Monday, May 21, 2007

A Million Different Blogging Directories! For Crafters - Which To Choose?

Have any of you noticed just how many FREE "blogging directories" there are now? If you haven't, then you might me surprised to know that there are a million of them. And, they are as varied in numbers as they are in type.

The "blogging directories" can be straight forward directory listings, blog topsites, listings of blog titles with clickable links by category, blog search engine directories, etc. There's even a fantasy blog stock market type of directory called "Blogshares.com."

So, for crafters how do you know which FREE blog directory to join?

Well, that depends upon what type of crafting blog you have and what kind of traffic you want to drive towards your blog. My blogs are all craft oriented and "family-friendly." For me, that means I only want to be listed in those directories that list other craft blogs and that ONLY list "family-friendly" blogs. There are a million out there that are not "family-friendly" so you need to be careful when you are reviewing those directories. Telltale signs that they are not "family-friendly" would be the most popular tags, most popular blogs, etc. You also want to watch for those that include adult, photo, video, personal, or non family-friendly buzz words categories.

You might be wondering if you have to be that careful should you even bother to list your blog? The simple answer is "YES" because by listing you will, hopefully, drive readers and traffic to your blogs. And, if you are a small business crafter on the Internet with a website and blog more traffic and readers, hopefully, means more business.

So, I've continued to do research on the directories that might be suitable for my crafting blogs and have joined the ones I wanted to. They are listed on my various blogs towards the bottom of my left or right sidebars under the category "Blog Directories." The ones I've joined for various blogs are as follows:

1) The MomPack.com "Moms Promoting Moms" - This is one of the best all around networking websites, forum, directory, etc. for women and especially "Moms" out there. Their mission is " to support our mutual goals of success through an innovative, free advertising partnership."

Their website contains so many different features that it is hard to summarize it in one small paragraph. They offer a Mom2MOM Directory with listing by category, Mom packs for advertising your small business, a coupon center, text links, giveback programs, link exchanges, information swaps, FREE stuff, business advice, FREE articles, loads of benefits just for members, etc. They also offer a friendly forum and a ton of "networking" possibilities. If you are a small business crafter on the web with a website and blog you definitely want to join "The MomPack", get yourself listed, and become an active member.



2) BlogHer.org - This by far is one of the BEST blog directories out there. And, best of all it "FOR WOMEN ONLY!" A directory filled with nothing but women bloggers. It's fabulous, it's sensational, and it has the best blogs by women bloggers on the Internet. For a small business crafter with a website and blog this is a "MUST" listing.

BlogHer.org isn't just a directory though. It also offers a forum, an annual blogging conference, blogrolls by category with BlogHer.org editors overseeing each category, advertising opportunities, a newsletter, and special offers.

Members can create a forum topic and weblinks on their account. Each weblink is reviewed by a Blogher.org staff member before they decide to include your blog or not include your blog in their listings. They have specific criteria as to how frequently you post, how commercial your blog is, etc. that they use in determining whether or not to list your blog.

For me, one of the best things about their listings is that they have a Hobbies, Crafts & DIY category with a million crafters blogs. I just LOVE it.

But, they offer much more than just crafters. Just take a look at their category list: Art & Design, BlogHer Conferences, Business, Career & Personal Finance, Entertainment & Books, Fashion & Shopping, Feminism & Gender, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Hobbies, Crafts & DIY, Law, Life, Media & Journalism, Mommy & Family, Politics & News, Race, Ethnicity & Culture, Religion & Spirituality, Research, Academia & Education, Sex & Relationships, Social Change, Non-Profits & NGOs, Sports & Fitness, Technology & Web, Travel, World, Web site .



3) BlogShares.com - I don't portend to understand exactly what BlogShares is other than to say it is a "fantasy" stock market game. Your blogs $ value is based upon a whole series of criteria including; your blogs popularity (i.e. links), players rating you by buying your shares, etc.

Here's what Blogshares.org has to say about their website on their "About" page:

Welcome to the game of BlogShares, the addicting and fast-growing web-based experience! Take the time to pop into our Forums and introduce yourself to the friendliest community on the Internet. Get involved! From documentation and support to game logic and coding, BlogShares depends on the amazing volunteer spirit of its players to improve and grow. BlogShares is more than a game—it's an addiction. Keep reading to get in on the fun!

WHAT IS BLOGSHARES? - BlogShares is a fantasy stock market where weblogs are the companies. Players invest fictional dollars on shares in blogs. Blogs are valued by their incoming links and add value to other blogs by linking to them. Prices can go up or down based on trading and the underlying value of the blog. No actual ownership of blogs is transferred. BlogShares is purely a fictional marketplace.


What I do know is that BlogShares.org is a well established blog directory that has a terrific rating, tremendous amount to offer in the way of a forum, link exchange, etc. In order to play, add blogs, and then "CLAIM" your blogs you need to create an account.

If you'd like to see what my "I Love Crafts and Crafts Blogs" BlogShare.org page looks like just CLICK HERE. I need to spend more time over there to fully understand it.



4) Technorati.com - They are probably the most widely known and recognized of the "Blogging Directories." They are also probably the biggest.

They have listings of blogs by category, popular, favorites, watchlists, WTF (Where's The Fire), etc. They also have a frame for top tags and top searches, as well as some Technorati tools you can add to your blog. You can also request for them to "ping" your blog. They, too, have a blog, a developer center, tools center, etc. If you have a blog or several blogs listing them with Technorati is a "MUST."

Here too you have to set-up an account and then you can add your blogs to it and then "CLAIM" them by adding the Technorati widget to your blog. You can assign tags to each of your blogs and a blog description when you set them up.

The Technorati widget that you place on the sidebar of your blog contains a search box for letting readers search your blog, your 50x50 avatar, clickable "Blogs That Link Here" link, and clickable "View My Profile" link. If you'd like to view my Linda's Profile CLICK HERE.


Your account will contain a page of all your blogs, their rank, their authority #, and their most popular search tags. You can also edit your account and blogs descriptions, tags, and claim at any time. You can also set-up a watchlist for your account and subscribe to their newsletter.

Each blog you have listed has 2 pages. The first is a General Page which contains your blogs rank, the number of links to it, and clickable URLs for all the links to your blog.

If you click on your blog's name on the "General Page" then you'll be brought to the 2ND page which is an "Everything in the known universe about say Linda's BLOG" page. This page contains a profile of the author, a screenshot of the blog, description of the blog, listing of fans, top ten tags, recent posts including a multi-sentence blurb of the start of the post, and blog reactions. It also contains a "search" box for searching your blog.

Bloggers can also add a "Technorati Favorites" 88x15 mini-banner and snippet to their blogs so their blog readers can add your blog to their "Technorati Favorites" list.


5) BlogCatalog.com - I previously mentioned BlogCatalog in my Linda's Blog post about Blog Communities. BlogCatalog.com is not only a "blogging community" - it's also a terrific "Blog Directory." They have 48 categories including a "Craft" category with 584 crafters blogs in it. I have the 88x15 mini-banner for BlogCatalog.com on my Linda's Blog linked to their "crafts" page.

There are very few "Blog Directories" on the Internet that actually have "craft" categories. BlogCatalog.com is one of them and if you are a small business crafter on the web with a blog you might want to consider joining their "blogging community" and being listed here.



6) GlobeofBlogs.com - GlobeofBlogs.com is a well established "Blogging Directory" that has been on the Internet since 2001. They have close to 56,000 blogs listed in 18 different categories.

They are actually one of the FEW "Blog Directories" that actually has a "Crafts" category with 233 blogs in it, a "Hobbies" category with 1,385 blogs in it, and an "Arts & Entertainment" category with 3,090 blogs in it. For crafters they usually have to list their blogs in "Hobbies" or "Arts" or "General" or "Other." So, it's nice have 3 choices for crafters here.

They also provide numerous ways for searching. You can browse the blogs by author and search by name or birthday. Or, you can browse the blogs by title, topic, or location.

On their main page they have boxes for the following: Blogs with Today's Birthday, Random Weblog, Blogs by Location, Recent Additions, Weblog of the Week, and Blogs by Topic.

They also run an annual "Blogathon" for charity where participating blogs stay up for 24 hours and post to their blogs every 30 minutes. Sponsors find blogs they'd like to support and pledge amounts that are then given to the listed charities.

If you are crafter with a blog this is a great "Blog Directory" to be listed in. They don't accept everyone. Blogs are screened for acceptance and those they like are added to their directory. Denial could be based on the blog not having enough posts or being TOO commercial.


7) Bloggapedia.com - This is a basic blog directory with 16 categories that each contain sub-categories. The Arts & Entertainment category contains 28 categories including one for "crafts." Sub-categories may or may not include their own sub-categories. The "crafts" sub-category includes 13 sub-categories.

There is a search box for typical searching by keyword, a newsletter, a forum, their own blog, and some tools for bloggers.



So, I've listed seven choices for crafters with blogs. As mentioned, there are a million directories for bloggers out there. However, most aren't "family-friendly" and most don't address crafters with blogs. As a result they don't have "Crafts" as a separate category. Sometimes they provide a "Hobbies" category or "Arts & Entertainment." Sometimes they don't even provide that so crafters are left with listing their crafting blogs in "General" or even "Other." For me, that is totally unacceptable. The blog crafting community on the Internet is growing by leaps and bounds and I think it's time for mainstream blogging directories to recognize that. At least some of the above do and for doing that I'll reward them and I'll blog about them.

A Million Different Blogging Directories! For Crafters - Which To Choose? If you're a crafter with a blog choose any one of the above or all seven.


Posted by Linda Walsh Originals - "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

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