If you’re worried about competition in the blogosphere, the good news is, most blogs don’t make it past the first month or two.

My guess is, many bloggers jump on the blogging bandwagon believing they’ll make a substantial amount of money in a short period of time and when that doesn’t happen, they quit.

They don’t even give blogging a chance.

Although writing blog posts or publishing photos or videos can be easy, oftentimes new bloggers don’t realize there’s more to blogging than just publishing.

To become successful, we need to “get found”.

That’s the hard part; the part of blogging that takes work.

Now for the bad news; most blogs don’t make it past the first month or two.

Today’s Lesson

If you own a business in the real world, there’s more to it than just getting a business license and hanging up a “OPEN” sign. In order to get clients, you’ll need to advertise and network.

Blogs are no different. We need to advertise and network, too.

In previous lessons we learned how commenting on other blogs can help us get found. Although this technique helps, just leaving comments on the blogs of others is not enough.

In order to expand our reachย  weย  need to self-promote.

Self-promotion means learning SEO (search engine optimization) and finding the best Birmingham SEO company. And then attracting the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Self-promotion means we need to get out of our comfort zone, announce we’re online, try to entice others to come by our blog, to read what we’ve shared, to comment, to subscribe to our posts and to tell their friends about us, too.

Self-promotion entails setting up social networking accounts, getting others to not only follow us, but to read what we’re linking to and to share our posts with their followers.

Writing stellar content is the best way to make this happen, but one post, one link, one subscriber is only a start.

Self-promotion is something we can’t stop doing.

Self-promotion is never ending.

Most importantly, self-promotion is not a one way street. That which we want others to do for us, we also need to do for them.

Sadly, if we aren’t continually showing up in places where others frequent, if we’re not giving back or we’ve stopped publishing value based posts, we could be forgotten. If we’re not updating our blog, search engines could stop sending us traffic. When traffic dwindles, that which we worked so hard to build, could all be for naught.

… and another blog bites the dust.

Today’s Assignment

What method of self-promotion works best for you?

Care to share?

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  1. “most blogs donโ€™t make it past the first month or two”

    Very glad you are not one of them ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, the main self-promotion that has been working best for us is probably word of mouth for quick results. Long-term, focusing on SEO so that you rank high on search results for certain keywords makes a BIG result. Otherwise, another fun one to do is sponsor a local event. This doesn’t have to be sponsoring with money, you could donate certain money or even food! Chances are your blog will be listed on their website (if there is one of course) and at the event you could ask if your blog would be mentioned on the day plan paper (if it isn’t already on there). Either way, you will be listed under the “sponsors” section and that usually always guarantee some traffic towards your website/blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Benefit Management,

      I like your idea of sponsoring a local event. Like you said, it doesn’t have to cost money, but maybe just some time. That’s a great way to not only get your name out there, but as you said, get traffic to your blog. Plus, if you’re selling a product or service, the name recognition may be all that’s needed to get people buying.

  2. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    Right now, I’m just continuing to muddle along, “sharing photos, videos, vintage images I’ve discovered, and — occasionally — commentary and thoughts from retired life and travels.” My blogging is a personal endeavor and, if others get something from it, that’s great. Perhaps, some time in the future, I’ll worry more about advertizing and networking, once I get some other projects behind me.

    For those whose blogs are more than a personal endeavor, networking and letting others know about your blog is an important key to success.
    Check out Mike Goad’s awesome post.A Hike in the Needles DistrictMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s true. If we’re just blogging for the enjoyment of it, we don’t have to be as concerned with getting found, but can just enjoy the journey.

      That said, I think it would be easier for a seasoned personal blogger to begin promoting a product or service since they’d already have the blogging part down pat plus probably some name recognition.

  3. John KottNo Gravatar says:

    Based on experience, part of the reason why some people leave their blogs or abandon them, per se, is that there aren’t any potential visitors in your blog for months already and that can take its toll.

    • PollyNo Gravatar says:

      Your right John – the first months (years?) without trafic can be bad – but sudden and unexplained events can cause ten-fold traffic increases. These are often unpredictable and linked to a cause beyond your control, but that’s a reason to keep going and keep adding fresh content until eventually someone, somewhere will pick up on what you are doing … hopefully!
      Check out Polly’s awesome post.X-Pole SportMy Profile

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Polly,

        That’s a good point. Take for example if someone Stumbles, tweets or Facebooks one of our posts without us knowing. Just that one action could result in not only a huge traffic spike, but return visits, as well.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      You’re right. The lack of traffic to a blog can be very disheartening however, if we go into blogging knowing it may take some time to get found, I think we can handle the lack of traffic a lot better.

      I feel that oftentimes new bloggers are mislead to believe they can see success fast, when in truth, it takes time.

  4. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I have been writing a blog since 2007 and I publish 6/7. Google Adsense dropped me very near the beginning and although I carry Amazon.com ads, I sure don’t make any money, but I do enjoy writing about anything and everything which comes to mind and passing on recipes I like, make, or think look good. As for self promotion, I read a bunch of other people’s blogs which are linked on my own blog plus I periodically publish my blog on Facebook, but that is about it. I have a small following and was thrilled to bits last week when my readership went well over the 100 mark.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.Blogs, Appliances, Clocks,My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      I like your tenacity. It goes to show how continually updating our blogs can result in more traffic, even if it takes years.

      Even though Facebook may not be the best traffic source, (at least not for me), what I like is how it gives us name recognition and alerts others we’re still around.

  5. Self-promotion for me has been hitting the streets to advertise my website thru word of mouth. It’s easy to get caught up with online advertisements that you don’t realize there are actual customers out on the streets looking for your services or products. I’ve ran across some great leads just sitting in the barber shop waiting for a haircut. Always be prepared and always have a card.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Reico,

      That’s a good point. I think as bloggers, we (generally speaking) forget there’s more to self-promotion than just online. I like your idea of self-promoting in the real world and passing out business cards. Like you said, we never know where the next lead will come from.

  6. AyeshaNo Gravatar says:

    I absolutely agree with this, with everyone having a blog account of their own thinking that it will be very easy for them to make money out of it, then, they are wrong. Because having a blog would mean properly maintaining it and it could take a lot of time for it to earn.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ayesha,

      Yes. There is more to blogging and making money from one than just having a blog. If we don’t get traffic, obviously our chance of making money from it will be slim.

  7. I agree, there is more to blogging than just publishing. It’s true that most bloggers start a blog with that great dream of making it big in a jiffy. But with all the competition online, you have to do more than just writing to get your blog noticed. I believe building a network with other bloggers is important because it will be your support system online. Another thing is learning SEO. I’m glad that I learned the basics of SEO even before I was encouraged to make my own blog. It makes a big difference if you can do both writing and internet marketing for your blog.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mae,

      That’s a good point. Our fellow bloggers can become our support system. Not only will some of them be there for us when we’re struggling, but they’ll also help us get our name out.

  8. At the moment, my primary method of self promotion is blog commenting. It’s the traditional and quintessential method of promoting space on the Internet, but I find that it works excellently. It provides me with good backlinks, as I hand-pick the sites I comment on to be relative and of a high quality.

    I despise the idea of dropping by and inserting a spam comment. Not only does it barely work, but it ruins the idea of blogging. It reinforces the negative image that I’m seeing across the web nowadays, which is that most bloggers don’t have pride in their work.

    Because I despise dropping spam comments, I ensure that I contribute on every single visit I make. I won’t deny that I have a shameful past of leaving generic comments, but even when I did it they had some panache. These spammers aren’t even creative!

    This brings me on to a thought that I was dwelling upon when reading another article earlier today, which stated that “everything was spam” and that it was the nature of the Internet. I’ve converted that idea into everything is a form of spreading our message – some of just have very shabby messages.

    Again, in regards to promotion, I’ve been networking with other bloggers in my niche by sending emails. They’re effective, and I’m planning to employ them on a larger scale.

    We both run blogs, and so I’m sure we both encounter the “complimenting spam” comment, but the theme of this blog is so comfortable – I feel so snug writing this comment.
    Check out Paul Waters @ How to Make Money Blogging’s awesome post.Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Blog with ForumsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Paul,

      Like you, a lot of my self-promotion has been via comments on other blogs. Not only do we get to meet other bloggers, but we get to form friendships. And I don’t know about you, but what I find is when we get to know or become friends with other bloggers, self-promotion leaves the picture and instead we’re commenting to show support.

      True. Spam comments can “ruin” the blogging experience, not just for the blog author, but for their readers, as well.

  9. I mostly use FB, Twitter, and Pinterest. It’s true – it’s a never-ending job!
    Check out vered | Blogger for Hire’s awesome post.Out of My Comfort ZoneMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Yes. Self-promotion never ends, although when we gain more name recognition, I think we can cut back on it to some degree.

  10. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. it’s having your brand and your product – then you can concentrate on those .. Just so glad you are still around .. !

    I have to admit I rely on commenters who are interested in my blog posts and I seem to have been lucky (very probably) .. what the brand and product are exactly – I’m not sure .. so I muddle along for now. I have thoughts re a series of books .. we’ll see.

    Cheers – will be back to check others’ comments .. Hilary

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      Yes, you’ve been “lucky”, however you’ve also worked hard to get the followers and comments you do.

      I think when the time comes for you to write a series of books or anything else, your loyal readers will be there to support you with that, as well.

  11. susanNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!
    Marketing….hmmmm I don’t have a lot of time for it for one thing. There is a lot going on for me that is outside the blogosphere. I put my blog on facebook, not that it does anything at all for it, and I’ll reach out and visit other blogs with regularity, comments and all, but after awhile if it is not returned, I move on. Probably 3/4 of my initial followers no longer blog. I figure my blog is really a weekly health newsletter going “”out there” for whoever cares about health and wellness. Probably best I’m not attached to the outcome ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out susan’s awesome post.Obesity – How About Some Nutritional Truth?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Susan,

      That could actually be better – to NOT be attached to the outcome. It shows you’re following your passion and sharing for those who care about their health.

      I think if we get too hung up on the numbers, not only can it be discouraging, but can also affect our creativity. And that could be why so many blogs don’t make it – too much is expected, too soon.

  12. I keep hoping that a magic wand will appear and I get picked up a bit bigger. It is very slow going these days, and then I read your good words and I am encouraged.

    Several coaches have told me I need to hire some marketing people, but that is a bit of a catch 22 because I do not have enough income to do that…I am working on getting a grant right now, because a small business loan I can not guarantee. I just work at doing it one step at a time.

    There are days that I am definitely discouraged.

    I share on facebook and twitter and linked in….all the time, but rarely does someone share my work…and I still get very few commenters…. I ask nearly every post.
    and just when I am making progress my server provider goes down – another wind storm and power outage….ah there are so many things to consider!!
    Check out Patricia of Patricias Wisdom’s awesome post.The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation ~Jon GertnerMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Patricia,

      Wouldn’t it be great if we could wave a magic wand? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes. It can become a catch-22. Although outsourcing marketing could drive traffic to our sites, it costs money and like you said, if our blog isn’t profitable, it’s hard to justify the cost.

      Having server issues due to weather is another issue. Hopefully your weather will improve real quick.

  13. ReeseNo Gravatar says:

    I am about to start on my own personal blog. I plan to do so with in the month. I don’t expect too much from it. Although like everyone else I do plan to monetize it – albeit passively. My main reason for blogging will be to WRITE and secondly, to interact with like-minded individuals. So I am preparing myself to get out of my comfort zone and get ready to do some fearsome self-promotion.
    Check out Reese’s awesome post.Spring Cleaning Your Financial HouseMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Reese,

      How exciting. From reading your comment it sounds like you know what to expect and know self-promotion is essential.

      I wish you well with your new endeavor.

  14. JulieNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara! As always thank for making us think. I really appreciate it. I also like how I feel like I learn something every time I drop by here.

    As far as most bloggers only blogging for a short time, well, I suppose it’s like talking up a new sport or class. After a while, people lose interest.

    As far as self promotion goes, I think it’s important if you have something to share, that you should. If you don’t tell people about your blog, well, then how are they ever going to find it?

    Take care my blogging friend,

    Check out Julie’s awesome post.Facebook ~ the good, the bad and the unexpected.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Julie,

      Yes. Some bloggers just lose interest – maybe entering the blogosphere expecting it to be different.

      You’re right. We do need to tell others about our blogs and/or new posts. It’s really no different than telling a friend “what’s up”. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I personally do not even know how to make money from blog – is this the main purpose of many bloggers who split the information all around the world? I always thought that this was something like self expression since blogs are not very profitable activity worth the time…

    However, I guess the biggest reason of people leaving their started blogs is time – if you spend 2 hours per day writing articles, get 30 visitors a day and… That is it – then what is the purpose? I guess one must have a strong motivation in order to keep going :).

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joshua,

      What I see in blogging is some bloggers are blogging just to share, whereas others want to make a passive income and may have been told they can do it quickly.

      I’m happy you brought up the time issue. Blogging can take up huge chunks of time which some aren’t prepared for.

      To echo what you said, we do need strong motivation to keep going. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Hi Barbara.

    All very good points you’ve made. I really chuckled over your first sentence. It was comical! ๐Ÿ™‚

    On a more serious note, yes, blogging does take work. I’ve been blogging for almost four years, but have not been updating my blog more than once a month for the past year. I’m happy that I’ve kept it current though! The past year has been challenging time-wise, juggling blogging with life, editing and networking.

    Commenting on other blogs does help, as does sharing and networking on Facebook, G+, Twitter and LinkedIn. I’ve been experimenting with Pinterest too, and will see how that goes.

    A lot of my clients are referred to me from offline and online connections. So, word of mouth is also a very successful form of promotion. The more people who know you and what you do, the better. Just letting people know what I do as opposed to trying to “sell” is the most comfortable approach.
    Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.It’s all right, grammatically speakingMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Davina,

      Yes. blogging does take work, and like you said, keeping a blog updated can be challenging.

      Word of mouth is very important. Just like in business, with referrals, the potential new client already knows we’ve worth hiring based on what they’ve heard. All the more reason to build a solid online/offline reputation, which is something you’ve done perfectly. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    I’m really pleased I discovered your blog. It’s a great concept – FB, Twitter and I think Google+ are excellent places to promote oneself. Not sure if the smaller ones are really worth the effort, though.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you John,

      Yes. Social networking does help. Not only can we get word out about a new post, but they also help build name recognition.

  18. Blog marketing is really essential in making your blog succeed and stay ahead of the competition. You have to build relationship in the blogging community and promote your blog in popular social media platforms. You have to tell everyone that your blog exist.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Danica,

      True. Marketing is a very important part of blogging. Although it’s often the hardest part, the payoff can be huge.

  19. Hr ProNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, again a real truth you said about the Blogging world. It is so disappointing to know that in blogging world many new bloggers just come to get the instant results without thinking about the real thing and tasks every successful blogger does. If we need to get the attention definitely we need to make our presence in social media by providing something valuable and informative. We need to comment and give honest feedbacks to get more attention of the readers and other bloggers! In short , the first thing which we need to do is to make and maintain good relationships with other members of the online world and participate actively!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hr Pro,

      Active participation is something a lot of new bloggers aren’t aware of when they start and as you mentioned, that can be why some new bloggers don’t make it. Just like in the real world, there isn’t an easy way to make a quick buck, but for some reason many think there is in the blogosphere. ๐Ÿ™

  20. I think in order for a blog to be a hit, the blogger needs consistent in giving value to his/her post. Relating to the needs and expectations of their readers. ๐Ÿ™‚ We should have patience in making our blog known because its not that easy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Abrielle,

      Definitely. A blog which has value is more apt to succeed and yes, we need a lot of patience. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Most blogs fail because they are aimless. Most bloggers have at least some semblance of an idea or theme, but after a handful of posts, the fuel tank is empty. Self promotion is essential and ever needed to draw in new eyes, but you also need to KEEP those eyes on your page. I think many bloggers today are a little clouded on their purpose. Blogs are about sharing your WRITING to readers. It’s about the words; your opinions, your reviews, your rants, whatever. Too many blogs have content that is just not worth the time of day with such a wealth of content available today. Yes, you have to promote, promote, promote yourself and your blog, but your first priority MUST be to make your content WORTH IT. Most blogs fail nowadays because their content is not worth it.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Robert,

      You’re right. All the self-promotion in the world won’t help a blog which has no value. Even if we can get visitors to show up, if we’re not giving them what they’re looking for (or answering a burning question), they’re clicking off and looking for a site which does…possibly never to return.

  22. Hi Barbara,
    you are right most of the people join by thinking its an easy medium to earn good amount of money without doing anything but that not true we know how much effort we make to gain reputation in eye of google and other search engine, and when its come to self promotion its the only thing which can make your reputation good and bad if we do self promotion without spamming other blog then its ok either its really going to effect blog reputation in online world
    Check out rohit kothari@techotalk’s awesome post.6 best twitter apps for ipad users [Free + paid]My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Rohit,

      True. In blogosphere it’s essential we build a good reputation. Not only do we need to be providing value, but as you said, we also need to please the search engines.

  23. I’ve started and stopped on several different blogs, not because I’ve run out of things to say, but rather because it gets discouraging for a new blogger to not see immediate results! It’s one thing to set up all of the different social media sites and start blogging about whatever subject it is that you really love, but then to wait and wait and not really gain any followers… it sort of hurts the ego!

    But, as I’m slowly learning blogging is really hard work! And it takes a lot of practice, dedication and patience to get good at. It’s also about looking in the right places (on blogs like this :D) to get the right information about how the process works. Thanks for your help!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Paul,

      It sounds like you’ve learned a lot from experience. I agree, it’s disheartening to set up blogs and promote them, but not see results. We get to the point where we might say, “why bother?”.

      One thing I observed early on was how it took several successful bloggers over two years before they made a decent income with their blogs and/or gained recognition in the blogosphere. When I started I asked myself if I could dedicate at least two years to this hobby and my answer was “yes”. Knowing it would take time to get found helped me to enjoy the journey instead of stressing (too much) about the numbers.

      P.S. I’ll soon be celebrating my fifth (blogging) anniversary. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Read MoreNo Gravatar says:

    Reason why a lot of guys stop blogging is because they don’t see instant success and don’t have the will to keep going. The ones who stick around will figure out how to be successful
    Check out Read More’s awesome post.Warmrails Hyde Park Freestanding Drying Rack and Towel Warmer ReviewsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Read More,

      Yes. Time is on the side of those who stick it out. Eventually they figure out how to be successful at blogging and often turn it into a profitable business.

  25. CristinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I agree and sad to say I am one of those who have attempted to set up a blog but quit after a few months. It was not really because of the money but more on the lack of time to keep it up. It is true that keeping a blog takes effort and contrary to common belief it is hard work. You must have the time and really enjoy what you’re doing to be successful. Thanks for sharing this!

    – Cristina

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Cristina,

      I agree. Time can be one of the variables new bloggers don’t consider. Although some bloggers can whip out posts in the matter of minutes, with there being more to blogging than just publishing, if we’re not enjoying the whole process, quitting becomes the obvious choice.

  26. SustinesNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, I learned many techniques by reading blogs on how to promote a website. The only problem of me is that I am too lazy to do what I learned. So, even if I survive and up to this time I am still blogging, but I was left behind by those new bloggers who the will to learn and to do things.

    Currently, I am still figuring how can I promote my blog through Google Plus. I am already promoting it using Facebook.
    Check out Sustines’s awesome post.In Buying Property and Transferring of OwnershipMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sustines,

      I hear you. With so many ideas out there on how we can self-promote, if we don’t implement them, they’re useless. Like you, I’ve seen new bloggers soar to the “top” (whatever that is), because they’re willing to put in the time and effort.

      It’s all about choice, isn’t it?

  27. Domed LabelsNo Gravatar says:

    This is a great analogy between blogs and business, so true Barbara, a good technique would be to plan out the content for the first few weeks so that when you launch a blog you are concentrating on networking and getting found. And no better place to network than visiting other blogs and acknowledging others efforts.
    Check out Domed Labels’s awesome post.Domed-decals-02My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Domed,

      I like your idea of planing out our content BEFORE we start a blog so we can network from the get go.

      I’m with you. Visiting other blogs is a great way to acknowledge the efforts of others and if we’re leaving value based comments, we’re more apt to get reciprocal visits, as well.

  28. BeccaNo Gravatar says:

    The only way to get real organic traffic that isnโ€™t someone simply waiting 10 second or 30 seconds to click onto the next site is by doing a lot of work. Become very active in Blogs and Forums related to yuor blog โ€“ make yourself known and build a reputation and the more you are active and the more people trust you, the more they will visit you.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Becca,

      You’re right. We do need to be active in the blogosphere in order to get found and to build our reputation. Sadly, the online world can be fickle – if we’re not “showing up”, there’s always the next blogger waiting to take the limelight.

  29. Kee G.No Gravatar says:

    True! There’s so many blogger who easily quit because they just focus on earning money. What they don’t know is that blogging is not just about making money. It’s about your passion on a specific topic.

    If you’re passionate on it. Then you’re in!
    Check out Kee G.’s awesome post.How To Get Backlinks To Your Blog?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kee,

      Yes. Passion plays a huge part in blogging and in being successful. If our readers feel we don’t believe in what we’re sharing, they’re apt to move on.

  30. Creating online authority and connecting people I think works better to increase your site or blog traffic and of course creating use full content is a part of it but most important is how you interact and answer the querry on your blog. This way people will trust you and start continuing your blog posts.
    Check out Ayaz @ Social Media Marketing’s awesome post.Kristi Hines Shared Her Best Formula to Build High PR BacklinksMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ayaz,

      I agree. If we’re “out there” sharing value based information, not only are we building a solid foundation, but we’re building authority, as well.

  31. My own experience is similar to a lot of others here in that I had low traffic the first few months (still do really, but not as low as before ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am pretty “old school” when it comes to promotion – a) make value added comments on people’s blogs, b) make value added comments in discussion groups (I use LinkedIn since that is the major professional work site, and also some professional finance sites), with the emphasis on “value-added”. I also use Twitter.

    I generally follow the self-promotion rules put out by various folks – only 1 in 5 to 1 in 20 of your items should be self-promo.

    On Twitter I work this by scheduling 10 tweets a day that would be of interest to folks in my line of work or that are unusual (I am a unique finance guy, for sure!), and when I have a post every four or five days I will use a different app to schedule about 6 or 8 tweets (for various hours to make sure I have global time zone coverage), so I am at about a 1 in 10 ratio there (I am rounding 50 to 6 or 50 to 8 for convenience here).

    One thing I have tried that has not worked well is linking to other blogs in your content with the thought that there would be some reciprocity. That must be an old school tradition that is fading out.
    Check out david k waltz’s awesome post.Who Will Be in the Final Four? โ€“ Lessons from an Analytical JourneyMy Profile

  32. Barbara,

    My apologies, my time ran out to edit my last comment, but I wanted to mention two additional things:

    1) I also was asked to be a contributing writer on Technorati, and this helped add some traffic as well by posting on there.

    2) With respect to the “demotivation during the start-up phase” mentioned by many here, I was very fortunate that Maddie, who wrote “The Kids Ate My Homework” blog, took me under her wing and made comments on my blog, maintained email correspondence with advice, encouragement, support and tips to either help the content or the promotion. I am forever in her debt because I wonder if I might have abandoned things like so many others. She kind of went “off the grid” in December and I miss her, she was a great blogging friend.

    At some point I will need to “pay it forward” when the time is right.
    Check out david k waltz’s awesome post.Who Will Be in the Final Four? โ€“ Lessons from an Analytical JourneyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi David,

      I’m happy you brought up the point about not just doing self-promotion when spending time on the social networking sites. I agree. We also need to share “other” value based news or information.

      As for linking to other blogs in our posts, you might be right – it could be becoming “old school”. I’m not seeing it as much either.

      Like you, I miss Maddie. I knew you and her were big supporters of each other and your blogs, but I’m guessing (and hoping) Maddie will return to the blogosphere. She’s a doll.

  33. Great post and discussion. I also think that some people run away from blogging after the first negative or controversial comment that they received. Some wanna-be bloggers aren’t prepared to have their thoughts and opinions challenged…so they would rather just turn it off.

    Bloggers who “make it” understand that people are going to challenge them. In fact, I would argue that good bloggers thrive off the controversy. It’s what drives engagement and traffic.

    Hey…that just gave me a great idea for another of my social media comics. Thanks for the inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

    Check out Sean R. Nicholson’s awesome post.Thumperโ€™s Rule โ€“ Knowing When And How To Avoid An Online ArgumentMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sean,

      You’ve raised a good point. Although bloggers enter the blogosphere for a variety of reasons, they may not realize what they’re sharing could be challenged. It’s written bloggers need to develop a thick skin, however if a blogger attracts criticism from the get go, if they don’t have the self confidence to defend their words, as you mentioned, they might just hang it up.

      You’re welcome regarding the idea for a comic. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know when you have it published.

  34. VickiiNo Gravatar says:

    Word of mouth is the best promotion I think… Once your online readers, clients are satisfied with your work then they will surely refer it to everybody…. Online marketing is really a big help in promotion.. God bless…
    Check out Vickii’s awesome post.How to Generate Traffic to Your Site Using Free MethodsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vickii,

      Word of mouth “advertising” can work wonders, especially if those who are promoting us (or our works) have a large following.

  35. JackNo Gravatar says:

    Running a blog is more difficult as it might seem at first glance, as nowadays posting quality content isn’t enough anymore. We have to organize ourselves and dedicate more time to promoting our blogs. For me, blog commenting and forum posting works best, provided they are in the same niche with the websites.
    Check out Jack’s awesome post.How to build a brick houseMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jack,

      Sadly, you’re right. Quality content isn’t enough to get found. It’s up to us to do whatever we can to let others know about our blogs, products or services.

  36. Good topic Barbara and that ‘OPEN’ simile too.

    The advantage of blogging (or owning a website) is that, it is okay to produce content sporadically and if you are good at SEO and already established some authority, you can get away with those ‘CLOSED’ days unlike tangible businesses or a shop.

    And as for me, it’s really SEO. I do not care about social networks and bookmarks. I don’t do too much commenting either (actually, I do on a dozen of blogs max). I never done any guest blogging nor allowed anyone to write on my blog. So it’s pretty much SEO for me!
    Check out Ajith Edassery’s awesome post.Google Analytics Bounce RateMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Ajith,

      That’s a good point – about how once we’re established, we can “close” ourselves to our blogs for a short time, whereas with a real life business, we can’t.

      That’s interesting how you only use SEO (search engine optimization) for your blog(s). I’m guessing you’re good at it since you’ve been blogging for quite some time now and have gained authority in your niche.

      P.S. I’m happy to see I’m one of the blogs you comment on. I always enjoy your visits and the value you add to the post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. factoringNo Gravatar says:

    When creating a new blog, it’s all about getting it out there. No matter how good the content is you write, you need to do self-promotion, which definitely isn’t an easy thing. One good method is the get a list of contact/friends of other bloggers. Start by commenting good information on their blog posts and when the time is right, you could send them an email regarding perhaps an article trade. Changes are that he/she will recognize your name from the blog post commenting.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Factoring,

      That’s a great idea – about commenting on blogs as well as on the blogs of those who are also commenting. Like you said, not only do we build name recognition, but we’re more apt to have positive results in the event we’d like to trade articles or guest posts.

  38. John CarterNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging = work , work , work.
    I work every day for my sites and my blog. No gain over night.
    Only over years.

  39. RobertNo Gravatar says:

    Nowadays it seems that social interaction is the way to get your content noticed. Google +, Facebook, Twitter are all places that you should build your online brand (yourself). SEO changes so quickly that it’s hard to keep up and with more and more relevance being given to the social side of things.
    It makes sense actually. Search engines like Google want to provide relevant results and if lots of people are talking about your content then the chances are that it is relevant.
    You can get more exposure by guest posting on popular blogs in your niche. This is a win win situation for both parties. The other blogger gets free content and you’ll get free traffic back to your site.

  40. Even if they youโ€™re not planning to monetize your blog, youโ€™ll want to have more traffic. It simply legitimizes your work. But too many people put the cart before the horse. They think, โ€œIf I market my site well and direct traffic with good SEO practices, I will get more traffic and have a successful blog.โ€ What they fail to realize is that a piece of excrement on a high-traffic walkway is still a piece of excrement. People wonโ€™t stop to look at it and poke around, and they certainly wonโ€™t come back.

    There are certain principles of good website design and content management that many sites and blogs are losing. And they are left wondering why their marketing and SEO tactics arenโ€™t working. Before you can really start directing traffic to your site, you have to make sure your site is worth navigating and revisiting, and there are key ideas that can get your blog to that level.

    1. Good Design and Navigation
    2. Finding an Interesting Niche Topic
    3. Making Web-Friendly Content
    4. Having a Strong Brand



  41. Chris BarkerNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! I was just surfing the web for more blogging tips and your lessons will be bookmarked along with my list to read tonight. Actually, i was just reading a related topic-a guest blogger named Niel Patel-he enumerated 5 essential elements other than content in making a killer blog. Anyhow, it’s true that some blogs don’t make it to their first/second month and we really have to know the ropes in SEO to be able to increase our site’s visibility in Search engines. I hope to learn more lessons from you Barbara..keep writing!
    Check out Chris Barker’s awesome post.Cloud backup for PC & MacMy Profile

  42. JulieNo Gravatar says:

    I think the best solution for the blogs is SEO, it is the most effective marketing tool in the online business scene. Of course there are many other methods but this optimization has got the lowest costs with significant goals.
    Check out Julie’s awesome post.wisdom teethMy Profile

  43. Chris BarkerNo Gravatar says:

    The one that really bites is the correct choice of optimization. If you have this then probably you’ve got it all. Just be good and have tone in every blog you’ve done and be patient enough to wait for your turn in the successful industry.
    Check out Chris Barker’s awesome post.Online backup for PC & MacMy Profile

  44. This is a timely post for me as I am a month and a half into blogging. I had recently become a bit overwhelmed by everything that goes into blogging and I had to step back a bit. I don’t intend on throwing in the towel yet, but I do have to rethink my approach and find ways to balance things in my life. Basically I was being too aggressive and trying to do things too quickly. In the end I decided to reduce my posting frequency and off-site promotion for now. As I build up my blog I’m going to try to increase my time commitment, but only when it is feasible to do so. Since it takes so long to build up a blog, there is not point trying to sprint early on.
    Check out Jeremy @ Modest Money’s awesome post.Mid March 2012 Blog UpdateMy Profile

  45. Self promoting part was the most difficult for me as well. This may sound funny – but I simply wasn’t raised that way ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out Valerie@Brain Supplements’s awesome post.Brain Supplements โ€“ Remember Better, Think Clearer, and Focus FasterMy Profile

  46. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    Good post and very true; as with anything in life you have to put in the time; there is simply no substitute for it.
    Check out Michael’s awesome post.Top 10 reasons to hire a Maid/Cleaning Service:My Profile

  47. In the time it takes you to read this sentence, 3 new blogs will have come into existence. There can be no doubt that the world wide web in general, and social media sites in particular, are becoming more crowded and more competitive every second. The result? Standing out from the crowd is getting harder and harder.

    Social media marketing is both necessary and extremely challenging. Blogs are an integral part of SEM, but simply building one isnโ€™t enough. You need to get people to read what you write!

    That being said, there are myriad resources that have become available which can help you promote and measure the success of your blog.

  48. AndyNo Gravatar says:

    You are right. There is no such thing as instant riches in blogging. First of all, you should establish yourself as an authority in whatever niche you chose. That can be done by writing a lot of quality content and promoting your blog.
    Check out Andy’s awesome post.disney land ticketsMy Profile

  49. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging competition these days compared with other niche competition is largely irregular like you said..

    There will be blogs that start up after reading a post on another blog or after being pulled in by the sales text of a blog promotion software, when there blog is only receiving 100-200 U/V after the first month they just pack it in and move on.

    I was the same 5 years ago, i was seeing 100/200 U/V and just blowing it off, it only really changed since i used google analytics to start seeing that the users were 60% returning readers..

    Returning readers are brilliant.

  50. I can sometimes see why people give up so quickly. It’s such a long, slow process and there are so many ups and downs along the way. Persistence is key though, in anything in life, not just blogging. I love your layout, by the way. Very unique.
    Check out Rebekah Brooks’s awesome post.Virginia Woolf’s London Homes Destroyed by German BombsMy Profile

  51. Most people think their blog will be an instant hit because the world needs to know about what they had for breakfast or that their kitty cat is the cutest in the world. Content is still king in the Internet and most new bloggers find this out the hard way.
    Check out Guy Manningham’s awesome post.Drinkwel: The Multivitamin For People Who DrinkMy Profile

  52. MamaNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara,
    My husband ask me to help him and do some english comments and he gave me list with blogs to write on. So by starting to promote my husband’s blog I discovered incredible personalities.
    From what I noticed every professional blogger put his soul “on sale” and this takes a lot of courage and self steam.
    I think that most of blogger don’t resist in the first month cause they are not willing to invest their best (personality, emotions, creativity). It’s like in every relation first you must be willing to give and after to receive. No good investments, no good returns!
    I wish you a great and inspired day!
    Check out Mama’s awesome post.Care sunt cele mai cunoscute produse Calivita?My Profile

  53. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am brand new to the blogging world. Before I began, I spent months researching what to expect. I do hope to make money eventually, but I realize that just growing my readership should be my focus right now. I haven’t done a great deal of self promotion yet, but I’m working on it. Thanks for all of the advice!

    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.Mom GuiltMy Profile

  54. Another thing worth mentioning is backing up your blog. Whether or not your blog is self hosted it is a good practice to make a backup. I had a great blog going for about two years. I didn’t back it up. [long story…] It got deleted. I lost two years worth of content, page rank, etc. Don’t forget. Like insurance you don’t know how much you need a backup until it is too late.

  55. MamaNo Gravatar says:

    Hy Steve,
    I am interested to know more about this too.
    What do you mean my back it up?
    Check out Mama’s awesome post.Noni OrganicMy Profile

  56. crissNo Gravatar says:

    this business is soooo unpredictable but ya know what……months can go by without trafic then suddenly, out of the blue your traffic increases. in my opinion if youre doing something you love then when the money comes rolling in its an added bonus!! great post by the way
    Check out criss’s awesome post.Run With the VisionMy Profile

  57. You are right about saying that most of the blogger leave with in the 2 months are so. But with out the knowledge of SEO, how one can get traffic, It needs skill and effort too.

  58. I absolutely agree with you on all the points of your article. SEO is important, and among all the existing blogs, it is really important to work on your visibility. I also understand why many bloggers quit after a few months, what I am really annoyed by, though, is that they don’t remove these deserted, outdated blogs, and if we don’t notice and try to communicate with them or get information from them, we are left disappointed. I sort of think: if you quit, quit altogether, don’t leave the shop there and keep the ‘closed’ sign on the door. It’s just frustrating.
    I enjoyed reading your articles! Thanks for all the great tips!
    Best wishes,

  59. manojNo Gravatar says:

    “most blogs donโ€™t make it past the first month or two.” __This may be because it takes a lot of patience to get any results from a blog if you are a newbie,,,,,and the pros have too many blogs to maintain ,so some gets leftout
    Check out manoj’s awesome post.Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 price in IndiaMy Profile

  60. I’ve gotten a fair amount of mileage from cross-posting fresh content to Twitter (with appropriate hashtags) and submitting it to social news sites. The latter is very much a lottery (first post was a hit right out of the gate – 2000 fresh visitors, others were either duds or got picked up on lesser sites).

  61. To be honest, I don’t view it as self-promotion. I assume an identity crafted for my personal enjoyment. The Hyena is my alter-ego, a polite escape valve for a fairly buttoned up corporate existence. A remix of elements of my personality, performed in the public eye.

    The whole project (website, my blog, community participation) is inherently a social act – a form of theater. The Hyena is a smart prankster – he uses tools like Python and comp-sci algorithms (behind the solvers) to offer people an edge in playing word games). Which opens up the fascinating question of – who uses them, and why?

    It’s like leaving a $20 dollar bill on the table in a crowded room and watching what happens.

    In the meantime, I can go have conversations with smart people about technology, algorithms, SEO – stuff that matters, stuff that I need to know to stay current in my field, stuff that my current employer isn’t really that into. While working on a fun side project that is unlikely to get me fired…
    Check out The Hanging Hyena’s awesome post.Adventures in UI โ€“ Time Limits & Finger Flipping in A Scramble With Friends CheatMy Profile

  62. I like the phrase “self-promotion is never ending” because, well.. its true!
    Most of the times there are thousands of bloggers who talk about the same things I do, and actually it’s pretty hard to achieve a good and durable visibility, so yes I agree, self-promotion must never end.

  63. John ErnestNo Gravatar says:

    Self promotion happens even while you are just saying your thoughts. A combination of social media marketing and content creation brings out the best in my blog. It is also followed up by an aggressive comment replying strategy that I hope would add the best content to my post. Thank you, I just like you blog and how you give people the chance to share their thoughts!

  64. AllenNo Gravatar says:

    One of the ways I get free traffic to my sites is by joining peoples blogger blog’s. all you have to do is Google: .blogspot.com and you will see a ton of them. People will click on your little picture. I’m getting most of my traffic from http://iendorse.blogspot.com right now. Not sure if this is very “ethical” but it works.