I have a strictly online Plus Size bridal and Prom website. However, I cannot seem to generate traffic. I joined many wedding forums constantly posting advise for brides (not promoting my product) with a
link to my website at the end of every page. Instead of helping, I keep
getting warnings from the forums. I also joined as a vendor on these
wedding forums and it has not helped. Facebook and twitter have not been
much help either! Does anybody have any suggestions? If you have any
feedback on the website I would appreciate that as well!

 

Paula Daley,

www.blowoutbridal.com

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Are your gowns listed in the dress galleries on the major planning websites like the Knot or Brides? A lot of brides browse those galleries looking for ideas and I know I've heard a lot of complaints that there aren’t' many options/images when it comes to plus size gowns. So that may be a good opportunity for you to fill a void.
I have tried to get on the galleries, however, the only option the knot and brides gave me was of becoming a vendor. I tried contactincting them to inquire of the proper steps I needed to take, and they have yet to respond. Do you have any suggestions on how to get images on the galleries?
Generating traffic online is all about search engine optimization. I highly recommend a book called "Search Engine Optimization, An Hour a Day" by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin. It's seriously a day by day plan for getting organic traffic to your website. SEO can take quite a long time before it starts working for you. This book is a 4 month plan. Not sure when you started your website but unless you get some huge press from some very well known websites, it's going to take about 3 months to start getting good (qualified) regular traffic to your site. Don't despair and definitely get this book. Good luck.
Hi Paula. Best remove the weblink first off and then keep offering the advice then people will get to know who you are!
I fell into that trap!
I e mailed all my contacts asking their help and if they would e mail all of their contacts with my website.
Facebook seems to be helpful as does link exchange.
Also, try contacting a mag editor and ask if they'd be interested in running a feature on you, especially the free mags. You have to put in some work as it's free advertising for you so anything like "I'm a housewife who is concerned about the lack of plus size outfits available so thought I'd do something about it." You have to give them a good hook for them to bite and offer you the feature. I've done this too but was lucky to have a client approach a bridal mag and appear in it as a real life bride. Being the dressmaker I got a mention and the website got over 650 hits February alone.
Obviously if you get the feature it's a great advertising tool to have on the website!
I still think forums are a great way to get out there.

Linda x
Have you had a chance to participate in shows in your local area to help promote? I would see it that might help you also.. There are so many that should be able to use your services. Also your local newspaper or television to help promote or do a piece on you.... Hope that helps..
I do a lot of business with Craigslist.com - look for your area and place an ad for free... It can not hurt your business, just promote! :) Good look..
I think that's an excellent way to start. Right now many bridal shows are going on and I'm sure that they would like to use your gowns in the show.There are so many Plus size brides that would like to purchase beautiful gowns and not have to always go to Davids Bridal. Or order online with a wish that the gown will not need as much seamstress work done or doesn't stand up to their likening.
I know that the bridal shows are costly, but find the most inexpensive and make sure that the amount of brides attending will be worth your time,money and marketing for your business.

Much Blessings,
Nina Robinson
Maximum Events & Designs,LLC
Send me an email with your info - I will post in my website - I have a "friends" page and I am adding photographers, make up artists and why not bridal gowns??? :)
theflowerstudio@hotmail.com
Free adverts is a great way to generate business. Local pages, free ads etc.

www.dressesatno9.co.uk
Thank you for all the great suggestions! Shiny Orb, I will look into that book it sounds very beneficial to my business. I am going to attempt to contact magazines with the hopes of being a feature. Flower Studia, thank you very much for the great advice!
Hey Paula, love your niche. Designers are just starting to consider a more womanly figure so you're ahead of the curve. Good and not so good. You have to work harder to get the word out, but there'll be some 'piggy-back' press you can go after. Couple of thoughts come to mind:

1. Do a google search for all mainstream designers who are launching plus size lines. Write articles that comment on what you find and post both to your website as well as article banks like ezinearticles.com But sure to include your keywords in the first paragraph and thoughtout the article. I'm at this stage now.

2. Revisit your strategies for Twitter and Facebook. When you say, 'not much help', what were you expecting. Clients? Exposure? Business intell?

If you look at stats and articles recently, Twitter is more for finding vendors who can be referral sources, while brides hang out on FB. Create a detailed profile of your ideal client/vendor ie. age, location, likes, etc. (teenagers don't generally like Twitter or fB) That will help you write tweets and updates that appeal to your ideal. Try to tweet regularly and be open to friendship, not just business. It's called social for a reason, right. :)

3. Pick one channel and master it. This is my issue. I tend to be impatient for fast results. However, I find the more I study a tool, the better I'm able to use it or adapt it for my audience. Take your time. Sample what others do. Most importantly, share you and what's most important to you through the channel. It's the content, not the channel that draws traffic.

And you might want to more closely align your website title and tagline. When I got to Blowoutbridal.com I had no clue it was devoted to plus size until I saw the picture.

Now, that I've given ME a pep talk I'm off to take my own advice. Hope you'll keep up posted, Paula.
As was shared with me there are lots of free ways to get your name out there, such as signing up on googlemaps, bing, yahoo. And one that we use is we made up special ads for craigslist and we post them there, it has created a lot of traffic for our site. Also getting your name out there with other vendors who might recommend you or getting others to look at your blog and site through networking on Twitter and other bridal networks.

Hope that helps.

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