Indie and I were talking about whether a sub-domain name gets in the way of Search Engine Rankings–the whole “Google doesn’t like sub-domains” idea. The question was whether that is true if your blog holds court with quality content in a specialty niche. Indie’s comments and his recent blog start-up put forth a compelling argument. We agreed he should share his experience with the community. My hope is that he’ll check in every now and then and let us know how this New Year’s Tucholdky Blog of 2006 is doing. –ME “Liz” Strauss
A Blog Is Born
I have just started a new blog and Liz thought the readers of Successful-Blog might benefit from some of my experiences. So with my own feeling of how to do things, and some of the ideas picked up from Liz, I set out . . .
The Blog’s Purpose
The purpose of the new blog is to present the works of Kurt Tucholsky, a brilliant German journalist, satirist, poet who died in 1935. He was one of the few persons who saw clearly what was going on in German during the 1920’s and gave prescient warnings against him. His works today are just as relevant as they always were, so it seems a good idea to translate them for an English audience. I am also collaborating with the poet David Raphael Israel, who will take my literal translations into formal lyric– that’s quite frankly a task that’s beyond me. We developed a short and specific description, which is the first thing visitors will see:
Title: Kurt Tucholsky
Description: Contains a selection of the works of satirist Kurt Tucholsky (1890ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢â¬Å1935), translated into English from the German by Indeterminacy. These translations (along with an impression of the originals) then form the basis for poet David Raphael Israel’s formal verse renderings. All translations copyright 2006.
The first step was selecting a domain. I wanted to do the blog in Blogspot, because I’m used to Blogspot and that’s where my other blogs are, plus I believe (whether rightly or wrongly) that this will give a slight advantage in search indexing, at least in Google searches. I checked for the domain http://tucholsky.blogspot.com/, but it was blocked by a blog that never took off. Then I tried reserving http://kurttucholsky.blogspot.com/. That was available. The domain name of course has 100% relevance to the content, so I think it’s the perfect name for the site.
Setting up the Blog:
I selected one of the default template designs, actually the same I’m using at The Synchronicity of Indeterminacy but without all the links and add-ons. I think it’s essential to have some kind of statistic program–to see who visits, and which site referred users. Sometimes that’s the only way to tell if someone has linked to you. I added a minimum of relevant links: The Kurt Tucholsky Society, the German language Tucholsky blog, and the Wikipedia entry on Tucholsky.
After the first two posts I wrote to the Kurt Tucholsky Society in Germany about the project. A member of their board of directors was gracious enough to give his blessing in a lengthy post mentioning the project. I went in and added a blog introduction to lay down the purpose of the blog, and to give some background about why I wanted to do this. The blog is actually a spontaneous spin-off of a post I made at indeterminacy.
Next I added a link section to online collections of Tucholsky texts in the original German and a further link section to be maintained over time containing a chronological list of relevant posts about Tucholsky at other blogs (regardless of language). I also visited a few German language blogs that had posted one of the poems. David has written to poetry forums and friends to gather feedback for the project.
The bloggers at the blogs I visited responded enthusiastically about the project, not because they want to read Tucholsky in English, but because Tucholsky’s works are relatively unknown in that language. His works have been translated, of course, but these translations are out-of-print. So the blog fills a niche by making Tucholsky’s works accessible to a new audience. I intend to add a section of links to Bibliofind.com for each English language edition from which people can call up a list of used books.
The First 100 Hits:
The blog was created on January 4th. Ten days have gone by. Three posts and an introduction. Some of the visitors were of course random referrals from Google. What fascinated me is that some of the visitors at this early stage actually came in via search engine referral. Not many, but still interesting:
I repeated the searches myself and was surprised to see the blog showing up in the top ten already. My assumption is that the blog has two things going for it:
- 1) The domain name contains the same terms that would be used to search for the blog content, and
- 2) I had a look at the site Google Rankings to find out how high the rankings were for several terms.
This is what I found for the various searches:
*I’ve since added English to the blog description.
I invite comments on what this means, how the search ranks could be so high so early.
The plan is to just keep blogging. I will do a minimum of promotion, as I think the blog will promote itself. One of the visitors who found the blog via Google already has posted a short entry to his blog about the project. I hope it will grow into an essential reference for anyone wanting to read specific texts of Tucholsky in English. Of course it has a long way to go before reaching anywhere near comprehensiveness. The aaddtional link section that I intend to include in which each of the out-of-print translations of Tucholsky may be automatically searched in Bibliofind.com. This will help interested visitors further on their way to discovering Tucholsky in depth.
The End, that is, The Beginning