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31DBBB Progress 
9th-Apr-2009 02:49 pm
shiny, thing
31 Days to Build a Better Blog continues apace; the three days so far have been useful and good. If you're not taking part, but you read people who are, you may or may not have guessed that day 2 was to write a list post.

My list post was yesterday's entry; LiveJournal for People who don't have a LiveJournal. This is actually something I'd already started, and just happened to fit Day 2 criteria, even though I didn't finish it until yesterday. The purpose of writing that was to give a guide to any new readers who came to the LiveJournal from outside sources (the biggest source of outside readers to my blog right now is, I think, the Liberal Conspiracy). For that reason I shall be linking the post around my journal to make it easier to find.

Day 3 (yesterday)'s take was to promote a Blog Post. This is a combination of "doing that already" and "I'd never do that" - no idea if it's because I'm a giant national stereotype, but self-promotion just seems improper. This is partly because word-of-mouth and linkage is the biggest draw of readership on the internet, and so relies on other people to take the initiative. I belong to at least one mailing list for a daily link blog, and I'm aware of how annoying it is when people self-promote every blog they ever write. There's a culture growing up that suggests it's just not on to promote your own blog. On a rational level I think this is nonsense, but I still have to overcome the ingrained barriers to blow my own trumpet when my trumpet is particularly shiny.

Darren suggested using the List Post; which I wouldn't necessarily do if I'd written '10 queer women in fiction' (a post I still might write), but I think I want yesterday's post to get around. So I used Darren's suggestions as a check list and went from there.

Some were clearly not relevant to me; my blog is an opinion area, and I don't have a 'newsletter'. I'm not willing to pay for advertising, and it's not relevant for mainstream media (yet) or article marketing,

Others I do automatically - I had to make myself 'pitch' myself to the one person I know who cares about the relationships between LiveJournal and srsbsns blogs (and he didn't link to me), but I find that when I write interesting things people in my immediate friends circle link to me anyway. So far I've seen three people link to me, one of which caused my first ever pingback_bot, which was nice.

Social messaging is all on automatic; the post, like every LJ post I write, auto-generated both a Twitter update through Twitterfeed and a note on  Facebook. It's also on blog networks on Facebook, but until I obtain more followers, I don't think that does anything. (Hey, why not join my blog network? I'll return the favour).

I also tend to internally link whenever I don't want to repeat myself. The LJ vs blogging post specifically is now in my userinfo, sidebar and revamped memories, as one of the reasons I wrote it is to point anyone to it when they come to LJ from outside sources. I occasionally include further reading lists in my longer posts; I should include my own writing more. I also comment in other blogs quite a lot, and very occasionally if I've said something relevant, I'll link it. I could do a few more follow up posts, but I do that often enough as well.

There were, however, a couple of things in that post I don't do, and I have now; I've added a link to my journal from my innerbrat email signature (not comfortable yet with having it in my Real Name address. Soon, though), and I had a look at Social Bookmarking.

I'm a member of Delicious and Stumbleupon (and as of today - Digg), but I only really use Delicious, and this is because I like the blog post tool (when it works) - it leads to a more attractive layout than using Twitterfeed to do so - and having more than one way to bookmark is too much like work for me. Because of this specifric usage, social bookmarking as a whole is pretty alien to me; a shame because I think it's a great tool for bloggers.

This is one of those things, however, I don't feel comfortable with initiating myself. I bookmark blog posts I like, but I shall not deliberately link to my own. So I haven't submitted my own post to any of the sites. BUT, I have now added StumbleUpon and Digg buttons to that post, using the following code:

Obviously the URL and titles need to be changed for individual entries. But that way people can add them as they want. Unfortunately, Delicious buttons require Javascript, and I can't use that in LiveJournal.

Anyway, today (Day 4), I think I may skip, as the subject is Analyze a Top Blog in Your Niche, and I've been doing too much internet reading already today. Not to mention that I don't really have a niche, and I already read the people I'd most like to emulate. So that's that. Tomorrow I might be on track.
9th-Apr-2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
I've not be impressed by this suggestions for Build a Batter Blog. That's why even though I'm getting them I haven't bothered to do them.
9th-Apr-2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
There is a way to add a delicious button to your S2 style, I've not finished it yet as I can't figure out S2 enough to get the variable right, but it's there on my friends list &c.

When I've figured out the variable, it'll be there for del, LJ, Dw (I got me a beta account) and probably stumbleupon. Not Digg. Possibly LibDig.

And yeah, some of the stuff is self explanatory, some of it is counter productive, some irrelevent, some good.

I also don't have a niche for my LJ, but I did have one for the old politics blogs. But my specific niche was pretty much empty when I was doing that, hence I got to the top fairly quickly. Now there are many better ones, which saves me the effort.
10th-Apr-2009 10:02 am (UTC)
I'm not a major fan of hacking S2 because it means new LJ features don't integrate that well. I'm thinking of the best way to phrase the suggestion to LJ themselves - get them to include social networking buttons or ask for footers so we can add them ourselves?
10th-Apr-2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
That's not actually a bad plan. I might suggest it at Dreamwidth as well, they're already integrating Twitter and Delicious to profiles &c.
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