A few months ago I've started my first blog on WordPress.com and was pleasantly surprised to see that my posts gathered some interest "out of the blue." And by that, I mean people that I have never knew or had any contact with were finding my posts and commented or marked as "Like" some of them. After a bit of investigation I believe the source of that attention was the Topics Search facility exposed by the WordPress.com interface. I started using it, too, and found quite a few interesting posts/blogs that way. I also checked and confirmed that my posts were indeed showing there.
Recently I moved my blog to a self-hosting environment. And now the Topics Search feature on WordPress.com is not featuring my posts any longer, thus I lost some potential visibility. :-(
So I have a few questions to those people more versed in blogging and everything WordPress:
1) Is it possible to feed a self-hosted's blog posts into the WordPress.com Topics Search? If yes, how? What would I need to do to enable it?
2) What other common methods of publicizing one's blog are there?
I've looked into Jetpack's Publicize widget, and enabled it, but I really have no clue what it does and how to check its effect. Anyway, are there any other plug-ins that could be used for pushing the posts into some aggregators? Or anything else that helps with publicizing one's posts?
I'd really appreciate some answers / discussion on this subject.
Thanks in advace,
The blog I need help with is PaintingsByMelinda.com.