“Publish or perish.” ~ Publisher’s Proverb
Of course every blogger that likes to publish online knows about Blogger and WordPress, as well as Facebook and Twitter for social posting. Those are all terrific platforms, if you really take the time to maximize their potential. But there are a host of other sites where you can post, which also have terrific features, and are well indexed by the major search engines.
As explained in an earlier post on this site, tapping into existing resources is an important part of any business’ strategy, and a key step to building up your own digital network of information. Knowing which distribution points to use is a key tactic for the strategy.
Here, in no particular order, is a quickie run-down of some of the top sites you can (and probably should) post to, if you’re an active publisher of original content online.
Ten great websites you may publish on for free
A top notch gallery site. Red Bubble features fast uploads, easy comments and link code, fast indexing in the major search engines, and has fantastic built-in shop features, so you can make your original artwork available for customers on demand. If you want to increase your digital reach, and you don’t already publish your original materials and writings on RedBubble, then you should.
Deviant Art is one of the earliest major social networks, and it was built with artists and their artwork in mind. DeviantArt features a wide variety of product offerings you can create on every item you upload, from posters to postcards, to coasters, mugs, mouse pads, puzzles and more. DeviantArt also has a very fun social art feature, which lets you create, share, save, and publish interactive art work, created right on their site. DeviantArt also lets you enter straight html in your item description, making it extremely efficient for publishing your web-ready content to your profile on their web site. Deviant Art also gets indexed very quickly, and has a very high ranking for a gallery site, thanks to its enormous user base who actively use and promote it through social media, blogs, and other fresh link posts.
Anyone who knows anything, still might not know that FAA is one of the best kept secrets in the online art world. Fine Art America lets you create galleries, join group / open galleries, build your own white label artist portfolio (including a feature-rich, easy to use shop), and gets indexed very quickly, so whatever you upload now is in the search engines within hours. When you publish on FineArtAmerica, you benefit from the power of using one of the most highly respected art sites online. As for links, you have a link in your profile, and you can publish long texts with links in your profile’s blog section, which is also quickly indexed.
Probably one of the lesser know sexy blog sites, Behance offers full support for French and English language patrons. Behance lets you create very slick sites quickly without any programming knowledge. You can embed any media with a click. You can post text with html code or use the visual WISYWIG gui editor. Behance pages have a fair amount of authoritativeness by the engines that crawl them, and with good reason. There are a plethora of content-rich pages built on behance, which look great, are very informative, and are easy to use.
Back when Google+ went Beta in the Summer of 2012, Facebook was doing a major aesthetic overhaul of itself (ever heard of Timeline?). On the surface, the two gorillas of internet content seemed to be vying for a slicker look, while at the same time, violating your privacy as if they were vulgar Western tourists looking for a “good time” in Bangkok. That’s when I first heard of JoinDiaspora – the pro-privacy social network, where you share what you want with who you want, and you own your own content. JoinDiaspora makes no claims over your content. Like the other social networks, sharing on JD is extremely easy. You can add any media you want, including text with links, pictures, audio, video, etc. It has a good, high-quality audience, posting original content.
If you know who Seth Godin is, then you know who started Squidoo. Squidoo (now defunct) was one of those rare blends of a blog site that is very easy to use, while reinforcing high quality postings, and nobility – through voluntary contributions to good causes. Squidoo pages (or “Lenses” as they call them in their lingo) take a little time to create. My fastest lens took me about a half hour to create and publish. Squidoo pages are considered highly authoritative by the major search engines, and that means whatever you post on Squidoo, if it’s well made, is probably going to be well ranked, or at least very well indexed. There was a huge social component to Squidoo. Commenting, giving points, receiving points, contributing to charities, etc.
Skyrock is one of those mega content sites that has hundreds of millions of pages in its volumes. The page layouts may seem a little dated at times, and they’re always showing off some sort of appeal to a younger audience. That makes for a strange conflict of interest, since generally speaking, younger audiences tend to want the latest and greatest features, and skyrock looks and feels a little more like a weird hybrid of myspace and facebook back in 2009 or so. But, they have a great overall ranking on their content, they are quickly searched by the engines, and the sheer volume of activity makes them a great free blog site to use, at least as an auxiliary distribution point for your information.
ToonPool offers one of the busiest audiences interested in cartoons, comics, editorial illustrations, caricatures, and other visual art. It doesn’t have to be funny to be on ToonPool – but it can’t hurt, either. ToonPool images get viewed by a lot of people, and you can see your traffic views and comments quickly pile up whenever you add new art – if it’s compelling enough, of course. Toonpool is well indexed, offers the ability to your items as products, and has a nice, easy interface to use. The comments are straight up text, no links, but that’s ok, because the link in your profile is good, and if you get a lot of traffic on your works, then you’ll get plenty of visits through to your site from your TP profile.
Weebly is a site that takes no programming skills, and is almost fun to use. Their publishing platform is fairly intuitive, looks great, and allows you to make unique layouts and site designs very quickly, even if you never took an html course or don’t know what .mpg stands for. Weebly pages are well read by search engines, web crawlers and auto-feed directories, and like all of the sites listed in this article, weebly sites are free to set up, which makes them enticing just as supporting sites to promote and hawk your wares online.
Wix allows you to build and publish very slick looking sites that are fully featured with modern tools to show off your works in gorgeous templates and layouts made by professional visual designers. There have been (and still are) many such sites, but none of them that I’ve seen have really thought about the crucial elements a slick site needs, as well as Wix does. It’s as if they literally thought of the artist, the performer, the musician, the DJ, the entertainer, and any other sort of theatrical talent before they created their templates.