When I first started blogging, I thought that all I had to do was design my site, post great content, tell a few friends, and I would have a relatively popular site in no time. Little did I realize then all the things I would be doing now. In not-so-particular order, here are the almost daily things I do to keep my blog running at full steam.
Some posts are easier than others, but they all require a bit more than just creating the main entry itself.
- Prep Work – Prep work for a new entry includes uploading new photos to my Flickr account for a photo post, editing Quicktime videos on my fiancÃ©’s Mac and uploading to Youtube, digging through scraps of paper to find a specific poem, jotting down barely legible ideas in my notebook using a thin sharpie while driving (do not try this – a video recording device would be much safer, but I am not fond of the sound of my own voice, unless I’m singing oddly enough), and creating playlists for music related posts.
- Posting – Entering the actual post, keywords, Platinum SEO information, editing, and testing before putting live.
This subject I cover more in depth on my Social Media Marketing & Networking Squidoo. I typically promote new posts using the following networks.
- Twitter – Post a short description and link, the simplest network to do.
- Plurk – About the same as Twitter, unless it is a video or photo entry, in which case I will just post a direct link to the media
- Facebook – Share a link of the post or update my status with a link, depending on whether it will have a picture attached to it.
- Myspace – Update my status with a link and post a new Myspace blog with an excerpt and link to continue to kikolani.com.
In addition to promoting posts, I also actively seek new readers.
- Making New Contacts – This can be done in a variety of ways on the various networks. Most networks have groups, so one easy way to contact someone out of the blue is to join a group with similar interests relating to your site (in my case, poetry, photography, blogging). Then you can start interacting and befriending members based on that shared interest, casually mentioning your site to show what you have to offer in that area.
- Blog Catalog – This site offers a widget that you can put on your page, showing your recent visitors. If their first visit was just a pop in an out, befriending them may encourage them to make a return trip. Bonus is when you visit a Blog Catalog member’s site, you will end up on their visitor list for others to see as well.
It is one thing to get readers. But to keep them interested, stimulated, and coming back for more, it is essential that you respond to them.
- Comment Responses – Instead of just sending a generic email greeting to people awesome enough to comment on my posts, I do my best to respond to most of my comments on my blog.
- Comment Reciprocation – If a commentator has a blog, I continue onto their site to find some posts of theirs I can contribute to, comment-wise. Good blogging karma!
- Befriending on Social Networks – Regularly, I check my email address book through the various social networking sites I am, befriending or following my readers.
In order to grow as an individual, it is essential to continue to learn new things. In the world of blogging, this can be done in a variety of ways.
- Subscribing via RSS – I subscribe to many blogs on for blogging tips, SEO, social media news, design, photography, poetry and anything else I am interested in. This way I get daily updates from everyone I like to read. I also subscribe to my commentators blogs. This is a great way to learn more about what my readers are interested in as well. (What is RSS?)
- Commenting – Again, I mention commenting. I find that while I am commenting on other people’s posts, it stimulates my mind with new things to do for my own blog. I am not insinuating ripping off other people’s ideas. Merely expanding upon them, or giving a different point of view. And it is always polite to give link love to the inspirational post as well.
Social bookmarking can be powerful in many ways.
- Promoting Great Posts – Whenever I find a useful article, or intriguing story, I will bookmark it to StumbleUpon via the Firefox extension. It is quick and easy.
- Promoting Yourself – When you bookmark posts that you have commented on, you are also bringing yourself traffic since your link will be in that post’s comments.
- Sharing with Others – Last but not least, bookmarking helps others learn more about your interests, and points them to articles that they could gain useful insight from as well.
Everyday, I come across a new way to improve on my blog’s design and functionality.
- SEO – There are many great blogs with SEO tips, including Daily SEO Blog, Balkhis Vision for Success, ProBlogger, and Blogging Tips for Beginners.
- Plugins – WordPress plugins can greatly enhance your blog. My favorites include WP Super Cache to optimize page load time, DoFollow to help fellow bloggers in building backlinks, Subscribe to Comments so people can receive updates on conversations they participate in, Sociable for social media bookmarking, WP Tags to Technorati to let your WP tags become Technorati tags, which sense your post to the appropriate Technorati tag pages, and Platinum SEO Pack to help optimize the SEO power on every page and post.
So how about you? Do you have a certain routine you follow in regards to your blog? Additional tips and resources are welcome in the comments, and may be included in future expansion of this article.