- Do you have any tips on promoting a weblog?
- How do you get other people to notice your blog?
- Are the usual website promotion steps required, or do shortcuts exist?
- Are sites such as link2blogs.com the best way?
I am going to attempt to answer these questions for him to the best of my knowledge and post it here for other bloggers to use as a resource in the following nine How To Promote Your Blog tips.
1. It all starts with content.
You have heard the Field Of Dreams quote a million times, “if you build it, they will come.” This same principle holds true with promoting a blog. Your strength in blogging comes in generating content that other bloggers, blog readers, and normal web surfers will stumble upon and want to read and respond to. This also includes keeping the flow of content consistent. You need to keep feeding a newspaper site with content, so you will need to do the same with your blog. I would set a goal of writing at least one quality post a day, that way by your one year anniversary you will have at least 365 posts on your blog that can be indexed by blog and web search crawlers. When generating content, make at least 80% of it for a clear audience that is looking for a specific type of content. For example, if you want to start a blog about boating, make at least 80% of your posts about boating. The other 20% or less can be off the subject but at least you know that 80% of the time (or 8 out of 10 posts) you are going to have something of interest to a specific core boating audience. The 20% gives you room to be human and write about the occasional life experience or random item.
2. Optimize your site for search
This means you should make sure to have HTML title blocks in your HTML so that search engines can pick them up. Also the use of H1 tags for headlines and section headers could be useful. Additionally, a meta description is important as it will turn into your sites description in search results. To recall more of the basic web marketing with some SEO principles, check out this link.
3. Submit your site to the directories, engines, and registries.
Robin Good did a wonderful service to us all in creating this post and keeping it relatively up to date. Titled RSSTop55 - Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites, it lists a number sites that you can submit your Blog URL or RSS feed to. For further information on the top blog search products, check out the post titled Who Will Be #1 In Blog Search? on SomewhatFrank.com.
4. Interact with other people’s blogs.
Add comments to other blog posts. This is a good place to refer to your posts with specific URL’s if they relate to the same content area. You would be surprised how quickly someone new notices your comments and visits your site.
5. Ping when you have updates.
Make sure to set your blogging software to pingback the different engines and directories to let them know you have new posts. Technorati and Pingomatic are good places to add to your ping list to being with.
6. Consider participating in blog link exchange or other traffic-generating programs.
Link2Blogs and Pheedo are a couple of companies that offer link exchange programs to try and generate more free traffic to your site. For ten other viral advertising programs, check out this post by Nancy P. Redford.
7. Shameless promotion – mention your blog anywhere and everywhere.
Put your blog in your email signature so that every time someone gets an email from you they will possibly click on your URL to try and gain more information on your character or interest. When you link to other bloggers' posts you can place TrackBacks to your articles. Also a blogroll can increase your traffic.
8. Add an "email a post" or "add to favorites" feature.
Many other online sites have an email a friend feature so why not in a blog? I often find myself having to go to my email then cut and paste an entry's URL into my message of an email. In implementing some type of online form to send a link, you save viewers' time and help spread your posts via email.
9. Syndicate your blog.
Using RSS Feeds is an extremely solid way to get your message out to readers. PodCasts are also catching on as a promotional tool as noted here. You can use a product like Feedburner or you can create your RSS or Atom XML compliant format by hand. Either way, syndicating your site will help you get links back to your content items! Another option is to offer an email update subscription to your blog by checking out Bloglet or Feedster.
So in laying out those nine How To Promote your Blog tips, I hope I have answered my colleague's questions as well as created a helpful reference for other bloggers to refer back to when trying to promote their blogs (see tip #1).