Monday, May 18, 2009

Spread the Word – Part 1: Blog Directories

The Association of Graveyard Rabbits:  an association dedicated to the academic promotion of the historical importance of cemeteries, grave markers, and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds, and tombstones; and the social promotion of the study of cemeteries, the preservation of cemeteries, and the transcription of genealogical/historical information written in cemeteries.

The AGYR is about education, hence one of the reasons a blog is part of our membership requirement.  We are all doing our part to post great information to our blogs, but what else can we do to help spread the word about the Association and what we stand for?

This multi-part article series will discuss various ways to promote ourselves, our blogs, and the Association.  First up, in this article, we will take a look at three popular blog directories where we can list our blogs for free promotion.  Subsequent articles will look at bookmarking and photo sites, using your social networking profiles, other online opportunities, and media outlets.  A new article will be posted to the main blog each week over the next several weeks until the series is complete.

If you have any suggestions or question, please email the author.


Blog Directories

Many bloggers have discovered at least one blog directory that we list our blog(s) in for visibility in addition to search engines.  Blog directories are targeted specifically at blogs, and many allow you to list your blog(s) for free under applicable categories.  This makes it easy for people to find blogs that discuss their topics of interest.

GYRs can use these directories to spread the word about their GYR blog(s).  In fact, in researching this article, I found that many GYRs have listings for their main genealogy blogs, likely listed well before the Association of GYR came about.  But only a few have gone back to these directories to add their GYR blog.

Let’s all take a few minutes to help spread the word about GRYs by taking a few simple steps and adding our blog(s) to the three most popular directories.

MyBlogLog

A Yahoo! service, MyBlogLog lets you add all of your blogs to this directory.  In a way, this one is similar to social networking sites in that you can add friends and favorite blogs (known as “communities”) to your profile.  Additionally, you can add other services you use, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, as another way for people to interact with you.  Certain activities (e.g., Twitter updates) show up in the feeds of your MyBlogLog friends, and vice versa.

You list your blog and add tags that serve as categories and are searchable.  Other people can also add tags to your listing.

Below is a screen shot of your home page.  Here you can see who has recently visited your profile and what your friends are up to through the feed.  This page also shows your profile, blogs, services (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, etc.), your friends, and the communities you belong to.

The screen shot below is the blog’s page.  Here there is information about the blog, the members that belong to its community, recent visitors, and an up-to-date blog feed.

There are many other things you can do with MyBlogLog, which will only be mentioned briefly here.  You can track your blog’s statistics to find out what readers clicked and viewed, as well as the site they came from.  There are also several buttons and a widget that you can add to your blog to get readers to join your MyBlogLog community.

Sign up and add your own blog(s).  Then stop by and visit some fellow GYRs, add them as friends, and join their blog communities.  Below are links to some GYR blog pages:

BlogCatalog

With BlogCatalog, you list your blog(s) under certain categories within the established directory.  You can only select two, but there are two that are fairly fitting for us GYRs:  1) Personal > Family > Genealogy and 2) History.  Think that’s not good enough?  Well, you can also add up to six tags, which also help with searching.  Cemeteries and graveyards are fitting tags for our GYR blogs.

Like MyBlogLog, you can add friends, favorite blogs, and other services (e.g., Twitter and Facebook) to your profile.  But unlike MyBlogLog, you can also join groups of other like-minded people.  So when you sign up, be sure to stop by and join the GYR group.

Below is a screen shot of the profile page.  This page shows your profile, blog list, friends, groups, and favorite blogs.  It also show recent visitors and an activity feed that includes activities from other services as well as blog postings.

BlogCatalogSS1

The screen shot below is for an individual blog.  This page includes a description of your blog (description, categories, and tags) and your blog’s feed.  People also have an opportunity to rate your blog and leave feedback.

BlogCatalogSS2

Once you sign up, be sure to stop by other GYRs pages, add them as friends, and rate their blog.  Here are a few links to get you started:

Technorati

With Technorati, you can add all of your blogs to their directory.  When you list your blog, you select a category and then add up to 18 tags. 

Like the other two directories mentioned in this article, there is an individual page for the blog, which includes the blog information and blog feed.  Additionally, others can leave comments about the blog.  Below is a screen shot of a blog’s page.

Technorati does things a little differently, in that they “rank” your blog.  It’s quite difficult to explain the process in this article, but you can learn more by reading their FAQ, What is Authority?.

Note:  Technorati has been experiencing some major technical difficulties for over a week, so this description was based much on memory, and is not as thorough as the other two directories in this article. You may also want to wait to register your blog until the site is more stable.


So hop on over and start registering your blog(s) in these directories.  Expand your reach, gain more readers, and spread the word!

1 comment:

S. Lincecum said...

Great article, Julie! I've tried MyBlogLog in the past, but had a bit of trouble with it. I returned today and set up Southern Graves and Lincecum Lineage. I'm on Technorati, as well (Southern Graves).