One of my clients wants to create a blog that will really stand out in her niche and become a destination. She asked for a few tips, so here is what I suggested:
1. Unique topic – anything that people have not heard before, surprises or even shocks, cuts through the clutter and gives practical advice (where people usually find a 20 minute speech), or is edgy or controversial.
2. Participation via comments – invite participation and get people returning. Although my blog is almost a hobby (when pressed for time, client work comes first, so sometimes I go as much as a month between posts), I have done three things technically that have increased participation: 1) I made it a do-follow blog, so more people come to comment on it, making it a more happening place. 2) I am trying to respond to comments with follow-up comments, for the same result. 3) My WordPress sends me two notices, one when a comment is posted for me to moderate, and a second when the comment goes live. To this second email, I respond with a note like this:
I approved your comment, so please don’t forget to social bookmark the post. Because mine is a DoFollow blog, your website will benefit from the SEO-friendly link. It is therefore to your advantage to give this page some link juice by social bookmarking it. You will see at the bottom of the post some icons for one-click social bookmarking:
Or it would be even better if you could share some of my ramblings with your readers by blogging about them and linking back to the original posts.
This has gotten me some social bookmarks and also has lead to a few other link exchanges.
3. Social bookmarking – I have a free script for that at http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php
4. Building big communities at MyBlogLog.com, BlogCatalog.com, SpicyPage.com, and probably a few others. There probably is a good way to promote it also through article directory communities such as EzineArticles.com .
5. Guest post exchanges can be good, bringing new perspectives to your blog and reaching out to the audiences of other blogs.
6. Posting really insightful comments on well-read blogs can also lead to others following your link — but you have to get there early, before the crowds have come and gone.
7. I have found that just visiting blogs listed at MyBlogLog has resulted in the bloggers visiting my blogs. A lot of bloggers watch for a new face to show up on their widget, and they visit the blogs in return. If you have great content, they’ll be back.