By: Ulla Kelly
10 Things to Do to Keep Your Blog Queer and Busy
Be a popular lesbian. This is easy online, you don’t even have to get all dressed up – or even get dressed at all, for that matter. All you really need to do to start off the process, is get out there and network.
You comment on my blog, I comment on yours – that sort of thing. Say something nice and/or interesting and you could very well get a return visit and comment out of it. Comment to get comments. By the way, this tip works better if you actually read what you’re commenting on and say something relevant. I comment on Alison Bechdel’s blog occasionally and it gets me at least 20 quick hits every time.
All linked up and everywhere to go. Join technorati.com, add links to your site, get people to add yours to their, by link exchange or listing yourself in directories, and watch how your blog’s “authority” grows. The more people out there linking to your blog, the higher your ranking in search engines and directories.
Join gay-specific or gay friendly blog listings directories and aggregators. The first three that spring to mind are queerfilter.com, blogcatalog.com and slogbite.com, but good old Google will get you lots more. Because they’re young and lesbian-friendly, at this point all you have to do to get featured on slogbite is sign up and email them politely. Voila, you’re front page news. Places like blogcatalog also work like social networks, so put in some time there too. If you’re from a country where the scene is small, a generic local blog aggregator is a great idea, because your blog will stand out. For example, I searched “South African blog aggregator” to find Afrigator.co.za which sends me constant hits.
In your Facebook. At this stage, Facebook’s still riding high as the uber social network. They’ve got a few blog applications, but the most handy one in terms of promotion is quite new and is called Blog Network. You can list your blog, invite your contacts to become readers and you also get to see friends who have blogs listed there already, so you can do some reciprocal reading that way. You can also post links to blog entries on your profile.
Be interactive. Respond to all comments left on your blog and where possible, go and comment on their blogs too. Ask questions in your posts to get people commenting. Do other bloggers’ surveys and memes. Write guest posts for places who’ll host them. Again, there are plenty, like thelesbianlifestyle.com and thelesbianquestion.com. Get out there, become a part of the community – then bring it home with you to your own blog. Write for a lesbian website and beg them to put your blog link in your author bio. Ahem.
Play tag. I can’t stress this one enough. Despite search engines crawling content for keywords, good blog post tags are essential. Apart from making your content easier to find online in general (and of course ease of location equals more hits), some blog hosts let you surf and search by tag/keyword within that blogging community. It’s a great way to make connections, get hits, get comments and so forth.
Check your blog statistics often to see where your visitors are coming from and what search terms they’re using to get there. If certain words are more popular and appear more frequently, use them more regularly. If another blog or site is sending you loads of referrals, link them too and go and say thanks – you’ll get even more then.
Avoid lesbian head death. Keep your design uncluttered and your content well formatted. Do not, I repeat, do not use garish and bright colour combinations or anything that flashes, glitters, rotates, or moves at any speed faster than a raindrop down a window pane. Just. Don’t. The heyday of the 90’s homepage and all its animated .gif thingies is over.
All the hits you generate will be about as sustaining as a prawn cracker unless you have a good blog to start off with. And actually, a good blog is not difficult to achieve at all. It should be easy on the eye and the content needs to be original. Whatever your content and approach is; funny, serious etc, be yourself, write as though you were speaking, so that people will want to have a conversation with you. Online, conversations translate nicely into hits and clicks.
If you’re not particularly worried about all this integrity and sustainability nonsense, just sprinkle your blog with keywords like “hot lesbian sex.”