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Integrated Web Design: Got a Weblog? Promote It!

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Got a weblog? If so, you're joining thousands of people who blog daily. Whether yours contains humor, passages from your life, or political discussions (and even if you use your blog for updating news on a professional site), making sure that the blog gets promoted is key. After your weblog is up and running, promoting and aggregating content is the step that will help move you from anonymity to worldwide fame. Molly Holzschlag lets you know how to promote your weblog content effectively.
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Got a weblog? If so, you're joining thousands of people who blog daily. Whether it's humor, passages from ones life, political discussion—even if you use your blog for updating news on a professional site—making sure the blog gets promoted is key.

Once you've got your weblog up and running, promoting and aggregating content is the step that will help move you from anonymity to worldwide fame. Okay, well maybe not, but it could happen—and it often does when those folks using weblogs promote their content effectively.

In this article you'll learn:

  • Which web sites can help you get your weblog noticed and how

  • Where to find weblog rings that relate to the topics within your weblog

  • How to work with newsfeed capabilities

Relevant Web Sites

There are a variety of sites on the Web that help promote weblogs, and you can use them in a variety of ways to promote your weblog, including the following:

  • Automatic pings to sites such as Movable Type, in which your site will ping the receiving site every time a new entry is updated.

  • Weblog portals are exactly like commercial portals. They often offer rich features such as search, news, and other items of interest. And, as with a typical portal or search engine, you can add your weblog URL to their database, giving you the ability to reach more and more people.

  • Weblog indexes are similar to standard search engines, but tend to be more streamlined in terms of content or have a specific topic of interest.

  • Weblog directories organize weblogs by category, placing your weblog in the topic area most relevant to both your site—and folks seeking more information on that topic.

In this section, we'll tell you about some of the most common sites that use one or a combination of the above approaches to help you to promote your weblog entries.

movabletype.com

If you're a Movable Type user the first place you may wish to stop on by and get set up to promote your weblog is Movable Type's own home page, which is followed by many Movable Type and weblogging enthusiasts.

NOTE

Almost all blogging services and software products offer an updated page. Check with yours for details!

You will need to make a donation (at this time, at least $20.00 USD), which is something we highly recommend, anyway, because up to this point you could use and work with Movable Type for absolutely free! Then, Movable Type will issue you a recently updated key that you'll add to your weblog.

To make a donation for the recently updated key, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to http://www.movabletype.org/donate.shtml and click the PayPal link.

  2. In the amount text field, enter the amount you wish to donate. Remember, the minimum is currently $20.00 US (check the site to be sure that number is still accurate).

  3. If you've never used PayPal, click the button to sign up and follow the donation directions on that page. If you have used PayPal in the past, enter your login information and then click the Continue button.

  4. On the confirmation page, look over your banking information and the amount of the donation (and if you want to, leave a message for the good folks at Movable Type). Click Pay.

  5. PayPal will confirm your order and you will receive an e-mail receipt within a few minutes. Save this receipt for your records.

NOTE

If you do not wish to use PayPal as a means of payment, Movable Type allows you to purchase Amazon Gift Certificates and email them to wishlist@movabletype.org. The certificates will be treated just as if you'd made a cash donation, and the same benefits will be made available to you.

After you make your donation, you'll receive a follow-up e-mail from Movable Type with your recently updated key. You'll want do add this to your weblog to activate the process.

To add the recently updated key, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Movable Type weblog setup. Select the weblog you want to add the recently updated key to.

  2. Click the weblog Config button, which takes you to the core preferences page. Click the Preferences link.

  3. From the Preferences page, click the Publicity/Remote Interfaces/TrackBack link.

  4. Look for the Recently updated key text box. Add the key.

  5. Click Save.

NOTE

You can use the same key for multiple blogs owned by you. An additional advantage of donating to Movable Type is that your linked URL gets placed on its donor page, offering even another opportunity for your weblog to get some exposure.

Blogdex

A free and popular way to promote your weblog is via Blogdex, which is a Weblog indexing research project at the MIT Media Laboratory that is tracking the weblogging phenomenon.

So not only do you get to promote your weblog, but by signing up at Blogdex, you get to take part in the fascinating social experiment of weblogging.

To set up your weblog at Blogdex, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to blogdex.net/add.asp. This will take you directly to the page where you'll add your weblog info.

  2. Add the URL to your weblog. Be sure the URL you enter goes directly to the weblog and not another page on your site.

  3. Add your contact email address.

  4. Click the add site button.

If your site hasn't been added in the past, or hasn't been automatically added at some point by the Blogdex engine, you'll receive a confirmation page that the site has been added. If you have already been added, you'll receive a message saying that.

NOTE

To read more about the Blogdex project at MIT, see http://blogdex.net/add.asp. And, of course, keep up with other blogs by visiting the Blogdex home page.

RootBlog

RootBlog looks like a classic portal site and acts like one too!

NOTE

RootBlog allows pings. However, RootBlog prefers that you enter your RSS feed info first. So, you'll need to know your RSS feed info. Movable Type automatically publishes your information in both XML and RDF (Resource Description Format, which is a form of XML). They are typically stored where your main index is. If your weblog is at http://www.mysite.com/index.html, your RSS feeds will be http://www.mysite.com/index.xml and http://www.mysite.com/index.rdf. Note that you can use either for most RSS feed situations.

To list your weblog with RootBlog follow these steps:

  1. Log on to RootBlog. Click the Add Your RSS Feed/Ping link. You'll be taken RSS Feed Ping Form.

  2. Enter the URL of your feed.

  3. Click Submit. RootBlog will ping your site.

Now you can automate the process by entering the ping information into your Movable Type configuration. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Movable Type configuration and select the weblog you want to have ping RootBlog.

  2. From the Administration Menu, select the Weblog Config button. Go to Preferences; then click to Publicity/Remote Interfaces/Trackback link.

  3. Go to the Notify the following sites when I update my blog section. In the textbox, add http://ping.rootblog.com/rpc.php directly into the box.

  4. Click Save and rebuild your weblog.

Now every time you publish an entry to your site, RootBlog will be automatically pinged.

Additional Promotion-Related Blogging Sites

There are a number of additional sites that can be of great help in promoting your weblog. Here are some suggestions that you can seek out on your own.

  • Daypop.com. Daypop is a search engine focused on current events. It crawls the Web every day for any newly updated weblogs and news sites. If your site has a current events edge, you may want to add your site to Daypop directly here.

  • Blogsnob. This site offers a free, hybrid means of advertising your weblog in the form of an ad. Your ad will appear on other Blogsnob blogging pages, and vice-versa. Check out its web site for more information.

  • Blogwise. We like this site a lot because of its international focus, organizing weblogs by country and by keyword. Check out its web site.

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