I've been reading quite a lot of new blogs this past week. I've also been convincing a number of people to setup their own blogs. I spent Thursday and Friday in Dublin meeting a number of clients and I'm delighted that they are all going to start blogging!
These blogs will give them a better way to connect with their clients. Websites can be a little cold, too much of a shop window. But websites need search engine optimisation (seo) too! Blogs have great avenues for SEO and I was very pleased to see this blog get a PageRank of 3/10 from Google in just 4 weeks. Not that I'm overly bothered with Toolbar PR! (Read about Toolbar PageRank)
The traditional way to promote blogs is from having other people recommend you - through blog aggregators, blog rolls, twitter posts, social media networks and so on. But look at the visitor traffic information for any well read blog and you'll see traffic from Search Engines is one of the biggest traffic providers - but only if you have Search Engine visibility.
Many young or first time bloggers forget this, opting for the "build it, they will come approach". Yes Google loves unique content and every good SEO will repeat this mantra over and over again.
But you cannot stand out on the internet through self validation alone. Unique content without authority/votes from other important, relevant meaninful sites are still needed. Blogs go down very well with Google, but a blog with little or no links won't gain traction. There's too much competition. Google's ranking of sites is still heavily based on its link-voting system.
I'll be setting up a new, personal blog this week (I hope), and I'll use it as a case study about promoting blogs. I know I'm relatively new to blogging but SEO for blogs hasn't changed. In the 6/7 weeks we've set this up, posts from this blog are live in Google in under 5 minutes, and often ranked in the top five for it's post title or tags. We get 50% of our traffic from Google and have over 100 subscribers across different subscription systems.
Must to things to promote your blog? Build a circle of links to your blog, website and social networking sites from your blog, website and social networking. MyBlogLog, a service from Yahoo, is a fantastic "hub" type link spot. Here you can join your blogs, profile and links from social services in one page. So Google can find your other profiles and so can other people. You can also join other communities and make new friends. Take a look at the page I setup for this blog to see what I mean.
Then go over to Technorati and set up your blog there. You'll need to add a widget to your website. It's not that complicated! My Technorati blog page is here. Now, set yourself up with Feedcat. Feedcat gives a great little button so that people can see how many RSS subscribers you have with that service. Other great places to get your blog into are: