Who Loves Your Blog?

When I first started blogging I was obsessed with inbound links. I checked Technorati religiously – hoping someone, anyone, would link here. I waited for comments, emails, suggestions; and I checked Google Analytics for the smallest spike in traffic.

Now, those who don’t understand the rush that comes with receiving a comment (or writing one on someone else’s blog) may consider this slightly compulsive. But it is also fundamental human nature – we become the people we are simply due to those who show us or deny us, love. Of course, encouragement is a great motivator – and those who link to our blogs or write about us are more likely to draw our own attention. I am no different.

In addition to the dozens (or hundreds, really) of feeds that I read on a daily basis, I still regularly check the blogs that link here. I have a BackType profile which alerts me to mentions of my name or website address and I have a similar range of Google alerts established – and I try to respond either to the post that links to my writing, or at least to another article that tickles my curiosity. You see, if someone has taken the time to read my writing and think about it and then write/respond, then I feel an obligation to understand their perspective too.

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And over the last couple of years, I have been exposed to some fantastic blogs after being included in some list or other. This list of Planners, for example, has been maintained by Iqbal Mohammed for sometime – and is a great way of learning from (and linking to) some of the smartest minds in marketing/planning/advertising.

  1. russell davies
  2. Talent Imitates, Genius Steals
  3. adliterate
  4. Servant of Chaos
  5. Only Dead Fish
  6. Noah Brier
  7. Influxinsights
  8. The Hidden Persuader
  9. CrapHammer
  10. brand new
  11. Fallon Planning
  12. [ paul isakson ]
  13. nick burcher
  14. Get Shouty
  15. Herd – the hidden truth about who we are
  16. Adspace Pioneers
  17. Life Moves Pretty Fast
  18. Make Marketing History
  19. Social Hallucinations
  20. Interactive Marketing Trends

And while it is great to be included in lists such as the Marketing or Content Marketing lists on alltop.com, it feels much more important to be included in lists like Blaiq’s or Julian Cole’s compilation of Australian marketing blogs – for these require the care and attention of an individual and are not simply automated like some others. And in a world where attention is scarce, perhaps making a list is the blogging equivalent of love.

6 thoughts on “Who Loves Your Blog?

  1. Oh yes, link checking and comment/response becomes an addiction. It is like every link, every comment, every mention is a validation of me and my ideas (except the narky ones – hate those, keep me awake at night – how dare they disagree so rudely or criticise my working out!).
    Blogging, by its very nature, is wearing our hearts on our sleeves. The only thing that keeps many of us ging is the idea that things are gradually improving over time.

  2. I have to admit I do the fascination with blog stats quite confusing. You have plenty of bloggers saying they pay no attention to their traffic stats or care if they get comments. Then I wonder why they are blogging – are they happy with just making noise instead of engaging in a conversation? Does it matter if they rarely get comments or should they be using the stats to improve their content? Or is this indifference to stats only possible after achieving a certain level of readership?
    However if the blog is purely personal opinions and thoughts, should they change their style to be more popular? Where is the line between making useless noise and sharing a unique perspective?
    I’m also trying not to become cynical of comments. How often are bloggers commenting just to get a track back from a high profile blog? Do bloggers consider anyone without a well established blog a spammer? As a long time lurker, I’ve only just started posting comments around the traps and I’m finding most of my posts are filtered. Do I need to leave out my blog URL just to join the conversation?
    Hopefully I get the chance to discuss this with a few at the SMC in a few weeks. Still they are genuine questions and I’d love to get various perspectives.

  3. When people say that they don’t care about the statistics, generally what they are saying is that their main interest is not in the “fame” that comes with a small legion of readers, but the relationships which flow from the interaction.
    We all have our own motivations for blogging. Some love being popular. Some even make money from it. But like anything, the challenge is to find the happy medium – where personal aspirations and readership interest meet. This just takes time and effort.
    One of the best ways of becoming known in a community is by contributing to it. That means commenting, and it means writing your own blog. You will only be successful in receiving traffic if you add value to the conversation – and then once people come to your blog, whether they stay, go or subscribe is down to the quality of your thinking and writing.
    I am surprised that you find your comments filtered, but perhaps those blogs are more about “telling” and less about “conversation”. I’d spend my time elsewhere 😉

  4. Hey Gavin,
    I find it very interesting when people say they are not interested in the stats.
    There was a friend of mine I was helping start a blog. And all was good until a few months in when I showed him how to see his feedburner subscribers, set up a google alert and get an RSS feed of mentions from Technorati.
    A few weeks later he was frothing at the mouth and demanding tips and tricks to increase his readership. I do believe he hadn’t slept the night before we met. He had prepped all night and came to our meeting with dozens of printed SEO and Blog How To articles sticking haphazardly out of his briefcase.
    I remember laughing. Not at him, but because I recall the many an hour I’ve spent checking in to see if anyone has linked to me, or tracked back or…
    I believe you nailed it once again, Gavin.
    “But it is also fundamental human nature – we become the people we are simply due to those who show us or deny us, love.”
    I only feel moderately guilty for my blatant attempts to increase my ranking over the years… 🙂

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