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Promoting software

Lets say I have just written a great software.
What are the ways that I promote it.

Boris Yankov
Monday, December 30, 2002

This is a business question, not a software question.

That said, starting your own web site with your own personal views on software engineering that (by an amazing coincidence) also happens to mention you own stuff from time to time  seems to be working well these days.

The Slashdot crowd would do the same thing, but if they do anything that smells of "for profit" they all just melt, like "you know who" from the Wizard of Oz.

See?  It is so simple.  I might add, here at the end, that solving a problem that truly needs to be solved and getting some positive word of mouth in the appropriate community works OK too.  Wow, think of that?

Mitch & Murray (from Downtown)
Monday, December 30, 2002

Good advice but do note that you should only write about software engineering if your product's target audience is developers. If you are selling gardening software you should write brilliant articles about gardening and don't forget the easy-to-use forums.

X. J. Scott
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Get it listed in the appropriate directories. If its Free Software (or even free), try registering it on Freshmeat, although that site is biased a bit towards Unix stuff, though not entirely. Tucows and friends,, etc. are also good, but probably only if your promoting a Windows or Mac program (i.e. I don't know any Unixites that look for perl scripts on C-Net's sites).

And, as mentioned above, word of mouth has great mystical power which the wise code-wizards will use to their advantage.

Mike Swieton
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

1. Some search engines still allow you to submit your web site for free (Google,, AltaVista).

2. Write articles and send them to syndicate sites (search Google for those). This will multiply the appearance of your articles.

3. Have a professional web site with an easy ordering system. Offer a newsletter and build a newsletter archive on your site. This can be a valuable resource for your visitors and search engines like contents, too.

4. Ask other sites for reciprocal links (or use software tools like ARELIS to do it semi-automated, highly recommended by the way, )

5. Submit your software to software sites like http://www.Tucows.com , , , etc.

6. Participate in news groups, mailing lists and web forums and use a signature to promote your software.

7. Send out a press release.

8. If your software sells well, build an affiliate program.

9. Use cheap advertising at Overture and Google AdWords.

John U.
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

>> 7. Send out a press release

How is this done?

>> 8. If your software sells well, build an affiliate program.

Does this really work?

Boris Yankov
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

>> Press Releases

Yes, they do work. However, most computer magazines will publish a short news story only about 2-3 months after they have received your press release.

I've had good experiences with before I chose to send out PR messages myself (just collect names and email addresses from the computer magazine web pages).

>> Affiliate Programs

Yes, they do work, too. However, you must have a great product, a great commission (about 30-40%) and your marketing must work. Otherwise you won't get many affiliates.

John U.
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

It seems to me that an "affiliate program" is no different than a "reseller", like a dealer.  I guess your affiliates essentially are your dealers, just on a much smaller scale than Programmer's Paradise or Provantage.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

What does your software do Boris?

Daniel Shchyokin
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

1) First figure out who your target market is. 

2) Then find out where they are located, hang around, etc.

3) Then find a way to make contact with them.

The specifics of each step is highly dependent upon the nature of your product.  If your software targets the B2B market, is extremely expensive, and there's a long sales cycle then you're going to have to do a lot of calling, attending trade shows, traveling to meet people at companies, etc.

If it's more targeted towards the regular consumer or average computer user, then the best way that I've seen over and over is to *initially* offer something for free which is cheap to give away but still gives something of value to the user.  It's even better if the use is somehow also connected with what you're selling.  For example, you could offer an extremely watered down version of your software, but users would have to pay to get the extra advanced features.  Or it could just be something remotely related that by paying for your other software can enhance the usability, experience, etc. of the free software.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Thursday, January 2, 2003

Some other ideas?
I am looking for things that will take effort not money :)
Or not much money. I know that if I publish a one page advertising in PC Magazine it will be veeery helpful

Boris Yankov
Friday, January 3, 2003

What kind of software do you want to promote, Boris?

Friday, January 3, 2003

Well I am asking more in general.
I have developed several applications for a clients of mine and I think they become very good.
I wanted to start doing apps for myself.
So I am going to develop a cheap and not very complex application that I think will have success. Later I will start doing a much more serious project involving more programmers.
That's why I wanted to know.

I am about to write a high quality Organizer competing with the best (Lotus' one, and Outlook). I suppose it is possible.

Boris Yankov
Saturday, January 4, 2003

Well, it`s possible to write a world`s best organizer...but the main problem  is always marketing.  And I don`t think it`s possible to have wolrd`s best sales of world`s best organizer without investing serious amounts of money.
I`ve seen  a  lot of great apps, but great marketing  is a rare bird.
My 0.02:)

Monday, January 6, 2003

You can have the 0.98 of experience left by contacting me directly:)
Will be glad to help, but don`t expect  me to invest "serious amounts of money" - I don`t  have them:)

Monday, January 6, 2003

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