Marketing With Blog Directories – BlogCatalog.com Review

Blog CatalogBlogging, it’s all the rage these days. If you know me, you know I love blogs and I love blogging. A good chunk of my living is made from blogs and blogging and I constantly recommend them as a means to market your business and develop a personal brand (see Small Business Branding – It’s Not “We”, It’s “Me” for details).

Today the folks behind BlogCatalog.com contacted me for a sponsored review here at Small Business Branding, so I’m going to give you my opinion of using a blog directory like BlogCatalog as a means to market your blog.

Directories Generally Suck

I’m going to start with the harsh truth – I’ve never been a fan of directories. I find them next to useless for search engine optimization purposes, although many people will tell you to use directories to build some easy incoming links. The direct traffic you get from directories is often minimal and in my experience isn’t worth the time it takes to submit your entry – you are better off writing an article or producing some form of content.

That being said, there are a few top directories – authority sites – that are worth paying attention to. BlogCatalog is definitely the highest ranking blog specific directory I could find, so you if you do choose to spend a few minutes of your marketing time using directories and you have a blog, this catalog is a top choice.

Not For Search Engine Optimization

First off it must be mentioned that BlogCatalog does not help your blog’s search engine optimization. I wrote a recent newsletter to my Blog Traffic Tips Ezine telling my readers to submit to BlogCatalog in order to gain an incoming link from a high PageRank directory (BlogCatalog has a PR 7) to help with SEO. Alan LeStourgeon from the Healthy Diet Podcast immediately emailed me back, explaining that BlogCatalog uses an internal redirect link to link out to the blogs in the directory, so you do not get any of that PageRank juice. Alan is quite right, so if you are looking purely for SEO benefits, you might have to look elsewhere.

It’s About Community

When the team behind BlogCatalog requested this review they included a description. It went like this:

We have just added social networking features to BlogCatalog. Prior to this BlogCatalog was a directory / search engine for blogs. The new features are aimed at making the site a blogger community site. Communities are called neighborhoods. Any blogger can join a blog neighborhood. Each blogger gets her own personal profile page. The profile page shows which neighborhoods she has joined.

It appears BlogCatalog is attempting to jump onto the social networking bandwagon, a very good decision in my mind. There is a lot more potential for traction and explosive traffic if you can get some serious social network building.

I just signed up this blog for the service and my account is pending review, so I went and checked out some other blogs in the business community at BlogCatalog. So far the social networking tools are minimal. You can leave comments and join neighbourhoods, rank blogs and check out some statistics, but that’s about it. It’s clear that BlogCatalog are only just now beginning to roll out their social networking functions so we might have to wait a while before it becomes a fully fledged community. If they follow the path of MyBlogLog, they will do very well – I hope they can avoid the spam issues that have plagued the MyBlogLog service.

What Benefits Can You Expect?

There is only one reason why I would recommend you considering using a service like BlogCatalog – exposure. It may never amount to much, although if the social networking aspect takes off the traffic may become significant, but at the very least you can expect some people to find out about your blog via the catalog. Just don’t expect to be inundated with traffic.

There are A LOT of blogs already listed in Blog Catalog and as a result I expect it gets a fair amount of traffic just from people using it as a blog search engine to find blogs on certain topics. A small chunk of this traffic might just stumble across your listing in the directory and become regular readers of your blog.

It’s through combining lots of little traffic streams like this that many blogs build up enough traction to reach a tipping point and become popular blogs, so it doesn’t hurt to spend the five minutes to submit your blog to BlogCatalog.

In this case it’s also worth keeping an extra eye on BlogCatalog to see how they go converting the site from static directory to interactive community and it’s probably worth getting in now, since you can benefit from the growth from the early social networking days.

In my case I don’t spend too much time on services like this, but I’m not a heavy social networks user. Those who are spend hours browsing through profiles and sites, and it’s people like that who may stumble across your blog. In my case I usually just set and forget, moving on to other marketing tasks, but you may find spending a bit of time at BlogCatalog beneficial.

One thing you might like to do is search other blogs in categories related to your blog. This is a good way to find and meet similar bloggers and potentially form relationships that lead to sharing of traffic, resources, partnerships and even friendships.

As a rule, don’t expect much from directories. They are a path of least resistance for building traffic and as such rarely provide much in return. That doesn’t mean you should ignore them, just have realistic expectations and devote the appropriate amount of time for the rewards available.

Yaro Starak
Catalogued

Yaro

Yaro Starak is an Internet business and blogging expert. He runs the successful Internet business blog - http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com and teaches about how to make money from blogging at http://www.blogmastermind.com.

You can contact Yaro at - http://ReplytoYaro.com

Comments

  1. Yaro –

    I completely agree with you. I run a free advertising network over at http://adgridwork.com and its amazing how many people will pass up the opportunity for free, efficient exposure (our network spans over 1,500 sites including a few high profile web 2.0 companies with millions of visitors a month). It seems that so many bloggers and sites are wrapped up with the SEO craze that has been sweeping the net as of late, that they forget all about some of the tried and true methods such as directory submissions and link exchanges. I expect sites like these to pick up once the initial rush from SEO/SEM dies down. Great article.

    -Daniel
    http://adgridwork.com | free advertising and text links for bloggers

  2. I agree with your comments in terms of direct traffic from linking. However, the real trick with linking is to choose your keywords carefully and use them consistently with ALL your linking efforts. Ok the PR ranking of the site you are linking from plays a major part in the overall effectiveness, but direct linking of targeted keywords is not to be underestimated.

    Great site btw and good luck with your future efforts

    regards

    Rodge from the not so sunny city of Manchester England

  3. Yaro…the BlogCatalog community has really begun to thrive since you wrote your review. BlogCatalog has an active Discussion area that has members participating around the clock.

    Regarding the Page Rank issue. We removed all no follows in February. Page rank is passed to all listed blogs. In fact there are 2 links on a blog listing page that pass PR. While PR is only one reason to join, there are many others for bloggers including a place to connect with other bloggers, learn from some really top notch bloggers as well as receive more traffic to your blog.

  4. Tony did not remove all no follows. If you submit your RSS feed to BlogCatalog each post that shows up on BlogCatalog has the nofollow in it. They are still using Onclick which passes no Pagerank.

  5. There are other SEO benefits to joining Blogcatalog besides the PR. Before I optimized my blog http://www.yangtown.com, when a person searched for “Masculine Power” in Google, the blogcatalog profile of my blog was one of the first 5 results and even showed up ahead of my blog (Now after using SEO plugins etc, it is #6 result and my blog is #1).

    Using the blogcatalog profile is a great way to gain high placement in search results since their directory already has good SEO.

    Also, I was very surprised at how active and welcoming the community in blogcatalog is towards one another. It’s a great atmosphere.

    My Analytics show a consistence stream of traffic coming (although still small overall) from the site.

    Cheers on spreading the word about BC,

    Ryan

  6. BOA Method Blueprint says:

    Hello there,

    For me, whatever method that you are going to undertake in blog marketing, just make the best as you can and don’t stop searching and finding best SEO tool for your online business.

    Revero
    Make Money With Blogs

  7. I love blogging as well but its very hard for me to create quality contents. This is a nice article and I really liked what Yaro wrote here. And of course, most of the links from Blogcatalog are no-follow but its very good for direct traffic.

  8. Sounds like a great idea! If there is win-win situation between client and company, I bet it will sure be success! Best wishes.