Make Yourself Found! (Or, Promote Your Site Web 2.0-Style)

“Nor does anyone after lighting a lamp put it under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory…”

Blogging is much like light—it’s meant to be seen and used by others. (I’m not condemning bloggers who prefer to remain alone and anonymous, though.) Put another way, you’re a nobody unless your name Googles well, says the Wall Street Journal.

To do this, you must make yourself found.

The idea: step out of your blogging space and find sites that let you link to your blog, posts and all. Consider this a very natural way of optimizing your online presence and socializing around the Web.

Make Social Sites More Useful

These days the Web is all about being more social. Make sure you’ve joined “social” websites like MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, or Flickr already. I have to admit, I’ve never really been fond of them because they aren’t really useful to me, but this time we have to find a way to make them useful.

Make sure you link to your blog in your profile—practically every social site lets you do that. Then add a widget that displays your blog’s RSS/Atom feed (e.g. add a FeedBurner feed to your MySpace page).

Also, join Twitter—you don’t have to like it or use it at all! Just grab a script that automatically posts a message on Twitter whenever you write a new blog post: twitterfeed, rss2twitter, PingTwitter, Twitter Updater (WordPress), or RSS to Twitter (PHP). Also check out Jaiku and iStalkr since they let you add feeds right out of the box.

Add Your Blogs to Communities and Join Others

These sites were created for the sole purpose of promoting websites. Okay, not just to promote your own but to discover other sites as well. These are the modern and more interactive versions of Web 1.0-style web directories, which means it takes more than submitting your blogs to take full advantage of these sites.

Join: MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, Bumpzee, FuelMyBlog and SpicyPage.

Put Your Posts Elsewhere

Share blog posts you think will be useful to other people—whether it’s a large crowd or a small one. This is different from cross-posting, and producing duplicate content that is penalized by search engines. This is also aside from sharing your blog URL alone. Share individual posts as well.

Visit social bookmarking (del.icio.us, Furl, Ma.gnolia) and social voting (Digg, Reddit, Netscape, MySpace News) sites that encourage people to submit links that other people might be interested in.

Also, submit your blog post to StumbleUpon by clicking the thumbs-up icon in the toolbar. A popup window will appear, asking for details like tags and your review of the website.

Build Your Professional Profile Online

Social sites may have profiles, but they aren’t enough to show your most important credentials. LinkedIn is perhaps the most important social network you should be part of, at least to chronicle your career track. (And send a link back to your blog, of course.) Submit your resume to PageBites and be present on job search sites like SimplyHired and Jobster.

Finally, create multiple online portfolios. Do not limit your showcase to your a single portfolio website, if you already have one. Bring them over to Carbonmade, Coroflot, DeviantArt, and Voodoochilli. Portfolios may not be useful to everyone since they’re traditionally for the “artistic” pros, but with enough creativity they might be perfect for you too!

The Bottom Line

Remember: find as many places as possible to share bits and pieces of yourself online. You get bonus points if they are extremely helpful and inspiring to others. It may mean additional work for you since you have a whole new list of websites to visit, but if you’re truly serious about making you and your work known, this is probably one of the more exciting ways to do it. Good luck!