Tip #1: Organic Search Engine Rankings. There are only three search engines you need to worry about and those are Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Conquering top search engine rankings in the big three starts with good keyword research. When you know what search terms you want to target, it's then a matter of tailoring your site to match what the search engines are looking for.
With Google you need lots of original content (that is, large websites) and natural-looking incoming links. With Yahoo its pretty much the same except that you can use reprinted articles, otherwise known as duplicate content, in building your subpages. With MSN you can attain top spots with small mini-sites that simply use the search terms in the domain.
You need incoming links, known as backlinks, to move up in the rankings. Some popular ways to get these include using social bookmarking sites, posting comments and trackbacks on blogs (and other sites) that don't use "no follow" meta tags, submitting articles to article directories, posting your URL on directory sites, and exchanging links with other sites.
Tip #2: Social Networks such as Myspace. This usually involves making multiple profiles and getting very social on the social network with other users. Automation software is often utilized to make mundane tasks such as sending friend requests, comments, and messages to other users much faster. Myspace allows their database to be sorted by a nice range of demographics, which is very helpful if you need a target list of prospects to promote your product or service to. You can also access members of groups who all have a shared interest in a certain subject.
Tip #3: Free Classified Ad Sites. This is getting to be a very effective free traffic method, but you do need to go about it with some tact and creativity. Craig's List is the king of free online classifieds, and a properly tailored campaign can harvest hundreds of targeted prospects per day. Software is very handy for managing larger campaigns.
Tip #4: Video Hosting Sites. Anyone can harvest sales leads from video hosting sites these days. You can make a video using a digital camera or free screen recording software on your computer, or a combination of both. This is where the creative types will soar above the crowd.
You Tube is the undisputed king of online video hosting, and a smart marketer can reap thousands of views for his or her video per day from inside You Tube itself. All you need to do is drive people to your page, which can be done by commenting on other videos or other peoples pages, and sending friend requests. Software makes this process much more efficient.
Tip #5: Question and Answer Sites. These are becoming incredibly popular, with Yahoo Answers being the clear leader for the moment. Anyone can ask questions, anyone can answer questions, and as long as you don't come across as a blatant spammer, dropping your links into both questions and answers is pretty easy. It's certainly worth your time to market any niche through Yahoo Answers.
Tip #6: Forums. Message board forums exist on the internet for just about every topic imaginable. An advanced Google search using "message board forum" and your topic of interest will probably turn up several places where people discuss your subject. Join these forums, become active and helpful to others, then do subtle marketing through your signature (or even your user name).
Tip #7 Give-aways on auction sites. Auction sites such as ebay are a great opportunity to find customers for your niche. Write a 10-page report that has a few good tips and a great sales pitch for your product, and then give it away for free (or charge something like $1 for it). Hype it up with some good sales jargon so it moves well. Capture the emails of those downloading the book and add them to an autoresponder service so you can keep mailing them offers.
These tips are only the beginning of free traffic opportunities on the web. Plenty of marketers make a nice income without spending a dime on advertising. Will you become one of them?