I often advise new bloggers to identify the top blogs or communities for their target audience, and build relationships with those bloggers. (Don’t see blogging as a competition. It’s a community.)
But then the question arises, how do you identify the top websites and blogs in your category or for your audience?
Here are free methods and resources you can use. Don’t rely on any single resource—try them all. You’ll get different results.
- Topsy. Use Topsy’s expert search engine to find out who’s leading the online conversation about your book’s topic. (You can also explore the book and publishing experts list!)
- Delicious. Search by combining as many keywords as needed for your target audience (using a plus sign), e.g., romance+erotica.
- Technorati (blog index). Drill down by whatever category best fits your audience or type of work. Or, click here for the books category.
- StumbleUpon. It can be frustrating to search this systematically, but give it a shot. E.g., the first result to come up during a “romance” search is All About Romance, which is one of the top-ranked sites appealing to romance readers.
- AllTop. You can search by keyword or browse categories.
- Twitter. Using Twitter’s recommended follows by category, you can identify influential people, then visit their site and see who they follow and recommend. Alternatively, try WeFollow.
- Google. Try searching for “top blogs” + keywords for your audience or category. Imagine what your target audience might search for, and see what Google uncovers. You can also try “top 10 blogs for XYZ.” Top 10 lists are exceptionally common and popular.
- Try the blog awards. The two most common are the Webby Awards and the Bloggies, but such awards typically don’t drill very deep into a category or audience, which makes them less helpful for authors.
- Blogrolls. Once you’ve identified a few top sites or blogs, check their blogrolls or resource lists to find others.
- Finally, crowdsource an answer. If you use Twitter, Facebook, or another community site, post a question soliciting other people’s favorite sites and blogs.
With No. 9 in mind, I hope you’ll share your favorite techniques for uncovering the top blogs or sites for a specific category or audience.