Monday, 27 September 2010

Get Your Blog Out There - Blogging tips II

Based on your results for my previous post on pre-blogging tips, a lot of it determines what/how you would proceed with your blog. Take for example, a personal blog. Personally, I don't think they are for the "masses". So I guess I won't go out of my way to publicize the blog. However, if you're blogging more for your career and for a broader knowledge base (like me), then you want to make as much noise as possible to get people on your blog and to know your brand. This part of blogging took me ages to figure out, and in many ways, I think I was just lucky...
Here are some of the ways that really helped to get my blog out there a lot easier. These tips aren't written in stone and they might not work for everyone, but doing it is not going to cost you anything, so why not give it a go?
  • Have an 'About Me/My blog' page. This should be one of the first things you do on your blog. This way, people know what to expect even before they start reading your blog. Don't make it your first blog post, or even if you do, make that post accessible and visible everywhere. In other words, there should always be a link to it from your homepage, and possible every other page, like my About Tola page.
  • In the early days, blog, a lot. Once you've chosen a niche for your blogging, blog everyday if possible. Don't write a couple of post then think, I don't have anything else to say! That's impossible. That's why its a good idea to have a number of posts ready for your blog 'launch date'. I'm not saying post everything on the same day, but pace it. It could be once a day or even twice or thrice a week, but have a schedule. This way, when people start coming to your blog, they would have more things to engage them, not just a single post. 
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Like they say, there's nothing new or hidden under the sun; your blog is not going to be the first of it's kind so you should find like-minded bloggers to interact with. No one (including bloggers) is an island, so you need to find people who will 'get' you. Sure, you're family and friends will support you, but there's only so much they can say about blog, especially if it's an academic/career blog. Find people who would stimulate your blog and from there you could actually form a blogging relationship.
  • Finding other bloggers in your field is one thing, engaging them is another! The easiest way to get another bloggers' attention is to read their blog post and drop constructive and enlightened comments. So none of those 'Great post' or 'Very interesting' one liners. You have to prove to the blogger that you actually took out time to read their post. Heck, even ask questions about the post, we bloggers like things like that, but please no stupid or obvious questions. In time, you just might draw them to your blog. Note: Do not drop your blog URL as a comment, that could and would just kill the relationship even before it started.
  • Now you need to Socialise. Another place to find like-mind bloggers and socialise is on Twitter and Facebook pages. Find their twitter account and follow them, but don't stalk! Once you have an idea of what they talk about, start off little conversations with them, please make sure they are related, not just random comments (unless they're the ones who started it) or else you could just get blacklisted. Facebook pages are a little easier; become fans and drop comments on their posts once again, in time you'll get noticed.
(Updated: Wayne from Aviation Blog also mentioned using LinkedIn Groups Directory to find more like-minded bloggers, I've used it a couple of times myself and agree it can be very handy if used right. Here's his comment.)
  • Once you've started engaging other bloggers AND maintaining your blog regularly, you can start looking for other blogs to guest post on. A good start would be with the bloggers you've been engaging with. I've done a number of guest posting myself and the result is amazing! You get more attention and traffic to your site, plus you're also building links for SEO. Sadly, I haven't had as much time as I would like to purse more guest blogging opportunities, heck, its hard keeping up with this blog sometimes!
These are some of my 'secrets' to blogging. Sorry, they aren't things you can do in a minute and be done with it, they are all continuous processes, no one ever said blogging was easy!

What are you secrets of the trade? And what do you think about mine? Would you try them or rather not? I'll love to get your take on this so please drop a comment and I'll get back to you.
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