This is a bit of an odd and unplanned post today. I need to register this blog with Technorati and intended to anonymously slide the claim code in at the bottom. It occurred to me though (as it always does when I plant a Technorati claim code in a blog) that there needs to be some sort of explanation. Usually this takes the form of a mild excuse for muddying an otherwise un-techy article with something that’s patently not relevant, but in this case, I’ve decided to take the time to explain what a Technorati claim code is, and why it’s included here.
Why Write a Blog?
Most bloggers write for a reason. Whatever that reason is, I can’t imagine there are too many people who don’t want their blogs to be widely read, but if that’s you, you can pretty much ignore this post and make sure your blog’s privacy settings are locked down, or buy a diary and hide it under your bed.
For every other article writer out there, there are lots of tools online that purport to help bloggers to gain exposure for their hard-written articles. Some are quite useful; some are next to useless! Technorati, Alltop and Google Reader are firmly in the former category.
Although its site’s rather unintuitive and uninformative to the newcomer, Technorati is a well-regarded, well-established blog search engine. Its system tracks blogs from the most influential and widely read down to the most humble and tumbleweed-strewn, as long as the blog’s been registered. To register the blog with Technorati, a code must first be claimed.
Once signed up with Technorati, a blogger may start to claim blogs. This basically means that you’re telling the world that you own it. To prove ownership, a claim code must be included in a post within the blog. This system allows multiple blog claims whilst simultaneously preventing the possibility of false claims.
Claiming a blog:
- Click on your username link in the top right hand corner of the page (at time of writing), scroll down to “My Claimed Blogs” and paste/type in the URL of your blog in the “Start a Blog Claim” text box.
- Fill in the blog’s description details. Incidentally, the RSS feed for this blog is http://trainstormmedia.wordpress.com/feed/, but yours might quite easily be something different, such as “?feed=rss” or similar. The only way to find out is to either hunt it down or experiment a little.
- Following email claim confirmation, paste your code into your blog (this one is TEXB6S5KV4UE), and job done!
Technorati-registered blogs can expect to receive more traffic than if the blog’s code remains unclaimed. This extra visibility can be further increased by utilising other online tools, not to mention writing interesting and compelling content!
Google Reader is an RSS reader service, which allows users to aggregate articles from various news providers into an easy to use, centralised portal. RRS, or “Real Simple Syndication” allows blogs to be easily distributed and read. Blogs that are made available are much more likely to be picked up by RSS readers, and are therefore much more likely to pick up extra traffic as a result.
Alltop visitors are able to choose specific topics, which are organised as a list of the latest headlines from dozens of sources on a single page. At first glance, it may be imagined that Google Reader and Alltop are fairly similar animals, and actually they are. The difference between them though is that the Allsop pages focus on topics and sources rather than the news providers offered by Google Reader. So rather than subscribing to a source like BBC Sport to find out about Formula 1, it’s possible to filter out “Formula 1” in Alltop to receive a list of the most recent headlines from many more sources. This method gives the user a great deal of multi-sourced, relevant news without the distraction of other, perhaps less pertinent material.
Is that Everything?
These three options are only a taste of what’s available for the blogger. There are a multitude of different tools, methods and techniques that can be employed in order to push a blog up the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), or to help it become more visible; some established; some newly cropping up all the time. Perhaps I’ll touch on some of these in later posts, but for now (and if you already haven’t), maybe you can get your head around these?