Part I of the Secret Guide to Social Blogging Success talked about laying the ground work for your “make money online” fame blog. This part will cover the early days where you launch the blog and build buzz about it.
There are a lot of people out there in the blogosphere who desire being a famous blogger more than a wealthy blogger. Are you one? If so, this guide was written with you in mind.
As I mentioned in part one, some of the techniques described here are a bit underhanded. The ideas here are based primarily on my experiences in analyzing and planning business systems and on observing and analyzing various top bloggers in action, not from me actually doing them. Fame won’t necessarily make you money, you can be broke and famous, just ask Margot Kidder or Peter Frampton. With those caveats out of the way, let’s begin.
Developing Your Content
What’s a blog without content and what’s a social fame blog without pillar articles and link/Digg/Stumble bait?
Pillar articles are posts where you’re at your brightest and best. They tie the room together. They’re your ‘best of’ collection. What you build your fame around. So, how to you write one of these articles. You do what many others have done, you ‘borrow’ or ‘mash up’ content from several different top bloggers, put your own spin and wording on it and click ‘publish’. The hitch here is that you have to have enough writing talent to really make it your own. Have you ever watched American Idol where the judges said the performer made a hackneyed cover song their own? Same thing, but it’s a whole lot easier to mash together a few 100 words into a new article than singing in front of millions of people on national TV.
Next, you need to write your link bait articles. These will generally be things like a top 10 list on popular topics or silly pictures with or without an accompanying article. You will want to make the list a bit unique. Don’t do “The Best Top 10 WordPress Plugins” that everyone and their cousin has already done. Instead, do something like “The 10 Worst Popular Plugins for WordPress” or “10 Ways To Lose Money Quickly Blogging” or “10 Ways Bloggers are Like Brittney Spears“. Find a silly picture of a marmot in a bathtub with a waffle balanced on its head. Think catchy headlines, clever phrasing, humorous pictures and anecdotes quick and easy reads. You want a quick digg or stumble thumbs-up from readers on these posts.
You should have at least 10-20 of these articles in the can when you start your blog. Post an enthusiastic 5 or so the first day and two a day for a while. Keep writing these kinds of articles as you go although you should also write some throwaway articles on installing a new plugin, having a good lunch at Burger King, watching grass grow or walls being painted and so forth as padding.
Now it’s time to get out there and meet and greet your awaiting public. How can you do that?
It just so happens I wrote an article about this a while back, Long Tail Prospecting For Bloggers. This is something I actually did try and it is an effective way to get social traffic from other bloggers. But, for real fame, you’ll need to kick it up a few notches. Like an actor tirelessly signing autographs you have to go from blog to blog leaving good, but short, comments. You may need to visit and comment on 30-50 blogs a day. Keep a record of these, you’ll need them later.
You’ll also want to visit the A-List “make money” blogs that have the Top Commentator plugin installed and shoot for getting in it as well as getting at the top of the comments on as many posts as you can. Don’t expect to get the A-lister’s attention this way. You’re looking to draw in their visitors to your blog. Once again, keep a prospect list and work different blogs on different days. You have a lot of you to spread around.
You may also find some value in using social widgets like MyBlogLog, Bumpzee, BlogCatalog and EntreCard. These can boost your visibility as well. This is also where your entourage blogs will come into play. Few things look more pathetic that seeing a widget on a blog where the “recent visitor” avatars never change. Visits from your entourage will fix that right up. Your blog will always look busy.
Lastly, you should use your prospect and commenting list to create “Link Love” posts. Have at least one of these a week. Other bloggers will come and see what you’ve said about them and some will link to, stumble or digg your pillar or linkbait articles as well. You can also use your prospect list to create filler articles with a little commentary on another blogger’s post. Both types of posts will increase your social presence.
Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes you’ve also been busy with your entourage blogs. They will be commenting on the posts on your blog. Try to give them different personalities and writing styles as best you can. For example, one might habitually disagree with you while another always promises to implement your latest idea. Answer them back just like you would a real commentator. Pretty soon you’ll find real people joining in the fray, drawn by the activity. If worse comes to worse, you can pay for a commenting service but this should only be a last resort.
Also, you’ll need to write posts on these blogs about your main blog and link to it. These could be a standard “link love” style post where you would pull in a few articles from your prospect list along with your target article. They could be a “this blogger is great” or “this blogger sucks” type post, depending on the commenting personality of the entourage member.
Lastly, you can use a few of your entourage members to comment about your blog on other blogs and forums. Just make sure that you go through a proxy to do this so that someone can’t tie the IP addresses together.
Within a few weeks time your social fame blog should be generating significant social traffic if you do it right.
That’s all for Part II. In Part III I’ll look at some ways to create a winning RSS feed count, a killer stats post and other ways to “fake it until you make it”.