At Pingable we’re all about WordPress, which is all about blogging (and a few other things). With an estimated 900,000 blogs created every day, many of them don’t last more than a few weeks. Bloggers put tons of energy into their blogs, then get disappointed when nobody reads them. Here are our favorite ways to promote blogs, both new and old:
For new blogs:
- Use RSS – make sure your syndication feed is available and prominent on your blog.
- Sign up for social bookmarking services like Technorati, Mixx, Reddit, Delicious, etc. Don’t just submit your articles, become an active user by voting on other peoples submissions. Become an active member of the blogosphere.
- Submit your blog to directories like Blogcatalog
- Join forums related to your niche and become active in them as well. Use your forum signature to promote your blog (read the rules of the forum, some are really strict)
- Start building relationships with other bloggers. Ideally, with bloggers who share your topic. Building relationships could be exchanging links, just sending an email, commenting on their posts or sharing their posts with your favorites social bookmarking service (See #2).
- Similar to building relationship, you should look at guest-blogging. This is a valuable tool for building your initial blog traffic and reputation. Almost all big blogs have a policy for accepting guest blog submissions. They get free content, you get exposure, everyone wins.
- Also along the same vein of building relationships is this little trick: write about someone else’s post, make sure to clearly credit them and provide a link. Then reach out to the original author and let them know you’ve featured their post on your site. This is both good blog karma and a good way to encourage backlinking.
- Set up social networking accounts at Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. These can be powerful tools for retaining new visitors and pulling them back again when you post new content. Services like this only help if you cultivate a community around your blog. They are not idle sources of traffic that require no work from you.
- Thoroughly plan your blog out. Ask yourself important questions instead of just jumping into writing content which can be the most exciting part. Ask yourself:-What is this blog going to be about?
-Who are my readers going to be?
-Why will they want to read this blog?
-Do I have the time to commit to this?
- Decide what design will best fit your blog. Consider the answers to the above questions, plus:
- Set up an analytics tool like Google Analytics or Web Clicky so you can target traffic sources and figure out what works. A word to the wise: don’t stalk your analytics, checking them every few minutes – you’ll just go crazy.
-What format will my content be in?
-How large will my images be?
-Where can I place my social networking links?
-Does the design help organize content effectively?
-Is there room for expansion?
-Is there room for advertising?
For established blogs (promoting your content)
- Ping like your life depends on it. WordPress is set to automatically ping a service called “Ping-o-Matic” which will then notify the most popular blog tracking services. If you want to take it to the next level, check out this resource.
- Make sure users can easily share your content. WordPress has many plugins for this, one of our favorites is Sexy Bookmarks which puts sharing links below each post.
- Submit each post (or just the good ones) to social voting sites. We like Dzone and a few others.
- Submit your blog to Dmoz. We didn’t put this one under the new blog list above because it won’t get accepted if it’s brand new. Getting accepted depends on you having quality content and a legitimate reputation.
- Use Google’s Keyword tool to target traffic and determine post titles.
- Establish your blogroll.
- Set up Wibiya – a very cool new toolbar for your blog.
- Stumble every post. Don’t spam it, just submit it once so others may stumble upon it.
- Submit every post to Digg, Technorati, Mixx, Reddit, and all the other social bookmarking tools you can find.
- Give something away. Commission some free icons, a free WordPress theme or something related to your niche. This will both attract new readers and encourage sharing.
- Continue to build relationships with other bloggers. Write guest posts, share links, comment on other blog posts, participate in forums, etc.
- Our own experience