Syndicate Your SQL Server Blog
We're big believers that bloggers should run their own personal blogs, under their own personal domain names, to maximize their long-term investments in themselves. You’re building a brand for yourself, and you want to control that asset no matter what.
What If You Want More Readers On Your Blog?
We've talked to bloggers who say they’re frustrated blogging on their own sites because they don’t have enough readers. They feel like they’re toiling alone in the dark, with nobody seeing their work. They’re not dying for readers, but they want to know that their work isn’t going in vain. If they post a valuable solution, a hard-to-write article, or a timely tip, they want to know that it’s going to benefit the most readers possible.
We’ve got a solution that lets you keep your independence and gets you more readers: syndicate your blog at SQLServerPedia. We’ll “echo” your blog posts from your own SQL Server blog automatically.
Syndication Means You Stay In Control
Syndicating your blog at SQLServerPedia doesn’t mean changing the way you write. If you’re like me, you blog about all kinds of things, not just SQL Server. We’ll help you set up a “SQL Server” category on your blog, and our syndication software only picks up blog entries in that category.
You can - and should - still blog about whale bacon, your favorite music, or your adventures in Vegas without feeling like you need to clean up your act for syndication. If you feel like blogging about personal stuff ten times in a row, then do that - we’re not going to pressure you to keep up a minimum number of SQL Server posts per week in order to be syndicated.
How You Benefit From Syndicating at SQLServerPedia
At the bottom of every blog post on SQLServerPedia, we show a list of related blog posts. Take a look at the bottom of this post by Kevin Kline to see an example. If you blog about something related to an existing hot topic here at SQLServerPedia, your blog post will show up as a related post on that existing link - thereby getting you more readers.
We also put time and effort into publicizing our site. We give out SQLServerPedia t-shirts at user group meetings, PASS events, and code camps. We run ads for SQLServerPedia online and in print magazines. We threw quite a nice relaunch party at the PASS Summit, some of which we even remember.
And it doesn’t require any work on your end - no logins to manage, no new blog editor to learn, no copy/pasting between blog systems. We just automatically suck your blog entries out of your RSS feed.
Bring SQLServerPedia Readers To Your Site
In your syndicated blog entries, you should link to other personal blog entries you’ve made that your readers may find interesting. They click the link, they go to your site to read the article, and they see you as a person instead of a faceless SQL-only blogger.
You should also link to your Twitter feed so readers can communicate more with you, get to know you better, and ask questions about your blog entries.
What If You Don’t Have A Blog Yet?
If the whole concept of starting your own blog sounds like too much work, we’ve got an answer for that too: we'll help you get started. If you buy your domain name (costs around $10/year), we'll set you up with free hosting and WordPress. Email hello@SQLServerPedia.com for more details.
If you want help with your editing, one of our editors can proofread and fact-check your work before you publish it. Write the draft on the web, and then ping us, and we’ll look it over for you before you post it just to make sure it makes sense. I’ve worked with a few up-and-coming bloggers, and they all seem to value that initial handholding to make sure they’re not doing something crazy.
Why Is SQLServerPedia Doing It?
Our mission for SQLServerPedia is to be the community-owned resource, built by the SQL Server DBA community, for the community. There are a lot of really good bloggers out there that have gotten burned out toiling away in the dark, and I don’t want them giving up. If it’s exposure you want, we can help you get it.
Billy Bosworth, the VP and General Manager of the SQL Server Business Unit at Quest Software explains more about why we do so much for the community in his article, How SQLServerPedia is Different.
Frequently Asked Questions about Blog Syndication
Can I syndicate my blog if I’m blogging at a group blog site?
We’d love to, but so far, all of the group blog sites have said no. They want exclusive rights to their bloggers’ content, and they’re not allowing bloggers to syndicate their content anywhere else.
Can I syndicate a non-English blog?
Not yet, but we’re looking at solutions for that. We’d like to end up with different RSS feeds for each language, and users could pick which language they’d like to subscribe to. It’s not too technically difficult, but it’s just a matter of resources. We don’t want to do it until we’ve got a really good user experience.
Looking down the road, we wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with separate RSS feeds by technology, too, like the SQL Server engine, SSRS, SSIS, SSAS, etc. The RSS feeds are already getting pretty big.
Can I write about things other than SQL Server?
If you want to write about things that are fairly close to SQL Server, yes. For example, if you’d like to write about querying with Crystal Reports, database development with Data Dude, or data mining with Excel, then it’s a topic that our audience will probably find interesting.
If you want to write exclusively about Oracle or MySQL, it’s probably not a good fit, but articles every now and then are good. Jason Massie’s MySQL Cheat Sheet for SQL Server DBAs is a good example - it’s technically about MySQL, but it’s interesting for SQL Server DBAs.
Third party software is off-limits no matter who the manufacturer is, even Quest.
We’ve been approached by a few people who want to start up syndication sites for other types of technology, and I’m more than willing to tell you everything I know about getting started, but I’d rather not be the one hosting it. There’s a fair bit of management involved. (I think I’ve done maybe ten hours of real SQL Server work in the last two weeks - the rest has been PHP, MySQL and emailing!)
Not yet, but that’s a top priority. We’re trying to bring on PHP/MySQL help to enhance the aggregation process. Ideally, I’d like to have every blog entry have a link that points back to the blogger’s site that says something like, “Read More Articles by Tim Ford.” I’d also like the author’s name to hyperlink back to their blog.
The blog aggregation plugin we’re using, FeedWordPress, has the ability to set the blog permalink to the blogger’s original home site. the problem with that is the bloggers will only get search engine exposure while the post remains on the first couple of pages of SQLServerPedia, which at this point is only a couple of days. The longer your stuff is on SQLServerPedia, the more exposure you get to web searches, and believe me, it’s huge. We’ve got posts from a year or older that get hundreds of hits per day from Google, and if you looked at the post, you’d never believe it.
Absolutely. In a perfect world, everything you would need would be at SQLServerPedia.com. In this perfect world, I would also be driving a Porsche 911 Targa, and Chipotle burritos would make me lose weight. We’re not quite there yet, so when you find something really useful on another site, you should tell other DBAs about it.
However, please don’t write one-sentence articles that say things like, “Wow, this post was really cool - go check it out!” Try to add value to the post. Tell a story about why it’s useful to DBAs, your experiences with the T-SQL code provided, or the pros and cons of different solutions.
If you just want to share links, I’d suggest doing a weekly link post on Friday like this. Brent doesn’t syndicate his weekly link posts on SQLServerPedia, but other bloggers are welcome to.
Getting Your Blog Syndicated
To get started, create a new category in your blog called SQLServerPedia Syndication. Put at least one article in that category, but you can put as many as you like. Going forward, whenever you want a post to be picked up by syndication, just put it in that category.
Find the RSS feed for that category. It needs to contain only that category's entries, not your entire blog.
You can either use that feed directly, or use FeedBurner, but we highly recommend that you use FeedBurner.
Use FeedBurner to Customize Your Feed
FeedBurner is a free Google service that takes your RSS feed, adds some super-rocket-science code to it, and then makes it available to the public. Instead of giving people a feed like this:
You give them your FeedBurner feed like this:
Go into the FeedBurner options under Optimize, Feed Flare. This service will automagically add links to the bottom of every one of your posts like this:
In that example, I've got links for Delicious, Digg, adding a comment, sending a Tweet, and bookmarking it. But here's the important thing: all of those links refer back to YOUR blog post on YOUR site, regardless of where the person is viewing your blog entry. Whether someone is reading your RSS feed from your site, or reading it through the SQLServerPedia syndicated feed, if they click on these links, they're coming to your blog.
You'll probably want to add one more Flare to your feed - the "Attribution" Flare. It's not in the "Official" list, you'll have to Browse the Catalog for it. Adding this to your feed puts another Flare link at the bottom of your post that reads "This item is from <your blog name here>". Because when your posts are syndicated within SQLServerPedia's feed, unless you mention your blog inside the post, it won't be clear it's your blog entry. Adding this flare also turns the problem of unauthorized scraping of your blog entries into free advertising. If someone scrapes your feed and attempts to pass it off as their own, the attribution link at the bottom will make it clear where people should go for your other great content.
Email Us Your Blog Info
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with:
We'll work with you to help get it set up. And thanks for joining the community!