We all need to belong.
I am not just saying that to sound dramatic or philosophical; social psychology dictates that the need to belong is an intrinsic motivation to affiliate with others and be socially accepted. This is essentially the reason we as humans tend do form communities, cliques, and clubs – we can’t all be mavericks!
In the context of internet marketing there is no better illustration of this concept then the rise of blogs, and the idea of “The Long Tail”. Put forward by Chris Andersen, this concept states that “endless choice leads to endless demand”. The idea is that when blogs first entered the public consciousness there were (and still are) no barriers to entry. This meant that anyone could set up a blog on any topic, and after a few years there are now dozens of blogs on even the most obscure of topics. For example, at the time of writing this post I found 1,870 blog posts on Google dedicated to the obscure pastime I enjoy called slack-lining, and 18.7 MILLION posts on the topic of real estate.
So the obvious question then, is how to grow your humble little real estate blog into a thriving community? Especially when there are already a variety of blogs out there which are serving the need quite handily. The answer, it turns out, is any number of things…depending on your strengths. For some people, promoting your blog everywhere & with every medium possible is the ticket, yet for others meticulous planning and carefully timed promotions are preferred.
With that in mind, here are ten things which I think that you should consider no matter what your promotion strategy is when you are attempting to build your blog & community.
original image courtesy of sawater.com.au
1. Comment as much as you can on other people blogs. The more you position yourself as a known and credible course within the blogosphere, the more people will want to seek you out to hear your opinion.
2. Give your blog a human element. There is nothing is worse then reading a blog void of emotion. It never hurts to show your true colors (good or bad) in order to engage people and build relationships.
4. Make subscribing to your blog as easy as possible. Try prompting users with something like “hey, if you enjoy this post why not subscribe to this blog!” or use a unique RSS icon like these.
5. Keep a war chest of blog topics. Sometimes you sit down to write a blog post and the words will just not come out right, or sometimes don’t come out at all. It is always great to have a list of topics on hand to pull from in order to combat writers block.
6. Reel in readers with link-bait. For some reason numbered lists (like this!), quizzes, and tutorials go together with blog posts like peanut butter goes with jelly – so give the people what they want! Just make sure not to overuse the tactic, lest it becomes the norm.
7. Encourage Opinion. Go out of your way to prompt discussion in all of the posts you write. If that means asking your audience a direct question or taking an extreme position that will prompt reaction – give them a reason to speak up!
8. Use the KISS principle. Try to get into the habit of writing short, concentrated posts that are factual and easy to reference. If you do it correctly, people will always want to reference your posts later if they need the facts.
9. Link your subject. Make sure you include a picture or create a hyperlink about whatever the subject of your post is, be it a person, place or thing. Doing so will ensure people won’t have to leave your blog just to find out what you are talking about.
10. Tweet your post. Engage your Twitter network with your posts by merging it with your conventional tweets. For example, try tweeting a question on your core topic (how about something like “does syndication matter?”) with a link to your post – most people will definitely click through to find the answer!
Finally, if you have your own tips for promoting your blog, please post your comments below so everyone can share and learn!