Sunday, March 07, 2010

MBS Spanko Brunch #216


Welcome back to our weekly gathering. This brunch is a forum to discuss topics of interest within our community. Today, I seek your advice on a question that is close to my heart.

What can we do to promote and encourage new bloggers?

I would love to hear your suggestions. Just enter a comment below and when we're finished, I will post an edited summary of our conversation. Thanks in advance for sharing your insights!

16 comments :

Poppy said...

You do so much to encourage and promote new bloggers- you should tell us!
When I was brand (ahem) spanking blogger you said hello and put a ink up on your site. I had been reading you for ages and that you not only acknowledged me but linked to me made me blush and feel that I must have something to say because look where I found myself.
So I will follow your lead, I must put more links up on my little space. Although mine is a mini space and I don't think i can promote anyone yet as I am not well known enough yet- but maybe that is not the point.

Oh, I am all in knots now.

From - confused of an English Shire

Sara said...

I am so glad you asked Bonnie, because it is something I have been thinking about lately. What Poppy said, Me too, as you know. You helped to get me started and have supported so many of us in this community. I wonder if we could better follow your lead by not only going out of our way to read and comment on new blogs, but also to post and link to your "In With The New" posts...to spread the word?

Richard Windsor said...

One suggestion that I have, because I am as guilty as anyone for not doing it, is for those of us who have established blogs to make the rounds of the newer blogs and leave them some comments. Kind of like encouraging them knowing that we are reading them. I guess it would be like 'Love our lurkers' but in reverse, have people comment on someone else's blog :-)

A.S.S. said...

Fellow bloggers can link to new blogs and/or mention them in a post. We know when we were first starting out that meant a lot to us. The wink we got from MBS was a big boost... not only because it increased our hits, but it also made us feel like a part of the community. It was a big deal!

And then readers can leave comments. When you're starting a blog it's very natural to wonder... does anyone read this, does anyone care? Comments answer both of those questions in an encouraging way.

Sending an Email... "following" a blog... linking to/mentioning a specific post... voting in a poll (if they have them)... are some other things that can be done. Basically participate and show that their effort is appreciated.

We all benefit from new blogs too, so we all benefit when they're encouraged.

:)
~Todd and Suzy

Hermione said...

We can do a lot to encourage new bloggers:

Make return visits - New bloggers get a lot of traffic on the day In with the New introduces them. Go back a few times over the next week or two to see what else our new friends have to say.

Leave a comment - Each time you drop in, say a few words. it really doesn't matter what you say, although something friendly and encouraging is always nice.

Add to your blogroll - If you like the blog, add it to your blogroll. This will encourage your regular readers to go there too.

Post about the blogger - If you have reason to, mention a new blogger in a post, and include the link to that blog.

New bloggers can encourage readers in a few ways too:

Reply to comments - Always write a comment in response to the comments you receive. It doesn't have to be one for one; a single short comment might cover it, or a comment with one line for each commenter is always nice.

Post regularly - You don't have to write long or complex posts. Simple and straighforward works well, and speaking from your heart will appeal to your readers. Or if you have a picture blog, post frequently, even if it's only one picture at a time. In either case, you want to encourage your readers to come back.

Comment on other blogs - If you visit other blogs and leave comments, chances are those bloggers will return the favour and visit yours.

R Humphries said...

Hi Guys … If you find a new site that really piques your interest or that you think will be of particular interest to your readers of course add them to your blog-roll and maybe leave them a comment … but why not feature them in the body of your post, saying why you like them and a brief synopsis of the content … it only takes but a minute and a few words but those few words will go a helluva long way to make a new bloggers day … Cheers … RH.

Naomi said...

More comments!

Mark said...

I would suggest a FAQ or HOWTO on setting up and posting on a blog while maintaining your anonymity. Good blogs go away all the time (thinking of you Mike) because the veil was busted. I had to delete my blog and change my None de Plume because I got worried that I had posted "too much" about myself. I've learned a lot since then, but this isn't the kind of thing you want to learn by trial and error.

It wouldn't be a 'kink' if we were free to talk about it openly.

Curtis said...

I hope no one takes what I'm going to say here in the wrong spirit. I like this blog a lot as I do a number of others. But the universe of spanking-related blogs is so huge that it's difficult to sort through the ones you want to read. I know there are many who feel the need to express themselves about their world, their desires, their fulfillments, feelings and observations. And I know that some blogs resonate with some people and others with others. I'm grateful that Bonnie puts up her "in with the new" so those of us who are readers and sometimes commenters can check them out. And I'm very grateful for Richard's Spanking Universe contribution that allows us to see what updates we would like to look at. But while I would encourage any who want to enter the field to do so and hope that they will be welcomed, one could spend 24 hour days reading and commenting on all the spanking-related blogs that are out there. Which is also to say that not only should people be encouraged to do what they feel they want to do, but there also needs to be a way of sorting them out so people don't have, a bookmark list that's a mile long.

SPANKEDHORTIC said...

Poppy, R Humphries and Naomi, these are the opinions that I find myself more inclined to listen to, as to help out new bloggers, as they all have blogs that are six months old or less.

Many of us (I include myself in this) started in the spank blogging world two or more years ago. Since then the game and the rules of the game have changed out of all recognition. What helped us get started and encouraged us to keep blogging at that time is possibly very different from the elements that would help a new blog get started and keep going now.

How can we help new bloggers now? I have to admit that I do not really know because it is not the same now as when I started my blog. But I am willing to learn.

What I would like to see is successful bloggers, with blogs of less than six months of age, taking a good look at their stats and motivations and correlating them outside influences. They can then inform the more long term bloggers of the things that helped them. More established bloggers would then have a better idea of how things are working now and what helps new blogs get going and keep going in this day and age.

If we want to help new blogs we need to know what works for new blogs now, not several years ago.

Prefectdt

Florida Dom said...

To start with, if somebody leaves a comment on your blog and you don't recognize them, click on and check out their blog. And leave them a comment, especially if they're newcomers.

And whenever you come across a new blog or if Bonnie links to them, stop by and leave a comment and encourage them.

I know this may sound obvious but just wanted to repeat it.

FD

Daisychain said...

The best way to encourage new bloggers is to leave short but encouraging comments on their blog. Tips are handy too... especially if they are tips about how not to fall into a particular trap... re privacy, etc...
I received loads of encouragement at first, which helped to inspire me and made sure I continued.
Nothing worse than writing a blog and no-one commenting... Davey has given up writing for now; he was discouraged because he only had a few readers....shame, because there are so few "couple" bloggers, and I like to get the male and female perspective on each story....
Great topic, Bonnie xxxxxx

ronnie said...

Bonnie,

You've helped a lot of bloggers get started and been very supportive. If it wasn't for you some of us wouldn't be around. Thank you.

There a lot of very good suggestions and I really can't add any new ideas.
I agree maybe adding them to your own blog roll, always popping over and leaving a friendly greeting.
Always reply to a comment you've received.

Love.
Ronnie
xx

Mija said...

Like everyone says, comments are a help, especially early on. I think it also helps to remind new bloggers to put some sort of stat counter on their blog so they can see how and what their traffic and where it's coming from.

Only about one visitor in every 200 - 500 on my blog leaves a comment. Without a stat counter, I might assume I only had 20 or so readers!

Finally, for those who are starting blogs, focus on being readable -- make sure to look at your blog on different computers and browsers and pay attention to colors. I know I'm way more likely to read a blog if it's written in black text on a white or light background. Black background / light text makes for painful reading.

Karl Friedrich Gauss said...

As so many have said before, posting comments and taking an interest in the work of new bloggers is really crucial.

If you like how or what they write, make sure they're in no doubt that at least someone out there appreciates their effort!

R Humphries said...

Hi Guys ... don't often comment more than once but just a note on Mija's comment ... according to the Woody Geek Squad ...

The browsers all read code differently so what looks nice on your computer might not be the same on your visitors ... apparently the best check sequence is:

1. Mozilla Firefox
2. IE6 (even though its not much used)
3. Opera
4. Chrome
5. Safari
6. IE7
8. IE8

Also check the difference between viewing in 1024 screen and 1280 which makes a huge difference ... I work on a laptop at 1280 and everything looks fine but on a desktop at 1024 my page looks awful.

Sorry to gatecrash your brunch Bonnie with such mundane advise but we all know that with so many alternatives that if your page is hard to read or not appealling to visitors they will just move on ... I hope this was useful ... Cheers ... RH

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