So I had an itch to scratch, and out came FreezBeat . Granted it's a simple product, but what it does it does well. Now that it's launched and available for purchase, I'm at a loss for where to promote it. It's listed on downloads.cnet.com and softpedia.
My question is where are some good places to promote small software products. Any strategies would also be of help.
Here's my experience from releasing a number of products, including Banshee Screamer Alarm, and PhotoWipe. Whenever you install my software, it opens a "thank-you" page, so I can track downloads vs. installs, which is important for your analytics.
First of all, did you get your friends and family to try to use your software? It's not ready until somebody can use it without you standing there helping them!
Although my software was listed on hundreds of sites, including cnet downloads,freedownloadscenter.com consistently ended up giving the majority of the downloads, followed by softpedia. Note that the download counts on both CNET and freedownloadscenter are either broken or have no basis in reality.
The editor at freedownloadscenter sometimes picks things to review. Maybe you can email them. Being on the front page for a few days nearly melted by server.
To cover everybody else, fill out a PAD file and list it in the ASP directory. All the other download sites on the planet will pick it up from there. Ignore all the emails from spammy download sites and their annoying awards.
Then, get emailing bloggers. That will be the majority of your promotional work.
You are missing an installer, and seem to be proud of it. Is your product for only software developers? "After I restart my computer it disappears," will be your first complaint.
Edit: I have a general feeling that windows users are less likely to buy software than mac users, but I don't have any proof.
The best way to promote your app depends very much on the market you are in. 2 good places to start (in my experience) are:
Google Adwords. Gives quick results, but can be expensive - especially if you don't take the time to learn the ropes.
SEO. Simple on page optimization and writing valuable content will drive targeted traffic to your site. It won't cost you anything (no need to pay SEO 'experts') but writing content is time consuming and it can take a while to pay back.
Download sites have had their day. They are pretty worthless for most types of software now (except perhaps in the Mac market).
The only way to find out what really works is to try it. I have detailed some of my experiences promoting my software here: