Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ask Larísa: How do I make my blog noticed?

A regular reader and commenter of The Pink Pigtail Inn, Ghostboci, has sent me a question:

Like many blog-reader, the fate has reached me and started my own blog. http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/
I just want to ask one question from the experienced bloggers here: how can I let other people know that it exists?

Larísa’s answer:

First of all: congratulations to starting your own blog! Since you’ve been posting comments for such a long time I’ve just been waiting for you to take the next step. I really hope you’ll enjoy it!

Advice # 1
Now to your question. Making your blog known will take some time. Matticus didn’t get over 700 subscribers overnight. He worked hard and systematically to reach it as he writes in his summary when he recently celebrated his one-year anniversary.

And it’s been the same with me. Even though I’ve got far from the reputation that he has, this inn has slowly become more and more crowded without any big efforts of advertising. After a few months of blogging you’ll probably get a better ranking at search engines like Google (don’t ask me how it works, but it does), and more and more people will find you.

If you keep writing it’s bound to happen. It’s the nature of blogs.

So my advice number one is: Be patient.

Advice # 2
Of course you should announce your entrance on the blogging scene! Actually you’ve just done it, whether you thought about it or not.

You see: Commenting on other blogs is a great way to get noticed – provided that you’re doing relevant and interesting comments (which I know you’re capable of doing, after your long commenting on this blog) and not just promoting your own blog. There are unwritten ethic rules about how to comment on a blog. Stick to them.

Commenting other blogs in your own blogposts is also a good idea. Most bloggers – new as established ones – just love when their own posts are discussed in other blogs. I assure you: if you write something intelligent, a follow-up on something you saw on another blog and you give proper credit with link to the original source, you can be pretty sure that the original poster will pay you a visit out of curiosity.

So advice number two is: comment a lot. To comment – in your own blog and on others – is in my opinion the soul, the core of what blogging is about. This is a social media, it’s like a never-ending party. Join it!

Advice # 3
Your blog is still brand new. I’d recommend you to wait a couple of weeks until you’ve produced a few more posts and have a little more clear idea about what direction the blog will take. Then it’s time to make an Offical announcement of your existence at Blog Azeroth! Just register and make an introduction.

Another spot where you should register is The Twisted Nether Wiki, which is growing day by day and currently comprises hundreds of WoW blogs.

I suggest that you join Warcraftbloggers. It’s like a huge blog reader where you get the first paragraphs whenever a registred blog publishes something. You could also try go get your blog on the new WoW-blog list at Alltop.

My advice number three is: inform about your blog in the established community forums

Some further reading
During the summer Wowinsider published a series to inspire new bloggers and one of the articles were about how to establish yourself in the WoW Blogosphere. You’ll find a few more ideas there and I suggest you check it out.

You should also listen to and read the website of the Twisted Nether Blogcast. Anna and Matticus publish posts there every week to educate and inspire bloggers. I don’t think they’ve covered the marketing and publicity area yet, but I recommend you to read the posts anyway; there are lots of great advice there for a fresh blogger. Anna also gives advice for bloggers in the shows, another good reason for you to listen to them if you’re not already doing it.

Final words
Finally I return to Matticus once again. I like the way he always remind the wanna-be-bloggers to stick to the basics. And that is simply: to write.

I just have to quote him, because it’s so true:

I’ve been there. And I’m urging you not to give up. You can get readers and fans. There are people that will genuinely be interested in what you have to say and what your thoughts are. It doesn’t matter whether your interest is in PvP, or raiding, or RPing. What matters is that you keep writing. You can use whatever blogging techniques you want with SEO optimization, and other blogger mumbo jumbo. But at the end of the day, readers will reward your perseverance. It may not be now, it may not be later but it will happen. You have to stick with it. When you’re blogging, you’re grinding reputation with all of the Internet.
If I look at blogs from the reader's point of view, I want blogs which feels alive, where the content keeps flowing. You may have the most fancy kind of layout and features, but in the end, it’s what’s inside that counts. You don’t have to publish every day. But, at least when you start, you should try to publish pretty often. Because it’s when we read your posts that we get to know you. That’s how you naturally grow into the Blogsphere.
Be confident. Trust your own voice. You will be noticed, sooner or later.

17 comments:

Rohan said...

Also, link to other people. We will notice a new site linking to us. If a site links to me, and that site stays up for a while (and I manage to stop procrastinating), I try to link back to them.

A lot of us older bloggers don't mind linking to newer sites that are interesting. I remember that when I first started blogging, Psyae and Sinker linked to me, and I was very grateful. I do try and pay forward the favor when I can.

gnomeaggedon.net said...

Write to Larisa.
She will write a post about you.
We will read it.
We will link to you.
You will link to us.
If nothing else, you will get a few readers ;-)

Gevlon said...

* Blog Azeroth: check
* The Twisted Nether Wiki: check
* Warcraftbloggers: check
* Finally I return to Matticus ... simply: to write: check
* wowinsider link: doing now

* Commenting on other blogs and linking these blogs... time to get to work. I did not read too many blogs yet. I have a resto druid and an arcane mage so I read Phaelia and Larísa. And there is a huge lack of money blog that I could link. I mean Larísa and Gnomeaggedon can argue over the Arcane vs Fire but who am I argue and comment with (against)? I mean, I can comment on http://dwarfpriest.com/2008/09/09/raid-stacking-101/ which I found on http://gnomeaggedon.net/, but this is absolutely not about something my blog covers. Is it OK to lure readers who are interested about raid stacking, holy priests or mages to a goblin business blog?

2ndNin said...

Find a site, find a comment you disagree with (or an aspect you disagree with) and get a conversation going. Either that or find a topic and add something to it.

Loads of space to comment, loads of areas, heck post something controversial and gimme a link, I like a good discussion. (and I am still working on the getting readers bit :P, but happy to have huge comments with you)

gnomeaggedon.net said...

The trick isn't to lure through:

"Ohh yeah raid stacking... I have a great article on farming at xyz.com"

In fact I tend to get turned off when people put in their site url/link. I can follow you back via your commenter id if I am interested, and my stats page logged your visit (or link to my site).

So in a sense you aren't commenting on your content, rather you are making worthwhile comments on the "hosts" content.

If people like your comment, they will track back to you.

gnomeaggedon.net said...

Also a contact me method (form or email address) is handy...

ie. there is some feedback I would love to give you, privately, but can't. My only option is a public comment.

(contact me via my ContactGnome page and I will send you the feedback)

Captain The First said...

Write quality material. People will come all by themselves if you do manage to squeeze out funny or informative posts on a regular basis.

I for one never bothered to advertise my blog. Its a nice collection of information for my own purposes, it's nice to see my evolution of thought and it helps me determine where I am with the game I am playing.

All in all you should blog for yourself, fame or infamy will follow suit if you manage to post decent stuff.

I don't so hence my 2 comments a week average :P

Gevlon said...

I'm start to getting it. I have to find posts in blogs which somehow connects my topic, argue with it from my point of view, providing a comment that is interesting for others and therefore they will be interested in my stuff.

For example: X writes "spellstrike hood and leggins are a great start for a new lvl70 since you can get it all alone, but cost an arm and leg" and I reply "it does not cost that much if you handle the AH like a goblin, I had them both in bank at lvl 68 and already disenchanted the hood after getting T4, still wearing the leggings"

I was not offtopic, offered a solution to the problem mentioned and mentioned the buzz-word (goblin) of my blog.

Am I right?

krizzlybear said...

As a goblin, you already have your work cut out for you with regards to trying to get attention from the gnomes. We are a legendary rivalry, goblins and gnomes. It is a fight to the death with regards to ingenuity and practicality! IT HAS NOW REACHED BLOGOSPHERIC LEVELS! LET THE WAR BEGIN!

Gevlon said...

The "contact me" option is missing deliberatly. I published my ideas openly, and expect others to do so. If one does not put his comment on the open, I'm not interested in it at all.

voodooventures said...

Then if you want everything out in the open, I would at least suggest having some more or comment option on your "about" page.

One of the links on your site might be broken or something similar. If people want to contact you about stuff like that, they might not want to do so in the comments linked to a specific post.

That being said: welcome to the blog-o-sphere and good luck with your blog :)

Larísa said...

@Rohan: Oh yes, I forgot about the Blogroll. It's important. Entering your blogroll has meant EVERYTHING, I really mean that, to me! It not only boosted my confidence, it gave (and still gives me) a great number of visitors. I try to keep my blogroll varied. I link to established blogs I happen to like and want to keep track on when they update, as well as to hidden gems. (And no, I don't use andy blog reader except for the services provided every weekend from Gnome).

@Gnomeaggedon: about linking to your own blog posts in a comment, I'd say it depends. I must say I don't read every post on every blog in the Blogosphere. If someone has written a very relevant post about the same topic as I'm discussing, I won't expect them to reprint their entire post in their comment to my post. I think it's perfectly OK if they link directly to the post so I don't have to search an enourmos amount of posts to find it. But that's me. On the other hand I don't like shameless, pointless advertising. Thank's god I've been spared from that so far.

@2ndnin. Yep. Being a bit controversial doesn't hurt. But I think it should come natural, not be something artificial you do just to get noticed. I guess I'm a bit too kind to ever get the big audience. I'm not Ming. I'm Larísa. And she's pretty kindhearted.

@Captain the first. Oh, stop it. The quality of your blog isn't measured in the number of comments. And I comment on your blog every once in a while, don't I? Don't stare blindly at the comments you get. People may very well appreciate a post even though they don't comment it. For instance: I wrote a post about sustaining mental raid mana. It hardly got a single comment to begin with. I thought: well... it was just another rant people don't care about. Wrong. It appeared in Twisted Neather! So stop counting comments and judging yourself by them, please. (I've tried to stop that habit myself).

@Krizzlybear: haha, I'm looking forward to some in-character posting here. Maybe your new little mage has something to say about the business of that gobblin...

@Voodooventures: I agree. There are situations where you need to contact the blogger personally. Like if the comment feature is broken... I've seen that in a few cases actually. And sometimes you want to discuss stuff privately with bloggers you connect to.

You'll see when you've been into this for a while, Gevlon. It's like if you're watching a debate at TV. The participants debate of course when the camera is going. But they may want to have a cup of coffee and a private chat sometimes when the camera's off.

@Gevlon: Wow, you've really managed to get to know a few bloggers now just by commenting on my blog. You've got the hang of it, haven't you? You've clearly done your homework.
What I suggest now is that you do some more research about other blogs dealing with gold earning. I'm not into that genre myself so much (so far I've only followed Gnomeaggedon's writings about it), but I know there are blogs totally dedicated to it. Find them. Link them. Read them. Try to relate your posts to them if you can. The ideal is if you find a blog in this field written in-character style, like yours. The interaction between your blogs probably will be very entertaining.

Check out the presentations at Blog Azareoth and do some googling, I'm sure you'll find something.

I think you're getting the idea about commenting. Commenting should be done in a non advertising way. When you comment stuff, consider it a gift. Not an ad.

I hope this has given you some inspiration!

Gevlon said...

Got your point, Email address added.

Also managed to read gnomeageddon's AH related posts, linking and trying to follow his links for further valuable links.

Beginning something new is hard but exciting.

Fish said...

Thats good advice, I'd been reading the various blogs for months and really decided to throw my hat in out of sheer boredom (plus I enjoy writing and ranting, so it seemed like a good thing to do)

This is why you're one of my favorite blogs.

Chu said...

I wonder how much layout and page style counts for return visits/subscribers.

I personally dont care for too much flash and dazzle, however, I'm not entirely sure what others enjoy. Big graphics make some sites not 'work safe'

gnomeaggedon.net said...

I am generally anti-flashy blog.

Sure I appreciate it, but as I am reading from work 99% of the time (and I think most blog readers are), this leaves you with 3 options.
1) Read in feed reader (thus flashy stuff is wasted anyway, unless prompted in a post. ie. "make sure you vote in my survey on whether Gnomes are better than Goblins")
2) Sneak peeks at the site (so most of the flashy stuff is wasted)
3) Never visit site again (all flashy stuff is wasted)

More important to me is:
- Clean clear design (if it's ugly, or all over the place, I probably wont come back)
- Correct language usage - most importantly spelling (if this is bad, then I have to make an effort to read it, and it looks like the blogger doesn't care - I often find I have to go back an tweak minor errors once my post goes live, but that's better than leaving a glaring error)
- Ease of navigation

And probably a raft of other ideas... check out BlogAzeroth, Matticus and Twisted Nether for general blog tips. Matticus has a "9 things a blog must have" post on BA forums.. well worth the read

PS: In my imaginary survey, there is only one "option" - Gnomes ;-)

Larísa said...

@Fish: another welcome to you! I've already visited your blog... since you were linking to me. It really works! You've got 29 alts... that's kind of impressive. Wonder how you alternate them. One week each every year? :)

@Chu: I agree with the following comment from Gnomeaggedon. I'm a fan of simplicity. I know that's exactly the opposite of the advice from the blogging guru Matticus who thinks you should break up everything, using loads of subheaders and pictures and stuff to make it easier to read. When it comes to me that isn't really necessary. I enjoy the calmness of for instance Blessing of King. Content is king. That's the way it is to me.

There are some blogs which are just too much to me when it comes to decoration. I can't orient myself on them, they just give me a headache. And that's sad because probably they've got some things that I really would enjoy to read if I wasn't so distracted.

In my opinion a blog can - and should - have a layout that's different to a regular website. I've see a few blogs recently leaving the normal blogging format turning into something that looks like news sites. It's not a development that I favour - I think they lose their "blogginess". But that's just me. There obviously are two schools in this matter. I'm probably old fashioned, blame my age.