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I’m definitely not an expert on attracting people to my blog, as evidenced by the slow growth of my feed subscription count. But that fact won’t stop me from adding my best practices on blog promotion to the blogosphere. Here goes:
1. More of Less is Better than Less of More. The most popular blogs seem to be the ones that have at least one post a day and often three to five posts a day. For whatever reason, people like a lot of short posts rather than a few long posts. Some blogs do nothing more than aggregating news stories from other blogs, but because they post so frequently, they get good readership. Think of it like the difference between USA Today and Foreign Affairs – simple and fluffy versus complex and insightful. Unfortunately, complexity doesn’t sell.
2. Comment Ass Kissing. Flattery works. Start writing frequent comments on popular bloggers‘ sites. Eventually they’ll start to link to you and mention you in posts, giving you ‘credibility by association.’ Granted, this is outright brown nosing (something which I am too lazy to do myself), but that’s how you move up in this world, right? For examples of “comment ass kissing” check out Matt Cutts‘ blog
3. Get in BlogRolls. Ask other bloggers to add you to their blogrolls. This technique works well when preceded by technique #2 above.
4. Promote Thyself. Whenever you communicate with someone, mention your blog. In your emails, on your LinkedIn profile, business cards, speeches, dinner conversations, court appearances . . . just keep pushing people to start reading!
5. Comment Ass Kissing, Part Two. When people write comments on your blog, if you write back quickly, they are likely to feel that they are participating in the blog and that you care about their thoughts. Again, something I should do more often.
6. Be A Guest. Write guest columns for more popular blogs, and make sure to reference your blog in the posts. Usually this won’t work on a personal blog (such as Blogation, though I have had guest writers a few times), but it does work on a blog network, like Search Marketing Standard, Search Engine Watch, ClickZ, etc.
7. Blog SEO. If possible create unique meta-tags for every blog. Add tags (see examples below).
8. Blog SEM. Try promoting your blog on Google by buying targeted keywords. Obviously you don’t want to break the bank, but if you can get 100 new visitors a month for $25, maybe it is worth it.
9. Blog Social Media. Submit your blog to Sphinn, Digg, StumbleUpon, and whatever other social media site you can find. Encourage your friends to vote for your blog. If you can make it into the heavy rotation – even for one day – on one of these sites, that can drive a huge influx of new visitors.
10. Find a Niche. Al Reis said in the “22 Immutable Laws of Branding”, ‘if you can’t be #1 in a category, create a category you can be #1 in.’ You aren’t going to become the #1 American Idol blogger, but could you become the #1 Paula Abdul Fashion Evaluation blog? Sure (um, if you want to). Obviously, you need to be passionate about whatever you are writing about, but the more you can focus your content, the better.
11. Write Link Bait. Create headlines and content that encourage others to write response posts. Controversy sells. How-to articles are also good link bait candidates. For example, if you wrote something entitled “11 Ways to Promote Your Blog” that could work well.
Those are all the secrets I have. As you can see, I don’t really apply most of them on a regular basis. But hey, write me a comment on this post – I promise to write back . . . eventually.