Building Your Fanbase
Very few people go through life hoping no one will notice them. This is especially true if you have been bitten by the blogging bug and spent the last few month, weeks or even days churning out post after post of clever repartee. But in order to build the fan base you secretly crave, you have to let blog surfers know where you’re at and why you are worthy of their undying devotion.
1. First, be sure your blog is search engine friendly. It will help the search engines pick up and categorize your site easier. Edit your blog template to include a meta tag with search terms related to the content of your blog.
2. Then hang out your ‘open for business sign’ by getting your blog listed in directories and on top sites. Choose your directories wisely as most require a link back and you do not want clutter up your blog with fifty pages of directory links. Ideally, you want to get listed in directories with a high page rank but don’t completely discount newer directories. You will, usually, get included into newer directories much faster because they are trying to build their database as quickly as possible.
3. Submit your RSS link to syndication directories. Many aggregators look here for content to offer their subscribers.
4. Write and submit articles to article repositories. Content is king and article directories have exploded on the scene as a great way to get it quickly. It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a megastore or a regular ole Joan, they’ll take what you have to offer. Be sure to edit for grammar and spelling and include an anchored link to your blog in the author bio section.
5. Weigh in on controversial topics related to the content of your blog. Let’s face it, we are a nation that loves drama and people will search for and visit places that offer information or opinions on the latest scandals.
6. Be sure to provide a link to your blog on your website and vice versa. Also most forums allow you to add a signature to your posts. Write something witty and include a link to your blog.
7. Join a blog community such as Blog Explosion or Blog Clicker. You earn credits by visiting blogs listed in the community directory which translates into return visits to your site. You can also use earned credits to purchase ad space in the form of a banner rotation or being featured on the opening page of the site.
8. Be active in the blogosphere. Most bloggers will allow you to link to add a link to your site so visit other blogs and leave comments. DO NOT SPAM! The quickest way to lose fans is to spam them. You are much more likely to receive visits if you offer thoughtful comments relevant to the post.
9. Take part in a banner exchange. It is the same type of situation with the blog communities. You advertise banners on your site in exchange for the partner site advertising yours.
10. Join a webring or two or three. Webrings are a great way of hooking up with likeminded bloggers and to gain traffic via the host’s marketing efforts.
11. Exchange blogroll links with bloggers whose internet homes you like to visit.
12. Slap your slogan and blog address on a t-shirt or coffee mug and either sell or give away as apart of a contest. Cafepress is a wonderful resource for creating and selling personalized items.
13. Write a Meme and tag others with it and/or submit it to Meme directories.
14. Give out awards. Be sincere about this and make sure it is related to the content of your blog. (i.e. if you are a blog template designer, give out awards to blogs whose designs you like.) Make sure the award links back to your site.
15. Tell people about it. Recruit visitors offline by talking to internet savvy friends and family about your blog. A guerilla marketing tactic is to print a bunch of business cards with your blog address and leave them in public places. Cheesy, yes but hey people are curious.
Despite what you see on reality television, there is no such thing as instant fame. It takes patience, persistence and perseverance to snag and keep worshippers. These tips will help put you on the road to deification. The rest, my friend, is up to you.