Saturday, October 02, 2004

Blogging 301: Marketing

Welcome back class. Good to see you again. Last time we talked about syndicating your blog. Are you doing it yet? Let me know if you are!

Today we're going to talk about marketing your blog...or letting people know you have a blog and getting them to come read it. To be honest, this was one of the hurdles I wanted to cross early because I just wasn't sure how you'd get people to come. Any why would they? And if they aren't coming, then why invest the time into creating it?

Well, one answer is that some people blog just to do it and don't care if people come or not. That's fine. You've got enough for your Associates degree after taking Blogging 101, 102, 201, and 202. If you want your Bachelors of Blogging in the Orangejack School of Blogging, you're going to learn about marketing.

So the question is: "Now that I have a blog, how do I get people to come?". There are many answers...

1. Write content that people want to read. Bottom line is if you don't write what people are interested in, they won't come back. Do you keep visiting websites that don't interest you?

2. Keep content fresh and updated. Again, do you keep going back to blogs or websites that never tell you anything new?

Now what if you're doing these two things? Does that mean people will come? Not necessarily. You have to advertise your blog!

3. The easiest way to start getting people to come is to tell your friends and family. Email them and tell them. Add a link to the signature to your email that has the URL to your blog. If they like it, they'll tell others. The word is getting out now!

4. Another effective way to drive traffic to your blog is to visit other blogs you like and leave comments. Don't leave comments like "Hey! Love your blog! Come see mine!" You do that on mine and I'll delete it. Instead, contribute to the blog. Make comments that encourage the conversation. If you have something to say, say it. When you do, usually you can leave your URL in the settings of the comment so people can come check it out. Be reasonable. Don't be desperate.

5. Join or get listed in groups that list blogs. I'm listed in the Blog Search Engine, part of the Blogdom of God, the League of Reformed Bloggers, and The Truth Laid Bear ecosystem. In each case, I asked to be listed and they listed me. Find groups your blog naturally belongs to and then sign up!

6. Ping. Pinging is a funny word but don't worry about it. There are sites that will list blogs that have been updated. How do they know it's been updated? They received a ping from the blog that was updated. Blogger will ping some (look in the settings under "Publishing"). Another great resource is to use Ping-O-Matic. They will ping most of the sites for you when you visit their site.

7. Syndicate. If you syndicate, more people will remember to check out your blog and begin to follow it. Maybe then they'll even link to you! That's when your marketing really pays off. But remember, they won't come if there's nothing interesting for them to read!

UPDATE: I posted more on this here.

Next time we'll look at measuring how well your marketing worked!

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