How to Get Your Website Talked About on Blogs.
Blogs are a very powerful force on the web today. Have you ever wondered why searching for something seems to turn up so many blog entries as results? That's because blogs link to each other all the time, creating a strong network of links that does very well in the search engines. Not only that, but they're not shy about linking to other sites, as long as they like them, and one blogger is likely to take links from the next and re-publish them. In other words, getting talked about on blogs gets you potentially thousands of links from sites from highly-ranked pages – that's enough to get you quite high up in any search engine.
So How Do You Do It?
Well, to get your website talked about on blogs, all you have to do is create some content that would be interesting to bloggers. Luckily for you, bloggers as a group have a relatively consistent set of interests. They care about entertainment (films, books), gadgets (iPods, TiVos, etc.), computers and the web – basically, imagine things that a slightly nerdy person with lots of free time would care about, and you've pretty much got it. If you need any further inspiration, take a look at the links from the front page of a site like www.slashdot.org or www.kottke.org.
Once you've chosen your subject, all you've got to do is write something about it that is either new, amusing, or controversial.
For example, if you've heard that Apple is releasing a new iPod the size of a fingernail, that's new. Note that you can do perfectly well guessing at new things, as long as it sounds plausible and you're good at predicting: you can often write an article announcing the obvious next step for a company with popular products and get linked from all over the place.
When it comes to amusing, you might try some kind of spoof along the lines of 'popular nerdy film/book in the style of nerdy thing'. For example, you might do a version Lord of the Rings as though it were being acted out in an IRC chat, or recreate the storyline of the Star Wars Trilogy with Lego (warning: both of these have already been done).
Controversy is the most fun thing to create, but it's not easy. You have to attack one of the bloggers' 'sacred cows', the things that they almost all seem to agree on. The best example of this is a guy who wrote an article called 'Why Your Movable Type Blog Must Die', criticising the software that most bloggers ran their blogs on at the time. It was linked from literally thousands of blogs, and received an enormous amount of traffic – if you want to find it, it's still ranked amazingly highly if you search for 'movable type'.
Basically, I Have to Be a Wind-up Merchant?
Well, not necessarily – it's better to put forward controversial views that you genuinely hold and stick to producing amusing things that you genuinely find amusing, otherwise your insincerity will no doubt show in what you produce, and no-one will like it enough to link to it. What I'm saying, rather, is that you have to be in tune with the blogosphere's likes, dislikes, interests and obsessions, and write about things it cares about.
So I've Written It...
Once you've written something, the next step is to get it out there. There are several ways to do this: first, try outright submitting it to a blog or two, saying that you found this thing you thought they might like. If you published your content in a blog format, it's also well worth linking to a few related entries on other blogs, as this will create a 'trackback', automatically creating a link from their entry to yours.
Other than that, you might try linking to what you've done from a few weblog-style community, where you know bloggers participate. You would be surprised how many people will take that link and put it on their blog if they like it.