Whether you've been blogging for a little bit or a long while, one of the highlights of running a blog is seeing what other people think of it. Unfortunately, that can be one of the lowlights as well, especially if you run across a disgruntled reader or a bit of bad press. As a fashion blogger, you wear many hats, and one of those is likely managing your own PR. While a big part of PR is outreach and networking, another crucial component is conversation monitoring, that is, keeping up with what other people have to say about you, your blog, or your chosen subject matter.
While this may sound like an exercise in narcissism at first (because yes, one of the things I'll recommend is Googling your own name), it's vitally important to keep track of what's being said about your blog. In addition to objective criteria, like your blog's stats, checking in with subjective criteria (like other people's opinions) is a good way of seeing if you're becoming the kind of blogger you want to be.
Now you don't necessarily need to change anything about your blog based on what you find. We all know the way the internet works; that there will always be at least one person out there who doesn't like what you're doing. Rather, this exercise is about learning how other people perceive you, and then asking yourself if you're okay with that perception. If so, then great. Nothing needs to change. But if not, now you'll have some direction for where to adjust your blogging efforts from now on.
So let's start with the big search engine: Google. Depending on how much traffic your blog gets, I think it's a good idea to search for your name, your blog's name, and a few variations on your blog's name every couple of weeks or so (for example: “lingerie addict” and “lingerieaddict”). Google makes it easy with their “Search Tools” that allows for time-limited results. So, for example, you can limit your search results only to what's come up in the past day, week, month, or year. If this is your first time searching for yourself, I recommend starting with “past year,” and then a month from now, you can just select the “past month” option.
As the photo illustrates, I also recommend using quotes around your name or blog name to limit your search results and make them more specific. If your blog name is “Ballet Slippers and Belgian Waffles,” for example, you don't want Google to return results for those four words in any combination on any webpage. You want the specific sequence that means your blog name. If you're wondering what's been said about you on a specific site, just add the search operator site:[url.com] to whatever you're searching for. Among other things, I use the site search modifier to see what pages have linked to my blog on Facebook, for example (Graph Search doesn't work very well for that). Remember not to add any spaces between “site” and the web address; otherwise, the command won't work.
Do you search for what's being said about your blog regularly? If not, do you think it's a good idea to start? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]