There are many benefits to implementing a business blog for your online business. The additional credibility and visibility that comes as a result of consistent blogging can often eclipse that of traditional marketing efforts. If the business blog is setup to enable communication and posting to social networking and social bookmarking applications, the exposure potential is even greater, as these are some of the most popular destinations for people online. Having your business integrated into these new standards of Web 2.0 marketing can result in impressive returns. These are important steps to take when starting a business blog campaign, but when it comes to marketing, you aren’t finished yet…
Beyond the setup of your business blog and integration into social media advertising, you need to consider the blog community, or blogosphere. It’s vital that other bloggers are aware of your spot on the web, as they are probably the most active and knowledgeable online community when it comes to better search engine rankings and interactive marketing. Participation on your blog is necessary to start building a readership and making some waves within the community, not to mention the process of building relationships with people who can have quite a significant impact on your business success. Bloggers must remember that no blog is an island, and the real goal here is to create as many bridges in the blogosphere as possible.
So how does a new blog owner start this process? First, get your blog listed in as many blog directories and communities as possible. Build a profile, syndicate your posts, and start interacting. Look for other bloggers with similar topics and comment on their posts. Don’t directly sell your blog, but make sure there’s a route back to your blog for users to follow. Many blogs allow you to enter a link for your name when commenting, and this is often the most common way to be subtle about self-promotion. After you’ve got some conversations going, connect with these other bloggers through the networking aspect of the blog directories and communities. You’ll find most bloggers welcome the partnership and will continue to participate on your blog, sometimes linking to you in their Blogroll, adding link popularity for better rankings and more exposure.
Here’s a list of the most popular blog directories and communities. These applications are typically free and allow social networking connections between bloggers. Sign up for an account, add your blog, start participating, and watch the blogosphere start working for you.
- BlogCatalog: The largest social blog community and directory online. Search blogs, connect with other bloggers, learn about blogging and promote your own blog.
- Blogged.com: A large blog community and search engine built around readers. All blogs included are reviewed, and tools are provided to find the blogs and articles for readers with specific interests.
- Blogs.com: Another large blog search engine and community. Blogs.com has editors that pick the best content and a variety of tools to deliver readers’ favorite blogs in many ways.
- TopBlogArea: International blog directory and search engine that syndicates your posts across the entire network.
- BlogFlux: Featuring over 130,000 blogs, this directory includes articles to help with blogging, a search engine, and networking capabilities.
- MyBlogLog: Very active blog community and directory owned by Yahoo! MyBlogLog is unique in that it can place a widget on your blog that displays community members and visitors.
- Technorati: “The Web’s Coffee House” – Technorati is a massive blog search engine indexing over 1.5 million posts in real time. Includes a syndicated ad network and social networking function.
- 9rules: A very popular and exclusive blog community that only accepts submissions a few times a year and has accptance rules. Because of this, 9rules has the best content from around the web.
- Additional blog syndication, directory, or networking sites: bloghub.com; zimbio.com; merchantcircle.com; ziki.com. A long list of directories: TopRankBlog