Promote your blog…if you want to of course
Ever wondered how some people get more readers than others? Here’s a quick and dirty guide to gaining more readers and growing your blog base.
Sometimes it works on word of mouth. Some people have an exceptional ability for writing that others are just knocked sideways by and tell others.
Be it via email or IM or linking or just plain old fashioned conversation. After all, we aren’t all budding Billy Waggle Daggers and most of us (if we are interested even) will struggle to gain a big readership. It’ll be a slow long haul, but provided we write something thats legible and appeals to an audience of sorts, then overtime it will build. People like to be commented on and tend to comment on stories or issues that are of interest to them in some way. Be it making them laugh or cry or just striking a general chord.
There are things you can do to get yourself out there though, and there are lots of tools, techniques and websites that can help.
Social media Sites
Check out sites like mybloglog, stumbleupon, technorati, digg, reddit, delicious. Give your readers options. Make it easy for them to ‘Digg’ you or tag you. Use visual widgets to create a sense of community. Use the tagging option is your post fields as these enable sites like technorati to categorise your content and give them to people searching for those specifics words.
The more you get your content noticed within these sites , the more links and attention to your content and message you will get.
RSS feeds and subscriptions
Use the rss feeds and subscription options to enable people to subscribe and read your content in email and 3rd party reading devices. By syndicating what you do, your content will be picked up by news aggregator sites and will gain you those all important links in. Use feedburner to distribute and mange your feeds. It has some excellent back end monitoring and promotion tools and is well worth checking out.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation
Try to write your content in a way that is structured and logical.
Title your blog in a way that makes sense and targets your main keyword or theme. Use proper headings to segregate your content. Use heading tags and structure them according to how the w3c suggests. Emphasis relevant words that are particularly relevant to the piece. Link to authority websites on your topic. Try to keep your blog or post central to the theme of what you are discussing. Resist the urge to go too far off topic. Think semantically, write in ways that use a rich variety of words that have a semantic relationship with your titles and content.
Use urls that are easy to link to and understand. If your page is of the type page.asp?var1=2&var2=8 then look to use a tool that enables you to rewrite those urls to more human friendly forms. People will be more inclined to click through to a kw laden url that in some way describes what the page may be about.
Be a link slut
Get your friends to link to you with keywords and phrases relevant to your post. If your post is about promoting a blog, then generally you want people to link to you with the terms promoting a blog in the link text.
Don’t be a spammer, but where possible use opportunities to gain links back to your blog. If you are commenting on a post that discusses blog promotion, then talk about it at the place you are commenting on and reference back to the url where you discussed it. Most blog owners will not have a problem with this and will welcome you taking the time to link in context, especially if you have written something that informs them.
Choose the right blogging platform
Try and use a blogging platform that has SEO built in. Look for one that puts your blog post title at the front of your post. WordPress is one good example, drupal is another.
Look for a blog that enables you to populate the meta description tag of your webpage with a fitting relevant description.
Blogs that offer plugin options are great for adding extra features and integrating additional content.
The richer your resource, the more likely you are to get attention and links.
Write compelling unique content about stuff you have passion for or are familair with. Try and engage your reader, speak with authority and if you can’t then at least link to a few sources that do. In other words, create something that will be useful, something that will tease, or inform, or just plain entertain.
Use titles that will pull in your reader and make you stand out from the crowd.
Page titles are often used in search engine results, or outputted in digg or technorati pages to display to users. Try and be ironic, or obtuse, or outrageous if you have to; above all just try and be interesting. You have around 80 characters to make your impact, choose them well.
Of course, none of this might even matter to you. You may be one of these people who just writes because you enjoy it. You use it as a means of self expression, a means for banging out those diatribes or things you find otherwise difficult to share or gain feedback on in the standard everyday out there world. If this is the case, then just ignore all of this and carry on 😉