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How To Market Your Blog in 2007

What-Is-Rss-1-1Want to learn more about marketing a blog? Subscribe to ProBlogger today for free and check out our how to find readers for your blog page.

It breaks my heart to see blogs with great content languish in utter anonymity, devoid of comments, saddled with a seven-figure alexa traffic ranking, and rotting in pagerank purgatory.

Well, no more, I say!

For those bloggers out there who have decided to start their blogs, or launch their blogging careers, in 2007 I salute you — and present to you with 41 ways to kickstart your marketing efforts. Kick back, grab a cold one, and check it out. And if, in a year’s time, you’ve cracked the Technorati 1000, don’t forget where it all began! :)

Get Your Own House In Order

  1. Write well, write consistently, don’t give up: All the marketing in the world won’t help you if you have a lame-duck blog. In your search for more traffic, more promotion, and more publicity, never forget it starts with great content — and needs to continue with great content on a regular schedule. There’s no question that maintaining quality and regularity is difficult while you’re starting out, particularly if you’re time strapped … but hang in there, because if you sacrifice this, all of your marketing efforts will be for naught.
  2. Become an expert on something: Develop a keen interest, continue to read and write intelligently, and after a while, your experience will grant you this informal title; bloggers will seek you out, your reknown will grow, and it will be easier to be noticed, linked to, and get cross promoted (see below)
  3. Design is more important than you think: Your mother’s right — first impressions count, and they can count for cash money. If you’re serious about blogging, don’t stick with a n unaltered top10 WordPress theme no matter how cool you think it is. You want to separate and elevate yourself from the blogging masses, and its impossible to do if you look exactly the same as them. Easy to say, hard to do, but absolutely necessary if you don’t have the money to pay for a private ground-up theme: learn CSS and a photoeditor of choice, and learn to tweak your theme yourself, so that your blog looks professional, stands out, and screams “yes, I am worthy of your attention!”.
  4. Get Your SEO On: An entire post in and of itself — get your own domain name, host your own blogging software, enable permalinks, create keyword rich headlines, create unique title tags, enable trackback and ping functionality, ensure your blog pings pinging-services.
  5. Publish full feeds: A controversial topic. Publishing full feeds puts you at the mercy for content scrapers who will scrape your RSS feeds and repost your content, create traffic, and reap adsense bucks. On the other hand, some data suggests that it can also increase your traffic, and a few pundits swear by it. Feed subscriptions are critical; get your feeds burned through Feedburner so you can track how many are subscribing. People who subscribe to feeds rarely unsubscribe, and every single feed subscriber is a potential source of traffic to your blog.
  6. Do interviews with other bloggers: Score interviews with newsworthy individuals (who may be linked to newsworthy content), to create link worthy content, but more importantly, create news on THEIR blog to get back to YOUR blog.
  7. Break important stories: See the post on how to find news. Long story short: if you have an interest in an area, it is still possible to do this as long as you’re willing to put in the time and energy to find stuff. Benefit: being picked up by A-list blogs, mainstream news outlets and more.
  8. Have a contest: Or, have regular contests, which encourage participation and buzz in your corner of the blogosphere.
  9. Publish original research: If you’ve got the time, start with a question, try and figure it out with the data available, and “publish it”. For fun, I asked myself “How many of the Top 30 Diggers actually blog?” And I just went through their profiles and created a table of how many blogged. I then talked about what it meant, and tried to answer the question “why?” [answer: not many do blog, its because being a top 30 digger requires a huge time investment]
  10. Put out Press Releases: Particularly if you have something new, unique, or particularly important to say (such as an important story, or research)
  11. Work your long tail: A tip based on your SEO efforts; there is a free service called Hit Tail that will analyze the search terms leading to your blog traffic, and yank out high quality key words you should be focusing on that you might not immediately think of. This can help you focus your future posts as you are already getting traffic for those key words.
  12. Answer your comments, in your comments, and off blog: Of course you have enabled comments on every post, right? So, when you do get comments, answer as many as humanly possible, and if its an interesting enough issue or question, contact the poster directly for a friendly follow up. Treat every potential poster as a potential subscriber to your feed, and a future friend and contact.
  13. Spend time to create links and trackbacks: In every post spend as much time as you can to create outbound links to relevant and high linking blogs; many blogs automatically have trackbacks enabled, so in their comments section they will have a link back to your blog. If its a highly trafficked and ranked blog, this can mean traffic BACK to your blog, and it can draw notice from the author themselves — because, let’s face it, we’re all vain in a fashion, even A-listers, and we’re all interested in who is linking to us.
  14. Get Your MyBlogLog widget and work it, work it, work it (in a nice way): MyBlogLog — know it, love it, and embrace it. Since its been acquired by Yahoo, it has the potential to explode all over the blogosphere. The two sentence run down is that it offers a free widget that enables you to build a free community around your blog, and to easily see which other bloggers have been to your blog. You can “add” friends, and generate traffic, but more importantly, your own network of like-minded blogging colleagues in a way that is relatively easy and efficient. Just go easy on the unsolicited messages. I wrote a complete review over here.

Getting the Word Out

  1. Join a blog carnival: Where every blogger who joins one blogs about a topic, then each blog gets promoted. Here’s an index of blog carnivals to get you started.
  2. Join blog network: Between 9rules, b5media, and others, there is networking potential, income potential, and a link-a-palooza waiting for you (through the linkroll as every member may have to link to every other member) if you’re able to get into one. Goes back to tip #1 — don’t forget to keep up your blog.
  3. Participate in forums: Forums with tons of pages, huge lists of members, and a responsive community are an easy way to not only connect with other individuals, but an opportunity to tastefully demonstrate your expertise and a link back to your blog
  4. Participate on larger blogs in comments: Like number three, except that by participating directly in another blogger’s comments you a) get their recognition and b) get the recognition of the blogging community. Also, here’s a tip: try and be one of the first few commenters on heavily trafficked sites to get recognized — most people won’t read past the first 10-20 comments. Here’s another tip for traffic: IF (and ONLY IF) you have posted something relevant that is pursuant to the ongoing conversation and IF the blog has a commenting policy that will allow you to do so, post a link back to a post on your own site (“hey guys, I wrote about how we can solve this problem! — check out the link over here, but let me summarize it for you … “). Sometimes you’ll be surprised at how much traffic comes back.
  5. Join Blogburst: Blogburst is a type of “blog network”, which syndicates content across American newspaper’s websites, such as USA Today and Reuters. That’s right, you could get a post syndicated on Reuters. Trust me — it can happen . Highly ranked inbound links + traffic + bragging rights to your mom that your post got featured in a newspaper. Not too shabby. Also on the upside, they have a new revenue sharing scheme. The bad: read their terms of service carefully — you give up certain rights when they republish your content, and the revenue sharing works on the top100 publishers only.
  6. Participate in Darren’s contests: He has enough of them, and often publishes links to all of the participants.
  7. Submit to blog directories: So people can find your blog.
  8. Submit to Google sitemaps: Really part of “get your house in order”, but when you do, Google will be able to find you so much easier; translation — more Google juice, more traffic, higher rankings faster. Tip: for WordPress fans, this plugin is particularly useful.
  9. Submit to article directories: You might want to submit your favourite posts to article directories, where they will enable you to have a biobox / blurb with a link back to your own blog. Again, demonstrating your expertise, and moreover, the article might get picked up in a ezine or another blog, leading to more traffic and more inbound links.
  10. Get interviewed: If you’ve demonstrated your expertise, or have done something newsworthy, or reported on something newsworthy, try and get interviewed. As long as its done in a fair way (doesn’t need to be a completely puffpiece) by a site or blogger with some reknown, its more traffic for you.
  11. Get listed on a news aggregator, or blog aggregator: Like Techmeme for technews, or Tailrank for blogging news. Hint: some news aggregators will actually accept submissions if you ask them nicely; double hint: try and get listed by linking to a top story within your first 100 words.
  12. Create free stuff for yourself and give it away: Like ebooks, digests of your favourite posts, pdfs, and so on. Make sure to include a link back in the document, back to your site.
  13. Create free stuff for other people: the same, let them distribute it, get a link back.
  14. Pay for pub: Efficient means of using your cash is to buy targeted Adwords, or keywords in Yahoo’s advertising network; you could get other bloggers to write about you using PayPerPost or ReviewMe; or you purchase text link ads through Text-Link-Ads.com

Connect, Connect, Connect

  1. Make friends with other bloggers: Ridiculously simple, but its true. Benefits of “networking” (making friends) include more mentions on other blogs, more requests for interviews, more partnerships in future deals, more “adds” into their MyBlogLog network, more “ads” into someone else’s blogroll (and therefore links back to your blog) — it goes on and on.
  2. Guest blog: Offer to do it for free, and you’ll be able to demonstrate what you know to an entirely new audience. Gives you great credibility, and of course, most will allow a courtesy link back to your own blog. A free foot-in-the-door to some communities as well.
  3. Volunteer, intern, scut-monkey your way into a blogger’s graces: Maintaining a highly trafficked site is a lot of work. Offer to volunteer your time with menial behind the scenes stuff (moderating posts, acting as a bird dog for news) for free and with a smile, and you’ll get a foot-in-the-door with the blogger, their network, and future opportunities.
  4. Get hired: You never know which blog organizations are looking to hire new bloggers; again, an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, meet new bloggers, and open tons of professional “doors” … because now that you’re getting paid? You’re a “pro-blogger”, mate!
  5. Network in person: Find other local bloggers using services like Meetup, and see if they’re literally getting together to commiserate about blogging or their topic of blogging. If you’ve got the time, there’s nothing that makes an impression as actually meeting someone in person. Tip: bring a business card; Another tip: if you don’t have any, make some; yet another tip: if important people are going to be there, really — try and go. Remember, you didn’t know me before Problogger, but I met Darren in person at a function in Toronto that played a part in me writing this. Think about that.
  6. Join virtual groups: Through Yahoo Groups, Usenet, and more; then bring the conversation off the group with emails and instant messages. Be friendly, be helpful, and it will pay dividends.
  7. Cross promote: Once you’ve gotten to know people, you can kindly remind them to promote posts that you’re particularly proud of; or, vote for your submissions on Digg or your social bookmarking site of choice. Reciprocate.

Make Social Media Work For You

  1. Facebook: Its a social network that has opened its doors behind its college beginnings. Anyone can sign up. Start connecting with old friends and colleagues, like any other social network. But, unlike other social networks (as far as I know), you can import your own blog’s RSS feed, so that your connections can see what you’re blogging. Who knows where that might lead? Update: Myspace also allows this function, i believe.
  2. Join Helium: Helium is a new site that is actively looking people to head new categories of content. Think a paid “about.com” — for its authors. If you have a particular interest that isn’t yet served on Helium you might want to check it out; besides giving you cash for content, it’ll also demonstrate your authority in a topic, and you’ll be able to leverage Helium’s own traffic for your own blog through a linkback on your profile.
  3. Yahoo Answers! A similar idea; but this time, you’re answering questions that people are posting. Yahoo! is quite careful about spam, however, and including a “signature” is a dicey proposition at times. There is a fairly sophisticated registry and voting system that tries to prevent “gaming”, but given how much traffic yahoo! answers gets, AND its inclusion as a separate result area in Yahoo SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) it might be something worth looking into.
  4. Create a Squidoo Page Lens: On a given related topic to your blog; participate in the Squidoo community; Squidoo has a ton of traffic, and you could funnel traffic and tastefully include links to other relevant sites and perhaps your own blog.
  5. Use MySpace Marketing: Far beyond the confines of this post, but in a similar fashion to Squidoo, the idea is to capitalize on the HUGE amount of traffic MySpace gets (some interesting thoughts over here). Create a profile, create relevant content and links back. Start adding friends. Comment on your friends space. Join groups. Start enjoying the trickle back traffic.
  6. Get Dugg / Netscaped / Reddited / Stumbled upon: Whole articles (and sites) are written about the intricacies of socially bookmarking. Here’s a tip: focus on creating great content, make friends on these sites if they allow you to, and submit your stories judiciously. ‘Nuff said (for now).

[Yes, I excluded “create viral videos”, because I thought that extended beyond blogging and into video casting — which, I’ll admit isn’t tremendously different, but hey … gotta draw the line somewhere. ]

And at this point, we open the floor to comments, questions, cheers and jeers. If you have any further tips, share’em so we can all learn together! :)

*Tony Hung is the guest blogger for the week, and he blogs at DeepJiveInterests.com

  • Awesome tips. I have been getting a lot of traffic by hanging out on forums lateley. That and Stumbleupon. I will be going down this list and ‘checking it twice’. Take care and thanks.

  • I really needed this. I feel I have nothing but 100% high quality content on my site, yet I get barely 25 page views per day. My blog is only about 2 months old. But I post every single day and write my heart out, yet I feel not enough people are seeing all the good content I write and it will eventually be buried in the archives never to be seen again. I am definitely putting all of these to work immediately, as I desperately need the traffic! Thanks for the tips Darren!

  • Excellent ideas, I need to do some more blogging. Look forward to the extra traffic.

  • Your tips on joining social media sites are a great example of exposing your blog and writing. Once again, Sir Darren you have given us more tips that we can actually use to make our blogs better and have a better chance to make it in the blogging world. And, of course answering your readers comments gives you a way to build a better relationship with your readers while at the same time making them remember and connect with that person.

  • There are some excellent tips up there in this article, most of which take a lot of time to under go. My website is currently not able to have people post comments which annoys me as i want people to feel a part of my own community so i may have to look at getting it redesigned so that my template will allow for this, i feel some how i am missing the market by not interacting.

  • Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the tips. Lets see if I can manage to apply some of these.

  • This is great, especially for a young guy like me.

    I’m only 18 and I’m trying to make it big in the world of blogging. I will be using your advice and making a plan to do this for 30mins a day.

    Thanks a lot!

    http://www.amaturegamers.com

  • A powerful list. I teach classes in small business marketing and focus on low and no-cost Web 2.0 tools my students can easily put into practice. Thanks so much. I’ll be sure to integrate some of your ideas into my workshops.

  • Wow! There are some fresh ideas in here and i was so glad to know that their is some Darren Rowse who offers great blog contents.

    Thank you.
    Charles
    http://www.resourcesandmoney.blogspot.com

  • hello,

    When it comes to marketing your blog, there is more than one way to skin a tiger. And just in case you’re wondering, no I don’t play with tigers. They play too rough.

    Nevertheless, blog marketing is something that every blogger should give some consideration to. There are different methods for marketing your blog and almost all of them can be done at no charge. Here are the most popular ways to go about blog marketing:

    * SEO
    * Directories
    * Trackbacking
    * Leaving comments on other blogs
    * Social bookmarking
    * Article marketing
    * Guest blogging

    Guest blogging is actually gaining a foothold these days. It’s becoming very popular. But one method of blog marketing that is often overlooked is social bookmarking. Many blog marketers will bookmark their entire blog and totally forget about bookmarking each blog post. I think social bookmarking each blog post is a good idea. In some cases, you can get a hundred new visitors to your blog just by bookmarking one post. Of course, I wouldn’t expect that with every post, but if you bookmark 10 posts and get a hundred new visitors on one then you’ve done well. Don’t forget about social bookmarking.
    thanks!!

  • Thanks very-very much for the tips. I’ m sure can manage to apply some of these. Good job ! Great article thanks for the tips! This is more useful then anything else I’ve come across Thanks again!
    http://cash-4u2.blogspot.com/

  • Great to see some good solid advice here.
    This is now at the top of my bookmark list and my homework is now set for the next six months. Very many thanks Tony.

  • I think you have to have a two year commitment when you start a blog, write good content, and try to get it out there everyway you can!

  • I started blogging 2 years ago and realized how difficult it was to get new readers. It is dedication, commitment, and ofcourse deep passion for the topic of your choice.

    In addition to that bloggers could use some interesting new technologies as well. There is no harm in doing that.

    As I mentioned, after being frustrated in looking out for new readers, I and my team started to take this challenge head on. After several months of hard-work, we recently launched http://blogoxy.com which guarantees to bring new readers to the blog.

    Again, there is no subsitute for hard work. But using a smart technology does help.

  • Thank you for all those tips… now I know what are the things that I have done wrong.. I hope to become a better blogger after reading this …

  • super tips…i’m on it…I like the facebook idea with the rss feeds, could have some serious cash potential. Many thanks.

  • Wow, reading this list makes me realize how much work there is to be done. Thanks for keeping me busy for the next year.

  • Great post there are a lot of ways to start marketing it can be very overwhelming. I have been using Facebook a lot it is a good network because it has more of a personal feel.

  • Just to add on to my comment, when using facebook make sure you do not come off as creepy, know your audience and don’t get out of line.

  • This post is great, it really helped me work out what i need to do. I am new to blogging, i beleive i can write great posts, just wasn’t to sure how to get people to read them.

    Thanks

  • These are great tips. I have been blogging for a while and there are so many ways to get your stuff out there it’s scary. But the point is to get off your ass and do it!

    It’s scary to start out, but hopefully soon, you, me, everyone can help each other out to becoming a successful blogger.

    Once again, these articles are really appreciated!

  • Thank you for all the tips. It sure comes priceless and I will use the tips right away.

  • Well your blog came up on #3 when i searched in Google, so I am sure whatever you wrote in this article *does* work :) I just started a blog few days ago and I am sure I will learn a lot from this article. TYVM.

  • Truly awesome content and information!! Thanks a lot!

  • wow I have so much to do. People have told me they really enjoy the content but Im still stuck with 7 figure rankings.

  • Problogger does not dry up in educating the newbies. And the content had always been rich and well written.

    Thanks for preparing this extensive list Darren and team. Kudos to you guys.

  • I love your blog. it was yesterday i got to know about your blog and it makes me come every day, so much of tips and points to every bloggers to develop thier blog. Thanx man on behalf of all the bloggers :)

  • Thanks for preparing this extensive list Darren and team. Kudos to you guys.

  • This blog is really nice and informative. We are pleased to know this blog is really helping people.
    The explanation given is really comprehensive and informative. I am feeling happy to comment on this blog . I think this is useful information for blog users-How does the ordinary investor fit into the equation comprising of global factors coupled with manipulation in the stock markets?
    1. Invest for the long-term. If you have an investment horizon of 5-10 years and are invested in the right sectors, chances are that you will gain
    2. Invest money that you can afford to lose. In other words, do not put your entire life savings in the markets.
    3. Study the market thoroughly before you invest
    4. Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Hence, diversify your portfolio

  • This was great information, all in one place. I will implement what i have learned and be back for more.

    Thanks

  • Very powerful post with tons of great information. Really enjoyed reading this blog. Thank you

  • I like those tips. One least thing. Add a widget or unique tool into your blog – It certainly improve your traffic.

  • Hey Tony, reading you for the first time. It was a mind blowing post. I am definitely going to use the tactics to promote my blog. Thanks a lot.

    Regards
    Laksh
    http://makemoneyonline-withme.blogspot.com/

  • Well written and well crafted and more influential and well versed on the truths about blogging and the different relationships that need to be in place if you are to be successful than any other blog or book for that matter than I have found since 2006. Well done – you just earned another subscriber!

  • Awesome post, keep em coming.

  • I’m absolutely new to this whole “blogging thing” although I’ve got a computer techie background. I have to say that you have done an outstanding job with your blog and I throughly enjoy your writing style as well as its content very much.

    And as far as the post is concerned as a newbie much of what you shared I believe once I begin to implement it will prove very valuable to my blog’s traffic and overall success.

  • amazingly useful post! I will definitely be coming back to this for more tips. Thanks!

  • Ok ok is is a great post though, but is it alittle outdated now? You got a 2009 version on the horsizon maybe.

  • Wow, reading this list makes me realize how much work there is to be done. Thanks for keeping me busy for the next year.

  • It says how to market your blog in 2007 but I am reading this post in 2009 and it is just as fresh. I really like this post and I realized that really there is a lot of work to be done and I hope I can get some of them done by the end of March on my birthday.
    ———————————————————
    Mohammad Afaq
    Free Website Traffic

  • Cheers for the great post. There’s heaps of information there. Though still most of the techniques can be done in 2009. If you master not even half of these methods you would be sure to have a great surge of traffic over the next few months!

  • Hey, thanks for the great information about blogging! I don’t do much with blogging as it is, I have a few different methods of getting traffic via the search engines, but have recently begun a pretty strong blog campaign.

    Anyhow, thanks for the tips!

    Sean

  • Great Post, it seems building traffic can be a two step ongoing proccess.

    1. Build high quality content
    2. Connect with others and build links

    Great as always.

    PS. It appears you have a broken link on the bottom of your page. Where you say “Get Dugg / Netscaped / Reddited / Stumbled upon: Whole articles (and sites)”

    “Sites” was suppose to be a link, but didn’t go anywhere. Just thought you might Like to Know.

    Good luck and keep wrighting those great posts.

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips, with over 16000 professional free recipes appetizers, beverages, breakfast, spreads.

  • Great post.in 2009, use social bookmarking, More great tips at http://www.etopedia.com

  • I have no idea how to get traffic to my blog… It doesn’t matter how much I read up on it, it’s still the same. But then again, creating traffic takes time anyway, right? :)

    Thanks for a good post to help me on the way, Problogger!

  • Hi,
    You post is extremely good and have a lot of information. Marketing the blog is very much essential to increase the blog traffic. When people market their blogs they usually do so online. If you go to work or meet lot of new people on a daily basis you should share your blog with them if you feel it will benefit them. Every time you go to a conference or a meet up, you should tell people about your blog. I call it offline marketing of blog.

  • thanks for this long post and brief description on getting traffic..

    thanks again..

  • Well, I am glad that I saw found this article. I must admit that I never thought that there were so many ways available to market a blog.

    I started blogging a few months back and your article is a great resource for people like me.

    Thanks again for sharing this article and I will have people linked to your article from my blog (http://www.makeawebsiteyourself.com). Keep on writting. :)
    .

  • Andrew

    What is the benefit of hosting the blog on your own server vs. blogspot.com or wordpress.com?