The essence of Blog Marketing
After you are done with optimizing your blog HTML and content, the next step to take is to get the word out and let the world know about your blog! This is what blog marketing is about, and the key to do this is really simple, and I can sum it in 4 words.
Get relevant incoming links.
Yeah, as simple as that.
So how do you go around getting relevant incoming links, you’d ask? This is what we are going to learn today. Here goes!
Blog Marketing Tip #1 – Submit Your Site to Google, Yahoo and MSN
Ultimately, you want your website to be in the directories of these search engines, so if you are starting up, you can get yourself indexed by these search engines in two ways.
1. Get an already indexed page to link to you
2. Submit yourself to the search engines
If you already have an existing site that is frequently updated and well indexed by the search engines, I would recommend you to go for the first method. Just point a link from your site to your new blog, and that will automatically open a doorway for the spiders to find your new blog.
However, if you do not have an existing site, what you can do is to manually submit your site to the search engines. Here are the URLs to do just that:
1. Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/
2. Yahoo: https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit
3. Live (MSN): http://search.msn.com/docs/submit.aspx
Yep! Just this big three search engines will do, for now, focus on the big three – don’t worry about the rest.
Blog Marketing Tip #2 – Submit sites to Online Directories
A second thing you could do to get incoming links is to submit to online directories – both blog directories as well as website directories. Online directories are just like the yellow pages, except that they list websites instead of businesses and residential addresses!
To get a list of blog and website directories you can submit to, check out my list here.
One important thing to note. Some of the sites listed there are not only blog directories, but also traffic exchanges – and some of these exchanges “guarantee” traffic to your blog. What happens when you participate in traffic exchange schemes is that you will required to first view the members pages, say, each page for 20 – 30 seconds, and for every 2 sites you view, they get someone to do the same to your site.
The problem with this kind of program is that while it does bring in traffic, ultimately, the traffic you bring in is not targeted. People are surfing your site for 30 seconds, just like you are doing to others. They are not interested in your content at all. What they are interested in are the credits they get when they surf your page! So, my personal recommendation is to go ahead and submit your blog to the directories, but stay away from traffic exchange programs.
Oh yes, before I leave this topic – one great way to find places where you can submit your site is to simply Google for “submit site”, “suggest a site”, “suggest a URL”, or “add URL”.
Blog Marketing Tip #3 – Article Submissions
The next thing you could do to market your blog and let it get known, is to submit articles to article directories. For a list of article directories you can submit to, check out my list.
Some of these article directories accept articles as low as 200 words, while some others require you to have a minimum of 250 or 300 words. My personal advice is to target for 350 – 400 words per article, so you will be safe for all, and you will have enough content for search engines to spider the page with your article.
When writing your article, be sure to also focus on only one or two keywords – and repeat it a maximum of 3 times in the copy.
When you are done, you can submit the articles to the directories.
How then do you get a link back to your blog in this case? Good question!
When you submit your article, you will be given an opportunity to write what is called an author resource box, where you are free talk about yourself and what you do. This is where you can put your link back to your blog. What I would recommend you do is to focus on writing good quality articles, and to put an irresistible offer in your author resource box! Prepare something to give away from your blog (like a free e-course, for example!), and use that to entice visitors to your website.
For example, in my article, I would put something like this:
Tan Kian Ann is a professional blogger and blog marketing trainer based in Singapore. Within four months of the date he started his blog at Blogopreneur.com, his Alexa ranking rose to just over 50K. Find out how he did it, and get his free 10 part blog marketing e-course at his blog!
Blog Marketing Tip #4 – Forums
Online forums are a great place where you can get to know people – people whom you would love to be like, and people who are yearning to be like you! Its a place where people go to share information.
How do you use a forum to market your blog then? The first and commonly used way is to include a link to your blog using a signature. However, some forums do not allow you to put links in the signature (at least until you pay them some money, or when you have posted enough to show that you are a real person interested to contribute to the forum).
The second way is to go ahead and read the forums, and try to spot questions that require a lengthy answer or a discussion. What you could do now, is to post your answer not in the forum but in your own blog, and then reply to the forum thread using the link to your post. This does not only help you get a link back to your blog, but also helps you add content to your blog! I personally love this, because I am more familiar with my blog environment (i.e. uploading of images, emphasising text, etc), and many of my posts that perform well are in this nature.
Remember, that forums do not unnecessarily be just those ones that are created with phpBB, SMF and vBulletin, but also online community forums like those from Yahoo Groups and Google Groups.
Blog Marketing Tip #5 – Press Releases
prwebPress releases are a great way for you to get your blog or website traffic shooting up the sky overnight! However, submitting a press release does require some funds (if you want that kind of effect!) One of the more famous press release websites is PRWeb.com.
In writing a press release, you need to write as if you are a journalist, and identify yourself from third person’s point of view. Press releases are also more formal in nature and typically contains quotes from someone. I personally think the best way to learn to write a press release is to go ahead and read a couple of them, and then model after them!
Depending on how much you want to pay the PR firm, they will allow active links in your text, organization information (like your resource box in articles), and even do a podcast about you! Its a great marketing strategy, if you have the money to spare.
Blog Marketing Tip #6 – Email Marketing
Another way you could go about getting people to come to your blog is to find a friend who has an email list to recommend your blog. For starters, it might not come easy… and as many Internet Marketers say, “The money is in the list”. If your blog does not bring good content to the email list, sending an email out might hurt the relationship between the owner of the list and his or her subscribers.
When you do find someone to get a list, however, do something on your blog to re-capture the list for yourself, so you don’t have to always rely on your friend to do the marketing for you… and of course, with further leads that you capture along the way, do return the favour to your friend by recommending his or her site to your own list of leads. That is what collaboration is all about, that is what marketing is about.
Two great systems to use in email marketing are AWeber (which is the one I use and prefer) and GetResponse. Both are great systems, but I just prefer AWeber.
Blog Marketing Tip #7 – The most important and powerful one. Participate in the blogosphere.
Seriously. Nothing beats getting traffic than participating in the blogosphere. Go, find related blog to your niche and contribute your two cents worth of comments. Send some trackbacks whenever you quote someone, contact the blog authors through Skype, or thought their emails – find out who they are! Send links to them, willingly!
Don’t worry too much about you “sending your visitors” to them, the fact is, the better recommendations you make, the more they will return to you! I’m serious!
One of the deepest mistake that a blogger can make is to be a miser in giving out links in his blog post. I personally do my best to have at least one link out for every blog post that I write, and it happens especially so when I quote someone else, to add my own comments.
Link link link! Give, and then you shall receive. Link out, and you shall get linked back!
Phew! Its been a day! 7 great strategies for you to go out today and start promoting your blog, and let the whole world know about your blog!
My recommendations? I would recommend you to start off with directory submissions, article submissions, and blog comments. You don’t have to do everything to succeed. At the point of writing this, I haven’t even wrote my press release yet! I just focused on blog comments and trackbacks, and directory submissions. Recently, I’ve been writing more articles and contributing to forums.
A word about automated software.
As you surf around for more ways to get traffic to your blog, you might be tempted to get an automated software to do the submissions for you. To be really frank, I personally do not use any of these software and I don’t know if they really work. I have heard both sides of the story – some that say the software works, and some that say that software basically ruins the whole marketing effort and the effort to come up with the content, because either it doesn’t do what it say, or it is overpowered and it practically spams the Internet with what you have to offer.
When I try a software, I’ll let you know my updating this space.
But one thing for sure – the manual way works… and it works very well.
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