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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Welcome To The Carnival

Think of a carnival and you think of lights, noise and a good show. You may also think of cotton candy and humongous hot dogs, but that's not where I'm going with this. There's a new kind of carnival that all bloggers should know about. It's called a blog carnival.

What is a blog carnival?

A blog carnival is where you get to show off the stuff you've been writing about in your blog. I only found out about these a few weeks ago when I was looking for new ways to promote my blog. A carnival is a collection of blog posts around a theme. In most cases you submit your own posts to the carnival or carnivals. There are carnivals for everything, it seems - dogs, cats, the kitchen sink, family life.

How do I get my post listed?

Submit it to the blog carnival of your choice, but make sure the content is appropriate. Almost all the carnivals have rules about what they will and will not accept, how old or new the post has to be and so on. There are two good places to start. First, conservativecat.com has a carnival submit form which makes the process easy. The page has a list of several blog carnivals, the deadline for submission and space to put in the blog post title and author, your email address and any comments. There is also lots of other carnival related information on the page. A second option is a similar list on blogcarnival.com. This makes it even easier to see the carnival name, category and due date for the next edition.

What happens next?

Once you've submitted your post, whoever is hosting the carnival does a roundup of the posts. An email is then sent out to all participants to let them know the carnival has been posted. This week I've submitted posts to the Carnival of Family Life and the Best of Me Symphony. In doing so, I've gained a few more visitors to some of my old posts. The carnival is hosted by different bloggers each period (whether it be weekly, monthly or quarterly), so hosting a carnival is also a good way to get traffic. I haven't volunteered for this duty yet, mainly because of the time needed to read and summarise all the blog posts, but there are a few bloggers who already do that here on WritingUp, so this might be a good move for them.

Final word

Now, I'm not saying I know everything there is to know about blog carnivals. As I said, I'm quite new to this. So far it seems to be working. Another benefit is that it can tell you who else is posting similar material and give you new blogs to visit. The more blogs you visit and comment on, the more comments and visits your own blog will attract. Seems like a good deal to me.

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