Posts

How to Start a Blog Today and Make Money by Blogging

With large number of people blogging, it is assumed that the age of earning money with it are over. But people still find it interesting and there are people who can make money by blogging. So what are they doing exactly for their income? But before that you must how to start a blog.

Starting a blog doesn’t require you to have any technical knowledge. Here is a list of what you should do to start a blog:

Tips on Starting a Blog

#1. Decide a genre – Personal, industry-related, political, specialist

#2. Topic – Unique, interesting, competitive but with not too much competition online

#3. Research – Know what others are doing and how they are doing it

#4. Domain name – it tells people what they should really expect from the blog

#5. Keyword – helps in getting ranked in the search engine results

#6. Selection of a software – popular platforms include WordPress, Blogger, SquareSpace and Wix

#7. Design – do it yourself or hire a professional

#8. Nagivation – Make sure it is easy to navigate

Once you have done the above, comes the most important task – writing. Write a pool of 10-15 articles. Then arises a question how to make money by blogging.

To earn money, more people should be able to reach your post. The following are the ways to make it possible:

Be Different

When you write, you must ensure that whatever you write should not have been written before or at least offer them a different perspective. Everyone loves variety and if you are able to offer them that. Voila! You may have stuck gold here. You gain more and more audience.

Longer Content Gets More Traffic

Well you may be surprised to read this but it is true. Longer content has been shown to attract more audience. It is regardless of the niche you are writing for. Well it may be true that longer content requires more time but looking at the amount of visitors you can have per hour, it surely is a winner.

Promotion

This is not about social media promotion. It is about building a relationship with the influencer in your field and then asking them to share your work. For this, I would advise you to spend as much time in outreach as you spend on writing content. Spend six hours in writing and six hours in outreachng.

Email List

In blogging, having an email list is extremely important. This is what predicts success or failure of your blog and how much money you might make. More subscribers, more money. Longer the email list, more is the money you make.

Start with Services, Expand into Products

As a beginner, look to offering a service in which you can solve a problem. You can do that with your first blog, you will learn more about a thing when you try to solve it. When you become a specialist you can offer the product.

Keep it Informational and not just Money Driving Force

Yes, there are new things that come up every day in finance too. I felt there was an intense urge to do that. I too have done it on my blog. Mine is about finance.

I Write for Popular Blogging Sites and Charge them for Writing for them…

Having made my mark in the finance arena, I am often asked to come to lecture people. I am more of a motivational and financial helpers at the corporates. And it is all happening because of the blogging initiative I took a few years ago.

Add Videos

Certain things can only be made to understand with videos. I have launced a youtube channel of my own wherein I interact with my audience to help them understand certain things. This confidence came from blogging.

Above All

Once you have built audience for your blog, use google adsense to make money. Suppose you are using wordpress as your blogging platform. Install google adsense pugin. Sign into it. Once you get email confirmation, create your ads and start earning.

Just like add your small business is done, there are blog directories, submit your blog there. Chances of growing your audience manifolds, if you do so.

Photo credit: Bigstock

Using Social Media To Get Promoted

You have created a great blog and published it on your website. But, unfortunately only your relatives visited your blog and appreciated and you did not get any response from other persons. If you want to promote your blog  you have to be very tactical on using the social media. You have to spend a maximum of your time to promote your content. But if you say, you have spent so much time on creating the blog and now you don’t have time to promote it, then I have to say that this post is not for you. But if you want to increase traffic, let’s find the below points.

Tweet Your Blog

Twitter is the best place to share a link. As soon as your blog finished tweet the blog post link in Twitter immediately. You will find some automated tools that can instantly submit a link to your recent blog post on your Twitter stream. You can also submit it manually.

Share in Facebook Page

Recently, many people are using Facebook. Create a Facebook fan page for your blog.  Also, you can become a fan of another Facebook fan page which is similar to your topic. Join the conversation on the other page and invite others to join in your page. Do not forget to feed the blog post in your Facebook page. Update your status update with interesting and informative posts  so that people feel to join in the conversation. Be active on your Facebook page.

Use Pinterest to Share Your Post

If you use photos in your blog post, you should use Pinterest to promote those photos. Pinterest is a great visual social bookmarking site to share various photos. You need to Pin images from other content so that it does not look like that you are promoting yourself only. If you do so, nobody will Follow you. This is a very important factor.

Use Google+ Community

Google+ is a great option for driving thousands of views of your blog post. After joining in the similar community in Google+, you will find so many cool and interesting conversations are going in the community. By giving a vote to others blog post, you will add value to your profile. When you have a new post, share it with your favorite 5-8 communities.

Use LinkedIn Followers

LinkedIn is a tremendous place to get connected with professionals. If you are writing blogs on professional topics, LinkedIn is the perfect place for you. Get connected with the more people, the more people will see your profile. Join in LinkedIn groups and share relevant blog in the groups. Remember, if you share irrelevant blog in the group other members will treat you as a SPAM.

It is not a surprise now to get the audience by using social media as in the modern business era, it is a natural choice to get promotion from social media. Billions of people are now using social media and it is the high time to get attraction from lots of people with the relatively low cost.

 

Image: bigstock

TalentCulture's Greatest Hits: 2013 Edition

Lists! Lists! Lists! As we close the chapter on 2013, there’s no denying — the “best of” list season is in full swing.

And who can blame blogs for sharing top picks from the past year? After all, lists are incredibly easy to create, and there’s a certain seductive power in a headline that promises to deliver all the goods in just one single round-up post.

But for me, picking “best” blog posts is like picking “best” children — an impossible task. I’ve spent hours helping to envision, edit, implement and promote every one of the 200 posts we produced last year. And to me, each is uniquely relevant and valuable in its own right.

So please consider our showcase of 2013’s most popular content more than a “best of” list. It’s also our way of recognizing ALL of the many “world of work” experts who have contributed to our blog, our weekly radio shows, and our #TChat Twitter chats. For example:

Business leaders like Chris Boyce, CEO, Virgin Pulse; Richie Etwaru, Group VP, Cegedim CRM; Todd Owens, President, TalentWise; Dr. Janice Presser, Founder, The Gabriel Institute, and Jason Averbook, Chief Innovation Officer, Appirio.

World of work observers and educators like Josh Bersin, Angela Maiers, Dr. Marla Gottschalk, and Dr. Nancy Rubin

Best-selling authors like Bob Burg, Stan Phelps, Marcia Conner, Jamie Notter and Ekaterina Walter.

To these contributors, and to the many others who participate in our community of purpose, thank you. We’re all better because you share professional insights that are relevant today, and will clearly stand the test of time. Need convincing? Check out the items below, and let us know what you think…

Top 10 TalentCulture Posts (Most Popular)

1) Employees Quit Leaders, Not Companies — by David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

2) Want Engaged Employees? Tell Them Why — by Meghan M. Biro, CEO, TalentCulture

3) Are You a Good Fit? 3 Interview Questions — by Razor Suleman, Founder + Chief Evangelist, Achievers

4) 5 Social Skills Business Leaders Must Master — by Meghan M. Biro, CEO, TalentCulture

5) Considering a Career Change? Take a 360 Snapshot — by Dorie Clark, marketing strategy consultant, branding expert and author, Reinventing You

6) Brainstorming is Broken: Rethinking Group Dynamics — by Razor Suleman, Founder + Chief Evangelist, Achievers

7) Gen Y at Work: Feedback Changes Everything — by David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

8) The Steep Cost of Poor Management — by Tatiana Beale, Achievers

9) Want To Be Your Own Boss? Try This First — by Hans Balmaekers, Founder and Director, sa.am

10) Hiring Culture: Creating A Recruitment Ecosystem — by David Smooke, Director of Social Media, SmartRecruiters

Top 3 #TChat Radio Shows  (Most Popular)

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to #TChat Radio replays

1) How Collaboration Unifies Polarization — featuring Jesse Lyn Stoner

2) The Big Deal With HR Data — featuring Andrew Courtois and Christene Pantalone

3) How Open Leaders Win Employee Hearts and Minds — featuring Dan Pontefract

Top 3 #TChat Event Preview Posts (Most Popular)

Featuring G+ hangouts hosted by Tim McDonald, Community Manager, TalentCulture + Director of Community, Huffington Post.

1) Leadership + Influence, From The Inside Out — featuring Steve Gutzler

2) You 2.0: Reinventing a Personal Brand — featuring Dorie Clark

3) Should Work Be Fun? Really? — featuring Dan Benoni

Top 3 #TChat Recaps (Most Popular)

1) HR Data: What Really Counts? — by Kathleen Kruse

2) Mindfully Managing Your Personal Brand — by Kevin W. Grossman

3) Face-to-Face With Brand Humanization — by Megan Burkett

Of course, this is only a slice from the TalentCulture archives. There’s much more inside — over 500 posts with helpful ideas and guidance on workplace culture, innovation, leadership, learning, career strategy, HR and talent management. So feel free to stop by anytime.

And no matter what your professional interests may be, we hope you’ll continue to bring your ideas and opinions to the TalentCulture table throughout 2014. Because, no matter how “popular” our blog or events may be on any given day, it’s our community’s collective energy that will truly shape the future of work. So, together, let’s discover how we can be even better.

Your Turn

What topics were your favorites in 2013? And what issues would you like to explore in the year ahead? Share your ideas in the comments area — we’re listening!

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like these with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

TalentCulture’s Greatest Hits: 2013 Edition

Lists! Lists! Lists! As we close the chapter on 2013, there’s no denying — the “best of” list season is in full swing.

And who can blame blogs for sharing top picks from the past year? After all, lists are incredibly easy to create, and there’s a certain seductive power in a headline that promises to deliver all the goods in just one single round-up post.

But for me, picking “best” blog posts is like picking “best” children — an impossible task. I’ve spent hours helping to envision, edit, implement and promote every one of the 200 posts we produced last year. And to me, each is uniquely relevant and valuable in its own right.

So please consider our showcase of 2013’s most popular content more than a “best of” list. It’s also our way of recognizing ALL of the many “world of work” experts who have contributed to our blog, our weekly radio shows, and our #TChat Twitter chats. For example:

Business leaders like Chris Boyce, CEO, Virgin Pulse; Richie Etwaru, Group VP, Cegedim CRM; Todd Owens, President, TalentWise; Dr. Janice Presser, Founder, The Gabriel Institute, and Jason Averbook, Chief Innovation Officer, Appirio.

World of work observers and educators like Josh Bersin, Angela Maiers, Dr. Marla Gottschalk, and Dr. Nancy Rubin

Best-selling authors like Bob Burg, Stan Phelps, Marcia Conner, Jamie Notter and Ekaterina Walter.

To these contributors, and to the many others who participate in our community of purpose, thank you. We’re all better because you share professional insights that are relevant today, and will clearly stand the test of time. Need convincing? Check out the items below, and let us know what you think…

Top 10 TalentCulture Posts (Most Popular)

1) Employees Quit Leaders, Not Companies — by David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

2) Want Engaged Employees? Tell Them Why — by Meghan M. Biro, CEO, TalentCulture

3) Are You a Good Fit? 3 Interview Questions — by Razor Suleman, Founder + Chief Evangelist, Achievers

4) 5 Social Skills Business Leaders Must Master — by Meghan M. Biro, CEO, TalentCulture

5) Considering a Career Change? Take a 360 Snapshot — by Dorie Clark, marketing strategy consultant, branding expert and author, Reinventing You

6) Brainstorming is Broken: Rethinking Group Dynamics — by Razor Suleman, Founder + Chief Evangelist, Achievers

7) Gen Y at Work: Feedback Changes Everything — by David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

8) The Steep Cost of Poor Management — by Tatiana Beale, Achievers

9) Want To Be Your Own Boss? Try This First — by Hans Balmaekers, Founder and Director, sa.am

10) Hiring Culture: Creating A Recruitment Ecosystem — by David Smooke, Director of Social Media, SmartRecruiters

Top 3 #TChat Radio Shows  (Most Popular)

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to #TChat Radio replays

1) How Collaboration Unifies Polarization — featuring Jesse Lyn Stoner

2) The Big Deal With HR Data — featuring Andrew Courtois and Christene Pantalone

3) How Open Leaders Win Employee Hearts and Minds — featuring Dan Pontefract

Top 3 #TChat Event Preview Posts (Most Popular)

Featuring G+ hangouts hosted by Tim McDonald, Community Manager, TalentCulture + Director of Community, Huffington Post.

1) Leadership + Influence, From The Inside Out — featuring Steve Gutzler

2) You 2.0: Reinventing a Personal Brand — featuring Dorie Clark

3) Should Work Be Fun? Really? — featuring Dan Benoni

Top 3 #TChat Recaps (Most Popular)

1) HR Data: What Really Counts? — by Kathleen Kruse

2) Mindfully Managing Your Personal Brand — by Kevin W. Grossman

3) Face-to-Face With Brand Humanization — by Megan Burkett

Of course, this is only a slice from the TalentCulture archives. There’s much more inside — over 500 posts with helpful ideas and guidance on workplace culture, innovation, leadership, learning, career strategy, HR and talent management. So feel free to stop by anytime.

And no matter what your professional interests may be, we hope you’ll continue to bring your ideas and opinions to the TalentCulture table throughout 2014. Because, no matter how “popular” our blog or events may be on any given day, it’s our community’s collective energy that will truly shape the future of work. So, together, let’s discover how we can be even better.

Your Turn

What topics were your favorites in 2013? And what issues would you like to explore in the year ahead? Share your ideas in the comments area — we’re listening!

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like these with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

#TChat Road Trip: Going To The Next Level Together

There are many possible paths through life and career. Every so often, we’re presented with a decision: Take one path (maybe it’s a new job with an existing employer), or choose another route (maybe it’s an uncharted role at a new company with no clear business model or understanding where it is headed).

More than three years ago, I chose the second path — launching a talent-focused management consulting practice, creating #TChat as a TalentCulture community beacon, and embarking on a life at the crossroads of social media, knowledge sharing and collaboration. And what an incredibly interesting and rewarding journey it has been!

There have been too many high points to mention — the exhilaration of weekly Twitter chats; the roller-coaster dynamics involved with growing a professional online community; the great times Kevin W. Grossman and I have had connecting with many of you at live events — SHRM, HR Demo, Recruiting Trends, HRO Today, HR Tech, HR Evolution and so many others. It’s fun to push the technical limits with experimental “simulcast” chat/radio shows, and other new ways that connect our global community with the best minds and forums in the HR and social media realm.

Along the way, we’ve had the opportunity to meet hundreds of HR practitioners, business leaders and social influencers, both via #TChat and in person. I became a blogger – contributing to many niche blogging communities with whom I’ve been fortunate to forge strong social partnerships. These three years have opened my eyes and heart to new ideas and friendships that have enriched me more than I could have imagined.

Throughout this TalentCulture adventure, I’ve been guided by a vision of community, leadership, learning and innovation in HR. It’s the same today as it was the very first day — everyone is invited and everyone’s unique voice matters. Together, we’re exploring innovative topics – emotional intelligence; collaboration; evolving social and HR technology; the multi-generational workplace and the natural tensions that exist among Boomers, Gen X and Millennials; as well as the role that trust, influence and intent play in today’s most innovative organizations.

We had the courage to take this winding road, to live this social experiment, and we did it without a safety net of financial support. Like many bootstrapped ventures, we lived an online experiment, while sometimes risking our own security during past three years. We became, and are, the #1 and longest running Twitter Chat focused on “The World of Work” in the HR, Leadership, Innovation and Social Business niche. And I am proud of the way we navigated to that destination. This “organic” effort was the right approach. It gave us the freedom to stretch our limits, and really listen to our inner voices — even when others cautioned us that this endeavor was a huge time sink.

I’ve learned a lot during these past three years:

1) Patience.  It takes time to create a community that’s designed to be a metaphor for the social workplace. It takes take time to connect, share, and earn trust. Initiative is imperative — but when relationships are on the line, patience can be even more important.

2) Courage. We didn’t chase after easy money. We stayed with a bootstrapped, organic growth model — and it gave us the freedom to find our true voices and passion. We believed that the community would guide us, even when the road wasn’t clear. And the community has risen to the challenge.

3) Perseverance. It isn’t easy to work 10-20 hours a week or more without compensation. But we stuck to it. We kept showing up. That commitment has made it possible for us to arrive at this third anniversary of #TChat.

4) Engagement Through Trust. Since Day 1, everything we’ve done has focused on engaging with a larger community of HR practitioners, workplace visionaries and leaders. This is a big open tent, filled with people from a vast spectrum of expertise and interests. That’s what makes it such a vibrant, interesting place to be! What makes it possible? Mutual trust. It’s our foundation — and it’s the thing I value most. Above all, we are a community of trust.

5) Learning And Moving On. Through the years, I’ve discovered that growth means leaving some ideas behind. From time-to-time, we need to mix things up, as we continue our mission of serving this eclectic community of practitioners, partners and constant learners.

Change is in the air again, as we look ahead and consider new ways to serve our community’s mission.

This week, which marks #TChat’s third anniversary, presents us with another set of paths. We can continue the community as is, without funding. Or we can embrace a new model that involves careful monetization to fuel additional growth. The second path will give us the financial support we need to add new capabilities for better communication and interaction, integrate new channels for commentary and thought leadership, and create new opportunities to engage with and influence a broader “world of work” for the benefit of all. I’m excited by the challenges these choices present, and I’m eager to move TalentCulture to another level in its growth. But most of all, I’m humbled to lead such an extraordinary community at a time when the very nature of work, itself, is being reinvented.

For three years, we’ve been engaged in an experiment to understand how social innovation can transform work culture, evolve leadership practices, develop trust, and inspire continuous learning. Now, we’re ready to take our first steps toward the next horizon. We hope you’ll join us on that journey. The road ahead may not be entirely clear, but the path is wide, and there’s room for all.

The adventure continues!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Got those Blogging Blues? #TChat Preview

If so, you’re probably not alone.  According to reports, there are some 25 billion registered blogs out there on the world-wide web. However, only 450 million are considered “active.”  While that’s less than 1% of what’s registered actually putting out content, it’s still enough to create a lot of “noise” in the blogsphere.   And whether you’re a new blogger or the medium is ‘old-hat’ to you, trying to distinguish yourself can still be overwhelming.

It leaves many asking the question, “Why bother blogging to begin with?”

Despite the old saying that there are only 12 original themes, there’s still room on the net for your ideas, too.  The difference for many is found in the spin rather than the subject.  The subject matter may not be new, but the way that you present the idea can be.  You can maintain creativity by mixing things up: use photos, collaborate efforts with other writers or professional colleagues, try a vlog (video blog), etc…

To build sustainability, you need more than regular, fresh and compelling content around a centralized theme – you need patience as well.  Your readership won’t likely show up in droves when you put up your “I’m Here!” inaugural post.   To gain a respectable following, you’ll have to consistently market your content on other platforms to those that are interested in the subjects on which you have something to say.

You definitely want an idea of what you’re trying to get out of it going in – and the answer ought not be money!  At least not directly, anyway. Despite the enticing banners and messages many blogging platforms put out to doe-eyed bloggers; seducing them with the promise and potential of converting their hobby into a money maker, the reality is that there’s very little money to be made directly from a blog (none for most).

That being said, just because you want to have a blog doesn’t necessarily mean you should.  There’s a lot that goes into putting together a successful blog that stands the test of time. And many (most, if you look at the massive gap between registered and active blogs) aren’t up to the challenge.  Blogging is best suited for “long-form” content sharing. It’s the most effective medium if the message you want to share can’t be adequately expressed in a 5 minute ‘vlog,’ the meaning derived from pictures, or requires more than 140-characters to get across.

Speaking of 140-characters,  join us tonight as we explore content, best practices, and the writing equivalents of “What not to Wear” in tonight’s #TChat discussion topic:  “Blogging & Beyond.”   Here’s a look at tonight’s questions, along with recommended reading:

1)      What makes content effective and compelling?  Are there universal benchmarks or is it subjective?

Recommended Reading:  “Principles of Effective Blog Design”  by Peep Laja

2)      What are some blogging best practices?  How does blogging fit in with a larger social media strategy?

Recommended Reading:  “The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers” by Annabel Candy

3)      What advice do you have for individuals or brands looking to blog?  Any lessons learned?

Recommended Reading:  “Blogging, Copyright, and Blog Plagiarism”  & “When Your Blog is My Content” by Jessica Miller-Merrell

4)      In 140 characters or less: what are some of your favorite work-related blogs and why?

Recommended Reading:  Some of mine are TalentCulture, MonsterThinking, Fistful of Talent, Blogging4Jobs, and TheOneCrystal (mine, of course!)

5)      Does someone have to be a good writer to be a good blogger?  Why or why not?

Recommended Reading:  “Must you be a Good Writer to be a Successful Blogger?” by Bailey Digger

6)      What are some of the biggest mistakes or misconceptions around blogging and online content creation?

Recommended Reading:  “18 Stupid Mistakes Bloggers Make in their First Year” by Christine Kane  & “8 Mistakes Too Many Bloggers Make” by David Risley

 

I’ll be joining the conversation at our new time this Wednesday night along with co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman from 7-8 p.m. (Eastern) via @TheOneCrystal and our community handle @TalentCulture

How to Blog Without a Blog

While many students and professionals have jumped into the blogosphere to share their POV with the world on different topics, industries and areas of interest, some out there are more hesitant to make the investment and commitment to full-time blogging.

This may be due in part to them a) not knowing how to build and maintain a blog, b) not knowing exactly what to write about and/or c) not knowing whether they will have the time and energy necessary to keep it updated on a regular basis.

However, what most people don’t know is that you don’t have to start and maintain your own individual blog to share your POV and your personal brand online.  There are several ways you can start contributing immediately to bloggerdom and working your way up to potentially owning and managing your own blog down the road.

  • Commenting: Commenting on others’ blog posts can help you start networking and engaging your name and opinion with other bloggers.  Pick a couple blogs to follow on a weekly basis and contribute your comment.  Make sure you always add value to each post.  You can also use Google Alerts to flag new posts containing specific keywords.
  • HARO: HelpaReporter.com (HARO) is FREE tool that connects professionals and students with bloggers, journalists, writers and authors seeking sources for their articles and publications.  This is a great way to get interviewed and quoted across various blogs and other media outlets.  It also becomes a nice credential to feature in interviews and career networking.
  • Twitter: Micro-blogging using services and platforms like Twitter gives you the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions, link your followers to valuable resources, articles and other information online and work your way up to more substantial blog contributions.
  • Guest Blogging: For those of you who want to try your hand at full-length articles, consider contributing a periodic guest post to one or more blogs in your industry.  It’s best to reach out to the blog owners and ask permission first.  This will start a relationship with them, but will also allow you to customize your content to their needs.
  • Team Blogging: If you’re ready for more regular contributions, reach out to a team blog and ask to join as a weekly or more regular contributor.  You can also start your own team blog if you can recruit some fellow bloggers to join you.  This will help you all share the load and commitment while giving all of your personal brands exposure to new audiences.

Once you get a good feel for contributing, if you decide you’re ready to launch your own blog, I definitely recommend you use the WordPress blogging platform.

There are two versions of WordPress: WordPress-hosted and self-hosted.

You can host your blog for free with the WordPress-hosted version via WordPress OR for a monthly fee with the self-hosted version via third-party web host. You may think this is a no-brainer and that you should go with the free WordPress-hosted version. Do what you please, but the WordPress-hosted version leaves you with less control over your blog and will end up costing you more in the end due to the fees WordPress charges for any customizations you may desire (including adding your own custom domain name and your own themes and designs).

I recommend you go with the self-hosted version and check out Page.ly which is an easy-to-use hosting service that will help you get your new WordPress blog up and running in a matter of minutes.

Chris Perry, MBA is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, a career search and personal branding expert and the founder of Career Rocketeer, Launchpad, Blogaristo and more.

How to Promote Your Blog with an Empty Bank

I, like most of my fellow bloggers out there, do not have the funds necessary to launch national advertising campaigns to promote a blog. Therefore, since my team and I founded Career Rocketeer over a year ago, I have constantly faced the challenge of finding new, free and/or low-cost ways to promote our content, build up our blog’s awareness and increase our readership.

Thankfully, if you are creative and determined, you can uncover countless ways to promote your efforts without breaking the bank.

Here are a number of tips for promoting your blog on a dime from leaders throughout the blogosphere:

Looks matter. If your blog looks like and sounds like everyone else’s, no one is going to care. If your blog looks like crap, it doesn’t matter that you have the best content out there, no one is going to read it. We’re a superficial society so if you’re going to spend money on anything beyond a domain name and hosting, it should be on the design of your blog. – Brandon Mendelson, BrandonMendelson.com

Don’t bury your best content. Direct readers to your most popular postings using links, a featured articles section, a resources page etc. – Chris Groscurth, BareNakedCommunication.com

Linked on LinkedIn. One totally free and effective way to promote a blog is to post blog articles to the news section of your LinkedIn groups. You can now post articles to many groups simultaneously. You can also post the URLs to articles when you answer questions on the Answers section of LinkedIn. This gives your blog exposure. – Cheryl E. Palmer, CallToCareer.com

Don’t forget to feed your social media! The best thing I ever did for my blog was to have it automatically feed into my social media profiles. The headline and link go into Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Plaxo, and the full text goes into Facebook Notes. – Shel Horowitz, PrincipledProfit.com/Good-Business-Blog/

Status Updates. While this one may seem pretty obvious, it’s not that simple. Sure, you could just type your blog post’s headline into all of your social sites’ status boxes, include your shortened link and call it a day. But this might not maximize clicks. Realize that each social site is a little different (i.e. different environment, social etiquette, audience demo/psychographics). Tailoring your status/headline for each community could make a big difference. No time for that? Use Ping.fm. Plug in all your social networks and use Ping.fm to shorten your URL and launch your new post to all your sites in one step. Brody Dorland, SomethingCreativeInc.com

Help a reporter out. If you’re not using Help A Reporter Out (HARO) at www.helpareporter.com, you’re really missing out on an outstanding free resource.  On HARO, you can register for free to receive article and book topic queries from journalists, writers, bloggers and authors across multiple topic categories to which you can respond and pitch your relevant advice, experience or insights.  If selected, you almost always get some press, including your name and blog/company, as well as a link back to your preferred site.  This is a great (and FREE) way to get some visibility for your blog while networking with other leaders in your field. – Chris Perry, CareerRocketeer.com

Identify guest bloggers. Search out people who do things similar to what you do and ask them to be a guest blogger. They will likely tell their readers about your blog, resulting in a great promotion for you. Many bloggers will then ask you to guest blog for them. It becomes a winning situation. – Jill Nussinow, TheVeggieQueen.com

Become a guest blogger. One of the simplest strategies I’ve found to promoting a blog is to write guest posts for other blogs. The secret is to write for blogs that are just a little outside of your own niche — if you write about cooking for instance, write a guest post about cooking inexpensively for a personal finance blog. That approach will help you reach an audience beyond what your competition (the other blogs covering the same topics) sees. – Thursday R. Bram, ThursdayBram.com

Create lists. I know other bloggers get HUGE traffic out of doing lists like “Top 50 Blogs on Knitting”. Without fail, the authors of the majority of these blogs will link back to the referring site, even if that listing site has very few readers. Bloggers are vain, after all. I don’t often do stuff like that, but maybe I should. – The Cranky Product Manager, CrankyPM.com

Get listed. The best way I’ve found to promote my blog is find sites that list blogs about your topic and get on that list. For example, I got myself on WorldGolf.com’s blog list as well as TravelGolf.com’s list. It gives credibility and promotes your blog. It’s also listed on Wikio, BallHype and Golfblips. Usually all I have to do is put a link to their site, if anything at all. – Michael Wolfe, WAMGolf.com

Track how you’re doing. Take advantage of Google Analytics to track your traffic so you can see how people are finding you.  If you notice that a lot of people find you via “Best used cars,” you might want to write a few posts on that to keep the momentum going. – Jon Stroz, Accella.net

Get creative with bartering. If you offer a service and want some ad space, offer to trade your service for a free ad. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer who wants to get featured on a bride’s blog, offer a discount or a free shoot in exchange for exposure. – Mandy Boyle, SolidCactus.com

Latch onto a star! Here’s what I mean: For more than two years, I’ve blogged for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a top-twenty American news site (40 million page views per month). Except for my time, my costs are zero. The domain is professional with ads galore, so there’s plenty of opportunity and it’s all over Google. – Roberta Beach Jacobson, Blog.SeattlePI.com/CatLady

Promote your blog offline. Instead of Twitter, use the local trade fair, or networking event (again, focus on making friends over networking).  Make business cards, but don’t “sell” people on anything.  Your business cards are a reminder for people to get in contact with you, not a desperate attempt to push your business/service on them.  Talk to as many people as possible.  Make friends not just “network”. – Zach Davis, ZRDavis.com

I want to give special thanks to all of the bloggers who contributed their blog marketing insights!  If you have some tips or other free or low-cost ways to promote a blog, please share them with us!

Chris Perry, MBA is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, a career search and personal branding expert and the founder of Career Rocketeer, Launchpad, Blogaristo and more.