Problem #1: Attention. We all want it, but there’s not nearly enough of it to go around.
Problem #2: Information overload. There’s plenty of information. Too much of it, in fact, which leads us back to problem #1. We don’t have the time to pay attention to everything.
Like many other bloggers, I suffer from “noonereadsmyblogitous.” It’s not that my content sucks (hopefully). It’s that, even with diligent efforts to promote it to the social networks I inhabit, my stuff gets thrown into the mix with everyone else’s.
I’m sure some of you can feel my pain because you experience it yourself. You put what you hope to be your best work out there, only to find it does not receive the attention you think it deserves. And while cream always rises to the top, these days it has to thrust its way through massive amounts of content to get there.
Here are seven ways to remedy this malady.
1. Write better stuff.
Simply put, write what people want to read. Though I hate to say it, people like list posts. You know, the “Ten Ways to Do This or That,” or the “64,000 Secrets to Achieve Fame and Fortune.” While I hate writing those kinds of posts – something in my pseudo-journalistic makeup rails against it – I have to admit that bucking the trend isn’t worth the anguish.
Probably the most pristine example of this writing style is Social Media Examiner. Practically everyone of its posts have some number attached. Like it or not, the site gets tons of traffic every day.
2. Become a “social” blogger.
I’m not just talking about syndicating your content out to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et al (well, that too). There are blog networks that can service your needs by getting your content in front of readers who may otherwise never know you (or your blog) exist. Here are three I use:
Zemanta acts as a writer’s “social networking tool” by discovering similar blogs and cross recommending them to each other, helping them to express affection and to build credibility in their peer group.
Social Media Today is a site that pulls content via RSS feeds from other blogs. Its team of curators parse through dozens of posts each day and decides which of them to bring to its front page. I’m sure there are other sites like SMT that focus on topics other than social media, so go find one that fits your niche.
Triberr is another blog network I found recently that serves a similar function. It’s a community of blogs housed into different categories that facilitates discovery.
3. Become a content curator.
Lately, I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about content curation because I see it as a means to an end – that of getting attention (remember, attention is problem #1). In a sense, that’s what the aforementioned sites do – curate (or at least aggregate) content gleaned from other sources.
If you can’t find or get yourself included in one of those, consider starting your own. That can take several forms from Twitter accounts designed specifically to curate content around a given topic to Tumblr blogs that do the same thing to content curation tools such as Paper.li, Rebelmouse, Scoopit and others. Both Paper.li and Scoopit present content in a newspaper or magazine style form, while Rebelmouse takes on the look and feel of Pinterest. You can also add content aggregators like Reddit, which has just experienced a recent surge in popularity. (I’m even toying with the idea of using Google+ as a content curation outlet.)
4. Start an email newsletter.
You can do this the easy way using tools like Feedburner or Feedblitz, or use more traditional email marketing tools like Constant Contact, Vertical Response or Mailchimp. There are even a couple of new email tools that focus more on curation – FlashIssue and CurateHub. Locate your sign-up form above the fold so it will be seen more easily.
5. Write multiple posts per day.
Unless you’re a professional blogger, or just have way to much time on your hands, that’s probably an impossibility. But, I thought it’s worth mentioning. Mashable didn’t become the force it has by posting two or three times per week.
6. Stay with it over the long haul.
One of my biggest regrets is that I have never dedicated myself to blogging on my own site for long periods of time. Instead, I opted to write for other blogs – many of them paying gigs. (What can I say, I needed the money.) And while my content got more attention that way, the trade off was that I sacrificed building my personal brand.
On the other hand, take bloggers like Jason Fails, Jay Baer, Brian Clark, Darren Rowse, Lee Odden, Mack Collier, Denise Wakeman and Toby Bloomberg. These people plowed the field of their own blogs for years and, in the process, gained great respect, credibility and positioning as thought leaders. Some even built publishing or consulting dynasties as a result.
Of course, through hard work and diligent effort each of these earned every ounce of respect and attention they’ve received. Their content is impressive and they are each experts in their respective fields. But, so are a lot of other people. My point is that part of their success can be attributed to the fact that they’ve blogged consistently for years primarily in one place – their own blog.
7. Comment on, write about and link to popular blogs.
One way to get attention is by paying attention to those who already have it. Read their blogs, comment on their posts, include excerpts from their posts in your own and include backlinks. Doing so might only get their attention, but the attention of their readers.
There are a number of other tips I could share like: keyword optimize your posts so that it gets the attention of search engines, post at the most optimal times (whatever that is), learn from and mimic the tactics used by successful bloggers, and attend industry events and conferences where you can introduce yourself to the digerati (buy them a drink…that never hurts).
But these seven are just common sense advice based on years of my own blogging trials and tribulations. If nothing else, learn from my mistakes so that you avoid them.
Now, one of two things is likely to happen with this post. Either no one will read it (which is likely), or the gods of the blogosphere will shine their ever lovin’ light and it will get picked up by one of the blog networks I mentioned earlier and then be tweeted, retweeted, commented on, and shared via Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Tthat’s the stuff a blogger’s dreams are made of, right?
Those are my tips to help your blog get the attention it deserves. What are some of yours?