Self-promotion is sort of a divisive issue. Some people find it tacky and just off putting while others consider it a necessity and show of industriousness. After all, how else are you gonna get your name out there? You gotta be your own biggest fan. More stock phrases about fame and stuff.
Normally I wouldn’t be talking about a subject like this. Self-promotion isn’t something I pay much attention to as I find that way too many people know my name as it is, in real life that is. But it’s a little different when it comes to the online world.
There’s a sort of unwritten rule that you don’t comment on YouTube videos just to plug your own channel. People that do are usually ignored or made fun of. I have heard more than one popular creator say they block those types of commentators. But does the same apply to blogging?
There are a few reasons why someone might not like to have people comment in posts only to talk about their own blogs. First it’s a little disappointing when you think someone’s enjoyed your work to find out they actually don’t really care. Well maybe they do but there’s no way to tell.
There’s also the fact that if it’s a much smaller blog it can feel like they are trying to piggy back on your readership without putting much effort in and if it’s bigger blog like they could easily overshadow you. Either way, it’s one more person competing with you for the limited attention of readers and they’re using your own platform and efforts to do it.
Finally, up to a certain point their associating themselves with your blog. By leaving the comment there, some readers will likely believe that you are ok with promoting this new blog and you may not be. They might be putting out posts you’re not comfortable endorsing.
On the other hand, it’s a great way to build a feeling of community. And they may actually lead your readers to discover a blog they really enjoy. I actually put effort into discovering and sharing other blogs so having someone do it for me is great. Or at least it should be.
I have only ever blocked one commenter from this blog and that was because they were using my blog to promote theirs. At first I didn’t think much of it and even thought that maybe I should do the same. But when I checked out their blog it was full of aggressive and in my opinion mean-spirited posts mostly against women but a little against everyone “different”. I have had my share of sexist commenters throughout my time on the internet but these were truly unsettling posts to me and I was feeling a bit odd for quite some time after reading them. I’m not exactly the most sensitive type.
I quickly decided that I didn’t want any of my readers to feel that way because of me. I didn’t want to endorse this blog even passively. I’m not proud of the but I took the cowardly rout of erasing the comments that led back to that blog and blocking the commenter. I wasn’t mature enough to at least try to talk to them. But I don’t regret getting those links of my site.
Since then I’ve been very wary about people I don’t know linking their blogs in my comments without warning.
But (I hear an imaginary new blogger say in my head) it’s the best way to let people who like reading blogs know about your own. How else are we supposed to get the word out there.
Here are my thoughts on it. Take this with a grain of salt, these are just my personal opinions but they have been shaped by talking to a lot of other bloggers about this subject, especially when I was starting out. Collaborations are the best way to get a link to your blog on a specific person’s site. You’re giving them some material in exchange and if they agreed to work with you then it’s up to them to vet you. Just keep in mind that some bloggers can get very busy and getting turned down is not necessarily a sign that they don’t like your work. They could simply not have the time.
I think it’s generally fine to mention your own posts in the comments if you’ve written something directly related to the specific topic. And just writing something generally about anime doesn’t count as the specific topic. There are some people that are still uncomfortable with that for all the reasons I’ve listed above and that’s fine. I should say that in my experience a well written or witty comment is much more likely to get people to check out your blog if it’s properly linked to your Gravatar account than a link back. Oh yeah, everyone should make sure their blogs are in their profiles! That helps a lot.
In my opinion though, nothing beats self-promotion to starting a tag. Especially if one puts a rule in there that everyone has to link back to the original blog for ever. Google loves links to pages (apparently) so even if one doesn’t get direct visitors from other people doing the tag or award post, they are still improving their SEO and getting a better chance of getting found through search engines. And as long as you actually created something, a game, a questionnaire, a post format, it’s mutually beneficial. The people who do the tag get a fun often easy post out of it. I like this give and take. It’s not like when I do my discovery posts, or wonderful bloggers do round up posts where we just share other articles or blogs we discovered. (Those do take a lot of time to find, read through and put together don’t get me wrong but it’s a different dynamic).
Of course there are also an array of different social platforms you can promote your blog on but those take a lot of time and hard work and I’m really bad at it so I shouldn’t give any advice…
These are my personal views of self-promotion. Take them with a huge grain of salt as people have different opinions on the subject. Some aren’t bothered at all, others strongly dislike it. Actually I m curious. If you have a blog, how do you feel about other bloggers using your comments section to advertise their own stuff. What about getting told you should talk about a specific blog for no particular reason. Are you o.k. when people want to do collabs but only on their blogs? What self promotion do you do?