Many website owners underestimate the power of a blog because the stigma associated with the word “blog” makes it sound inferior to something like a “website.” Promoting your site is the next essential step and owning a blog is one of the best ways to actively drive traffic to your domain. Although the internet continues to get saturated with thousands of blogs every day, it doesn’t mean quality won’t go overlooked – especially when you want to create a brand out of your website. Here are five ways blogs can give your website more exposure and even become a great foundational network for your other work.
Create a Brand With Authority for Your Website
It’s true – blogs really can be a good way to give your website additional authority by showcasing articles, links, and giving a network of readers a place to experience your website in a refreshing way. Everyone has a blog these days. Some of the most powerful companies in the world run blogs as part of their website’s network, such as CNN’s blog “Political Ticker.”
Even Google keeps a blog at Blogspot, informing visitors about upcoming features, new upgrades to other sections such as Gmail, and more. Google has multiple blogs to inform readers on specific news and suggestions, like the Adsense blog, now one of the best ways to get the latest news for Adsense. That’s something a website owner would be interested in if he places ads on his pages. A blog is only as good as its content. Give people something to read. Understand the type of readers you have. Are they looking for information about a product? Do they want to read about an upcoming video game? Chances are, they didn’t visit your blog site to know about some weird dream you had last night. Treat the blog like it’s a website. Technically, it is. If you want the blog to promote your website, don’t make it a personal online diary unless that’s what you want the blog to be. Make sure the things you post are relevant to your niche and brand or you will lose traffic.
Strongly consider putting your website name somewhere in your blog’s title. Be creative and remember that the name of your blog can make or break its spot in search engines. Most platforms allow you to change the title any time you want. If you are part of multiple groups or affiliations (or companies), you’re not limited. You can place RSS feeds in your sidebars (which should include one from your website), place banners, and in some blogging platforms, you are allowed to place ads. A blog is like a second website but with all the potential to have a symbiotic relationship.
Your website’s brand will be much more consolidated when you establish this ‘network’ with the blogging community. The community, you see, is more like a good portion of the planet’s population. Put your website’s name out there.
Rank High on Search Engines With Quality Content and Backlinks to Your Website
What you post on your blog can be found on search engines. Blogging platforms are already optimized. Your content will decide the extent of where it ranks in searches. The traffic blogs receive can be very high, especially if you like to write about reviews, current events, issues in politics, and trendy topics of choice. Once your blog has a handful of quality posts in a certain niche, you’ll start to realize how much it acts like an extension to your main website.
Two of the best blogging platforms on the internet are WordPress and Blogger (now owned by Google). The dashboard interface is very simple to use and the number of options you have when writing posts is great. You can place pictures in your pages, embed videos (from sites like YouTube), have corresponding polls, and widgets allow you customize the blog (you can also use different themes).
WordPress and Blogger rank high in search engines but much of that depends on you and what content your blog has. Images get a lot of hits from Google Image Search and search engines web crawl your posts. On WordPress, you can see your site’s statistics, search queries, links that led to your site, and graphical data in the dashboard. It’s that simple.
One way to promote a specific article from your website using your blog is to write a post with a link to the article. But do more than just place a link. Write more about the article, reflect, place new pictures or a video – you have the ability to do whatever you want with it. Readers of that post will most likely click on the link if they want to know more (be sure to make each post presentable). Over time you will gain more traffic on your blog and that traffic leads to your website. Backlinks increase the overall PageRank of the pages, which is critical for search hits. A blog is one of the best way to do this and its posts can be as unique and varied as you want them to be.
Promote your website with the blog but make your blog something worth promoting, too.
Join Blog Directories
Blog directories are one of the top ways to showcase your blog (and thus the brand of your website) to many people. You will get a spot in the directory and you can participate in discussions, share links with other bloggers, and more. Two great directories are Blog Catalog and My Blog Log. Both give you many opportunities to actively promote your website and blog brand.
On Blog Catalog, you can join groups, add other bloggers as friends, add favorite blogs, and have a personal profile (including a photo). It is the ultimate social network for bloggers, like its motto says. There are many directories on the internet that you can join. Another great blog directory where you can gain traffic is Blog Explosion. You can earn credits, get other bloggers to check out your blog when you view theirs (which is a nice system), and search the directory for blogs of many different categories.
Your website’s brand will be much stronger if you are part of blog directories.
Write Comments on Other Blogs and Be Part of the Blogging Community
Writing comments (or guest posting) on other peoples’ blogs can get more page views and exposure for your website. Say more than a few words and avoid simply pasting a link to your blog or website. You will already be able to post as a user (for example, your WordPress or Blogger blogs will be linked to the profile you’re using to write comments). Usually, you have the option to enter your email address and website url if you have one.
By writing comments on other blogs, your words and insight will be seen not only by the bloggers but by everyone who views that page with the comments. Be polite and offer something to the discussion that fits what your website and blog brand is about. This is not shameless self-promotion. This is actively getting your website and yourself where people can read more. Blogging is one of the best ways to be involved with the online world community, which is the scope you need to promote your website.
Take Advantage of the Flexibility of Blogs
Blogs are effective not only to promote and drive traffic to your other pages, but also because you can do almost anything with them. If you are a journalist, you can reference key aspects of your website on your blog. Did you ever want to put something on your website that just didn’t fit your site? Maybe it was a personal reflection on something or an article about a topic not relevant to your main work.
I’m a writer on Associated Content and I run a website and my blog acts as a network to consolidate both areas of my work. I can post about articles I wrote (including placing RSS feeds of my other articles) and keep information well organized. Together they work as a network, with emphasis on the brand. The blog isn’t just about getting traffic for your website. It is you and your work. Having a blog lets you keep in touch with readers on a more personal level and you can write more about yourself for readers. If you work in sales, it can be a useful way to refer visitors to your products and services.
In the end you have to remember that it takes money to own a domain and keep it online with a Web Hosting Service. But blogs are completely free. You will be surprised what people are able to do with a simple ‘weblog.’