With over 60 million blogs in the world, attracting readers can be difficult even if you link to other Web sites and blogs. The reason being of course is that there are simply too many blogs and tens of thousands are added and deleted every day. Thankfully, the online world offers a few tools to help bloggers get noticed. However, before we get to the “how”, let’s talk about the “what”.
First, before you can attract readers, you need to offer something they will be interested in. A good blog is a lot like a product. If you design and market your product to the target market of “everybody,” chances are you won’t be very successful. A reader’s time is very limited (like everybody else) and they will not aimlessly surf the Web in search of any blog. They will rather, conduct narrow searches for information and topics they are interested in. For example, if your blog is very broad and covers a wide range of topics such as your opinions about politics, pet nutrition, and online trading strategies, you will do better to write three separate blogs under each topic. Broadly-based blogs tend not to be very successful unless you are already a popular author or celebrity and people are simply interested in what you think. For the rest of us, the world isn’t all that interested in what we think about anything and everything.
Second, offer something unique. If you don’t know of any other blogs that cover the same topic you do, go surfing for a few hours and chances are you will find several. Become familiar with the competing blogs and make a list of issues they don’t cover or important points they miss. These blogs may also be a good source for traffic to your blog, don’t be afraid to ask for a link. The bottom line on this point is to be unique. Give readers a reason to visit and bookmark your blog.
Third, there is a new Mozilla browser out there called Flock (www.flock.com) that is specialized to social Web browsing and blogging. You can download a free copy at the address above. Flock is currently in version 1.1 and we have identified a few minor bugs in Flock here at WestHost but nothing serious enough to not use it. If you are a serious blogger or social Web surfer, the features will impress you and make keeping track of your social network and many blogs painless. It may also introduce you to many social Web features and sites you were not aware of.
Promoting your blog
1. Make sure your HTML tags (meta, title and H1) reflect your keywords. These may need to be adjusted for every post to include details of what your blog is talking about.
2. Submit your blog to the major search engines and link your blogs together. Submit your blog posts using your narrowly defined keywords, and make sure you are linking each post to other posts. If you would like to boost traffic for a specific post, go back and edit your previous posts, adding a link to the post you are trying to promote. This generally causes a rise in Google rankings.
3. Submit your site to Blog Index sites and other social network sites. Below is a list to get you started but is by no means comprehensive.
4. Subscribe to the leading blogs and industry RSS feeds. This will keep you abreast of what is going on in the vertical market your blog addresses. Responding to hot issues quickly will generate quick traffic to your blog.
5. Submit your articles to industry leading sites and request a link to your blog if the leading site uses it. This is a great way to get known.
6. Lastly but by far the most important, post to your blog at least once a week. The Web is littered with abandoned or seemingly abandoned blogs. Let your readers know you’re still actively posting by frequently adding to your blog. This will also keep you ranked in the many blog engines.