Thursday, April 2, 2020

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs

One of the important aspects of being a blogger is figuring out how to promote your own work.  Unless you're blogging as part of some sort of a larger affiliated group that will draw in some eyeballs, or you're contributing to an established site, you're pretty much on your own in trying to draw in readers.

When I started the original blog in 2005 most of the existing blogs were solo efforts by independent writers who were doing it as a labor of love.  They were generally very generous in responding to a request to add you to their blogrolls, and that in turn allowed a decent amount of readers to find your work.  Then it was up to you to provide interesting content to bring them back.

That worked out very well for me.  When my blog was at it's peak I had a few thousand regular readers and I tried to pay it forward by promoting the work of others.  If I thought someone was doing really good work it was my great and genuine pleasure to give them a boost.  One things I never attempted to do, however, was to do any kind of ranking of other blogs. One man's poetry is just so much noise to another, and I never felt it was my place to try to grade other's work. If I found your work interesting I would tell others about it and left it up to them to decide if the blog had value to them.

Blogrolls and the single writer independent blogs are pretty much a thing of the past, as are most of the other ways that I used to build up some traffic back in the day. Mostly I'm just using Twitter now, tweeting out when I have a new post and then 2-3 other times over the course of a day as those tweets scroll away into oblivion pretty quickly.

I recently found a site where Feedspot had a ranking of what they called their Top 10 NY Mets Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2020.  I submitted my blog and was accepted.  They asked if I could return the favor by mentioning them in an upcoming post, which, as you can clearly see, I did.  I've also added a link to my links page.

To the few regular readers I've managed to accumulate so far I ask your indulgence when the self-promotion part of being a blogger worms its way into these pages.  I don't have any commercial ambitions for this site going forward but it's much more fun to write when there are people to read it.  That's going to take some work on my part and some of this.

If you like what we're doing here I would appreciate your help.  If you have a friend who you think would enjoy this space let them know.  If you see one of my tweets and you could like and retweet that would be awesome, and thanks to the friends already doing that.  Please don't however, post something to another blog's comments section or Facebook page saying "check out this blog." Respect the content and the person who created it with appropriate responses to their work.

I don't personally rank blogs and I'm not big on that sort of thing.  I'm not going to claim any honor in being voted a "Top 10 blog", as I know the reason I made this list was because I submitted to it.  Having said that, I find the list interesting.  Without commenting on the order they were placed in, there are a lot of callbacks here to that long ago day when I was still blogging regularly.

Some quick thoughts on some of the list, and I'm only going to talk about the ones with which I have any personal knowledge or experience. No disrespect at all meant to the others.

Amazing Avenue has been around since before I started.  Back in the day the same people that ran the Mets Geek site were working here, too.  I learned a lot about statistical analysis from these guys which opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about baseball.

MetsMerized Online has been around since my old blogging days, too.  I remember enjoying interacting with the forum they used to operate.  As a matter of fact, it was in that forum where I first heard about Dana Brand, the man I wrote about a couple of days ago.  They've been going strong for a long time, and they do a go job getting solid content from different  contributors.

The Mets Police has been around since 2008.  I never had the chance to interact with Shannon Sharp, the main author at the site, but I wish I had the chance.  I remember that he always had a unique and talented voice, clicking over to the site shows that hasn't changed.  Shannon still seems to produce most of the content, and that's impressive to me.

Mack's Mets has been around since 2008, too.  I've never had the privilege of meeting Mack in person by I know him some from emails and, of course, reading his stuff.  Besides writing extensively on prospects Mack has his own unique take on a lot of things Mets and MLB. He was also very generous with me when I returned and the fact that I have some readers at all is very much due to him and John From Albany who puts my posts into his daily Breakfast Links.

Faith and Fear in Flushing started before I did and is still going strong today.  Greg Prince and Jason Fry are the only two guys who contribute to the blog, and they keep going strong while many of their blogging contemporaries, including myself, have faded away.  I have been to several games with Greg back when I was active, and I still consider him a friend.

The John Delcos New York Mets Report John was another person I got to know a little through emails back when I was active.  John had been a beat reporter for the Mets for a few years and was always a good read.  He stayed with blogging for quite some time but hasn't been active for a year.

I listed the above in the order Feedspot had them in this top 10 list.  Don't read anything into this other than that.  As I've said, I don't rank other blogs.  And again, I didn't write about the blogs with which I never had experience.

My really active time as a blogger was 2005 - 2008.  A bunch of things, including my Mother's final illness and some personal setbacks, took me away from it.  I tried to keep the blog going in fits and spurts, but even that pretense ended in 2012.

It's hard to keep a blog going.  You have to generate content constantly while you are navigating the rest of your life.  You have to be your own editor, which offers challenges of its own.  For a decade I didn't do that.  I just couldn't.

I didn't read blogs much at all during my years away.  It felt kind of like watching your ex walking down the street with a new guy.  But I have noted those who have managed to stick around,

I have a lot of respect for the above folks because I understand how hard it can be and the commitment that it takes.  My respect to all of these folks and to the others that have managed to create something and sustain it.  Going forward I hope to do the same.

Back tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by.

I'm not sure if anyone who read the old blog will find their way here after all these many years, but if you do please drop me an email or comment if you'd prefer. I'd honestly love to hear from you. Also, I will be posting here regularly if you're inclined to come back.

 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

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