Now you’ve set up your blog, and you have a few posts under your belt. What do you do now?
Do not overestimate your visibility when you first start blogging. Every new blog needs time to build up its search engine rankings, but the more you post and the more you share your blog, the more you will see your readership increase.
Initially your views will struggle to make double figures, but this is to be expected, Google will not automatically push your site to the top of its search listings. Installing the Jetpack plugin on the site will help as this will give you new tools and widgets to help you (and others) share your content, including email subscription, share buttons, and automatic posting to twitter and facebook, and search engine submissions through tools such as Sharing, Publicize, and Enhanced Distribution.
Make time to share your posts to social media and other sites, if you have a professional profile or a research group profile on one platform, make sure you use it actively and follow other professionals, groups, and publications in your field.
Use automation sites such as IFTTT to make sure your posts are shared instantly to twitter, facebook, and many other sites (you will need to make time to make accounts on those sites)
Look beyond mainstream social media at academically focussed sites such as: Academia, Mendeley, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, Open Access Journals.
List your blog on sites such as: Best of the Web, Bloggarama, Bloggapedia, Science Blogs, Research Blogging, Blogging fusion. This is very useful for making your blog visible to search engines, but also other bloggers, journalists and researchers regularly use these sites as well to source ideas. They are quick and easy to sign up to, and will also display your latest posts. There are also ‘ping’ services such as ping-o-matic, feed burner, and Feedshark, these are services at automatically alert other websites and search engines and are great for driving traffic and building links. You will just need either your blog’s web address or the rss link to use the service.
Use the tag box on your post page to put keywords in for search engines to find. This is a very easy and basic step but so many people forget to do it.
Digitally brand your blog – turn your blog name into a hashtag (#) and every time you share a post or a link on a social media channel, include the hashtag in the description – be religious about it and make sure that you post that above all others – it will make it easy for you to quickly look at people commenting on your posts and see how visible you are. For example, with the College of Social Science we know there are many UoL’s in the UK and abroad, however nobody was regularly using #UoLCSS in relation to twitter and Instagram, and by including this in as many posts as possible, #UoLCSS is exclusively associated with University of Lincoln College of Social Science when looking through the history of the hashtag.
You also don’t have to post exclusively to your own blog. There are many publications with a blog section on their website such as The Times Higher Education site which is always on the lookout for blog submissions. By submitting to other sites you expand your reach to their readers and your article can include a link back to your own blog. However, the better your own blog, the more likely these other sites and publications will see the value in you as a contributor.
All of these tips will help your blog get more traction on search engines and social media, but the crucial point is to keep posting regularly and keep sharing when you do. There is now quick fix overnight solution to getting more views on your blog other than to keep blogging. But these tools will certainly help you on your way: