Canola Confession: Why Bother With Blogger Features?

Something I noticed when I first started blogging, was blogger features. They’re usually not called that specifically, but there are awards and tags that have that listed as a main point. Those posts are usually just that; the writer puts together a feature of some sort usually shouting out other bloggers that they either have a long standing relationship with or new blogs that they think they deserve some recognition.

There use to be a lot of those when I started out. I’ve noticed a significant decrease in those specific types of posts. We are writers! Well, bloggers so we’ve gotten a lot more creative with the idea of shouting out or featuring people. While blogger features still exist, somewhere, there’s a new thing a lot of us do. Your’s truly included.

The rise of “monthly/weekly/random” favorites/features/you-should-be-watching reading these posts has come. And they are fucken awesome friends. They do so much more for the blogging community then we give them credit for. Perhaps, I shouldn’t use the royal we there. They do a lot more the blogging community then I gave them credit for.

You see, I run one such feature on my blog. It’s a staple my end of the month post for nearly the entire run of my blog. I had some mishaps in the beginning. Had to made it edgy with it being favorites and fall throughs. Until I realized it was fine to just post about the positives. Had to be selfish by only posting about bloggers who had featured me first, and link back to the post that featured me originally. It’s a constant work in progress.

Despite those stumbling points, I’ve kept at it. I’ve done my best to polish the section up since it tends to get the most traffic out of my posts. It’s also really important since it’s the post that typically not dedicated to me. It’s about the community.

Sure, I tend to open with a little bit about myself and my month, but the meat and potatoes of the monthly blogger soup, is other bloggers and what they’ve been doing. In a sense, it’s as much of a feature of those bloggers, which is indeed my main goal, in as much as is it self promotion.

Which, sounds incredibly selfish of me, again, but I promise I have a point in there. The main point is I gather stuff I think is cool and shiny and showcase it on my blog, to my audience in order to highlight said nifty stuff. I do it by linking back to specific posts. People get a notification, and either they hit accept and continue on or more often then not, it appears, hit accept and then go to said post.

I mean free promotion is free promotion. Aside from that most of us have some curiosity built in. Be it a new blogger tag/award going around, or a monthly news round-up we typically want to keep tabs on where our work is being linked out too. So even just a cursory glance to make such it hasn’t ended up somewhere suspicious (hasn’t happened to me yet!) is usually in order.

So that’s why presentation, and what’s being said really does matter in these feature posts. It’s a reflective of me and my writing style, just as much as it’s a feature post. While I doubt anyone would ask me to unlike (again, hasn’t happened yet!), depending on how I present it a particular blogger may or may not be keen to check out my other works. Additionally since I cover a wide variety of topics, I’m also attempting to bridge together a new configuration of bloggers.

That’s what these posts are about, community! Since I cover so many topics and themes, I do feel a sense of responsibility to bridge some gaps. There’s crossover to be had since bloggers probably aren’t subscribed to everyone in their respective communities let alone related communities. So by putting all my niche interests on my blog, and then doing a feature with the same allows new points for bloggers to find other related stuff without using the debatable search engine.

I might be giving myself a bit too much credit, but I think I’m on to something here. If people’s comments, and then my clicks stats are anything to go by at least.

The thing is, a monthly feature article is a bit of a profitless task. Putting one together takes time, effort and some fairly serious consideration. At least for me, I don’t pick at random and I try not to double-feature the same blogger so everyone gets a fair shot. I try to keep an even mix of blogs/bloggers who I feature regularly, verses one off’s because I like variety and have been working to find more or that.

The thing is the payoff of these posts isn’t really anything to write home about. There’s no garentee that everyone featured views it, will subscribe to you, or even like the post. In fact I have a feeling that a lot of people not subscribed to me wander back to my site around the end of the month just for this post. My personal conspiracy theory really. It’s not a magical way to get your site to be more popular.

It does do something more important in the long run, that only by a bunch of us doing these posts, can do. That thing being to build up and encourage the community(ies) you are part of. I remember my first feature and nearly crying because I was so flattered, and finally was seeing some ‘payoff’ in blogging. Those initial features do a lot for fledgling blogs! It also shows that you’re willing in your own way, to engage with the community you’re part of. Maybe you don’t comment on every post, I certainly don’t, but again a work in progress, but you can say ‘hey! this post is super good check it out!’ instead.

By showing that you’re willing to share your space, and engage with other bloggers, verses waiting for other blogger’s to engage you, is such a powerful thing.


This confession went through no less then four iterations before I finally got it back to a semi-conhearant form? It’s a bit long-winded but I’ve found that tends to be my style with these. Hopefully, some people got something out of this post, and if not I’ll chalk it up as being a post just for me. I’ll see you guys in the next one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 comments

  1. Tag posts can be fun, but they aren’t actually very effective at directing traffic anywhere. The person who writes them tends to get the most out of them in the end. Even explicit feature posts that aren’t a tag post, but just a “look at these other blogs” posts seem that way. At least that’s how it is from what I’ve seen.

    Not many people click through to other blogs period, whether it be when I’ve tagged someone, or when one of my posts is featured on a weekly roundup or whatever. In some cases I’ll see that one of my posts is mentioned somewhere, featured on a list or just included somewhere in a post, and not get a single click from it.

    People don’t like clicking through, it takes a lot to get that from them. Which does make the blogger features / tag posts more about just us interacting with each other through the blogging medium than anything else.

    Like

    • That’s really interesting to hear your perspective since I’ve really had quite the opposite reaction. I’m least likely to have my own links clicked through. (Shameless plugs are shameless plugs). With the posts I’ve featured over the past few months I’ve seen quite a bit of click through traffic showing that at least a handful of readers are going over to other people’s pages.

      I would guess that my experience in this situation is the the minority, not the majority though. The points you’ve made are really accurate especially when it comes to tag posts. When it boils down to it a lot of blogger features encourage other bloggers, verses individual readers to comment and share.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi! I found this article very interesting and helpful for myself^^ I do not like to share (usually) anything personal about myself. (Security reasons) But I am looking for a person, who could help me to edit my re-shared or re-blogged posts. I started this blog many years ago, without writing none blog. Just reading others. Recently this has become the only place, I feel to ‘be safe’ (social media) I do not know how to make my re-blogged or re -shared article look nice. That is very important to me. Do you know anybody here who got that talent (e.g. simply paragraph my posts) ??

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that this post spoke to you. I totally understand not wanting to share personal info online. It’s is scary place.

      I think you’d probably want to check the new editor. There’s a lot of new features for editing posts, including re-shared/re-blogged posts. I think there’s some tutorials available in the editor and I know other bloggers have written their thoughts on the subject before.

      Unfortunately, I’m not the best to answer since my formatting is minimal at best. >..>

      Like

  3. I always think it’s really great when bloggers take the time to highlight other bloggers work. It’s flattering to be recognized and those posts can be a good way to discover new bloggers or catch a post that I might have missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way! It’s a lot of fun to see what other bloggers have been reading over a period of time. The variety is amazing!

      Liked by 2 people

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