Wednesday, May 19, 2010
You've started a blog. It's exciting to post an article and publish it to the web. You learn a little HTML. You tweak some colors and upload photos and video files. You start embedding links in key phrases in your content. You jazz up your sidebar with widgets, graphic link badges, traffic monitors, and lists of your best posts.
You enjoy sharing your expertise, experiences, and insights. It's not hard for you to have something to say every few days. Everything's going great. You're a real blogger and your blog has passed beyond the amateur generic template, to gleam as a unique and special creation.
Now -- how do you get people to visit your blog?
You think you have some value to impart to others. You feel that people can benefit from your wisdom, humor, and skills. But how do you make your blog known? How do you attract traffic to it?
Here are 5 proven methods for effectively promoting your blog.
(1) Provide material that advertises it.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many bloggers fail at this. If you're an individual, put your blog URL (web address) on your business cards. If you run a corporate blog, put your blog URL on business cards, stationary, print ads, pens, coffee mugs, wherever you promote your business, promote your blog too.
Are you inserting coupons, magazines, fliers, and ads in your bags when customers make a purchase? Then why not print a special insert that lists all your web presences? Include your ecommerce site, Twitter, blog, and any other social media sites that you're using.
(2) Post comments at other blogs.
It's called reciprocal commenting. You post a comment at a blog that's relevant to the topics you blog about. Chances are, if your comments are considered valuable and enriching to the content of that other blog, the blogger may reciprocate by posting a comment at your blog.
This used to be the norm years ago, but many bloggers have grown arrogant or lazy, so don't expect to receive equality. You may get one comment at your blog for every 5 to 10 you post at other blogs.
(3) Post new articles frequently.
As you publish more content that's relevant to your niche, search engines will rank you as an authority on the subjects you discuss. Your postings must be rich with naturally occurring keywords (not spamdexing: loading keywords in artificially in an attempt to game the system, which will backfire).
(4) Post links to your blog articles on Twitter.
Use Twitter as a way to promote individual articles that you publish on your blog. Don't just say "Check out my blog. It's loaded with great information on Topic X." Instead, in the midst of other messages, sprinkle in links to specific posts as you publish them, and to older posts that you're proud of and that may attract some attention. Say "my new post" then give the title ("How to Use an External Hard Drive") and the URL.
(5) Create videos, upload them to YouTube, and link to your blog.
Use a webcam or camcorder to make videos relevant to your audience and the topics you discuss on your blog.
If you're an individual, you can do videos of you simply discussing some topic you care about. If you run a business blog, do videos showing how products solve problems for customers, do a tutorial, have the CEO explain her or his vision for the company and what differentiates it from the competition, or have a store manager do a brief tour of the facilities.
Buy a home video studio program like Magix or Sony Vegas to add nice titles, effects, and other editing processes. Upload the videos to YouTube, then embed them in your blog posts. In the YouTube description of each video, start the description with a link to your blog, starting with http://
This will enable fans of your videos to visit your blog and enjoy more of your ideas and content.