Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Underachiever or Just Under-marketed?

So my overachiever gene is kicking into high gear lately and nagging at my blogging ego. You see, I've been blogging for almost a year now, and am beginning to feel a bit discouraged, overwhelmed, lost, or whatever. It seems the the rest of my fellow bloggers have figured out something that I haven't. And so, like a little girl who didn't get invited to the neighborhood party, I'm feeling a little left out.

So I'm going to ask questions of you experience bloggers out there and hope for some helpful advice.

1. How do you get those snazzy mastheads? Did you pay someone to design it for you? Did you do it in Adobe or Powerpoint or something? Or (in Tumble Dry's case) are you married to a talented designer?

2. Where do I get a site meter? And how to install?

3. Should I list my blog somehere? I've noticed there are blogging community sites. Is it worth listing there?

I'd like to "pimp out" my blog and up my readership. And like many of you, I've been told it's all worth reading, so how do I get it out there? I'm at a technological loss. Suggestions please...or at least an invite (wink).


KHS said...

1. Some people make them. Others hire someone to do the design. You can plug in any html design into the template with blogger. Some people also find typepad an easier interface.

2. Site meters abound on the net. Most are free-- at least for a certain amount of information. I wanted a small, understated one. The URL is http://www.statcounter.com/ They will generate the html code for you to plug in to your template. You just have to place it in the right location. If you see one you like that someone else has, try clicking it to see the wesite. Or right-click it and select properties. Sometimes that will show you the html code and you can copy it and paste it into your template.
3. List your blog. Join blog rings. Use your blog in a signature when you're in forums and on discussion boards. I do not have a very wide readership, maybe in part because I don't advertise. Anyway, you should list on places like Blog her and Connecting Moms and Blog Top Sites and 5 minutes for mom and bloglines and the mom blogs. I mainly took my lead from Amanda at Tumble Dry-- and if she doesn't reply to your e-mail, just e-mail her and ask her because she obviously has a wide readership and knows what she's doing!

If you want/need help with where/how to do the basic html stuff, you can call me.

Karen in San Diego

Amanda said...

Hey there! Definitely visit statcounter.com it's incredibly user friendly. When you go into blogger in the layout section there should be an option for html, just copy the code statcounter gives you and put it right in there. If this is overwhelming I'd be happy to sneak into your blogger dashboard and just put it in for you.

As far as blogrings etc, I have pared down considerably. The only one that really sends me any traffic is Crazy Hip Blog Mamas. It seems to me, that though it is time consuming, your best bet is to comment, comment, comment and also link to people. When you demonstrate that you are reading about them it leads them back to you, theoretically if you like their writing, they'll like yours. Blogher.org is a great place for this as their categories and layout make finding things that appeal to you very easy.

Ultimately, you have to be ok with what happens. I have seen a lot of blogs soar in popularity when in al honesty I find the writing to be lacking. Takes me back to high school and the capriciousness of popularity and the dubious nature of who gained entry into that clique. I've also seen incredible bloggers burn out as they chase a level of popularity that they deserve, but cannot seem to attain.

I think you are incredible and hope that you will dip your toe in trying to get more readership, but keep your eye on the ball of more of the genuine, heartfelt writing, with your special brand of humor that had kept me coming back.

The mastheads are another issue. If you go into your layout section and select the Edit HTML section it will open the window on all the code. It's there that you can find the width of your header. Using that width you can either crop a photo or create a masthead. I am not sure if you want to invest in this, but Izzy Mom is a wonderful blogger and designer and her rates are very affordable.

Kelly said...

What Amanda said is perfect. You will, in all honesty, find a blogger whose comments are well into the double-digits and you'll be all like, um, what's so great about this?

I've recently had to come to peace with exiting the blogging rat race. I was getting discouraged that my readership was falling and the number of blogs linking to me was falling, and I felt all this pressure to produce. And then I took a deep breath, reminded myself that I started blogging to have an outlet, not to get more stressed, and so I've pared back a bit.

Commenting, I find, is the best way to attract readers. But again, some find the tit for tat commenting to gain readers a bit tiring too. Who has time to surf all day? Find some good blogs that you really, really love, and comment on those. I know sometimes I get to new blogs by reading a blogger's comments.