Sunday, November 06, 2005

High impact blogging

There are a lot of blogs out there - how do you stand out? Some people, no doubt, are making money from Google Adwords et al., so how to be one of them?

Well, the first lesson, as always is, if you want something from people, you've got to give them something they want. Think hard about the content of your site - is it useful for the viewer? So far, so trivial.

The second obvious point is that you need to give people a chance to find your site. That's what this article is about - a basic outline of how I'm currently trying to promote my blog. [1]

The first rule in the modern world is that you need to include tags as you're writing the blog. Think of these as the analogues of keywords in the old world of simple, single html pages. I suspect that some blogging engines have a separate field for entering tags - can anyone confirm this?

You can further promote your blog by offering helpful advice in forums related to your blog subject, and have your blog url in your signature. This also ensures that web crawlers can find your blog. A similar and similarly important strategy is to link to other relevant blogs and websites from your blog. This gets you listed on "what links here" lists! Perversely, linking to popular blogs may just get you more hits, although they may also be less specific.

You'll also want to open an account on each of the online newsfeed aggregator and social bookmarking sites listed in my previous post, and add your blog or even, in the latter case, individual blog posts with appropriate tags. Especially that last strategy ensure that your blog entries will come up when people search for appropriate combinations of tags.

Technorati also allows you to alert them to new blog posts on your claimed blogs by "pinging" them [2]. I'd really like to see some data on the effectiveness of this.

I'll just close by saying that I am aware of ways to abuse this system, but will refrain from expanding on them here. Keep it fun for everyone - your gains, if any, would be ephemeral!

[1] Not to give the wrong impression - my actual objective is to attract the right sorts of viewers to my site and make an impact with my writing; I don't yet care about the advertising revenue - as you'll be able to tell from the absence, at the time of this writing, of any advertising on the site!

[2] Ping originally is a utility that allows you to test if you can reach a given server (technically, the question actually is whether the response packets make it back to you; the response is "pong").

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