The blog looks great. You’ve been through the Blog Review Checklist. You’ve got several posts with great titles and compelling content–to let readers know you’ll be around, when they come back. Now it’s time to let people know that you exist.
List your blog in the Blog Directories. Which ones? All of them–every one that you can find the smallest reason to. Listing is a slightly longer and more involved task than changing phone companies. However if you take the time, your work will last for the life of your blog.
Prepare a document with the following information before you start. Keep this document. It’s your blog’s biography. You’ll have reason to use it as your blog makes friends and influences people.
- Your username Pick one with no spaces. Many directories and forums require that, and no one needs too many usernames.
- Your email address This email address will get directory updates and be used for verifications. You may want it separate from your personal email address. You’ll need a system to keep track of directory correspondence. Much of the login/password email that you want to keep will have subject lines that start with blog-something.
- Your password I’m sure you know the cautions and rules about passwords.
- The name of your blog Be sure that you have the spelling, spacing, and everything about the name exactly as you want it. Some directories make it difficult to go back to change it later.
- The URL This is http:// (nameofmyblog) .com
- The feed Some directories will ask for your RSS or XML feed. You should be able to find that address within your blogware documentation. It will look like your URL with an extension.
- The description Though you’re probably anxious to get done, don’t hurry through this one. This is your advertising, and it will be out there a long time. Again, in some places you may not be able to change it later. Make two versions one under 150 words and one under 300 words. Some directories have stricter length limits.
- Keywords Choose keywords that readers would use to look for a blog like yours. Review them to make certain that they’re not so broad that they apply to every blog, or so narrow that only you would know them.
Then start with one of the lists below. Approach the task as suits your nature. I did a few every day until I was done. That way I could work on writing and do things on other parts of my blog too.
Here are three blog directory lists to get you started. As with all things on the Internet, Directories may have changed since these lists were compiled.
–“ME “Liz” Strauss
If you look up–under the logo for Successful Blog–you’ll see the words content that is organized, thorough, and relevant. That means I plan to capture and present the basics for everything. I also plan to make sure that those posts–like this one–offer information for everyone, not just new bloggers. Oh and, my other plan is that these posts won’t be boring. 🙂
Well, it used to say that. Now, we just live it.
I’ve hidden a posting Easter egg of sorts in this one. Hope most of you don’t have it already.
This post is based on Duncan Riley’s Building blog traffic for newbies. If you already know the basics, read the 31 comments that follow the post.
Duncan lays out six main points he pulled together when he realized that people seemed to know little about promoting blogs. I’ll list them here [with my notes], and you can get the detail from the post.
- Don’t use blogrolling for your site links. It stuffs up search engines.
- Pinging is good, but trackbacks and comments are better.
- Offer to exchange links in your links section [in the sidebar].
- Link to small sites without exchange through sidebar or a post.
- Submit your blog to all search engines [and directories].
And what we both agree is the most important one:
- Post regularly, [consistently], and often.
I’d also like to add two if I might.
- Join a forum in your niche. It offers natural opportunities to talk about your blog.
- Find websites in your niche that would like to list your link.
Of course, the best promotion is quality content when the traffic gets there.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
PS. Do we have to use the word “newbies”? Has anyone got a better one?
Turning Reluctant Readers into Loyal Fans
Blog Promotion: Checking Out Curb Appeal
Why DoesnÃ¢â¬â¢t Pete Townshend Need to Do Promotion?
GAWKER Design: Curb Appeal as Customer-Centered Promotion
How to Blog Series
When was the last time you looked at your blog the way your readers do? If you write only for yourself, you look at it that way every day. . . . You are your audience. You’re done.
The rest of us are looking for an audience a little bit larger than one.
Humans have unconscious tendencies. We do lots of the things we like to do and ignore the things we don’t. This makes for a blog that looks great from our point of view, but can leave gaping holes–holes that our readers see, holes they probably won’t tell us about.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to leave things out, as long as we know that we’re doing it. Not every blog has to do everything. In fact, most really shouldn’t. But walking around with a hole in your blog could be embarrassing, especially if you don’t know about it.
Here’s a checklist to make sure your blog’s (ahem) vital parts are covered.
Blog Review Checklist
- Audience: What words would your readers use to describe your blog? What do they like best about your site?
- Purpose: What is the purpose of your blog? Why does it exist? Is the purpose stated plainly where your readers can see it? How well does your blog meet that purpose?
- Content: How well does the content support the purpose? Is the content readable, interesting, accurate, entertaining, and appropriate for your audience?
- Design: How well does the look of the blog communicate the kind of blog it is? Is navigation easy and intuitive? Do items flow naturally from the first to the next? Do the color palette, image, and type choices support the content or call attention away from it?
- Posts: Do you post on a consistent schedule the information readers came to find? Do your posts reflect the unique purpose and style of your blog? Do they offer variety and interest within your blog’s purpose and theme?
- Comments: Do you read and respond to comments to form a sense of community? Consider which posts get most comments and which get none. How does that effect the topics that you’re posting on?
- Technical Issues: Have you checked lately to see whether and how fast your blog loads in other browsers? Have you overdone the use of plug-ins and gadgets, making the experience more confusing than fun?
- Writing: Is your writing clear and respectful of your readers? Have you established a writing voice that lets readers know who you really are? Is the blog essentially free of errors in grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation?
- Organization: Have you set up your categories to draw readers into your backlist? Do you feature “Golden Oldies” that new readers would have interest in? Do you name your Categories things that readers can understand?
- Marketing and Social Networks: What are you doing to let readers know that you are here? Are you listed in the right directories? Do you read and comment on other blogs within your readership? Have you included linked to the social networks where your ideal readers spend their time?
Sure it takes time to review your blog. It takes even more to make tweaks and changes. But you invest so much time blogging. Doesn’t it seem worth it?
A rule of good publishing says, Spare the reader not yourself. In the end, you won’t be sorry.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!