Ping Your Blog to Increase Traffic
Each time you create a new blog post, there are a number of things you need to do. The post needs to be shared to your appropriate social networks and groups, and you may want to consider sending a link to some customers or potential customers if you think they will find the topic useful. If your website is contracted correctly, it will have an XML Sitemap that automatically updates itself and communicates new content to search engines like Google, but what about the major blog directories like Technorati? A popular tool to to notify these servers when you have new content is called Ping. I'll review what Ping is and how you can use to increase your blog and website traffic.
What is Ping?
Ping is a protocol introduced by Dave Winer whereby a website can use XML to notify a remote server that there has been an update. Simply put, your website will "ping" another website to say that there's something new to see. Typically, the other website is one that lists and aggregates blogs blog entries, making the content and blog status available to others.
Technorati is perhaps the most popular example of a blog directory and search engine. Technorati boasts that it receives over 300 million visitors a month, and is ranked as the 8th largest social media property and the 3rd largest blog property. Making sure that your new content is listed and categorized on Technorati can help increase your blog's visibility.
How to Ping?
If you have a WordPress site, it should already be configured to automatically ping a series of services each time you publish new content. You should consider installing and utilizing the WordPress Ping Optimizer plugin which will allow you to adjust where your blog is pinged and how often.
Otherwise, there are a number of websites and apps that you can use. I tend to prefer the BlogPingy app [iTunes link], but a popular web-based service is Pingomatic. All you have to do is enter the URL for your blog and initiate the ping. It will likely take just a moment, and then the services connected to that ping tool will have been updated.
When to Ping?
It is possible to ping a server too often, and the last thing you want is for a blog directory to black list you. I recommend pinging your blog only after you publish new content, no more often than once per day. My standard practice is to run the BlogPingy app on my iPhone after I publish a new article. If it's the second or third article that day, I simply skip the ping until the next day's article.
It would probably be a good idea to mix up your ping service occasionally, to ensure that your blog is getting listed in as many directories and search engines as possible.
Be sure to refer back to this post the next time you publish a new blog entry, and let me know if you have any questions at all.