Monday, April 12, 2010

A Comment on Comments

I had a strange experience on Friday when I was roaming the blogoshpere desperately trolling for traffic. I'm pretty new to this whole thing so please forgive my ignorance if there is some unspoken rule of etiquette that I'm unaware of.

My understanding of the whole point of blogging is for your blog to experience traffic - the more the better - whether you're a published writer trying to get your name out and make people aware of your coming book release or you just want to share your recipes and photos with your family it doesn't seem to me that there would be much point if no one came to read it. Obviously there is something to be said about the quality of traffic (followers and comments over readers only) versus the quantity, but in general I would assume that more is better.

So the point is that I personally have a few strategies to accomplish this that I will share with all of you know. The very first thing was to make my blog about something that people (or at least other writers) would care about. I got the idea after seeing the film Julie & Julia and decided to share my painfully horrible queries with the rest of the novice writer blogging world. My hope was that it would be first and foremost informative enough to help other new writers avoid my mistake, then secondly hopefully awkward enough to make a few people laugh - at my expense - and thirdly, maybe, just maybe, be a little bit cathartic for my own sense of hopelessness when it comes to getting published.

So far it's working out pretty well. The second strategy I came up with (which is not a new idea in any way) was to have guest bloggers on my blog. This has been the single most effective thing so far for increasing traffic to my blog. The only part about my idea which was new (I think) was that I asked my guest bloggers to share some intimate details of their own experiences in seeking an agent.

This is going on longer than I had planned but the third thing was to go out and manually, assertively promote my blog on other writers blogs. This is the main point of today's post. Before I get to why this came up let me explain what it is I do.

On Friday's when I have a guest blogger I go out to all the blogs I follow and post a comment attempting to send their readers to my own blog. I ALWAYS make sure of a few things:

- That I already follow their blog. Following someone's blog means that you have the ability to watch your dashboard for their new posts. Some people don't always visit but at least it means that you are interested in what is going on at their blog.
- That I comment thoughtfully about their post for that day and that what I say is relevant enough to prove that I read their WHOLE post. To make a promotional comment without this part would be in my opinion selfish and rude.
- That I don't go out promoting my own blog when it is just a post by me. This part may not be such a big deal but I'm a humble person and I feel more comfortable promoting someone's guest post than I do my own. Plus it means that I'm part of a community and I do sincerely believe that as novice writers we're all in this together, so I have no problem doing some leg work to promote other writers.

Now, the reason I'm writing about this today is that I apparently upset one of my blogging friends on Friday. Here is an example of what I was adding to my comments after saying something relevant:

Shameless promotion for your other reader/followers:

I have an awesome guest post today on my blog by Cole Gibsen.

This one is pure query/submission gold folks in which she shares the ACTUAL query that landed her an agent and the correspondence that ensued.

Please stop by to read, comment and follow.


I got an email from my friend that morning that made me question my tactics. Before I paste it let me point out that my friend and I both follow each other blogs. She had already commented on my post that morning before I commented on hers. So here is her email:

Okay Matthew...I appreciate that you're a follower. And I have reciprocated. And I will read and/or comment on your blog. But I'm feeling a bit put upon with your self-promoting. I've been reading blogs now for well over two years and I've never seen anyone promoting their blog in the comments. Please stop. I don't want to have to block you.

My reply:

Sure thing, no problem. Sorry to have offended. I wasn't making the comment for your info, as I know you already follow, but more for your other readers. Either way I will be sure to cease.

She then replied to thank me and I told her she was welcome. I am not mad at her at all because after all it is her blog and she has every right to make the decision whether this kind of thing is okay with her or not. In fact I still follow her blog and intend to continue to read and comment on it, but I have to say I'm a little surprised.

First of all I am not the first person to have ever done this kind of thing. I see people reference their blogs in comments all the time. I'm not saying I can't possibly imagine someone getting annoyed, that's exactly why I make sure that it is obvious that's not the only reason I visit, but I just don't really get it.

I'm not going to speculate as to what her reasons might be, it doesn't matter, but I am curious to know - have I annoyed any of the rest of you and you just didn't speak up? Would you ever go out to promote your own blog in comments - guest blogger or otherwise? Do you care if people do it on your blog? Please answer these questions or any others you think of and then discuss in the comments.

Disclaimer: As far as I am concerned anyone who wants to can promote their blog in my comments section. You don't have to be a follower. You don't have to start with something on topic. You don't even have to write anyhting, just post a link if you want. In my opinion if I can drive traffic to other blogs in any way possible that's a good thing.

Thanks for reading, I'll get back to queries tomorrow, I promise.

P.S. I might be a little too busy to read and comment on every one's blog today. I won a contest over at Hilary Wagner's blog and now I have to get my first 30 pages ready for her agent Marietta Zacker.


Sheri Larsenッ said...

Ooh, congrats on the 30! As far as self-promoting in the comments, I don't think it's necessary. Visit and comment often, and people will find you. That's part of the fun of it. Yeah, is it disappointing when you comment and that blogger doesn't notice. Sure. But that's part of this rat-race, and when a blogger does notice you it's that more exciting.

Emily White said...

I'm not outgoing enough to promote my blog on someone else's comment section, though I have on occasion asked that people promote my blog in a post of their own. I usually like to leave it up to them as it is their space. However, I don't usually mind when others promote themselves in my comments, as long as they do respond to what I had written (otherwise, it just seems like spam).

Anonymous said...

Matthew, as you said so yourself, you are relatively new to this blogging thing. There are certain "rules" that apply and unfortunatley this "shamelss self-promotion" is not one of them. Yes other bloggers do it, but mainly by bloggers who have been around for awhile and have a following, and are promoting their own work.

For you to promote someone else's work all you have to do is write in the title of your post --Today's Guest Blogger Is...." Whomever. If we want to read about that person, and stop by your blog to comment we will. We don't need your tag "shameless promotion" all over the place. As a matter of fact it drives me a little crazy to see it.

I appreciate that you want to promo other writers, that's great, I do too, but I always make sure I do it within the boundaries of my blog. "Hey I found a great new writer at blah,blah blog - go check it out." and then I use a link to connect my blog to theirs so if anyone wants to check it out they can, right then and there. That's called a shout-out and people do appreciate them. Or link-love, one of the two.

I can understand how you would like to have followers, and how you want the shameless promotion to procure followers for your guest, but quite frankly I think it's rude. I'm sorry, but that's the way I feel.

I built my following bit by bit, piece by piece with my own writing and my following and being respectful of the feelings of other writers on their blogs.

Now, I'm not going to sign my name to this because I'm a big chicken but I do care that you took the time to write this post. I can understand how you might want to promo the hell out of your friends, it's only natural and kudo's to you for doing it, but not this way. Please, don't do it anymore. It's really starting to be annoying and you don't want it to backfire on you. People can drop you as a follower as well as add you.

MissV said...

This is actually a very timely posting as I was just mulling over the process of building a following this weekend.

I'm brand-spanking-new to blogging so I don't even know what I don't know. This is why I generally lurk in the shadows for awhile before I do anything. I don't want to look like a newbie!

I understand that part of finding followers is being one. I think the bigger part is content. When you write something informative, or humorous, or helpful, people want to come back...and will voluntarily tell others about your site.

I was not in any way offended by the shameless plug in my comments. I'm still new enough I love ALL comments. I might have a different response in 6 months though.

Thank you for bringing this up - and to anonymous for sharing her perspective - so I don't accidentally annoy someone.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I agree with Anonymous. I'm not going to chicken out, though, about signing my name. LOL :)

Matthew I really like your blog, I really enjoy reading it, but the other day, I kept getting your 'shameless promotion' thingy in my email from all the other blogs I'd commented on.

By about the tenth one, I cringed, and said to my screen "Ugh. Come on!" I don't want to feel like that about fellow bloggers. I love this blogging community. And I realise you're new. But, so am I.

I got my followers by commenting and following others, and then they checked me out and liked what they read and now follow and comment too.

You don't NEED to self promote. The fact that you comment, and that your link is attached to it, is promotion in itself.

So, hang in there Matthew, keep doing your blog, and doing it great, cause you DO do it great.

Just be who you are, and trust that others who can relate to you and your blog will follow it based purely in its content.

I wish you the best.

Matthew Rush said...

Anon, thanks for being honest, I really appreciate it. I get the feeling that there are some others out there who feel the same way you do and then again some others who don't.

AA, thanks for sharing your point of view as well, I'd hadn't realized that my comment would pop up in people's email over and over if they subscribed to follow-up comments. I understand that's how it works I'd just never thought of that possibility. I can see how that would get really annoying.

I'm interested to see what others think, hopefully we'll get a lot more comments on today's post but for now I have to say I'm probably going to have to stop doing it. Unless I hear from some veteran bloggers that feel differently it seems so far like there is a consensus.

Bish Denham said...

You've brought up an interesting issue. For me, personally, I find the shameless promotion a bit annoying. I don't think it's necessary. You have a blog that's entertaining and informative and have already attracted over 100 followers. You're doing just fine.

Anonymous said...

Seriously people? Do you not have anything else to complain about but how someone else writes comments in yours or someone elses blog?

It would be different if Matt wasn't a follower. It would be different if the sole purpose of his comment was to plug his own blog. It would be different if he didn't CARE. He blogs DAILY, comments DAILY on numerous blogs. He's putting himself, and another person out there for the world to see. You get followers lots of different ways and however YOU do it, good for you.

If you get email updates from the blogs you comment on - opt out if it annoys you that much. If hearing what other people say about a post you commented on is something you want to do, then heres a bit of advice: GO BACK TO THAT BLOG and look.

Maybe you just don't like the way his promotion is worded. Hey, I get that - after all, we are a world full of writers here. But what the heck is wrong with saying "Hey, remember to check out my blog today - I've got a guest blog about...blah...blah...blah". Because quiet frankly, I see nothing wrong with that. The point is to have NEW people find your blog. Okay, so his title pops up in your blog roll, do all of your followers see it? NO. But your followers will see his comment and have the option of visiting him that day and following him if they deem the blog to be interesting. Do you see the difference? Do you understand how promoting yourself on the blog is the best way to attract attention to your blog? Or would you rather just slush around and wait for 1-2 people to happen upon your blog once a month?

I'm shocked that people find this offensive. I'm shocked that you don't have more respect and undersanding to fellow writers who are doing no more than trying to connect with other writers - just as you do.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

To Anonymous 8:17 am
There's no need to state what's on your blog on someone elses blog. If you leave a meaningful comment on someone elses blog, they're more than likely to check you out anyway. I've gained 63 followers in 1 month by simply leaving meaningful comments and showing that I appreciate what I'm reading.

JustineDell said...

Wow, Matt. This is quite the topic, isn't it? I just wanted to say that I don't mind the plugs. I figure it's a good way to get traffic to your blog, and it's nonoffensive, right? Well, that's what I thought anyway. I did it when I had a guest blogger. But I did more in way like anonyomous mentioned, just reminded them to check out my blog for a guest blogger.

I don't know, I guess I never realized it was such a fine line. If I have guest bloggers, I may still do it. But, the last thing I want to do is offend the people I follow and those who follow me.


Candyland said...

While I understand Matthew's reasoning, I have to agree with everyone else. As long as you're active in the blog community and comment, thoughtfully, people will come to your blog. I wrote awhile back about "Spreading Thy Seed, Often," and really, that's all you have to do. Promote on forums, meet people and befriend them and your name will get out there, rest assured:)

Cynthia Watson said...

I don't mind at all - promote away!

By the way, congratulations on your win!

I'm pea-green with envy!

Take care.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Hey Matthew. Congrats on the win:)
I guess this issue is up there with do you like prologues or not. lol.
Personally I don't mind you self-promoting after you've commented on my blog. I guess everyone is different.
Now, get back to work on your partial for Marietta Zacker. lol :)

Matthew Rush said...

It looks like we have a bit of difference of opinion in the blogosphere. I guess that is pretty much what I expected. I think I'm going to stop doing this because I would rather lose 10 new followers than annoy 1 current friend enough to drive them away for good.

I do want to give you all one more piece of data for discussion though: According to Google analytics posting these shameful promotions on other blogs really DOES WORK.

On the two days that I had guest bloggers I had FOUR TIMES as many unique visitors as any other day/post. The comments were not quite a prolific but there were about three times as many comments as normal both days. According to Google my traffic is:

91.30% from referring site's (That basically means people click on my name in a blogger comment and than click the link to my blog).

7.83% Direct Traffic (That means they actually type the URL into the address bar, this one is probably all me).

0.87% Search engines (Self-explanatory, no idea how this is possible).

Of course none of this proves that it was the promotion that drove people to visit. It's probably more likely that I just happened to have awesome guest bloggers and people wanted to read their posts. Who knows if I would have gotten as many new visitors if I hadn't added the promotional text to my comments?

MissV said...

Just came back to add a big fat congrats on your win!! I hope you'll share the experience with us here!

Christine Fonseca said...

Congrats on winner the contest...and I agreewith MissV - I hope you share that experience!

Terry Towery said...

It didn't bother me, personally, but I can understand how it bugged others. Live and learn, I guess. :)

BTW, nice blog here. I enjoy your guest posters.

Tracy said...

For starters, congrats on the win! Good luck with those 30 pages!

Now on to the subject at hand... hmmm. It's a tricky question. When you posted on mine (which I didn't get to until this morning anyway) it didn't really bother me, because I know you pretty well by now. Had it been someone I didn't know as well in the blogosphere it likely would have annoyed me. So I guess, in the end, it's all a matter of opinion for each individual blogger.

JustineDell said...

OMG, I forgot to say congrats earlier. My bad.

C O N G R A T S ! ! ! ! !


And, I'm almost certain that you wouldn't have as many lookers/followers/commenters had you not plugged your blog. That's a simple fact to me.

vmichelle said...

I've just started reading your blog - since I'm an aspiring writer - but not to the query stage yet! Anyway... I'm also a blogger and here are my straight-up thoughts. I've also taken a blogging class with tons of other bloggers and this was discussed, so I'm coming with lots of perspective here...

1. The comments you make on a blog post should be relevant to the blog post.
2. If you have a specific post on your blog that's relevant to the post that you are commenting on, then include a link to it and say, here's something related on my blog you may want to check out.
3. Don't label it as "shameless self-promotion". By labeling it that way, people see it that way, and it's a turn off.
4. Accept the fact that some people will see your comments and come check out your blog, but others won't. But don't blatantly use comments as a way to promote yourself in someone else's space. Most people don't like that.
5. Comments are a place to interact with the blogger and their readers on their blog, on their terms, on their topics - not a billboard.

That might sound rather harsh - but it's my straight-up version.

All that being said, I think you have a unique topic for your blog and there will definitely be many people interested in it! And if you keep networking with the community of writers, I'm certain you'll get many readers.

Empty Refrigerator said...

Matthew, I was one of your very first followers (!) but this is the first time I've commented.

Here's what I think:

(1) I don't personally mind the shameless self-promotion stuff, but I do see how others might. I think your friend could have worded her response a bit more gently, but that, I suppose, is another topic

(2) I disagree with Anon #1's statement that there are "rules." There are no rules. This is a brave new world, and no one is king. No one had the right to act as rule-maker, or to claim to "know the rules" simply because they are more experienced. The rulelessness is, in fact, part of the beauty of the blogosphere.

(3) That said, I think Anon #1 - and others- are correct in saying that a more genuine way to build your blog is to just keep doing what you're doing without the shameless self-promoting in other people's comment sections. In fact, I love your blog. I find your posts refreshing and full of insight. I think not followers are will keep coming and coming. Not because of the plugs, but because of what you're doing on the blog.

Good luck, and congrats on your envy-inducing win!

Shelley Sly said...

Matthew, congrats on the 30 pages! Keep us updated!

While I admit that I see where others are coming from, and how the comments can be off-putting, I personally wasn't offended. I would never do that myself (I gained my followers just by ordinary comments) and I don't think you *need* to promote, but it doesn't bother me.

The important thing, Matthew, is that you take the time to get to know your followers, or at least your core group of blog friends. Comment on posts, respond to their comments, etc. And you do this well! I've only been following your blog for a short time, and already I feel like I know you. (There are one or two blogs out there that I stopped following because the blog author was too wrapped up in his/herself. You're not like that.) Just keep being yourself, and we'll keep coming back.

Piedmont Writer said...

Matthew, congratulations on your win.

As to the other area, sometimes, to be honest, I do find it a little off-putting. I agree with some of the others, that you only really need to comment on your own blog. You have so many readers now, one of them is bound to say on their own blog, "Hey you should go read what Matthew had to say today, it was great!"

Now that's what's it's all about. When other people promote you.

Slamdunk said...

I think the idea in using regular guest bloggers is a winner--good one.

On the self promotion, I only block spam comments and am ok with comments that include promotion. I do understand that you would want to be careful with what is said in a comment on another's blog.

Actually, I am a hands-off type moderator and don't block comments unless they call my dad or one of my readers a horse's rump or something similar.

Kristi Helvig said...

Matthew - congrats on the 30-page contest - that's awesome! As far as promotion goes, I think people are promoting their blog simply by making thoughtful comments on the blogs of fellow writers. That in itself is all you need to do and people will find you on their own. :)

Shannon said...

Hi Matt,

It’s interesting that you should post this today. As you and I were discussing blog traffic and such last week, I noticed your “shameless self-promotion” posts on many of the blogs that we both follow and started to cringe a bit after reading it several times.

My general rule of thumb when it comes to blogging and comments = if I comment, it will be directly related to the blog topic. If I made a recent a post that is somehow connected, then I’ll mention it and maybe include a link. Otherwise, the comment is a chance for me to chime in, give feedback, or provide support on what the Blog Author has to say – it’s not a platform for me to promote my own blog.

Matt, you are genuinely nice person and your blog is fantastic. I’m confident that your readership will continue to grow. Don’t sweat it.

Also, please keep us updated on the 30 pages! That’s so exciting!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Being a newbie myself, I kind of poked around and made a few observations before jumping in there. I feel like I've been welcomed into the community with open arms though and arrived on so many interesting and informative blogs in just the last few days. Some really generous and interesting people 'round here!

Ok. So. Everyone come check me out!

(jkng) ;)

Matthew Rush said...

You don't have to joke CQG, as I said in the post it is perfectly fine with me if you do it on my blog!

Susan Fields said...

This is the first time I've visited your blog, and I'm not going to comment on the main topic because I have nothing new to add, but I do want to say that this is a very honest post and you're clearly trying to better yourself, and I find that very admirable. And congrats on your win as well!

Talli Roland said...

Congrats on winning the contest! That's great! I'm not sure I can add much that hasn't been said to the discussion, but personally I wouldn't 'promote' my blog in comments, even if it was to let others know what was happening on my blog that day. I think by leaving comments, you can encourage people to visit you that way. But in the end, of course, you need to do what you feel comfortable with!

Heather Kelly said...

Matthew--This is interesting to me. I followed you over from Casey's blog. I understand where you are coming from--I interview a writer every friday, most are unplublished writers sharing their ups and downs, and writing process with us. I always want their interview to be a super positive experience, and I want as many people as possible to see their interview. Especially the debut author interviews. I want others to use my blog as a platform, as small as it is at this point. So, Fridays, I always try to visit as many of the blogs as I can, and leave comments so that people remember to come and visit mine that day. I don't self promote the interview in the comment, but I totally get why you would. I do self promote in places where that is the thing to do--Verla Kay's Blueboards has a spot for it (I write MG and YA), as does Inkwell--which is for all writers.

As far as wanting to drive more readership to your blog, I get that, but... I feel like on my blog, there is always room for more wonderful writers to come and join in the conversation, but I feel as though the quality of conversation that happens there is fulfilling enough for me. I want more followers so I can give my interviewees more publicity, but I feel as though I need to focus on the quality of my blog and it's endeavors, instead of hunting for followers. And you seem to have come to the same conclusion. I think that you have enough good things going here, that if you just make suitably smart comments on other people's blogs, you'll get a steady flow. I bet you don't even need to specifically self promote.

And--a few of us have designed a blogging scavenger hunt type game designed around getting your blog out there, and driving traffic to blogs. And furthering the writing community. Stop by, and sign up your blog, if you wish. It's still in its baby phase, but I think it will catch on--it's a ton of fun! We'd love to have you. (We'd love to have you play and also have your blog featured).

And, I have to say, that I love how you have come at this in such a respectful manner. You've gained a follower. :)

Crystal Cook said...

I just found your blog through Casey's ( I just had to read your post after your comment, I was so intrigued!) And I did the same thing when I had like zero followers, but I only did it a couple times before I realized people did NOT like that. I wasn't trying to be rude or annoying or selfish. I just didn't have a clue what to do to get people to come to my blog! And I was following other's blogs and leaving comments too so I just thought maybe they needed a little reminder. yeah, didn't go over so well. :)

I guess I was just way too ignorant about blogging and rules. naive I guess you could say :)

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I love this post and all of the feedback. What a cool way to become a better shameless self promoter. Because isn't that what the blogging thing is all about? The honesty and time people are spending on this is awesome. I totally agree with Empty Refrigerator, there are no rules yet. This is about finding what works. Blogging is finding a voice and figuring out how to promote ourselves. Most of us are here to create "our platform" and I really admire that you are doing it, Matthew, with the intention to bring others along with you! So cool. I'm totally following because of this post and the awesome commentors here.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Kudos for opening this topic for conversation, considering it arose from an emailed criticism.

I was not put off by 'shameless plugs' within your comments, but I sympathize with bloggers who were. My feeling is every thoughtful comment you leave is essentially promoting your own blog, in that you pique the interest of others who then click your pic and check out your site. Adding the plug is, I don't know, a little over-the-top.

Your statistics were interesting. I wonder, though, if the increased traffic on guest blogger days couldn't be chalked up to visitors from the guest's blog redirecting to yours?

Anyhow, I swung by your blog today because I wanted to reread your posts on query letters, and in particular the examples of back-and-forth correspondence with potential agents/publishers. (One of the literary magazine publishers emailed me about a short story I submitted a few days ago and I wanted ideas for how to respond.) I enjoy your informative and enjoyable blog, and I'm sure you'll continue to draw an ever-growing readership without plugging your daily posts in comments on other blogs.

Hope you're week is wonderful!

Tabitha said...

I just discovered your blog today (when I visited Casey's blog), and I really like it! I think all writers can relate to the content you post.

As to the subject at hand, I am okay with promoting a blog post in comments as long as the subject of the promoted post matches with the subject of the post you're commenting on. If not, then...well, I kind of feel like my post wasn't the real reason the commenter stopped by. Even if the commenter made some thoughtful remarks.

I am really enjoying the responses you're getting here. This is a subject that most people don't talk about, so kudos to you for bringing it up. :)

Matthew Rush said...

Thanks Tabitha, I think you just helped me make my mind up.

"I kind of feel like my post wasn't the real reason the commenter stopped by." That is exactly the impression I don't want to give. Even though it would not be true, I would never want someone to think that so I think I'll have to stop making these promotional comments.

Even though hopefully the blog owner would know I comment every day and rarely with the added promo part their readers might not.

Donna Hatch said...

I guess I'm with the majority here it that I don't mind if someone makes a 'self promotion' comment on my blog as long as it's relevant to the post. I seldom refer to my blog or my books unless it's to say something along the lines of "while researching (Xtopic) for my book (book title) I discovered (blah blah relating to the subject.) I hope that doesn't offend anyone. It certainly wouldn't offend me.

I think some people are just going to be more touchy about stuff than others, and that applies across the board.

I heard once that you never give out your business card unless someone asks for it. Maybe that's the same principal with blogging.

Kristopher and Crew said...

Man, your blog never ceases to be interesting to read, Matthew! It didn't bother me that you promoted your self on my blog, and I doubt the meager but mostly loyal 21 followers I have got you much traffic. I can see how it would ruffle feathers and I think it all comes down to the wording. The comment was meaningful and awesome, like usual, but then it was followed by a clearly cut and pasted blurb. I think, like some folks here mentioned, that if it had been pertinent to the comment or a little more subtle, no one would have noticed. Now, I'm off to check out everyone else's blog that commented here! Amusingly, I just blogged about this exact thing on my blog, (No I didn't... I'm just a sarcastic jerk.)

Lola Sharp said...

I have nothing new to add to this topic, but I did want to say CONGRATS on winning Hilary's awesome contest. :o)


Jen said...

I know I'm a little late to posting but I figured I would share my own opinion. I've been on blogger now for 2 months and I have around 370+ bloggers following me. I love them all and not one of them did I do shameless promotion. It was sending blog love the old fashioned way.

I don't mind if you self promote every now and again but after seeing it at every blog and every post I was taking the time to write I didn't like it. I love your comments but with the shamelss promotion at the end it was like you only left the comment for that reason. Now I see I'm wrong but I would prefer if you kept the promoting to a minimum.

Just having a good blog will get the attention... it worked for me!

Jonathon Arntson said...

So, I started reading the comments and then decided that they were annoying me, so I skipped down to start my own IMO moment.

In the real world, everyone is different. We all try different things and go through different processes when defining ourselves and differentiating ourselves from others. I was shocked to see how many people said they were 'annoyed' by self-promo. I don't do it myself, but if someone were to do so in my comments, I'd treat it as just another comment, not something with bad vibes oozing from between the lines. If a blogger is annoyed by such things, I'd deem it necessary to put comment policies on their blog, otherwise you'd better be prepared to be a part of a community, where not everyone is the same and not everyone plays the game the exact same way.

Southern Princess promotes herself with a link to her 'kingdom' in every comment, which I honestly find endearing and clever. I'd never find myself in the position of annoyed or having to look past that person's bad habit.

I understand that you asked for our opinions here and I respect everyone's honesty, but I mean, come on! This is the internet. If we were in a room in-person would you be hackled for offering to buy a drink for someone and saying, "let's talk about this friend I have that..." Maybe they would, I dunno, but I'd say, "Sweet! Thanks for sharing, man."

Also, I am a rambler, so if that 'annoys' you, you'd better let me know now, via email is it these days?

Also, also, I ended up reading through the comments, six of which were left by fiends/followers of my blog. It makes me question so many things about myself and my actions and whether as a new blogger I have committed such maybe this overall comment?

Good luck, I really like it here.

Ted Cross said...

It doesn't bother me to have your promotion in my blog comments, but then again I have so few readers that it is nice just to see a comment period. I don't self-promote, other than a bit on Nathan's site and AW. I do sometimes wonder why I bother blogging if no one reads it, but I enjoy having a place to write down my thoughts when something is nagging at my brain.

Valerie Ipson said...

I am a new follower, so I haven't seen all the shameless plugging, but I kind of feel like we are all in this together and if you want to plug your blog in a comment on my blog, I really could care less. It gives me clout, right? I can say "See who is commenting on my blog?--yeah, it's Matthew Rush, the guy with the awesome query blog. YOU WISH he was commenting on yours."

Falen said...

sorry i missed this post yesterday. My google reader hates me.
Also congrats on the huge win! Exciting!

I guess overall i wasn't bothered by the plug, but that was because i saw that you did sincerely comment on each post before you plugged.

That said, you don't need to plug, the comment alone is a plug. We can just click your name and head to your blog, which is why i'm always a bit confused as to why people inlcude links to their blogs at the bottom of their comments. Everyone's name already includes that link.

The best way to build a following is to follow a lot of blogs and sincerely comment, 2 things which i think you're well on your way with.

I personally feel like if you wanted to put a "Today's guest Blogger: Neil Gaiman" at the bottom of your comment, that would probably be much more tolerable for the people who were really bothered by it.

I hope that helps, even if i'm late to the discussion

Matthew Rush said...

Hah! Thanks Falen, I'm guessing if I had Neil Gaiman doing a post I wouldn't have to promote it. Good point though.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

wow - did not know that I had popped up in THIS discussion.... Okay. that explains today's shoutout.

I have never really thought about how I leave my link. To be honest the first times I did it was purely because I was excited to learn how to create a html link! Seriously. Karen Amanda Hooper did a post about how to do this & that she thought it a great way to subtly link your blog.

I liked the idea, because like when I click on you as a new follower on my Google Follow sidebar box - it does not list your blog just the ones you follow. Well that does not help me to get to you, so I backtracked to your comment and the TQQE link, clicked on it, read today's entry & became a follower. Had you not left the link, I may not have taken the time to seek you out.

Just my opinion. I made about 80% of my followers through blogfests and referrals but a few have told me they used the link to find me. Either way - I love each and every follower & hope that no matter how they find me they are in the Kingdom to stay.

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Michelle McLean said...

Okay, WAY late to the party :) but just wanted to say that I also don't mind the promoting because you do leave a thoughtful comment beforehand. The comments that are nothing but a promotion with no reference to my post DO bug me :)

That said, I will agree with several others that you probably don't need to promote. You've got a great blog here with great posts - word gets around :) The followers will come. And if you have something like sitemeter or feedburner, you can probably see that you get way more hits than you do comments. I usually have at least twice as many people stop by and read without commenting as I do those who leave comments.

Anyhow, congrats on the contest! Keep us posted on how it turns out :)

Anonymous said...

i am a voluntary designer, any chance you like to show some of my photographs? i guess it would be great for your articles :-)
absolutely admire your page! send me a e-mail please in case you want to see my art

Laura Stephenson said...

I understand that I am commenting on a post years old, but I just wanted to say, "Where's the like button?"

Some people are too sensitive, particularly when they take things too seriously, and I'm glad you stood up and told them how you thought it was all a little silly.

Beginner bloggers are told specifically to go out and post on other blogger's(more recent ) posts, so that people who read that post after you are interested in what you have to say, too. I think the thing to consider here is how much your comments are going to appeal (or repel) those readers, and in that case writing "Shameless Promotion" and having a link pasted into the comment instead of letting them click your name could be detrimental.

Anyway, I do go on, especially when only one person is ever going to read this.