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How do You ‘Sell’ Your Blog?

Sell-Your-BlogThis post has been submitted by Karen Andrews from www.miscmum.com

I am no stranger (nor are you, probably) to how the wider media sometimes depicts bloggers: as closeted wannabees who add to the rise of ‘faux journalism’. Books are currently being published on the subject.

This could understandably contribute to any beginner blogger’s self-consciousness; especially those who are staring at their ad revenue reports, wondering if any money is every going to start showing up.

I used to be bashful when I talked about my blog. Not anymore. Why should I be? I’m proud of it. I’m proud of what it catalogues; thoughts, my goals, even my ambitions.

No doubt you feel the same about yours, too. But any hint of shyness, or pause, when you talk of your blog is hardly going to attract readers. Or advertisers.

Recently, I migrated from Blogger to WordPress; a rather stressful time for me, for I was deathly afraid that over a year’s worth of work and effort would somehow evaporate into nothingness (luckily, it didn’t). I had several reasons for the change; the main ones being I was a little tired of the limits of Blogger, and I wanted a purer control of my own writing and ‘brand’, for lack of a better word.

When I discussed my plans with non-bloggers, they all asked me “Why?” Why change? Why bother? What’s the difference?

I replied, “I just felt like it was time. It didn’t feel comfortable anymore.”

Granted, this was rather a drastic change. It needn’t be. Standard templates only need to be tweaked slightly to give yourself the opportunity to individualise (and hence ‘validate’) your blogging status. This mightn’t be important to some people; for others it just might be the chance to assert their creative will, and this newly found confidence can lead them on to loftier plans.

And sometimes stamping your own blogging status begins with how you speak about blogging in the first place.

Here’s my challenge:

  • Put your blog’s URL as part of your signature in your email (if you haven’t already).
  • Mention it in conversations.
  • Enter blog carnivals.
  • Do what you can (short of spamming, naturally!) to spread the word of your blog.

What are you waiting for?

Help sell your blog to the world. Isn’t it worth it?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Chris says:

    “Books are currently being published on the subject.”

    Like which? I’d be interested to know. Thanks!

  2. The best to sell your blog is Buzz!
    Tell everybody/everywhere about your blog.

  3. I’ve found that the best way is almost always to:

    1. Write Great Content that is unique and topical
    2. Email related websites about this content to encourage them to discuss and link to it.
    3. Submit to social bookmarking sites for a further boost.

    This has always worked well for me.

    You may also want to try out these 65 tips to maximize your traffic:
    http://www.sitesalary.com/blog/65-website-traffic-link-building-techniques/

  4. James says:

    I write insightful comments on problogger with a link to my blog.

  5. tracy ho says:

    hey I am a beginner , your tip is so heplful
    To your Success Always,
    Tracy Ho
    http://www.wisdomgettingloaded.com/

  6. Mark Dykeman says:

    My main methods of blog promotion are:

    1) Social news sites (Digg, Shoutwire, Mixx)
    2) Blog directories (Blog Catalog and MyBlogLog)
    3) Commenting on other blogs
    4) Through Facebook
    5) A couple of blogrolls

    I’ve mentioned my blog to some people that I know in person, but I haven’t made a big effort in that sense. I do not know many bloggers in person (nor do I know many bloggers… yet)

    I’ve thought about blog carnivals… must check one out.

  7. CompuWorld says:

    same was the case with me when I left blogger and shifted to wordpress. It initially seemed hard work but at the end of the day it is paying off well!

    congrats on your successful transfer to wordpress Karen.

    I will like to expand that “Do what you can (short of spamming, naturally!) to spread the word of your blog.” point of yours here: (I have learned most of these at problogger itself!)

    – Get T-Shirts (like problogger’s) with your blog name printed and wear it in public places.
    – When your friends ask for a tip which you already have in your blog than message them the link. When this happens many times than they will start liking your blog.
    – join forums and leave link in your signature
    – Do some guest posting.
    – Leave comments regularly in other popular blogs.
    – Give away FREE stuff like a e-book.
    – Start using the power of twiter
    – DO reply to all the email which you get.

  8. John Motson says:

    There a number of things that can be done to “Sell” or improve your blog:

    1. Write quality content. It has been said so many times that it has become a cliche, but content truly is King!

    2. Keep your blog in your signature at any forums you visit. Sign up to forums in your niche and become a regular member. Never spam as that makes you look bad.

    In any case if you are into blogging in order to spam, to be an idiot in general or try and cheat your way to success, you will be found out very quickly.

    3. Build your reputation. Reputation is so important in the online world. If you are a reputable blogger/marketer/site-owner or anything else, people will buy products from you based on your word alone.

    4. Be helpful. It is a give and take world, if you help people they will help you back. I guess there is Web Karma. Things can easily have a way of coming back and biting you in the ass if you are a jerk. ( Even though the rich jerk was relatively successful, all the other jerks that followed him got bitten in the ass ).

    5. You must realize that everything takes time. If you are starting from scratch, it will take time for your blog to grow and for you to establish your online reputation. If you persevere you will make it. Just keep at it.

    6. Exchange links via your blogroll with other blog owners. Blog owners in your niche are not your competition. Look at them as your partners. You send them visitors and they send them back. The web is such a large medium that there is no real way that you can steal your competition’s thunder, or vice versa. Everyone got to where they are based on the steps they took, and your exchanging links via your blogroll with your “competition” can only benefit you in the long run.

    7. Do guest posts on established blogs. Besides getting you a temporary traffic boost, it also ups your reputation since the established blog’s reputation rubs off on you. For example, if you do a guest blog post on ProBlogger, the readers think – hm if ProBlogger let this guy guest post here, he must be good.

    I hope some of that helped.

    John

  9. vangardx says:

    hello, how about you join any gathering event..meet them, ask a question, :D meet other bloggers in networking session..at least say “hi” and ask “whats is your blog url?” take some photo and blog about it.. :D

  10. The key word in your post for me Karen is “sell.” Every entrepreneur must sell themselves, their ideas and finally, their products and services. Most need conderable help in this area, as it is not their core expertise.

    I have also found that “non-blogging” people are a goldmine of prospective visitors. These are typically individuals who regularly utilize the web visiting traditional web sites, usually for shopping. While web-savvy, they are somewhat ignorant concerning blogs.

    I have my blog address proudly printed on my business card. Each time I hand out my card, I make it a point to invite the person to “check-out” my blog. Many times I have to explain what a blog is. I believe that their experience may be the gateway to a whole new world, previously unknown to them! It was certainly that way for me.

  11. Great post… and nice blog you have there.

  12. Gyutae Park says:

    Congratulations on your migration to WordPress. I can only say great things about it in terms of its flexibility.

    What exactly is a blog carnival? I’ve never heard of such a terms before. Maybe you can enlighten us.

  13. Silvia says:

    i’m spreading the word :)

  14. Brad V. says:

    Great post!

    The one part of promoting my blog that I struggle with is talking about my blog offline. I think I have mentioned my blog to only a handful of people (ie. friends, family, etc) about my blog. Maybe it’s cause I still see it as a hobby. I don’t know. But if I wanna take it to the next level I need to get serious about marketing, both online and off!

  15. I’m a successful author of 9 books and am beginning to use some of the avenues I use to promote them for my blog. I recently made up postcards at vistaprint.com. They’re very inexpensive. One the front, I have a glossy deep purple background and white letters that says, Nice people CAN finish first in big letters, with my blog in smaller letters at the bottom. On the flip side there’s text about the blog and myself. I hand them out in my travels and plan to start leaving a few in coffee shops and other places potential readers might pick them up. I’m getting a much better response from people I meet with the postcards than just telling them about my blog or having it on my business card. The catch phrase seems to catch people’s eyes.

  16. MyGoodFinds says:

    Thanks for this post. I was able to somehow “sell” my blog in 3 months. From Alexa rating of 8.57M down to 314K in less than three months.

    It’s a constant selling.

  17. I added gold to my blog so my blog sells!

  18. I’ve made the same sort of switch lately (wordpress.com to wordpress.org hosted (thanks Godaddy)).

    It’s been one heck of a lot of growing pains to get there (however I’m familiar with writing, I used to write for http://www.coolest-gadgets.com ) it was a great experience, (every once in a while I still write a bit for them).

    Learning all the wordpress setups and all that have been quite tough (especially since I have the coding experience of pants), but it has come along nicely.

    As for marketing/selling. My two cents would be to simply focus on what you’re writing about, being helpful in those circles and get ingrained in the community that you’re writing about. It will take time, understand that ahead of time.

    Make friends online. It’s funny to most people and sounds ridiculous to others, however, the thing to remember is that you want people to read your writing/podcasting (otherwise, why are they going to your site? Just to click on your ads, I think not). Guest write and comment when you can with your niche’s luminaries. Make friends, share opinions, tips, and stories, and give it away (“it” being information).

    Further on that mode,, focus on what your niche is. I know that I’m still struggling mightily with this, as I work on any number of things, (from Jet engines, to bumpersticker holders, to sunflower seed holders and more, I develop products, and sell them on my own, while still being an in-house product designer, to boot, most projects are hidden behind NDA’s so I can only talk about process mostly and not actual projects).

    Know what you can mention, and what isn’t kosher. Work hard, it’ll all work out.

    Whew,, I guess I had a lot sitting there.

    All the best!
    -Fred Schechter

    P.S. stop by if you get bored
    http://ds4design.com/wordpress/

  19. David Mackey says:

    The selling never ends. :-) I use the signature one…I’ve also been making bumper stickers over at zazzle.

  20. Thanks for the post. This is what we all need to be doing. If you are ashamed about your blog, then maybe it is not what you should be doing. I love what I tell people about it all o the time, but there is definitely room for more. I need to spread the word because I want to have more time to work on the blog. The only way I see that happening is by making enough money from it that I can actually do it full time.

    Is anyone else out there struggling to get those first 100 subscribers, or am I just a lonely blogger.

  21. Chris – I was thinking of such books as “The Cult of the Amateur” by Andrew Keen, but one need only open the pages of major broadsheet newspapers to find someone or other lamenting blogging/bloggers to some degree. (Anyone else think the same?)

    Thanks to the rest of you for your suggestions and feedback :)

  22. Of course I’m proud of my blogs!

    Of course I put them in my signature.

    I even have bumper stickers on our cars!

  23. Sandy says:

    As I approach the end of the first month of my first blog, this as good a time as any, and certainly on topic as far as this post goes, to thank Darren and all those who contribute to problogger either as guest writers or who post meaningful comments – which is the rule rather than the exception here.

    I studied the blogging world for a few months before launching and while my little blog is certainly not perfect or ideal, I think it’s coming along nicely. Targeted to a very specific audience, those who use MS Excel and have the need for data extraction and analysis software, I’ve received positive feedback (mostly offline) from a number of readers.

    It’s amazing really. So far there have been visits from about a hundred unique visitors in 60 cities and 19 countries.

    Even in the first few days the site performed very well in terms of search engine results – often in the top 10, if not top 3.

    At launch I posted a number of pieces to help the search engines find good content when they crawled the site. I think I continue to do that.

    I have defined goals and plans for the site, and what might come of it. Time will tell.

    Again, thanks so much for all the great content that continues to be published on problogger. There’s much to learn, and sharing your experience, good and bad, is invaluable to many.

    Best regards.

  24. Anthony – Really?! Bumper Stickers? :) Awesome

  25. I was looking for tips on how to sell your blog (as in transfer money and ownership)!

    I have over 100 sites, should I put those in my email signature? :)

  26. jhay says:

    I’ve done most of the steps recommended and even more. Heck, I even taught my self basic SEO stuff, then again it all boils down to good content.

  27. Prince John says:

    Hi Karen,

    You have just cleared a new wave of traffic to your blog. ur blog is a nice geeky mummy blog and I like it.

  28. Garry Conn says:

    Blogger does have its limitations. But one thing I really enjoy the most about Blogger over WordPress is the fact that it writes static html pages. Its old school. BUT!!! and a big but… there is a physical page for every post you make. At least that is how it was for me when I used blogger and my own domain name with my own hosting.

    WordPress in many ways makes me nervous. Out of the box and continuously updates with minimum use of Plugins it is very stable. But all in all, WP can be hacked or damaged or simply broke due to user error.

    I know you you felt during your transition, kinda stressful huh? :)

  29. try blogsigs, it’ll automatically add a link to your latest post to the end of your email

  30. Mary Jaksch says:

    Please excuse me if this post is slightly off topic. My blog is still new with only 10 posts so far. I want to ‘sell’ it by submitting it to directories like Yahoo etc. I’ve heard that one shouldn’t submit a site ‘too soon’. How soon is too soon? Does it matter if you don’t have a string of posts yet, or if the design of the site is still in progress?
    I’d be grateful for any advice!

  31. Neil Duckett says:

    Mary, i’d get it in there and listed ASAP …. you have to enter the market at some stage. It’s good to start a new blog off with a flurry of posts in the beginning rather than only have 2 or 3 … i.e write 10 posts then go live so it has some content.

  32. Aurangabad says:

    Mine was a local site (may be) so I probably concentrate more on off line promoting using car bumper, sign board, business card, participating in social activities as a sponsor or giving free stuff etc.

    and off course I will go and try some online methods also like
    – Forums posting with link in your signature
    – Leave comments regularly in other popular blogs (which I am currently doing :) )
    – use of URL in signature of email
    etc etc

    If you can show me few others off line method, it would be great, thanks.

  33. Ivy says:

    I am thinking about promoting about my blog offline as well. The obstacle isn’t that i’m ashamed of my blog – its that my friends read blog for information about what’s going on in each others’ lives. For the niche I write in – marketing tips for making money online – they don’t seem to get the concept or why and how anybody can make money online.

    The interesting part about starting to blog seriously, is that I’m making friends online with fellow bloggers which is great as they form the support and feedback system that we all need when the going is tough. At first it was a little weird that I’m raving off about my blog to someone I’d just “met” on a comment board, but its starting to get kind of nice. And we mutually sell our blogs to each other, and in turn sell each other to our readers. That I think is cool. :)

  34. very little on blog promotion in this article…the major content is on your decision to move to wordpress from blogger…you haven’t even mentioned about guest blogging…

    r u inviting readers to take a look at your new blog ?? good blog promotion…:)

  35. Max Powers says:

    Bumper Stickers? I never thought of that one.
    Blog Carnivals? That’s something I’ve never heard of.
    URL’s added to email signature? Why didn’t I think of that?

    Thank goodness a lot of people post here or I would be lost before I barely got started. Thanks all.

  36. Mary – I agree with Neil. In my opinion, you should (if you’ve pre-thought things – which I didn’t!) start off with as much as a ‘bang’ as you intend to keep on going. What have you got to lose?!

  37. Michael Woo says:

    Prolly write something controversial like politics or something like that – you’ll get comments, feedback and best of all, people will come back to see what u are up to…

  38. Ann says:

    I’ve just begun including the URL to my new blog in my email signatures, and when I need new business cards, it’s going right on those as well, including my letterhead. I do cross-link my websites and my blog.

    Someone mentioned guest writers on blogs – I’ve been toying with that idea, too. I have a couple guest writers in mind, I just haven’t asked them as yet. Maybe this will be the push I need to do just that!

  39. Niamh says:

    I will have to go back through this list of comments and pick up on some of these ideas. I already use Twitter and I’m thinking of experimenting with Utterz.

  40. Yellow Yards says:

    I couldn’t agree more with what you are saying here; to rise above the other blogs you need to advertise your bog(s) at every opportunity. I often hesitate when mentioning my blog out of a natural fear of rejection – but hey! what have to be scared of?

    Excellent post! keep em coming!

  41. Heidi says:

    II am in the process of launching a blog with WordPress (I own my URL and a friend is hosting for me). This site is one of the five major resources I’m using as I research the process and attempt to establish a brand, find my writing style, tweak content, etc. Thank you!

    I desperately want to customize my layout, but am still learning to write code. Hopefully I will have a new, custom look by 2008.

    I am embarrassed to tell people I know about my blog because of all of the personal financial content. Guess I need to suck it up and start talking about it if I’m ever going to have any readers, huh?

  42. Anne says:

    I launched my blog last week so I’ll be using your tips and so many valuable ones I’ve picked up from Darren. Thanks!

  43. Yes, Andrew Keen’s book blames the internet for almost everything wrong. He also appeared on the Comedy Central late night shows, I forgot whether it was Colbert or Jon Stewart.

    But the biggest irony of it all perhaps is that the author (Andrew Keen) is promoting his own book on Amazon.com with …an author’s blog! Yes, he has a blog!

    Using Keen’s own reasoning, Keen shouldn’t be having a blog unless he was a recognized domain expert in the field of blogging. He is obviously not, so what is this amateur blogger/author doing, “killing our culture” with his amateur author-blog? :-)

  44. Snafzg says:

    Recently, I migrated from Blogger to WordPress; a rather stressful time for me, for I was deathly afraid that over a year’s worth of work and effort would somehow evaporate into nothingness (luckily, it didn’t). I had several reasons for the change; the main ones being I was a little tired of the limits of Blogger, and I wanted a purer control of my own writing and ‘brand’, for lack of a better word.

    I just did the same thing last week! :) Granted, I’d only had about 2 weeks of concentrated posting on my Blogger hosted blog, but it was starting to get some notice in my niche and I was ranking for some decent keywords.

    I migrated for the exact same reasons as you. To me, Blogger was like a Tonka Toy dump truck while I find WordPress to be a fully loaded Caterpillar Bulldozer. So much more freedom, control, and power…

    How did you find your migration? WordPress has a cool “import” feature for Blogger, where you can copy all your articles, categories, and even formatting. The only drawback is that your permalink structure changes, so you’ll likely drop in search ranking, no?

    I really hated all the ,html extensions at the end of my (forcibly truncated) page URLs on the Blogger platform.

  45. Snafzq – Aye, the permalink thing has let me down somewhat, so all the articles I’d written in Blogger which were then “stumbleuponed” (for example), when people show up for the equivalent post in WordPress now it goes “Sorry, we are unable to locate that” (or words to that effect). I’ve got an archive search that can help people then go find what they were looking for but otherwise I haven’t tried to fix it yet. I did drop somewhat in search rankings, but it picked up within 2 weeks. Don’t ask me how or why. I don’t understand it!
    Congrats on your own move – and I love the toy analogy :)

    1001 Noisy Cameras – that’s a nice little synopsis you’ve written there!

  46. Here’s my ad for my blog!

    Check out the skiing blog that will soon dominate the niche! It’s AWESOME!
    http://homeboyski.com

    :)

    Thanks for this good article, Darren!

  47. CC says:

    Thanks for the post, although the title was misleading. I was hoping that the post was about actually ‘selling’ your blog..as in putting it on the market.

  48. Maria Cintas says:

    Great tips here! It always comes back to the quality of the content, and if you’re able to write about a controversial issue, it can only help promote your blog.

  49. Love the photo-graphic. I use business cards to promote the blogs I write or manage. A business card for every blog.

    People rarely remember URLs on the fly, but when I see people I’ve business-carded in the past, they almost always have checked out the blog and have something intelligent to say about it.

  50. Derek Baker says:

    Another good read, I sell my blog by putting it in my signature at webmaster forums and writing content that is unique and high quality so others will link to it.