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Friday, June 5, 2009

Promoting Your ELT Blog - Getting Listed

Posted by Nik Peachey

Having spent a lot of time creating and writing your blog, you will probably want people to read it. Getting people to your blog can be one of the biggest challenges, especially when you are getting started and don't have enough content to really get noticed by the big search engines.

One quite quick and easy way you can start getting people to your site is by getting your site listed on blog directories and especially ones which are ELT or education specific.

Some of the best source of referral traffic to my own sites are ELT specific blog directories and these are the ones.

Teaching Better

  • This is a great site that allows you to create a profile and then submit sites, interesting articles etc that are relevant to language teaching and learning. To begin with you can only submit one site every 24 hours as there has been a problem with lots of irrelevant sites being posted.
  • Teaching better is not only a great way to get traffic to your site it is also a great source of information and I've found quite a few really useful sites and web based tools there.
  • Visitors to the site can also vote recommended links up or down if they think they are good or bad, so if you do visit and submit your link check out some of the other links there and help the site owners by voting down anything that shouldn't be there.

OneStopBlogs
  • OneStopBlogs has been created by Macmillan, who also created the marvellous OneStopEnglish and is another ELT specific blog directory. Again this one sends a lot of traffic to my own blogs and I would highly recommend it. You have to submit blog information by email to the editor, which is great because it ensures quality.
  • Blog articles also get higher ranking on the site if other blogs are linking to them, so again there is good quality control so this is a great place, not only to get listed , but also to find good links and information from other bloggers.

Englishcaster
  • Englishcaster is a directory I've only recently discovered and is more heavily aimed at resources and blogs for students than teachers. You can submit links by creating a profile and adding quite detailed information. Again this is great because it reduces spam and insures greater quality. Sites that are submitted can also be voted on by users, so again there is more quality control.


  • There is a section for teachers, but most of the categories are things like grammar, vocabulary and the skills etc. Really useful directory to both list and find materials for your students.
TeachingEnglish Links
  • The British Council BBC site TeachingEnglish also has a really useful links section to their site and again this is a great place to get a link added.


  • You will again need to contact the editor to submit your link and there is no guarantee that they will add it, but it as a great place to get listed as quality is assured there and the site already has a huge ELT audience so these are the people you want to bring to your blog or site.

ELearningLearning
  • This is another great site directory site that concentrates manly on elearning and use of technology rather than ELT. The focus is also more on corporate elearning, though it might be a useful site to submit to if you have a mix of technology and Business English related materials.

  • You'll have to apply to the editor to get a chance to get listed on the site, but again this is great because it ensures quality and makes it a great place to get listed and find information.
Blogcatalog
  • Blogcatalog is for any blog and isn't ELT specific, but I have still found it to be a good source of traffic for my own blogs. You create a profile and register your blogs there and you also have to include a small gif on your site to be registered.

  • Blogcatalog is also something of a social network and you can register things like you Twitter feed there to and start building up a network of friends, so it's a handy way of making blogger contacts too.

These are all great places to submit you blog and your postings to, but remember, be a good member of the community:

Only add links to what you feel has genuine value to the community
  • Don't spam the directories with too many links or by trying to get every thing you write listed.
  • Vote up other good stuff you find on these sites and so help to ensure quality
  • Don't just focus on your own material also add links to other materials that you feel would be useful
It is in your own interests to ensure that the directories and sites you are listed on deliver a good quality service to the people who use them. That way they will keep sending people to your site or blog.

I hope these sites help to bring readers to your blog and in turn this encourages you to keep posting.

How about you?
  • Know of other good directories, especially ELT ones to get listed?
  • Where does most of your site traffic come from?

Happy blogging.

9 comments:

KALINAGO ENGLISH said...

Hey Nik,

Excellent list. Thank you so much for sharing it ;-). I have to slightly agree with your note on onestopblogs and having an editor monitor things -sometimes computer are more efficient!

I sent in both my blogs for listing and they listed only http://how2learnenglish.blogspot.com.

Wrote again and now they are listing my relatively defunct blog connected to the website and not http://kalinago.blogspot.com!

Anyway, that issue aside will agree that blogcatolog sends over lots of hits and twitter is gaining ground in my back pages.

However, this also brings up another point -you're probably going to talk about site statistics in another posting - but it's very important to look not just at the hits but on the lengths of stay. Anything under a minute is probably not a real reader.

Many hits can show up in statistics but some of these will actually be "bots" collecting information and not real visitors.

xK

Nik Peachey said...

Hi K
Yes, people are fallible, but computers and websites a very easily tricked by spammers, so ...

I will be going into a lot of detail about stats and web analytics as the postings go on, and how to crunch the numbers to try to make real sense of them, but I'll try to do it a little at a time as it can be heavy going.

First thing I've learned to avoid is the term 'hit' which can be a bit ambiguous. It's good to be specific. It is a visit, a visitor, or a page view. More on that later.

Yes, Twitter is great, also though worth considering Plurk too. Proportionally, I get a higher percentage of my Plurk followers clicking through to my sites than I do my Twitter followers. This is probably because they are more 'genuine' followers. Lots of people follow anyone on Twitter just to get a reciprocal follow.

Anyway, more another day. Thanks for the comment.

Best

Nik

KALINAGO ENGLISH said...

Good tip about Plurk!

BUT you know the sigh that goes something, o lord, another web 2.0 app? The sigh's coming from my computer not me... LOL

Have a nice weekend too -
K

Nik Peachey said...

Good tip two is that Plurk can be configured to automatically repost to Twitter. Two for the price of one!

Article here on Plurk that I wrote a while back.
Microblogging for EFL with Plurk


Hope you give it a try.

Best

Nik

bourn said...

Some excellent thoughts and it's great getting some advice like this that is specific to the language teaching blogosphere. Good timing too as I was looking for some new directories. Not sure about blogcatalog. I think my brain feels about social networks the way Karen's computer feels about web 2.0 apps! Can't keep up - have just had to delete some of my Ning feeds. Love the look of your new blog - you have another subscriber.

onestopblogs said...

Kalingo English:

Thought we’d let you know that http://kalinago.blogspot.com has now been correctly added to onestopblogs, and should appear within the next few days. Apologies for the technical hitch!

In future please email us at webeditor@macmillan.com if you have any problems or queries with the site and we’ll be happy to help.

onestopblogs Team

Mercedes Viola said...

Thanks a lot for all this very useful information

Johanna said...

I've been using Teaching Better and my stats have really improved. The last few days Theaching Better has been down and that too is reflected in my stats.

Unrelated. Nik, the comments on this blog are really hard to read on my screen. Seem to be dark grey on black. Is it possible to tweak your template to give more contrast, please? Also the links are hard to read. Or is it just me?

Nik Peachey said...

That's strange. It should be light brown text on dark brown background!

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