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Blogging about blogging

The Commissar offers some advice for bloggers. With that, I’ll follow up with mechanical things that you can do:

Have a blogroll – If you link to other sites, people using Technorati or the Ecosystem will notice you’re linking to them. This may inspire them to read your blog. I find, however, some people have huge blogrolls and massive reciprocal links. Here at SayUncle, if you’re on the blogroll, then I read your site. If you don’t link to people, you won’t get noticed. I have to say that if you’re just starting out, do as I say and not as I do. Link to anyone you find interesting. People appreciate links.

Watch your hits – Whether you use sitemeter or any other traffic counter, figure out where your hits are coming from. People linking to you will let you know what sort of audience you’re attracting.

Read other blogs – And go there from your blogroll. People will appreciate that you read their site and this will get you noticed. Also, leave comments. I’m not saying troll comment sections and shamelessly plug your blog at every opportunity. I am saying that engaging in debate and discussion will increase your traffic.

Have comments – people like to discuss, debate, call you an idiot, or whatever. Of course, some folks’ sites get too bogged down with comments so they disable them but most of us aren’t that big. If people have a platform to express themselves or refute you, they’re more likely to come back.

Enable Trackbacks – Another way to find out who is linking to you. In fact, my page has in-line Trackbacks so that if you link to my site, you’re guaranteed a link back.

Email bloggers – Don’t email everything you write to everyone. In fact, lots of stuff that I personally get emailed as part of a bulk list gets classified as spam by Yahoo. But send well-thought posts about relevant issues. Borrowing from Volokh: Plug the post, not the site. If you have something insightful to say and you want to say it to someone, then email it. I get a lot of email and I’m a small-fry blogger. But I get, at a guess, 50 emails per day (that aren’t spam). I don’t read them all but try to read most of them.

I consider my blog moderately successful. I am a large mammal in the ecosystem. Even though it counts many carnival links for some reason despite emailing TTLB a few times, I still get quite a few links. I get 157 links excluding Carnival links which still places me in the Large Mammal group. I also get about 577 visits per day and 967 page views per day according to Sitemeter. Per Awstats, I get 759 visits and 2522 page views per day. I also have a fairly active comments section. If you’d asked me when I first started this blog (and my only reader was SouthKnoxBubba, and a big thanks to him for plugging me in my early days) if I thought my blog would do that well, I’d have said no. But I stuck to it and am quite happy with it.

That’s my advice. Take it for what it’s worth.

8 Responses to “Blogging about blogging”

  1. The Commissar Says:

    Very well put. I agree whole-heartedly.

    Thanks for the link.

  2. mike hollihan Says:

    It helps to write about stuff people want to read about, too. BTW, I didn’t realise you had an order of magnitude more traffic than me. Jeez.

  3. Dave Says:

    You mention blogrolling… the majority of blogs that I read come to me via RSS. How does an RSS reference show up in traffic logs? Who is the referrer? I’ve never been able to pinpoint it.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    Dave, i’ve seen a few listed as and a few others. At least i assume they are from feeds.

  5. smijer Says:

    Great advice & will come in handy for my new-to-blogging family member.

    As to the RSS feeds, most news aggegators work from a computer desktop. Since the HTTP request does not have a referring URL embedded, these show up as unknown referrers. The relatively few web-based aggregators use a scripting language to generate clickable links, and the internet browser will generally send along the referring URL as part of the HTTP request in that case.

    I would also assume that you can see how often you are hit by an aggregator itself, if you get good statistics from your server logs — any hits to the XML index would probably be a news aggregator looking for new feeds.

  6. Andrew Says:

    Good advice, all. Except for the bourbon part. The reason I don’t have as many whisky posts as I should on a blog about whisky is that once I start drinking, I don’t feel like blogging!

  7. Harvey Says:

    I got sent here by one of your blogless readers. He’s right. Your original content is excellent. I especially like the tip on hitting blogs from your blogroll to get noticed. I know that once I finish my going down my own daily blogroll, I check my referer logs to find additional reading material.

  8. Simon World Says:

    Everything you wanted to know about blogging but were afraid to ask
    There are plenty of good guides to blogging and I was going to add my $0.02 to the pile. It’s the thing to do once your blog reaches a certain age, and I figure turning one is about the right time. However I’m going to break with blogosphere traditio…