Welcome to day seven of the Starting a Great Blog tutorial series! Today, the topic is Spreading the Word. It’s less fun to write zillions of posts for your blog if no one’s reading them, so you’ll probably want to pull some extra users in. How? Keep reading.
Techno-what? Technorati is biggest blog search engine thing. It’s more than a search engine. Anyway, if you head over to Technorati and search the name of your WordPress blog, I bet it’s there (assuming you have a unique name…like you should). Even if your blog is only a day old, Technorati has indexed it. How? WordPress automatically pings Technorati, and a few other sites, whenever you post. Cool or what? They know when you do a new post immediately.
I highly recommend that you register and get a Technorati account. Why? You can claim your blog, and edit some settings about how it’s displayed. Go ahead and register now, it won’t take long (just five minutes or so).
So, you’ve got a Technorati account? Then head over to the Claim a Blog page. Put your blog’s URL in the field and hit “Begin claim”. On the following page, choose the Quick Claim option. When prompted, supply your WordPress username and password (don’t worry, they don’t store it, the system just checks to see if they’re correct to verify it’s your blog).
On the next page, you can enter a description and some tags for your blog. The description appears beneath your blog in Technorati search results, and the tags help people find it. Scroll down and hit the “Save blog info” button. Now Technorati will list you as the owner of the blog.
Technorati is a great blog search engine and more. If you get into Technorati (play around with it for a couple weeks), they offer some cool tools. Technorati can also help you keep track of your favorite blogs (personally, I use RSS for that).
Here are a couple things more you should know about Technorati:
- It uses your blog’s categories as tags on their end, to help users find your posts.
- Blog ranking (your Technorati Authority) is based off number of links, and the number of people adding your blog to their Technorati favorites.
- If you add a profile photo to your Technorati account, you get more people noticing your posts, because the photo jumps out at them among the lack of photos next to other peoples’ posts.
Well, that’s all you really need to know about Technorati. By all means, experiment with Technorati more if you want.
Trackbacks and Pingbacks
Okay, you’ve claimed your blog in Technorati. That’s not going to seriously increase your visitor count, however. You didn’t think it was that easy did you?
Now, you must master the art of Trackback. What’s trackback? Take a look at the Wikipedia page. You can view a tutorial on trackbacks and pingbacks here. I’m not going to walk you through the process of sending a Trackback/Pingback, you aforementioned tutorial for that.
Pingbacks are especially cool. You’ll probably mention other blogs’ posts from time to time, linking to them so your readers can get there better. If the option is active on both blogs, you blog will send a pingback to the other blog. What’s so great about that? When the other blog receives the pingback, it automatically adds a link back to your post. The other blog’s readers see the link, and they may click through and read your post.
Be warned, that bloggers do not like trackback spam. Don’t trackback tons of blogs just to pull new users in. You must have a legitimate reason to send the trackback. That’s why pingbacks are theoretically better. You have to link to the other blog to send a pingback.
That said, they’re a great way to get more readership. Just don’t worry about them. Activate pingbacks on your blog, and blog away. All the pinging will happen without any intervention from you. Just don’t worry about it. Sometimes you’ll find a blog that isn’t pingback compatible, but you want to pingback them. All you do is trackback them, but still you should link to the other blog in your post.
If your a blogger, you should read other people’s blogs. If you’re blogging, you probably already read several blogs. Often, you’ll find a blog post simlar to/related to yours. If your post has something theirs doesn’t, go ahead and post a comment with a link. However, do NOT just post the link. That’s considered spamming by a lot of bloggers. Comment on the other blog’s post first. Say what you like or don’t like about it, just a few sentences, you can handle it. Then you mention that you wrote a similar post, and supply the URL for those who want to check it out. Easy. Just remember not to spam people’s blogs.
Yes, forums are a viable way to increase your blog’s traffic. All you need to do is find a forum or two that you like (on a similar topic as your blog, if possible). Add your blog’s URL in your signature, along with a cool/funny image (assuming the forum rules permit). Then become a regular user. People will wonder what you have on your blog if they see you on the forum a bit.
Another good forum-related traffic-building method is to write large forum posts about, and reference posts from your blog, so forum users click through for more info. Notice how I link to other blogs (and Wikipedia) in my blog posts? Do something sort of like that, but with old posts from your blog.
This one’s harder: Exchange links with other bloggers. Add a blog to your blog’s blogroll. If you get to know the other blogger well (try talking to them through email), you could ask if they want to link back eventually. They’ll be more a lot likely to comply if you’ve been in contact with them for awhile than if your some random blogger. Personally, I say put your favorite blogs in your blogroll anyway. Some bloggers will link back if they like your blog. A blog can’t link to everyone, so don’t get your hopes up though.
That’s it for today. Come back tomorrow for the next installment in this tutorial series.