I originally published on April 16, 2006 at cbdc (my personal site). It has been slightly modified for publication here. Please note that the Carnival of the Liberals (cotl) ended in 2010 but you may be able to review the carnival articles at the cotl home page.
As I was writing this article, I found that I was able to list about 20 ideas without doing any research. There was enough substance in that list to write a few follow-ups to this post. As such, I’d like to thank Problogger.net and Performancing.com. I have learned alot from them. I haven’t put everything I’ve learned into practice, but I know I owe some of this blog’s success to the pros who generously share their knowledge.
Participate in Carnivals: Blog carnivals are a group of blog posts, centered on a particular topic, and usually published on a regular basis. Get more information about carnivals here, and hang with your fellow libs at The Carnival of the Liberals.
Cross post to sites like Daily Kos and Blogging for Michigan: This is a great way to get some links, and more importantly, establish yourself as a blogger. This is a great way to get exposure and make friends.
Make the blog rounds: Support your fellow bloggers by offering comments on their articles. No comment spamming (“visit my blog!”) … that’s just rude. Blogs are popular because they are conversations; dialogue is what a blog is all about, and bloggers like feedback on their articles. Do you like my blog? Do you agree? Do you know more about this than I do? Have you had a similar experience? Jump in, baby!
Link to others: When you link to another blog, you will get noticed by the other blogger. This could lead to being listed on the blogroll, being mentioned in a new post, or getting an offer to publish a guest post. On many blogs, your trackback will get listed in their comments section.
I’ve never thought much of driving traffic by picking a fight with another blogger, but there are a lot of quality blogs out there … find some that you like and and say something nice about them. Comment on their articles. Flush out a topic that one of them introduced. Blogs are all about sharing ideas and traffic. Also, be sure to understand that liberal bloggers do not all have the same audience. Some of us have a very specific niche that brings us readers who won’t normally visit other blogs.
Publish an RSS feed and participate in leftyblogs: One of my favorite things to do is make my way through the Michigan feed, post to post, site to site. This has been one of the most successful traffic drivers for my site. Publishing an RSS feed is a must if you want to promote your blog. Syndication allows your readers to get your content without coming to your site. MSN, Yahoo, and Google all allow users to personalize a page with custom RSS feeds. These services can deliver your posts alongside news headlines. You’re crazy not to allow your readers to do this.
Like I said earlier, there are plenty of other ideas. Include your URL in your email signature, forum posts, and mention your blog in conversations with other people. Be sure your site is pinging weblogs.com (or similar services). Offer a newsletter, and install tools like “E-Mail This Post”. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.