How do you get people to your site in the first place?

If you'd like to get the word out about a new product, web site, or even a new release of your open source module, it is usually not enough to post it on the IRC channel of your developers. Not even posting on the development mailing list will reach a lot of people.

You already know this, that's why you started to write a blog.

But now, you'd like to know how to get people to visit your site and read your posts?

First of all, I'd strongly suggest that it will be your own site and not a shared blogging service.

People like Seth Godin can get away with it, but we, small bootstrappers would be better off keeping all the branding to us.

A shared blogging engine offers easier starting (both technically and with some existing audience), but in the long run you will be tied to that platform and to that address. If that service gets shut down or frozen (as use.perl.org has been) then you basically need to start from scratch.

Once you have you blog up and running, there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Ask your friends and family to look at it, and to recommend it to their friends.
  • Tweet, share on Facebook, share on Google+, share on every social network you are already using.
  • If your product/module has a developer channel, ask the participants there to visit the new site and to spread the word.
  • Get into aggregates. Inside the "Perl world" that would be the Perlr (based on the Ironman) and the Perl Sphere. And of course you can try to bribe the editors of the Perl Weekly.
  • Guest posting: Find sites that deal with the same niche as you do, or sites that are visited by the people you are looking for. Offer to write articles for them linking back to your site.
  • You can still use one of the shared platforms to reach the readers there, and direct them to your main site.

Preaching wine but drinking water

Let's see how much I follow my own advice.

I used to write on this site, the szabgab.com mostly, but in the last year or so I've been publishing the technical Perl related content on the Perl Maven site.

I started out by sharing with some friends, than the Ironman came along that gave me a boost of motivation and a few more visitors.

The real growth in visitors came as I wrote more an more about things that apparently people search for.

I've written a few guest-posts, but far less than what I should have done. I think I'll have to write about this a lot more.

I do post on blogs.perl.org occasionally. Both in order to reach those who read that site only and to gain some more context-relevant in-bound links to my site.

My personal site (szabgab.com) is in both main Perl aggregators, but the Perl Maven site is not. It is not included partially as I am writing so often there that I did not want to be seen as a spammer. On the other hand, I have good relationship with the editors of the Perl Weekly and thus I can get my articles there.

Published on 2013-07-06 by Gabor Szabo
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