I am relatively new to WordPress.com (only a few months) and have spent quite a long time getting my blog to look how I wanted it to and I update it almost daily. Now that I have got this far I would like to try and increase my readership and the visibility of my blog on the search engines - no point doing it if nobody is looking at it! I have looked for hints on the forum but found most of them to be over complicated for my level of experience. I would be very grateful of any advice.
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I'm not an expert on promotion so I'll leave a more detailed description to some of the other volunteers, but I think the most important and easiest thing you can do (apart from having good content!) is to make sure you use good tags/categories. They're basically the same thing so it doesn't matter which you use, but the tags go out to the WordPress tag pages and are picked up by search engines like Google and Yahoo. That's how many people will find you blog and using distinct tags is very important as they'll help people to find it more easily. These are some of the more popular tags being used around WordPress.
Do you know if your blog is on Google and Yahoo? If it's not, submit it directly to Google http://www.google.com/addurl/ - you're not online if you're not on Google. When you've done that, try registering with http://www.technorati.com/ and submitting your blog to http://www.submitexpress.com/ which will list you with more search engines. If you use somewhere like http://www.pingoat.com/ after each post, it can make a difference too.
If you want to develop a readership, visiting and commenting on blogs with similar interests to yours (or just ones you like) is a good place to start. I mean legitimate comments and responses to posts; if you make a few comments, often the blog owner and some of their readers will come over to check out your blog, and over time you'll gain a few readers. If you really strike up a dialogue with someone, they might add you to their blogroll, and vice versa, which is a good way to get more publicity. Also if you think about a blog what you really want to do is to create a community based around your content, so community building sites can be a useful. Places like http://www.mybloglog.com/ and http://www.blogcatalog.com/ are worth looking at.
We also have a few threads in the Off Topic forum you might like; Plug Your Blog, Critique My Blog, and What Did You Post In Your Blog Today? The links below might be of use to you as well. I hope that helps and isn't too complicated. :)
Thanks for taking the time to leave such a detailed response, really appreciated!
The single best way to get more people reading your blog is to read, comment on, and link to other people's blogs. They will all come and check you out, if your comments are worthwhile and your links are relevant. Seriously, honestly, this is absolutely the best way to get known.
How do I search? I know how to select headwords and know the meaning of '+' between headwords works. Can I ask with 'OR' between the words meaning at least one of the mentioned words must be included? Can I ask for interval of figures in which the solution must be found f.ex. characterized by 1250-1750 ?
If you go to say, Google's search page ( http://www.google.com ) to the right of the Googlo name you will see an "advanced search" link where you can further define your searches. On that page, in the upper right, you will see a link to "advanced search tips".
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