January 8, 2008

Maximizing Reciprocity in the Atheist Blogosphere

Trin Digg
Trin Digg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the great things about the way the web works is that those of us who link to one another are interconnected. This means that what benefits one of us is likely to benefit all of us. Think about it - if a blog links to you, then helping that blog attract more visitors means that more people are likely to find you as well. This should give all of us a powerful incentive to promote other blogs. I'm going to give you some easy ways to do this, some of which might not have occurred to you.

If you have your own blog and want to support others while simultaneously boosting your own traffic, there are many helpful strategies to consider. Here are just a few:

  1. On the off chance that you do not already have a blogroll containing links to the blogs you read regularly, add one first. Mine is on my right column and is labeled "Recommended Blogs."
  2. Add the StumbleUpon toolbar to your web browser. Now open each of the blogs listed in your blogroll and click the thumbs up ("I like it!") button in the StumbleUpon toolbar. For blogs that you really like, consider writing a brief positive review. Since many of the blogs on your blogroll may list your blog on theirs, boosting their traffic in this way helps you.
  3. If you have not already listed your blog with Technorati, do so immediately so you can use the "view blog reactions with Technorati" feature. See the little green link at the end of each post that tells me how many blogs have linked to each post? This is a great way for me to reward those who link to my posts. And how do I do this? I leave comments on their blogs thanking them, submit their posts to various social bookmarking sites (e.g., Digg, Reddit, etc.), add their posts to StumbleUpon, etc. You see, all of these actions help me by bringing more traffic to their post which links to mine. We both end up benefiting.
  4. Reward the blogs that link to you regularly by linking to them in your posts and possibly even doing posts where you feature/review them. Again, everybody benefits because as more readers find them, they find you too.
What if you don't have your own blog and still want to support your favorite blogs by helping more people find them? Here are some simple but effective strategies for doing so:
  1. Add the StumbleUpon toolbar to your web browser, and click the thumbs up ("I like it!") button on each of the blogs you want to support. If you really like the blog, you might also consider writing a brief review, telling others what you like about it and why they should check it out.
  2. Create accounts with several of the popular social bookmarking sites (e.g., Digg, Reddit, etc.). This will allow you to vote up particular posts so that more potential readers will find them. For those posts that have already been submitted by the blogger or another reader, it gets even easier because all you have to do is click once to vote the article up. Many bloggers make this process as easy as possible by adding buttons for some of their favorite networking sites (e.g., the Digg buttons you see in the upper left-hand corner of each post on this blog) and/or at the bottom of each post (e.g., try clicking the link that says "Social Bookmark This Post" near the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post).
  3. Open a Technorati account, search for your favorite blogs, and add them as favorites by clicking the heart symbol labeled "Favorite it."
  4. Utilize voting buttons present on some blogs to support the blog on various indices the blogger deems important. For example, you'll see a section of my left column labeled "Support the Revolution." Many bloggers will have something similar.
Many of you have been doing this a lot longer than I have and probably have several more ideas. Please share some of your favorites in the comments.

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