Getting Your Blog “Out There”
No matter the reasons we blog, we like to know that somehow, someway, we’ve connected with others “out there” in cyberspace. Even if you blog for yourself, it’s nice to know that someone, somewhere has read what you have written, to watch those view numbers climb, to feel proud of what you are contributing to whatever online community you are part of. When it comes to Second Life, there are so many blogs and bloggers covering the same topics, products & events that it may seem daunting to get people to see what YOU have done.
So how do you promote your blog? How do you participate within an online community that has hundreds of bloggers and get people to visit your site? In my role as a contributor to the SL Blogger Support group, I thought that this is a topic that I could delve into and hopefully help fellow bloggers discover new ways to promote themselves and their blog that they maybe haven’t thought of to use before.Blog Promo Idea #1: Join a blogger support group.
I thought starting with the obvious would be easiest. 🙂 Here we are, all participants in a group that helps to promote each other, shares ideas and thoughts for post inspiration and most importantly just provides support for each other through kind words or maybe a little personal cheerleading. A group like SL Blogger Support is great for finding new friends with similar styles or tastes that maybe could develop into cross posting with other bloggers. Plus hey, early admittance to events anyone? That sure helps with getting a jump on spreading the word about an upcoming event or a new release.
Blog Promo Idea #2: Use other social media sites to advertise your blog.
Facebook, Flickr, Plurk, Pinterest, Twitter … the list could potentially go on and on. How many of us have a Facebook for SL? A Plurk account? We link our pictures through Flickr or pin them to our Pinterest boards. Make use of those social networks to help spread the word about your blog. Join groups on Facebook that allow you to share your posts, put a link to your blog in the description of your pictures on Flickr or on Pinterest, Plurk your new posts to your timelines… you never know where someone is going to see or hear about your blog so be social media savvy and post those links all over the place.
Blog Promo Idea #3: Apply to a syndicated feed.
There are several feeds that cater to Second Life blogs and bloggers. IHeartSL, Grid Syndicate, Blogging SL, Fashion Feed of SL … again another list that could go on and on. Check your favorite/fellow blogger’s sites, they will usually have some sort of list of where they are syndicated. Depending on the feed – there are different rules/criteria that you have to meet in order to be considered. Find the main page for the feed and you should be able to find where their ‘how to apply’ link is.
Blog Promo Idea #4: Participate in blogger challenges.
Every so often an SL blogger will come up with an idea and invite other bloggers to participate. Strawberry Singh has her Meme Challenges, Luna Jubilee had previously done a 52 Weeks of Color challenge, there was a Disney themed challenge at one point hosted by Natalie Oodles@ StyleMinions. While my latter two examples have been long done, Strawberry invites bloggers to participate at any time in her challenges. Sometimes the challenges are as simple as taking a picture like with the SL Bare Face Challenge. I, myself, am not aware of any new or ongoing challenges currently going on at this time – but that does not meant they aren’t out there. OR maybe come up with your own idea for a challenge and ask people to participate. It’s a fun way to see how creative people can be when coming at the same idea from different perspectives.
Blog Promo Idea #5: Find a niche that people will look to you to fill.
Find an idea or topic that you can return to in your blog posts that people will look at your blog to find when they are looking for an idea to use for themselves. For example, I recently started an “SL:On Location” topic within my blog. And so far it seems to be bringing people in to see where I am exploring in Second Life and in turn they will click on other posts in my blog and hopefully will return again when they see a new location post being advertised whether in Flickr, Facebook, etc. Maybe you could do creator interviews or a current events calendar type post, the ideas are endlessly varied. Come up with something you enjoy – you’re bound to find others that enjoy the same things.
Blog Promo Idea #6: Keep the momentum going.
I don’t know about you, but when I find a blog that I really enjoy I tend to check back pretty regularly to see what new stuff they’ve done. It’s a disappointment when you go back to see that the blog hasn’t had a new post in weeks or months. Now we all know how life can interfere with well… everything. That’s just how it works sometimes. However, barring any outside craziness, set yourself a blogging schedule and try to stick to it. Try posting twice a month, once a week, more maybe… but whatever your blogging schedule – keep it going. Your regular, reliable posting will draw people in and hopefully have them anticipating your next post.
Blog Promo Idea #7: Let creators/stores/event planners, etc. know when you’ve covered them.
Drop them a quick notecard with a link to your blog post that features their products or event. Just a nice little “I really liked such and such and so I put it in my blog. You can check it out here (put your link) whenever you get a chance. And thanks for making such awesomeness for me to share.” While you may not get any feedback, the point of this is that they know you’ve taken the time to share their hard work with others and hopefully will appreciate it. 🙂
No matter how you choose to promote your blog, it takes time – not only to spread the word, but also for the word to get “out there”. Don’t lose hope if it seems to take a while and remember – there are a lot of us out there in the same situation so just reach out, one of us will be around to help should you need it.
[NOTE: The credits for the pic in this post can be found here.]