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How To Promote Your Blog

by Sharon Housley

Well, you've joined the others and have created a blog. It is time to tell the world about your online journal. Most blog services generate an RSS feed. If your blogging software does not create an RSS feed, consider using software like FeedForAll to create an RSS feed. Like blogs, RSS is growing in popularity and is a great way to spread the word about a new blog.

Syndication is conceptually simple. It allows publishers to distribute content that can be displayed in another location or context. Using RSS, publishers are able to easily create and disseminate content feeds that include news headlines, blog summaries and related links. RSS is the defined syndication standard that has become mainstream. All types of information are now available in a syndicated format.

1. Blog Submissions/RSS Submissions

There are a number of blog directories and blog search engines where you can submit your blog. A large list of sites allowing blog submission and RSS feed submissions can be found in the left column at http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm.

Similarly, there are RSS feed directories and search engines like RSS Network . Be sure to submit the URL of your RSS feeds to the RSS search engines listed on the RSS specifications website.

If you wish to automate your blog and RSS submissions consider using Dummy Software's Blog and RSS Submit Software.

Like a website, it is important to select the appropriate category for your blog. Use a clear title that contains descriptive details but is not excessively long. The blog description should further expand on the purpose and general theme of the blog. Incorporate important keywords related to the blog's theme in both the title and description. This will help bring targeted traffic that is genuinely interested in the contents of the blog.

2. Post Press Releases to Online Resources

Write a press release announcing your blog to the world. Keep it factual and submit the release to the free press release directories. This will provide incoming links to the new blog and get it started on its way to popularity. There are a number that allow for press release posting free of charge. The releases on these sites are occasionally picked up by publications looking for information or filler content. Another side-benefit to these listings is increased link popularity, which helps with search engine ranking. A list of sites that allow for press release posting can be found under "press release posting". A number are available at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/pressreleases.html.

3. Post Announcement on Usenet

A number of Usenet groups allow for posting of announcements or press releases. Most of the announce groups in Usenet contain 'ann.' in the domain address. If your blog is focused on a specific topic, search Usenet newsgroups. To locate topic-specific announce groups, consider searching NewsGuy to locate groups specific to related topics.

4. Post to Forums

Forums also contain sections in which you can post announcements. If the application is a niche product, consider searching for topic-specific forums in addition to the general software announce forums listed below. Be sure to post any announcements in the appropriately marked "announce forum". The following are related blog forums, some of which allow for posts.

Favorite Feeds - http://www.feedforall.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=3
Your Blog Announcements - http://www.forum4bloggers.com/viewforum.php?f=12

5. Promote & Auto-Detect Blog Feeds

It has become a standard that nearly all websites that have RSS feeds available use colorful graphics to indicate the presence of an RSS feed. The graphics were initially bright orange rectangles, but as the popularity has grown, webmasters have bent the rules a bit. NotePage has made a free online RSS graphic tool available that allows users to quickly customize buttons by selecting the text on the button and the color scheme of the button. Once the color and text is entered, a custom graphic is instantly created. Webmasters can easily match the style of the RSS button to a website's theme.

Graphics experience is not required. Simply select alternative colors and insert text to personalize RSS feed graphics. The RSS graphics tool can be used by clicking the following URL http://www.feedforall.com/public/rss-graphic-tool.htm or choose ready made graphics from: http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-graphics.htm.

Include information in the HTML code of a website so that RSS Readers automatically detect that an RSS feed exists for the material contained on the site. Aggregators will automatically detect RSS on a website if you add a small bit of code in the header field of an HTML page.

After publishing an RSS feed it is important to let visitors know that the feed exists. Aggregators will automatically detect RSS on a website if you add a small bit of code in the header field of an HTML page. [link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="http://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xml"]

Be sure to replace http://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xml with the URL to the RSS feed and replace the brackets with "<" (less than) and ">" (greater than) symbols.

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage, a wireless text messaging software company.

 

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