This is a guest contribution from Andrea Martins, founder of Story Resumes.
Okay, so the honeymoon of Aunt Gracie reading your blog posts is over and you’re now looking to accelerate your blogging career. You want to play in the big league but to do that you need to attract more traffic without the need to promise your first-born son.
One way to gain visitors is to get noticed on blog directories. Photography, cooking, gardening, cycling, travelling, meditating and more, there are thousands of directories out there each catering to specific niches and interests. If you look, you’re bound to find some just your size.
Now here’s where you have a choice.
Once you’ve found directories to list on, you can be one of the 99% of bloggers who press ‘submit’ without thinking too much about the potential of that listing.
Or you can choose to be in the 1% who are strategic about what they are about to do and how they are about to do it.
You see, a blog directory listing is not just a blog directory listing and there is more to listing on a blog directory than meets the eye. Your listing could be a unique opportunity for your blog to get noticed and receive a valuable shout out from the blog directory owner and/or successful peers on the directory whose high traffic blogs could skyrocket your visitor numbers. You may even luck out with a media request. It happens.
Having personally approved most of the 2,265 blogs on a global directory that’s been running for over six years, here are my top seven insider tips to boost the chances of your blog receiving valuable shout-outs and traffic spikes from blog directory listings.
If you don’t have a strong, catchy title for your blog, how will you ever stand out in a long page of blogs listed on a directory, or grab the attention of the blog directory owner who sees hundreds if not thousands of submissions?
If you walked into a café that sold last week’s leftovers and was void of atmosphere, would you stay? Neither will your audience.
Content might be king over time, but no one will hang around to read your content unless your ‘look and feel’ instantly attracts. You don’t have to spend a fortune on design. Quality templates work just fine as long as there is something on your page that hooks possible influencers and inspires them to give you a big shout-out.
The most critical blog post is the one we see first. If you usually blog about entrepreneurship but you couldn’t resist blogging about baking your daughter’s birthday cake last night, we’ve already left before the candles are lit.
When you list on blog directories, make sure you have your best and most relevant blog post right at the top of your page before you submit.
It makes no sense to bring people to your blog, get them excited and then lose their trust with broken links on your site. That’s akin to submitting a resume for your dream job without supplying the correct contact details for your referees.
You get just a few seconds to inspire trust and prove you know what you’re doing. Don’t blow it.
Online influencers are busy people. If they like what you offer, they usually want to quickly shout out about it and notify you of their good deed all in the same action. They can’t do this unless you’re on Twitter and your handle is easy to find on your home page. The same applies for their audiences who can ‘pay it forward’ for you if you make it easy for them.
Facebook and Google+ work well too, but nothing beats the ease and speed of 140 characters.
If the blog directory requests that you display their hyperlinked badge or text link on your blog, then display it loud and proud.
If you try to outsmart the blog directory owner and hide these on zero page rank URLs and/or on pages that no one will ever intuitively find, you destroy your goodwill immediately and risk not being accepted on the directory at all.
Finally, if you put a blog directory’s badge or link on your blog and then remove it after your listing has been approved, that’s just bad karma. It may not be noticed for a while, but it will be noticed. And you wouldn’t want to mess with karma, would you?
If you’ve never thought about the potential of gaining traffic by getting noticed on blog directories, today’s a great day to start. Somewhere out there is a directory owner or peer influencer who desperately wants to discover something new to shout out about. Put a bit of thought into your listing, brighten their day and they might just brighten yours!
Andrea Martins is the founder of Story Resumes: Visually Awesome Resumes That Tell Your Story and Get You Noticed. Prior to that, she co-founded Expat Women and its global blog directory.