Have you ever owned a diary…err, personal journal? Basically, people write their most intimate thoughts inside them and hide them from everyone. No one is ever meant to read them. Maybe it’s a good “outlet” for people to write down their experiences and concerns. I’ve heard that many therapists ask their patients to start one.
My wife, who has probably never read even one sentence from any of my blogs, voiced her concern that elements of our personal life would end up on the pages of a blog for all of the world to see. I’m not famous or interesting, nor do I have a desire to compromise my personal life, so the idea of a self-biographical account of my life was never considered. (Sorry, hon!)
Back in 2009, I came up with the idea for Source Blogger. OK, it’s not an original idea, meta-blogging. But, I’d like to believe that I consistently write some of the best quality content in my niche/category. And if you dusted off the cobwebs and went back into the archives, hopefully, you’d see this. As committed and driven I am about Source Blogger, it’s far from the most popular or recognized in the blogosphere. Right now.
Unlike a diary, Source Blogger is written by me to be read. I do want the exposure. But, how do you get it?
Today, we are going to look at 5 “tools” (Digg, Alexa Toolbar, Blog Catalog, Entrecard, CMF Ads) that claim to help you, in part, to reach your goals… and why I no longer use any of them. This blogger has matured.
Day 1: A Blog Is Born
Once you’ve created a concept for your blog and begin writing articles for it, your next step is to locate and utilize resources that will get you and your blog in front of other bloggers with similar interests.
It’s not a mystery. Places like Digg or Blog Catalog were originally good sources to keyword search for certain topics… with Digg being the #1 article submission site and Blog Catalog being the #1 blog forum site. And Entrecard and CMF Ads, being a good way to interact with active bloggers and discover other blogs.
Just in the short time that Source Blogger (originally launched on Blogger, now on WordPress) hit the scene, many of these sites either changed or did not really provide much value as they professed.
Let’s take a brief look at each of them. Shall we?
One of the perceptions of many new bloggers is that if they run to the largest article submission sites (Digg, Reddit, Mixx) and submit their content, then there is a the likelihood of being assaulted with thousands of “pageviews.” But, after submitting article after article, you see that scenario rarely happens or not at all due to oversaturation.
When Digg changed its parameters to only display your content to the people who followed you on Digg, you suddenly realized that the potential to reach a large audience was reduced to the 15-20 followers you had prior to the change.
Digg seemed to be lobbying for the big blogs in the space like the Huffington Post, Tech Crunch, and Mashable.
Considering that Source Blogger is a “blog about blogging,” I figured the Alexa Toolbar would be a good barometer of determining the percentage of those bloggers historically portrayed to have interests in “techy” things like blogging, social media marketing, internet marketing, article marketing, and making money online who were visiting Source Blogger.
As Source Blogger’s Alexa Rank shot up to 50k, something strange happened after that. I started to really get decent, consistent traffic!
What was bizarre was that the more visits and pageviews I received, my Alexa Rank began to tumble? Odd, huh?
Goodbye, Alexa Toolbar.
Ok, never been a big fan of forums… but I did see it as a strategy for being involved in discussions that would enlighten other bloggers on who Source Blogger was and what our views were on particular blogging topics. A great way to do some networking, right?
Well….. unfortunately, that was NOT the case. The site has a band of active bloggers in the forum who are hostile towards bloggers like myself. Trying to market your blog and its content (no, not spamming or link dropping either) did not serve to induce the “clique-ish, overly-social” feel of the forum discussions. Leading you to consistently defend why your site had banner ads or a subscription box for news letters.
Goodbye, Blog Catalog. And Good Riddance!
Entrecard & CMF Ads
When you blog about blogging, any blogger, in any category, has the potential of being a reader.
So, for many months, I struggled with whether I should maintain the Entrecard & CMF widgets. Until you realized that only a very minute percentage of bloggers were actually active on the site. Once someone has seen and read your blog a few times, they will subscribe, leave some comments, etc. But, now that they have, I didn’t feel like I had to continue to offer them an incentive to do so.
In addition, offering an incentive for another blogger to visit my site definitely defeats the purpose of why I created the blog to begin with. I would prefer you visited out of a genuine interest, not for advertising credits (Entrecard) or fractional money amounts (.002 – CMF Ads).
When you begin hearing stories of people spending hours and hours visiting other blogs in the Entrecard, CMF Ads, Adgitize network, it becomes a very unhealthy, obsessive environment… one that I wish to separate myself from.Especially, when it is marketed as “blog advertising”.
If your blog traffic stems solely from other visitors on this network, you need to take a hard look at whether your blog is worth maintaining.
Goodbye, Entrecard & CMF Ads.
At this point, I am more than happy with the traffic I receive from Google, Bing, Twitter, and other viral resources like comments and bloggers who discuss Source Blogger and link back to certain articles here. Even from google images! (An often overlooked source of traffic – keyword optimize those images!)
This may be an overly-uttered phrase, but blogging is hard work. And it does take months and years to develop your identity and reputation into someone who is respected and read. Often, the first step is distancing yourself from sites like Blog Catalog, Entrecard, and CMF Ads… to gain credibility in the eyes of others.
But, you can do it…. without having to invest in an enormous amount of your personal time vying for theses types of inorganic sources of blog traffic.
Part of the “maturity process” of a blogger was putting away “childish things”.
To Digg, Alexa, Blog Catalog, Entrecard, and CMF Ads… I wish you the best!
What do you guys think? Am I dismissing them too prematurely?