Promoting Your Blog

Driving web traffic to your blog is a much sought-after goal, but today's bloggers have far more options than even a year ago.

Social media sites like Twitter.com, Facebook.com, and MySpace.com allow bloggers to alert friends, family, and other followers to recent blog posts, and to provide direct links to them.

Search Engine Directories

There are also countless search engine directories that allow you to add your blog's link free-of-charge. These directories help potential visitors learn about your site based on your blog's content. There are also service providers that will submit your blog's link to hundreds, if not thousands, of search engine directories for a nominal fee.

Using Your Byline

If you write for publication, your byline can serve as a tool to promote your blog. This is especially effective for work that is published on the web, as most online sites will make the link to your blog “live.” A live link means that a reader can click on your blog address in your byline and be taken directly to your site. It's much more efficient than requiring the reader to manually type your blog address into the browser bar.

Some companies use blogs to promote a product, service, or brand. The entries may be written by a company employee or by a paid freelance blogger. This is often referred to as “corporate blogging.”

While you're getting used to the word “blogging,” you might as well learn some of the associated terminology. Here are some of the more common blog-related words and phrases you'll hear:

  • RSS: Short for “Really Simple Syndication” and “Rich Site Summary,” an RSS allows blog visitors to receive alerts when a favorite blog is updated.

  • Podcast: Essentially an online radio show, these audio recordings can be listened to on a computer or downloaded onto an MP3 player.

  • Flickr: An online photo storage site.

  • Ping: (Packet Internet Grouper) A notification to a blogger that their blog is being referenced on another blog. Sometimes called a “track-back,” pings are displayed in the comments section of a blog.

  • Dashboard: The screen hosting a blog's controls and tools.

  • Technorati: The leading blog search engine that indexes posts from around the blogosphere in real time.

  • Search engine: A program (such as Google) used to retrieve information from indexed documents, blogs, websites and networked systems.

  • Guestbook: An online ledger in which visitors to your blog can indicate that they've stopped by.

  • SEO: Stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to the process of improving your search engine ranking.

  • Page rank: A measurement of where a blog or website shows up in the search engines.

  • Until you feel comfortable with blogging, don't worry about how many visitors you have or how fancy your site looks. Just get in the habit of writing, and perhaps you'll even realize you've got the beginning of some publishable work!

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