11 Secrets to Promoting Your Blog (Erik Deckers Session)

There are a lot of great sessions to choose from in this hour. I had to go with Erik—I always pick up awesome, actionable tips from him. Today’s session is on promoting your blog through search & social media. My current #1 referral source is Stumble Upon, followed closely by Google. I’d love to figure out why that’s happening & how to get even more traction out of it.

  1. Keywords
    Title: keywords should be in the first 4 words.
    Anchor Text: only keywords, not a full sentence
    Spiders don’t read punctuation so your keywords can span more than one sentence.
  2. Backlinks
    Even more important than keywords because there is more emphasis on who is linking to your keywords.
  3. Microsites
    Buy a domain with your keyword in it and a single page that points to your main site.
  4. Photos & Video
    YouTube holds a lot of weight in Google’s algorithm. Rather than hosting photos on your own site, use Flickr or Picasa for more social media juice. It can actually make your site load faster because the browser will load pictures & your page simultaneously from the 2 different sources.
  5. Social Sharing—Stumble Upon, Digg, Share This
    Stumble Upon—the toolbar can be the most fun time waster out there.
  6. Ask for Retweets
    Use sparingly but when you have a post you think someone else would be interested in sharing with their readers, ask for a retweet.
  7. Guest Blog
    This one is huge for me—I get quite a bit of traffic & strong backlinks when I guest blog. I get a lot of traffic from allowing others to guest blog because they promote it through their own networks. I love the My Blog Guest forum, though I’ve been inactive all summer. Ann was nice enough to DM me just the other day to ask how I was doing & I’ll be getting more involved again when the girls go back to school.
  8. Leave Comments
    Spend a few minutes leaving 3 comments per day—at the end of the month, you’ll have 90 backlinks & 90 people who know you valued their blogs. Don’t leave generic comments. Leave thoughtful comments that address the post specifically. Use Google’s Blog Search to find blogs relevant to your topic.You’ll be building relationships, but it can have backlink relevance (even if the links are nofollow—Google ignores for pagerank purposes but will still notice the link).
  9. Ask for comments
    Use a call to action in your posts—specifically ask for comments!
  10. Automate
    Don’t automate generic tweets—Twitter is conversation & community. Do automate some of your work. Use plugins or Tweetdeck to send your blog posts to Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Ning, etc. Schedule blog posts to go out at 8am (this is the 2nd time I have heard this—Shannon Steffen said the same thing at WordCamp). Ping.fm talks to most social media networks and can provide backlinks if you automate link sharing.
  11. Write Well
    If you want visitors to return, write well and check grammar & spelling.

    Speaker: Erik Deckers, @edeckers

    This is a live blog—an unedited version of my notes. It is not meant as an exact transcript but I try to capture the highlights along the way (and, you know, add commentary). I’ll fix spelling errors & grammar later, when I get a chance to go back. Be gentle, until then.