How To Get An Instalanche

Many have pondered how one receives the blogging equivalent of “manna from heaven”; the Instalanche. For the most part the answers are available to you just need to know where to look and the right questions to ask. I’ve attempted to gather the collective wisdom of those who track the mystical inner workings of InstaPundit. Use this knowledge wisely and for the good of humanity and may you one day know the glory of the Instalanche.

So You Want A Instalanche?

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Many a fine blogger has managed to thrive without a link from InstaPundit. This is something to keep in mind. Keep your expectations low and you can’t be disappointed, but you can be pleasantly surprised.

But I Really Want A Instalanche?

OK, you asked for it. Here is the state of the collective wisdom.

  • Don’t bother sending an announcement that your blog exists – The exception to this rule would be if you are already famous in some other field and are new to blogging, like Greg Esterbrook, Ann Coulter, Bill Maher, etc. or you are an already established blogger who is moving.
  • Read InstaPundit for a while before submitting anything – I’ve seen plenty of self pity about how various sites have yet to be noticed when their content by and large does not cover topics frequently addressed at InstaPundit or that are in the news.
  • Be short and to the point – Length does not necessarily equal quality.
  • Submit judiciously – Resist the urge to send daily updates on your blog progress.
  • Hit a home run your first time up to the plate – Think before sending your first link (more on the mechanics of this later). Contrary to what you may have been lead to believe InstaPundit actually links to more new bloggers than any of the other major sites. If you are going to the trouble of highlighting one of your posts make sure it is well written and would be of interest to Glenn and his readers.
  • Don’t get discouraged – The “hit it out of the park the first time” approach seems to work pretty well based on my extremely limited research, but it’s not the only way. If you’ve been haphazardly firing off links consider taking a more serious and methodical approach. Don’t increase the frequency of your submissions. Make your second (or whatever number you are up to) submission even better than the first. Establish a reputation for quality right out of the gate.
  • Consider the possibility that you will be “found” – If you participate in well read link listings or get mentions occasionally on sites that get linked fairly regularly at InstaPundit consider using the “minor league” approach. The idea is that you concentrate on getting linked on sites that are regular stops for Glenn and get noticed by him in his blog surfing. This strategy works very well as many surprised recipients of Instalanches can attest.
  • Don’t take it personally if you don’t get a reply or a link – Imagine the volume of mail that Glenn receives. If something grabs his attention he will probably link it, otherwise it’s on the next message.

What Is An Instalanche Worthy Topic?

Some things you will have to figure out for yourself.

The Mechanics Of Submission

E-mail is the only option available for directly submitting a post for consideration at InstaPundit. I’ve gathered a compendium of ideas on the etiquette of how best to contact the top bloggers via e-mail. Everyone has different preferences, but the format detailed below is the closest to a universally acceptable e-mail format I could come up with.

  1. Send your message in Plain Text
  2. Send the post title
  3. Send the permalink – If you do not know what a permalink is – find out. BlogSpot users do an Archive rebuild and test the permalink yourself prior to submitting it to anyone.
  4. Sign the message – Include your blogging name in a signature line – Don’t expect the world to know you blog under a pseudonym if you don’t sign messages that way.
  5. Include the text of the post below your signature – Some big time bloggers prefer this, others do not.

Here’s an example of how you could send a notice about this post:

I’ve got an article on how to get linked at InstaPundit that you may be interested in.

Title: How To Get An Instalanche

Kevin Aylward

Many have pondered how one receives the blogging equivalent of “manna from heaven”; the Instalanche. For the most part the answers are available to you just need to know where to look and the right questions to ask […]

Notice that the post excerpt is nicely set off from the short message. This allows those who want to read the post via e-mail to do so, and those who value short messages (with permalinks only) to not have to wade through the full text of the post.

Is That The Only Way To Get An Instalanche?

No. I’m just presenting you with an approach gleaned from many sources.

Aren’t There Any Shortcuts?

Here are some of the less serious tips:

  • Get a cool last name like Kaus, Postrel, Drezner, or Chafetz
  • Bash Frank J. – Sounds easy, but everyone’s doing it so you may have a lot of competition here.
  • The riskier strategy is to bash Glenn, but the market is pretty crowded there as well.
  • Talk about nanotechnology or any of the things mentioned here.
  • Did I mention that is doesn’t hurt to have a cool last name like Volokh, Doctorow, Yourish, or Lessig?
  • But my last name is Smith, what should I do? – Get a nickname.

Update: Don’t forget to say thanks if you get a link via an e-mail.

Update 2:: This applies to getting noticed by any of the “big time bloggers” as Glenn notes. He also comments on the stickiness of the Instalanche traffic, as others in the trackbacks here have done. Kathy’s comment is especially noteworthy in regards to the “on topic” concept at InstaPundit, which Glenn addresses as well.

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