Most bloggers have the idea that blogging is 97% writing and 3% promotion. This view places way to much emphasis on writing. It isn’t that writing isn’t important, but if you write 5 posts per week that no one knows about as opposed to writing 1 post per week that get spread around the web, which do you think will be more effective?
Network With Peers
There are a bunch of ways to promote your content. Getting on the front page of Digg or Delicious is great, but you will probably have better results over the long term by focusing on good old fashion networking. You need to meet other people in your niche. Subscribe to their blogs, comment on their posts and email them offers to help them out. Once you have a relationship established, it shouldn’t be a problem to email them once in a while to say “what do you think of this post?”
If your goal is just to get them to give you a link, you are going about it wrong. If your goal is to actually develop friendships, you are headed down the right road.
Technorati is a great place to find peers. Start with people who have a similar Technorati and Alexa ranking. Also, look for people that have a similar number of RSS subscribers. You’ll have an easier time connecting with your peers than trying to get in direct contact with the writers for the most popular blog on the internet.
Submit Tips to Top Blogs in Niche
A lot of top blogs have a “tips” email address where they solicit story ideas and links from readers. If you are familiar with the site and write a story that would be of genuine interest to its readers, don’t be afraid to submit it to the tips email address. This doesn’t mean you should email them every single post, but sending your best post every few weeks is appropriate.
Keep in mind this isn’t a mass mailing process. Your real goal is for the writers at the top blogs to like your work so much that they subscribe to it in their RSS feed. This will put your content in front of them automatically. If you email them only about highly relevant, well written stories, you increase the chance that they will want to subscribe.
Originally published July 30, 2007.
Wild Bill says
Mark this is a great tip. I have done a lot of the networking ideas you talk about in this post, but I stopped sending tips and posts to blogs that were not already in my immediate network of friends and contacts. I know your tip works because that is how I found your blog. You sent me and email with a tip that said I could increase my feed subscription numbers by installing the Feedsmith plugin. Well I listened to you and installed it Thursday. When I woke up Friday I was showing 13 more subscribers and by Saturday 54 more subscribers! I’m glad to see you practice what you preach. You have gained another reader because of it.
Thanks for the tip Mark! ;)
Tom Spanton, TRCoach says
As a new blogger, I have been spending a lot of time making my site look nice – a tweak here, a tweak there and half the day is gone. Posting then takes priority until I realize, as you say, /that blogging is 97% promotion and 3% writing. Good advice for us Blookies (Blogging Rookies) Thanks, Tom – TRCoach
Mark, This is something I need to get back to working on. I used to worry more about commenting and networking, and then at some point content became king. Thanks for the reminder.
I do have one suggestion, though. Revise the part that says:
Once you have a relationship established, it isn’t inappropriate to email them once in a while to say “what do you think of this post?”
Once you have a relationship established, it’s perfectly appropriate to email them once in a while to say “what do you think of this post?”
The double negative threw me off and I thought you were saying that it is in appropriate. I had to read it 3 times to realize what you said and what you meant matched up.
Mark Shead says
@WildBill – The funny thing is, I wasn’t even thinking about trying to network when I left you that suggestion. :) I just knew it made a big difference for me and thought I’d pass it on.
@FIAR – Thanks for the suggestion. I’m made a change along the lines of what you suggested.
You’re welcome, Mark. It reads much smoother now.
I disagree. I don’t write a blog, but read a bunch of them. All it takes is one good post, and I’ll add you to my reader feed. That is content. Then I will read your blog as long as there is good content. End of story. Take, for example, this blog. There was one post a while back (sorry don’t know which one) that was a decent entry, and I added it to my list.
However, the content quality just isn’t there. So, this will probably be the last time I visit. Quality content really is king.
Mark Shead says
@Eric – I’m sorry you aren’t happy with the current articles. I would be very interested in knowing which one you thought was good.
My point is that somehow you found that entry that you considered good. If I can write five good posts each week that no one reads as opposed to one good one that gets shared, I’m going to be better off with a single post per week. I’m not advocating writing with lower quality and then trying to promote junk. :)
I must thank you for this because i was thinking about how could i develop relationships with other blogs. But you just ease my situation providing the answer.
PS: I know that promoting is very important because in this way your post will be spread. But it must be a good post because if the writing is poor than we still keep on promoting the post. Nobody will be interested.
All good points, I’m not so sure about the value of Technorati though.
John Jaworski says
Great Post! The best message shouted in a vacuum is as good as no message!
I’ve also found that commenting on my blog about great posts I find on other blogs is a wonderful way to start a relationship and creates great content for me!
Good stuff! Thanks a lot for the tip!