In Response To Friend Friday: Shameless Self Promotion

Last Friday’s Friend Friday topic was all about self promotion, or rather blog promotion… what’s appropriate, what’s too much, what’s just plain annoying? A common thread that I found particularly interesting was the notion of spammy comments.  MOST of the Friend Friday bloggers agreed that these types of comments are all of the above…inappropriate, too much, and just plain annoying.  So what is a spammy comment, you ask?  Well they some to fall into the following categories:

  • irrelevant.
  • disingenuous
  • lacking insight or perspective 
  • poorly disguised trite compliments used as a mere host for your own blog’s link.

The last of these categories resonated with me the most for a few reasons:

  1. When I first started my blog I always left my link in my comments on other blogs primarily because I was a new blogger and quite frankly I didn’t know how else I was supposed to get the word out that I was here. That being said, I had been a loyal reader of  most of these blogs LONG before I started my own blog.  I loved running across WordPress blogs or blogs with Disqus because they provided fields to leave all your information.  (This is also what led me to switch to Intense Debate for comment son my blog. I sincerely wanted to know who was reading my blog and if they had a blog too.)  I never even considered that it might be blogger taboo to leave a link until the topic came up at the IFB Evolving Influence conference.
  2. I don’t always have something particularly profound or insightful to say about every post I read, especially when it comes to outfit post blogs.  Sometimes, all I have to say is “Wow. You look super cute.” or “I love those shoes” or “That is a great hat.”  (you get the point).  I guess I could simply not comment, but just as I am compelled to tell complete strangers on the street how much I love what they’re wearing, I am also compelled to shower compliments on my fellow bloggers.  If I’m leaving a comment at all, you can rest assured that I actually read the post, and most likely I am a frequent reader.  Any comment that I leave is sincere although it may not be insightful in the least bit.  I’d honestly rather have my real readers leave short comments or compliments, than no comment at all.  I will be the first to admit that as a blogger, comments serve as validation. My stats tell me that people are reading, but my comments tell me what people think of what they are reading and that is equally important (not that my content is going to change either way).  By the way, this is not an attempt to defend myself because I don’t think that my comments have ever been considered spammy. These were just the thoughts that ran through my head as I read various posts last Friday.
  3. Piggybacking on #2, there are so many new bloggers out there that would love to have any acknowledgment that people are reading their blog,  Perhaps because I am a newer blogger myself, I can totally understand where they are coming from.  Blogging is a lot of work, and as you’re growing and trying to find your voice, you just want someone to acknowledge your your blog’s existence and you treasure EVERY comment even the ones that just say “I love your shoes.”  I guess I just feel for new bloggers.

On that note, Deon of KdrS left the comment blow on my Friend Friday post…

“I am so happy that you posted this. We at KdrS have been having a big problem with promotion. We have over 100 people view our blog each day and just this week we reached 21 followers. We have not been blogging very long but we are posting our little hearts out and NO one leaves comments and No one follows us. I am really starting to think that we are just not as interesting as we think we are… ha ha. Okay, I’m sorry I have a lot to say about this post… bear with me. I sometimes feel bad about leaving my link after my comment but I do know that it works sometimes… I guess that is where we are getting our views from but now I have a question… How do you get people to follow? We are on Twitter— we are on Facebook…. The more that I am writing the more I think I have answered my own question… There just not that into you”
By the way, Deon has been reading my blog for a while, and she ALWAYS leaves comments!  (I really appreciate that!)  Anyway, she poses an important question in light of our last Friday Friday topic. She doesn’t WANT to be a spammer, but she does want people to check out her blog.  She has tried some of the less obnoxious methods of promoting her blog — Twitter & Facebook, but she’s just not getting the readership she wants.  Sow how can she successfully promote her blog?  Well, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know the answer to this one.  I am grateful that my blog seems to have grown organically with little promotion (and it’s still growing).  Nonetheless,  V of Grit & Glamour and Eva of Dressful have provided some VERY great tips for promoting the growth of your blog in a more organic fashion.

In addition to checking out these articles, here are some of the promotional tools that other Friend Friday bloggers mentioned last week that stood out to me.

  • Participate in collective blogging efforts like Friend Friday or Kendi’s 30 for 30.
  • Get business cards and post cards for your blog (or even holiday cards).
  • Join the conversation and contribute IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers).
  • Make it easy for readers to follow via a variety of methods (twitter, facebook, bloglovin, google, RSS)
  • Just get out there an network!

So I guess the point of this post is two-fold:

  1. To decipher the difference between insincere, trite, spammy comments and sincere compliments.
  2. To point new bloggers in the direction of resources for how to build their blog “the right way” (if there is a right way!), or at least to build their blog without being a nuisance.  I’ve learned that while not much bothers me in the way of blog promotion, some things are particularly bothersome for other bloggers, ESPECIALLY more seasoned and mature bloggers.  The fact that these bloggers have been contributing to the blogger community for a long time gives them some credibility in my book and I do respect their opinions on the matter.

Does anyone else have any great tips or links to articles for new bloggers looking to promote their blogs?

Thanks for stopping by! 
(this thing is like an outline! sorry for all the bullets and numbering)
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