January 06, 2004
How to get your weblog known

Today I got an email from Sonny. He asked me the following:

Hi Michael,

My name is Theron Parlin (or just Sonny for short) – I’m very new to weblogging, (I just put my site up two days ago) and I was wondering if you could tell me how to get my site “out there” so other webloggers can check it out and such? I saw your tutorial on trackbacks and found it to be very helpful! Also, if you know of any good weblogging resources that would be great as well.



Go check out Sonny's site. He's a computer programmer and a fireman, what a combo.

The first suggestion I would give is to read a few books. Rebecca Blood wrote The Weblog Handbook and it's great. Paul Bausch, Matt Haughey, & Meg Hourihan wrote We Blog and it has lots of good advice as well. They've thought about this a lot more than I have. Best bet is to buy a copy and read what they have to say.

That being said, here's my advice on getting your weblog known.

1) Make good content - This is absolutely the most important thing. People read weblogs for good content. While 'what I had for breakfast' and 'friday five' are fun, they don't do a lot to interest people in coming back. Write entries that you know something about. People appreciate learning new things and if you provide them, they will come. Most people found my site by reading one of my stories like the USB Cup Warmer or the Tivo Extraction HowTo.

2) Write regularly - I'm not saying post every 2 hours, but if you go a week or two without posting, people will stop checking in with you. Every 2 or 3 days is fine if you are posting good stuff. Delivering regular content is what makes people come back again.

3) Link to other people - Links are the currency of bloggers. When you find something interesting you want to share when reading someone else's site, be sure to link back to the person you found it from. Use trackbacks as well. Almost all bloggers check there referrer logs and know when someone is linking to them. They then go check you is linking to them and find you.

4) Leave comments on other weblogs - Bloggers like comments and appreciate getting them. If you leave comments on other weblogs, people will link back to your site to see who you are. This doesn't mean comment everywhere for this purpose alone. Try to add good, valuable comments and people will look to see who you are.

5) Keep your blog design simple - Many bloggers fall for the temptation to add all kinds of bells and whistles to their site when they start. My suggestion is to keep things simple in the beginning and focus on the content. Make a good design and look, but avoid the addition of every possible feature. New visitors should find it simple to read and locate info on your page.

These are my main suggestions on getting a new weblog going. Your mileage may vary. The world could be full of people that like flashing weblogs about breakfast.

Good luck Sonny and welcome to the Blogosphere.

Posted by michael at January 06, 2004 12:02 AM