Posted to Volacci's blog on March 15th, 2011

Promoting Your Blog With Simple, Honest Link Building

The blogosphere can be a lonely place. It can produce anxiety, inconsistency, angst. Sure, you might get some clicks and comments every day, but the blood, sweat and (hopefully not) tears far outweigh the feedback you get from your readers (no offense, readers!).

If you’re like me, link building is the last thing on the mind while blogging for a company or cause. I tend to empty my SEO Speedwagon, let the creative juices flow and hit the ground running. While blogging, I’m thinking creative content that doesn't suck.

However, corporate or industry bloggers need to be more SEO-minded, and, believe it or not, there are a few ways to do this without spreading yourself too thin and losing your desire to blog.

A solution?

Write fewer posts and fill the in-between time with blog inlink building, the SEO tactic of getting other people and sites to link to yours. Introduce me to a blogger who writes seven high-quality posts per week and still has the energy to hug his kids when he gets home, and I’ll introduce you to a 6-foot-tall snow cone. It just doesn’t exist (and if it does, it’s extremely rare). Unless you have a team of bloggers to provide daily fresh content, limit yourself to a couple per week.

Focus on the quality and relevance of your content. Be consistent but maintain content integrity. Don't get burnt out.

The next few tidbits are ways to grow your readership through some simple and acceptable link building tactics.

1. Create an avatar to establish the legitimacy and consistency of your comments.
Maybe it’s a company logo, maybe it’s your friendly mug shot. Use a consistent icon, alias or identity across all blogs to increase the outward legitimacy of your posts. Sign up for a program like Gravatar that allows you to create your custom avatar, which will follow you from site to site and appear next to your name when you comment on blogs. Complete your profile, which often includes a short bio, your location and as much of your real name as you’re willing to give. The more complete it is, the more serious you’ll be taken.

2. Post rich, relevant comments on other blogs.
You’re probably, or at least should be, interested in the things you blog about, so spend some time reading the writing of other bloggers. Find five to 10 bloggers who run successful and compelling blogs in a similar field. Post comments on these blogs frequently, offering tips, encouragement, industry hints and anecdotes. Don’t be one of those frequenters that uses commenting as therapy. Give strong, helpful tidbits.
(Note: Always avoid Black Hat SEO tactics. No dive bombing, no lonesome link posting, no misleading comments -- contribute to the overall health of the blogs you visit. It’s the right thing to do!)

3. Leave a link on your comments.

Post a link to your blog directly under your name. Don’t draw too much attention to it, just post the link, subtly suggesting, “Hey, guys, visit my blog if you want to.” If you post good comments, people will click it.

4. Link build through social media.
You’re thinking “Duh”, right? Well, there’s more to it than posting links to your blog on your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Social media is give and take. You must offer your followers and fellow bloggers something to munch on. Post links to blog posts you like. Encourage others to visit these blogs you frequent. Showing your fellow bloggers love through social media will inspire them to do the same for you (I know, it's not about that; it's about promoting information you care about). Your link building efforts will be more effective if you don’t promote yourself all the time -- have someone else do it. Promote others and it will come back to you. Remember: Retweet, Retweet, Retweet.

5. Land spots on blogrolls.
Trade blogroll spots with bloggers you respect. When linking to a blog from yours, remember to add a target=”_blank” to your code so it opens in a new tab, keeping your site open in the browser. Blogrolls are an easy way to build inlinks.

6. Guest write for blogs.
Obviously your competitors won’t let you be a guest contributor, but general industry-related blogs often look for contributors to add content from time to time. These types of blogs don’t necessarily promote one business, they’re just trying to keep their content fresh and informative. If you are an authority in your industry, you deserve to be a guest blogger.

7. Monitor your progress.
Use Yahoo! Site Explorer to see how many pages and inlinks your site has. If the number is increasing, you’re on the right track!
site explorer.jpg

For more information on optimizing each post and properly incorporating keywords, especially in Drupal, take a look at an article our CEO, Ben Finklea, posted last year on the topic.

"How to Use Keywords in a Blog Post"