Prompt 317

Two friends are in the woods hunting deer. There is a ghost walking around in the woods.

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Promoting Your Blog Using The Social And Bookmark Networks

Sometimes you come up with a great blog story. You know it will drive you a lot of traffic but you have a problem. None knows about your great blog post. In order to get maximum attention you need to spread the word around. This is where the social / bookmark networks come handy.

What is a social / bookmark network?

It’s a place where you can share your stories or bookmarks with others. Take blog reporter for example. You submit your blog story to the network, allowing other members to vote and comment on it. More popular stories that receive a certain number of votes get promoted to the front page. Most social networks are different. Some even allow you to export a large number of bookmarks straight from your browser.

Why social networks?

1) Social networks get a lot of traffic due to their nature. Users often return to read the latest stories and share their own.

2) Readers are usually only one click away from your blog. A popular submission can bring you thousands of daily visitors.

3) Most social networks are free and take seconds to register and submit your first entry.

4) You will be surprised when you see the amount of other websites that use feeds from various social networks. A good story can spread across the network like wild fire.

5) If your story will not get to the front page you can always submit another one. In most cases there is no limit on the amount of stories you can submit.

6) Most social networks are search engine friendly. Not only your story will be picked up by major search engines in no time, in most cases you will also get a reciprocal link. Some social networks have very good google page rank (PR)

Tips and tricks:

1) An interesting, catchy story is often a must. Your main target is to get promoted to the front page by getting enough votes. You need to convince other readers to vote for your story. Strange, shocking and controversial stories often do well.

2) You can always ask your friends to join and vote for you in order to get more votes. Don’t create fake accounts because you will simply get banned.

3) The more stories you submit the better. If you want a steady flow of traffic you will need a steady flow of submissions.

4) Just enjoy your experience. I certainly find it more interesting compared to other methods of blog promotion, such as link development.

There are a lot of various social networks around. Simple search on google should do the trick. I personally recommend blog reporter because it is the first personal publishing network designed especially for blogs.

Get Started With Your First Blog

There is no question that blogging is one of the best ways to get keyword rich content on your site, get your message on the search engines and get traffic to your website. But how do you get started blogging?

When you consider starting a blog there are many options. A great way to get started blogging quickly (and for free) is to use an online ‘standalone’ service like WordPress or Google’s Blogger. These are free, highly customizable tools that support both new and more advanced bloggers. The negative is that you can’t use your website’s domain name. For instance, if using Blogger, you blog address would be something like ‘yourblog.blogspot.com.’ While you can link to this from your current website, search engines won’t know give you ‘credit’ for the extra content since it is a different domain. With creative cross linking however, you can still benefit from the increased exposure you can get from a blog.

These free services provide powerful software tool that balance value, quality, and ease of use. While some people prefer to use more basic blog services, they too can truly benefit from the ‘built-in’ benefits of WordPress or Blogger along with its existing large community of users.

One of the most notable benefits of these services is the ease of use, and advanced functionality of the service compared to some blog software applications. Neither Blogger nor WordPress require you to know any ‘coding’ and allow you to built and post to your blog with easy to use icons similar to what one would see in a word processing program. Having the ability to utilize a program like this allows people to create blogs that are as high tech, and complete as full blown websites.

If you are occasionally ‘offline’ you can benefit from WordPress’s ability to import posts. This means you can put your blog together while you are not connected to the internet and then import it later. If you already use another blogging service such you can also import your posts directly into Blogger or WordPress.

Another benefit of these services is their large widget or element and theme libraries that allow you to instantly add useful features, and professional looking styles to your blog. A very simple drag and drop interface allows you to add features such as an RSS feed with a few clicks.

Another option to consider would be blogging software that you can directly integrate into your website. Some hosting provides such as GoDaddy allow you to use your existing domain name for you blog. The benefit is that the content of your blog becomes part of what search engines see for your domain. In these cases you are more likely to pay a monthly add-on fee to your hosting provider. As an alternative, Google’s Blogger allows you to publish to a FTP site, which means you can blog from your own domain. You lose some of the flexibility of the ‘out of the box’ service, but with a little effort you can have a customized template and pretty easy posting capability that resides within your domain.

As your needs become more advanced or if you are a more technical blogger you may also consider blogging software that can be directly integrated into your website. One to consider is bBlog. bBlog is an open source, PHP/MySQL application. If you don’t know what the last sentence means, then this isn’t for you. If you do know, then you may benefit from the expanded flexibility an integrated application could provide.

In the end, you have a wide, wide range of very inexpensive (or free) options to get started.

Beginner Blog Marketing

Blogs which are also known as web logs are the new thing on the internet. They are pretty much a platform that you can use that will allow you to post your thoughts on most any subject that you want to. They can be used for journaling, promoting, writing, and publishing, anything that your heart desires. However, if you are a beginner and new blogging as well as marketing, there are some very important things that you will want to know.

Blog marketing is pretty easy if you have a marketing mind. You are going to find that many people use blogs as a diary, and many times these blogs that are used for this purpose are not intended to make them money, but simply a way to put there thoughts out there and find others that are going through the same thing. If you have never even had a blog before, the simplest thing that you can do is to start one, and just journal in it for a while. This will allow you to learn just what it takes and what it is all about to keep up a blog. When you are just journaling your thoughts and what is on your mind, you have nothing to lose and nothing to gain. You don’t even have to make your blog public if you don’t want others to read what you have to say. That is a personal preference. However, doing this will let you see how it works. Then you can move on to trying to market a product or a service.

Using a blog to market something is cheaper than using a website. This is because there are so many free ones out there that you can use to get the word out, and they are really just as good as having a website that you pay for. There are of course some advantages to having your own URL, but for a beginner, a free one will work until you get the hang of it and want to move it all over onto your own server. The free blogs are just not that customizable. If you are not familiar with HTML, you are going to find that your blog will look like everyone else’s. But, that is ok in the beginning. You can always make changes later on once you are becoming successful.

When you have your own blog, you are in charge of the content that is posted on it. You can decide what is said, and what is not. You are after all writing it all, right? So, the sky is the limit. Whether you want a blog that does website reviews and takes nominations, or you want to sell things that you make out of your home, the choice is yours. Using a blog to get the word out about whatever you want too is a great way to market and promote something.

Blog marketing can get complicated if you let it. It is really only as hard as you make it. While there are some bloggers out there that are making a six figure income with the use of blog marketing, we all know that it can be done. We just want to know how. Well, for any beginner, start small, and be consistent. The six figure bloggers all did. They started with one, built it up, and then added another blog, built it up. Then, keeping up both blogs and not letting them fall behind, they continued to add more and more. Of course they had help, and they outsourced a lot of their work. If you are looking to make a massive income with blogging, you will need some help.

Blog marketing is a great thing to learn. If you can sell things from a blog, you can sell them anywhere. Making money by using a blog is one of the most satisfying things that you will ever learn how to do. Just do not expect to make money over night, know that you have to work at it consistently everyday, and remember to put into it what you want to get out of it.

Blog Marketing Crash Course

Many people with blogs get disheartened after a few weeks or months when their blog fails to attract thousands of readers. It is a real shame, because if bloggers followed a few simple blog marketing steps, then they would probably find that there is a willing audience just dying to read about most topics. So what can a blogger do to get noticed? Here are a few blog marketing ideas that should get most blogs getting reasonable traffic in a short space of time.

Blog about a niche: The world doesn’t really need another ‘vanity blog’ about what you had for breakfast. Unless you are a super-model good looking teenage girl who wants to put a lot of photos on your blog, then you are probably going to have a hard time getting noticed. If you already have a vanity blog and are wondering why you are not getting traffic, then you need to know that the vanity blog market is totally saturated. Consider starting or changing your blog to some other topic – an interest or a hobby for example.

Next, you need to start posting to forums. Put the URL of the blog in your forum signature (don’t spam forums saying “look at my blog”). If you just join in the conversation naturally, then people will get curious and you will get a few more readers. If the forum you post in is also to do with a similar topic to your blog then you will probably get repeat readers from it! Try to find the most popular forums in the niche you are writing about. To find them, just go over to Google and search for your niche keyword plus ‘forum’ and you should get a list. Try to find forums with at least a few thousand active members.

Make sure to do trackbacks and pingbacks to other blogs that you have linked to so that they know about you. When people find out that you have talked about them, they will come to see what you said. So will some of their readers. Talking about popular stories from popular blogs may get you more than just a few visitors too.

Comment on other people’s blogs as much as you can (without spamming). In most cases you can put a link back to your own blog and people do follow these links. It is also good to target blogs that talk about the same subject as you, because then you will get targeted readers who are more likely to continue reading your blog. (Avoid using “comment spam” programs as Google can track this and will penalize you).

Most importantly, you need to keep blogging! Nobody will return to a blog that is updated weekly or only occasionally. You need to add more content at least once per day, especially in the early stages of getting your blog noticed. This is hugely important.