Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ways to boost the dark style blogging community

I kind of notice that bloggers come and go in cycles (and dark fashion too--people leave and come back. That's life.) and sometimes the scene could use some community-building. I have some ideas.



For bloggers with few followers:

1. You don't have a lot of influence in the blogging community, but that's ok. As long as the right people see you and keep coming back, you'll grow. Offer good, original content and that bring readers.

2. Participate in community challenges.  GIY (Goth It Yourself) has monthly challenges (the June/July theme of "It Takes Two" is going on now. This is a great way to meet other bloggers and have them meet you. If you know of anyone else doing challenges, leave a comment!

3. Post often, and comment on other blogs. No one will find you if you can't be seen on others' pages or in a subscriber's feed. Also the community is more vibrant and motivated when people comment.

An old post from a Red and Black Week challenge 
 For bloggers with a lot of followers:

1. Consider hosting challenges. You've got the numbers to make this work.

2. Consider interviewing other bloggers or reaching out for a quote. Maybe you are writing about a scene in another country--reach out to someone who might live there.

For everyone:

1. Mention other bloggers in your posts. Were you inspired by someone? Was there a useful DIY or tip that you followed? Link back to that person.

2. I (and I'm sure others) are always on the lookout for cool bloggers, so leave a comment with cool dark fashion style-related blogs that you think I should follow. If you have any ideas about growing the community, leave a post as well!


13 comments:

  1. This is a great post! I've been feeling so disconnected from the alt/Goth blogging community for at least a year. All of my old blogging friends have stopped and it can be hard to make new connections.

    Oh and thanks for mentioning GIY, I'm always looking for those kind of alt tag posts and group posts but I can never find any for alternative/goth bloggers with dark tastes anymore!

    www.thewalrusroomblog.com

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  2. You're like the best at networking, I've always noticed that about you, you genuinely care about the blogging community and staying in touch with other bloggers.

    It was really sad to go through my blog roll (that I had followed on my old account), and out of like three hundred blogs maybe twenty of them were still active. I saw all of these fantastic goth bloggers just stop without warning. Maybe it's family, work, life, maybe they got bored or didn't feel comfortable putting themselves out there, maybe they left the goth scene, who knows! But it's jarring. To have followed along with these people, to see their lives, and they just drop off, it's eerie.

    These days I actually find it harder to find up to date blogs, in the goth scene, in folk art and crafting, in anything. It's as though people just can't be bothered to write any more. I feel as though many have taken to Instagram or vlogging because it's easier, but I'm curious about content and what readers are demanding these days. I saw a transition in blogs where some have become pic heavy, and that high def, vibrant, filtered photos are the main attraction. Gone are the lengthy insightful posts about goth politics, product reviews, or personal stories. People don't want to read anymore, they want to look at a picture, favorite it, and then move onto something else.

    It's this exact same quick consumption that's putting the magazine business to death. I'm curious to know what the future will hold, and at the same time, I'm scared of it.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! Instagram isn't going to replace long-form blogging, so at least there is that. I think people like both long form and microblogging, and outfit posts with no content probably are better off on Instagram. I believe both forms can coexist....but long form isn't as findable though. I wish there was a side bar of recommended blogs like on YouTube. But alas we have to rely on word of mouth and search. I feel like someone's going to make a long-form blogging site with a good UI that has better discovery. I hope so!

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    2. It's true, Instagram only supports microblogging, but even at that I feel like people don't actually read what you write under a photo. I remember seeing a fellow user post about her kitty and people overlooked the fact that it was a memorial, asking her annoying questions like "where can I get this cat?" It's kind of a spammy platform and I'm not a huge fan, the "successful" Instagram bloggers post every five seconds and it's essentially the same photos. I love thoughtful long form blogs, but admittedly, if the formatting is off or the blog lacks photos I tend not to follow it. I'm not sure if that's because of social media trends or because I prefer magazines.

      Bloglovin' does have a "similar blogs" feature to it, but it's really crappy, most of the time the blogs have nothing in common other than that they're fashion related. The Queen of Darkness brand was spotlighting different goth bloggers around the world but it looks like it's dropped off. I guess we need the equivalent to 90's webrings?

      I'd love to know statistically how many readers are actually reading posts, how many of those users are web crawlers, and if anyone reads posts thoroughly or just glazes over them. On my old blog I had the opportunity through bloglovin' to see who actively reads my posts, but whether they were reading them or just looking at them I could never be sure.

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  3. I actually enjoy blogging and it is my preferred medium! This is great advice. I remember my old blog exploded after I participated in red and black week.

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  4. This is great advice! I've only recently started blogging again, after stopping because I got too busy. I really missed it and decided to try and give it another go :P

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    1. Wish you left a link to your blog! If you see this reply, leave a link!

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  5. I'm ashamed to say that since following you, I haven't commented on your posts-- if I did it was once maybe twice?... but heck, I love your content. It's exciting and insightful.

    I do read more than I participate in writing and in commenting in the big blog world. I get hung up on the idea that I need to temper my rambling... which I'll often do, and am doing lol.
    Certainly the desire is there to write, but my content is very very niche and most times I'm conscious of the fact that I am far from any kind of authority to speak on any subject.
    It's good to see that you and some others keep the community alive-- I shall endeavor to do my part!

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    1. Aw guilting was the last thing I wanted to do...I went back and forth whether or not to write this post. Niche content is good though... Everyone needs a focus. And I'm not an authority either. I just write about what I like and see. If you aren't confident to post, just do some extra research. Sometimes when I am not sure if something is a trend, I spend some extra time on shopping sites or look book.nu. no downsides to that. No one is born an expert. Aw and thanks for the kind words 😀

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  6. Excellent post! I definitely recommend commenting, and leave a link to your blog. Not in a spammy way; leave a legit comment and paste in your link. It's not quite a '90s webring but serves a similar function.

    One somewhat odd suggestion I have is this: Consider creating a companion Pinterest board to your blog. I created GIY's Pinterest boards as a sort of visual index for my readers. Instead of wading through Blogger's mediocre search and tag functions, readers can quickly see all my finished projects and click to the ones they're interested in.

    Though the purpose was to help existing readers navigate my blog posts more easily, the result was much more than that. Very soon, I was getting loads of traffic from Pinterest. More traffic doesn't automatically create a better community, but it does provide more opportunities to connect with people, give/receive comments and discover new blogs.

    And to heed my own advice ;)
    gothityourself.blogspot.com

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  7. I have noticed that a lot of blogs are disappearing lately, I need to find some new people to follow! I like the idea of mentioning other bloggers in your posts, there are many people who inspire me. I think the most important thing you mentioned is commenting on other people's blogs; I enjoy reading blogs with fewer followers for that reason. Bloggers with 10 000 followers who may be doing it for the money seem more impersonal whereas those of us with smaller blogs are more of a community; we are doing it because we enjoy seeing what other people in other places like to wear, etc. We follow and comment on EACH OTHER'S blogs rather than aspiring to have many people following us.

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