Shameless Self-Promotion: A Beginner’s Guide To Driving Traffic to Your WoW Blog

World of Warcraft blogs are unique in the blogging universe (I refuse to say ‘blogiverse’): You have a potential audience of 13 million players, but can only seem to reach fifty or so a day.

There’s a disconnect here. How is it possible that so few people are interested in your guide to Ret Pally gear? How can the comical stylings of Kachunk, Clown of Orgrimmar, go unnoticed by so many? You pour your heart and soul into your posts and then ten people read it.

Of the ten, no one comments.

It’s disheartening.

Not too long ago- I just checked, and it was July- I practically had a heart attack if my site reached the lofty heights of a hundred visitors. I’m not ashamed to say I threw an impromptu party the day it reached 1,000 daily hits, the two of us crowded around the monitor with a hastily-purchased bottle of wine after I noticed it had reached 850 earlier in the evening. These days, I give my stats the slit-eye if they don’t get over 2,000 by noon.

I’m not the least bit embarrassed about my love of the numbers. The more visitors I’ve had, the more people maybe, possibly, perhaps heard something I said and laughed, or picked up the right gear, or- please, Jeebus- re-specced to Discipline.

People don’t like to talk about their WoW blog traffic for the most part; it’s taboo, like talking about your salary or embarrassing sexual ailments. But I am a shameless self-promoter, and my capacity for embarassment is bottomless. With a little work, you can be a shameless self-promoter, too!

And before you ask, yes: I wrote this post to get more blog hits.

See? You’re learning already.

Lesson #1: Know Thine Enemy

You need a way to track visitors to your site so that you can better judge what posts are of interest to the community, and what posts are of interest to no one but yourself.

If you have a WordPress blog, you already have tracking software installed; it’s in ‘Dashboard’ under ‘Site Stats’. If you have a self-hosted blog, or one that allows you to add JavaScript in some way, go get Google Analytics.

It doesn’t matter in the slightest where your visitors are from, what connection type they’re using, or any personal characteristic; what you’re looking for here is trending, not Big Brother.

Your key stats are (a) what pages get the most traffic? and (b) what keywords drive the most search engine traffic to your page? We’ll go into detail on the whys of that in a moment, but those stats must be accessible to you in some way.

Lesson #2: That Social Networking Show

You must have a blog Twitter account. You must have a blog Facebook account. Use them. Befriend others whom you actually like. When you create a new post, add it to both.

Show off your new posts clearly. “New post! This is the Title: short link” works well for me.

Don’t bother with “please RT!”. They will or they won’t; you’re a strong writer whose work speaks for itself.

The same goes for reposting your original announcement; one in the morning and one in the evening works well to hit the day and night crowds, but that’s where it must end.

They will or they won’t.

Strong!

Lesson #3: The Almighty Holler (or Why No One Cares What You Had For Lunch)

The content of your blog is up to no one but you.

However, the desire to read your blog is shared- or not- by the rest of the world. If you’re reading this, you could be home now probably want more of the latter and are willing to reconsider on the former.

You have something to say that is interesting to people who want to read it. You do. This is an indisputable fact. There are far more people out there who read blogs than write them. We just have to crack the acorn of your brain and get to the juicy, readable meat that’s inside.

If you tell a story about yourself, it must have parts that could be applied to other people. This means you DO NOT write about the great gear you’re working on unless you simultaneously talk about how all the brutha’ ret pallys out there could benefit from it, and, if you’re wise, include an amusing anecdote or two about the comedy of errors you’ve run into along the path of acquisition along with links to Wowhead.

This isn’t a diary. No one cares what you had for lunch.

Start specific, get more general. If you start blogging about everything under the sun, it’s difficult to target your audience.

If, however, you start with a niche- ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About DK Tanking But Were Afraid To Ask!’- you gain readers who are interested in your topic, and who then, y’know, recommend you. I know, I know- heaven forfend. And almost every specific topic in WoW, luckily, is practically impossible to exhaust! It’s wonderful!

Once you’ve got your base readership down, then- and only then, and maybe not even then!- start to branch out. Define who you are, even if who you are is a bank-altin’ gold monger, or a WoW blog-link repository, or a pretty dress FIEND!

Niche is king.

Be self-deprecating. You’ve got problems… lots of ‘em! And nothing is funnier or more charming to read than someone who can laugh at themselves.

Besides, it’s immensely cheering to reveal some cringe-inducing moment and have ten people comment to say, “Ahhhh, I did that too! God, I was SO EMBARRASSED! lulz”.

Spellcheck. Non-negotiable.

Lesson #4: You Gotta Spend Love To Make Love

Here’s a hard thought for every new blogger to keep in mind (and one I absolutely tell myself every day): “No one is coming to my site first.”

Unless you’re the editor of MMO Champion or WoW Insider, chances are exceptionally good that no one is coming to visit your blog without going to another WoW site first. Alex Ziebart, you may skip this bit.

Your job- and it is work, but the most fun you can possibly have working- is to get out into the community.

You MUST become an uber-commenter. Traffic comes from two sources: search engines (discussed further below) and referrals. If you have a thought- any old kind of thought- on a post, on any blog whatsoever… COMMENT!

People will click on the link that is by your name. I swear it.

Always, always, always sign in to the commenting system so that you can associate your name with a clickable link to your website.

You MUST comment regularly on the Big Sites. You MUST comment at MMO-Champion. You MUST comment on WoW Insider. If your particular niche has a well-known forums site (PlusHeals.com for any healers, for example), you MUST comment there.

Don’t worry about looking like a fool. Don’t worry about people arguing with you. Don’t be afraid. Start topics! Respond to others!

Get in there and get dirty!

/buttslap

You MUST refer back to your blog and specific blog posts you have written in your comments, with links. This one is optional for commenting on other people’s blogs, but absolutely required for posting on the Big Sites.

If you don’t have your blog linked in your signature on MMO Champions, you’re missing a goldmine of visitors. You’re not forcing people to visit you; they want to come! Make it easy for them to do so.

You’re not doing it in every post, but if a conversation is going on that directly revolves around a post you’ve written, link to your post.

And hey- you don’t have to say you wrote it. I won’t tell.

You MUST have a blog roll. If someone links to you, it’s gentlemanly to link back to them. It doesn’t hurt you one bit, and the blogging community is a community of the first order. Blog Azeroth can tell you that.

If you link to someone, tell them you linked to them! A brief, nice email (‘Hey, love your blog! I’ve stuck it on my blog roll- come visit at disciplinaryaction.org!”) is always polite.

Nothing makes me sadder than finding a link to myself on someone else’s page when I didn’t even know they existed. I want to shamelessly promote WoW blogs- I have more shameless self-promotion than I can handle, and I enjoy getting it on others (especially the unsuspecting!).

Lesson #5: The Key(words) To Success

On a day that I post, most of my readership comes from subscribers and links. On a day that I don’t post, however, a good 85% of my traffic comes from search engines. You need to ensure you’re creating a blog that plays nice with search engine bots; what good is having the best blog going about goblin gold strategies if your average Googler can’t find it?

Be current. If you’ve written a slew of posts on the Cataclysm changes and you’ve tagged them all “4.0.1”, no one searching for 4.0.3 (or 4, or 5) is ever going to find them. If they do stumble on the post, you’re going to look dated.

When a new expansion comes out, upgrade all your date-specific tags if the content of the post is still current.

Use tags. You should never have a post without a category and tags. Tags are search-engine gold.

Don’t use tags that have nothing to do with your post just because that topic seems to be trending- people will get annoyed at your perfidy and leave- but if you’re talking about Ironforge dwarf tossing, you should include everything you can think of that’s relevant to long-range ballistic shorties.

Think like a searcher. Good posters use the word ‘you’ a lot in their writing. That’s great: you’re putting yourself in the place of your reader and mentally inviting them into your work. Nicely done!

When someone searches on Google, though, they overwhelmingly type in things like “can i fly to tol barad” and “how can i gear for a disc priest in Cataclysm”. See the problem? You have to figure out a way to phrase things so that someone searching in the first person finds your blog written in the second person.

How you do that is up to you.

(u see whut i did thur?)

In Conclusion

You don’t have to bump along with fewer readers than you know your writing skillz warrant.

You do have to work to get there… but get there you will! I have enormous faith in the brainpower that drives our strange, WoW-centric branch of the universe. I salute you and want to see you all succeed.

And when you do, link to me.

About these ads
Tagged , , , , ,

124 thoughts on “Shameless Self-Promotion: A Beginner’s Guide To Driving Traffic to Your WoW Blog

  1. Matticus says:

    All very solid tips.

    The one thing I would add that worked the most for me over the years is to always have content. Even if it’s just a simple post linking outwards, or a quick thought provoking question, you want to convey the impression of being here. Too many people go a few weeks writing hard and fast and then give up after 2 months right before they breach that initial critical mass.

    Blogging is like endurance running. If you’re in it for the long haul, you need to go consistent and steady or else you’ll run out of energy and watch as others pass you by, or worse: Drop out of the race entirely.

    The part about asking others to RT is something I do the opposite of. I’m one of the few that go against the rationale by asking for RTs. Why? There’s actually quite a few people that don’t know what RTing is. Some forget after they’ve read it to RT it because they just navigate off. It’s nothing more than a little reminder that if they like it, please RT it. If they don’t like it, then yes, they’re within the right not to. It’s all psychological based and varies from person to person. If a person I know asked for an RT, sometimes I’d help them push it without reading it just to help drive others to read it.

    Had I not seen your tweet about self promotion and had you not pinged me after the fact when you were done it, I would’ve sadly missed a solid post. I only wish I had more hours in a day to devote to reading. Who knows how many great posts I’ve missed?

    Anyway, keep it up (and yes, you and everyone else are encouraged to DM or ping me on twitter when you think you’ve written something cool because I will read stuff when someone on my list goes HAY READ THIS MATT).

    • Ha, I knew that one about the RTs was going to get me into trouble! It’s a good point well-made. And Matt is the king of practicing what he preaches on that one, so I hardly have a leg to stand on!

      May Matt (over at that most excellent healing repository, World of Matticus- to whom I should certainly be linking!) and all of us continue to fight the good fight and run the long race.

  2. Snack says:

    I’m making a comment! HAHA!

    Also, I’ve found it’s very important to sound smrt on what you’re talking about. Or, at the very least, be able to refer to things and explain WHY it’s important to have a hit rating of 17% instead of lower.

  3. zelmaru says:

    Oh noes, commenting on the big sites? What if I attract the rabble, the undesirables, the TROLLS? (And facebook is the privacy-invading debbil!)

    • One must take the wheat with the chaff! But as to the debil, one is at perfect liberty to create a Facebook account associated with ones anonymous blog email address- perhaps Mr. Murloc Q. Parliament would be less invasive? (My own is Miss Disciplinary R. Action!)

      • zelmaru says:

        Google F Search, perhaps?

        Do the “stumbleupon, facebook, etc” links at the end of posts help with getting the word out there? I’ve always been like “but but but my pretty theme!!! it ruins the flow” because, ya know, MP has an old timey thing going on.

      • They’re not ridiculously well-used, but I really subscribe to the idea that you should make it as easy as humanly possible for people to promote your blog. And perhaps… custom icons?

      • Matticus says:

        I had my posts stumbled before in the past actually. Went from about 100 hits a post to 2000+ hits, but the bounce rate was huge. So it may be good for an initial hit and you may get some subscribers out of it.

  4. Natalie says:

    Oy. I had a pretty nice reply, then I closed the tab on accident DERP.

    But, I am on twitter (Pockethealer), I freshened up my MMO Champion Signature (I never thought to link myself in there, another DERP) and I freshened up my PlusHeal signature. I am diggin’ these reminders! Some of these things I totally forgot about. Signatures, signatures, signatures! Comments comments comments.

    Wonderfully outlined and detailed article! I am also going to pop this one on my guild forums as we have a few budding writers in the guild (I am inspiring people! YAY!)

  5. Angelya says:

    I got scared off commenting on big sites after I posted about one of my herby charts on the wowhead forums and they locked the thread and took the link away because it was an “advertisement” for my blog. I suppose I should try getting dirty with the big sites again sometime… :-/

  6. Klinderas says:

    Any old thought, eh?

    Thanks for the advice. I don’t normally read the priestly blogs, but I’ll make an exception for this.

  7. Shadowscale says:

    Great tips, thanks! I’ll start employing these and Matticus’ tips as well to get a better foothold onto the wow community.

  8. FeralTree says:

    Very interesting and informative post! Loved it :D I’m still relatively new to blogging and all of that is definitely things I need to improve on. I hadn’t even thought of a facebook account for the blog, I should start one up! Even if, as Zel points out, facebook is the privacy-invading devil >.> A blog-only account would be great though.

    • I’m so pleased it helped! Starting fresh is so completely daunting, and elbow grease is required ad nauseum (or is it ad infinitum?). Either way, I’m looking forward to continued Feral Tree excellence!

  9. Ebu says:

    Fantastic post. Bookmarked and tweeted.

  10. lizzia620 says:

    Great tips! My only hesitation is with commenting — I’ve been playing WoW since early 2007 but have only recently begun to understand the nuances surrounding stats and gear. I’m still no theory-crafter (see what I did thar) so I always feel like I’m going to get the banhammer from EJ. That place really scares me and I know a lot of those really smart people comment on other sites, so I shy away. It’s dumb but there it is.

    Anyhoo… Thanks for all the tips!

    And uh… You’re on my blogroll. :D

  11. Syl says:

    Very useful tips there, some of which I certainly endorse myself – sadly though, it needs to be said that if you’re running for that big an audience (which of course is optional), blogging becomes something of a half-time job. it’s very time intense to social network like that, at least for me – I always try to actually write useful comments with actual content in them and that takes up lots of time. If I started to do this on a wider scale and also on the big sites, I could quit my job tomorrow.

    I guess some of us just have to stick to their smaller circle or blogroll and hope that even without twitter and facebook, some folks will find their way to their blogs over time (RO don’t twitter either after all, so here’s to hoping!). being an active blog that publishes regularly as much as consistency in content, is still a very important ingredient in my opinion.

    you have a big point on the niche by the way, I absolutely agree it’s easier to start off that way. but then maybe a more frivolous or ranty tone on a variety of subjects can also be seen as a common, determining factor for a blog? you know, a little bit of healing, a little bit of guild leading and dress collecting, but always from the same, goofy author?
    it’s probably the harder road but the blogs I enjoy the most are more about the authors than their subjects. but this is of course the fruit of time. :)

    • It’s a buffet of fun, rather than a table d’hote- please do feel free to pick and choose at will! Some people really, really hate social networking but can get wonderful results from maximizing their search engine terms. Some love to Twitter but just don’t care for commenting. It’s great to attack it from multiple fronts, but completely delightful to just hit one or two highlights. And hear, hear for consistency!

  12. Oestrus says:

    Hey there! We seem to follow each other on Twitter and I have checked out your blog from time to time, but this is the first time that I have ever commented before.

    There are a couple of other things that I could suggest, to help bring in readers.

    Guest posts. Matticus was kind enough to do one, when I started my Stories of O blog and he brought in a massive amount of views to my page. Thousands, even. Then he went on to link that post on WoWInsider and the hits just kept on coming.

    I think if you’re able to find people who “endorse” you, by writing a guest post for you, I think that can be a win/win situation. You both could be opening yourselves up to audiences that may have never considered you a resource before and who may continue to do so, after that.

    I have also heard positive things about the Blog Azeroth Secret Santa and that it’s doing that very thing. For example, Ophelie had a guest poster on her blog and that post ended up on WoWInsider and now she’s seeing her readership go up because of it.
    Be yourself. To build off your idea about showing weakness or admitting stupid mistakes, I find that way too many bloggers stifle who they really are. They’re so busy being professional and thoughtful and wordy that you don’t seem laugh, snort, cry or anything that shows a glimmer of who they really are. I want to see someone swear or be emo (within reason) or get a little dorky. I want to know that I’m relating to real people and not just people hiding behind an image of something they’re not.

    Start some shit. I’m a shit talker, I’m not even going to lie. If I see something that I feel should be called into question, I’m going to bring it up and we are going to discuss it. I do not sugar coat and I tell it like it is. While I attempt to start things off diplomatically, I’m not opposed to using humor and wit to take someone down a few notches (i.e. my audio posts) if I feel they have it coming.

    This can bring in readers, too. In fact, I remember when Matticus was discussing taking me on board his site, I asked if I could still be me and that I have been known to ruffle some feathers in my day. His response was something to the effect of “Great – the more people you fight with/piss off, the more readers I get!” I liked the sound of that and it made perfect sense.

    It should be done in a refined manner and tastefully, if possible. But a little conflict can do wonders for your readership. Don’t be afraid to call out someone or question something. You may find that people agree with you and feel the same way, but they were hoping someone would do or say something first.

    Overall, great post and I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Oh and you can find me at http://divineaegis.com , along with the fabulous Lilitharien.
    :)

    • Certainly the Blog Azeroth secret santa trade was a great success! It’s wonderful to connect to others in the community who have different perspectives and can bring that into your neck of the woods. That said, though, I would certainly caution a new blogger to be very careful with branding (a strong logo or image can work wonders there as well). Well-established writers posting on less-known sites do have the potential to drive readers towards their own blogs and away from those they’re ostensibly assisting- though of course that wouldn’t be an issue on World of Matticus. But great suggestions all around!

    • Jasyla says:

      Any ideas on how to get guest posters? Can I bribe them with cookies?

      • I have to say, my own philosophy of guest posts on a private blog is that people come to a single- or dual-author blog because they want to hear that person writing in their own voice. Showing up with a guest poster rather strikes me as bringing a gauche boyfriend to Christmas dinner; everyone might be polite about it, but that’s not who they were expecting to hang out with.

        Of course doesn’t go for the multi-author sites like World of Matticus and WoW Insider, which really thrive on guest posts- but then, people visit those sites specifically to be exposed to a variety of writers.

      • Cynwise says:

        Cookies actually work pretty well, from what I’ve seen. Depends on the cookies.

  13. Katmandu says:

    2 weeks into priest-blogging, and this post couldn’t have come at a better time.

    I’m using Tank & Heals as a sounding board for my own thoughts on priesting, but I definitely think I should get out into the forums some more. Especially PlusHeals!

  14. Jugzwei says:

    This is a gold mine of information for people who are trying to get a new blog of the ground. Like me!

  15. Zelmaru says:

    About commenting – don’t just leave a comment and then wander off. SUBSCRIBE TO COMMENTS BY EMAIL. That way you can engage in a DISCUSSION following the post. It lets you write more and prove that you are worth reading. If the readers don’t want to follow you after the first comment, they might want to follow you after you hold up your end of a discussion.

  16. Zelmaru says:

    AND… you need to SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR OWN FEED. By feed reader AND email. You don’t want to get blindsided. If your feed looks like crap, you might lose subscribers. Or you might discover that the yellow font that looks awesome on your site makes your feed unreadable. Make sure you know what others are seeing. View your site as a logged-out guest.

    • Ebu says:

      On this same topic (uniform presentation for lack of a better term) – make sure you test your blog/website in different browsers.

      People who use standard templates or websites like blogspot or whatnot don’t have to worry as much about this, but even then it’s a good idea to check what your website looks like in different browsers and across Windows and Mac.

      This is standard practise in web development, but a lot of websites build by enthousiasts skip this step, which in the best case means your visitor using and older version of IE or a less popular browser will see your layout slightly out of shape, or in the worse case, whole portions aren’t being loaded.

      Luckily, being a game-oriented topic, one can assume the target audience has a certain standard of hardware and therefor software, but even still, make sure all is well in IE6/7 and browsers on the Mac platform. You’ld be surprised how big that market still is.

  17. Tzufit says:

    Thank you so much for this post!

    Apparently commenting on other blogs is absolutely essential (which is totally not why I’m commenting on your blog now :P). I learned this a few weeks ago when I experienced the highest day of traffic I’d ever seen on my blog after leaving a comment on Tree Bark Jacket. Two weeks later, I’m still getting hits from that post.

    Great collection of information and suggestions, and I’m looking forward to putting it to good use. Thanks again!

  18. Vidyala says:

    Thanks for this post, Liala (and for letting me talk with you about it last night!)

    Syl makes an excellent point about the time investment required, and I think I did a better job of promoting my blog before I had many work commitments on my plate. Still, there’s always some things you can be doing – and with such an excellent list of them, it should be easy for me to pick, choose, and prioritize!

    • Truly my pleasure, on both counts!

      It is a terrible thing, trying to squeeze everything into the day. Personally, I set myself the goal of commenting on one other site a day, and I hit it- errr, most days! Often. Sometimes. :D

  19. Gazimoff says:

    Thanks for the info, there’s a lot of good advice there! I’ve been struggling with how to attract more readers as my blog’s growth seems to have flatlined, but one thing I’m pretty poor at doing is commenting elsewhere. Currently I have a lot of guides etc, but I’d like to have more thought provoking content as well!

    • I think we all do less commenting than we feel should, but it can get overwhelming to get it all in! Plus update our own blogs. Oh, and- y’know- get raid ready and play alts and become the Gold Master, not to mention achievements and- /headexplodey :)

      But congrats on the Daily Quest shout-out! That was something I meant to comment on your blog about but… um… do as I say, not as I do!!

      • gazimoff says:

        Thanks for the grats, it’s very much appreciated!

        And you’re right, in amongst raiding, farming for professions and doing the day job, it’s all a little intense!

    • zelmaru says:

      Also, if you’re doing guides on static pages, you’re working and updating etc…. but that never hits people’s feed readers, so people aren’t aware that you are doing it. But I cringe whenever I post something like “I updated my stuff, guys.”

  20. Jasyla says:

    2000 before noon? Suddenly I feel very inadequate.

    Great post. I never thought of commenting on the big sites. I tend to stick to my nice, comfy blogroll for discussion rather than forums. Maybe I’ll have to create some accounts for the bigger sites.

  21. That Girl says:

    I am very new to WoW blogging, but not new to blogging at all. Since I want to maintain my personal blog and my WoW blog separately, I find it very difficult to start ALL over on the traffic front. It’s hard work! I’ve built up such a following on my personal blog and I often wonder if I even have the chops to keep up with the WoW bloggers since I’m back in the game after a long hiatus – I don’t know the important stats/gears/instances/etc anymore. But, all of this advice is sound – No matter WHAT the blog content. Solid piece and solid advice.

    (i see what u did thur)

    • It really is such hard work to build it. At first, you truly do feel like you’re keeping a private diary or something. It can be very isolating and depressing, I think.

      But perhaps blogging about how hard it is to get back into the game after an absence is your niche? I always like playing to one’s weaknesses, since there are so many more of those than strengths! And people are invariably experiencing the same problems as you, whether they say it or not- hence this post.

      I’m looking forward to reading more That Girl Plays WoW!

      (And /chortle)

  22. Endyme says:

    I’m with Jasyla….2000 before noon? I consider it a good day when I hit 40 views a day. I freaked when I saw my views spike suddenly and eventually figured out Miss Medicina linked to a post of mine. Link love is awesome.

    I haven’t done alot of things I should to help get my blog out there. Blog Azeroth is one thing I need to get on and use. I think I was delaying until I could figure out what my niche was and I’m still…not sure what it is. >.> I also need to make an email for my blog so peeps can contact me if they want to for some odd reason. Not into Twitter, so I can’t go that route, but I’m fine with that.

    Spot on about comments helping out. It’s what I hit on to get my blog out there when I first started it almost a year ago. I found blogs that I liked and felt I had something to say on and what’s that, I can put my blog address so it’ll show up in my comment….oh yeah.

    One thing I noticed that also helps get viewership on a blog is strategically worded post titles. One of my higher trafficked posts recently was one about pally changes in 4.0. Simply putting 4.0 in the title got it to show up when people did Google searches about what changed in the big patch. Same with Cataclysm. Put Cata in the title of your post and watch it get lots of traffic.

    • Cynwise says:

      In my pre-WoW blogging career, I would title posts artistically; short, sometimes only a single word, related to the content but not revealing.

      This looked great on the screen but was crap for search engine hits.

      Descriptive titles are far, far better. I might cringe at the lack of poetry in “PvP Battleground Gear for Cataclysm Season 9,” but Google doesn’t. And readers don’t, either! If that showed up in your feedreader, you’d know immediately what it is about and if it’s of any interest to you. Whereas a more artistic title (“Bloodthirsty and Vicious”) might make sense once you’d read the article, as a title it conveys no information to the uninitiated – those people who are your target audience!

      SEO is, oddly enough, one of your best friends when picking a title.

      • Yes, yes, a thousand times yes to both of these! It can’t be underestimated how actually being able to *find* your blog will lead to nice, thoughtful people *reading* your blog.

        On an unrelated note, donkey porno Bieber recession.

  23. ladyerinia says:

    I have to say that I enjoy your blog very much. You have a way with words that make me laugh, yet I’m still able to learn something useful.

    I can only hope that one day my blog will be as successful as yours…maybe when I have some more time to follow your directions! (snicker).

  24. Hesys christ Liala! over 50 comments, your shameless strategy is working!

    Is a strange coinkidink, I was gonna ask for some loving if you’d shout out to my blog because I’m gearing up for “Warcraft Month”, seeing as I is contributor and all =P

    Now I will look like a sheep. Damnit!

    We miss you!

    -Loves, Anna (and Willow)

    • But of course! And how could you ever look sheepish? The universe would explode before it would allow something so terrible to happen.

      I miss you guys too, and must toddle over there one evening and come have fun with everyone. I’ve been neglecting my Farstriders characters terribly!

  25. Lument says:

    Thank you so very much for this! Great information and very encouraging to see from comments that the WoW blog community is so friendly and helpful. Definitely looks effective as I’ve now discovered 3 new blogs that I’m interested in reading.

    /bow

  26. Tam says:

    2000 hits a day? Ye gods :) To be honest, I try not to invest in the numbers, or even look at them. I think it’s just a road to misery.

    Incidentally I absolutely despise with a passion that is too great for mere words to encompass the idea that you have to have a twitter account to blog these days. Blogging is *in itself* a social network, what is the value of a second? And does this mean that if you don’t twitter or twiffle or whatever the fuck it’s called a subsection of readership is going to turn their back on you?

    Twitter is mere distraction, white noise and banality. Words, thoughts, discussion is where it’s at.

    • Oh Tam, I knew you would be the one to call me out on this! :D And it’s well-deserved, but I’ve got this sad arsenal of rebuttals all prepared to fire, so fire them I must. Not to worry, they’re pretty weak stuff, but I hope conveys my reasoning (however base) for posting such a thing:

      1) Every blog does not need exposure, of this kind or any other, to be a success. Success can be measured in whichever way you choose: excellent rapport, conversations, hits, number of theorycrafters, percentage of readers who become stalkers. If you’re reading a post titled ‘Shameless Self-Promotion’, however, you’re likely to be a person who wants to reach a quantitatively larger audience for your blog- whether that adds to blog quality is no concern of mine. (Secretly, of course, I believe that all DA readers are wildly intelligent and can’t help but be thoughtful and stimulating in their postings.) Of course, it could simply mean that you’re kind enough to read everything I post, in which case you have my gratitude and pity.

      2) My own blog is no Righteous Orbs; I’m certainly not the introspective type and couldn’t be clever if my hair were on fire. I (like to think I) provide a more list-like, nuts-and-bolts approach to discipline priesting (minus the shameless self-indulgence of my comics). If one is a thoughtful and thoroughly witty writer, like Chas and yourself, one needs no assistance in drawing an audience. You guys are funny and intellectual and quite the best WoW writers going, in my personal opinion- you could write about turnips and I’d read it!

      A blog can be a source of amusement, though, or a source of information; I lean towards the information, and feel that other bloggers who do as well are at a natural disadvantage: we’re not particularly entertaining writers.

      The information we present is of interest to a group of people whom we’d like to reach. If you don’t have a natural fan base, that intended audience may never find you, and to me the most profound waste is communication unheard, particularly communication that answers a question that is being asked. Where is the harm in getting those two groups- the askers and the answerers- together? I sincerely hope some of what I’ve written helps the answerers find the askers (while affirming fully your assertion that it may not spark a conversation).

      3) There is a mad, wild desire within me to see my readership increase. Plenty is good, but more is moar, MOAR, MOARRRRR!!! AHAHAHAHAhahahahahahaha… uh.. ha. It’s shameful. In my poor defense, I can only say that I am an American. My sympathy towards others with this affliction is great. I want them to get more hits. … Moar… MOAR MOAR MOAR AHHHHA- moving right along.

      4) This posted generated insanely little traffic, as I expected it would. It’s not popular, writing for other writers. But I love, love, love to talk to other people about the problems we’re having and solutions we’ve devised- however horribly shameful, however minimally enlightened- and this is one of those things I thought a lot about. I figured others thought about it too, even though we don’t talk about it because wanting quantity in a blog is supposed to take a backseat to quality. But why can we not have both? More readers = more conversation, surely?

      5) Twitter gives me almost no traffic, but I love the idea of being accessible to readers. Maybe if you know I just ate a banana and am staring into space thinking about a comic, you’ll be more likely to say, “Hey, that post you just wrote on heirloom gear was frankly crap, bananabreath”. It’s wonderful to be so casual about it. Come for the blog, stay for the inane updates! Plus, a lot of people who ask me questions or comment on blog posts on Twitter don’t leave comments, and I have to wonder if perhaps there’s a connection there? It’s hard to leave comments- they’re so permanent, and trollishness is so prevalent. Twitter is so quick, so impermanent, so much less accommodating to trolls; perhaps it provides a safe outlet for the terminally shy?

      And to clarify, I absolutely don’t think you need a Twitter account to be a blogger. I only think you need one if (a) you like it and/or (b) you want to use every available method to draw traffic to your site.

      This turned into a post in its own right! But I did think about what you said quite a bit before I even wrote this post, and these were the reasons (justifications?!) I told myself that prompted me to do it!

      • Tam says:

        I wrote this semi-frivolously, and I should have expressed myself a little more carefully since Twitter is a delicate subject, and obviously it has some value to some people, so saying you don’t like Twitter is kind of the equivalent of saying you don’t like cars, and that life was so much better when people walked everywhere enjoying the scenery. I’m aware that it exists and people are using it and that’s the way it is … but as a weird personal quirk I just can’t seem to warm to it.

      • Oh, but Twitter is just a tiny piece of a much larger theme. Love it, hate it- whatever. I’m more interested in quality v. quantity and how those lead to internal struggles for blog writers.

      • Rezznul says:

        A long time ago, before Twitter was a little Twit, I was a great commenter.

        I’d wade through forums, comment, post, the whole works. It was great.

        Then I had 3 kids. Well, more specifically, a 5 month-old and a 2 1/2 year-old competing for my lap at every opportunity. (Well, and the 9 year old running everywhere else).

        In this transition, I’ve found I still love to *read* everything, I just can’t “comment” on everything anymore.

        I really love being a part of a discussion, and share ideas. It’s fun to be part of a community where you get such a diverse array of thoughts. I do miss that part, but I’ve found that Twitter allows me to still be involved, albeit 140 characters at a time.

        The fact that this is one of the longer comments I’ve made in quite awhile is a testament to the fact it’s 4 in the morning, and the kids are asleep… even though I’m so late in commenting to this post.

        But, better late than never, right? Right?

      • There’s so much to what you say, Rezz- sometimes I honestly think the top of my head is going to fly off if I have to actively do one more thing. We all play (and blog- hopefully) for fun, and at times you just want/need passive entertainment; Twitter’s great for that sort of ‘at your leisure’ immediacy.

        You and I get to talk all the time, for example; even though I know we both have insane schedules that in no way coincide, we can have an actual conversation on Twitter and not get it all tangled up in the comment section of a blog. Not that that’s a bad thing, but comments are such an excellent forum for on-topic observations, rather than, say, our last Twitter back-and-forth on the Courtney Cox Dance.

      • Rezznul says:

        You’re right. I’ve found of late, that I may have a good point to make after reading an interesting post (or comic :D), but I prefer to try to add to the discussion. So, if I don’t think I can do that, I typically don’t respond (or I just go “Great post!”).

        I admit, I love the back and forth way Twitter works. I’ve found I’m most creative when I have a jumping-off point.

        I love writing long posts and responses, but I also really like rapport you can develop on Twitter.

        So, Hannah Montana was right, “You get the best of both worlds….” TURN THAT DAMN DISNEY CHANNEL OFF, KIDS. *ahem*

    • Cynwise says:

      It’s funny; while I agree that “the blog’s the thing,” to steal a phrase, Twitter and Facebook aren’t worthless white noise. You don’t need to have them to be a blogger, certainly. (My own Facebookless existence attests to that.) They have a different value, but they aren’t valueless.

      Real life example forthcoming.

      Two years ago, my company was looking to block Facebook and Twitter from work. Heavy Facebook users were being tracked, our CEO would stand up at company meetings and say, “I just don’t get Facebook, hopefully some of you do. And Twitter is right out there.”

      Then some bright folks over in Marketing showed him how Facebook could be used to get promotions out, generate buzz… but more importantly, get customer feedback. Real, unfettered customer feedback, both good and bad.

      We now employ 4 people, full time, to monitor our Facebook page and respond to customer notes. Furthermore, our CEO is checking it CONSTANTLY. Something bad happens with your system and makes it to our Facebook page? The CEO will be calling you shortly.

      I could use a WoW example, like how Twitter and Facebook are a different kind of /g chat. But I think my company’s example is better for illustrating a point – that there is signal within the noise. It’s not permanent, like a blog – it ebbs and flows and moves all the time.

      But it’s signal, nonetheless.

      I find that I’m tempted to make far fewer short posts because of Twitter. Twitter is the very first filter I put a post idea through – can I say this in 140 characters or less? Because if I can, it’s either going to be a great post (because there’s the title, right there) or it’s not worth posting at all, and should just be a tweet. “Today’s honor change to T-Bad just restores the status quo. Yeehaw. Back on /ignore.” That doesn’t need to be a post. It really doesn’t! Could I write 500 words on it? Sure. Does it matter? Not really. It’s perfect for Twitter then.

      There are a lot of people who would like to know what I think about things, and what you think about things, and what a lot of people think about things. It’s strange, but true! I let a lot more humor come out on Twitter than I do in my blog, just like I do in gchat. I ask for feedback a lot, about what kind of posts people would want to see – and often the answers surprise me.

      I’m down with saying you don’t need to have Twitter or Facebook to have a blog. But I disagree that they are valueless activities.

  27. Tam says:

    Oh, blush. I was too busy seething over Twitter I didn’t notice that you’d kindly linked us. Ahem. So, yeah, thanks for that. But twitter still makes me spit :)

  28. Ebu says:

    *In due to twitter*

    See. It works. ;)

    In all seriousness, I think a Twitter account is by no means a nescesity, however it’s a great tool to have in your communication-arsenal.
    It let’s you connect with your audience on a much lower -dare I say- more real level. The banana example is a good one, in that it illustrates readers can much more connect with an author on a personal level.

    On a more business level, Twitter offers incredible viral possibilities and the power of people re-tweeting and their followers consequently re-tweeting can increase visitors greatly.

    Numbers should never be a goal on it’s own, but anyone that claims they don’t care about them, is frankly kidding themselves.
    Even if your focus is quality over quantity (ie. subscribers vs. absolute views) the chance your blog/article reaches your target audience in such a saturated market is simply greater if your exposure is bigger as well.

    Another advantage of Twitter, is it’s real-time, with the data being pushed to it’s clients. In the real world, this means that as soon as you post and update, a question or an idea, your followers will receive this immediately, giving them the opportunity to participate right away, without delays. This enables you to have discussions and conversations on topics that are relevent to you there and then.

    Not the next day.

    • I hadn’t thought about the real-time updating (I’m so notoriously bad about reading blogs same-day), but it’s an interesting point as well!

    • Cynwise says:

      I <3 the real time feedback. If I post something on Twitter, I'll get maybe 30-90 hits in the first three hours of people who will 1) leave comments, 2) correct mistakes, and 3) let me know if I'm on target or not.

      • Yes, those indispensable instant editing machines! :`( No, truly it is wonderful to get such quick feedback and fix broken links, etc etc, before the site draws its daily traffic. Certainly it saves in frustration costs.

  29. Grimmtooth says:

    A thought on social networks in this context.

    There are many people like me that follow tweeps because they like the *person* and find said person interesting. But if that ‘person’ is nothing more than an advertisement for a blog, it becomes an annoyance.

    I have even dropped tweeps that have some level of humanity to them, but are annoyingly frequent with tweets and retweets and reretweets to drive traffic. My fondness for some people only buys so much forbearance before I close that channel for good.

    Of course, since I usually already read that person’s blog through a feedreader, it’s no big loss to them, I suppose.

    Which in retrospect sounds kinda jaded and cynical, but there ya go. What’s the old saying? “There’s no such thing as a bad pageview.”

    At any rate, there is a line to be crossed.

  30. Larísa says:

    I’m just home from vacation and pretty confused about anything WoW or blogging. So I’m probably not quite as eloquent as this post or many of the comments. I think my stance on Twitter is pretty wellknown by now.

    I’m aware of that this leaves me out of the core of the blogosphere community. There’s some networking going on that I’m not a part of and I sometimes feel as an outsider.

    But I can’t see this changing anytime soon. I just can’t figure out a way to fit it into my life now. My attention span isn’t wide enough to cope with that amount of tidbits of information flying around in the air, I’m sorry.

    I’m far from at your visitor statistics, but I’m actually fine anyway. There are different things that motivate as bloggers; to me huge traffic has never been the main purpose of the blog. I’m glad that people read and appreciate and comment, of course. But I don’t see the necessity of active marketing of it.

    I was a bit surprised to see the “must” of commenting at MMO Champion and WoW Insider. I’ve only written a couple of comments and WoW insider, and it never ever occurred to me it could drive trafic to my blog. (Thinking of it I’m not sure it’s even linked to my account there, hm…) And MMO Champion I has never commented at either. To be honest I’m not even sure I WANT the readers of WoW Insider to find me. Sure, I’ve had some spike traffic coming from there when they’ve showed link love, but I’m afraid you also risk to attract trolls and other people who find more pleasure in hating your blog than reading it.

    • Liore says:

      I’ve been linked two or three times by WoW Insider, and it is indeed a trolly troll extravaganza. However, I like to think that I also picked up some happy readers at the same time, and honestly I love to roll up my sleeves and wade into a good comment fight. What better place to do so than my own blog? ;)

      That’s just me, though. I can see how others wouldn’t find it that entertaining.

  31. Grimmtooth says:

    @Larisa – that’s a pretty good illustration of the difference between a ‘readership’, and ‘traffic’. Again, you find the words I could not. :)

  32. [...] on the subject of hitting me while I’m down, there’s been some interesting discussion over at Disciplinary Action about blogging, about the community, and about Twitter. Heh, and I am [...]

  33. Tyraine says:

    Great Post, I’ve been trying take a lot of information on beginning to blog, and this has given me some inspiration on what to do next, in fact I’m taking some or your advice and adding you to my blogroll (thanks to Tamarind @ http://www.righteousorbs.com/ for linking this post and turning me onto your blog.

  34. Tyraine says:

    No you certainly aren’t missing it, I thought I had filled out all the appropriate fields in wordpress/gravatar/etc but somewhere along the line missed the one field that actually links your name to a website, but in the course of banging my head on my desk in shame I did find it and it should be linked now, but in the off chance I did something wrong (entirely possible) it is http://wow.wtfomgbbq.net
    Thanks!

  35. [...] at Disciplinary Action reached out and smacked me in the back of the head. She has a great post (link) on how to drive traffic to your blog. *Invisible hand made possible by Tamarind @ Righteous [...]

  36. [...] of people loved the Shameless Self-Promotion post, and wrote to tell me so. Lots of people of people hated the Shameless Self-Promotion post and [...]

  37. Excellent post! Very useful for new bloggers and a great refresher and reminder for us folks that have been around for a while.

    Going to link to this from my blogging tips site, Blogging Vitals as well as my main Warcraft Site.

    Thanks for the great content!

  38. [...] more traffic to your blog? Discplinary Action has lots of ideas on how to shamelessly promote your site! (She also has great, fun comics – but that’s beside the [...]

  39. Zinn says:

    Great pointers! Unfortunately I link to other bloggers all the time so if I wrote to them about it that’d be like doubling my work load ^^ I just hope they get some extra hits and that my readers enjoy the extra read. Nowadays you can often see backlinks yourself if you’re curious enough.

  40. Naithin says:

    So! I’ve finally gotten around to reading the post and the comments. Surprised I took so long with it given that this whole… page… perhaps even the entire site, has become some sort of holy grail for converting Tam to the Twitter side.

    If there were blog achievements, you’d totally get one for it.

    Also?

    Oh ye Gods, please to be shamelessly promoting me! D: I noticed I wasn’t shamelessly promoting you — see, I bloody well SAID in my ‘amg, I made a blogroll and r skerred’ post that I’d miss people! — and have rectified this oversight. :)

    I still don’t know that I’d feel comfortable taking this approach with… Well… Anyone else. Your post on the matter sort of opened the permission floodgates (Muahaha ha haaa!) but I don’t think I could bring myself to be quite this forthright with anyone else. xD

    In fact, even with the contents of the post giving the freedom to make the request part of this comment at all, I still want to add that if you don’t want to return a link, there is *no* problem with that. My posts can be a little varied, I think, for some pure WoW blogs, and I link out because I truly and legitimately link the content of those I link to, not for any expectation of reciprocity!

    In any event; it was a great post. Certainly sparked a lot of conversation!

    Achievement: Twitter Tam (50 pts)
    Awarded to Disciplinary Action on 5/1/2011

  41. Markco says:

    Great article. I wish I had seen it in time to give a response sooner. I would have to agree with Matticus that you have to be in it for the long haul. Also, guest posting is a great way to get noticed by other bloggers and attract a larger audience.

    Great conversation going on here, good job everyone, I hope it helps fellow bloggers get bigger. I went from 2,000 to 9,500 subscribers in 6 months using pretty much all the tips listed here in the post and the comments section. Anyone can do it if they have the endurance and will power. You can also check out guest posting opportunities at justmytwocopper as well as the blogging carnival I run monthly on making gold.

  42. Saithir says:

    That’s actually some nice tips, and I’ll be sure to employ some of them.

    And I still forget all the time to comment on people’s blogs, and when I do, I usually then forget to tick that small “get updates via email” box. That should be, like, non-optional, or there should be some clever way to quickly add rss of that post’s comments to your reader.

  43. Rigor says:

    I just started up my site and was thinking of doing a post about this exact topic, figures someone would have hit it already. Some nice info here and I see a lot of familiar blog names in the comments.

  44. Fannon says:

    Good grief that’s a lot of comments to go through.

    Great post… I will be bookmarking this for sure. There are a lot of solid tips in there.

    I’m a new blogger… I just past my first month and it’s been a lot of fun so far. I have been doing a lot of the things that you suggested, but there are a lot more that I didn’t think of that I’m definitely going try.

    And in the spirit of the article, please check out
    Dwarven Battle Medic! :)

  45. Saz says:

    Looks like I’m a few months late for this party. Regardless, I love the tips in this post and felt the need to say so.

    Twitter – while I may not care for it’s choppy, short hand style – was actually what inadvertently brought me here. Someone re-tweeted about your comic (which I’m digging btw), a few curious clicks later, here I am.

    I must say that this was definitely a two-in-one find. Not only do I get the entertainment of some lovely comics, but now I have myself a Disco Priest source to reference for when I recap my Priesty alt.

    Be warned, you have been added to my list.

  46. [...] you want some tricks about promoting your blog, DiscPriest has a great guide to blog marketing, and Matticus (with Lodur) has written about blog promotion several times as well. 6- Do I need to [...]

  47. Cymre says:

    Aha, I was just referred to this guide from Boss Pally’s ping back above.
    I still feel very new to the world of blogging but I take your points on board with a positive attitude. I admit I haven’t really commented on the BIG sites yet, well WOW Insider I have a couple of times (but that was before I had a blog) so I need to fix that ASAP.

    I also like to RT my posts once since a lot of people seem to be sleeping when I do mine being on this side of the world. I don’t necessarily say I’d like a RT but it’s inferred in the initial post itself, isn’t it? It also depends on how many RT’ed my first post as well.

    • Cynwise says:

      Asking for an RT is very much up to you; I know Matt and Lodur always do it, I never do but always try to thank people for doing it later on – which serves as a follow up RT. Very much a question of personal style, find what works best for you.

      Commenting a lot is really a good strategy to get other people to read you. They don’t have to be big comments, either! Find blogs you like and comment on them. Even if it’s on old posts, sometimes folks are still subscribed to the comments. :)

  48. Dreamy says:

    Very good post. I really need to start commenting more. Especially on the bigger sites x__x; I love reading other opinions though, through your post as well as the other commenters. Great tips. Like you said search engines are gold. I found this post through google as I was looking for ways to promote my blog ;p

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 116 other followers

%d bloggers like this: