Writing posts, for bloggers, is often the easiest part of blogging (and that’s not saying much). Beyond writing, even beyond designing your own layout, there’s the question of promoting your little blog so that others can see the articles you labor over. Most promotion involves exchanging links with other blogs.
Most blogging experts will tell you one way to promote your blog this way. I, however, have a couple of divergent points to add, based on a few realizations I’ve had over the last few months.
What Others Say: Ally with the “Big Guys” Only
The blogging “experts” will tell you to promote your site by joining forces with the bigwig bloggers in your field–doing a Google search, for instance, for other blogs on your topic will likely bring up the most widely-known sites, as the following picture illustrates:
There are additional strategies, such as the ones put forward by incomediary.com and postplanner.com, but most of them advocate purely making strategic alliances with larger, more popular blogs to get your “foot in the door,” so to speak.
What I Say: Ally with “Little” Bloggers like Yourself, Too
My two cents: Don’t get so worked up chasing after the “popular crowd” of bloggers that you end up forgetting about other beginning bloggers like yourself. Build up community with other small-time bloggers who are posting great articles, too.
Now, admittedly, you may not get the automatic prestige that you would from a link on a more popular writer’s blogroll. But you’ll get something a lot more worthwhile: credibility, humanity, and the reputation of just being a nice person to know, which counts for more than it seems. Our reputation as writers and as human beings is worth far more than a few links on somebody else’s site!
So how do you build community between fellow bloggers?
- Share links to fellow bloggers’ posts on your site; perhaps even set aside one blog post a week for just links to others’ posts, like my buddy Paula does over at Geeky Shopaholic Blog.
- Write up a post about another blogger’s site, whenever you can–give them a little extra publicity and a personal review of their site. Be honest and complimentary…and don’t forget that all-important link! (I did this for my friend Jenny’s blog, GeekyPosh.com, back in January of this year.
- Comment on other bloggers’ posts, as often as you can. This gives them encouragement–it shows them that people are reading, which is an awesome feeling! (And don’t be afraid to share a different opinion–state it politely, and you lay the groundwork for others to share theirs, too. An active comment thread is a happy comment thread!)
- Click through fellow bloggers’ blogrolls often to find new blogs you’re interested in.
- Invite bloggers to be on your blogroll, instead of waiting for them to send you invites.
IMPORTANT: I’m not saying give up on allying with the bigger blogs in your category–not at all! Just don’t forget the little guys (and gals) who are trying just as hard as you are. Support each other, and who knows–you all might end up being part of the “big blog” network yourselves!
Promoting your blog does not have to be a soulless, businesslike act–in fact, if you do it right, you can feel more like you’re part of a writing community instead of feeling like a lone voice in the wilderness.
This takes dedication and commitment; I’m certainly not doing it right yet (and I rarely have the Internet connection to do so with any regularity). But I can at least take the time every week to link to great posts by my fellow writers–and that’s a great place to start!