One of my favorite Web marketing tools is a business blog; it can help with search engine optimization, establishes you as an expert in your field, improves your communication, enhances PR and more.
However, you still need to be promoting your blog to drive traffic there and make it work for you. Here are # of ways you can market your blog:
- Write keyword-rich blog post titles. Google and other search engines will deliver quality traffic to your blog, but only if they think it’s relevant. Front-load your blog post titles with appropriate keywords to improve your rankings.
- Promote your RSS feed. Put it “above the fold”, explain what RSS is, or just send them to this helpful video: How to Subscribe to an RSS Feed.
- Include an RSS > Email option. Not everyone “gets” RSS, but everyone gets email newsletters. With little to no extra work, you can let people get your content in they way they want to.
- Get your post “dugg.” You can submit your post to the social news site Digg, but it will carry more weight if you get a friend (or someone else) to do it for you. Consider forming a “bookmarking club” where you can help each other out.
- Submit your blog to blog directories. Here’s an exhaustive list of blog directories, and here’s a top 20 blog directory list.
- Tweet it, and retweet it. I’m a big fan of adding tweetmeme‘s tweet button to your blog posts and then manually tweeting it yourself to get the ball rolling (and so that the retweet button doesn’t show “0” as a retweeted number. And, if you believe Guy Kawasaki, it’s cool to do that a few times.
- Add your blog url to your signature file. Just like you include your Web site URL in your outbound emails, add your blog URL as well.
- Stumble it. Getting a post into StumbleUpon can deliver a lot of quality traffic; like Digg, it’s best if someone else stumbles it for you.
- Ping it. After each new post, I visit Pingoat and ping all the news aggregators I can reach.
- Claim it in Technorati. Technorati is one of the biggest blog directories out there.
- Contribute to forums. Find your target audience’s forums, and participate in a non-sales-y way. In your responses you can include your signature file with a link to your blog.
- Do some article marketing. Repackage some of your blog posts into short articles and submit them to article directories for links back to your blog. (For more on this, read Article Marketing for Search Engine Visibility.)
- Update your LinkedIn status. Let your LI network know about your recent blog post.
- Respond to commenters. If people are taking the time to comment on your blog, thank them publicly or privately to encourage more of the same behavior.
- Include it on your Twitter profile. Twitter gives you one outbound link; send tweeps to your blog where you can have a deeper conversation than 140 characters will allow.
- Pull your RSS feed into your Facebook page. You can have your blog automatically feed into your Facebook profile or fan page.
- Include your blog in the Web site section of your LinkedIn profile. Just don’t leave the link as “My blog”. Give it a keyword-rich link so people will be more likely to click on it.
- Get listed in AllTop. Just signup and submit your blog to the appropriate category.
- Link to it from your Web site. Just include a link.
- Link to it from your email newsletter. Each month I include 4 or 5 of my favorite blog posts in my email newsletter’s Quick Link section. Cross-promotion is the key to successful marketing.
- Comment on other blogs. Although most blog comments include “no-follow” links, you can still draw people to your blog with insightful, pithy comments. Maximize your success by reading and contributing to the most influential blogs in your category.
- Make your blog Delicious. Getting individual posts and your entire blog bookmarked at Delicious can deliver quality traffic. Like Digg, consider a bookmarketing club approach.
- Leverage YouTube. Not only should you be embedding YouTube videos into your blog posts, you should be linking to your blog from your YouTube channel.
- Guest blog. Find bloggers in your niche and see if they’re open to letting you guest blog. It helps them because they get free content; it helps you because you get visibility and inbound links.
- Update your Facebook status. If you don’t tell all your Facebook friends that you’ve updated your blog, they may never speak to you again.
That’s a good start, but I know there are plenty of other good ideas. What are you doing to promote your own blog?