A colleague of mine recently spoke to me about an email he had received from a subscriber which spoke of frustration of not being able to increase the number of visitor’s to her( the subscriber’s) site.

When my colleague asked her what she had been doing to promote her site, here was the response:

 

“I have submitted my blog to blog directories and regularly participate on Twitter, and a few jewelry forums’ I really don’t know what more I can do”.

This email then, is the inspiration behind the post I hope you are about to read.  Once you’re done with reading it, get promoting your blog!

 

 

 

1. Upload some quality content on your blog

 

An easy mistake to make is to start promoting your blog before your content has been uploaded. The consequence to this is that the visitors who have been attracted enough by your initial promotion will be disappointed with what amounts to sparse content. This could also damage your reputation and those visitors might not come back again! So, the first thing to do is to make sure you have as much content as possible. There is no magic number of posts you need to have that I am aware of, however at least a dozen posts is a good rule of thumb to work with before your promotional efforts begin in earnest.

A good tip is to find blogs in your niche and have a look at topics that are trending. How can you offer added value to your own blog? To find blogs in your niche visit any of the following

 

2. Submit your blog to relevant do follow blog directories

 

Although this will not bring you an influx of visitors, it will certainly make a difference, albeit in the long term. Do follow blog directories by definition do follow their links, which in turn will help your SEO.

How do you know which directories to register with? Most people- myself included, started with Tehnorati. Technorati is the largest blog directory and tracker on the net. It also monitors any mentions that your blog receives on other blogs.

Below are a few of a very long list of blog directories you could potentially submit your blog to.  Submit also to social bookmarking sites. To make the process simpler you may want to try using the Social Marker tool.

 

 

A few Blog Directories

 

http://www.dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs

http://www.blogcatalog.com/

http://blogs.botw.org

http://www.blog-search.com

http://www.britblog.com


 

 

Social Marker is a free tool that can help you spread your link on 50 of the best social bookmarking sites quickly it can help you spread a link on 50 of the best social bookmarking sites in fewer than 15 minutes. The advantages of using Social Marker include

  •                   More backlinks.
  •                  An increase in your traffic.
  •                 Your link gets indexed by Google in a matter of minutes

Social Marker runs smoothly on all major web browsers, but Firefox is the preferred browser.



3. Blog commenting

 

For this tactic to work, consistency and quantity pays. This means commenting on a large number of blogs (up to 15) and ideally, every day. When it works, you can get significant traffic – I left a fairly controversial comment on a blog about Page Rank and received a large spike in my traffic as a result.

Blog commenting is useful because most blogs will allow you to attach a URL to your name. So, if you leave a comment, and someone clicks on your name, they will be taken to your website. The comments should be as specific and well thought through. It is your opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and your know how. Please avoid comments such as ‘Great post!”

To make your blog commenting searches easier you can subscribe to a service such as BackType which I use. BackType is a free service that allows you to receive notification whenever your designated search terms are mentioned in a blog post. You can opt to have these notifications e-mailed to you immediately or in daily/weekly format. So if you have written an e-book on Homeopathy, you would use Homeopathy as your search term.

Social Mention is also a good resource. Social Mention is in effect a search engine that aggregates content from blogs and blog comments, as well as social media services such as Twitter and Digg. If you use the search engine, you can obtain real time feedback. Or you can subscribe to receive a daily e-mail with blog posts featuring your targeted phrase.

Twilert is also a good way to find blog comment opportunities. Twilert delivers Twitter posts based on the keywords you choose.

 

4. Guest blogging

 

Guest blogging is simply the practice of writing an article for someone else’s website. It is a common practice and an effective one. There are several benefits to doing this, for example guest blogging enables you to:

  • Demonstrate your expertise
  • Retain a permanent position on the host blog, which means residual traffic for as long as that blog exists
  • Possibly gain rank in Google. If your guest post is indexed according to the main key phrase you use in the article, your post could generate a log of traffic.

 

The caveat to this is that even though there are millions upon millions of blog posts out there, a very significant number are not maintained beyond a few months, if that. Also, your blog post may not be accepted.

The first place to explore for your guest post submission is the blog that gave you the inspiration to write a blog post. Look at their blogs menu   and their About Us page if they have one. Sometimes you will see a call for guest bloggers. If not, and you are very keen to be accepted as a guest blogger, here is what you can do:

  1. Read through previously posts to get a feel for the owner’s style and philosophies. Note how what has been written applies to your business
  2. Write down a few things you appreciated about the blog. Is there a particular post that you really enjoyed? Why?
  3. Finally, email the owner of the blog.  An example could look like this:

 

 

 

Dear Michael,

I’m Kelly Boden-Smith and I am a regular reader of your blog. I read a recent post on your blog dated xxxx about the advantages of guest blogging which I have commented on. I have been advocating guest blogging for some time now so I naturally recommended it.

I have written an e-book on the do’s and don’ts of Guest Blogging which includes a directory of Guest Posting sites which I consider to be of first class quality; naturally yours is on the list. The book will I hope enable you to receive more high quality posts form more visitors. Here is the download link:

http://www.hereistheeboook.com

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail.

Kind regards, Kelly.

 

. 

To find out which blogs accept guest posts, use some advanced Google searches such as any of these:

 

“guest bloggers wanted” YOUR KEYWORD

Guest bloggers wanted YOUR KEYWORD

“guest blogger” YOUR KEYWORD

“guest post” YOUR KEYWORD

“guest posts” YOUR KEYWORD

YOUR KEYWORD inurl:guest post

 

So a search might look like this

Guest bloggers wanted natural remedies

“guest bloggers wanted! Natural treatments

Natural remedies inurl: guest post

 

Including certain search phrases in quotation marks makes sure that Google serves you a list of pages with that exact phrase. If you do not include the quotes you my be served up posts that contain the words ‘guest’, ‘bloggers’ but not ‘guest bloggers’ together as a phrase. It is also a good idea to use broad-based search terms in the first instance, then narrow down your search.

That said, here are some guest-blogging sites you could try:

Here are some guest-blogging sites you could try

  • Myblogguest.com
  • Kikolani.com
  • Basicblogtips.com
  • Bizchicksblog.com
  • Findallanswers.com
  • Weblogbetter.com
  • Comluv.com

 

 

5. Submit your articles directly to authority sites.

A popular site to submit your article to is EzineArticles.com, although this appears to be losing in popularity it is still widely used. Ideally you should find targeted websites you can directly submit your articles to. This way you can be more confident that your articles are going to the sites where your potential customers are instead of generic article directories.

The disadvantage of this approach is this: when you submit your articles to a site like EzineArticles.com, you need only write one article which may then get used on several different websites. However, when you are submitting to several sites you usually have to write a new article for each one.  Here is a tip to help you avoid running into writers block.

To find sites where you can submit your article sot here are some search phrases you can use:

 article submission YOUR KEYOWRD HERE

“articles wanted”YOUR KEYWORD HERE

“YOUR KEYWOR HERE” inurl:submit article

 

6. Use Sponsored Reviews

The idea here is that you pay to have your website or blog reviewed. In my view this is a good way to kick start your website as it will bring you backlinks, traffic and hopefully subscribers. You are betting on the quality of your content. It is important to ask for a ‘warts and all’ review to keep it real. You can choose how much you pay but bear in mind that there is usually a strong correlation between the price you are prepared to pay and the quality of the review you receive.  A good place to start is sponsoredreviews.com.

 

7 Advertise with Google AdWords or StumbleUpon Ads

These are both very different and it is very important to read the information on the respective sites to learn more. As with any advertising, you are betting on the quality of your content so make sure it is good enough to enable a significant proportion of your first time visitors to take up your call to action.

StumbleUpon Ads: These are increasingly gaining in popularity. With  stumbleuponads   your website is delivered to  “Stumblers”.  The cost per page delivered is quite low which makes it a good choice for small businesses. The quality of stumblers is usually quite high too so hopefully they will appreciate the hard work that has gone into your site.

 

As with StumbleUpon ads, there is no magic formula for doing well with Google Adwords however there are ways to increase your chances of doing well. The important thing is to be willing to test different options or have different ad groups based on your keywords. Tracking your success is also fairly straightforward; if you have a WordPress blog you can install the Google Website Optimizer for WordPress  plugin.  With that installed in the usual way, go to the page containing whatever you have decided to track and tick the ‘Enable the Google Website Optimizer support for this page/post”, then paste the JavaScript code into the Conversion Script field, leaving the other two blank. Don’t forget to save the page!

Suggested reading www.payperclicksearchmarketing.com  Glen Livingston’s pay-per-click marketing blog is full of excellent content and a great way to begin your Google Advertising!

 

 

8. Promote your best articles

 

Here is what I did to publicise both my articles and my blog:

  • Emailed everyone in my network to let them know about the blog. I mean everyone.
  • Asked friends to submit my articles to bookmarking sites eg StumbleUpon

 

         Automated my blog posts to Twitter and Facebook

 

That’s it! What strategies have you found effective in promoting your blog? Email us through our contact form- we’d love to hear.

Image credit: By Stephskimo www.littlecolombiaobservationist.com

 

 

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Ihubbusiness is an information hub for small businesses who wish to learn about internet marketing. The site was founded by Lola Bailey in 2010. Lola is a member of the Institute of Digital Marketing and has over 20 years sales and marketing experience. She is also a full-time copywriter at www.write-upcommunications.co.uk, a copywriter consultancy which she founded. Email: editor@ihubbusiness.co.uk

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