Monday, August 27, 2007

Five Ways to Promote Your Blog Niche

Five Ways to Promote Your Blog NicheOne of the greatest things about blogging is its symbiotic nature--blogging isn't a competition, with blogs fighting for readers like sharks in a feeding frenzy, it's a community that grows and sustains each of its members the more they contribute. Any time a blog links to me if I can help that blog grow, their link becomes more potent. Helping other blogs helps your own blog, either directly or indirectly.

However, within this large blogging community momblogs, or parent blogs if you prefer, are generally overlooked among the army of technology, celebrity and business blogs and the only way to change this is to educate each other on ways to promote the parent blog community. Here are five ways to promote other blogs and by extension, the women/family/parenting corner of the blogosphere.

1. Favorite your favorites on Technorati. There are two ways Technorati ranks blogs, one is by authority, or the number of links gained over the past six months, and the other is by popularity, or the number of people that have "favorited" a certain blog. If you go to Technorati you can see a list of the 100 most popular blogs in the blogosphere and I hate to say it, but there are few parent blogs among them.

I have gone through my RSS feeds and favorited each blog I regularly read by either cutting and pasting their URL to my favorites list on Technorati or by clicking on a blog's favorite button when visiting (mine is on my upper sidebar to the right). Once you click the button it walks you through the steps to favoriting that blog. You don't have to be a blogger to favorite a blog, you only need to sign up with Technorati. More parent blogs being favorited means greater recognition for the entire niche. Whenever I see someone has favorited my blog I return the compliment.
2. Allow "do-follow" for comments. This is a little complicated, but stick with me. Most blogs don't allow comments to count as links. For example, if you leave a comment on my blog and you have your own blog though I can click on your name to get to your blog, the search engines do not count that as a real link. However, there is a movement called "do-follow" where the HTML code in your template is changed to allow everyone who comments to get a link back to their own blog. I first learned about this at Mom Gadget and Casual Keystrokes.

I won't tell you how to do it here because Randa Clay does it much better than I but learn how to turn off the "no-follow" for your comments and give those who comment a link or two--I did. It allows everyone who comments on your blog to increase their power with the search engines and reinforces our community a little bit more.

3. Sk*rt worthwhile posts. If you're familiar with Digg--the site that allows you to vote for your favorite blog posts--Sk*rt is the same thing but for women. It allows you to submit blog posts you like for other Sk*rt readers to view and support with a vote. The more votes a post gets the higher it gets to the top of the list. A simple concept but great for making the best of the best more accessible.

And the nice thing about Sk*rt is that it's all about things that are important to women. While Digg users tend to be men ages 18-34 who think they need to leave a nasty comment to show you who's boss, Sk*rt users are kinder, gentler and are part of the growing women bloggers community who have similar interests and concerns. So register at Sk*rt and start submitting posts you think are deserving and it will help us all out.

4. Enable your email. I love getting comments and emails, love hearing from visitors and will respond personally to as many as I can. I understand that many people wish to remain anonymous when they comment, and that's just fine, but if you have a blog and would like to hear from bloggers you are visiting please consider enabling your email so that you can receive direct responses. It is very difficult to visit each blogger that leaves a comment here but I will always respond to an email if there is an email address available--I'm chatty that way.

To enable your email address on Blogger, simply go to your profile page and select the "show my email address" option near the top. That way, when you leave a comment it will allow the other blogger to respond to your comment and will help us all to feel more connected and involved. That's a good thing, right?

5. Use the momblogs custom search engine. Linking to other blogs not only helps those blogs to improve their own ranking, it also promotes an exchange of ideas and a sense of connectivity on which the blogosphere thrives. However, there are so many blogs out there it can be difficult to find the information and blogs you need. That's why I put together a custom search engine for momblogs that uses the same Google search engine but narrows the places that Google searches. I've specified around 1500 different blogs that this search engine will look at when you submit a query.

The custom search engine is located near the top of my side bar on the right or you can go to this page here for a more detailed explanation of how it works but it's very useful for finding other posts on a similar subject to link to. For example, when I'm writing about some aspect of parenting I find it useful to go to the custom search engine and find what other blogs have said on the subject so that I can link to them at the bottom of my post. Readers get more information, perhaps a different opinion, and those blogs listed get a link. It's a win-win situation that promotes not only individual blogs but the community as a whole. So consider using it to find related posts from other blogs the next time you've got an applicable topic. Try it, you'll like it.

Technorati tags:

30 comments:

Karen (Miscmum) said...

You're right, you know. People have been very generous to me lately and I've been lazy re:technorati favouriting. I shall endeavour to rectify this!!

Terri said...

This was a very informative post for a fairly new blogger such as myself. Thanks for the info.

Babystepper said...

Thanks for all the great information. I've yet to really like technorati, although I know it has its uses. I need to spend a long time working with it, I think. Ugh. Computers. Some of the best advice I've had on blogging has come from your site. (ie Stumbling) Thanks for all the tips.

mcewen said...

thank you, very useful. Can't promise to implement, but task completion isn't one of my strengths.
Cheers

janet said...

I can't believe how many folks won't open email to receive comments by mail. I have bent over backwards with this issue to inform people about it. Maybe my explanation was not clear enough or maybe some don't care. Who knows.. I only respond to comments of readers who trust me enough to share their email.
I appreciate that I always get a response to comments I leave for you I also appreciate everytime someone tries to explain this to bloggers.
My first couple years of blogging I never got comments and I was ok with it. I pretty much knew who was reading. Now I readers that lurk and I would love to know who they are, I can see where their ISP originates but that's not indicative of where the person is from. My ISP originates herdon virgina. Weird huh?

Hopeful Spirit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hopeful Spirit said...

At first I didn't get much benefit from Sk*rt, but lately I have noticed that my posts are getting more votes there. Perhaps it just takes a while for people to find you? I have noticed more traffic coming to my site from Sk*rt, as well.

Thanks for the tips!

Daisy said...

Yes, I need to get on Technorati and update my things. I signed up last summer, and I've neglected it since.

Mountain Dweller said...

Thanks for all that useful info. There was a lot in there that I didn't know about. I've got no excuse now!

Mommy babble said...

Using StumbleUpon is another great way to get noticed, get people coming to your blog, and get read. I really encourage everyone to use it. It's jsut a free download, and then when you find a site you like click the thumbs up.

Magpie said...

Great, and useful post - thanks.

PunditMom said...

You are a tech-blog goddess!

Qtpies7 said...

Great information! Thank you!
I need to find some time to work all that stuff out, I really hadn't paid much attention to it, but with Jessica the Rock Chick's goal of being on the A list going around, I've been more curious about it all.

Leslie said...

This is some great information. I recenty did the Technorati favorites - I just imported my Bloglines links and favorited them all in one click! I've been curious about the "do-follow" thing...

Great post!

Lei said...

Always so helpful M! Thank you for your guidance and for explaining what's going on out there!

parenting tips said...

Great ideas. Thanks for the suggestions. I had never heard of sk*rt before.

micpro said...

Thanks for the sk*rt suggestion - what a great site!

micpro said...

P.S. You can add Sk*rt to your post footer's social bookmarks by following the directions at tips-for-new-bloggers (dot) blogspot (dot) com. At the bottom of the Sk*rt website in the tools section they have a Sk*rt bookmarklet tool that you can copy the link location from to insert into your social bookmarks section of your template. You can add the bookmarklet to your browser so that you can submit posts easily.

SabineM said...

Great ideas. Thank you! I am soo new at this. I started blogging a year ago for family living abroad to see photos.
Now I have blogger friends and visitors and it is exciting.
My question is though, HOW DO YOU HAVE TIME? with kids and all, I am at a lost and at night I need to spend time with my hubby. I steal little moments of time and therefore my blog is not as great as it could be. I am also NOT a night owl. ;-)
Thank you for all the great info

Theresa Bakker said...

I do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do so much enjoy your "how-to blog" posts. Thanks to you my blog is much slimmer in the troublesome photo area and even more informative, what with the floating curser captions. Now hopefully it will be much friendlier, too. I may even try to enter another write-away contest. Can't wait to see what this month's theme is.
Theresa

Corrie said...

I always enjoy your posts, and the blog tips are much appreciated. Thanks for being so informative and chatty.

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings said...

This is a very informative post. Thank you Michelle!

I will do the technorati favorite thing tomorrow after I get back from dr. with dd to get her cast put on.

Lisa said...

I know I need to get technical, but I haven't had time. I know in the next few weeks there will be time and then I will come back and visit this posting and do my best to learn all this techy stuff that I have avoided!

chelle said...

Always always enjoy your tips!

oh amanda said...

thanks so much for the tip. I actually have the post you did for Blogging Basics 101 about technorati up right now! I just switched my blog over to my own domain, blah blah and remembered your good post!

Sallie said...

This is a great post! Thanks for the info...

Sallie

Mama Luxe said...

I did not know about the Technorati favoriting having an influence...but I just favorited you and will add my other mama-must-reads.

My business partner and I both really enjoy your blog and you have such a nice mix of the personal, parenting, crafts, cooking, and blogging advice!

I've always been impressed by how you make an effort to respond to so many people.

BTW--I would love to have my personal blog (Mama Saga) and my product blog (Mamanista!) appear in your custom search--another really cool thing you have going here.

About me - Naomi said...

This is so so useful - I am going to start by visiting sk*rt right now!

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing this, Michelle. You are always so generous with your advice.

modmom said...

i'm adding you to my mod*pals blogroll :)