Friday, March 4, 2005

Learning To Blog III: Getting More Traffic

I've been taking the "Blogging Tips" posted by Harvey at Bad Example. 'Cause I want to learn to blog. The main topics are:
I've completed the first topic, and did okay. I should have put more thought into the name of the blog, and I could have told more about me in the second post. Oh, well. Too late now.

In the second topic, again I did pretty good. Need to work on white space, italics, and emoticons. Otherwise, okay. I'm working on that.

Now, it's time to continue our little learning exercise. Time to learn how to get more traffic. I'll list excerpts from Harvey's post [read the entire post here] and add my own comments on how I'm doing. Ready? Let's go.

If you're dissatisfied with your traffic, ask yourself this: what are you doing to advertise your blog?
I've bought some BlogAds.
I don't mean buying blog ads on some big guy's sidebar.
I mean the kind of friendly, word-of-mouth stuff that will actually get you traffic by getting your blog's name out there in a positive light.

Are you:

Entering link Carnivals regularly? - Carnival of the Vanities, Best of Me Symphony, Bonfire of the Vanities, etc. are all there for the entering, no charge, no quality check. ... People read these (and) click ... links. Best of all, you can write your own ... description for your entry, and it'll probably get used. ...

Since a lot of the link-fests are travelling shows now and are easy to lose track of, I post upcoming locations at the Alliance HQ site every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night, usually between 7 & 9 pm.
I don't yet qualify for Best of Me (too new) and have entered one Carnival of the Vanities. Need to enter more. I usually post something at Bonfire. And I'm hosting the next one! Need to do better. 0-1.
Commenting on other people's blogs? - Leaving a friendly, flattering, witty, or entertaining comment to other people's blog entries is a good way to get noticed.
I do that on occasion. I usually make an ass of myself, but that's because I'm an ass. 1-1.
Surfing off your blogroll? - Surfing off your blogroll instead of from your browser's bookmarks makes your blog URL show up in people's referer logs. EVERYBODY checks their referer logs from time to time, even the Higher Beings & Mortal Humans. Showing up every day piques curiosity & encourages visitation.
Yes. 2-1
Linking with enthusiasm? - When you link someone's post, an intro like "XBlogger has an interesting post" is better than nothing, but if you want to win friends & influence linkees, try emoting a little and describing WHY you liked a post.
I don't do a lot of devoting a post to another blogger's post. A little, but not a lot. I can't count the little Breakfast or Lunch Specials, since it's not the same thing. 2-2.
Using Trackbacks? - A trackback lets the person you're linking to know that you're saying those enthusiastic things about him. ... Even if you don't have a "send trackback" option on your blogging software, you can still send a trackback with this handy standalone trackback form, developed by ... Kevin of Wizbang. ...

Sending trackbacks to some sites ... will get your blog name and post title listed visibly within the entry you send the trackback to.
Yes. I wonder sometimes if I do this too much. Breakfast and Lunch specials in particular. Guess not. 3-2.
Participating in other blogger's projects? - This one might be too time consuming if you're on a tight time schedule, but throwing in with other bloggers wins you lots of goodwill points, and if the project takes off, it's going to take your name with it.
I have done some Bogging for Terri. But not for this reason. I now understand some of the referring sites on the visitor log. But to the point, this was an exception. 3-3.
Dropping RELEVANT links in other bloggers' comments? - The key word is RELEVANT. If you're surfing around and you notice someone has posted on a topic that you've posted about, and you make a insightful point that doesn't appear in the other blogger's post, then go ahead & leave a link to your post. Some caveats: ... Don't be rude. Don't make your host look foolish. Don't link your fisking of his post. ...
I need to do more of this. I haven't intentionally left out links to others, but I haven't looked enough to see if there may be others talking about something similar. 3-4
Now for the netiquette of e-mailing links to your posts to THE BIG GUYS. This one is tricky, because it's even more intrusive than dropping links in people's comments. If commenting is standing in their living room, then e-mailing is sitting on the couch next to them. Only send a link if the post fits the blog's theme. ...

Suggested format - Apologize for the unsolicited e-mail, acknowledge that you know [BIG BLOGGER] is very busy, briefly tell why you think this post might be of interest to him, give the URL, thank him for his time, sign your name. END

Keep it brief & to the point. DON'T specifically ask for a link to your post ...
I'm not real good at this. When I have e-mailed some of the big boys (or girls), I have usually said "For your consideration," included the title of the post, the URL of the post, and an excerpt. I have also included the entire post, which is probably a bad idea. 3-5.

So, I need to work on lots of things:
  • Enter more Link Carnivals.
  • Write about others' posts and say nice things.
  • Get involved with more projects.
  • Link to others on same topic, staying relevant.
  • Improve solicitation letters.
At least that's how I'm reading it. Perhaps Harvey (or you, Gentle Reader) will correct me if I'm off-base about my areas for improvement.

If you're following along, I hope you have enough sense to read Harvey's complete posts and not my Reader's Digest versions. So, I know what I need to do. Now to go get started.

Right after work.


  1. Uh, I'd say you link with the best of 'em. I know you've linked me way more than anybody else, anyway.

  2. What are linking carnivales?

  3. One way to describe linking carnivals is that they are periodic (usually weekly) roundups of posts by blogs with a common theme. Sometimes the theme is the nature of the blog. Sometimes the theme is the subject of the post.

    It might be best to let you see a roundup of current carnivals. While this list isn't complete, it's an excellent place to start.

    Harvey of The Alliance has the Friday Linky Stuff post up. Check it out. And click on the various links there.

    As a plug for this site, I'm hosting Bonfire of the Vanities. That's a rotating roundup of the "worst" posts of the week, as submitted by the author.

  4. Great post. We have been serial commentors for a couple of years and finally started to blog ourselves.

    I just IM'ed you post to my buddy, and am going to search your site for other knowledge.


    PS Found you on the OTB Traffic Jam, so your actions illustrated your post

  5. carnival of recipes, maybe? even if you don't like to cook, maybe a sister or two that does like to cook could put up a recipe or two.....sarahk's site usually has a link to who's hosting it when she isn't.
    just a thought...(basil's wife and all sisters, big, mean and little)

  6. The Big Sister (who's 5'4")March 5, 2005 at 2:14 PM

    OK, moehawk, I'm starting a recipe post just for you!

  7. The Mean Sister (who is 5'6")March 5, 2005 at 3:30 PM

    Does that mean that I have to learn how to cook?

  8. And don't forget to use the all-purpose Carnival entry form:

    VERY handy.

    And although I personally prefer the "quality" approach to linking, there's nothing at all wrong with the "quantity" approach. See Instapundit :-)


    CY of Confederate Yankee has started a new blog called Blog Nettiquette, whose purpose (as far as I can tell) is to become a central clearing house for tips & hints on improving your blogging. Naturally the only reason I...


Please choose a Profile in "Comment as" or sign your name to Anonymous comments. Comment policy