January 30, 2006

<b>Curious George:</b> Stepping out into the Blogosphere.

To those monkeys who have personal blogs (ie SpaceKitty, MCT etc.,) how did you get the word out re your blog when you started it? How did you let others know about your blog and get linked up with other bloggers, without descending to the nefarious practices of self-linking or sock-puppet shenanagins?

  • i have had a blog for years, but i have never seen blogging as anything more as a place to store my thoughts. i maintain a linkroll of other sites that i like and i hope that others include me, but i don't stress about it. of course, once you start, you should let all your friends and family you want to be reading your blog know that you have one now... and if you desire a greater audience, you could post thoughtful, relevant comments on other peoples' blogs with links back to your site and hope people are interested enough to follow them back. or email some of the bloggers you like and introduce yourself. that's really about it, short of advertising.
  • You get your blog popular just like you get any website popular: content, content, content. I've had my l33t gaming blog for 3-4 years and just basically try to update it once a week. On the infrequent times I leave a comment on a blog, I always make sure to fill in the url field in the comments box. Have I mentioned I have a l33t gaming blog?
  • I recently started blogging and I've been surprised at the random readers I will get, probably having found my site through technorati or another search engine. A good way to promote a blog unobtrusively is simply to comment on others' blogs, since you can leave a link. I've got a few of those and generally check the blog out. (obviously I'm talking about real people who leave real comments, not spammers) My blog is mostly for real life family and friends, though, so word of mouth was the main technique. (and it's why both my grandmothers are avid readers...) I've been considering starting an anonymous blog for a while, which will naturally gain a huge readership due to my no-holds-barred crazy real-life stories and witty prose. Ahem.
  • How l33t is it, jc?
  • Check out BlogHer as a handy place to network and get word out by actively taking part in the community. They also have advisors and, if your blog is good (which I imagine it would be -- titillating too!), will help spread the word.
  • Holy giant link in the sidebar. Mine fell off the page, through my monitor, and down into the apartment below!
  • Please examine your reasons for wanting a blog. Why do you want a blog? I had one but then I realized that the inherent flaw of blogs is that they are a plea for attention (justified or not). This compromised my lonewolfedness, so I don't update anymore. I keep in touch with my friends on AIM. If you truly want to feel like your words matter, create a new medium for them. Hell, this might be enough to matter on its own. However, if you are stuck on stepping into the blogosphere, the way your word gets out is by commenting on blogs you like, implying a likemindedness with its authors and readership, and then waiting for them to read you out of interest. The great thing about blogs, in my experience, is the random readers. Very gratifying - sometimes creepy and often hilarious.
  • Although slightly regarded with scorn, and often involving large glaring graphics, webrings can also be a good way to promote if you have a particular angle or topic you plan to often write about. Make sure you join one that's organized and you can modify the look of the code for.
  • Get another account here and at metafilter. Post to your own blog, then let people figure out that you are self-linking. The shitstorm that will ensue will give you more hits than posting without being revealed as a self-linker will. Also, once revealed as a self-linker, begin insulting everyone at the site.
  • Fark classified ad. Tons of traffic. Lots of ridicule. But tons of traffic.
  • thanks so much for all the great advice! I have long wanted a blog (just because) but felt that to be a very insufficient reason (and I agree with much of ActuallySettle's comment above) however, I do, now, have a specific and interesting thing to blog. Something that I think others might enjoy hearing about etc., heehee, bernockle, your advice is tempting, if only because I love drama...but I think I'll refrain. when I get around to actually getting the blog going, I will find some way to let youse all know.
  • Oh yeah and really the hardest part of blogging is not promoting it - it's keeping it up.
  • There's always the self-link thread here on MoFi, plus the wiki, plus Mefi Projects if it qualifies. I find keeping a blog going is easy, but keeping it quality is my downfall.
  • es el Queso said pretty much everything I was going to say. I acquired my vast audience of almost (gasp) twenty-five visitors a day! through links on the sidebar, comments on interesting blogs, and adding the blog address to my profiles at metafilter, monkeyfilter and myspace. Google searches are your friends, too. I get more hits from 'Saint Berdoodle' and 'autofellatio' than you can even imagine. (Don't ask.) All that said, it's the upkeep that's difficult. I've been going through a real creative drought lately and while I miss writing, I don't really have that much to say these days. Part of that has to do with the self-consciousness that comes from most of my readers being friends IRL - i.e. it's not really appropriate to worry about Space Kitten's upcoming surgery on the blog when I know she reads the site every day. That being said - wanting a blog is enough of a reason to start one. If you like to write, then write and enjoy!
  • I got traffic in a couple of ways. First was just putting the link to my place in my profile and hoping that other members actually read those things. Second was not being stingy in linking to other people. You link to people, they'll check their referrer logs and see that you linked to them, and often they'll link you back. There are also places you can get your blog listed that will generate some traffic as well, but I don't use them. The majority of my regulars and commenters (and there are fours of them!) know me either IRL or through MoFi, and I just pick up traffic where it comes along. You'll be interested with what you'll get from random traffic -- I made a new friend last year, and it turns out that we've been crossing paths literally my whole life, through two different towns and a few mutual friends, but never met until he found my place just strolling through Blogspot sites randomly. I don't think mathowie wants people just posting their blogs on Projects, so I wouldn't recommend that. But mostly it's been said -- have interesting content and update regularly. It also helps if you either make people laugh or piss them off. Like my recent ball-health post, which generated a shitload of responses, some from people I don't know. Last year I blogged a film competition I was in, and I talked a shitload of smack. That generated metric buttloads of traffic from others involved in the competition (and got me some sidelong, distrusting glances at the wrap party). Also, Blogger sites == instant Googlejuice. Limiting structure, but damn good with search engines.
  • Ride on other people's fame - start with these bods: es el Queso jccalhoun tracicle Space Kitty middleclasstool (~^)
  • Oh, and photos of you dressed as a nun and flogging a goat with pasta while urinating on the Declaration of Independence. That'll definitely get you some hits.
  • I don't think that's a million miles away from what she has in mind. Hail Medusa!
  • I have a blog, after a fashion - last updated three Septembers ago or some such nonsense, I've all but abandoned it. I started it because, well, everyone was, and then? Realized that I didn't have all that much to say. Blogs are 90% diaries, and I have always been a poor diarist and, even were I less so, a computer screen is a poor substitute for a leather journal or, even, a Hello Kitty notebook with a gimcrack lock on it. My life is simply not that interesting, to be honest, that it makes for compelling reading; nor am I fastest on the draw with new and unusual links; nor are my opinions so controversial or (to be honest) well thought out that they beg for a wider audience; I am rather average in nearly all ways that count. All of which is to say: in any writing endeavor, consider your audience. More on point to your question: link to as many other blogs as you feel appropriate and from whom you can garner concomintant links to you.
  • I use my blog mostly to expound about stupid stuff and keep in touch with friends. I keep it light and positive, since it's public. I have gotten a few new readers by linking to their sites, which was fun.
  • I should get blogging my own fuckwit too, like you guys are always telling me through coded references in Letterman.
  • woohoo! I actually have a fairly specific set of things I want to cover/share/expound upon in my blog. dirty things!
  • Huzzah! Send me the link when you're set up and I'll put it in my blogroll. I'm assuming I'll post it with an NSFW tag.