Our series About Blogging has moved to Tuesdays! (It still runs twice a month.) But don’t worry – Tackle It Tuesday hasn’t gone anywhere! They are just “sharing” the day. So click here or scroll down to find the latest Tackle It Tuesday.
Joining us us again this week is Jim Durbin of Durbin Media. Jim is an expert blog consultant with a wealth of information and we are thrilled to have him writing for us. You can find him at his blog Brandstorming and at www.durbinmedia.com.
If you have specific topics or questions you would like addressed in future About Blogging posts, send them over to janice @ 5minutesformom.com (remove spaces.)
Tracking Your Blog in the Blogosphere
Are you curious who reads you? Do you want to know more about the people who link to you? Are you curious if someone is writing about the things you’ve said?
Bloggers love feedback. Whether it’s comments or e-mails, knowing that someone else out there was touched in some way by our writing gives us fuel to continue blogging. So how do you track what others are saying about you? What if there exists a whole group of fans who link to you, talk about you, but don’t send e-mails or leave comments?
The following is a primer on how to track conversations in the blogosphere.
Permalinks, Addresses and URL’s: The first thing to learn is your website URL. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and is the “address” of your site on the internet. http://5minutesformom.com is an address, and so is http://www.5minutesformom.com/mom-owned-stores/. A permalink is the the address, (or URL) of a specific blogpost. When searching, learn to type in your main or homepage url to find people linking to you.
(A note: www.5minutesformom.com is a different address than 5minutesformom.com. It goes to the same place, but for best results in searches, skip the www)
Technorati: This is the big daddy of blog search. Technorati allows you to search by url, by tags, and in a directory.
Step1: Claim your blog. Technorati has to know you are there to track what you are doing. Claim your blog, sign in to an account, and list a bunch of keyword that people can use to find your site. There are over 6,000 Mom blogs already in Technorati, so be creative with your tags.
Go to the advanced search section of Technorati.
Step 2: URL search: Find Posts that link to: Type the URL of your blog into the box and click search. What comes up are all of the blogs that currently link to your blog. You can rank them by freshness, or authority, and it is the most comprehensive list. Not everyone is listed, but Technorati is a great way to find out who is linking to you.
Step 3: Searching in Tags. Tags are labels that people put into their post. WordPress and Typepad allow you to customize your site to add Technorati tags, and it is a powerful way to push your posts to a larger topic. Check out “pregnancy,” as a tag, or “after school snacks.” As you can see, there aren’t many posts for after school snacks (only 22,000), but it does tell you when someone last wrote about them. The more specific you are in your tags, the better chance you have of being found. Pregnancy has more than 354,000 tags – so – the more specific, the better.
Step 4: Search in Directory. The tags you wrote when you claimed your blog place you in categories in the directory. While a tag search looks for individual posts, a directory search looks for blog descriptions.
Advanced Users: To create an RSS feed of blogs that link to your site, type http://feeds.technorati.com/search/www.yourblog.com and add it to your RSS reader.
Google Searches: The simplest way to track your blog in Google, or any search engine, is to type http://www.yourblogurl.com. This should bring up a list of all the pages cached in Google that link specifically to your website. This works fine for high ranking blogs, but it’s not complete, and doesn’t tell you a time reference.
For great ways to use Google to search out all kinds of topics, check out their operator cheat sheet.
Google Alerts: Login to Google (create a personal account if you do not already have one,) and create Google alerts. These e-mails track keywords, names, and websites you enter and forward them to you when Google first caches them (That’s not a typo – caching refers to saving the page on Google serves. It is pronounced caaatch, not ketch.) Google alerts work both to tell when someone is linking to you and when they are speaking of you without a link.
BlogPulse: Search engines all have different algorithms, so for fun, type your name and blog into different search engines to get different results:
http://Sphere.com, http://eprecis.com, (MSN Live) http://live.com, http://Ask.com, http://dogpile.com.
Summary: There are literally hundreds of different ways to track yourself in the blogosphere. Sites like Talkdigger.com, Blogpulse.com, and services that can cost upwards of $10,000 a month are available. Find the ones that you like best, and join in the conversation.
Remember to join us in two weeks, for another installment of About Blogging.