In our previous post of the current series we talked about 3 important tips for promoting your blog. We’ve got 3 more tips for you in this post.
4. Link building and pinging
Link building is one of the most important activities when we’re talking about blog promotion. If you seek higher page ranks in search engines, the number of back links that your blog has is essential. Search engines determine the relevance of your site by the size of the link presence that you have on the web. You should use any and every way you can to create links –social bookmarking, guest writing, commenting in social media and other blogs, etc. You can read about other strategies and creative ways of link building in the post for Link building strategies.
Pinging is a mechanism by which a blog can notify a web server that its content has been updated. This technique is used today by most blogging platforms – they ping one or more servers each time a blogger creates a new post or edits an old one. But you can ping other servers yourself so that you get the most out of pinging. You can use services like Ping-O-Matic (free service) or Pingler (paid service) which ping hundreds of sites for you. When you ping your blog in sites like these, search engines index your pages. Your blog is then included in various “recently updated” lists on the web. Pinging will help you increase your page ranking and your traffic, but be careful not to ping too often. If you do, your blog could be flagged as spam – something that you obviously should avoid.
Tip: Try different pinging services, and use more than one if you want, until you find out which one suits you best and is most effective for your blog.
Investing time every day in networking is possibly the item from our list here that will have the slowest effect on your traffic. But the effect will be the longer lasting one. Networking is not just about attracting people to visit your blog; it’s about creating relationships with other internet users. Networking means connecting with other bloggers and other people on social networking sites like LinkedIn or Twitter, e-mailing people to introduce yourself, sending useful information and suggestions to other bloggers, and a lot of other activities. Networking in this case is every kind of online communication (you just use different channels and different messages) used to create useful relationships in order to promote your blog.
- Be patient. As with any relationship in the offline world, these online relationships need time to grow. Some bloggers receive a bunch of messages every day and a lot of people try to connect to them. So don’t offend; if someone doesn’t answer you – try to improve your first message and give your recipient a reason to get to know you.
- Network with not-so-popular bloggers. Popular bloggers in your niche are approached with lots of requests to connect, and it’ll usually be difficult for you to get an answer from them. Find not-so-popular bloggers and network with them instead. It’ll be easier and they can still drive a lot of traffic to your blog. Building relationships with these bloggers can help you in writing guest blog posts, attracting their audience to your blog and increasing your audience. Of course, this is a two-way street – the other bloggers will also benefit from your blog in the same way.
- Help others. At the beginning of relationship building, other users want to see how they can benefit from networking with you. In our everyday life we have little time to waste and we prefer to waste it on more pleasant things than satisfying other users who want to use us in some way. So try to help other bloggers; send them useful information, or if you can’t – connect them with other people who can. Over time, your connections will help you too, so it’s a win-win situation. Interact with other bloggers not just to use their blogs for attracting new readers to yours, but to build relationships just like you build with your colleagues, friends or family. It’s not easy but it’s worth it
Tip: Connect with bloggers outside of your niche, not only those who are similar to you. These bloggers, who write about the topics that you write about, are your competitors in a way, or at least they may see you as direct competitor and may not be very friendly. Search for bloggers whose audiences have the same demographics as the audience that you want to attract, not those who write articles with content similar to yours.
This is a simple and really effective technique for generating traffic and backlinks, but it has to be used carefully. And it will take a lot of your time.
- Read the article and then comment. In order to generate traffic, your comments should be meaningful and they should provide some added value. Your comments will be marked as spam if you only post links to your blog article, for sure. And these days many blogs use common spam reduction plug-ins. This means that if a blogger marks your comment as spam, it’s highly possible that other blogs will treat you as a spammer as well.
- Answer questions. Do this on your blog, and on your guest blogging posts. But search for questions relevant to your field, and better than that – questions that you can give answers to in your blog. And then answer them. You can even post a link to your article if it’s appropriate. Search for questions on LinkedIn Answers, Quora, and Yahoo Answers. Your main goal should be to help people and then lead them to your blog, not only to get them to visit your website. If you answer questions only because you want more traffic, at some point you’ll be seen as a spammer.
- Forums. These are another place where you can answer questions. But you can also interact with users there and use the forum as another networking platform. Find successful forums in your niche or perhaps in something very different, but which have users with the same demographics as your readers. Include a link to your blog in your signature. Visit these forums regularly, leave useful comments and talk to people there – in a short time you’ll start to see the results.
All your commenting activity will help your networking activity – in fact these two tactics are strongly connected. You’re not only promoting your blog by commenting on other blogs and answering questions, you’re also building relationships with other bloggers and readers.
If you want to invest money to promote your blog, you can use special tools which can help you find articles related to your post and then add some comments there. Market Samurai is this kind of tool, for example. Blog directories are another type of useful online tool for blog promotion. In fact, they’re the last, the 7th, fundamental way to a successful promotion. Read more about them, as well as which blog directories you should use, in 7 fundamental ways to promote your blog successfully (part 3) coming out next week.
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