Well, this is the last week of the blog redesign challenge! Next week I’ll be putting up a poll so you can vote on the next challenge … always fun to start a new project. :)

It was really interesting on Monday’s post how many of you mentioned marketing and promoting as being something you have questions about – because that happened to be related to what I was planning to write about for the last post of this series! Now, this is by no means a comprehensive look at the subject … these are just a few tips, primarily related to promoting your blog. Because, now that we’ve reached the end of this series and you may have a fabulous and newly redesigned blog, you want people to see it! I hope these tips and tools will be helpful in getting in touch with your target audience. The “7 ways” are 7 external websites that you can harness to help promote and/or market your blog, and I’ll be offering tips on how to use each one to benefit your own site.

Ok, so #1: Pinterest! On my blog, Pinterest is a HUGE source of traffic for me. And I feel the best way to use Pinterest to help your blog grow is less about getting your own followers on Pinterest than it is about making your posts as share-able for your readers as possible, because Pinterest is like visual word-of-mouth. Here are some tips on how to make your posts very Pinterest-friendly … and, as is only fitting, I included all the Pinterest tips in a very pin-able image. :)

On to tip #2! Blog-following sites. There are sites out there that are specifically made to help people discover and follow new blogs. One such site is HelloCotton. It specifically is for women bloggers, and if you are one, I highly recommend submitting your blog to their site so that people can follow you there. I’m a big fan. And there are other blog-following sites out there as well. Make sure your blog is there to find! And one thing I love about HelloCotton (as well as some of the others), is that followers are notified there of new posts, but are actually directed back to your blog to read the posts. Spiffy! :)

Now for #3: Monitor your site’s stats with Google Analytics. Now, this one is less about how to *directly* promote your site, because Google Analytics is just a tool to use to keep track of statistics for your blog, but it *does* relate to marketing, because it can help you find out information about how to promote and market your blog more effectively.

First of all, you need to install the tracking code on your blog, which Google explains here. Don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of stats and facts. You don’t necessarily need all that info – I certainly don’t mull over every little bit. Here are some of the tidbits, though, that I find especially helpful to know:

Tool #4 is FeedBurner. If, like Lori, you’re moving from Blogger to WordPress, you will want to make sure you create a new feed for your new site, and update your old feed so that your previous subscribers will still be kept in touch on your new blog. But, regardless of whether you have moved or not here are some tips I have on how to use FeedBurner more effectively – after all, gaining and keeping in touch with your subscribers is a huge part of this whole process! Here are some tips:

Tools #5 and #6 are very related: Twitter and Facebook. These social networking sites can help SO much in promoting and growing your own website. Probably at some point in the future I’ll do a more in-depth post just on these two sites and how they are different from each other, and how to use the effectively in their own distinct ways, but for today, I’m just going to share some tips the apply to both.

#7 is interesting, because it is the least specific (as far as what I can describe), but is probably the most important. This is the category that sends me the MOST traffic, and then Pinterest is a fairly close #2. But the reason I can’t be completely specific here is because it depends on what your target audience is. The basic premise, though, is that you need to find out where your target audience is hanging out online looking for what you have to offer. For instance, if you have a crafty blog, a good site in this category for you would be CraftGawker. If you have a foodie blog, then TasteSpotting or FoodGawker would be good places to look into getting featured. If you blog about handmade business, then try submitting your posts to Handmadeology. The list goes on and on – but it all depends on your target audience. Find out where they hang out, and promote and market there. Take out an ad on a site that your target audience loves. Offer to do a guest post on a site your target audience visits. This is how you really get in touch with your target audience – by finding them in the places they are looking for you.

Well, that’s it for the blog redesign series! It has been a LOT of fun for me … and also some sleepless nights writing and designing. But I’ve loved it, and I hope it’s been helpful for you. If you missed any of the previous posts from the 10-week series, here they are:

Part 1: Discover your branding with “The Drawing Board” Printable
Part 2: WordPress vs. Blogger
Part 3: Design Tips + Design Worksheet
Part 4: Themes, Coding and Stylesheets
Part 5: Making your own graphics
Part 6: 7 Blog Layout Tips to Engage your Reader
Part 7: Blog Page: The Must-haves and the Panache
Part 8: 25 WordPress Tips
Part 9: The Big Reveal
Part 10: 7 Ways to Promote and Market Your Blog (that’s today’s post!)

Leave your thoughts and comments below … for instance, if you have any ideas or suggestions for the next challenge! (And be sure to come back next Friday to vote!) Or even just to say hi … I love to hear from you!