Whether the blog has been around for ages or is brand new, there are a number of ways to increase its exposure. Taking the time to go through each step will increase blog readership and provide a solid return on investment for only a few hours of work.
List Social Media Directories to Submit to for More Visibility
There are two steps involved in submitting to social media directories. The first is getting the blog listed in social media directories. The second step is getting people to vote on your content, once it is listed in the directories, so that more people see it. The more popular the blog is on social media directories, the higher it appears on their pages. First, register the blog at the following sites:
– Best of the Web Blogs Directory: Blogs.botw.org/
– The Open Directory Project/DMOZ (for search engine optimization): Dmoz.org
– PitchEngine.com (to get press releases socially submitted)
– Article marketing sites (to repurpose your blog’s content into articles for more visibility)
– Industry or subject-area directories (Conduct a web search for these.)
– Note Appropriate Social Bookmarking Sites to Increase Traffic
– Instead of using the bookmark tab on browser bars, now web users use social bookmarking to save, store, organize, and share links. This is an opportunity for bloggers to gain visibility and get people to vote on their blog. The top vertical search engine (with a social media emphasis) indexes more than 1.5 million blog posts in real time.
– Digg.com: Submit blog posts to be voted on or “dug” by others. If enough “diggs” are received for a post, it will be on Digg’s front page for millions of viewers to read.
– Reddit.com works the same way as Digg.
Be sure to consider using some of the social media sites for content ideas and get your blog listed (when you can) on the following sites:
Twitter Digg.com Reddit.com Mixx.com Technorati.com StumbleUpon.com Yahoo! Buzz: http://buzz.yahoo.com Google Buzz: http://www.google.com/buzz TweetMeme.com Delicious.com Kaboodle.com Ma.gnolia BlinkList.com coRank.com Slashdot.org Propeller.com Folkd.com Netvouz.com Mister-Wong.com
Additional Ways to Increase Traffic to the Blog
The following are additional ways to drive traffic to your blog:
– Add social media widgets to the blog sidebar right above the “Categories” for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and LinkedIn.
– Add RSS feed and e-mail sign-up widgets to the blog. This will capture fans and keep readership up, as RSS feeds automatically send new posts to opt-in recipients. Some blog readers do not recognize what an RSS widget does, so an e-mail sign-up box option can increase responses.
– Optimize your Twitter background. Have a brand-centric design with contact information.
– Optimizing the Twitter account to be more about the blog writer and less about the organization will boost followers.
– Create a Facebook page for your organization (http://www.facebook.com/ pages/create.php). Get other Facebook pages to promote the blog—use your personal connections. A Facebook fan page will boost awareness and drive traffic to the blog. The blog can automatically feed into Facebook for exposure.
– Create a YouTube account (http://www.youtube.com/create_account). This account can link back to the blog and will increase search engine optimization if it is set up with search-rich phrases in the account description. Create a Flickr.com account to show photos that support your mission Create a LinkedIn company profile (http://www.linkedin.com/company/ linkedin).
– Use Twitterfeed.com to feed your blog to a Twitter account.
– Use the NetworkedBlogs.com application to import the blog to your Facebook fan page.
– Add a Retweet button to the blog (http://tweetmeme.com/about/ retweet_button).
– Use HootSuite.com to manage multiple social media accounts at once.
– If a team is managing one or more Twitter accounts, use CoTweet.com to provide tweet assignments, notes, and on-duty status.
– Add share buttons to each blog post using AddThis or AddToAny so readers can share the blog posts (www.addthis.com/ or www.addtoany .com/).
– Make sure that all the links on the blog and in the blog sidebar open in a new window so your blog still stays open to readers.
– Add a “tag cloud,” which is a cloud of phrases that shows the most popular tags and links to blog categories for optimal blog usability. Try to give each blog post three to four tags (make sure tags relate to the blog post).
– Be strategic with category titles on the blog and links within posts (that link to old posts or other organization pages) using relevant keywords and phrases such as:
– Your organization’s name
– Name(s) of top blogger(s)
– Keywords related to your products or services
– Keywords related to your larger mission
– Keywords related to the community you serve
– Try to add three to four categories to each blog post when labeling them (make sure categories relate to the blog post).
– Every site that is listed under “Sites I Like” or “What I’m Reading” are sites that you can also ask the site owner to link back to you.
– Ask to interview other influencers in the field. Hopefully they will blog about it, tweet it, add it to LinkedIn, and more. Remember, relationships are everything on the social web.
– Have a link to your blog in e-mail signatures to increase exposure and traffic.
– Have fun! Social media helps you communicate, collaborate, and entertain.
– Concentrating on these three foci will ensure success. There has to be a reason for readers to come back. Make the content value-rich, helpful, educational, and enjoyable to read.