Right, I’ve got myself a blog. Now, what can I do with it ?
Setting up a blog can be exciting. You now have a web site just for yourself, you can write whatever you want in it and tell people your story. You can share what’s happening in your life, what your cat had for dinner and how long your hair has grown. However, once the initial elation has worn off, you might find yourself asking: What am I going to use this blog for.
It’s important to have some sort of focus, whether this is your personal life, your work or your hobby, as this will set the tone of the blog and set your visitor’s expectations as to what your blog is all about. Then, the next step is to start sharing your blog and increasing the traffic coming to it. I’ll hand over to Chris Lodge now, who has compiled an excellent list of suggestions how to do this:
Have at least 10 minutes reading available for new visitors, preferably over several posts. Give people the chance to get to know you, and want to come back for more – whatâ€™s your blog about?
Write your â€˜About Meâ€˜ page. It doesnâ€™t need to be intrusive, it neednâ€™t have a photo, although many people advocate this, but it should present a written picture of you, the blogger, and why youâ€™re doing this. Make sure thereâ€™s an email address on it – if you want a GMail address let me know & Iâ€™ll send you an invite if you need one.
Make sure that your RSS Feed is available and decide whether you are going to use FeedBurner now, or stick with your original feed. If you change it later, you risk losing existing subscribers when their feed stops working.
Already reading other blogs? If you like them, add them to your blogroll. The bloggers will notice and come visit.
How did they notice? They claimed their blogs on Technorati-make sure you do too, and then you can see whoâ€™s linking you.
Take part in a â€˜memeâ€™ like Wordless Wednesday, Thursday 13 or Friday Feast. Easy to do (Just post a photo or image for WW for example) and you can add your blog to the central blogroll before visiting other participating blogs and commenting on their posts. 90% of bloggers will make the return trip and visit your blog. If they like what they see, theyâ€™ll come back on other days too. Itâ€™s a great way to introduce your blog.
Get a StumbleUpon account. Read my post on Being a good Stumbler and then make the most of it to drive thousands of visits to your blog if your posts are good enough.
Submit your blogâ€™s feed to as many of these 200+ services as you can. Iâ€™ve only done the free ones and get a reasonable amount of traffic and links from it.
Read other peoples blogs. Get Google Reader, add as many blog feeds into it as you can (This is Blog-Ops) and make regular, useful comments on other peoples blogs. At this stage itâ€™s the number 1 best way to get people to visit.
Stay at it! Blog like you have a 1000 readers and one day you will. By that stage, youâ€™ll want more!
Thanks Chris, for sharing this with us. There’s some really great advice there. And to everyone out there, good luck with your new blog!