I spend a lot of time creating and editing the posts in my blog. But I spend an enormous amount of time figuring out how I can make my blog more accessible on the web. Basically, how can I get more readers to see what I write? I think this issue is grossly underaddressed by most blog services (including my own Typepad). They feel if they’ve hooked up with weblogs.com or blo.gs that they’ve done their duty. Well, not in my book.
So we bloggers have to do a lot of that work ourselves. You do the basic things like submitting your site to all the search engines and blog directories you can think of. Depending what you think of webrings and their efficacy, you might register with a few of them. These are the basics. But there’s lots more you can do.
Scribbling.net has a great blog post about improving Google’s ability to search and link to your site Help the Googlebot understand your web site. A few suggestions really sounded dead on target:
1. Instead of using hyperlink titles like “here,” or “there” or “this,” use a descritive titles like “John F. Burns’ report from Iraq.” This allows the googlebot to search and archive more of your blog.
2. Always give photo images an alt= title. If you do, then the Googlebot will also search and link to your images. If you don’t, Google won’t even know you have any images in your blog.
3. Link early and link often. In other words, bring the world of the web into your blog. The more you link to others in your blog; the more they will link to you.
There is of course much more at Scribbling.net worthy of your attention. If you’re more technically savvy than me, Scribbling.net’s code related suggestions will probably resonate as well.
As a fellow TPer suggested at the Typepad UserGroup forum, you can range across the blog world looking for likeminded bloggers. Get to know them. Leave a comment at their site. Link to them if you like what they’re doing; and ask them to link to you. When you’ve created what you think is an interesting post, go to a web forum dedicated to whatever your post topic is (for example, I post often about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and will provide links to forums like the Charlie Rose Show and the New York Times–each of which has a Mideast Peace forum) and give yourself a discreet plug with a hyperlink to the post. Write a post in your blog about a post you liked in someone else’s blog. If you’re writing about a TP blogger, you have a great excuse to use the trackback feature!
If you don’t participate in a group (or “Community”) blog like Open Source Politics, consider doing so. Group blogs provide another means of expanding your potential viewing audience. I participate in Open Source Politics. And while it doesn’t provide me with a huge number of blog visitors, those who do stop by my blog and comment are thoughtful and serious readers, just the kind a blogger likes to have. With that piece of advice, there’s one thing to kind in mind: find out beforehand from the Group Blog administrator whether you as author will be able to control your own posts and comments left with them. A site like Blogcritics.org does not allow this and I find it irksome, which is why I withdrew as a Blogcritics author.
Don’t use your blog service’s domain name as your blog URL. Get your own domain name through an outfit like Godaddy.com. My blog hits roughly doubled after I got my own domain name and completed the forwarding process. For some reason, search engines don’t like spidering through a URL like
http://richards1052.typepad.com/, possibly because there are so many other bloggers with the same domain name. The search engines much prefer
I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. If you have other handy suggestions for improving your blog’s popularity, let me know.
Jørgen Holm says
Although I’m using my blog service’s domain name I’m scoring very high on Google (my theme is a little special, the Palaeolithic, but anyway…). I think it’s because I post very often, 2-3 times a day, and use significant keywords. And it pleases me that my name is number ONE on Google (out of almost 3,000 hits)!
BTW: Keep up the good work, Richard!