How do I best publicise my new newswire/blog?
May 7, 2005 9:04 AM   Subscribe

How should I publicise my new blog/newswire?

I am in the last stages of producing a new blog. It's on the topic of infectious diseases, focussing on emerging infectious diseases like SARS, AIDS and MDR-TB. I am a biologist(-in-training) so I will be coming at the topic from a scientific perspective but also the cultural, political and social aspects of epidemics. I hope the audience will be both "experts" and laypersons.

What are some of the best strategies to publicise the new blog? I will be buying textads from MeFi; what about google textads or other textads? I will also be emailing a short press release type thing to journalists that cover the field and such. What else?

(Mindful of the prohibition on self-linkage I have not put a link to the new site; but I would welcome any MeFites who want to see/critique the new site to email me for the link. I hope this is kosher.)
posted by docgonzo to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Response by poster: Thanks for any/all responses!
posted by docgonzo at 9:04 AM on May 7, 2005

You might be interested in picking up an audience of epidemiologists. In my experience, epis are not too tech savvy, blogging is a foreign concept. So, trying to connect with epis online may be challenging.

There are conferences related to infectious diseases. Perhaps at such conferences you could meet others and distribute a business card with your URL?

Or perhaps you could submit an article and include your URL to newsletters related to infectious diseases?
posted by quam at 9:13 AM on May 7, 2005

Posting (worthwhile) comments on other websites and including your blog in the sign-in would be a good start.

I'm assuming you've already submitted it to Google. You might try submitting it to the Open Directory, because a number of search engines check its listings.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:14 AM on May 7, 2005

This is where viral marketing comes into its own.
posted by zadcat at 9:15 AM on May 7, 2005

Work on your Google PageRank. There are many strategies for increasing your PageRank, most of which change over time as Google gets wise to them. Here are some of the more iron-clad ones:

- First and foremost, get good links to your site. That is, get a lot of prominent sites to link to your new site. PageRank is computed primarily by the importance of the sites that link to you.
- If you are focusing on coming high in the results for a particular search keyword, such as "infectious diseases", put that keyword in the title of your page, in the meta tags, and in the easy-to-read header of the page.
- Make sure to have your site name in the title. So, like, 'docgonzo's blog - infectious diseases' is a good title.
- It helps to focus on "middling" keywords first. You're never going to be on the front page for a search like "cancer" or "AIDS", so focusing on those words is a bit of a wasted effort, but you might be on the front page like "infectious diseases" or "pandemic". That will cause people to find you, which will cause people to link to you, which will raise your PageRank, which will cause people to find you, which...
- Google goes three levels deep into your site, and typically stops following links once it hits the 100th on the page. You can use this to your advantage if you have a complicated site and you set up a sitemap just right.
- OTOH, do NOT link farm, or have zombie sites pointed at your main site. Google does NOT like that. In general, if Google thinks you're cheating, they will ding you big time.
posted by maschnitz at 9:20 AM on May 7, 2005

Crooked Timber is a high-traffic (and high quality, in my opinion) academic and political blog which maintains a list of academic blogs here (scroll down for the list of biology and medical blogs). Perhaps you could ask CT to add you to the list and then hook up with the bio/medical bloggers listed - comment on their stuff, ask for a link, etc. Seems to me that they'd be the natural constituency for your readership.
posted by dublinemma at 9:30 AM on May 7, 2005

The Tangled Bank is a science version of Is My Blog Burning? or Carnival of the Vanities. In case you're not familiar with either of those, TB is a roving round up of science blog posts. Each issue is hosted at a different science blog and each host collects any biology related blog posts that are submitted by the proud authors.

Aside from a little exposure you'll be able to find dozens of biology related blogs. I'm sure you'll find plenty of medical blogs and maybe even some infectious disease blogs.
posted by stuart_s at 9:30 AM on May 7, 2005

Link to AIDS- and SARS-related blogs so they know you exist. Places like this and this probably wouldn't mind if you stole their lists of links.
posted by pracowity at 9:54 AM on May 7, 2005

MedLogs is a medicine related blog aggregator. I'd be interested in seeing your blog, post it here or my email is in my profile.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 10:04 AM on May 7, 2005

That medlogs link formatted to work.
(good link McGuillicuddy)
posted by peacay at 11:55 AM on May 7, 2005

Maybe this is obvious, but after looking at the bottom of tangledbank, don't forget to have link buttons for visitors to use to link back to your site.
posted by peacay at 12:17 PM on May 7, 2005

Docgonzo's website - definitely worth a read if you're into infectious diseases. Or even if you're not.
just to save him the embarrassing selfpromotion
posted by peacay at 9:54 AM on May 8, 2005

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