I have been researching this idea for a while... free social networks and their ability to boost your blogs page rank, page views per day, and general status. For my art blog I signed up for massive amounts of free social art sites to promote my art and my blog at the same time. These cross links give you better page rank with Google and better search results. It had not occured to me to do the very same thing for this blog. My next step is to join all of these free social websites:
to add to my current:
This is a process I call building portals. The goal is to create a page on each social site that will invite people to read your blog. You want to find your target audience on each site, so build your profile on each site to provide each viewer a good idea of what your blog is about and why they will want to hop over and check it out. I do not plan to be active members of these new communities, however, I may add some friends with blogging as a hobby, or type of few introductory or inviting message board posts to hopefully attract a few people. The key is to put out a bunch of feelers in places where people interested in your topic will be. If you get 5-10 people from each social network to check you out a day, that is nearly a hundred new page views per day. Plus, I suggest keeping a close eye on your page statistics and watch which of the social sites are giving you the best results, then exploit those results. You can never tell which site will be better for which topics, and sometimes it is all a crapshoot, which is why I suggest setting up portrals everywhere.
Worst case scenario, I simply have 13 extra external entry links to my blog which helps your page rank. While this will take a good week to complete, it will be worth all the hard work when the traffic starts flowing in.
Good luck setting up your own portals, and if you know of any other free social networking sites that would be beneficial to add to the list above please leave a comment.