Everybody step back: it’s time for a little self-plagiarism. This afternoon I wrote a response to a question on an email forum about how to use the blog search engine Technorati when you’re marketing and promoting websites, and I figured it’d be neighborly to pass it along to you all as well. Think of it as recycling.
Most of us use Technorati to find out how popular we are, of course. If your ranking is high enough, you get to sit at the cool kids’ table in the lunchroom…
Um, yeah. Technorati’s an interesting and useful tool, but I wouldn’t take the exact numbers too seriously. Theoretically, it’s tracking your blog’s “influence” as measured by how many people are linking to you. The critical bits are the number of incoming links from other blogs, your site’s “rank” (which shows the number of blogs that have more incoming links than you over the last 180 days), and your “authority.” “Authority” seems to derive from the number of incoming links, again over the last 180 days, and from the variety of sites those links come from (i.e., 100 links from 50 sites seem to count more than 100 links from 1 site, though I don’t know if links from more influential sites matter more than links from less influential ones). Technorati also shows the actual sites that have linked to you.
Technorati’s numbers fluctuate a lot (their system seems unusually buggy), so I generally look at overall trends without focusing so much on the details. Main question: is my stuff interesting enough that other people link to it, and if not, how can I improve it? What kinds of articles tend to draw the most incoming links and from what kinds of sites? What other sites are in my idea space, and what are they writing about? The answers to these questions can help you figure out how to build your audience and promote your articles.
There are a ton of tips out there about building blog traffic, but the best advice seems to come down to this: define your niche, post good content, post frequently, pitch your articles to other sites if you think the authors might be interested (but don’t overdo it), and look for other sites that might run your articles with a link back to your main site. I wrote a few recommendations up last November, if you’re interested.
Oh yeah, that’s another one: occasionally post your articles to online discussions, if it’s appropriate to the topic and adds value to the conversation but don’t do it so often that people make fun of you.
Wow, I’m my own guest author trippy, dude. It’s all circular and stuff.