How To Get Accepted Into Blog Directories

Now that I’ve shown several ways to make yourself found in the blogosphere, let’s take a closer look at one of the avenues by which visitors can reach your site. Blog Directories.

Trivia: Yahoo!, one of the biggest search engines, started out as a list of links maintained by its creators called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”, which grew more complex. I’m sure the growth and popularity of Yahoo! caused so many directory-wannabes to follow suit—whether exclusive or open, free or for-a-fee—that we still use them today.

Here’s a list of things to remember when submitting to blog directories (or even web directories in general):

It has to be a blog!

You won’t believe how many people do not follow this simple rule: blog directories are for blogs. So if your website does not display posts in a reverse-chronological format, timestamps, permalinks, and comments, please save people the trouble of having to look at your site. Forums are not blogs. Online shops are not blogs. Sometimes having an RSS feed is not enough for a site to be considered a blog.

Prepare your blog’s basic information and save it somewhere

List all the pertinent information blog directories will most likely ask for:

Title
The name of your blog. Be sure to include helpful keywords that will grab other people’s attention.
URL
What people type into their address bar. More about this later.
Description
Brief summary of your blog. Keep it short, clear, and effective.
Keywords/tags
Words or phrases that can best describe your blog.
Feed URL
The address you get when you click on the orange button on your address bar when your blog loads. Try looking it up in your blog help section for more information.

In the information above, avoid using all-caps letters, or all-capitalized words. Directories don’t want you to be grabbing unnecessary attention by upsizing those letters.

Make sure you have a valid email address. Directories can require email verification, allow blog info edits/updates, and sometimes, send useful tips for site promotion. Perhaps a secondary email for all these site-related activities would be convenient for you.

Also list the possible categories your blog can fall under. Not all blog directories have the same taxonomy. Also, some limit only one category submission, while others let you select multiple categories for your blog.

Keep this list in a text file or email it to yourself. There’s a good chance you’ll be submitting to another round of directories next time.

Enter your blog URL properly

Memorize your blog URL! A properly-written URL is of the following format:

http://www.blog-tutorials.com

It starts with “http://”, may or may not contain “www”, and never contains the “@” symbol.

Note: Blogs hosted at Blogger/BlogSpot use the following URL format:

http://yourusername.blogspot.com

but not http://yourusername.blogger.com or http://[email protected] The same applies for some other hosted blogging services. Believe me, I’ve seen these mistakes over and over again and it’s frustrating.

You should make sure your blog loads properly whenever the directory administrator previews your site. If your URL is spelled or formatted incorrectly you could get turned down immediately, so be careful! Do the same thing for your blog feed URL.

Submit if and only if your blog has sizable, updated content already

Don’t rush off to submit a blog that only contains a post saying “this site is under construction”. But even if your blog has posts, make sure you have at least three to five of them there. And make sure your those posts are up-to-date. Don’t submit a blog whose latest post was made at least three months ago.

Have real content

Some blogs are created for the sole purpose of making money—affiliate links littered around cliche paragraphs, articles snatched (plagiarized or not) from open sources (e.g. article sites, Wikipedia, news, other sites), and just plain gibberish (also known as spam blogs or splogs). Even if sources are credited and some passages prove useful to visitors, can you actually call these sneaky pages “real blogs”? Some directories don’t mind, more respectable ones do.

Follow the rules specified by the blog directory

If you’re required to post a link back before submitting to the directory, do it already.

If your site is NSFW/Adult and the blog directory does not accept such sites, don’t submit it. Otherwise, make sure your site is properly tagged “Adult” or “NSFW”.

Here’s an example of the rules one must follow when submitting to the Open Directory Project/dmoz.org.

Okay, you’re ready to submit

Different directories have more specific policies that may or may not differ from the tips I have mentioned above, but that’s pretty much it. If you follow them, you’re assured a better chance at getting accepted.