How To: Expand Your Blogging Reach
Blogging may sometimes be perceived as a solitary experience, a person sitting in front of their keyboard, writing articles in their home office or holed up in a booth in their local café. Writing to their heart’s content. End of story.
Well, not quite.
In order to be successful, bloggers need to consider a number of other factors. In this post will go over some of the more important considerations including: community & networks; blogger groups; twitter chats; social networking; in-person conferences; optimizing posts for SEO; share buttons and social media.
Blogger Communities & Networks
Many influential bloggers (mom, dad and bloggers of all types of content creation) today take advantage of a whole host of communities and networks to find camaraderie, job boards, and opportunities in brand programs.
In recent years, the number of communities and networks have grown by leaps and bounds. And while the following list is not nearly a complete representation of what’s available for bloggers, it should help the beginning blogger identify some great resources.
- b2b business blogger
- café mom
- circle of moms
- clever girls collective
- global influence network
- lowe’s creative ideas
- Mom Bloggers Club
- Mom Central
- mom spark
- Mommy Public Relations for Moms
- moms connect member
- My Blog Spark
- one2one network
- pitch it to me
- savings.com deal pro
- sits girls
- social fabric
- social revup
- splash creative media
- team mom
- The b-Link
- The Mom Blogs
- The Motherhood
- US Family Guide.com
Blogger Groups are also terrific resources. There are many groups available for bloggers but a few worth noting here include:
Bloggers often seek online learning opportunities and social networking via Twitter chats. In a recent post on BloggingPro, they suggest 5 chats for bloggers:
- BWE Chat “Using the tag #BWEchat, you can join in on various topics, with guest speakers from around the blogosphere. Their chats are every Wednesday, so you can just jump right in. Or, you can check their official chat page to see what topic they are discussing for the next several months worth of conversations.”
- Mack Collier BlogChat “Popular blog consultant and social media guru Mack Collier has been holding Twitter chats for awhile now, under the hashtag #Blogchat. Using a tracker, he was able to count more than 8,200 users participating in blog chats under that hashtag.”
- MyBlogGuest “Weekly guest blogging Twitter chat every Thursday 11 a.m. EDT (3 p.m. GMT) under #MyBlogGuest. The Twitter chat evolves around content creation, brainstorming, guest post link tracking tips, etc.”
- BrandChat “Using both the #BrandChat hashtag and TweetGrid (which they have set up already to allow you to use by clicking the link featured on their page), this site does a weekly chat on Wednesday mornings, starting at 8 AM PST.”
- CommentHour “If you are a blogger who wants to potentially get some visibility, this is a good way to go. You sign up with your Twitter ID and blog link. Twenty five blogs are randomly featured from the applicants. On Wednesday at 6:30 PM PST they will post the first selected link and you go to the blog, read the post and comment. Then go back for the next. There will be an hour of this until all chosen blogs are there. Not only will you potentially be featured, along with the hashtag #CommentHour, but you will be seen as a commentator which can help build a reputation over time.”
Bloggers also benefit from attending in-person events. Michelle McGraw shares 5 solid reasons why you should attend a blogging conference:
- Because you are not alone. No matter how much social networking takes over our lives, there is no substitute for networking in person.
- Because you will learn a lot. No matter how long you’ve been blogging, you do not know it all and you will learn from others at a conference.
- Because you deserve a break. Attending a conference is an excellent excuse to get out of the house and away from your kids.
- Because you will meet new friends. You will meet a lot of new friends and find new blogs to read. The more people you know, the more opportunities will come your way.
- Because it will force you to get out from behind the computer.
SkinnyScoop has a good list of 2012 Blogging Conferences. While we’re quickly approaching the half-way point of 2012, there are still many great conference opportunities for the second half of the year!
SEO and Blogging
Most people wouldn’t doubt that blogging is a an artform consisting of carefully crafted articles, but it’s also most definitely a science. A science that relies on the power of search engine optimized (SEO) content.
Personally, I love what Rand Fishkin has to say about SEO: “SEO, when done right, should never interfere with great writing.” Rand links to “The Bloggers Guide to SEO” by Aaron and Giovanna Wall which offers an array of tools and SEO guidance. Sound advice from the Walls includes these great tips:
“It is crucial to use your keywords in your page title, preferably near the start of your page title. You may want to use your keywords, related phrases, and popular keyword modifiers in your page content a couple times, but with an emphasis on writing natural. Make sure that your content reads well to humans, as that matters much more than what a robot thinks of your content. If people like your content and link at it that is more valuable than getting on page optimization down perfect but sounding robotic in the process.”
Their document is chock full of good SEO advice and more than we can go into in this post, but I’d recommend checking it out to see more about how to write clear and compelling headlines, highlighting your best content, and much, much more.
**Recommended Resource: Check-out Rand Fishkin’s 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic for other great tips and considerations.
Social Media to Promote Your Blog
Noah Mark Rodolfo writes, “With the presence of Web 2.0 platforms such as WordPress, Weebly, Typepad, Blogger and many others, blogs can be created without any problems of coding or too much web designing. Like blogging, social media sites are today’s trending tools for communication. It is an easy and quick portal to share content, connect with other people and create a “network” or community. Noah offers these suggestions:
- Link your posts on your social media profiles.
- Post your individual blog posts into your Facebook page or group.
- In Twitter, it is better that you tweet your post with different messages each time.
- Use enticing descriptions for your posts e.g. research reveals that a question heading better attracts reader than just title of your blog post.
- Re-post other people’s content.
- Don’t force yourself to acquire more followers.
- Readers will more likely share your blog content if your offer plugins or social media share buttons at the end of each of your posts. This will make it easier for them to share your blog posts on their own social media profiles, giving your site a big boost to exposure.
While we’ve covered a lot of territory in this post, it’s also in many ways only the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully it will present new opportunities and insights for bloggers who are looking to expand their reach. As always, please feel free to add your comments and suggestions in the space below.