How do you publicise your weblog? July 14, 2001 9:47 AM   Subscribe

where do you guys go to publicize your projects? not that i'm a media slut or anything, but i've lately been writing some python scripts that would do away with the need to use a service such as Blogger or even GreyMatter. i get maybe a couple of hits every now and then, and those probably from blogger's last 10 updated list. if i stop using blogger, the one or two emails i do get every month or so will stop.

sorry if this seems like a sort of taboo subject, but i'm honestly curious. do ya just google? what sorts of resources are there for people to search for weblogs or publicize new ones?
posted by moz to General Weblog-Related at 9:47 AM (18 comments total)

I rarely go to Blogger's home page to find any blogs.

I have stopped reading web logs because most are just teeming with "S/He has a nice site;" or "I love this" kinda entries.

I now only read the blogs who's URL I remember. In the past few months the only blogs I have read are Kottke, Q News, USS Clueless, Camworld, RC3, Anil Dash, Lake FX, Donkeymon, (and some times Megnut, Cheesedip, Sapphireblue and Rebecca's Pocket.) I don't think I have any other URLs memorized. Only other blog I wish I could read regularly is that of Oliver Willis. But he posts what's on his mind pretty frequently on MeFi, saving me the trip to go over his blog. All other blogs just are mostly remote and distant with cookie cutter entries.

What I really want to know is what is the C in RCB.
posted by tamim at 11:09 AM on July 14, 2001

sign up on

link to your favorite sites and click through to them from your page (trust me, people will investigate)

send a note to the webloggers (and others) you admire most, commenting on something they've posted (only if you have something real to say - don't just make something up)

send a note to someone you admire, telling them so (you *do* have your weblog in yoru sigfile, don't you?)

post to mailing lists and the like, intelligently, with that all important sigfile

post to mefi (I get hits from my user page every day)

don't be a slut, just get your self out there and wait for word of mouth. it's slow, but it's the only way.

posted by rebeccablood at 11:47 AM on July 14, 2001

I've been struggling with this concept and have concluded that there's no answer I consider acceptable except to practice patience. I've been running my web log now for three months and slowly but surely network effect has been building my readership. I used to consider myself lucky when I got 50 hits in a day. It's now uncommon for me to get less than 200. (I'm "USS Clueless", by the way.)

In my case I have a hook to bring new people in because I have a resource page linked to from one of the "" pages, which consistently brings in 10-20 page views per day. They're going to my CDMA FAQ, but some will check my main page, like what they see, and keep coming back. I know that some of my regular readers have found me that way.

My CDMA FAQ got linked by "" over a year ago and it's been bringing in steady traffic all that time. I didn't ask for it and I'm not completely sure how they found me; possibly through my postings to alt.cellular.sprintpcs. Maybe has a relevant web page about what you're working on? If so, there will be a person responsible for it and you can mail them. When I moved my CDMA FAQ to my new server, I mailed the Cellphone interest editor and he updated the link to me.

Another possibility (which I haven't done) is to get yourself linked by Yahoo, if you can find an appropriate category for the tools you're developing.

One answer which seems to help is "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." I've been watching my referrer logs closely and whenever I see a new one I check it, and if it's actually got a link to me then I add it to a list I keep. Even if it's transient, my back-link is permanent. I think this encourages people to link to me. It's certainly painless and cheap, so if it helps at all it's worth trying.

I do wish I had more traffic, but I'm not unhappy with what I have and particular with the trends. If things continue as they have I'll be at acceptable levels by the end of the year.

By the way, are you aware that Greymatter isn't like Blogger? I use it and it runs self-contained on my server. I'm not sure Noah even knows I'm using it, and I haven't used his server since I did my download. I chose Greymatter precisely because it is self contained, because I don't want to be at the mercy of someone else to update my own site. If Pyra ever bites the big one, a lot of people are going to be left high and dry. If Noah takes his server offline it won't affect me at all. It is, in fact, exactly what you say you're working on, that being a bunch of scripts you download and install. It's pretty slick, too, though it is a bit intimidating when you first try to use it, since it optimizes flexibility at the expense of ease of setup. But because of that Greymatter sites don't have that uniform-feel that, for instance, Manila sites seem to have.

Everything I use runs locally. I don't rely on anyone else's server. I'd have been willing to pay for Greymatter because it runs on my server, so getting it free was just gravy.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:50 AM on July 14, 2001

rebecca + steve:

thanks for the advice. i appreciate it.


yah, i have greymatter downloaded on my computer, and i do remember that it runs more or less locally. i am writing my own logging system because i need the practice in python. if i do finish my own system, i'm sure it'll be incredibly bare bones but it'll do what i want it to do. i don't think i'll be releasing the scripts, but... (i'm actually nearly finished writing it. not using a formal database like mysql makes things a lot easier.)
posted by moz at 12:50 PM on July 14, 2001

Also, Jerry Kindall runs the mefi-projects mailing list.

Check it out...

posted by fooljay at 1:05 PM on July 14, 2001

I've been running my site for about three weeks now, and frankly, I was thinking about starting a thread like this, but didn't have the cojones. I'm now regularly topping 25 visits a day. Woo-hoo!

So far three or four other sites have linked to me. Eerily, one of them is a weblog belonging to the woman I mentioned in the KayCee threads -- the one who faked her own death on an older online service. The first real confirmation I've had that she was, as I suspected, a faker was when her referrer started showing up in my logs...

I've also redirected traffic from my older domains to my new site and get a few hits a day from those.

And I have a couple of bits of modestly popular Mac freeware that will eventually drive me some more traffic when I release a new version. Giving stuff away is always a good way to get people to notice you.

I am considering some sort of a contest involving the taglines on my page's main site (there are 20+ of them and they change once a day -- a contest where you have to e-mail me all of them would require visiting the site once a day). The problem then becomes, how to promote the contest?

Don't forget the MeFi-Projects mailing list as a potential promotional venue if you have made some major change to your site recently.
posted by kindall at 1:10 PM on July 14, 2001

By the way, in addition to the above suggestions, I would also say: write about stuff (or create stuff) which interests you. If you write for traffic, it will be apparent, because your spirit won't be in the writing. If you write about things you're interested in and especially things you feel strongly about, people will stick around longer because it's genine and there's always someone out there with a common interest.

The key is not getting MORE traffic, but retaining repeat traffic as much as possible. That's also a main tenet of business (esp Internet business)...

One other thing: Make it easy for your audience. I just recently switched to a split format (journal & blog) because I kept hearing from people that they wanted to hear more about one or the other. While they were combined, I was tenative in writing a great deal in depth on either side of that fence. Splitting them gave me the freedom to write about my life and also write about stuff on the web, without cluttering one page up with stuff that one group or the other doesn't want to read.

I also stripped down my page and broke the site up into more pages. This compartmentalization makes sense on other sites I've been to because sometimes the "everything in one page" format is overwhelming.

I don't know if either of those things really made a difference, but I do know that my traffic (and repeat traffic) jumped immensely since those changes...

You can't hurry love, no, you just have to wait...
posted by fooljay at 1:14 PM on July 14, 2001

kindall, i love the rotating title bit (is that what you were talking about?). i was going to try it, but.. yeah, what i read went over my head. love "that's calvinism!"

my best advice (even though i'm not really an aficionado in bringing in the sessions [not hits, sessions!].), aside from what's already been said (especially rebecca's wonderful suggestions.) would be to provide content people want. wether it's humor, community, or just anything nicely written, if it's good, it will draw people in... if not, then you can always look back and have the privelidge of being able to read what you were thinking about and how you were thinking about it later. .... .... i could be really wrong though.

i think i'm going to just make a blog entry where i just link 30 people... or not. i never was big into having links permanently on my frontpage. i have all that in my links section. if i really did like a site, i'd probably have links to it on my frontpage frequently anyway, since i'd probably refer people via blog mention.
posted by lotsofno at 4:15 PM on July 14, 2001

for that nicely written link, make that correctly linked. i should use the preview function in metatalk more, instead of being so arrogant with the direct post.
posted by lotsofno at 4:17 PM on July 14, 2001

to build on what's been said here:
- lotsofno: my links list is on a separate page from my weblog. all that matters is that you have one.

- to offer a different approach from steven's, I don't do reciprocal links; to some extent I'm building my reputation with my links (and you'd be surprised at the kind of sites that have actually asked me to link them.) to me a link is a free-will love gift, on both sides. YMMV.

- you have to do it for yourself. it doesn't matter how many people read you every day, there will always be many, many more who don't, always. always.

there will always be weblogs that you link to and admire that never link back to you.

you can't worry about any of that. it has to be something you enjoy doing. if you stop enjoying writing it and putting it up, stop, and go spend your time doing something you do enjoy. obsessing on the size of your audience is the way to madness.

- fooljay reminded me, and to me it's the single most important thing: it's not about having a large audience, it's about having the right audience. if 1000 people look at your site in a day and never give it a second thought, what have you gained? if 15 people look forward to reading your site every day, that's something.

- do it from your heart, not what you think you should be doing, but what genuinely interests you. don't be afraid of changing what you're doing if you start to get bored.

your audience is one thing: your discipline. it's the thing that makes you put something up every day or every week. their size and their taste actually doesn't matter an iota. it's a way to get you out there on a regular basis.

if you get bored and start doing something different, your audience may become smaller, but who cares? it's really not about them; it's about finding out who you are, what you have to say, and how it is that you say it.

paradoxically, that's the surest way to attract (over time) *your* audience.
posted by rebeccablood at 5:23 PM on July 14, 2001

tamim What I really want to know is what is the C in RCB.

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. :)
posted by rebeccablood at 5:25 PM on July 14, 2001

Oh, and I forgot to say something before: You have to know WHY you're on the web.

I do my stuff for two reasons: ME FIRST and THEM SECOND.

In other words, what I'm posting on the web is mainly for my own reference. My journal is there to remind me where I've been and my weblog is as a little link chest of referential goodness.

I also, in some respects do it for others, not because I want them to read, but because I know that they already do. Many of my friends read my journal because they want to see what's up in my life and are too lazy to call (or vice-versa). Some people read my weblog because they find the same things interesting that I do.

I guess what I'm trying to say (in an OH so brief fashion) is that I typically find sites compelling that are REAL. I don't pander and I generally don't censor, and I regularly enjoy reading others who operate in the same way.

That said, if you're out there to attract attention or inspire others, you've just got to do it a bit differently. That's what the entire entertainment industry is about, nes pas?

OK, I feel like I'm rambling, but don't know how to put it any differently.
posted by fooljay at 6:22 PM on July 14, 2001

RCB: "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. :)"

For the longest time I thought my epitaph would read: "A man who lived for the phrase, "Been there, done that," had been to almost everywhere, except a Ladies' Room." Then earlier this year after I helped set up the banquet hall for a friend's wedding, I had to go to the ladie's room to change. Apparently it locked from inside. Besides the absence of urinals, there were nothing special about it.

I guess my headstone will now read: "He finally knew what C is."

posted by tamim at 6:42 PM on July 14, 2001

You can tack onto there "but died because he refused to tell".

So do tell... :-)
posted by fooljay at 8:42 PM on July 14, 2001

Even though I'm not getting nearly as many hits as most of the people commenting here, I can tell you where most of mine that aren't links of the kind rcb first mentioned come from: commenting.

Whenever you see someone who has a comments area and you have something to say, don't hesitate. (If you don't have anything to say, don't bother, of course.) Rarely when I make a comment on someone's page do I not get a few visitors from it.
posted by fidelity at 8:44 PM on July 14, 2001

Yeah, the rotating titles bit is exactly what I was talking about, lotsofno. I have a Linksys cable/DSL router I don't need anymore and was thinking about making that the prize. The contest would be to collect all my rotating page titles (the tip I posted on how to do it is long obsolete), and here's the hard part: they must be posted IN ORDER and with the correct one first. (I'd post and say "Today is the fifth rotating title" or whatever.)

There are links to all the blogs I read regularly on my site. They're there for me, mostly, so after I post my morning update I can check to make sure it got up there properly, then hit my regular readings. This may eventually get me noticed by some of the people I link to, as well, but it's not why they're there.

Another good idea, by the way, is to supplement your site with a mailing list of some sort. I will probably at some point provide a daily mailing of posts to my site for people who don't want to remember to visit every day.
posted by kindall at 9:08 PM on July 14, 2001

rebecca hit what I think is the most important way to get people coming to your site: Sigfiles. I was a regular poster at for a year or so before I started my website, so when I finally did, I had a built-in regular audience because I could just put a link on every 4degreez post and people who liked what I wrote would visit my site. Not huge, only 3-4 regulars, yet all but one of my original visitors still visit's my site to this day (not to mention some others who have made the trip over). So community sites like 4degreez or even Metafilter can help you gain an audience.

Granted, I'm not getting a huge amount of visits every day (my biggest day was 128 visits - just a few days ago), and most of them are coming from search engines to pages other than my weblog.

I think the best advice I ever read is this:

Ten tips for creating a bionic weblog

He talks a bit about traffic and why not to worry about it and sort of how to get some more. Its probably the best advice anyone starting a weblog could read and I wish more blogs would contain the sort of qualities that article speaks of. If you were to read my archives, I think you could possibly pinpoint the first day in which I read that article.

Damn, I'm rambling a lot here, so I'll stop:)
posted by tallman at 11:37 AM on July 17, 2001

yes to all the above, plus use metatags and submit your site to as many search engines as you can. i get most of my 'sessions' from aol and yahoo searches. unfortunately most people find me searching for, can i say these things (intended pun) on metafilter, 'giant cock' and/or 'giant pussy'; my web log being giantkicks.
posted by giantkicks at 11:45 PM on July 22, 2001

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