the site. More importantly, since many business owners and webmasters will choose from this pool of templates, your site will end up looking unoriginal.
  • Limited hosting and security options. Free website builders also offer limited hosting and security options. By extension, your site may end up with significant security vulnerabilities. It also may not perform up to your expectations.
  • Limited constructions. Most free website builders are only effective if you create a simple website, like a blog or a news site. If you need something more advanced, you will have no choice but to build it from scratch.

If you want to build your own website and avoid relying on templates, you can expect pay at least a few thousand dollars. It’s a reasonable cost and a good investment, but it obviously prohibits you from building a website for free.

Free Marketing Strategies

But let’s say your website is already up and running and you don’t worry about start-up costs. Is there a way to make your site more popular for free?

  • On-site content marketing. One of the best tools available to you will be onsite content marketing. The basic idea here is to write high quality content that makes your site more trustworthy and authoritative while attracting new people to your site. You can start with a simple blog, writing articles that are relevant to your audience and industry. As you start to develop a better reputation, your blog readership can increase and you can start to ramp up your content efforts, developing white papers and eBooks to invite even more subscribers. Onsite content marketing also has some useful synergies with various other inbound marketing strategies, as we’ll see. You can pay someone to write your content and plan your strategy, but it’s also a strategy that you can technically implement yourself for free, as long as you put in the time and effort.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO). Optimize your website for search engines is another free way to increase your site’s visibility, if you don’t mind taking the time to do so. Google and other search engines prioritize websites that they deem trustworthy and relevant to users’ searches. you can make your site more trustworthy by writing keyword optimized content, making your site more functional and secure, and building links with major trustworthy publishers. It’s a long-term strategy that takes several months to start to pay off, but it’s not exceptionally difficult to learn. If you are having trouble getting off the ground, you can always work with an agency to increase your chances of success.
  • Social media marketing. Social media marketing is also somewhat free, as you can build your professional profiles and pages without spending any money. It’s hard to naturally get organic reach on social media platforms that offer paid advertising options, but if you post regularly, engage with new people, and become active in local groups, you can. facilitate much better monitoring.
  • Offsite content marketing. Offsite content is the perfect counterpart to onsite content. With the right strategy, you can regularly post articles with offsite editors. This way you will get more visibility for your brand and you will have the opportunity to create valuable links to your site; these links, in turn, will be able to generate both referral traffic directly to your site and higher authority, thus improving your search engine rankings. Over time, you will gain a better reputation as an author and you will be able to work with larger and more influential publishers, thereby expanding your audience. Again, this takes a lot of time and effort – but it doesn’t have to cost you money.
  • Email advertising. Despite countless other digital marketing strategies that have emerged over the past two decades, email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing strategies you can use. This is partly because of its low cost. You can create an account with an email marketing platform for free and send regular emails to thousands of subscribers for free. As long as your content is engaging and you’re actively working on building your email subscriber list, you should be able to generate significant recurring traffic and improve your site’s visibility.
  • Networking and referrals. Don’t forget about networking and referrals. It’s free to meet and talk to new people, and while it can be time consuming, it can pay off as well. If you introduce your website to a handful of new people and they are all impressed enough to share the website with their circle of friends and colleagues, you could quickly reach hundreds of new people.

Reach the peak of popularity

Part of your success will depend on factors beyond your control, like your industry, your schedule and economic conditions. But a big part of your success will be totally in your hands. Even if you don’t have a large budget, if you’re willing to invest a little time, you have the potential to make your website much more popular, ultimately attracting thousands or tens of thousands of unique monthly visitors. It’s not something that can happen overnight, and it won’t be “free” in the strictest sense of the word, but it is doable, easily understandable, and appropriate for the majority of websites.

Nate nead

Nate nead

Nate Nead is the CEO and Managing Member of Nead, LLC, a consulting firm that provides strategic consulting services across multiple disciplines including finance, marketing and software development. For more than a decade, Nate has provided strategic advice on mergers and acquisitions, capital sourcing, technology and marketing solutions for some of the most well-known online brands. He and his team advise Fortune 500 clients as well as SMBs. The team is based in Seattle, Washington; El Paso, Texas and West Palm Beach, Florida.


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