What it takes to launch a blog

October 26, 2006

Topics: Blogging.

From the Aviva Directory: 21 Surefire Tips for a Successful Blog Launch. This catalog of valuable advice is definitely worth reading, so I’m going to make this an interactive reading…let’s see how I did!

There’s a lot of good advice in here, and I’m going to go ahead and confess to all the warts of this site (in re: this article, that is) as of this date. After reading this, of course, some changes might be in the making!

Note: I’m not going out of my way to quote or reference the post itself. If you want to know the details of what each point is discussing, you’d better read the original post.

  1. The First Impression

    Well…not really. There are several additional pages on this site, but I couldn’t say that any of them are explicitly about me. I think there’s enough information here that I’m certainly not anonymous, by any means – but I haven’t necessarily gone around being particularly inviting.

  2. Don’t get seen naked: Never launch a blog with fewer than 5 posts.

    Got this one covered! When I launched this site in March, I had about 30 blog posts already published. So go me!

  3. Make sure a link to your RSS feed is available above the fold.

    Nope. Once again, I suck.

  4. Make RSS Easier Still

    Ummm…no. This isn’t going well, so far…

  5. Offer an email version of your RSS feed

    Man, I’m losing it here…

  6. Put chicklets in your template

    Alright, I’m on the line on this one. I don’t, literally speaking, have any social bookmarketing chicklets. Instead, I’m using Ekstreme’s Socializer. I’ve wondered from time to time about the effectiveness of this: the services themselves are much better known than the Socializer, and the graphic intensity of the services draws attention more easily. Still, the possibility is there – I’ll take half credit.

  7. Be your own promoter.

    I should do better at this. I rarely submit any of my own work to Digg, don’t maintain my delicious account, etc. So, another missed opportunity for me.

  8. Leave highly valuable comments on other blogs in your niche.

    I do make comments on other blogs – and I’d like to believe that they’re valuable. That, of course, is an objective judgement I’m not entirely prepared to make. I could make more comments, but I generally go by the rule of thumb "only comment if you have something to say". I think that’s worthwhile.

  9. Reload quickly

    Hmmmm….this one is a bit hard to determine. I don’t think it’s really relevant to me. I didn’t launch with a bang, since my personal business goals entail a gradual ramping up of profile and experience – quick buzz isn’t particularly what I need right now. (A 36 hour day, on the other hand – that I could really use.)

  10. Include tons of outbound links in your posts.

    I don’t know about "tons". I’m fully in favor of linking frequently as appropriate: but this particularly advice smacks of over-exuberance. I link well: I find sources which are relevant and interesting and cite them. That’s good enough for me.

  11. If you have something to give, give it away!

    What I give away is what’s in the blog: I don’t particularly have anything else. Although, on my other blog, I do have a couple of free PHP/MYSQL scripts which I make available for download.

  12. Start real relationships with bloggers in your niche

    I think so: I have real professional relationships with some, and at least some semblance of more casual relationships with others. In some ways, I find this suggestion subtly distasteful: but the key is in the term "real". If it’s a real relationship, then you’re sincere: you’re not just creating some synthetic friendship for business reasons.

  13. Submit your blog to blog directories

    Yeah, I suppose. I did that to a couple of directories early on, then lost interest…

  14. Submit your blog to general web directories

    I suppose I’ve done that, too. Not extensively, but to a few key places I thought were worthwhile.

  15. Leave your blog’s URL as your signature when you participate in forums.

    Yep.

  16. Use your URL in your email signature

    Sometimes…

  17. Myspace or Facebook members: put a link in your profile.

    Done it.

  18. Submit guest posts at other blogs.

    Again, something I’ve done for my other blog, but not with this one.

  19. Ask friends for feedback on your site.

    Definitely something I should do – I never have, and I’m sure that this site suffers because of it.

  20. Go "Real-World" with other bloggers.

    Thankfully, we’re not talking "MTV’s The Real World", here… I’ve never yet met, in real life, anybody in this industry. Nobody. Not a sausage. In my defense, however, when I started the blog I was living in Austria, spent a month on vacation in Europe, and have only been operating the site in the Twin Cities (Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, if you don’t know) for three months. I’ve been busy!

  21. Dress up your comments

    In cute little doll dresses? No, more by clearing and preventing comment spam. Got that handled – to the best of my knowledge, there are no spam comments anywhere in this site. Moderating comments is the most certain way of preventing that problem, and is what I do on this site. If the blog received more comments, of course, this would quickly become unmanageable.

And that’s it.

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