August 08, 2002
Optimizing Movable Type (part 3) - get more readers

If you've read the previous articles on MT archiving strategies and increasing the "Googlejuice" of your site, now is the time to attract new visitors to your site.

(Of course, we continue to assume that you write content that people are interested in reading... :-)

How will a reader that doesn't know about you discover you? Links links links is the answer. Links from directories, search engines and other bloggers all drive traffic to you.

General publicity
Let's start with the basic strategies that any webmaster can (and should) follow:

Register your site in the appropriate category in the following directories. Listing may take anything from 2 weeks to several months, so once you've submitted, just try to forget about the whole thing... ;-)

  • Open Directory Project (dmoz.org) is a directory edited by loads of volunteer category editors. This directory is used, among other sites, by Google Directories, AOL and lots of other websites.

    Bloggers should head for the Weblogs category.

    While you're there - consider signing up as an editor: it's easy to sign up, there are lots of tools available for you to do your editing, and loads of support to be had from other editors.

  • Yahoo was the first proper website directory online, and it's still a portal online. Bloggers head to this category and click "suggest a site" (at the bottom). Choose the "free" signup option unless you're loaded...

  • Our friends at Google will usually crawl the entire web every 4 weeks or so. If someone, somewhere has linked to your site, Yahoo will usually stop by. If you're not in their database at the moment, it never hurts, though, to let them know you exist. Additions to their crawls can be made here.

    The really narcissistic buy AdWords. Save the money and create quality content instead - it will get you more results.

  • Last but not least: Add your site to the all the web seatch engine. It's a lot smaller than Google, but hey - it only takes you 10 seconds to sign up...

Weblog-spesific publicity
Webloggers have some additional tools to their disposal.

Movable Type spesific publicity
Users of the weblog-software Movable Type have even additional benefits by using "TrackBacks". Other blog-tools may implement this feature in the future. Watch this space for developments. (Update: Radio users may want to check out this link).

What is it? MT users can categorize their postings in categories, and for each category, you can configure MT to automatically "ping" external resources. This is a great way to get more interested readers for your posts. I strongly recommend you sit down (right now?!! :-) and add a couple of categories with the below mentioned pings. You never know when you'll be writing about some of thopics - if you add the categories today, you're done :-) -- alternatively, bookmark or blog about this article so you can refer to it in the future:

Known MT-ping categories at this time (but you bet you'll see more of those sites mushrooming up very soon!)

  • Book reviews: if you post book-reviews, check out the Book Review Repository. You can either set up a generic book reviews category to post to the "Unsorted" category, or you can post more spesific reviews to the different categories (recommended).
    Some Trackback URLs (more categories available):
    Biographies & Memoirs Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=355
    Children's Book Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=356
    Computers and Internet Book Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=357
    Fantasy Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=360
    History Book Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=363
    Horror Book Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=365
    Literature & Fiction Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=366
    Mystery & Thriller Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=367
    Nonfiction Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=368
    Parenting & Families Book Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=370
    Professional & Technical Book Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=371
    Sci-Fi Book Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=351
    Travel Book Reviews: http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=378

    If you create only one Book review category, use the Unsorted:
    http://www.jacobsen.no/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/anders/MT-2.21/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=379

  • Recipes: The Red Kitchen accepts guest submissions.
    Trackback URL:
    http://love-productions.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=65

  • Knowledge Management: The KMPings site accepts articles about Knowledge Management.
    Trackback URL:
    http://www.highcontext.com/MT/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=10

  • Weblogs-related: Blogpopuli collects news about weblogs.
    Trackback URL:
    http://www.blogroots.com/tb_populi.blog?id=1

  • TrackBack: The Movable Type TrackBack Developents site accepts relevant pings.
    Trackback URL:
    http://www.movabletype.org/mt/mt-tb.cgi?tb_id=3

Good luck! Comments & TrackBacks to this article are welcome - more articles in this little series may becoming based on feedback from the readers.

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Comments

Thanks also for mentioning The Red Kitchen - trackback really does make it cool to be able to add recipes easily! :)

Posted by: kristine on August 8, 2002 08:46 PM

"Last but not least: Add your site to the all the web seatch engine. It's a lot smaller than Google, but hey - it only takes you 10 seconds to sign up..."

Google currently has 2.4 billion pages and AlltheWeb has 2.1 billion and AlltheWeb recently claimed to have indexed more pages than Google, but were quickly outshone again. I'm a big fan of Google, but saying that AlltheWeb is a lot smaller isn't necessarily accurate.

Posted by: dan on August 13, 2002 11:10 PM

Hi there, Dan, and thanks for your feedback!

Size as in number of documents indexed is pretty equal. Size as in number of active users is an entirely different story... Judging from my own site's referrals, I get maybe 10 times more referrals from Google and Google-variants (including Yahoo/Google-searches) than from AllTheWeb and it's affiliates (like kvasir.sol.no)...

I don't know of official numbers, but I'd definitely bet my money on Google winning any comparison on numbers of users... :-)

Posted by: Anders on August 14, 2002 03:37 PM

good overview! but

http://blogdex.media.mit.edu/linkInfo.asp?url=http://raphb.ch/

doesn't works! any updates?

cu, Raphael

Posted by: RaphaŽl on January 22, 2003 11:58 AM

Yeah; blogdex has been re-engineered. Head over to the main page and "search for URL" to find yourself...

http://blogdex.media.mit.edu/

you might also enjoy

http://www.technorati.com/

Posted by: andersja on January 22, 2003 12:18 PM

I need hits! Please!

Posted by: Jessic on March 28, 2003 03:55 AM

I tend to agree,
that is,
when I don't disagree........

;op

Posted by: eezy skweezy on April 23, 2003 12:39 AM

There is also a new site www.bestposts.com where bloggers can post their best posts which are then categorized and read by a new group of readers. This will increase traffic to the blog owner's site.

Posted by: steve on April 3, 2004 06:47 AM

Wow, great tips and comments. Thanks everyone for the MT optimization tips. I especially like the underscore to hyphen trick. Very useful...

gonna try it on my blog http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/ right now.

Posted by: Tom Keating on May 12, 2004 09:03 PM

Wow!

Posted by: andry on July 2, 2004 01:43 AM

Are there any good sites regarding legal and copyright issues associated with what's posted on a personal blog?

Posted by: Doug on August 22, 2004 06:54 AM

To submit to yahoo weblog directory go here:

http://dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Internet/World_Wide_Web/Weblogs/

Posted by: Norbert on January 8, 2006 09:31 PM
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