(This an older post of mine that I had kicking around from my previous blog that I figured I would share. My approach to Blogcatalog has changed a little bit since the original writing of this post.)
I initially covered blogcatalog.com in my post about promoting your business blog on social networking websites, since that time I have expanded my usage of the website and I am beginning to see some great benefits of using the site in a different manner.
On a personal level, I use blog catalog and their discussion feature pretty often. I enjoy talking to a lot of the people on there, where I have found some pretty good blogs to read. Participating in the discussions by answering questions has built me a certain level of social capital on the site that I have used to refer traffic to my site, get votes on social media sites, and receive a good amount of backlinks from other bloggers. On one of my blogs BC was a top 15 referrer to my site providing me with almost 5,000 page views last year.
Beyond a personal level, blogcatalog and mybloglog.com (to a certain extent) offer up a ton of valuable data on potential readers ranging from potential blogs for link exchanges to a place to beef up your social networking and bookmarking friends.
Using the Directory to the Fullest Potential
The directory feature on blogcatalog (which is something mybloglog doesn’t have) is a great way to see other blogs within your niche. It provides you with a listing of bloggers that are potential sources for link exchanges, guest blogging, and sources of information. Some of the blogs on my blog roll were found through blogcatalog and I have used their service professionally for clients to find blogs to reach out to. Through the dashboard on blogcatalog you can see how active that blog is cutting down the time it takes to review a new blog. I can see if there has been activity on a potential blog I want to reach out to without having to go to the page. This is a great place to find blogs that are up and coming or in the middle of the pack written by bloggers that are much more receptive to building a relationship.
Extracting Social Bookmarking and Networking Data
A few weeks back I began to go through my friends list on blogcatalog and began to add all my friends to the various social bookmarking and networking sites they had listed. Taking the ten minutes a day to go through one page has been extremely worthwhile, as it has helped me connect with new readers, I found new blogs to read, and it helped beef up my numbers on these sites. Instead of just hitting a bunch of stumblers or diggers I can cover multiple sites all at one time. My neighborhood on MyBlogLog.com has increased by ten percent, my “fans” on StumbleUpon has increased by fifteen percent, and I have tripled the amount of friends I have on Digg. (Note: I would not have done with Digg, knowing what I know now. It isn’t bad for people starting off though.) Not to mention the fact that I have added a large number of people to MySpace and Facebook, which are both used to direct people to my blog.
This sounds rather one sided though, doesn’t it? In reality it is anything but, when I have added people to stumbleupon I have stumbled their pages, when I have added them to digg I have dugg their top stories, giving them a bump all the way around. This gives my profile visibility on these sites but also lets these fellow bloggers benefit without having to solicit for support. Giving them increased visibility within my community makes them a stronger resource with their diggs and stumbles as they grow as well, a benefit for everyone involved.
This has become a regular part of my promotional routine each day, with the benefits being very noticeable.
(Note: While this older post takes a really simple view on using blogcatalog, I have to say the startegy of reaching out to other people on the various networks that they have listed has increased my social networking profiles across the board in a positive manner. The only thing that I regret doing is not staying on top of it when new people add me.)