As part of some notes I have been putting together for getting started with blogging, I’ve written about some of the other services that it might be a good idea to register with, in addition to your blog:
No blog exists within a vacuum, and if you to get the most out of yours, you need to be engaging with other online social services too.
Flickr is a photo hosting and sharing site. What that means is that you can upload photos onto the web, and embed them into your blog posts without having to worry about whether you have them in the right size to suit your blog’s theme – Flickr resizes them all for you. You can then link back to the photo’s page on Flickr, allowing your readers to see larger versions, for example. You can also tag your photos with keywords that make it easier for people to find them and for you to find similar content uploaded by others.
Flickr is a social network in itself, of course, and therein lies another of its strengths for the blogger. If someone comes across one of your photos through Flickr and likes the look of it, the chances are that they will click a few links and find their way to your blog. Bingo! Another reader.
Technorati used to be the number one search engine specifically devoted to blogs, but now it has pretty much been overtaken by the Google juggernaut. Having said that, though, it is still a pretty useful service.
Once you have claimed your blog on Technorati, it lets you track who is linking to you, which is both heart-warming and useful. You can assign tags to your blog, which can help people find you. Other things you can do include putting a little badge on your blog, linking people to your Technorati page and encourages them to mark your blog as a favourite. Other people are then alerted to the act of favouritisation, and so they too are aware of your blog.
It’s essentially another service to make your blog more discoverable. And that’s a good thing.
MyBlogLog is a service from Yahoo! Which helps you both find out a little more about your readers as well as building a bit of community spirit around your blog. It does a number of things: it tracks where people are coming to your blog from, and where they leave it to; it logs members of MyBlogLog and displays their photos on your blog; and it allows people to join a community page for your blog and have discussions with one another.
It’s a great way of finding out more about your readers, what they are interested in and what topics, or styles of writing, attract are most popular.
Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking service. Rather than just save sites you see as useful to your browser, it allows you to save them to a publicly viewable website. Like Flickr, you can tag your bookmarks, which will help people to find them.
Del.icio.us also lets you integrate its service with your blog. So, you can have a daily posting of the links you have bookmarked that day to your blog. This is a great way of flagging up stuff you think your readers might find interesting but which you don’t have an awful lot to add to. You can also have a cloud of your popular tags in your sidebar, so folk can access links you have recommended on a certain topic.
You can also make it easier for your readers to add your posts and pages to del.icio.us too, by including links in each one which they can click to be taken straight through to the del.icio.us site. These can also tell you and your visitors exactly how many people have already bookmarked a particular posts, which is another great way of finding out what’s hot on your blog.
Twitter is a micro-blogging service, which allows you to post updates on what you are up to that are of up to 140 characters. The limit is important because some people used text messages on their mobile phones to both provide their own and receive updates from others.
Twitter can also be used to inform people of when you have made a new posting to your blog, which is another effective way of publicising your content. Twitter regularly features as the top referring site for DavePress, for example – people do follow the links that appear there.