October 26, 2014

Promoting Your Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 06/17/04

A friend, who has had an on-again / off-again blog for more than a year (mostly off-again) writes to say he’s now determined to blog every day and asks how should he go about getting more traffic to the blog. It’s a pretty basic question, one to which I have only some pretty basic points of advice, namely these:

The main thing I’d say is to stick with it. After you’ve been at it diligently for a month or so, you may be able to reach out a bit more to get in-bound links. But until folks have confidence you’re really dedicated to it they may be reluctant to link to you, if they fear you’re going to lose interest after a few weeks.

Also, periodically produce a really utilitarian post (like, for example, this one) that people are going to find particularly useful, not just interesting. Dedicate an hour or more to rounding up a lot of links on a theme or analyzing a trend in detail and debunking common misperceptions or otherwise really doing some real work of investigating, aggregating or articulating something that a lot of people are going to find useful. That is more likely to get you a lot of links to a particular post than just general posts along the lines of “Here’s an interesting article” or “Boy am I steamed about what Bush said today” or whatever. How-to pieces are good for this. Read the lists of most popular links among bloggers on DayPop, Technorati, Blogdex and Popdex to get a sense of what kind of blog posts get lots of people pointing to them. It’s a law of nature that people love lists.

Beyond that…

1) Definitely publish an RSS/Atom/XML feed. Are you still using Blogger? If so, you can click a button and turn on RSS [make that Atom, another version of XML feed, as Mike clarifies in the comment section of this post]. (For that matter, you can start an XML feed with pretty much any standard blog publishing platform.) You’ll get a lot more pick-ups that way.

2) Engage with other bloggers, particularly in their comment sections. Also email them. Politely make them aware of your blog, especially in context (e.g., “Joe, nice comment. You may be interested in something I wrote along similar lines…”)

3) Register your blog, and your RSS feed, everywhere possible. Here’s a list of such sites to start with.

4) Create a “blogroll” list of your favorite bloggers in the margin. Bloggers like the quid pro quo when it comes to links. Just by virtue of listing a bloggers does NOT mean s/he will link back to you, but it certainly improves your chances. It also makes it more likely that you will come to their attention, as they will likely see traffic from your site in their logs and maybe the link itself on Technorati.

5) Of course, plug your blog in your email signature, and, for that matter, on your business cards, if it’s really that important to you.

6) Consider your headlines carefully for the kind of phrases that people may search for on search engines. Remember, B.L.O.G. stands for “better listings on Google.” Also, along these lines, make sure to set your archives to list each entry on a page of its own (possible with Blogger only in its more recently updated version).

Here are some other similar pieces of advice:

I’m sure there are lots of other posts out there along similar lines. I welcome anyone who can point some more out to please do so in the comments, and I’ll update the good ones here in the main body of this post.

6 comments for Promoting Your Blog »

  1. writing well and promoting your writing are two different things. of course, i wouldn’t promote shitty writing, but the activities involved in promoting aren’t just writing well and publishing it where people might stumble upon it.

    you gotta go out and talk yourself up. comment, trackback, email tips to people, etc. get involved in “distributed group weblogging activities” like the carnival of the capitalists, the business blog book tour and the weblog invasion tour.

    if you want to learn about weblog promotion. read mine. I am a promotional whore. and I write about it a lot.

    Comment by Pete Caputa — June 17, 2004 @ 12:03 pm


  2. Great post Rick. I remember a year ago, trying to explain to clients what a blog was. Another resource to consider is the How/why of Blogging presentation Steve Broback and I wrote.

    http://texturadesign.com/html/speaking_howwhy.htm

    There’s even a quote from you in it.

    Comment by -b- — June 17, 2004 @ 1:23 pm


  3. Rick,

    Your article is great, however there is a slight factual error in your segment regarding Blogger.

    Google consciously chose the Atom syndication format over RSS, so outputting your Blogger syndication feed to RSS involves a custom template and a little jiggery-pokery.

    Atom support in some major feed reader applications may be limited, so for now, Blogger-hosted weblogs and news aggregators may not play nicely together.

    Just a little clarification ;) Take care.

    Comment by Mike Rundle — June 17, 2004 @ 1:37 pm


  4. Thanks you, Rick, for this very helpful info. I started my blog in 2002, but hadn’t really figured what to do with it until the past month or so. I’ve been paying attention to much on your blog: interesting, well-written content. Nice design too!

    Regards
    Neville.

    Comment by Neville Hobson — July 23, 2004 @ 6:07 am


  5. Thank you, Rick, for this very helpful info. I started my blog in 2002, but hadn’t really figured what to do with it until the past month or so. I’ve been paying attention to much on your blog: interesting, well-written content. Nice design too!

    Regards
    Neville.

    Comment by Neville Hobson — July 23, 2004 @ 6:08 am


  6. Thank you Rick, for the very informative article! I just started actually blogging today; Spent the last week playing around and getting everything setup. My next mission was to figure out how to start reaching out to others, and this hit hit right on the head!

    Thanks again,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Chrestman — July 27, 2004 @ 2:18 pm


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