Day 29 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is all about utilizing your time wisely and effectively. Now is the time to begin to think intentionally about your time and energy online, and how these actions can promote your overall profile online. This is probably one of the best things for me when I do it consistently, and one of the hardest areas for me to remain faithful in.
The challenge today is to look at various ways to use your time online to promote yourself and your blog, apart from the time actually spent on your blog. The difficulty is that it can become so easy to “piddle around” as my mom used to say. To flutter from one thing to another to another to another and before you know it, you’ve spent an hour online and not really accomplished anything.
I think that’s where I come to a word that Darren doesn’t use in the lesson – intentional. Having planned your online actions out ahead of time can be very effective because you will stay on task, eliminate distractions and work more efficiently.
Ways to promote your online profile are numerous and several are listed in today’s post such as Flickr, Lifehacker, Twitter, Forums, Blogs, and StumbleUpon. He also discusses using guest posts, blog coments on other sites and advertising.
There are a few favorite ways I have to promote my blog online that Darren did not mention. Satellite blog posts like hubpages, squidoo lenses and xomba can be effective for creating incoming links and drawing in new readers. Contributing to collaborative sites like Untrained Housewife, Type-A-Mom or Blissfully Domestic can be beneficial for lifting a series of posts on a topic across several sites and harnessing Google Power in a big way.
For example, when I wanted to promote and build up my series of articles about fragrant plants on Suite101, I wrote a fragrant plant themed hubpage linking to it, used my personal plants blog to link to it and shared the links via Facebook, twitter and stumbleupon. If I wanted to take it one step further, and I probably will eventually, I would write a couple gardening articles for Blissfully Domestic and Untrained Housewife and link back to the fragrance articles on Suite101 from within those posts. Now Google sees at least a half dozen incoming links to my fragrance plant articles and some of those links from full-length articles – that gives tremendous power to my search-engine rankings.
Another way to build up an online profile that Darren didn’t touch on would be twitter chats. Many topic areas now hold twitter chats with relevant hashtag marks. For example #blogchat, #gardenchat, #birthpros, etc. Almost every topic area has chats dedicated to it now and if they don’t…what a wonderful opportunity for you to step in and become “the founder of #cookbookchat”.
- Assess the amount of time you are willing and able to dedicate to promoting your blog and online presence. Remember this will be above and beyond your actual writing, publishing and site design for your blog.
- Schedule your allotted time according to what will benefit you the most – X amount on Twitter, X amount in extra postings each week (whether that’s Hubpages or guest posts on collaborative sites, etc), X amount commenting on forums/blogs, etc.
Do you think that this is a beneficial exercise? Even if you are typically a “fly-by-the-seat” type of personality, do you think having a social media and promotion strategy will be helpful? What types of things have you done in the past that have proven the most beneficial to you in building an online profile and increasing awareness of your work?