Friday, June 6, 2014

Urban Fieldnotes is Now Featured on StreetStyleNews!

A couple of months back, I decided it was time to get pro-active again in promoting Urban Fieldnotes. The blog had been stagnating at around 15,000 pageviews per month. It had a few hundred Facebook likes, a few hundred Instagram followers, and was approaching a thousand Tumblr followers. That's not bad for an anthropology blog, but it's not awesome for a street style one. In order for this project to be successful, it also needs to have readers. I was ready to experiment with various methods of expanding my readership further. This is not just self promotion, after all; it is science! 

So I concentrated my energy in a few directions. I started leaving comments much more regularly on other peoples' blogs, tagging them with my URL. I worked on building my Instagram following by strategically liking the posts of and following other Instagrammers. Neither of these efforts seemed to result in much of an increase in my traffic. Blog comments are largely an anachronism. More and more people reserve their active online engagement for Instagram and maybe Tumblr. And besides, leaving comments on people's blogs, other than in those rare cases where I felt genuinely moved to say something, left me feeling kinda dirty. Instagram is way more fun. It feels much more like an organic online community. And it's image-based, so it's very much in my medium. But Instagram, regardless of its unquestionable import to the fashion world more generally, is not exactly a major traffic driver to sites outside Instagram. Instagram doesn't allow you to embed links. Images and tags just ricochet through the platform.

I also decided at that time to reach out to StreetStyleNews, a popular website and blogger network allowing you to view "global street style in one glance." I'd been making use of the website for years already, checking their "Daily Most Popular" list and their collection of featured bloggers to find new blogs to follow. It's a been a great resource for this project. Now if only I could get Urban Fieldnotes listed as one of their featured blogs...

I wasn't sure how it worked. I figured StreetStyleNews likely contact blogs with whom they'd like to be associated. I clearly hadn't shown up on their radar yet. But what the hell. It wouldn't hurt to email them and make them aware of me. 

I heard back in a few days from StreetStyleNews. "Great blog!" they told me. They'd love to feature it, but they also have quite a waiting list of other blogs. They said they'd let me know when they had availability. So I waited. A few weeks went by, and I waited some more. Then I got tired of waiting. So I wrote them again to see where I was on the waiting list. And the result? Well, you already know. Urban Fieldnotes is now a featured blog on StreetStyleNews! So from now on, when I tweet or Facebook my latest post info, StreetStyleNews will be tweeting and Facebooking it too (follow StreetStyleNews on Twitter here or like StreetStyleNews on Facebook here). If lots of people then click through to my blog, Urban Fieldnotes could end up on their "Daily Most Popular" list, thereby driving my traffic up further. Theoretically, this should substantially impact the traffic to my site. We shall see. In the meantime, I need to get back out on the streets and take more photos! With Drexel's term coming to an end, it's been tricky these last few weeks. I'll make it up to you this summer.

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