Building a loyal repeat readership takes, time, energy, and patience. In most cases, you'll spend a lot of time social networking in the beginning of your blogging venture, and more on search engine optimization thereafter.
But what if you have a time-sensitive post that's really good? Perhaps you've written something that has to do with current events or to do with a sale you're having this coming weekend, and you don't have several months to build web traffic. What you need is for a bunch of people to see your post TODAY. So, how do you do that? Here are some ideas.
Include a poll with your post.
People love, love, LOVE to give their opinions. So include a poll with your post, and then link to your post from social networks like Twitter and your Facebook profile.
Include original photos or artwork, and label them correctly.
A lot of people search images.google.com for images for their own blog posts, so if you have photos or artwork (cartoons, etc.), that pertain to something that is going on in your area or in national news, be sure to include them with your post. Remember, the search engines can not yet SEE the photos, and evaluate them based on content, so you'll need to give your photos a title that includes the search terms people will use to search for your photo. Forget about copyright. If you're lucky, other bloggers MIGHT link back to you and give you credit for the photo, but in most cases they're going to use and abuse it. Remember, your goal on this particular project is to attract readers, not sell your photo.
Use Twitter #hashtags and key search terms.
Twitter has become one of the first places people will go to get news about events that are evolving (e.g. #egypt). You're only going to have their attention for a few seconds, so make your Twitter post concise and poignant. If you need ideas for what #hashtags or keywords to use, you can play around with search.twitter.com, to see what search terms are getting a lot of "retweets" and hits - at least one per minute is a very active feed.
Note: You can combine the use of Twitter search idea above with either of the other two ideas - images or polls - and double the effect of your effort. Have fun and good luck!
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.