Bruce N H wrote:Katie, I didn't respond to your question on advertising. I mostly got the word out on my blogs via involvement in forums like this.
I seem to recall that Technorati tags were an option when Bruce and I were starting out. I'm not sure how much that helped, but I miss being able to get decent results from them.
Bruce N H wrote: Also, when you see a great MOC, either in a forum or on Flickr or MOCpages, leave a comment saying that you blogged it, linking back to your blog post. For one the original builder will appreciate that their work is getting attention, and others will see the link back to your blog.
It's actually very surprising to see how flattered people get when they realize that something of theirs has been blogged. A little unexpected recognition goes a long way.
Bruce N H wrote: Another thing, when you see something via another person's blog, always include a link back to them. Most people will reciprocate the favor and, when they post on a MOC they first saw on your blog, will link back to you.*
Usually a good idea, but this can get complicated if you have a ton of LEGO news coming in via RSS feeds. It's not unusual to see something in ten different places, and just pick one source at random as the one to actually read. Most of the time, I read the same sources the other bloggers use anyway, so I'll skim the blogs and only star the original to be blogged later.
Additionally, there's the issue of whether or not you want to endorse a given site. If I get a good LEGO tip from a site that includes a ton of obscenity or profanity, I don't want my readers to think I'm encouraging them to visit that site. If you're as puritanical about being kid-friendly as I am, you'll quickly find yourself worrying about links to YouTube and flickr (crude commenters can really ruin someone's impression of the hobby) and almost never including via links. That's before we get into the times when you got the tip from a non-LEGO site and can't easily trace back the source, and don't want to give credit to a site that's just ripping off someone's MOC.
Which brings up some more good advice: you probably shouldn't aim for being a truly all-ages blog. You end up worrying about things to the point where they almost certainly get silly. Before long, you stop linking to the Brothers Brick because of how often they (rightly) blog Rocko's (awesome) Castles...
Bruce N H wrote:Also, if you have a list of links to others' LEGO blogs on your site, many of them will return the favor and link back to you.**
**I know, I know, my blog roll is sadly out of date. New blogs are created (and abandoned) every day, and several people have asked me to add theirs to my list. I really will get to it soon, including the newer blogs posted in this thread.
This is something I've struggled with. I know you, TBB, LAML, and BrickBuildr all maintain lists of blogs, but I'm not sure if it's really possible to get to the point where we have a reliable set to recommend. I've been thinking of trying to put together some Google Reader bundles to get people started, with the bundles being grouped by what audience I'd recommend them to. That way we could show people more of what's out there, while recommending one group for all ages, another for adults, and another for AFOLs more specifically.
Of course, with everything running in RSS format, what should count as a blog to cite is an issue as well. My RSS feed of the LEGO Techniques Pool on flickr is easily as essential as most of the LEGO blogs I read.