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Day 3: Write a thank you note

There’s more to the art of blogging than just the things that we see published on your blog. As many people assert, I believe blogging is at it’s heart a new type of conversation. The more people who are involved in the conversation, the greater the reach, the more diverse the group, the better the chance of something interesting coming of it. The first few months of blogging is always the most difficult because it largely feels like your talking to yourself. Every comment, note and email during that time is incredibly valuable and motivating. However, as time goes on, I haven’t found responses to lose any of their value. Several years later, I still get excited whenever I see a comment on my blog, or get a personal email from a reader who mentions that a post of mine made them think a bit.

SO, today’s challenge isn’t necessarily one that takes place publicly (although it could). There’s two directions you can take with this one. If your blog is well established already, find another blogger who has linked to you at some point and write them a brief thank you note. Let them know that you appreciate both their reading your blog, but also their linking back to you. Doing so exposes an entirely new set of readers to your own site, which really is quite a kindness. So let them know that you saw their response/comment/link, and that you appreciate their efforts.

If you are a relatively new blogger and don’t have any references to you just yet, then we’ll go in a different direction. You began blogging for a reason. More than likely, it wasn’t because you saw it mentioned on a Dateline special. Pick out a blogger who in some way influenced your decision to begin blogging and write them a thank you note. Trust me when I say, there is no greater compliment than to read an email from someone saying that you were an influence in their decision to begin blogging. So make sure that they know they were. They’ll appreciate it.

Whichever path you go down, be sure to include a link back to your blog so they know who you are. Often I know somebody’s blog rather well, but I forget the author’s name. This helps them make the connection between your note and your blog. It personalizes things. And, let’s be honest, I provides them with an incentive to follow the link back and visit your blog. I do have to admit, whenever someone sends me a personal note, I always follow back their link to see who they are and what they’re doing. Give them an opportunity to do the same.

If you’re going to write a person who has linked to you, Problogger has a few tips for finding who’s doing so:

  • Technorati – type your URL in and hit search and you’ll find any blogs linking to you
  • Google Blog Search – another good tool for real time link tracking
  • Your Blog’s Metrics – any worthwhile stats package will give you a ‘referrals’ stat that shows incoming links. I use Google Analytics but you could also use Sitemeter, Mint, AW Stats or one of many other metrics tools.
  • Search Engines – type in ‘link:http://www.yourblog.com’ at Yahoo or Google and you’ll find incoming links to your blog – note: this isn’t a quick or immediate method of finding recent links.

As I said at the beginning, you can choose to thank the person in the form of an email, a comment on their blog, or you can do so as a post on your own blog. However, if you do the latter, be sure to email them a personal note as well to ensure that they see the blog post. And of course, if you do create a post, leave a link to it here as well! That way other people can learn something from your own efforts.

I’ll update this post when I’ve decided who I’m going to send a thank you to!
UPDATE: Not gonna get all mushy and post the text of my thank you, but I thanked someone who had a profound influence on my early blogging, and continues to inspire me today… Alan Levine, CogDogBlog.

  • I like the way some blog comment mechanisms (like this one for example) allow you to enter your own blog/website when leaving a comment. I’ve found my way to many blogs by following a link from an interesting comment left on other people’s blogs and I know that my comments left elsewhere have brought traffic to my blog. – See “Day 2″ tip for how I know this. :-)

    David Muir´s most recent blog post.. Cheaters never win and winners never cheat!

    David Muir

    11/3/2008

  • I never considered getting other bloggers to link to my blog. I originally created this blog as a way to relay information to teachers in my building. I need to get in the habit of writing to a wider audience.

    Jim

    11/3/2008

  • [...] a DABA.  This kind of goes hand in hand with the 30 Days to Being a Better Blogger Campaign that Steve Dembo is sponsoring too. Yesterday I was pleasantly alerted to the fact (thanks to the alerts by Google I [...]

  • Another thank you – to you Steve for giving me a reason to organize my thoughts around the giving and receiving of the gift of comments.

    Kate Tabor´s most recent blog post.. Thank you notes

    Kate Tabor

    11/3/2008

  • Well I kinda of did day three.

    Selena Ward´s most recent blog post.. Thank-You

    Selena Ward

    11/3/2008

  • Happy that I had another chance to thank Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach.

    Nancy´s most recent blog post.. 30D2BBB – A Heartfelt Thanks

    Nancy

    11/3/2008

  • Eye surgery tomorrow; will catch up on the days I miss shortly. Posted on the PA blog because I didn’t know how to link back to a blog. I understand linking, but not how to “link back” or “link to” a blog.

    RJ Stangherlin´s most recent blog post.. Saying Thank You

    RJ Stangherlin

    11/3/2008

  • Thanks, Steve. This is a really a great idea. We rely on the support of our network, but don’t often thank them.

    I do want to send a thank-you your way, though. It was after your DEN pre-conference presentation on blogging at PETE&C that I set up my first Bloglines account and made the decision to start blogging as well. Thanks for you continued inspiration.

    Jennifer Dorman´s most recent blog post.. On Creativity and Learning

    Jennifer Dorman

    11/3/2008

  • Here is day 3 of the blogger challenge and I have been keeping up so far. I would like to thank you Steve, for the great posts that you make. They are relevant and informational, but best of all your ideas/suggestions, tools and sites that you post are fantastic, as well as easy for teachers to use. As an ed tech leader in my district, it gives me an endless bag of tricks.

    I’ve hesitated for a long time on creating a blog, but your challenge has motivated me. I felt that with your guidance, I could definitely have a quality blog that will reach teachers across the globe.

    Rosy

    11/3/2008

  • I decided to go ahead and put my thank you on my blog. I am liking this challenge so much. Thanks!

    Natalie´s most recent blog post.. Day 3 The Thank You

    Natalie

    11/3/2008

  • Hiya Steve,

    What a nice way to start the morning (raining intensely outside) to have coffee and your email atop my inbox.

    Thanks. I am honored. And I replied to Steve, also thanking him for important things he did for me as well.

    This is a subtly brilliant way of doing something for your blog w/o touching it. No, it’s not about doing something for your blog, or as an earlier commenter wrote, in pursuit of link gain. It’s about paying back to people by a small bit of acknowledgment. No matter how pure you are in your purpose of blogging just to express, knowing that someone reads you or is getting something out of your work, fuels the fires to keep blogging.

    I have babbled before that blogging is much more than just tossing things in a box and clicking “publish”, it is about participating in the space (in and around) other people’s blogs.

    Spread the good news!

    Alan Levine´s most recent blog post.. I Did

    Alan Levine

    11/4/2008

  • Hi Steve,

    As a relatively new blogger I stumbled on this challenge through my twitter network just yesterday – it’s just what I need right now as I enter that challenging phase of “am I talking to myself?”. So, as part of my thank yous for today’s challenge I have to extend it to yourself as well. So, thank you for helping me focus and clarify why it is I decided to blog.

    Nic

    Mobbsey

    11/4/2008

  • Steve-

    Thanks for you timely and informative posts. I’ve only been reading your blog for a short period of time, but you’ve already given me a few great ideas!

    Joe

    11/4/2008

  • Hi Steve,

    Thanks to your #3 assignment, I’ve received some very nice comments. This was one thoughtful activity. Thank YOU!

    All the best,

    Doug

    Doug Johnson

    11/4/2008

  • I chose to thank a few parents of students who were very faithful blog readers. Could always count on them to reference my blog just about the time I was thinking “why bother? no one is reading.”

    Martha Thornburgh

    11/4/2008

  • [...] you Pepperdine OMET By Colette Cassinelli DAY THREE:  WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE Pick out a blogger who in some way influenced your decision to begin [...]

  • I thanked all the teachers and cadre members of my Masters of Educational Technology program from Pepperdine University. They introduced me to blogging – but most of all – taught me about LEARNING!!!!

    Colette Cassinelli´s most recent blog post.. Tech Tip Tuesday – Google Presentations

    Colette Cassinelli

    11/4/2008

  • [...] up my learning network…some of you know who you are, others have no idea. (But I’ll be sending out a few thank you notes so you may find out soone.)  Together, we are living, learning, and growing [...]

  • [...] Day 3: Write a thank you note: [...]

  • Mine went to Karl Fisch. ‘Nuff Said.
    ;-)

    Sean Nash´s most recent blog post.. Take That, 20th Century

    Sean Nash

    11/6/2008

  • I took a slightly different twist on the idea of giving thanks. I truly appreciate the bloggers who provide encouragement, advice, and great ideas to the preservice teachers in the Instructional Technology course I teach. So I sent a thank you note to one of their favorite bloggers: Joel of So You Want to Teach (http://www.soyouwanttoteach.com).

    Thanks to you, too, Steve. I’ve learned from your blog in the past and I appreciate this series.

    Jo Schiffbauer´s most recent blog post.. Common Craft Video Explains Phishing

    Jo Schiffbauer

    11/8/2008

  • Here is day 3 of the blogger challenge and I have been keeping up so far with Steve Dembo’s blogging challenge. I would like to thank Steve, for the great posts that you make. They are relevant and informational, but best of all your ideas/suggestions, tools and sites that you post are fantastic since they are easy for teachers to use. As an ed tech leader in my district, it gives me an endless bag of tricks. I’ve hesitated for a long time on creating a blog, but your challenge has motivated me. I felt that with your guidance, I could definitely create a productive and meaningful blog.

    Rosy

    11/9/2008

  • [...] idea comes from Steve Dembo in Day 3 – Write a Thank You note. He suggests you can write to thank another blogger who has linked or you, or you can write a note [...]

  • Melanie Ruiz

    1/4/2009

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