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Building Blogging Relationships – Blog Projects and Memes

In continuing my building blogging relationships series I now want to turn our attention to blog projects and memes.

As I look back over my 2.5 years of blogging to some of the most interactive periods in my blogs – I realize that many of the key relationships have developed out of working on shared projects – both those initiated by others and myself.

Back in 2003 on my personal blog I started a project called Celebrating the Underblog where I invited bloggers to submit blogs that they thought were underrated and deserved more publicity. That year we uncovered 100 blogs. In 2004 I ran the project again and we uncovered over 500 blogs. This year I moved the project to problogger.net and refocussed it upon business blogs - the response was smaller but still worthwhile.

Another project that I ran on my personal blog was Blogger Idol where I nominated a theme each week and got other bloggers to submit a post on it (here is week 1). Once again the response to this was massive as over a three month period hundreds of bloggers participated – all linking back to my blog each week – all interacting with me and one another.

I’ve run a variety of similar projects, awards, memes and experiments over the years and every time find people respond. They serve as an ideal place to meet other bloggers, to get the word out about your blog and to create a space for other bloggers to meet one another and interact.

Starting your own blog project can be powerful – but it can also be a lot of work. The other way of doing it is to get involved in other people’s projects. These are great places often to meet and interact with the wider blogging community – you never know who you might meet.

What blogging projects and memes have you started or been involved in? How have they helped or hindered your blogging?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. John Evans says:

    A few years ago I ran a writing / book static website with a forum. It was continually updated, so was not unlike a blog. One day I had the idea of setting up a monthly online literary magazine, which would be edited each month by the best-article winner of the previous issue. Very quickly we had 150 members and the thing took off like a rocket. At one time it became so big it was taking up most of my time. In the end I had to hand it over to my deputy on the project and get back to some serious work. It’s good to do these community-spirited ventures, but if you need to earn a living, beware, they can take over your life.

  2. Bali Boy says:

    So true, Darren, projects like these are where I have made some of my best contacts…because my blog content is all based around my photographic work, I have been actively involved with both Photo Friday, and Photoblogs.org…they are both great resources for meeting like-minded bloggers, and are fun projects to be involved in, too!

    Also, a bit off-topic, I don’t remember where the post is on ProBlogger, but I took to heart the suggestions you made about deep-linking to older posts. The change in length-of-stay & pages-visited at my blog has been incredible…thanks : )

  3. Heat says:

    I will be running my first ever cooperated project with another site soon, i hope it goes as planned…thanks for the tips..

    Heat

  4. I’m gearing up for my first project — Blogging ‘Round the Clock,” which will celebrate sustainablog’s second anniversary and raise funds for the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Earthways Center. Would love to hear suggestions!

  5. This is all amazing stuff — off to find some Paris Hilton scoops! Good luck on finding the next English Cut!

  6. David says:

    I have not been part of any big blogging team/project or anything as of yet. I have been blogging mostly as more of a personal journal and a way to keep friends and family up to date on how I am done over the course of the last 3 years… I have only recently began to think about more widely interesting blogging in the last few months.

    So I hope in a few months from now, maybe I will be part of a project or whatnot that deals with blogging.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] • Instructional – Instructional posts tell people how to do something. I find that my Tips posts are generally the ones that are among my most popular both in the short term (ie loyal readers love them and will link up to them) but also in the longer term (ie one of the reasons people search the web is to find out how to do things and if you can rank highly with your tips post you can have traffic over a length of time). • Informational – This is one of the more common blog post types where you simply give information on a topic. It could be a definition post or a longer explanation of some aspect of the niche that you’re writing on. This is the crux of successful sites like wikipedia • Reviews – Another highly searched for term on the web is ‘review’ – I know every time I’m considering buying a new product that I head to Google and search for a review on it first. Reviews come in all shapes and sizes and on virtually every product or service you can think of. Give your fair and insightful opinion and ask readers for their opinion – reviews can be highly powerful posts that have a great longevity. • Lists – One of the easiest ways to write a post is to make a list. Posts with content like ‘The Top Ten ways to….’, ‘7 Reasons why….’ ‘ 5 Favourite ….’, ‘53 mistakes that bloggers make when….’ are not only easy to write but are usually very popular with readers and with getting links from other bloggers. Read my post – 8 Reasons Why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to your Blog for more on lists. One last tip on lists – if you start with a brief list (each point as a phrase or sentence) and then develop each one into a paragraph or two you might just end up with a series of posts that lasts you a few days. That’s how I started the Bloggers Block series. • Interviews – Sometimes when you’ve run out of insightful things to say it might be a good idea to let someone else do the talking in an interview (or a guest post). This is a great way to not only give your readers a relevant expert’s opinion but to perhaps even learn something about the topic you’re writing yourself. One tip if you’re approaching people for an interview on your blog – don’t overwhelm them with questions. One of two good questions are more likely to get you a response than a long list of poorly thought through ones. • Case Studies – Another popular type of post here at ProBlogger have been those where I’ve taken another blog and profiled them and how they use their site to earn money from their blogging (eg – one I did on Buzzmachine – the blog of Jeff Jarvis). Sometimes these are more like a review post but on occasion I’ve also added some instructional content to them and made some suggestions on how I’d improve them. Case studies don’t have to be on other websites of course – there are many opportunities to do case studies in different niches. • Profiles – Profile posts are similar to case studies but focus in on a particular person. Pick an interesting personality in your niche and do a little research on them to present to your readers. Point out how they’ve reached the position they are in and write about the characteristics that they have that others in your niche might like to develop to be successful. • Link Posts – The good old ‘link post’ is a favourite of many bloggers and is simply a matter of finding a quality post on another site or blog and linking up to it either with an explanation of why you’re linking up, a comment on your take on the topic and/or a quote from the post. Of course adding your own comments makes these posts more original and useful to your readers. The more original content the better but don’t be afraid to bounce off others in this way. ‘Problem’ Posts – I can’t remember where I picked this statistic up but another term that is often searched for in Google in conjunction with product names is the word ‘problems’. This is similar to a review post (above) but focusses more upon the negatives of a product or service. Don’t write these pieces just for the sake of them – but if you find a genuine problem with something problem posts can work for you. • Contrasting two options – Life is full of decisions between two or more options. Write a post contrasting two products, services or approaches that outlines the positives and negatives of each choice. In a sense these are review posts but are a little wider in focus. I find that these posts do very well on some of my product blogs where people actually search for ‘X Product comparison to Y Product’ quite a bit. • Rant – get passionate, stir yourself up, say what’s on your mind and tell it like it is. Rants are great for starting discussion and causing a little controversy – they can also be quite fun if you do it in the right spirit. Just be aware that they can also be the beginnings of a flaming comment thread and often it’s in the heat of the moment when we say things that we later regret and that can impact our reputation the most. • Inspirational – On the flip side to the angry rant (and not all rants have to be angry) are inspirational and motivational pieces. Tell a story of success or paint a picture of ‘what could be’. People like to hear good news stories in their niche as it motivates them to persist with what they are doing. Find examples of success in your own experience or that of others and spread the word. • Research – In the early days I wrote quite a few research oriented posts – looking at different aspects of blogging – often doing mind numbing counting jobs. I remember once surfing through 500 blogs over a few days to look at a number of different features. Research posts can take a lot of time but they can also be well worth it if you come up with interesting conclusions that inspire people to link up to you. • Collation Posts – These are a strange combination of research and link posts. In them you pick a topic that you think your readers will find helpful and then research what others have said about it. Once you’ve found their opinion you bring together everyone’s ideas (often with short quotes) and tie them together with a few of your own comments to draw out the common themes that you see. • Prediction and Review Posts – We see a lot of these at the end and start of the year where people do their ‘year in review’ posts and look at the year ahead and predict what developments might happen in their niche in the coming months. • Critique Posts – ‘Attack posts’ have always been a part of blogging (I’ve done a few in my time) but these days I tend to prefer to critique rather than attack. Perhaps it’s a fine line but unless I get really worked up I generally like to find positives in what others do and to suggest some constructive alternatives to the things that I don’t like about what they do. I don’t really see the point in attacking others for the sake of it, but as I’ve said before this more a reflection of my own personality than much else I suspect and some people make a name for themselves very well by attacking others. • Debate – I used to love a good debate in high school – there was something about preparing a case either for or against something that I quite enjoyed. Debates do well on blogs and can either in an organised fashion between two people, between a blogger and ‘all comers’ or even between a blogger and… themselves (try it – argue both for and against a topic in one post – you can end up with a pretty balanced post). • Hypothetical Posts – I haven’t done one of these for a while but a ‘what if’ or hypothetical post can be quite fun. Pick a something that ‘could’ happen down the track in your industry and begin to unpack what the implications of it would be. ‘What if….Google and Yahoo merged?’ ‘What if …’ • Satirical – One of the reasons I got into blogging was that I stumbled across a couple of bloggers who were writing in a satirical form and taking pot shots at politicians (I can’t seem to find the blog to link to). Well written satire or parody can be incredibly powerful and is brilliant for generating links for your blog. • Memes and Projects – write a post that somehow involves your readers and gets them to replicate it in someway. Start a poll, an award, ask your readers to submit a post/link or run a survey or quiz. Read more on memes. [...]

  2. [...] • Memes y los Proyectos – Algo así como cadenas de envíos . Lea más de los memes. [...]