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When to publicize your (almost) brand new blog

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Marketing Mix reader Melanie Mize Renzulli, a travel expert and author of two guidebooks on Italy, created a blog to help market herself (and share great tips). Here’s her problem:

It’s in its infant stages right now, and I’m having trouble getting motivated to update it regularly (having a real infant at home right now doesn’t help either!). Nevertheless, I was considering mentioning my blog on a bulletin board that I frequent in order to drive traffic to my site and to get an audience that will supply me with ideas for writing. Does it make sense to drive people to my site if I don’t currently have a lot of content? I feel vulnerable showing people a work in progress, but know that I’ll never get anything off the ground if I’m not proactive.

First, after over two years of blogging (on up to three blogs at a time, regularly), let me assure you that the eternal quest for motivation is part of the territory; on my overwhelmed days, I call the process of blogging "feeding the beast." So go easy on yourself, establish a schedule you can stick to, keep a running list of topics you want to write about for when ideas don’t immediately present themselves.

Second, I hear you on not wanting to show stuff too soon. I’ve seen a lot of people go great guns with their blogs, sending out flares and fireworks, only to fizzle out a few weeks into the process when they realize either it’s more work than they’d anticipated or it’s just not their medium or both.

But if you are committed to blogging, there’s nothing wrong with telling some people. Comments and emails can spark entries (witness this own example!), not to mention provide encouragement. If you’re feeling tentative, why not roll it out slowly? Tell a small circle of trusted friends and advisers, and wait until you feel more secure to "go wide." You can also dip a toe in the water by frequenting other travel-related blogs. One of the ways I started driving quality traffic to my first blog was by leaving thoughtful comments on posts of blogs I found interesting. It’s more organic that way. Just make sure you’re really reading, and really adding to the discussion; nobody likes those commenters who hit and run with a "Yes!" or worse, a blatant plug for themselves.

It may take a little longer to build traffic, but that’s okay. You’ll be building on a firm foundation. And besides, you know better than anyone that Rome wasn’t built in a day. (Groan…)

Anyone else have thoughts on this for Melanie? How–and how soon–have you promoted your own blogs?

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