Looking to use a little growth hacking to market your startup?
Whether you’re bootstrapping or fundraising, marketing budgets are always tight in the early stages.
So you, like so many founders before you, are turning to the guerilla tactics of growth hacking to apply the same lean principles you use in product development to reach your target market.
And when it comes to guerilla marketing strategies, it doesn’t get much better than free.
We all know SEO is one of the best free methods of getting traffic, and while consistently creating quality content is vital to your SEO strategy, so is building quality backlinks.
Below we’ve listed 5 free places you can post your startup link to build quality backlinks and grow your traffic.
And as an added bonus (we know you need as many of those as you can get), each of these sites offers more than just a backlink.
From potential angel investment to feedback from your target market, they’ll help your business grow through more than just SEO.
Let’s check them out.
AngelList is a website on a mission to democratize the investment process by bringing together angel investors, startups, and people who want to work for them.
To do this they’ve created a directory of startups, ranging from names you’ll know like Uber to the team just barely out of the garage (good for them!).
In addition to access to investment, talent, and a high-quality backlink, their company profiles are featured in search engines, which means more potential exposure for your startup.
All this means getting your company added to AngelList should be at the top of your list.
Get started by signing up for a free account to create your company profile.
I’m sure you read Hacker News every day, so there’s not much need to explain it.
In case you’ve been too buried in work to get out much, Hacker News is a social news site similar to reddit with a concentrated community of founders, investors, angels, and anyone else interested in startups.
Not only is it a great place to keep up with the latest news and trends in the startup community, it’s also a great place to gain some exposure for your startup.
With over 15 million visits a month, if a link to your startup generates enough buzz to make it to the top page, you’ll get a great SEO bump – and a server overloading amount of traffic (be prepared).
To start posting and commenting (with a few shameless self-promotions), sign up for a free account here.
Product Hunt is a search engine of sorts that lets users share and discover their next favorite “thing,” from the latest apps and hardware, to games, books, and podcasts.
Backed by Y Combinator, the same investment fund and incubator that runs Hacker News, they allow users to vote for their favorite up and comers, create collections, participate in live chats, and – most importantly for you – submit new “things.”
Your product page will let you share images, links to your social media accounts and website, as well as receive feedback and engage with users in the comments.
There’s a catch, though.
At the moment, while anyone can register for a free account and start upvoting, only people invited by existing members can comment and submit new things.
If you don’t know anyone like that, Product Hunt says they also invite users who actively participate on the site and discussions on Twitter.
AlternativeTo is a product finding site similar to Product Hunt, with a focus on helping people – you guessed it – find “alternatives to” apps based on recommendations and suggestions from other users.
In addition to getting a high-quality backlink from submitting your product, users will be able to find you by searching for apps they already know, provide feedback, and you’ll get to see who they think your competition is (hint: they’re probably right).
To add your app, simply sign up for a free account and submit an application, then the AT team will verify you exist and approve you.
This last recommendation is a threefer (is that a word?) because all these sites are part of the Gartner Digital Markets network, which means you submit your product once and potentially end up on all three!
The (small) catch is that these sites are aimed at business users, which means those of you with consumer only products will need to look elsewhere.
But, because they’re business focused, they’ve also set up systems to help you generate leads from your postings in addition to high-quality traffic and backlinks.
To get started, fill out this sign-up form to submit your product for review.
Now that we’ve given you a few ideas, it’s time to get out there and start filling out some submission forms (what could be more exciting!).
But because we want to be extra helpful here at WeeklyM, here’s a list of even more places to post your startup link!
And if you’ve got a bit of extra cash (we commend you) and would rather spend your time on other things, Startuplister provides cost effective PR to help you promote your startup, including submitting it to directories like those listed above.
Those backlinks are just minutes away…