7.15.2006

5 Things All Bloggers Should Do

Now that I've been blogging steadily for just over a month I've discovered five things that I think are vital to a blogger. This list is based both on my own experiences and implementation of the listed items as well as numerous conversations with new and experienced bloggers.

1. Photograph Yourself - I've been surprised at the number of visits I've received through Blogger's profiles. If you take a look at the profiles, the majority of them do not have a picture of the blog's author. Putting a picture on my profile seems to have at least made me stand out among other profiles on n0n-photos and has certainly sent several people my way. Whether they were interested in what they saw when they got here I don't know...but they found their way to this blog nevertheless. I think the photo of the blog's author also helps people connect with your blog because they can't help but be assured there's a real person behind the blog...not that anyone doubts that, but it's good to humanize the information as much as possible.

2. Get an RSS feed - I'm a huge fan of RSS and without a doubt it is the easiest way to get information online when you've discovered a website and/or blog you're interested in. It's so common, in fact, you're missing out if you don't have it on your blog and you're limiting your readership tremendously. Most blogs come with it built in and you just have to activate it, so do a little searching through your administration panel and get it turned on today!

3. Check your Stats - Most bloggers want to know that at least someone is reading their posts. Getting comments from people on your blog is a great (and preferred) way to not only be assured that your blog is being read but obtain some valuable feedback along the way. Unfortunatley most people don't leave comments so the other way to know if anyone is reading your blog is to check your stats. Some blog tools have built in stat tools...which is great. I know Typepad and WordPress both do. Blogger (which I use) doesn't...which stinks...but there are some free applications you can use. I use MyBlogLog and it works enough for me to get the basic information I'm looking for. It took a little trial and error but wasn't too hard to set up.

4. Ping yourself - Each time you create a new post you want to let the world know you did it. You can either sit and wait for people to come across your site (bad idea) or ping yourself to let the blog search engines (and some other search engines) know you're out there (good idea). Some blog tools have this built in but I suggest you go to Ping-O-Matic and ping yourself anyway. Do it at least daily for good coverage...and if you're checking your stats (see number three above if you don't have these) you should see a traffic increase within the first week. Scot over at The Virtual CFO recently confirmed this for me after I suggested he begin to ping his blog. It's very easy to do and will take about 30 seconds to set up the first time and 5 seconds a ping thereafter...hardly a price to pay for something so valuable.

5. Claim your blog on Technorati.com - The leading blog search engine is Technorati and you want to be found as much as possible within it. First, register ("claim" in Technorati speak) your blog on Technorati. In time your claim and regular pinging should find your blog pop up with searches both for yourself and for people, places or things you talk about. For instance, if you search for the video blog realVerse on Technorati you'll find a few of my posts about them. Likewise if you search for MicroExplosion in Technorati you'll find my posts and some other people who have linked to me in their blogs.

2 comments:

Cindy Bramhall said...

I am sure that many people just want to be heard, still others find joy in expressing what is on their heart and minds. I think that you have done a nice job of detailing the steps one can take to help publicize their blog and connect with others if they like to. I agree that comments are nice and can make people feel connected.

Steve said...

Amen my brutha!