A lof of us create good blogs, maintain it regularly with good content and may be great at writing as well. But many times, these efforts go wasted, as we don’t necessarily get a good number of readers. Here are a number of basic tips related to increasing the ‘presence’ of your blog on the Internet as well as make it easier to be spotted by search engines and surfers.
Organise your content
Manytimes once the article is written, we tend to post it in a hurry without caring about the related parameters much. Having your posts created under multiple relevant categories (the right ones), carefully chosen tags, a great title that has some catchy keywords etc are going to work wonders for you in the background. This information helps pingback and search engines to effectively rank your blog. If you use wordpress like blog engines, make sure that you enable pingback features when you post. Also post slug based article links (rather than id based or date-time based ones) will help well in search.
Make sure that you use an automatic sitemap creation plugin for your visual sitemap as well as an XML sitemap engine. The former will create good sitemap link on your blog but that latter will optimise and update it for search engines. If both are taken care of by one single sitemap creation plugin, go for it.
Syndicate your blog
Your blog should be syndicated for RSS/Atom readers to be able to read your content. Also make use of feedburner like services to enable your blog reading by other webservices such as myYahoo. You could also provide the blog updates via email or even better by RSS-email services. Getting your blog by email will ‘remind’ parting readers to come back as patrons.
Comment and answer on other sites
Post your comments and opinions on sites such as Yahoo Answers, high traffic websites and most importantly those forums and blogs which is related to your blog’s topic. When you sign up with such forums make sure that your blog address is used in the sign up process. This will definitely attract a lot of unexpected visitors to your blog and also search engines will help you a lot if the number of backlinks (links to your site from others) are more.
Submit your blog to free open directory projects such as DMOZ. Most of the search engines crawl these directories regularly and rank the entire set of pages out there. Also make use of blog directories such as Blog Catalog at least until a time you have enough readers.
Search engine submission
Try the free search engine submission services such as Submit Express to submit your blog to multiple search engines. Beware of the email spam and hence you might want to use a fake or temporary email address to sign up with them.
Optimize your keywords, blog title and blog description
Manytimes we use different themes and templates to change the appearance of our blogs. Each time you do so, please make sure that the desired META keywords (Use view page source) and blog title are utilised by these themes. If they are changed use the theme/template options or even change their code to use your best keywords.
Create an eco-system with your fellow bloggers/readers
Make sure that you reply to comments on your blogs promptly and visit your commentators’ blogs once in a while and comment there as well. Blog patronage is all about having an eco-system of readers/writers with similar views. Your readers and commentators are your customers and ‘customer is king’. So respect them.
Use all possible means – friends, email contacts, word of mouth etc – to market your blog. Create accounts on all possible social networking sites and use your blog address to sign up. Use the blog URL in your signature for forum posts as well as email. Create targets for every day on how many places you are going to post and make your blog visible and work along that.
There are other advanced topics related to Search Engine Optmisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) that I promise to write about sometime later.