Rob Walling, following on an earlier article about the half-life of traffic sources (go read it if you haven't yet), describes some concrete ways to use paid advertising to get some bursts of usage that (if your site is sticky enough) will then hopefully result in some customers or at least some validated learning. He covers:
- Niche Advertising
- Google AdWords
Each is broken down and detailed. Definitely worth a read if you're considering using paid advertising to drive some initial traffic to your site. As Rob points out:
To conclude, I want to reiterate what I said early in this article: unless you have deep pockets think of advertising not as a long-term traffic strategy, but as a testing tool to improve your website and find out more about your ideal visitor. Few bootstrapped startups can withstand the cash outlay required to turn advertising into a marketing activity with a positive ROI, but that shouldn't keep you from testing the waters to find out for yourself.