Getting Your Blog Off to a Good Start

This post contains FREE ADVICE for those of you wanting to start a blog. Some of the information can also pertain to starting a new web site.

Yes, it does take a while to get a site going, but I believe it’s just a startup thing. I think that once it catches, it will take off…like a virus, hence the term Viral.

This is a comprehensive and detailed list of site promotion tasks:

  • Load the Alexa Toolbar into Firefox and visit your site using Firefox: Alexa rankings are driven by the users of the toolbar visiting web sites. As you visit your site periodically, your ranking will go up. That goes for anyone else visiting your site so it might even make sense for you to write a post encouraging your readers to use the Alexa toolbar.
  • Comment on related blogs: This will give you an immediate incoming link, which is what you want. Leaving comments of substance on other people’s blogs is one of the primary ways of getting incoming links. You may want to set up a schedule for this one. Without a schedule, I’ll get caught up reading other people’s sites and I will end up not finishing my comments. 3 times a week (maybe Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) might work. I put things like this on Outlook’s calendar. You might be able to use Google Calendar.
  • When creating posts, refer to other blogs (blog posts), and use the trackback link from that blog for the link to that blog. A lot of times, when you are reading a post, at the bottom of that post, there is a link with the text “trackback”. Right-click on that, and click “copy link location”. This is what you want to use when pointing to that blog. This will guarantee that their system will know you are pointing to them. Doing this also creates a link on their site indicating that you are pointing to them.
  • Read, read, read: This one is not directly related to site promotion, but reading will give you other ideas. I suggest reading the RSS feeds of some SEO pros out there, such as Carolyn Shelby, Matt Cutts (although this gets a lot technical), SEOMoz, etc. Do a Google search for SEO export blog and subscribe to their RSS feeds using Google Reader. Google Reader is awesome for keeping track of RSS feeds. You can also listen to the podcasts of the big SEO and Internet Marketing people.
  • Generate your own content as frequently and consistently as possible. If you are blogging in advance, you can set the publish date on the post in the future and it won’t show up on your blog until that day.
  • Save future ideas as draft posts: If you have blog ideas, but have not developed them into posts, put the title and any notes you have in WordPress and click “save” instead of “publish”. This will create a draft. Now the idea is in a safe place where you can expand on it or finish it anytime you want and it won’t be lost or forgotten.
  • Set up automated social bookmarking on WordPress: I have only been able to find plug-ins to post to 3 of the many social bookmarking sites automatically. I have them on my blog and they post to Delicious, Simpy, and Twitter continue to look for this.
  • Submit your posts to social bookmarking sites: A good way to do this is to use or I am playing with the idea of purchasing Auto Social Poster. This will do all of that automatically.
  • Monetize Your Blog: Place ad zones on your site. You can do this using OpenAds (now called OpenX) or similar products.
  • Use EntreCard: You know this one. Drop, drop, drop… 300 per day, per site. They use the credits to buy ads on other sites. This will get you links on other related sites…even if it is temporary. You can even use the credits to get people to comment on your blog through the EntreCard Shop.
  • Use various forms of media on your blog. You need video. You can find something on YouTube and embed the code.
  • Submit your RSS feed to feed directories: Do a Google search on RSS feed directory and submit your RSS feed to as many as you can stand to.
  • Submit your blog to blog directories: Do a Google search on blog directories and submit your site to as many of those as possible.
  • Write Articles: If you can write an article on a subject that is also related to your blog, do that. The article should be at least 2000 words. Don’t post this to your blog. If you do and others also post it, it will get flagged as duplicate content. Do a Google search for article directories and post to as many of those as you can stand. You will include with your article, a resource box at the bottom, which contains a little information about you and a link to your blog. When people use your content on their site, they have to include the resource box, which will link bank to your site.
  • Enlist the help of others: This includes all of your friends. You can ask them to do things like:

    1. Adding the Alexa toolbar to IE or Firefox (there is one for IE now).

    2. Having them comment on posts that relate to them.

    3. Promote your site by adding a link to their Facebook, MySapce, or other social networking account.

    4. Subscribe to your RSS feed

    5. Link to your site from their site(s), if they have a site

  • Install a plug-in on your blog that will link to other posts within your blog: This is basically the “If you liked this post, take a look at these” post. There is a plug-in like that, but it only does it in random posts. I found another one that does it in all posts. I can show you the results and how to install it.
  • Use Social Networking heavily: The reason all of my networks are large is because I see the value in networking with as many people as possible. You should get as many people in your Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumble, etc., networks as possible.
  • Work less on the design and more on the content.
  • Submit your site to This is big because this directory is used on tons of web sites.
  • Create A Site t-shirt: Make a t-shirt with your site name on it and wear it often. There are several places you can get this done.

Once your site starts to go Viral, you won’t have to do as much promotion, but you will need to have consistent content.

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John A. Simpson is a father of two, a Senior IT Professional with 23 years experience, and an Internet entrepreneur. When he is not working and spending time with his daughters, he spends his time promoting his blogs and giving out free SEO advice.

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