Today we’re going to discuss two areas of blog promotion…Sites where you list your blog and social networking sites. I’m looking at these two areas differently, as I’m going to call those places where you go and sign up your blog, and basically your blog is added to a list, Blog Promotion Sites. Those sites where you can interact with others and add contacts, I’ll refer to as Social Networking Sites.
I’ll begin with Blog Promotion Sites.
When I first began blogging, I signed up with every blog promotion site I could find, HUNDREDS of them. It took me hours to find the sites, add my name, confirm my request…and most of that work was for NOTHING. With a few exceptions, I never saw any traffic generated from the majority of those sites. Also, some of the sites claimed to be very exclusive and rejected my blog for various reasons including “lack of quality content.” What. Ever.
There have been several sites that I thought were worth the effort to sign up.
What I like about this site is the fact that the widget shows blog post titles. The catchier my title, the more hits I received. Please note that I no longer have the widget in my sidebar…this is because I feel like I already have too much stuff in my sidebars and I didn’t want it to look cluttered over there. (I’ll talk about that in an upcoming post.)
I have no idea if it’s still possible to get your blog listed on Alltop, but if it is, I’d recommend trying. I have received quite a few referrals from moms.alltop.com. What I like about this site, is that a short snippet of the post can be seen by scrolling over a title. More reason to make those first few sentences of a post really catchy!
There is no way that I can mention Alltop and NOT mention AllMediocre! My friend Meghan started this blog promotion site in response to not being included on Alltop. It started as a bit of a joke, but it has really taken off. There are some really great blogs listed…you should click over there RIGHT NOW and get yourself listed!
That’s it. All those sites I signed up for and so few were even worth the effort! I am curious if anyone has had luck with other blog promotion sites…if so, please let the class know in the comments section.
The bottom line: Most of these sites are a huge waste of time and effort.
Moving right along to social networking sites…
With any social networking site, I think that you get out of it what you put into it. There are only so many hours in a day, so I recommend choosing just a few to devote your time. In the interest of time management, here are a few of the sites to which I belong, but devote very little of my time…Cre8buzz, Facebook, Gather, MyBlogLog, FriendFeed, Plurk (New!), Blog Catalog , Bumpzee, and Maya’s Mom. There is NOTHING wrong with any of these sites, I have just chosen to invest my time with ONLY TWO other social networking sites that I really enjoy. (Edited to add: Here’s a very timely post from Problogger about which sites people use the most.)
There are SO many things I enjoy about twitter, like the ability to talk about myself in 140 characters or less! (Self-absorbed much?) Also, I enjoy reading others’ SUPER hilarious tweets. It’s fun to be a part of many different conversations, sort of like being able to flit from person to person at an uber cool party!
Recently I discovered twhirl, a twitter client that you download. It makes following conversations INFINITELY easier than hitting refresh over and over. A small icon in the lower right corner dings and tells you when those you are following have posted new tweets, tells you when people have replied to you, and when you get a direct message. You can also shorten URL’s, search for friends, and add friends. All from twhirl! As somewhat of a computer application dimwit, I easily figured out how to download and install twhirl, so if I can do it, you can DEFINITELY do it! As an FYI, there are many other twitter applications, I just happen to use twhirl, you may find you like another one better. Please feel free to share your favorites with the class in the comments section.
So how does can twitter help promote your blog, you ask? Well for one, you can promote your new posts via twitter. For example, you can say something like, “Blog tip sharing post at my place! You bring the beer! http://playgroupsarenoplaceforchildren.com…” Also, if you’re a WordPress user, you can install a plugin that does this for you. I know that I tend to click on the tweets that give me a funny, little tease about their blog post.
Also, twitter is a great way to become friends and communicate with lots of other bloggers. Being a part of the blogging community is, I think, VITAL to blog promotion. Twitter is one way to get yourself out there.
Now go on. If you haven’t joined twitter, what ARE you waiting for??? When you get your account, follow me…twitter.com/playgroupie!!!!
Technically, StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking tool, not a social networking site. However, I’m putting it in this category because it’s a place to interact with others and add contacts.
There is SO MUCH I have to say about StumbleUpon, that it’s going to have to be a post unto itself…next week. Here’s a little teaser, though. As a result of some of my posts being stumbled, I’ve received as many as 1,000 hits in ONE day. 1,000. Hits. In one day. Now I realize some of you reading are yawning and thinking, “1,000 hits? So what? I get that many in an hour.” Others of you are messing yourselves from the excitement of the possibility of 1,000 hits in a day.
Homework! (STOP groaning, it’s worth it…1,000 hits?? Remember??) I recommend that you download StumbleUpon’s toolbar. It will make what I’m going to talk about next week easier to understand. While you’re at it, add me as a friend! playgroupie.stumbleupon.com.
Share your favorite blog promotion and social networking sites in the comments section.
Until next week! Class dismissed.