Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blog directories - are they worth the hassle?

Read any article on how to run a successful blog and every one will mention the need for promotion to generate traffic. So it seems natural that newbie bloggers like me would want to have blogs listed on the best blog directories.

That's where the problems start.

If you google, you'll find many articles indicating the "top blog directories" but can you really trust those lists? When you try to find opinions about each of the blog directories out there, what you usually get is lots of self-promotion.

Let me share with you some of my experiences.
  • The first directory I went for was one that a trusted blogger had joined. Signing up, submitting the blog and placing the HTML code on my blog wasn't complicated. Approval was fast and, so far, I have no complaints. 
However, I now realise that it isn't always as straightforward. Submitting a blog can be confusing because each directory has different rules, terms, conditions and categories. It's when you need support that frustration can set in.
  • After submitting my blog to another directory, I began to notice alarming comments and queries from other bloggers on there. There were complaints about "other people claiming ownership of people's blogs" and questions about "how to cancel an account" ... and absolutely no replies from the directory's support team! I decided to get out fast, managed to delete my blog from the list but had no idea how to cancel my account. I hope cancelling the accompanying Facebook app has taken care of that and I trust that problems associated with this site will not haunt me in the future.
 Problems with lack of support and feedback seem quite common.
  • Having submitted my blog to another directory, I immediately got a welcome message and I was impressed, but not for long. There was a problem with my RSS feed (it hadn't been a problem on the previous directory). I had to go on Blogger help forums but I eventually fixed the problem. Then I resubmitted my blog... and waited... for ages! I asked for help on the directory's forum and some kind soul (not from the support team) suggested I put the question on Twitter, so I did that, and waited. Finally I decided to remove the HTML code/badge promoting that particular blog directory from my blog and deactivated my account. Soon after, I began receiving tweets from the directory, promoting blogs on its list. How weird is that?
Directories for Portuguese blogs are hard to find, but I have a Portuguese blog, too and there are many more Brazilians than European Portuguese, so it's important to promote my blog in Brazil.
  • I eventually found a Brazilian blog directory but while I was waiting for my blog submission to be approved, I suddenly found that anyone trying to read my blog was automatically redirected to a site full of pop-up ads! The problem only went away when I removed their HTML code from my blog! If anyone reading this knows of a reliable Brazilian blog directory, please leave a comment - I'll be eternally grateful.
To conclude, it seems to me that some blog directories mercilessly exploit submitted blogs for self-promotion and not much else. Many blog directories may say they're the oldest, the biggest, the best, the ones with the best ranking, etc. but "the proof is in the pudding".

My advice to fellow newbie bloggers? Check on the reputation of a blog directory carefully before you sign up!

My question to seasoned bloggers? Which blog directory would you recommend?


  1. Hi Mara, I used to belong to several directories and had to display their badge on my blog with a link-back. I regulary checked to see if any of my traffic came from said directories and it did not. I've now removed all bar one of the badges which is the blog farm.
    Most of my traffic is organic and as I write the blog for myself with nothing to sell I am happy with that, especially as my blog has had nearly 120,000 page views.

    I am more of a social blogger so enjoy interacting with others.

    PS I never use directories to find other blogs.

    Hope this helps

    Kind regards,


  2. Hi, Carole,
    Thanks so much for your feedback. Your experience confirms what I have found. Most of my readers found my blog thru blogrolls, only a few come from but I still don't understand how good Portuguese bloggers find each other. I have found very few PT blogs that interest me.

  3. Very interesting post and good to read about your experience with this exploration.

    May I make a suggestion.You are the best advertiser for yourself so instead of having that short line in the sidebar that says "I have a Portuguese blog too" Make yourself a button like the one you have for the Sunday Post where if someone clicks on it they are taken to your other blog. (I can help if you struggle with it)

    Your comments are also a good advertisement, the problem in my opinion is that it is a lot of hassel leaving comments on blogger that is why I left blogger and went to WordPress. The traffic was also much better on Wordpress. (I speak of experience) I get no traffic on my old Blogger blog.

  4. Hi, thanks for giving me your opinion. It is very much appreciated. The idea of a button to link to my PT blog sounds great but I have no idea how to make one. I think it would be lovely if you could explain how to do that. I think many newbie posters would be grateful.
    My PT blog started off as an almost twin blog because the google translations I read were bad (sorry. Google, but it's true). Then it took a slightly different direction but I haven't had time to work on it much or try to get it out of the "supplemental" non rank on Google. I'm feeling a bit like "Shambolic Living" at the moment.
    I do try to reply to every comment and new visitor, but not as quickly as I would like. Like you, I get disppointed when others don't reply to my comments but I don't expect to be everyone's cup of tea and, just like in real life, some people are considerate and some are "me, me, me".

  5. I will have to tinker with it again because I have stopped posting on blogger but basically take a small picture suitable for a button bold, clear representing your other blog. (logo or picture) You can create a new post edit it there by adding the link to your other blog when you click on it. Then do not post, copy the code to your sidebar widget.

    If you cannot get it right send me the url to the picture and the url to your other blog and I will get the code for you.

  6. Thk you. I left a comment on your blog, in case you didn't see this. I found a tutorial for Blogger, which I'm going to try as soon as I make up my mind on the pic I want to use.
    Your method sounds easier than the turorial's, actually. I might try both.


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