My first post in this series is Blog Catalog: Premium Directory and Social Network and if you haven’t read it previously then I do recommend that you read it prior to reading this one.
(1) Write an appealing profile
Your Blog Catalog profile page is the most effective advertising spot in the social network for you as a blogger and for your blogs too. Accept the fact that people want to know a bit about who you are and that they are not likely to be impressed by a one liner. Put some effort into creating a biographical statement for use on your BC profile page and on other profile pages in other social media sites as well.
(2) Write concise and informative blog description(s) for your profile page and select categories and tags
Blog descriptions are extremely important. Put some effort into creating a concise, appealing description of your blog, your brand and your focus. Take a close look at the Category choices in the Directory and put some thought into selecting the categories and the tags for your blog(s).
(3) Use the BC search facilities and learn how to network effectively
The search link is at the top of every page. Click it and use the filters to narrow your search so you can locate similar and related blogs.
Update: Related Post – Link building strategy: Locating similar sites
Screen the search results and select the most promising ones. Create an organized list and set a target for how many blogs you will visit each day, week, etc. Then start visiting, reading blog posts and “weeding” through your potential selections at the same time.
(4) Success in social networking at Blog Catalog is based on creating blog centered relationships
We are all busy people with limited time to invest into social networking so what makes sense is to invest your time and energy where greater rewards are more likely to result. What’s key to networking effectively in any social media site is the understanding that social networking efforts are best aimed at creating blog centered relationships with other bloggers, who have blogs that are related to your own.
Blog Catalog has excellent tools, features and a community full of experienced bloggers. Members can use both the community and the tools to learn how to promote their blogs and how to locate other related blogs. Locating other related blogs and leaving meaningful comments is key to creating blog centered relationships, and that’s exactly what social networks are aimed for.
(a) Blog Catalog is not set up to drive traffic to blogs. It’s is set up to drive readers to your blogs. All the features are aimed at assisting members to increase readers, as opposed to delivering a flood of one hit wonders that produce a high bounce rate.
(b) If you are focused on blog promotion then don’t waste a lot of your time camping out in the forums because socializing is not the best way to create a network. There are 200,000 BC members and few ever post to the forum(s) at all. Be aware that the members with the top rated blogs at BC are not spending a lot of time tooling around shooting the breeze in the forums. They are using far more effective means of promoting their blogs.
(c) Keep watch for the General Discussion threads that are posted to the forum on subjects that relate to your blog categories and tags for your own blog, post to them and subscribe so you receive notices of new comments that are posted. Take note of who the BC members are that also posting to them and visit their blogs.
(d) Why link dropping is not in your best interest at BC
Provided that a discussion thread has been posted to the forum in a manner that initiates discussion, link dropping ought not to occur at all. And every time you drop break the rules for posting to the Blog Catalog forum and drop a blog link inappropriately it can be reported to Admin for deletion. But that’s not the most important point. Every time you drop your blog link into a comment in a thread on this forum you are losing potential BC blog rank juice.
Blog Catalog Blog Rank – a special formula that analyzes your hits, views, comments, neighborhood members and other special secret ingredients to create a numeric score based on a 100 point scale. Your Blog Rank is primarily used to determine the order blogs appear in our Directory and Search Results. The higher your score the better your placement.
Views – The number of unique visitors that have looked at your BlogCatalog listing
Hits – The number of unique visitors that have clicked through to your blog from BlogCatalog.
We can click any username and arrive on a BC profile page and that counts for a BC view stat for the applicable member. We can then find the blog url on their BC profile page and click it and that counts for a BC hit stat for the applicable member. So, if we drop our blog link into a thread, and members click the link, then we lose the BC stats that we could have had, and that would have increased our BC blog rank, if they had clicked our username and then our blog url instead.
(5 ) Join groups and start networking
When you find “good matches”, make the BC members that have those sites “friends” and add their blogs as “favorites” and subscribe. Create a schedule and visit your selected sites regularly being sure to leave meaningful comments.
Some will reciprocate and do the same for you and your blog. Monitor responses “weeding” out the non-responsive “pruning” off the dead wood. Dead wood = members who do not form relationships with you, do not visit your blog and do not leaving comments on your posts as you do on theirs.
(6 ) Build a better blog, become a better blogger and promote your blog
Write pillar posts and learn how to use, keywords and anchor text to deep link to your previous posts. Then set aside some time each week or each fortnight to learn how to improve your blog and your blogging and locating useful blogging resources and tools. Then apply what you learn.
Becoming a Better Blogger
Building a Better Blog
Blog Catalog General Discussion forum – Shameless Blog Promotion Category
A shameless blog promotion thread is a thread with enough information to hook someone and make them want to read further, and has the added advantage of not getting lost in a long thread of other blogs and descriptions. It is probably one of the two most effective things a blogger can do to promote their own blog at Blog Catalog.
(a) What do you blog about?
(b) What is your primary reason for establishing and maintaining your blog? And, what are your goals for your blog?
(c) What makes your blog unique from other blogs in your niche?
(d) WIIFM? (What’s in it for me?) Why should I visit your blog?
(7) Learn about linking
Know that what every blog needs in non-reciprocal backlinks. Write posts that contain backlinks to those blog posts in your “favorite blogs” and wait for them to do the same.
Be cautious about blogroll linking and don’t jump at the chance to link exchange with any other blog off the top of your head. Put no blogs on your blogroll until you understand how backlinks, reciprocal links and non reciprocal links work and have a clear grasp understanding of how Google page ranking works. In fact, there’s no need to carry a blogroll at all. You can simply backlink to appropriate blogs in each of your posts. But do be cautious about how many outbound links you create.
Understanding reciprocal and non reciprocal links
Improving your Google Page Rank
Technorati: The Six Month Link Window