FIGHTING INVISIBILITY (UPDATED 12-8-05)
While perusing the Showcase, I saw a post by Phil of Shades of Gray wherein he muses a bit about the structure of the blogosphere. In the conclusion, this sentence caught my eye:
As the weblog arena becomes increasingly crowded, with countless voices all shouting to be heard, there is the danger that the droning sound of all the yells will drown out the interesting and truly stimulating bloggers that just can't get a break.
Hmmm... sounds like everyone except the Puppy Blender.
Well, if you're a breakless blogger here's some serious thoughts on how to become broken:
First, if you're dissatisfied with your traffic, ask yourself this: what are you doing to advertise your blog?
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.
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. Submit your link. People read these things. People click those links. Best of all, you can write your own glowing, curiosity-provoking description for your entry, and it'll probably get used. All they ask in return is a courtesy link to the round-up after it's been posted.
UPDATE 7-15-04: 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.
UPDATE 5-20-05: The easiest way to both find and enter carnivals is to use Conservative Cat's All-Purpose Blogging Carnival Entry Form.
UPDATE 12-8-05: Blogcarnival.com is another source for finding carnivals to enter. Currently tracking 147 carnivals, and adding new ones all the time.
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.
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.
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, e.g. "Being a guy, I like watching things blow up. That's why I really enjoyed XBlogger's post called "Fun Places to Put a Lit Firecracker". It brought back so many wonderful memories of things I've gone to jail for."
Using Trackbacks? - A trackback lets the person you're linking to know that you're saying those enthusiastic things about him. They're often automatically e-mailed, and I don't know a single blogger unnarcissitic enough to not investigate a ping. 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 the incomparable genius Kevin of Wizbang [see above section on "enthusiasm"]
UPDATE 7-17-04: The incomparable genius Kevin of Wizbang points out that sending trackbacks to some sites (including his) will get your blog name and post title listed visibly within the entry you send the trackback to. Be sure to check the comments on that post for other blogs that have this feature.
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. Try taking a chance & getting in on the ground floor.
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: remember that you're a guest in someone else's virtual living room, so behave accordingly. Don't be rude. Don't make your host look foolish. Don't link your fisking of his post. It's ok to link a factual correction, but otherwise you should, as a courtesy, save this technique for linking posts that are supportive of the other blogger's main point.
Ok, those are the easy ones. 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. For example, if you're going to bug Matty O'Blackfive, your post should probably be about the military, or drinking, or drinking in the military. Or possibly making fun of the brawling, besotted Irish.
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 - it's pretty obvious that's why the e-mail was sent so it's not necessary. Also, not asking for the link takes some of the pressure off the recipient, making him feel less put upon, and, paradoxically, MORE likely to link the post (assuming that it's appropriate to his blog's theme).
Now, having said all that, I'll also say this: My credibility in the "getting lots of traffic" department is marginal, at best. I've never been above "Mammal" in the Ecosystem, and I've never cracked the "1000 hits in a day" barrier. Nevertheless, I've had some success with the above-listed techniques, and they've helped me progress from a 0-hit-per-day Blogspotling to the powerhouse of mediocrity that I am today.
However, if you think I'm full of crap on any of these points, feel free to tell me so in the comments.
NOTE: [If you've found this post useful enough to blog about, send a trackback or e-mail the permalink to me at harvolson-at-gmail.com and I'll add you to my Bad Example Groupies blogroll. See this post for details]
posted by Harvey
on July 13, 2004 at 10:16 PM
Excerpt: A common woe of bloggers is how little traffic they get despite the high quality content of their site. It all seems so unfair and impossible to do anything about. However Harvey has kindly presented a sensible list of things...
Tracked: July 13, 2004 10:28 PM
Links of the Day
Excerpt: I can see again! On my way home from work I bought a 19", flatscreen ViewSonic monitor to replace my...
Tracked: July 14, 2004 05:26 PM
Why are you blogging?
Excerpt: Many times, I visit a blogger's site and I feel so sorry for them. It's like they are just rambling to themselves. I read comments like "I'll post comments on Monday if anybody cares" or "I know nobody is reading this, but I'll say wha
Tracked: July 14, 2004 06:11 PM
Crawling up the blogolutionary ladder
Excerpt: Harvey posted a pretty article detailing how a lowly blogger like him such as myself can increase his/her traffic. I used to check my hits via Sitemeter daily to see how things were working out for me. At about 6...
Weblog: Physics Geek
Tracked: July 14, 2004 08:39 PM
Spacemonkey: Harvey Full of C-R-A-P
Excerpt: Harvey of Bad Example is so very much full of the fecal material. OK he's not, at least not about the traffic thing. I guess. He forgot some other ways to get repeat traffic. Post often or failing that, at...
Weblog: The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles
Tracked: July 14, 2004 11:22 PM
Stop Slipping Further Into Obscurity
Excerpt: Harvey has some tips for "Fighting Invisibility. They're all 'advice you can use' type things. Those of us who've been...
Tracked: July 15, 2004 03:07 PM
Excerpt: A slightly early and truncated version but nevertheless linkage from what's in my link in-tray: Blogs Michele has a separate site called Don't Pee in the Millenium Falcon with plenty of great parenting stories which are eventually destined for a book. ...
Weblog: Simon World
Tracked: July 15, 2004 09:42 PM
Excerpt: Harvey of Bad Example has a bunch of good advice for bloggers looking to increase their linkage and traffic. To that end a quick examination of the top 100 blogs in the Ecosystem reveals that two of those 100 allow...
Tracked: July 17, 2004 01:09 AM
Hitting Up For Traffic
Excerpt: Ever tire of being at the bottom of the ecosystem, want more traffic? Bad Example has a mostly complete, well thought out list of ways to get traffic which I found thanks to Kevin.
I have only one thing to add. Cats. People love looking at the littl...
Weblog: Mind of Mog
Tracked: July 17, 2004 07:12 PM
Tips on Traffic to your blog
Excerpt: FIGHTING INVISIBILITY For a while now (since December) I have been keeping trying to maintain this blog as a witty and informative. However, just about anyone with a computer and a bit of tech savvy is able to put up blog these days. Since I don’t post...
Weblog: Meckz.NET :.:.
Tracked: July 18, 2004 06:59 AM
Excerpt: Are new to blogging? Maybe you just want to increase your hit count. Check out Bad Example's good ideas on how to get noticed.
However, be warned that if you suck the blogoshpere can be a very cruel world...
Weblog: Quotes, Thoughts, and other Ramblings
Tracked: July 18, 2004 06:35 PM
The Most Massive Link Dump In Recorded History
Excerpt: I save a lot of links in my blog surfing, thanks to FeedDemon's NewsBin feature. Too many. But see, I usually have no time to blog. Thus, these entries are filed away in my newsbin, ported back and forth from home to office computers and back again, ju...
Weblog: Thief's Den
Tracked: August 14, 2004 09:08 PM
Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask
Excerpt: 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 tradition ...
Weblog: Simon World
Tracked: August 27, 2004 01:20 AM
Bumping that Traffic Up
Excerpt: I had read a good article by Bad Example about bumping ones traffic up about a month ago or so, when was checking the Showcase for new blogs. Definately worth a perusal. Me, I have only been blogging since July
Weblog: Pirate's Cove
Tracked: October 24, 2004 08:42 AM
Tired of blogging without being noticed?
Excerpt: Ah, the vagaries of unrecognized blogging brilliance. So you've taken Hugh's advice and started a blog, and nobody's noticed you? Welcome to the club. Almost all of us start at the bottom, unless we're already well-established authors or pundits or som...
Weblog: Brain Shavings
Tracked: December 29, 2004 12:08 AM
Excerpt: Bad ExampleA bit before Blog Explosion but good advice nonetheless remains the same...hat tip:Pirate's Cove, where it is glorious to
Weblog: Crystal Clear Reads
Tracked: January 9, 2005 09:33 PM
Tips For New Bloggers
Excerpt: I've only been at this new hobby for about two months and have recently stumbled across several blog sites full of helpful hints.
Weblog: The Burr in the Burgh
Tracked: June 2, 2005 11:00 PM
Blog Tips: Comment Etiquette for Bloggers
Excerpt: Most bloggers love most comments from fellow bloggers but like most things in life there are exceptions. T. L. Pakii Pierce of How To Blog or Fun
Weblog: Common Sense Runs Wild
Tracked: June 5, 2005 04:45 PM
More on starting a blog
Excerpt: Harvey has compiled lots of great posts on how to get started blogging. Others are also on the job. Excerpt: 1. Determine a theme. Most bloggers take one of three approaches. Some write on whatever happens to interest them at...
Weblog: Physics Geek
Tracked: June 23, 2005 07:54 AM
Excerpt: As of late there seems to be an outbreak of what some consider indecent behavior in the blogging community. It's nothing serious, when compared to the hallucinations of the Deamoncratic Underground or the delusional ranting by the Kosistacs, it's just
Weblog: The Alliance
Tracked: July 28, 2005 06:59 PM
Your Turn: Asking For Links
Excerpt: Last week, we opened the floor to you, accepting questions for blogging tips. We got a few. Not a lot, but a few. And we'll start answering them now. I mean, I said we would, right? Pierre Legrand asked via
Weblog: The Alliance
Tracked: August 17, 2005 11:33 PM
Your Turn: Getting More Hits
Excerpt: Last week, we opened the floor to you, accepting questions for blogging tips. One came in hat struck me as a little odd, because I wasn't sure the reason behind it. so short of joining rings and blogrolls and commenting
Weblog: The Alliance
Tracked: August 22, 2005 11:44 PM
"I don't know a single blogger unnarcissitic enough to not investigate a ping" --->that is so true. I'm finding with many of the new blogs on the Showcase are stuck on Blogger so don't have trackbacks. I suppose it's part of being a newbie blogger but you can't underestimate the value of trackbacks.
This is going up on the Showcase's blogging tips bar immediately.
I was gonna be a dick and write:
"Well, if you posted something worth linking, you might get linked to."
But, I figured that Willie would post that, so I decided not to.
Oh, and I just got back from the Eric Clapton concert, and I'm floating somewhere above 50k feet.
lol, _Jon, when i read what you were "gonna" write, i was sure it was Willie.
funny, i keep posting comments here, Harvey, just so you'll notice me. it appears to be working (or maybe all of Frank's links are working). :-)
You had me at the whole thing, except when you should include a link to your own posts. I love comments and am happy to read them and leave them, but link whoring is where I draw the line.
I think you are pretty much full of crap all the time, so what makes this any different?
That aside... I wish everybody would quit the whiny crybaby nobody reads me, nobody links me shit... go change your fucking diapers.... the "big guys" won't link you anyway, cause you're such a pussy... so fuck em all... is what I say.
I haven't checked referral logs in 5 or 6 months. It's not that I'm not curious, it's just that it takes time that is in too short supply for me. I always check trackbacks and if I get a new regular commenter I'll usually check them out. If I get a commenter who cracks me up I'll always check them out.
You're full of crap! Ok, actually the main thing I find is when you go out to other blogs and comment, they will come to yours and check it out. I have made a point to watch places like blogger and just comment on new blogs that are opening up or blogs that just dont get seen that often.
The advice is most helpful - thank you, Harvey. Certainly better than anything I could think up....
I do hope my musings were interesting, or at least not boring as hell. Thanks again.
Thank you for sensible and insightful suggestions.
I disagree with Helen's condemnation of link's in comments, but I do think it is essential to disclose in the comment what the reader will get if he or she clicks through.
...I've never cracked the "1000 hits in a day" barrier.
Hey, I've been doing this for almost 10 months, and I'm lucky to get more than 50 hits in a day, so I wouldn't consider you "mediocre" at all.
These are wonderful comments. It doesn't matter how many hits a day youre getting.
I've written something related to this www.rightwingduck.blog-city.com where I talk about the WHY of blogging. (See I kept the reference relevant) :)
I would say the best way to get hits it's by building a community of blogs you truly enjoy.
The most important aspect of a blog is to write for yourself. I often post things that I'm sure no one else will give a danm about, but judging by my site traffic people seem to like.
It's funny, the relevance of this post, because I was sitting here yesterday trying to figure out some not-in-your-face ways to get more traffic.
Unfortunately, I didn't write about wanting more traffic, so I have nothing relevant to link, but I found this post and this site via another site I've recently found, so there's your relevance. Your post about how to get more traffic has gotten *you* more traffic.
And how much more relevant can you get?
Thanks for the tips, though! Boffo!
I've done all that you recommend, I've had 7,000 hits in a day (down to my much more normal 5-600) but I think my greatest contributor (because of the google hits it generates and repeat visitors because of those is.... gun p0rn.
John - ah yes, almost forgot that one - have a recurring specialty. A popular hook does wonders for traffic. Do something unique and do it regularly (preferably daily). It's not easy to find a hook, but well worth the effort.
I've got Graffiti Currency, Love Notes, Filthy Lies, and Precision Guided Humor assignments. They all do their part.
And Frank J's In My World posts are what made me blogroll him in the first place.
Tee-hee-hee, you're pretty funny!! :-)
You make alot of good points in your post. I'll toss one out for those bloggers who, like me, have weird "niche" blogs; join a bunch of webrings that focus on the sorts of sites that your target readers will be likely to visit-you really WILL get hits from them, and they'll be "quality hits."
As I watch the British Open for the first time, I am reading you for the first time...wonder what that means. Thanx for your insight.
Omni - webrings work for non-porn sites, too? Well, I'll be darned.
ZuD - and thank YOU dropping by and for the attention at your place :-)
Nobody, but nobody likes a Libertarian blog.
Actually, I like Libertarian blogs, and I voted Libertarian in 96 & 00, but after 9/11 I became convinced that the LP foreign policy plank was short-sighted, so I'll be voting Bush in '04.
For the record, the foreign policy plank is the ONLY thing in the platform I disagree with. It's just that, for me, it's the most important.
If there was an LP hawk, I'd vote for him.
Great list. I have followed the majority of your suggestions and have seen the number of readers continue to grow. I would only add one other and being the blogger that I am, I am quite willing to let those of your readers know, who email me or comment on my blog :-)
Also I would strongly suggest joining
Blog Explosion at http://www.blogexplosion.com/index.php?ref=Crystalclear
Not disappointing at all...Just like your blog