Newbie bloggers: how’s it going?

I just came across this blog written by Freya, a 17-year-old woman in India, who’s exploring feminism generally and the sexist culture of her own country particularly. She’s only been blogging for about a week, but I just want to encourage her to keep on writing and to find her own voice, even though she hasn’t received any comments yet. (I’m about to go and leave a comment there after publishing this post.)

Anyone else out there reading who’s just starting to blog? Say, within the last 6 months? Please, leave a comment telling us about your blog (and link to it, obviously). Let us know about you.

For the more experienced bloggers reading, have you come across any interesting newbie bloggers recently? Tell us about them. We all know that it’s hard getting people to take notice of you when you’re just starting out, so if there’s any advice you’d like to offer any lurking newbie bloggers (or lurkers who are vaguely thinking about becoming bloggers) please leave it in comments below.

My 2 major pieces of advice on getting noticed as a newbie blogger?

  1. Comment, comment, comment: leave comments on the blogs you read, and make sure that you link to your blog in the URL field when you leave your comment. Practise leaving relevant, substantive comments which further the discussion, and which perhaps link to other posts by other bloggers which are relevant to that post (including posts of your own, if they qualify). Be a generous commentor on other people’s blogs i.e. work to ensure an interesting discussion, not only to push your own blog, then other readers will find you interesting and will want to read other writings of yours.
  2. Trackback/Pingback: make sure that your blog “pings” any blogs that you link to in your posts i.e. that it sends “trackbacks” to those blogs. Some blogging platforms send trackbacks by default, other blogging platforms need the blog-owner to activate that option. That’s how I found Freya – she linked to a post of mine on the Feminism 101 blog, and I followed that trackback as I was looking through my blog-stats. In blogs which publish trackback links (not all do) it also provides another way for other readers to find you. There’s also nothing wrong (indeed, it’s often considered courteous) with leaving a comment which includes a manual trackback on blogs which don’t publish automatic trackbacks i.e. a link to your post with a one or two line summary of what points your post is responding to from the other blogger’s original post. There’s a bit of an art to doing this constructively rather than just coming across as a self-promoter, but that comes back to the advice above about being a generous commenter – make sure that what you write on other people’s blogs furthers those discussions.

Any reader who has definitively decided not to blog is also welcome to tell us why.

Categories: relationships

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15 replies

  1. There’s Lyn, who writes Notes from the Grey Lynn Singles Club. It’s not a new blog, but it’s recently revived, after a break since 2005.
    Deborah’s last blog post..Part-time smartschmuck-time

  2. And Stargazer Anjum, a Muslim woman in New Zealand.
    And an NZ group blog, The Hand Mirror, which is starting to get a bit of traction.
    Deborah’s last blog post..Part-time smartschmuck-time

  3. Thanks for the rec. I’ve added the coolfeminst blog to my daily reading list, and I left her a comment.
    I’m hoping that I might get around to starting a blog of my own later this year– after I finish my thesis.

  4. Beppie, I would totally read your blog.

  5. PICK ME! -jumps up and down-
    Yeah, I’m basically just posting whatever, whenever on my blog. I’m an Australian feminist teenager who really needed the space to vent.

  6. Beppie, it’s really not on to actually do the thesis instead of formulating ever-more sophisticated procrastination tools. I’m quite sure that much of the world’s creative work comes from people avoiding a thesis. Blogging, knitting, jigsaw puzzles, advanced kickboxing… advanced procrastination requires you to justify the procrastination as productive, ie. my blog will be a place where I discuss my research.
    After my co-blogging mates ditched the exercise in favour of Faceplant, I set up my own blog. It’s not very old, but I get traffic. In addition to the things you mentioned tigtog, I’d suggest getting involved with whatever blogging community events/challenges/blog for X day ideas that happen. Then you tend to get linked to on bigger name blogs. Obviously that’s also only productive if you are genuine in your interest/involvement. If you write good stuff, presumably people will come back!
    kate’s last blog post..Growing Challenge: Carrots & Daikon

  7. Submitting posts to carnivals is a good thing to do too. And when you feel up to it, offering to host one. Tho’ as Kate says, it needs to be in an area you are genuinely interested in.
    Thesis procrastination…. I had a very clean fridge.
    Deborah’s last blog post..Part-time smartschmuck-time

  8. thank you so much for noticing my blog. Yes it takes months for a blog to become really popular and ur comment was totally unexpected! thanx again.
    Thank you, Beppie for your comment! I visited ur blog and i noticed that u havent started posting yet.
    I do a lot of blogging because i love writing.This is my personal blog.
    Freya’s last blog post..Rape Victims: Why Shouldn’t They “Come Out”?

  9. Kate: the problem is that I already have plenty of procrastination tools that are stopping me from finishing my thesis. I’m very quickly approaching the stage at which I will become incredibly desperate, and will have to spend a few months intensively not doing anything but thesis-work (I really should be in that stage already). If I started a blog now, I’d probably maintain it for a few weeks and then abandon it when the desperation hits. I’d rather wait until the thesis is done so that I can maintain it properly over an extended period.

  10. Hello you newbies, and thanks Deborah for those links to others. Good luck with carving out your personal pockets of cyberspace!
    One other important piece of advice to mention is to think hard about font size and readability. There are quite a few gorgeous looking templates out there for people to choose which have very small fonts, or where the font colour doesn’t sufficiently contrast with the background to make reading easy. This will actively make some readers who click on your blog decide not to read any further, no matter how stylish it looks. (How many people know how to increase the size of the font they are viewing in their browser? Not as many as you might hope, and even the ones that do know how to might not want to make those extra clicks.)
    Ask friends whose bluntness you trust how easy your chosen template is to read. Ask a few people with aging eyes or other eyesight difficulties especially.

  11. Beppie, I understand. A friend keeps telling me how many weeks there are til the end of semester, which is when my essay is due. I prefer to write about my garden. This is a problem.
    But totally justifiable because I am Feeding My Child etc etc.
    kate’s last blog post..Growing Challenge: Carrots & Daikon

  12. Hi TigTog,
    I’ve started a ‘company’ blog at <a href="http://blog.sweetspot.dm</a&gt; about SweetSpot, which is a collaborative management service for diabetes. Yet I want the blog to have a larger voice than just about what is going on at SweetSpot and new features we’ve added. There are many interesting things to write about, whether it is about diabetes and growing up with it, or about a fresh-faced startup in the top-heavy medical field, etc. Finding the right balance between company and personal is tough; I have 4 drafts queued up waiting to be published, but I’m not sure if they are appropriate. So I’m slowly feeling my way into the blogosphere.
    Thanks TigTog for the post and encouragement!
    ps. Blogging is a bit addictive!
    Adam Greene’s last blog post..The Tick Tock of the Crocodile

  13. Hi, TigTog. I’ve been reading this blog for a while now and love it (anti-feminist bingo is a classic).
    I’ve been blogging since mid-January or so.
    It’s about New Orleans’ recovery from Katrina and also about radical feminism. Me – in other words, both sides of me, a NOLA girl and a feminist.
    I’m considering splitting the New Orleans stuff from the feminist stuff though. I’ve ended up feeling compelled to write about some really personal things – like rape and abuse – but I’m uncomfortable about it because there are some New Orleans guys linked to me because of the hurricane recovery side of things. So I could split it – but then at least half of the people who know me (from one topic or the other) would have to find me at another location. Damn. If I had it to do over, I would have split the topics.
    Oh well. Maybe they’re both just equally part of me.
    ceejay1968’s last blog post..V-Day

  14. I’ve just started blogging about feminist ideas that I might like to do my PhD thesis on next year. I’d love to get some feedback on what every thinks of these few news pieces that I’ve been looking at, and just some feedback in general! I love reading feminist blogs, but find there’s a lack of Australia-based ones.

  15. I’m not technically new (I’ve been on Blogspot for about a year), but I’ve only been posting with any real sort of focus in the past few months. Hi there and thanks for the love!
    I post about… well, quite a bit. Life as a young liberal in a very conservative Bible-belt city. Death and the funeral industry, lately, because I recently got a job at a funeral home. Feminism, and LGBT rights, naturally, because these are hugely important to me. I blog about tenants’ legal rights because I worked briefly for a rental-properties’ collections attorney and I got to see that nasty underbelly of an industry more up-close than I ever cared to, but now I want to use what I’ve learned to help renters navigate this jungle in which the laws, really, are stacked against them, and hopefully provide some advocacy, and help them avoid the crap I saw (and sadly, had to perpetrate myself while I worked there.)
    And every Monday, since Mondays are generally crappy, I blog something funny and/or interesting about POOP!
    Midgetqueen’s last blog post..Taming the Hellpit

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