So you took my advice from last time; you added transparent and honest content, are working one feature at a time until they shine, did some cross-linking with your fellow freelancer sites and have something to say. What’s the next step in making your blog an attention-getter?
Try these ten steps to promote your blog, make yourself more visible on the web and get yourself some exposure. As always, there are plenty of blogs who break these rules, disregard the advice or just plain don’t follow the pack. The successful blogs obviously found something that works. Until you locate your own magic bullet, these tactics will help you enormously:
10. USE KEYWORDS. Folks, if you aren’t optimizing your headlines, inserting freelance-friendly keywords as tags and giving Google every possible chance to latch on to your blog posts, you’re cheating yourself out of some traffic. No, you might not be indexed by Google very quickly in the beginning, but Google-friendly headlines, tags and blog content will help you get there.
9. SUBMIT YOUR BLOG. There are plenty of web directories, local blog link lists and search engine submission forms. Use them all.
8. INVITE GUEST BLOGGERS. Anyone you have on as a guest blogger will (or SHOULD) direct their own readers to check out the post on your blog. Guest blogging is a great way to increase visibility. Most bloggers spend time trying to get on other people’s blogs as a guest…but the reverse is an effective tool, too.
7. LINK LOVE. Tell the world about your favorite and most helpful blog reading, and drop the creators of those blogs to let them know you’ve blogged about them. Spread the love, but spread the NEWS about it, too.
6. LINK LOVE PART II. When you find blogs you are passionate about reading, go on other forums and spread the word about your favorite posts. Use Digg, Technorati, Facebook, any social media you can to spread the word…and tell your favorite bloggers about your efforts on their behalf. The most important thing to do here is to be sure to fill out the form properly and include your blog address along with your e-mail and screen name. This does a few things. First–Google may discover your blog addy through your post, some readers will click through to your blog to check YOU out based on your rabid love of other blogs, and you get some points with the blog you’re giving love to…will you get invited to be a guest blogger or get some link love in return? It all depends…the key here is you have to be genuine and not simply trolling for link love.
5. DO SOMETHING COOL. Can you donate one day’s worth of your freelance earnings to charity? Can you participate in a blog action day or awareness campaign? Draw attention to your work and support worthy causes at the same time. As always, the best participation is sincere…find something you are passionate about supporting and join in…you will get included in link lists of participating sites and make some new friends. It’s not ALL about the marketing, but the additional exposure is a great fringe benefit.
4. WRITE A PRESS RELEASE. Are you getting ready to go live? Are you doing something new? Addressing an important issue in a unique way? Participating in a group blog activity? (See #5) Write a press release and let your local paper, other bloggers and your circle of friends know what you are up to! Don’t assume nobody wants to know…get the word out.
3. DO INTERVIEWS. Who would be a really kickass interview for your blog? Can you think of two or three names other people in the freelance world (or whatever your blog happens to cover) would be interested in reading about? Reach out and contact these people and do an interview! Many established writers, bloggers, and other successful figures are eager to get more press and visibility and would happily help out a blogger by doing a Q&A. Plus, your interviewee might just drop mention of your blog (tell them when the interview is going live in advance) in a newsletter or their own blogs. That equals more attention for you.
2. USE CRAIGSLIST. Craigslist has both a writer forum and a place to put free ads. Do you want to invite guest bloggers while publicizing your site at the same time? Put out a call for entries. Do you just want to find like-minded people in the community and get to know them? You may have to wade through a lot of nonsense to find a couple of quality contacts, but networking is always a good thing, even if you decide CL isn’t your cup of tea later. You might even decide to sponsor a contest with a modest cash or merchandise prize for the winner. “Most Helpful Blog Entry” competition, anyone?
1. REVIEW OTHER BLOGS. This is a bit like link love, but an in-depth examination of blogs you like can be an excellent way to encourage those blogs not only to link back to you, but to get to know you as a colleague and friend. Here’s a good thing to know about doing blog reviews; the MOST EFFECTIVE reviews are the ones that are GOOD reviews. Why waste time telling people about what you HATE? Tell them what’s GOOD. It sounds like a totally hippie thing to say, but accentuating the positive and not wasting your energy on the negative can have a profound effect on your work.