Promoting Your Academic Blog Online

Blogs have become an extremely popular form of information dissemination, and today many blogs exist on topics ranging from particle physics to the Twilight franchise. As a result of the explosion of the blogosphere, it has become more difficult to successfully market an academic blog, and develop a faithful audience devoted to reading about your chosen subject area. However, some tools and strategies can help aid in the promotion of your blog and development of an active blogging community. These include the use of mass pinging and posting tools, the utilization of online social media, and networking with other bloggers.

One of the easiest ways to bring more traffic to your blog is through the use of pinging programs (Beebe, 2010). A plethora of pinging tools exist including: Ping-O-Matic, Pingoat and Feed Shark.

These programs let bloggers easily notify a variety of blog related services whenever a new blog post is published, allowing for your post to become quickly indexed in a variety of directories and easily searched (Beebe, 2010). Each of the aforementioned sites allow users to easily ping a large number of websites (Ping-O-Matic alone allows users to ping 25 servers) including: Google Blog Search, Alexa, Blog Rolling and Blo.gs by simply entering your blog’s name and web address into the programs as directed.

Another tool you can use to popularize your blog is IMAutomator, a backlink building tool (Beebe, 2010). IMAutomator allows you to quickly build backlinks to 15 social bookmarking sites (for free or more for a cost), and have these links distributed at irregular times over 15 to 45 days making them appear naturally developed (Beebe, 2010; IMAutomator, 2010). The development of these backlinks will make your blog seem more popular to search engines, allowing for it to appear higher on search engine keyword searches, making it possible to attract a wider audience.

You can also promote your blog using online social media tools including Facebook and Twitter. After publishing a new blog post, posting your blog’s URL to Facebook and Twitter will notify your friends and followers of the new entry you have created (Beebe, 2010; TopRank Online Marketing, 2010). On Facebook you can also join various groups devoted to your blogs subject area promote your blog on these platforms. Using Twitter you may also wish to tweet your blog’s URL several times during the day so that people visiting Twitter at different times will see your post (Beebe, 2010). You may also considered using other tools for blog promotion including posting to listservs or making your blog’s URL a part of your email signature.

Lastly, a great way to promote your blog is by networking with other prominent bloggers in your field. You should read and comment on popular blogs written by scholars, and develop relations with these bloggers. Furthermore, you should also be sure to respond to comments on your blog in order to develop relations with your audience. You might be able to utilize these connections to create collaborative posts or interview these scholars and create a Q&A blog post (TopRank Online Marketing, 2010). Doing this will attract readers from that persons blog to yours, expanding your audience.

Overall, there are some tools that are easy to use that will bring more attention to your blog, and make it more findable such as Ping-O-Matic, Pingoat, Ping Shark and IMAutomator. But these tools alone are not sufficient for blog promotion. It is important to promote your blog on other online social media sites including Twitter and Facebook, and network with colleagues as well as other bloggers in order to attract a devoted audience. It is also important to read and comment on other blogs devoted to your subject area, and respond to comments posted on your blog, as doing this will help make your blog an active and vibrant community.

References

Beebe, J. (2010). 7 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts for Maximum Exposure. Retrieved from http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2010/06/promote-blog-posts/

IMAutomator. (2010). Backlink Spreading (Drip-Feeding) Explained. Retrieved from http://www.imautomator.com/info/articles/link-building/backlink-spreading-drip-feeding-explained

TopRank Online Marketing. 5 Sure Fire Tactics to Promote a Business Blog. Retrieved from http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/02/5tips-promote-blog/

One thought on “Promoting Your Academic Blog Online

  • This is interesting, but I would add that the Number One way to “develop a faithful audience devoted to reading about your chosen subject area” is to write interesting content, and write it well. And you should actually HAVE a well-defined chosen subject area – the more specific the better. Without that, forget it: All the pinging and tweeting will amount to nothing but noise that search engines and people will learn to tune out. Naturally, I concede, there’s no point posting golden words every week if no one’s reading them. You have to tell someone. There’s no single formula, though. I will occasionally post to listservs (in the professional working world, they are not dead yet) to attract likeminded people who may end up as subscribers (email or RSS) and/or followers on Twitter. That’s been my primary means of building an audience. Regarding Twitter: I may not be a typical user, but I tend to unfollow people who tweet the same link several times a day, or who tweet too often, even about stuff I’m interested in. And being obsessive about search engine placement is a waste of time, in my opinion. I’ve never given a thought about how I rank in Google searches, yet I do very well, thank you. Search engine algorithms do a fine job of finding your quality content, particularly if you are focused and stay on-topic most of the time. And by the way, people who find you via a search engine are probably NOT going to be converted into a subscriber or follower, i.e. a valued member of your tribe (to use a buzzword). These comments are just my experience of blogging and I am no expert, for sure. Others will disagree with me and be perfectly right!

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