The TrackBack System: Make Your WordPress Blog The Centre Of Attention
Businesses are often surprised by the amount of time and effort it can take to produce one good blog. Blogging software like WordPress makes the writing and publishing process easier, but responding to reader comments, finding time to write regularly, and creating links and multimedia components can take some time. This is where the trackback system comes in.
For this reason, many businesses place all their effort on creating their own blogs, sometimes to such an extent that they ignore other blogs in cyberspace. This is truly a mistake, since in many cases, other blogs can have as much impact on your marketing as your own online efforts!
What Are Other Bloggers Saying About Your Business?
One of the first steps you will want to take when marketing using other blogs is to find out what others bloggers and online writers are saying about your business and your blog. Other people’s comments are read by readers and potential customers, too. You can achieve this using “Trackbacks“.
Trackback technology was first designed as a user service by letting a reader interested in reading everything on a topic see what else was available online.
The Trackback System work something like this:
You discover an interesting post on a blog that you think your readers should see and that you can add to yourself.
You post and publish an entry to your blog. During the publishing process, your blog software sends a “ping” or Trackback notification to the original post.
The blog software used by the blog you linked to automatically reads the information in your “ping” and adds a link back to you.
(NB. Because Trackback technology has been used by some spammers to generate traffic, some bloggers do not allow Trackbacks on their blogs)
You can also run a google check on your blog name, business name, and URL addresses to see what others are saying about you. Regularly checking online to see what is being said can help you get a sense of how your efforts are working.
Remember: blogging is a community effort, with links and comments in other blogs in other blogs affecting how readers see you. You need to keep track of how you are doing to understand how your online presence is affecting your business.
Responding to Other Blogs
Once you begin reading comments about your business and online presence, you may well wish to respond to the comments others have made. There are a couple of things you should do first.
Read and re-read the comments you wish to respond to and make sure that you understand them. Make sure that you understand the tone as well as the words – you will look and feel silly if you respond angrily to a post that turns out to have been written in a teasing or tongue-in-cheek manner.
Calm down. In cases where comments are negative, especially, it is easy with WordPress blogs to respond at once. It is better to calm down first and allow yourself the time to respond in an objective manner.
Stay clear and on topic. When you respond to a blog postingg, make sure that you are clear and ‘on topic’ in order to prevent an out of control name-calling exchange. Clearly state what you are referring to, what your comments are, and what solutions (if any) you are going to suggest.
Decide how to respond. You can respond to a person directly, through their blog commentary, or through your own blog. If you respond directly (via email for example) to a blogger or commentary, be aware that other readers who have seen comments about your business may not read your comments.
Responding via someone else’s blog is more likely to have your response seen, but you are still not in full control of comments. Commenting on your own blog gives you the most control and ensures that readers coming to your blog will read your comments. Of course, you can also choose to not respond at all.
Although it is best to choose links based on their value and usefulness to your readers, commenting on postings from prominent, high traffic blogs certainly doesn’t hurt. In this case, the importance of adding comments that further the dialogue in the original posting cannot be overstated. Other bloggers will quickly detect whether or not you are contributing worthwhile dialogue to the blogosphere!
Whilst Trackbacks are the easiest way to link to other blogs, some blogs do not have the trackback option enabled – however, there are still other techniques you can employ. You can always add a comment to the blog posting you are linking to, indicating further information at your blog.
Some bloggers do not have comments enabled either. In this instance, you can email the blogger directly providing your link and letting them know about further information at your blog.
There is no doubt about it, judicious use of the trackback system can make your WordPress blog the centre of attention!