Promoting your blog – some tips for starters

Now you have a blog up and running. How do you get people to come to your blog (including both regular and non-regular visitors), how do you get search engines to get your blog indexed (and make it come high in their search display so that more visitors can come to your blog through search); and most important of all, how do you keep people who come to your blog to visit on a regular basis, and even send details to their friends and family ?
This is an exhaustive topic, and not something that I can cover in this one post. The contents of this post are more in the nature of starter tips, not a detailed presentation of points to do. Think of this as the 101 class (and that too, the first few chapters). The post is meant for people who are not so conversant with what all to do. If you know the ins-and-outs of using Adwords to promote your blog, then you should write your techniques here (I welcome comments fomr Gurus about tips on what has worked for them). So, here goes with the tips:
1. Feed: Make sure that feeds are setup on your blog so that people know how to get content easily.
2. Most search engines have a link where you can submit a blog, search for those and submit your blog URL over there
3. If you write comments on other people’s blogs, do remember to leave your own Blog URL in the space provided (most comment systems allow you to enter your URL in a separate box, and then show it in a non-intrusive manner). If your post is intelligent, makes sense, then there is a good chance that other visitors will come to your blog.
4. In whichever blog system you use, there will typically be a method to ping blog directories; if not, then be sure to use this URL: http://www.pingomatic.com
5. If there are article directories such as http://blogcritics.com, or the whole list at http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/, submit your articles over there. Typically articles getting posted here with a link back to your blog can help you.
6. Don’t plaster advertisements all over your blog. You need to make money, and having ads is fine for that, but users should be able to find the content and not run away in frustration.
7. In your signature file in email, make sure that you add a link to your blog along with an appropriate comment
8. If you are writing blogs on specific subjects, make sure that your most useful / most read posts are easily accessible by people
9. Allow people to be able to send your blog as a link via email. For example, in Blogger, there is a setting that allows visitors to send a post via email. If a user is able to send your posts like this, this is free viral marketing
10. If you can, make sure that your users get the feeling that they are getting something for free. So, you can get users to subscribe to your email feed by promising to send them a list of free tips
11. Post on a regular basis. This keeps users coming back (it need not be every day, but setting a pattern helps)

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