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Building a better blog

Larry has some great advice for bloggers concerning site design and generating traffic to your blog. I recommend them both.

The issue of generating blog traffic has occasionally been dicey. Just before I moved from Blogspot to this site I got spammed a couple of times by a new blogger who sent messages to a bunch of people, including big names like Mickey Kaus and Josh Marshall, announcing his blog. I checked it out and might have given him a mention as a fellow progressive if he’d had a link to me on his site. That peeved me, and I wrote a snarky post lampooning him for it. Immature, I know, but it felt good at the time.

After I got permalinked on TAPPED, I received some more mail like that. I checked out each link, was generally unimpressed, and chose not to respond. Unsolicited email could work, especially if you’re asking for feedback on a specific post, but really, if you want someone’s attention it just seems like the polite thing to do to give some attention (a link, a comment, a response to a post) first. The other way just seems lazy and impudent to me.

(I swear, every time I think about this subject, I sound like a Walter Matthau character: “You new bloggers don’t know what it was like getting traffic in the old days! All we had was Blogdex and referral logs! We considered ourselves lucky if our parents and spouses read our blogs! And we liked it that way!”)

(Ahem. Go read Larry’s posts. I’ll be over here in the corner talking back to the television.)

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  1. Mike Finley says:

    I have sent out links and even full posts to bloggers I admired, including you, Charles. Not everyone arises from the sea fully formed and knowing all the fine points of net etiquette — or even if they are aware of them, not feeling constrained by them.

    Me, I’m a freelance writer, so I show my work to people. That’s my metier in life, and I brought it with me to blogging. It really is like being a door to door encyclopedia salesman, and you become callused to rejection.

    So when people blew up at me for this violation, I blinked, but I couldn’t understand why they were so furious about it. Where was the injury?

    Anyway, you were very nice and welcoming to me, and I thank you for it.


  2. I await my crown, staff, and orb.

  3. One difference in your case, Mike, was that I knew from my referral log that you’d been reading me. I was just another sales target to the person who I rebuked in my blog. It really does matter, at least to me.

    Your sceptre is in the mail, Larry. We had to send it COD, so be sure to have your wallet handy when the postman arrives.

  4. Woohoo! You packed it in cod! My favorite fish!