What you should not do when trying to promote your blog

When you start writing a blog, there are several steps you would want to take to ensure that your blog gets popular soon, and that more people visit your blog over a period of time. You can search the internet, and find a number of ways that promise to ensure that your blog / site will get more popular. And the art of increasing the popularity of a site is not a specific art with known steps, it is not that you take these steps, and voila, your blog will get more popular. Without getting into too much detail, the most important steps that a person can take to improve the popularity of their blogs are to ensure that you have regular periodic updates of unique content that is likely to be interesting to the desired set of users, and that enough of these users (and other sites) feel that linking to your site would be in the interest of their readers.
Now, there are a number of steps that have been tried in the past to ‘game’ search engines to get them to increase your blog in their search rankings, and at the same time, there is ongoing effort by the search engines to see through these attempts to game their search engine rankings, and at some point, they have started penalizing people who try to artificially inflate their search engine rankings (such as stuffing meta-data tags all over the page, adding additional content with the same color as the page background, buying links from external sites, and so on). If you were thinking of going overboard with such efforts, do not try them anymore. Also on the list of things not to try are:
– Leave comments on other people’s blogs in order to try and get some of that Page Rank onto you (these are typically useless comments such as ‘Good Post’, ‘I agree’, and so on). These are 2 reasons why this really does not work. Unless your comment is meaningful, people typically ignore such comments (and the blog owner may delete such a comment); further search engines and popular blogging software have come up with a mechanism such as a ‘nofollow’ tag that tells search engines not to follow such tags (as a result, the higher Page Rank of that blog does not benefit you in any way).
– There are so many attractively packaged software that promise nothing more than being able to auto-submit your page to so many search engines. It is very tempting to just use such a software. But you need not do so, since most modern search engines will soon find your site. It is much more beneficial to instead add your site to Google’s Webmaster tools (search for Google Webmaster) and if already have another site with some sort of Page Rank, put a link to your new site on this older site, and it will get discovered faster.
– Giving people a way to add your post to social engines and others such as Digg, etc. You must have seen sites such as this, with an entire line given over to a number of icons allowing visitors to auto-post your post to many of these sites. You should start doing this only when you have a number of visitors to your site, otherwise it adds no value to your site, and may put off some people. If you do want to do this, then go in for a small selected list and stick to those.

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