I’m not exactly a MySpace kinda gal, so the idea of using social networks to draw traffic to my blog has been something I “would get around to one day.” But when that day never came, I decided it was time to figure out how to come to terms with the whole social network phenomenon.
Fortunately, MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster aren’t the only games in town, and in fact have spawned a whole new generation of social networks. Sometimes it feels like everyone is starting their own social network. But the upside of that is that social networks are much more specialized now.
So, if you are writing a mom blog, for instance, you can join a mom blog social network (of which there are many!). With these smaller networks it is easier to get to know folks better, and to find other people with similar interests who might be interested in following your blog, and visa versa. The more specific the social network, the more likely you will be to find like-minded blog readers, and you are off and running…
Granted, just belonging to a social network doesn’t guarantee that you will automatically grow your blog readership. But there are some things you can do to encourage fellow networkers to drop by your blog.
- Form a relationship. Take time to get to know specific people within the network. Find a few people you feel a connection with, and show your interest in them by messaging them, commenting on any posts they make, and visiting their blogs, if they have one. Social network friendships often lead to reciprocal blog buddies as well.
- Get involved in discussion boards. Becoming a familiar presence on the boards can go a long way toward getting people interested in knowing more about you, especially if you have interesting things to add to the discussion. And don’t forget to add your blog address to your signature so that it shows up on each board post.
- Talk about your blog on your profile page. This is the place of first (and sometimes last) impressions in a social network, and people aren’t going to spend more than a minute on your profile page, so make sure that your blog gets good advertising here, and that you make it easy to link to.
- Display your RSS feed on your profile page. Most social networking sites have built in RSS widgets that will allow you to display blurbs from your most recent blog posts on your main page, so definitely take advantage of this feature. One of your post titles or subjects might instantly capture a visitor to your page and then you have an instant blog visitor as well.
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