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?
- 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.
- 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.