The Top Tools to Help You Find Blogs That Actually Matter

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By now, it is no secret that you really need to get involved with your industry and topic of interest if you plan to build your personal brand around that area. The more involved you are with the industry, the more you will learn and the more people will begin to recognize you.

Just recently I discussed why blog commenting is important and ways in which to help you with it but I also stated that the first step is to find and follow blogs that are relevant to your interests and your targeted industry. Commenting on these selected blogs will not only help bring back traffic to your own blog and website but will more importantly, help get your face and name out there to the correct people. This is why it is important to search for blogs that have an audience that matches the type of readers you are looking for. Luckily I am going to share with you a few tools that can help make your search a little easier!

Helpful tip: Do not follow a fitness blog and comment on their posts if you are trying to reach a more tech and social media focused audience. Figure out the kind of blogs your target readers will be following and engage on those.

Sources to Help You Find Relevant Blogs

  1. Technorati - This is one of the top blog directories on the web and allows you to search in multiple ways, whether it be for specific blogs or actual individual posts. Technorati allows you to search topics that make sense for you and the audience you are targeting and even provides you the authority and ranking of the blogs in your search results. Therefore Technorati’s blog search really allows you to pinpoint the right blogs for you to follow – relevancy and influence wise.
  2. Alltop - This is a great tool, created by Guy Kawasaki, that not only helps with blog discovery but can also substitute as a wonderful RSS organizer/reader. Alltop allows you to search by specific topics and find some of top and most relevant blogs related to that subject.
  3. Blog Catalog – Once again this is a great blog directory, or catalog, that works sort of as a mix between Technorati and Alltop. Although you are able to search within Blog Catalog, it is most likely best to browse by topics. You are then given results of some of the best blog within that subject, each rated with its own “BlogValue” score.
  4. Google Blog Search – When all else fails, you can always count on Google right? This is exactly what you may think it is…you do a search for a specific term or phrase and Google spits outs results from within the blogging realm. In order to find better targeted blogs, make sure you try to be as precise as possible with your search phrase.

Less Obvious and Convenient Sources

  1. StumbleUpon - Many of you may have already used this tool before, but it is basically a great way to discover and explore new websites and blogs. You just set parameters of what topics you are interested in and StumbleUpon will try to match you up with a bunch of content…then you just start stumbling through it all. This is a great way to stroll upon some blogs that you may have never discovered before.
  2. Twitter – Seems obvious enough but you would be surprised at how many people do not take advantage of their Twitter feed. Not only can you search for Tweets using specific terms and phrases on Twitter, but you can also search for people who are associated with certain subjects. Follow these people or keep an eye on these related tweets and see what kind of content people are sharing on this network. You could end up discovering a blog that makes perfect sense for you!
  3. Reddit – This may be bit more of a hassle, but as a bookmarking site, Reddit has tons of cool websites and content. It may just be up to you to figure out the best way to browse through all of this content…whether you find a Reddit topic that makes sense for you or you try and do a regular website search.
  4. Paper.li – This can somewhat go hand in hand with Twitter, but Paper.li is a tool which many use to create daily “newspapers” using content they find around the web. Find paper.li online newspapers that center around your topic of interest and start following along and digging deeper into the content they share.
  5. Blog Comments – Take advantage of the blogs that you have already discovered and characterized as a good match. Obviously their readers are the kind of readers you want, and many of them may comment on specific blog posts. Take a look and see if they themselves have blogs worth following, because more than likely you will find a few that will.

Picking From All These Blog Choices

Now you should have compiled a pretty solid list of blogs that you could potentially follow and engage on but you really do not want to focus on more than 5. It is definitely okay to follow more but you want to have at least 2-5 blogs that you put much of your focus on. The question is, which 2-5 blogs do you pick? You can start narrowing it down by seeing how active each blog’s communities and the blogger themselves  are by checking the bloggers Klout score (see how influential and active they are), their Twitter followers and general social media reach, and finally the number of shares and comments they get per post. All of these aspects can give you a somewhat understanding of how active the readers are and influential the blogger is. Although the most influential and active blog may not always have the greatest impact, it makes sense for why it has the best chance of building traffic for your blog and getting your name and face out to more people. So take advantage of this other blog’s reach and use it as an engagement platform to start building your own name.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about what does the most for you.” [Click to Tweet]

In Conclusion,

Commenting and engaging with other blogs is extremely important, but it all depends on which blogs you decide to select. Use the tools listed above to narrow down the blogs that makes the most sense for you and start following, reading and engaging with these bloggers and their readers!

Your turn: Hopefully you already have some blogs that you follow intently (I’d be excited if one of those were mine!) or maybe you are still searching or looking for a few more. In either case, I would love for you to share your topic or industry of interest and list your top 3 blogs that you follow for that subject. This could be another great way to help others discover influential and interesting blogs that may end up helping them out.