Blogging University

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Did I mention that I have joined the June Blogging University on WordPress.com? I think it is a good idea for writers to go back to the basics every once in a while, to keep themselves grounded.

Here’s how it works: I will be given a writing prompt every day this month, except for weekends. Some of the prompts may seem strange, and we have the option of posting them to our own blogs or keeping them private. I have dedicated a page to the Blogging University here on my blog. If you would like to learn more about the Blogging University, click the link. There is still time to join; or, you can go to The Daily Post to learn more about getting daily writing prompts and to see what other events and challenges they have going on.

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10 Quick Tips to Market Your Blog

 

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1. Publicize: Make sure that your blog is publicized on as many social media networks as possible. With WordPress you can set up your blog to automatically post to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Path, Twitter, and Tumblr.

2. Profile: Be sure that you have a profile, about me, Blavatar, Gravatar, section that tells about you. Think about your followers and give yourself some credibility!

3. Follow Me: Add “follow me” buttons to your blog and website.

4. Be Social: Comment on other people’s’ blogs

5. Talk It Up: Tell anyone and everyone about your blog.

6. Get Creative: Create Infographics using templates from Hubspot. They have free templates and graphics in their resource library for tons of other uses, as well.

7. Optimize: Tag and Categorize your posts. Also add metadata if possible, these are the keywords that search engines use to find you posts.

8. Image Is Everything: Pictures and graphics make you blog more interesting visually.

9. Title: Make titles compelling and catchy, but not misleading.

10. Make it Interactive: Add a survey, a test, or a link.

Developing A Readership

We’ve already discussed tagging your posts and researching your audience, now here are some tips on promoting your blog:

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  1. Write Quality Content. Interesting content will keep your readership returning. Update your blog regularly. Googlebot, which is Google’s web-crawling robot loves content. The more you update your blog, the more frequent the search engine “spiders” will return to it.
  2. Take part in forums that are related to blogging. Ask other bloggers for their opinion on your blog and take their suggestions to heart. Ask other bloggers for their opinion on your blog and take their suggestions to heart.
  3. Publish an RSS/Atom/XML feed. If you’re using Blogger, you can turn on RSS feed by clicking on settings in your dashboard and then clicking on site feed and make sure that your settings are set to yes. If you are using WordPress you can add an RSS Link to your blog by going to Appearance>Widgets>RSS Link.
  4. Add a Follow Button. In WordPress, you also have the option to add a Follow Blog Box Widget, or a Follow Button Widget.
  5. Use Website Verification Services. In WordPress, this is under Tools>Available Tools, and uses Google, Bing, and Pinterest. Once you verify your blog with these services, you will get Webmaster Tools that give you statistics on how your website is crawled.
  6. Carefully choose your subject titles, taking into consideration what other internet users may be searching for. Use keywords in your title. I suggest subscribing to Word Tracker. Their report of the most popular searches is published each Tuesday and distributed to over 30,000 subscribers. Technorati.com , is a blog search engine that also lists the top search words. The more targeted your keywords are, the greater your return will be in search engines.
  7. Involve yourself in commenting on other blogs. You can gain a loyal readership just by offering feedback to your fellow bloggers. The comment feature allows you to add a link back to your blog as well.
  8. Be sure to include your blog address in forum signatures and in your email signature.
  9. Submit your blog to directories. Submit your blog’s URL to Technorati, Daypop, Blogdex and Popdex. If you are using WordPress.com, this is done for you automatically. If you’re using other blogging software such as Blogger, there is an option to notify the central blog update services (such as http://weblogs.com) when you’ve made a new entry to your blog. Make sure that this option is turned on! In Blogger, click on publish in your dashboard and make sure that your settings are set to yes under notify weblogs. Alternatively, you can go to http://ping-o-matic.com and send out a ping each time you update your blog. This lets everyone know that you’ve just updated your blog.
  10. Write articles. Include a resource box in your article and submit it to article directories such as http://iSnare.com.
  11. Link to other blogs. Use services like blogrolling, which is similar to linking. Blogrolling allows you to keep an updated list of your favorite blogs. But, don’t build a long blog roll of sites that you have no intention of returning to. There is nothing more annoying then visiting a blog that has a humongous blogroll.

Be patient, traffic doesn’t happen overnight. The best way that I’ve found to increase traffic is by getting to know people. Spend what free time that you have, reading blogs, leaving feedback and building friendships. Try to leave comments on the blogs that you visit as often as you can. While you are waiting for the traffic to come, just enjoy blogging. You’ll be improving your writing in the process.

Eventually you’ll build a network of not just readers, but friends and loyal supporters. Blogging is not just about marketing; it’s about creating lasting relationships.