Finding Relevant Blogs

If you’re new to the blog world, you may be wondering how to find blogs in a particular niche.  You have the feeling, perhaps, that there are blogs written by "Return of the Jedi" fans, but you don’t know how to find them.  There’s a quick and easy answer – turns out, the web has plenty of maps of the blog world – they’re called “blog directories” or “blog indexes”, and they are great place to find relevant blogs in a particular niche or speciality.  Google Blog Search is one of my favorites (I do have a penchance for Google, like everyone else in the free world).  There are more blog indexes listed at the end of this article. 

One of my coaching clients, Lori Wostl, is part of an organization that hosts women’s-only art camps in Colorado.  Her target market is women in their 40’s and above who may (or may not) already be involved in creative endeavors. "How do I find the blogs these women are reading?"  she asked me.  This is the advice I gave her:

1.  Make a list of possible search terms (in quotes), making them as specific as possible.  If you want to find blogs on women’s art retreats, for instance, you might search for:

"women’s retreats"
"art retreats"
"women’s art retreats"
"art adventures"
"women’s art adventures"

2.  Take one of these search terms – "art retreats" – and put it into the search box of Google’s Blog Search service.  When I did that, here’s the list of results I got.  Usually the search results page is a mixed bag – some helpful links, some not helpful at all, but there’s usually something there worth a click or two.

3.  Pick a couple of these blogs (whatever looks interesting to you and doesn’t look like spam).  Investigate the blogs you find.  Do they look like they’re designed well?  Do you like what the writer has to say?  Are there indications that the author gets some traffic to the site?  If so, you may want to consider tracking this blog by adding them your feedreader or feed aggregator (click here for more information on feeds).   

4.  If you like the blog and find the content useful, check out what sites and blogs the author links to.  You may find useful leads there, as well.  Also, check out the people who are commenting on her site.  Are those blogs useful?

5.  Does this blogger have archives?  You may want to check out some past posts to see if there is relevant info in past writings.  Also, a rich archive directory may indicate that this blogger is well-established.  Also, does this person talk about topics or events you want to research further?  Keep some notes as you go along.

6.  Definitely consider commenting on the blogs you find, and start participating in the conversations within your niche.  It’s a great way to get involved in the blog world and make a connection with authors that you like and respect.  You’ll be amazed at the people with whom you can create online relationships!

In conducting this (very quick) search, I found three blogs that Lori and her partners could potentially track and participate in, including Quinn Creative, which is written by a woman who seems like a real "thinking artist".  She may have the type of readers with whom Lori will want to make connections, so this may blog may turn out to be a valuable find. 

Want to try your own search? Try these blog directories!

Google Blog Search
Technorati
IceRocket
Blogdigger

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