"If you build it, they will come," worked once in a movie, but seldom works in real life - least of all in blogging. With the millions and millions of blogs to choose from, how are people going to know about yours? New blogs rely heavily on social networking to grow a readership. After a while, you'll begin to gain search engine traffic if you apply good SEO techniques, but how do you get to that point? You'll need to learn to promote your own blog. Here are some simple ways to do that.
Social Networking Sites - Join, and become active on social news sites like Digg, Newsvine, and Stumbleupon. Also, use social bookmarking sites like Reddit, and Delicious. Finally, use your profiles on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-IN. Remember to be "social," meaning that you need to interact with people, and promote others as well as yourself.
Comment on other Blogs - Most blog comment sections give you the ability to enter your blog URL as you are registering to comment. Your good quality content is likely to attract the attention of other bloggers and readers of those blogs, who may visit your blog and link to you. Remember not to ever "spam" the comment section of someone else's blog.
Link to other Blogs - Most bloggers have the ability, either through software on their site and/or through their news alerts, to know when someone has linked to their blog. Linking to other blogs will help encourage those bloggers to visit your blog, and possibly link back to you.
E-mail Lists - Develop an e-mail list of bloggers in your niche. When you have a top-notch story, send them a link to it. This is especially effective if you have already developed a professional relationship with those bloggers by commenting on their blogs and linking to them.
Feeds - Use feeds to encourage reader loyalty. For more on Feeds, see our WebRev Feeds archive.
Press Releases - Although often considered "old media," press release services can still be a good way to promote a new blog. Be sure to provide good quality information in the press release that other sites will want to publish, then provide your blog URL at the end "for more information."
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.