This post is for my fellow bloggers — especially those who may be newer to blogging and still figuring it all out. I have only been blogging for about 5 or 6 months and since it took me quite a while to figure out what blogging sites held the most benefit for me as far as getting great info and sharing content, I thought I would share with others and get a conversation going about your favorite sites that I may have missed.
Here is a quick list of what I look for in a blog hang out:
Shareability – I want to be able to share my post links, or even better a full post or teaser that links back to my website. The more visibility the better so I can take advantage of another sites audience to further my own cause :o)
Readability – I want to be able to read awesome work from other bloggers to inspire me, preferably organized by category.
Linkability - I want to find opportunities on social media to share my posts and get new followers to both my site and my social media outlests. I also want link ups that are creative and have specific rules so I can participate and find awesome new blogs to follow.
Loveability – Finally, I am a sucker for some blog love. If you have opportunities for me to be featured, I am there. This feeds my attention seeking behavior (ASB) and that’s always a good thing! … Or is it?
So here are my favorites in no particular order. I visit most of these daily and follow all of them on social media. I am sharing which posts I have had featured on each, not because I am bragging (well maybe a little), but to give you an idea of what types of posts I have had success with for each site.
1. Blogher “BlogHer is a platform for sharing great voices, stories and ideas. If you’re a creator, we invite you to share your voice with our community.”
Blogher offers many opportunities for bloggers from conferences to advertising and everything in between. What I love is that you can publish your posts on Blogher and have your own little blog that lives on their website and exposes you to their readers (and they have a lot!). They also organize things nicely into categories so you can check out your favorite areas (I like the humor section under work/life!) or just check out the home page to see what is popular today. I post any of my regular posts that I feel are widely relevant as soon as I publish them on my site. Readers can comment right on your Blogher post and you can see how many reads each of your posts has received.
Blogher also shares the love from time to time by featuring member posts. Other than publishing your blog post on Blogher, there is nothing you need to do to get your post featured. You will just get an email letting you know IF the powers that be decide to feature your post. Curious about what types of posts they feature? I have posted 37 times on Blogher since January and 4 of them were selected to be featured. You will see a high number of readers for your featured posts since Blogher will place them prominently on their main and category pages along with a photo (non-featured posts don’t have a photo). They will also promote them on social media. My Blogher featured posts so far have been: 3 Plans To Eliminate The Musty Smell In My Front Load Washer (728 reads on Blogher), Why Can’t People With Kids Keep Their Cars Clean? 4 Solutions For Busy Parents (528 reads on Blogher), My Valentine’s Day Evolution (366 reads on Blogher), and Be More Funny! 22 Prompts To Help You Write Humor Posts (1625 reads on Blogher). Even some of my non-featured posts have had high reader numbers on Blogher, for example: 3 Misconceptions About QVC Watchers (My People) (1080 reads on Blogher). Blogher offers much more than I have mentioned here including a monster conference in July.
2. Bonbon Break – When I got serious about blogging a few months ago, I was trying to find some great female funny bloggers to cyber stalk and came across Kathy Radigan who blogs at My Dishwasher’s Possessed. As I was stalking her About page, I saw that she had co-founded Bonbon Break and quickly headed over to check it out. Bonbon Break is really unique because they split up their content by room. Recipe posts can be found in the Kitchen, parenting posts in the Family Room, relationship and personal stories in the Bedroom and so on. You can hang out in the place that best fits your mood. Each ‘room’ has an editor who is also a blogger. You can submit your existing posts to the appropriate ‘room’ on their Submissions Page, and once you have been published/featured by Bonbon Break once, you can start submitting original post ideas for consideration. I believe they have a 6 or 8 week minimum between featuring posts from the same author now, but I have had 2 posts featured (out of 19 submissions) to date and love the platform because they will have a teaser on their site and then send readers right to your website to read the rest of the post instead of keeping them captive on their site. My 2 featured posts on Bonbon Break have been: 3 Unusual Places Mom Can Take A Breather (Family Room) and “Mommmmmeeee!!!”: 5 Ways To Shut Down Nighttime Call Outs (Bedroom).
Bonbon Break also does some awesome podcasts and runs some great link ups on Facebook (be sure to join their Bonbon Break Chat group on FB as well) and Google+, so be sure to follow them!
If you are looking for some great new blogs to follow, check out their About page to see bios for the editors of each ‘room’. I follow most of their blogs too – there are some awesome ones! I am already imaginary friends in my head with Ellie (Family Room Editor) of Musing Momma and Rebecca (Bedroom Editor) of Frugalista Blog as well as Editor in Chief, Val Curtis. I’m thinking about begging them to add a Garage or maybe a Butler’s Pantry and let me be the editor.
3. Blogging Betties – The Betties are fairly new and I have been checking them out more and more. I especially love their podcast interviews conducted with bloggers that people like us want to be like when we grow up. Add a cool black and white landing page and I am in.
While there isn’t a place to share your content on their site, they recently had a little Google+ thread where you could share the post you would save ‘if your blog was on fire’ – ha! I got a lot of love for the post I added even though there were only a few others in the thread. Works for me! They share some great info on social media, blogging tech tips and blog monetization and they have a cool name and logo, so I expect you will be hearing lots more from them in the near future! The Betties are Poppy Marler, Vanita Cyril and Tammy Soong . I was just reading about them and had to subscribe to Tammy’s blog because it is called World’s Worst Moms and well, that blog name just makes me feel better about myself.
4. Virginia Bloggers - This is a local site where I hang out and share my weekly posts in their Friday Favorites Link-up. There are usually less than 30 posts shared in this link up, which I like because I can go through all of them and because they are all written by my VA peeps! I’m sure this will grow, but it is a cozy hang out for me now. They also featured one of my posts in their last Friday Favorites: How This First Time Mommy’s Sanity Was Saved With A Camera. Check out Virginia Bloggers or find out the blogging website for your state, city, region etc.
5. Type-A Parent – Type-A is a social network that caters to mom AND dad bloggers, and I feel like I should rub elbows with the men folk at least once in a while. I latched on to Type-A simply because I found their intimate little Friday Link-up Talk of The Blogosphere. While this is a small Link-up (30-ish?), I get a lot of love from it and am able to go through all of the posts pretty easily, which makes me feel benevolent and Glinda-ish. One of the rules of this link-up is to SHARE 3 of the posts, so you get a little more than just a few ‘likes’ from it. Amen! Type-A is much more than just my Link-up fix, they have a big bloggers conference each year and have just announced a professional organization promoting the ‘New Media Professional’ among other things.
6. The SITS Girls – This is one that everyone probably knows about, but since I was late to this party, I figure a few others might be too. The FIRST thing I want you to do here is sign up for your feature day. SITS features a different blogger/blog every day and although I am still waiting for a few more months for mine, it is a great place to be! SITS gives some info about the blog and the blogger with links over to your home page and three of your favorite posts leading to some serious traffic. There is a 6 month waiting list, so it will be a while after you sign up and you’ll will want to read and comment on the featured blogger each day to earn the love you will get back when you are featured.
SITS also offers a Bloggy Bootcamp and provides lots of tips for bloggers on blog monetization, social media etc. Be sure to follow them on Facebook etc. and don’t miss their Saturday Sharefest where you can link your favorite post of the week and tally up some follows and followers. This is a big link up with hundreds of posts/bloggers to read, share and follow.
7. Project Underblog – The tagline for this site is ‘small and mighty.’ I often scan the side bars of my favorite blogs to see where they have been published so that I can try to copy cat. I saw this site in the fabulous side bar of Stephanie Sprenger over at Mommy, for Real (She gives good side bar). Anyway, as an S-Spreng wannabe, I quickly checked them out and loved what I found!
If you are sick of social media, tribes and site stats, come over to this site for a minute and take a breather (then go join a Twitter party ASAP because your stats blow). Luxuriate here for a minute though.
“Project: UnderBlog is a submission-based collaborative writing project honoring the smaller voices in the blogging community. With a foundation of 5-10 core bloggers to publish, promote, and engage on a monthly basis, this is ultimately a place where the majority of the content comes from submissions. Anyone can submit and share their voices and stories without consideration of their blog stats, followers, page ranks, and social media reach.”
Ahhh – isn’t that refreshing! Don’t miss their Friday Favorites where they include links for 5 of their favorite posts from the week. I love when someone else hand picks good stuff for me to read, and they rock at this. Comment on your favorites and then leave a link for your own post in the comments for that week’s fav’s. Once again small and intimate and I love it! If you want to submit something for Project Underblog to consider publishing on their blog, you can read the guidelines here. I am excited to be featured on Project Underblog coming up on April 23rd — woohoo!
8. Bloppy Bloggers - Bloppy is a facebook group that I believe was given birth to by Julie DeNeen of Fabulous Blogging. Many in the Bloppy Army sing her praises on a daily basis as an awesome blogger and social media queen. I am new and just dipping my toe in the water, but this group has over 1,000 members now and has pretty much daily threads where you can add your blog links for sharing. There are a lot of active members from all different types of blogs, so you will get a good mix of content to read and a new place to share your content. There are also lots of Q&A threads about various social media and blogging topics that you can jump in on. The only caveat is that this groups is SO active, you may find yourself turning off notifications now and then because you get SO many notifications. A good problem to have though if you are looking to connect with other bloggers!
What blogging sites can’t you live without? Share in the comments other bloggers can all benefit!