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Don’t Be An Insular Blogger

Posted By Darren Rowse 27th of November 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Reader-Quick-TipsThis reader ‘quick tip’ is from Yaro Starak from Blog Traffic School

I’ve noticed lately my blog is not growing as rapidly as it did about a year ago. While my posting frequency has dropped a little I don’t think that’s the main reason for the reduction in traffic growth.

I believe the culprit is insular blogging. Insular blogging is when you sit and post content to your blog never linking to or talking about other bloggers, blogs or websites. You need to interact with the blogosphere and other people online in order to grow your traffic rapidly.

You can have success as an insular blogger if what you write is compelling enough that people spread the word. You need exceptional talent to pull this off at a rapid growth pace. Most bloggers can’t do it. They need help, they need to share traffic with other bloggers.

My blog tip is to take action by getting out there and meeting other bloggers via your blog. Link to other blogs, review other blogs, email bloggers, do content exchanges, write an e-book with another blogger and join in with the discussion started by other bloggers. Good luck! – Yaro

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. This is one thing I don’t think I do enough of. I think I never really understood how important it was to do this until this tip. I am always looking for who is linking to my blogs so I suppose others so the same. Thanks for the tip.


  2. I think that if your site concerns blogging in general, this is very good advice.

    If your site concerns content relevant to the mainstream, quality content over time is the answer, whether you link to other bloggers or not.

    If you write an excellent article, people will link to it whether you link to them or not.

  3. Thanks Darren. I’ve got to the point where I’m done talking to myself :)

    I think initially writing for oneself is good to find your voice and style, but there comes a time.

    One thing I find difficult is importing someone’s blogroll into my aggregator. When I find someone I like,I’m interested to import their blogroll. Is this possible?

  4. I agree totally. A blogger should always be a networking guy, i mean the linking part of it. Or els, he aint got an existence. Another disease diagnosed recently on bloggers are the Ad-Alergy syndrom.Read more about it in my blog.


  5. It can be very time consuming to find other blogs. Any tips for finding relevant quality blogs?

  6. create some watchlists on Technorati
    create some search threads on Bloglines
    create some news alerts on Google News
    create some news alerts on Google Blog Search

    With each of these you let tools do the work for you and find fresh relevant conversations happening around the blogosphere on topics that you specify.

  7. I completely agree with this tip, many people including myself are guilty of insular blogging

    When I read a blog post I want an end result! – a link to divulge further into discussion or just find the source. The last thing I want to do is have to press the back button.

  8. With my current primary blog, this was actually my core focus

    Rather than try to remain a remote island, I am focusing on community

    Stage 1 Get rid of “nofollow” – I want people to comment and trackback. Smart blog design can offset total pagerank leakage and spam filters and a clear comments policy are proving to be very effective.

    Stage 2 I put my highest priority on subscribers, not monetisation

    Stage 3 was reciprocity. I encourage my readers to add me to their Technorati favorites, and I always reciprocate and read their blogs. My favorites feed can get a little owerwhelming, so I also subscribe to my readers blogs individually if they prove interesting.

    Stage 4 I get involved in the communities of my readers

    Stage 5 Clear branding for my site, and for when I post comments elsewhere, or in various social networks.

    Stage 6 Increasing my involvement in various social networking services, such as Mybloglog. I visit and subscribe to lots of blogs that way.

    So far the results are very promising. I have gained traffic, and I have also experienced an increase in page views per visitor and subscribers.
    It will be interesting monitoring the long-term effects and whether things will snowball.

  9. A good reminder. I’ll work on it now that I’m done with SEO, ad optimization and other technical improvements on my blog.

    Communication and interaction in the blogosphere are key essentials.

  10. Where’s the payoff in being insular? The art of blogging has turned into more of a world party than could have been originally imagined; there’s no need for anyone to be a wallflower. Writing is communication and blogging is communication in one of its highest forms, so spread the wealth.

  11. I have found that linking to other people’s blogs and commenting on other people’s blogs are two of the best ways to gain new, regular readers.

    Great advice as always!

  12. It seems like there might be a fine line between setting up links, and spamming people just to increase your site’s visibility. Are there some rules of thumb about how to do this respectably?

  13. This is definitely true and from what i’ve worked with the search engines agree as well. Your blog is of no use to someone if it doesn’t give them the info they need and worse than that doesn’t point them in the right direction. Something else i’ve noticed is that by giving credit and linking to other bloggers while often times return in the same thing. Nice post

  14. Where’s the payoff in being insular?

    If you have the leverage, there isn’t a need to leak your traffic to other people. How many blogs have a subscribed readership of 300,000+
    Many marketers have at least that many subscribers to their email lists.

    They are not insular, but there has to be a very good reason to send traffic to someone else and share subscribers.

    Blog networks in a way are insular, because you are establishing preferred link partners.

    How much time do you devote to your existing RSS feeds rather than browsing various aggregation services? If all you do is read existing feeds in your reader, that is also an insular act. The benefit is time, and if you selected your feeds carefully, a good content to noise ratio.

  15. All great tips, thanks.

    It’s so time consuming, though. Am I the only one working a full time job and running a blog? I like the socializing part, but the blogging is the fun thing for me.

    I am going to make some effort to socialize a little more.

    Thanks again,

  16. Agree, but like networking IRL, participation in the blogosphere should be genuine and coming from a place of sincerity. If one’s only motivation for reading others’ blogs and commenting on them is to drive traffic to their own … yecch. Nobody likes the mooch, whether it’s a real party or a virtual one!

    Thanks for putting this simple yet oft-overlooked info on everyone’s radar.

  17. Agreed. I look to it as blog karma. Link to him and he’ll eventually link back. I’ve been in the internet marketing world for over three years, and every face and name I’ve discovered through other people’s blog links. Link to other bloggers, and leave comments. If you can upload a picture of yourself, do it (and I mean a picture of yourself, not a stupid cartoon). People that I’d say are the most successful online have their pics all over their blog! Talk the talk and you’ll soon walk the walk.

  18. […] Don’t Be An Insular Blogger Por isso que digo que linkar os outros é a melhor maneira de se promover. (tags: Blogging Blogosfera) […]

  19. […] Insular vs Community Related tags:advertising community critical mass email marketing marketing mybloglog social marketing social networks vreDarren Rouse yesterday had a very useful reader tip on insular blogging. […]

  20. Darren – great meeting you with Jeremy when you were in Toronto. Doesn’t insular blogging also depend upon what the goal for your blog is? More and more news based sites seem to be launching using blog platforms – are they insular if they do not link?
    Take for example the Huffington Post which is the Technorati Top 100.

  21. I’m Guilty, guilty and guilty of doing this as well. :( Hoping we can get that blogger meeting going in TO Yaro.

  22. […] Further to those notions is this article on insular blogging which reinforces l3vis article above. […]

  23. I agree with the community-building aspects of what Yaro’s saying. I would add that bloggers should be careful of too much re-blogging (pointing to other blogger’s content) and not enough of their own. A good balance should be the goal.

  24. […] I think that this post is actually going to be somewhat a bit of an insular weblog entry on its own. Oh, wait, I just linked to Darren’s ProBlogger! I guess it will not be after all. Sigh. Anyway, I just wanted to get together this article in order to share something that although initially it may sound a bit too selfish (Not to worry. I will try to keep in mind being a humble blogger. Goodness ! Here I go again, linking to another article from Darren’s weblog referencing the superb entry "The Honor of Humility"), it is actually quite interesting since earlier on today it forced me to actually ponder about my blogging habits and why I got here in the first place. Yes, that is right, this is another weblog post that touches base on some of the reasons as to why I still keep on weblogging on three different places day in day out. And for the last three years already ! […]

  25. […] Now that I’ve finished putting up all my blog drafts, I’m finally free to do some active linking. I’m a firm believer in sharing because I think insular blogging is one of the worse things a blogger can do, when trying to build link popularity and consistent traffic. […]

  26. […] Insular, aislado, recluído en un pequeño espacio de la gran blogósfera, de modo que nadie te conozca.  Del blog de Darren Rowse, transcribo el interesante tip. […]

  27. You could also call this “Hermit Blogging”, lol ;-)

  28. Thank you for the tips on how not to be an insular blogger. I’m relatively new to blogging…only started about 2 or 3 weeks ago, so I’m trying to learn all I can and really help myself stand out on the Internet. I will use the tips you have given and continue to work on connecting with other people.

    –Anne Rains



  29. Good post. One more tip to help me build my traffic. Thanks

  30. I’m happy I found this tip. I started my blog “social Press” less than 2 weeks ago and I started visiting other blogs and commenting where I found a post of interest to me. I started wondering if this would show a sign of weakness, but after reading your quick tip I realize that this is acceptable. I have even blogged about it since I found it so thank you.

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