How to Promote Your Blog.
Internet Marketing, Blog Promotion, Traffic Building or whatever else you want to call it, in my view, are all but just a form of advertising. To make money, you need traffic. To get traffic, you need to promote. I would like to call your attention that I am going to express my views about promotion here and not rankings (PR and the sorts). Additionally, this post will be more in a generic form, as specific details will be released in future posts. Since we are blogging for money, I will concentrate about promoting blogs and your identity. Why, you may ask, identity? This is where it all begins:
When we promote, we are in a way advertising our blog, its contents, us (the authors/blogger) and eventually products or services. Promoting, is not an easy task, is time consuming and requires a lot of efforts from our part. In my journey, one thing I have learned is that we have to take steps, one at the time, and most importantly, focusing on each one of them, one at the time:) Concentrate your efforts in one or two blogs, and then move forward. It is difficult already to manage a couple of blogs, moreover several of them.
Before jumping into all the several ways of promotions, you must first understand the importance of self promotion. Self promotion is nothing else but saying to the blogosphere who you are and what you are blogging about. It is very important that you understand this, because it is an essential part of your promotional efforts. That being said, it is in my opinion that the main ingredients for successful promotion are:
Your Own Custom Domain – Sometimes overlooked, do not underestimate the power of a good Domain Name. Domain names are in itself a keyword and also some sort of an identification. Later translated into a URL, your domain will identify your blog and hopefully get memorized by your audience. This is an example of branding.
Let me show you one example of why I think this is important. A few months ago, as part of my domaining efforts, to make money online, I registered a domain name called blogbank.org, for the purpose of creating a simple blog directory. This cost me nothing but 6.99$ (a year) with my registrar. I set up a blog, hosted it on blogger and pointed this custom domain to the blog. I have done nothing on this blog (no SEO, no promotion, etc), but add sites who were willing to participate in building my blog directory (as I said, very simple and nothing fancy, yet). Today, I googled the keyword blog bank and the result is impressive. Take a look…
The search for the keyword, blog bank, returned 111 million results. These included the words blog and bank separately, and blog bank, combined. My blog not only shows on the first page, but ranks number 4. How impressive is that? All because of the domain name. I can not give you more proof than this. If you are serious about making money online, I strongly suggest you getting your own custom domain at the earliest stage possible. Doing it on a later stage can give you problems, specially if you are not a tech savvy, as you can loose your PR (if you have one), Stats, Alexa Rankings, etc..
Your Blogs Description – Please be more specific when you show off your blog. I have seen descriptions like “everything about a lot of things and more”. What does that mean? People who will read your blogs descriptions should have a clear picture of what you are blogging about. Make it short and as concise as possible (that will be one of your baits).
Avatar, Brand, Logo or Your Name – Use it to identify yourself as a blogger. As time goes by, you will want to be recognized and you will want people to know who you are. If you are popular, respected and recognized, everything else that you do will attract your audience. Choose wisely, try to make it professional, use one identity only and make it stick.
If you want, you can create a gravatar and register at the globally recognized gravatar website.
Content – Needless to say the importance of this. You promote, you get traffic, you want people to read what you have to say, you want them to like it, and ultimately, you want them to stay and come back. Feed your audience with good articles, give them knowledge and they will be starving for more, guaranteed.
Now that we have the basic and necessary ingredients, below are snippets of what you can do and where you can promote.
Article Marketing – Writing articles and submitting them to article directories gives you exposure and popularity. There are many article directories and submission is free. Some will give you quality backlinks and also the possibility of making money. Just be sure to leave your business card (URL) at the resource or bio box, to let people know where to find you. One good site to write articles and get quality backlinks is Qassia.
Social Networking + Bookmarking – I am sure you are all familiar with this. My advice is to join the most popular ones (Technorati, SU, Digg) and choose one or two social networks and give everything you have to stand out. I do not understand how many of us are all over the place. I would much rather be a big fish in a small tank than being a small fish in a big tank.
Forums – Participate, learn what other people are saying in your niche, help them out if you can and you will get traffic. It is also a good source for writing your next article.
Blog Directories – Submit, submit, submit. Nothing more to say. I have compiled a list of some blog directories that I recommend on a separate post. Use these blog directories as they are free and have been proven reliable.
Sponsorship (Contest) – There are several bloggers who will recommend for you to hold contests as a means of generating traffic. If you are in to this, yes, it is definitely another way of generating traffic. If you are not, you can offer something to bloggers who like doing this. You can for example, search for sites that promotes contests and send them an email, offering an ad spot on your blog, EC credits (for entrecarders), etc. If they like what you have to offer, they will take it, mention you as one of their sponsors, and link to your site.
Feed Syndication and RSS Aggregators – Feedburner, Bloglines and RSS Directories. Publicize for free.
Commenting – Make it a point to comment on other blogs as often as you can. Leave meaningful comments and people who like it (even the owner of the blog) will most likely visit your blog. One important issue is when you leave your links in the commenting area. If the owner permits, leave always your name and URL. Do not use your blogger profile or openID. In Blogger.com, what is the use of getting a backlink to your profile anyway? You want that backlink (specially if it is a dofollow blog), to point at your site.
PPC – If you have a little money to spare, PPC is one form of promotion. Adwords, Bidvertiser, etc. are examples of this. You can create your own campaign and set your budget in accordance with your objectives.
SEO – Use of several techniques to optimize your site can be a source of massive traffic. As you all know, SEO is a whole subject in itself and for this reason, I will leave this suggestion as is. Soon, I will be posting on specific techniques on how to optimize your blogs for search engines (SEO).
These are just some suggestions on how to promote your blogs and yourself as a blogger. I am constantly trying to find other ways of effective promotion and should this happen, I will be more than happy to share it with you. If there are other effective ways you can suggest, please leave your comments here. Your opinion matters and it will be greatly appreciated, trust me on that. Thanks for reading the part 5 of Blogging For Money – Reverse order.