You own a blog, and you want to make money from it. How do you do that? Well, to start with you need to get traffic to your blog. It doesn't matter how brilliant the content of your blog is, if nobody ever sees it, then you're never going to make any money from it. So how do you go about getting more visitors to your site? Well, unless you're willing to pay money for a Google Adwords campaign or something similar, then you need to make sure the major search engines like you.
Or more to the point, convince the search engines that other websites like you! This is known as link popularity, and is often used by the search engines to determine whether or not to improve the ranking of a site in search results. The more links you have from other websites pointing to your website, the more "popular" your site is deemed to be, and the better its ranking. Of course, like most strategies for improving traffic, linking has been abused and overdone in a big way with Internet marketers. They set up thousands of links from sites that had nothing to do with their own blog, and got rewarded for it. Now, however, search engines are mostly interested in relevant links. So if you have a blog about grooming dogs, and you have a link from a dog site, great.
If the links is from a site about cheese, however, chances are it won't help with your link popularity. So the bottom line is that there's no point joining any type of link farm, where you can buy or trade links with sites that have no relevancy to yours. You need to focus on obtaining links from complementary sites, which is best done by finding those sites online and writing to the site owner. Time consuming, but it pays off.
Particularly if the site that links to you has a high page rank in Google. If this all sounds like a lot of work - guess what, it is! That's where the tag and ping technique comes into it. Basically, you list your blog on an authority site, and every time you update your blog, you let them know. The authority site needs can be either a social bookmarking site, like del.icio.us, or a blog directory, like Technorati.
When you list your blog, you include a list of tags, or keywords, that your blog is about. So going back to the dog grooming example, you would use tags like "dog", "dogs", "dog grooming" and so on. That way, when people go to these authority sites and search for dog grooming, your site will be on the list.
The second part of the technique is to ping the sites you list your blog with. A ping is simply like giving the site a courtesy phone call to tell them your blog has a new post on it. It's all done automatically, either by visiting the site and clicking on an update option for your blog, or you can set up a ping facility at a site like Pingomatic. Then all you need to do is refresh your ping request, and Pingomatic will automatically notify as many blog directories as you choose. This is a great way of letting lots of places at once know you've updated your blog.
It takes a few minutes to add your site to sites like del.icio.us, or to create a new job in Pingomatic.
But the good thing is that once it's done, it only takes a minute or two to update these authority sites, so that they can list your freshest content immediately. To help you get started with tag and ping, I recommend that you check out an automated social bookmarking tool called the Auto Social Poster. This tool will allow you to automatically bookmark pages of your Wordpress blog and then tag and ping those pages. It does the tedious work so that you can focus on other aspects of your business. Tag and ping is quite simple, so give it a try, and once you get the hang of it you'll find it's almost an automatic thing to tag and ping every time you post something new to your blog. Even better, you'll start to see an improvement in your traffic and ranking.
Allen Jesson writes for several sites including an internet marketing company and one that helps you make money. Please click here for more on an exciting new tool for social bookmarking.