Help me make my blog just a little more popular.
August 18, 2011 7:48 AM   Subscribe

For the sake of my ego and my ego alone, I want to make my pop culture blog just a little more popular without busting my hump or turning it into a second job.

I've had a blog, regularly updated 4 (well, 3, now that I am no longer underemployed) times a week. Nothing huge, just a paragraph or two or three about a piece of music or a video clip or a painting. When I make a new post, I syndicate it on Twitter, Facebook, G+ and LiveJournal. The first three are locked down pretty hard.

I get around 60 hits a day, climbing up to about 100 on a good day. I've got about 24 subscribers to the RSS feed, at least through Google Reader (I assume that's what the stat is telling me.) I'll get the occasional re-tweet or re-post or share, but not that often. I have a blogroll, and I'm on a few blogs (friends of popularity varying from "equally dinky" to "rather popular in some circles.") I comment here or there. Like I said, small beans. Most of my hits come from the fact that I am really high in the Google running for odd pieces of pop culture minutia.

So, this is small beans, but if I can channel the Jedi-level passive-agressiveness of my family for a second, it would be nice to get some more exposure. I've considered StumbleUpon-ing ever post, but I don't know how that will go over on their end. I've also considered sharing all my posts on Google Reader, but I am pretty sure everyone I am friends with already subscribes to the blog anyway and that would just be bothersome.

I don't want to monetize. I don't want to be a sensation. I just want a little more exposure. What do I do?
posted by griphus to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, I forgot to mention: this thing is going to be two years old come October.
posted by griphus at 7:50 AM on August 18, 2011

Have you already created a separate, unlocked Twitter account that ONLY posts links to updates on your blog? Posting links to your locked-down Twitter account seems like not the best way to promote yourself.

You might also want to consider creating a Tumblr where you post "teaser" quotes and then link to the full article on your site -- Tumblr is a big way that people find new content right now.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:51 AM on August 18, 2011

Are you willing to pay, even a small amount of money? You might find running ads on Facebook useful. I got a few hundred hits a day on one of my blogs for about a $5-10 a day.

Also, the single biggest thing you could do to retain readers is update at least once a day. Even having a regular posting schedule helps, but it's easier to bring people back if visiting you is part of their daily (or at least weekdaily) routine. That'll help you take much better advantage of incoming blogroll links, because it'll make people much more likely to stick around.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:57 AM on August 18, 2011

Posting a blog article to a relevant section of a social aggregation site always helps. Digg or Reddit would be the 2 most widely used ones, but there maybe others that fit your niche (for example, I post mine on DZone, which is a development themed site).

You may want to read up on SEO (to increase traffic), Calls to Action (to increase reader retention) and other types of content generation that are easily shareable (infographics, images, etc).
posted by pyro979 at 8:08 AM on August 18, 2011

Came in to recommend Tumblr as well. Although I'd prefer full posts there, as I tend to get stuck in my dashboard, and don't want to leave for another website if I don't need to.
posted by backwards guitar at 8:17 AM on August 18, 2011

Are you really exercising reciprocation by going around to what your subscribers might be doing, re-tweeting, re-posting and sharing and or visiting other complementary blogs and writing thoughtful and articulate comments after reading their posts (so that people follow them back to you?) to the Jedi-level of passive-aggressiveness? I think getting a little political, but still genuine, about where you comment, on which blogs and whose groups and would make a big difference.

But I'm old-school, and think a lot of blogging is having a unique voice, making the personal connections and attracting readers by things like giveaways and contests. And I'm also old, and came from the world of "mommyblogging" and in real life, sales; but the bloggers I know who have done very well for themselves, for every one hour on a post, would spent at least two hours reading, commenting and complimenting (and now spend as much time sharing and tweeting and stuff). For the record, most have now turned their blogging into careers, working for places like BlogHer or running the online social networking of places like book publishers, blog aggregates, frivolous shopping websites, and the social network sites of magazines and newspapers and governments; and this all came from working the network of readers and other connected bloggers they developed in this way. But things have changed, with all these young whippersnappers and their tumblrs and such and get offa my lawn.
posted by peagood at 8:31 AM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]

When I was running a political blog, I had success by "pitching" my posts to the writers of other blogs.

After I wrote a blog post that I thought was notable I would shoot an email to the writers of other, similar blogs. The format was something like.

"Good Day!

My name is Duane Roelands and I write a blog called "Disintegrator" that covers many of the same topics as yours. I've just published a post that I thought you and your readers might find interesting. The URL is, and I have included the text of the post below for your convenience.

Thanks for your time!


I found that this worked fairly well. The important points are:
- Include the text of your post in the email. Don't make the recipient visit your site. If your writing compels, they''l visit of their own volition.
- Be positive and professional. They know what you're doing; trying to drive some more traffic to your blog.
- Once you've sent the email, don't pester. If your writing compels, they'll blog about it. :)
posted by DWRoelands at 8:33 AM on August 18, 2011

It's a pretty good blog, but you're posting at a trickle, and internet people are creatures of habit above all else. I'd suggest one of

- post twice as often
- post twice as long

and take the time away from posting on here, or other forums if you're on any of those, if you have to take it from somewhere.

If you do that, you should get more people to stick to it, and then you can try the social-networking whatevers. Build it and they will come.
posted by furiousthought at 10:28 AM on August 18, 2011

Can you seek out an interview, even with a lower-level celeb (but aim higher, of course!), that might drive some traffic to your site? I have a friend who was able to interview some relatively dormant sitcom actors from the past and she did see a bump in traffic for those specific pieces and then also for her future regular posts. It can be as simple as emailing them questions and posting their answers...
posted by thorny at 10:33 AM on August 18, 2011

It's only within the past 6 months or so that my blog rose from between 30-40 visitors a day to over a hundred, and sometimes much more than that. Here's what I did to make that happen:
  • Posted frequently to a message board where people shared information on the topic of my blog, with my blog link in my signature of every post.
  • Wrote a few controversial blog posts on my topic.
  • Participated in a few vociferous online debates/flame wars on the topic which got my comments and posts linked around.
  • Worked generally on professionalization in my topic, establishing myself as more of an expert in my field (okay, I'm a writer, and I got an agent, and hits have exploded since then).
  • Written guest posts on my topic at a few popular blogs.
  • Continued to post regularly in a way that established my online persona and voice and distinguished my blogging about my topic from others in my field.
  • Interviewed a few celebrities within the field on my blog.
Essentially, being distinctive, professional, and opinionated has served me well. I've never done giveaways or contests (I really don't want readers who are just there for swag), but I do respond to all comments and make it clear that my blog is a place for discussion and debate, not just grandstanding or (for readers) cheerleading.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:25 PM on August 18, 2011

Oh, also, I post links to my posts to an unlocked twitter account. I get a not-insignificant amount of traffic that way, via retweets.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:27 PM on August 18, 2011

More specifically, looking at your blog, I see a lot of great nostalgia/retro related content but the styling and header don't make it clear that this is what you're posting about. I wonder if you'd be better served narrowing the focus, or even just making that focus clearer (how about an "about" page with content?!).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:37 PM on August 18, 2011

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