Over the years, I have blogged, designed, and developed for many websites, and I have developed a very good knowledge of marketing on the internet. Being a blogger myself, I know how hard it is for present day bloggers to get noticed in the overly populated blogging industry of 2008.
On that note, I would like to present my methods of marketing a blog in 2008. There are hundreds of ways to market a blog these days and I am going to address a few of my favorites.
Create a Brand
Darren(link) of ProBlogger(link) recently posted an article and video about this topic. In his video he discussed how important it is to present yourself and you blog in a consistent way. Many bloggers these days think design is everything, and redesign every few months trying to keep their site new and fresh, while this can help, I feel it hurts more.
Your blog needs to be a brand, that is consistent with its topics, design, and marketing. I am currently in the process of developing a brand for this site. I have recently ordered business cards with the same logo and color scheme as the site, when it comes time to change the design of the site, I will not flip the design overnight, I will take small steps and transition my readers into the new design. Having a solid brand will help people to associate your content with a reliable source which will lead to more return viewers and increase viewership.
Technorati.com is an excellent source for new blogs trying to break into the mainstream. A large amount of my sites traffic comes from Technorati, and its directory services. One of the first things any blogger should do when marketing a new blog is to claim it on Technorati and fill out the blogs profile completely with keyword rich descriptions, and associate it with a lot of different but targeted tags. Technorati is a great way to spread the word on your new blog, and it is totally free and mostly automated once you complete the sites setup.
Digg.com can be an amazing source for new bloggers, Digg can bring hundreds of thousands of hits to your site in a matter of a day if you have “great content.” While most bloggers already know about Digg and utilize it, many of them make the mistake of spamming Digg which will do nothing but hurt you when you really have an article that is front-page worthy. Don’t post every story on your blog to Digg, post the ones that you feel people will really enjoy reading. If your story is Digg worthy, let your readers Digg it and submit it, don’t force it on them. Submitting a story to Digg then shouting it out to your thousands of Digg friends will not get you on the front-page. Put a dig button at the bottom of your post and let your readers determine if it is Digg worthy.
Delicious and Stumble Upon
Some might get angry that I am wrapping these 2 up in to one bullet point, but they are both pretty simple and can show great results. Delicious is a social bookmarking website that allows you to bookmark of flag your site and its articles, then tag them. This only works because of the large amount of people that use Delicious on a daily basis. I flag all my articles with keyword rich descriptions and tags, then I let Delicious present the link to its many users.
Stumble Upon works in the same matter, but doesn’t work as well. Stumble Upon is good for quick short burst of traffic, but normally this burst will fade away very quickly. One of the great things about Stumble Upon is the campaign section of the site, that allows you to purchase hits for as little as $0.05/hit. These hits are targeted towards your sites subject matter, and can help to draw people in, but this can get expensive
From the beginning, Twitter has been an unbelievable success. Every blogger out there should have a Twitter account. I use Twitter as a micro blogger and a discussion boards of sorts, but it can also be a great source for bloggers to broadcast that they have a new blog post to the masses. Pair Twitter with a web service called Twitter Feed and you have a great way to notify a lot of people about a new post, but as I have said before, don’t spam. Use this service tastefully or you will turn off you followers.
Trackbacks, Comments, and Forums
Return readers and RSS subscribers are the best kinds of traffic you want to see on your site. The only way you can get people to return to your site is to draw them in with your content and know that they share the same interest you are presenting on your blog. To find people that share your same interests, read/comment on other blogs & forums of the same topic and refer back you your own articles. Now, I am not telling you to spam your link all over the net, but if you happen to read an article about the Atlanta Falcons and you recently wrote and article about “Mike Vick and his dogs,” refer back to it in a tasteful way, to better the article, not to just flash it and spam it in the face of the viewers.
If you present your site in a tasteful way to people that share the same interest, you will see your RSS subscribers grow and you return traffic increase. This will also increase the number of useful comments your articles receive, which helps to keep people coming back. If people are passionate about the topic, they will voice there opinion, and return to the article to see what others have said about their comment.
Finally, and probably the most important of them all is “great content.” People will not read your blog if your content is not presented in an easily readable way, and does not interest them. Your content needs to be fresh and you need to stick to a topic. ProBlogger currently has a great discussion on going about what “great content” actually is. Below is a snippet of the article, but I very much recommend you browse over the articles comments section and read how people define “great content” and voice your opinion about the subject matter.
Blogging advice articles all seems to include the matra – “create great content”. The theory goes that if you create great content people will come to your blog, link to it, pass it on to friends, bookmark it and your blog will grow.
~ Pro Blogger
It is important to present your “great content” in a smart way too. Use keyword rich titles, and don’t forget things like tags and categories. If you write “great content” and present it in a smart way, your readers will do all the marketing you need automatically.
I hope you found this helful, I am open to your suggestions. What methods do you use to market your blog? I truly believe that if you write “great content” and present it in a smart and pleasant way, your readers will do all the work for you.