Feministe Feedback: How to Start a Successful Feminist Blog

Feministe Feeback

My friend Natalie and I have been wanting to create a blog of our own…..We both at crucial turning points in our lives, with many major undertakings….We desire to share our experiences with others….In a nutshell, we’ve begun examining the sum of our lives and taken responsibility for the sum of it. What decisions have I made to get myself where I am??? How can I grow beyond those issues within me that hold outside my experience, my greatest desires, and dreams????

…As we’re developing an understanding of the answers to these questions, we see ourselves at the onset of a personal evolution with many major life changes in the forefront…..

HAVING SAID THIS…How can we create an amazing blog like yours???? We want to create something thought provoking that can get people to reflect upon their own lives. that can get some interesting online discussions going….

…Any advice would be helpful.

My advice:

First, outline your goals. There are lots of different blogs and they have varying goals, purposes and strategies. Some are out there to disseminate information; others to spread the word on the author’s opinions; others to start conversations and explore issues; and still others to serve as spaces for the writer to vent and unwind. Figure out what you want your space to be, and what you want to get out of it.

Also consider how you define “success.” Do you want high traffic? Lots of comments? A like-minded community? In-depth and thoughtful contributions from readers? A semi-private and safe place to toss ideas around and make connections? It’s almost impossible to have all of those things at once, so you have to prioritize and figure out what’s best for you.

Beyond goals, I would suggest reading a variety of blogs and seeing what works and kinds of communities you want to get locked into. Comment. Establish your voice. When you start your blog, blogroll writers you like. Link often — we all check our trackbacks. And be patient. Establishing an audience takes a while, so don’t get discouraged if you’ve been writing for a month and you aren’t getting a ton of comments.

Link into a community of bloggers you like — that’s key. Realize that your voice isn’t going to appeal to everyone; try to find people who support you and people who challenge you.

What else do you all suggest?

Similar Posts (automatically generated):

16 comments for “Feministe Feedback: How to Start a Successful Feminist Blog

  1. April 7, 2008 at 9:30 am

    This post details great answers and things that I am thinking about more carefully now that I want to redesign my blog, which is a feminist blog focused on issues affecting girls/girls programs/girl serving non profits.

    I didn’t have a clear goal in mind when I started– but I knew I had a point of view that I didn’t see anywhere else. That (plus a lot of encouragement from others) got me started. It’s over a year later and I am now re-thinking my goals and what I want the blog to accomplish. So, I’d say give it a try and see what sticks for you. I know a lot more now that I have been running the blog, than I would have otherwise.

    And I have made some great!!! connections that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. Peeps tend to be very supportive.

  2. April 7, 2008 at 9:42 am

    I’ve recently started up my own blog, and the advice you’ve given is really good, Jill!
    I think it would have been really useful to think about my goals and what I want out of it, but I just threw myself straight in at the deep end! :D

    My advice is: keep it fun. Blogging can be a really great experience, but you can also get bogged down in arguments, and wars of words. If you’re doing opinion blogging, be really wary of getting into that situation!

    Other than that, comment lots of places and don’t be afraid to promote yourself!

  3. tinfoil hattie
    April 7, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Be ready to slough the a-holes off your back. They will show up in droves. When they argue incessantly with you, just remind yourself: They’re not motivated enough to get their own blog!

    And keep telling yourself: “This is NOT about me” when you get trollish comments and even personal insults from readers.

  4. L-K
    April 7, 2008 at 10:40 am

    It has been very difficult for me to blog. I would love to be passionate about it, but finding the right focus has been a pain in the ass. I would just love to write about everything that I want to write about in one shot, but I don’t think the niche is there. And I don’t necessarily want to start multiple blogs (not a zillion, maybe 2 or 3), which seems like the most reasonable thing to do if I want my passions out there.

    But the advice that Jill has given is pretty much on point. Now, if I can just incorporate them into my own strategy, maybe I can get rollin’ again.

  5. Roy
    April 7, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Great advice all around…
    My advice? Link, link, and link some more.
    One of the best tools you have as a blogger is the ability to hyperlink. If you see a story and you’re interested in it? Link it. Read another blog and have a comment that’s really burning you up? Write it on your blog and link to the other one.

    Linking to other blogs helps attract people to your own blog, helps send people to blogs you like, and creates networks. There are quite a few blogs- including this one- that I only found because other blogs had linked them.

    And, I can’t stress enough that I agree with tinfoil hattie. If you blog enough, you’re going to attract assholes at some point. It’s when, not if, imo. The more controversial the things you’re talking about, the more likely you are to get people who are just looking to tear you down. It can be difficult not to take the vitriol personally and let it discourage you, but it can help to remember that anything worth saying is probably going to piss off a few people.

  6. April 7, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    What Roy said.

  7. April 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Regular updates. Work out a schedule with your co-bloggers to make sure that the blog is updated at least once a day, preferably more often.

    Take advantage of opportunities to meet your fellow bloggers and blog readers in person.

  8. April 7, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Related to setting goals is to look at the comment policy you want to begin with. Study the comment policies at different blogs you enjoy reading. I started out with unmoderated comments and no set comment policy just over 2 years ago but once my blog got noticed by those who hated what I do (fight sexual violence and the victim blaming/denial which helps keep that violence going) I had to switch to moderated comments to keep these trolls from dominating my blog and my blogging time. It took me longer to recognize all the concern trolls who did a better job of disguising their opposition to my goals.

    I did the blogathon last summer and for 24 hours turned off comment moderation. The trolls couldn’t jump in fast enough when they saw that their comments didn’t need to be approved. That showed me that I will always need comment moderation even if it slows lively and respectful conversations.

    Commenters who agree with your general position can change the tone of your blog and turn readers off even if nothing you say bothers them.

  9. April 7, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Good tips! We also recently started a blog (well just *jumped* right in) and now a few months into it we are starting to get the hang of what works and what does not. Regular posting and linking is key…

  10. April 7, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Everyone’s tips are great! I’ll definitely have to keep them all in mind as i continue to write :)

    Another suggestion i have (and i forget to listen to myself sometimes) is it’s ok to be personal. It’s important to establish how much you want to disclose about yourself but once you figure that out, don’t forget to write some fun/personal posts once in a while… i tend to go on “i have to write serious, lengthy, deep posts” sprees and forget that it gets a bid tedious :)

    Also, try not to define “success” in terms of traffic and comments. It’s hard to get established and sometimes those who read will not necessarily jump right in to leaving feedback – that’s not what is most important. What IS most important is that you’re writing and sharing – the blog is YOUR space afterall, try to get pleasure out of it because it’s something you love and are excited about, not how many people read/comment on it :)

  11. April 7, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    As someone who honestly does, at least partially, define success in terms of hits and comments, here’s my advice:

    1. Get into some kind of blogging routine. Blogging is like exercise; once you start giving yourself excuses for not doing it, the whole commitment starts to unravel. Writing frequently even early on also gives you time to hone your own blogging style and is absolutely necessary to drive hits. Of course, once it becomes more of a routine and you have some sort of regular audience, taking short breaks becomes much less of a risk and it’s good to relax.

    2. Utilize stumbleupon, reddit and similar services (and ask your friends to, too). If you’re a part of any other virtual community (i.e. livejournal), hype your blog there.

    3. Leave lots of comments on high traffic blogs, and make them intelligent. If you start leaving good comments, people start noticing and start clicking on your link. I pulled a lot of readers this way early on.

    4. Like everyone else said, send trackbacks

    5. If someone gives you a chance for shameless self-promotion, take it! The Feministe Shameless Self-Promotion Sundays were very good to me. Also, if you read a post about something you’ve already written about, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to leave a comment about the post at hand and then include a link at the end saying “I also blogged about this over here.” I’m perfectly fine with it, and so long as it’s on topic (not random LOOK AT MY BLOG! spam), I’ve never seen another blogger complain.

    6. Do blogroll link swaps with other baby bloggers. It benefits both of you, and let’s face it, if we weren’t all willing to link to other bloggers and give each other a chance, none of us would have successful blogs.

    7. I also strongly recommend writing up a carefully considered comment policy early on.

    8. Writing well always helps :) Good luck.

  12. April 7, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Be involved in the blogosphere at large–engage with posts and comment discussions. That really helped me understand issues more clearly, articulate myself better, and learn how other people think.

  13. April 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    i just started blogging, and all i gotta say is that it takes a heckuva lot of time and work.

    so just be prepared for that.

    and kudos to those of you who can constantly update their blogs.

  14. April 8, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    As above, for anyone… the two things I’d suggest (and have suggested to friends): post comments at other (prominent) places, with links to your blog, link to others in your own blog, and… be patient. And keep writing… but try to do it about the things you have a passion for; that’s what will get other, interested people to find you, link to you, and help build an audience. And it will help you develop into a better writer, which also helps.

  15. April 9, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Wow this is so timely since I’ve just started my own blog! I’m still pretty unclear about a lot of features, such as how to check the site statistics, no. of views etc. I also don’t know how to put up a comments policy and a copyright notice. Any ideas on these things?

Comments are closed.