Secret Guide to Social Blogging Success - Part III

Secret Guide to Social Blogging Success - Part III

Part I of the Secret Guide to Social Blogging Success talked about laying the ground work for your “make money online” fame blog. Part II covered the initial launch phase and socializing. This part covers developing what’s often referred to as ’social proof’ of your successful ways and some other “behind the scenes” manipulations to “fake it before you make it”.

Who is this series for? It’s for the person who wants to be a famous, A-List, “make money online” social blogger.

Once again, I have to mention that some of the techniques, particularly in this part, are not 100%, pure-as-the-driven-snow, ethical. In fact some might call them gray or black hat. Also, remember that a lot of this is based on my business systems planning and analysis experience and observations and not from me actually implementing these plans. Lastly this kind of social fame building won’t be as lucrative as other ways to make money online. It may even cost you money. But, hey, people these days spend a million dollars on a Sweet 16 Party to make their kid famous. Now with the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get it on!

Social Bookmarking Booster

Social Bookmarking with StyleHaving a killer social fame blog is all about bringing in social traffic. In Part II, I covered bring it in from other blogs. Now, to further boost things, we have to add StumbleUpon and Digg and perhaps other social bookmarking services as well.

Digg is probably the toughest nut to crack since it’s been gamed so many times. Diggers will quickly bury anything that smacks of self-promotion and getting on the front page and staying there any length of time is quite tough. Some link bait posts can break this spell, for example, writing a clever article about how great Apple is and how bad Microsoft is. You can probably Google around and find some ideas on how to work your way into getting major Digg traffic, including paid Digg exchanges. This isn’t something I’ve tried for myself but I do think it’s essential for social blogging success. This traffic surge will boost your Alexa rank and will probably result in new readers, subscribers and multiple links.

StumbleUpon also produces surge traffic although it tends to be more of a wave rather than a spike. Working with it is much easier and using it right can produce steady waves of traffic pleasure. The first order of business is to create a power stumbler account. You use this account to stumble those other blogs’ posts you left comments on and kept a record of (remember that from part II?). It’s also good to mention to the blog author that you enjoyed the article so much that you stumbled it in your comments on their blog. Along the way you use this account to stumble your own articles too and, perhaps, you’ll get reciprocal stumbles from other bloggers. You can also create additional accounts to stumble posts using alternative logins and proxies to multiply this effect. Paid methods for SU are available as well.

You probably shouldn’t concern yourself with smaller social bookmarking sites. For them, you’ll be using Bookmarking Demon and/or Auto Social Poster to build up links. There may be some, like Blogging Zoom, where active participation may produce results as good as or better than an active A-list blog so stay open to that possibility.

RSS Count Magic Tricks

RSS Magic ShowHaving an RSS count of over 100 where you can show the FeedBurner count badge without shame is a clear indicator of how well your blog is doing. While the heavy duty socializing might win you a few subscribers, it’s likely to be slow going once you get about 30-50 subscribers. So, you’ll need to give it a little boost.

If you have decent hosting, which you should have anyway for this whole plan to work, you’ll have catch-all addresses for your domains. Next, just use the email subscribe feature in FeedBurner to add yet another email reader using a unresolved email address for your catch-all domain. Verify the subscribe link and you’ve got another RSS subscriber, rinse, repeat. Just don’t get greedy with it. Add about 3-8 new subscribers a day until you hit 100. Anytime you need another boost, just add a few more.

You can also automate feed readers and do other things to apparently increase the count in other ways. Paid service exist to automate this process more for you. Google on these and you’ll get some more ideas. While some look down their noses at this activity, you can bet dollars to doughnuts that several members of the 45n5 list engage in this under the table.

When combined with copious comments this is blazing social proof of your blog’s popularity. However, it is important to have a matching level of comments or else the jig is up.

Social Proof of Making Money

Fake it ’til you make it!Ah, the ubiquitous stats post that provides social proof of just how well you’re doing making money online. Problem is, you aren’t really making anything. At this point you’re probably spending much more than you’re making. What should you do? Fake it, of course. The last thing you want to do is to tell your audience that you made 8 dollars and change on Adsense during the previous month and that means things are looking up for you.

First of all, make it clear from the start that your revenue isn’t exclusively from your social fame web site. You’ve got a lot going on besides it, you know. You pick the area where you’re really killing it. Niche blogs, affiliate marketing landing pages, selling ClickBank eBooks, e-commerce, you name it. Of course, you never state where these mystery sites are or exactly what they’re doing, citing privacy, protecting your investment and so forth.

Always show your earnings steadily increasing, at least at first. Maybe show $300 the first month, $1000 the next and $3500 the third. After that you might plateau off a bit and then go up again and then rocket up to 5 figures a month. Use pretty charts and graphs to help make it believable. If you’ve been in enough executive board meetings you probably already know how a good set of charts can cover up even the most ludicrous plans.

There are also other ways of showing social proof. Take pictures of yourself touring expensive homes in your area. Do blurry Photoshopped checks or reports from affiliate sites. Talk casually about spending the weekend at the Ritz-Carlton or some other resort hotel or eating at an expensive restaurant. Anything that will make your readers think you’ve got money to burn.

That’s it for Part III. In Part IV I’ll be discussing why a social fame blogger could care less about Google, most of the time.

The photos and clipart in this article are courtesy of iClipArt.

 


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11 Comments »

Comment by Elite By Design
2008-01-06 11:00:58

I just disagree with the RSS part. Why would you fake your own count by creating a ton of fake emails? Seems not only pointless but a betrayal to your readers. If everyone ever found out your blogs name and reputation would be spoiled.

Comment by jfc
2008-01-06 11:30:24

Hi Brian,

That’s true but who says they have to find out? :twisted:

Do you really think John Chow and Shoemoney came by all those new subscribers they got during their contest honestly?

You have to remember we’re creating quick fame, not lasting fortune, here. If caught, one could spin it into a Succès de scandale, like Paris Hilton’s sex tapes. If you’re not caught, so much the better.

Is it dishonest? Yes, of course it is. But it’s not that different from the way pop musicians are promoted/manufactured these days. Remember for every 10000+ great musicians laboring in obscurity there’s only one Clay Aiken. ;) :)

 
 
Comment by Y. S.
2008-01-06 12:05:04

“The last thing you want to do is to tell your audience that you made 8 dollars and change on Adsense during the previous month and that means things are looking up for you.” :D :D … I’m sorry, but this article is hilarious ;)

OK, what about technorati? Is that good for getting traffic? what about bloglines (or whatever its called).

Comment by jfc
2008-01-06 12:51:46

Hi Y.S.,

I’m glad you’re enjoying the series. :)

Technorati is also a social proof indicator, a lot more than it is a traffic source. Bloglines is also being pushed as a social proof indicator by some quarters. Both these can be gamed in various ways, legit and non-legit.

Technorati will get a boost anytime you comment on a DoFollow blog or end up in a Top Commentators slot long enough. That’s why it’s important to include these kinds of blogs on your promotional tours. Of course, the entourage will give you a good base. Beyond that, you’re hoping for your promo efforts to continue to boost this number and you can push this number up in other, not quite legit, ways as well. That’s what Chow and others have done.

Bloglines I don’t know much about but I suspect that if it grows in popularity as a measurement ways to game it will follow behind closely.

 
 
Comment by Bruce
2008-01-06 13:15:20

I think the RSS subscriber boost is done a lot more than you may think. I’m fairly certain the bog guys do it. If you look back at the RSS subscriber contest that John Chow and Shoemoney had then you may see some indicators that this was going on. If I remember right shoemoney won the contest and he did so by surging ahead with thousands of subscribers at the last minute only to lose those a few days later. Might have been this same technique he just got tired of all the emails :-)

Comment by jfc
2008-01-07 11:25:37

Hi Bruce,

That darn Akismet filter is still eating your comments.

That competition was certainly part of this analysis. It revealed a lot of things, IMO, about what goes on behind the scenes and not just RSS counts.

You know that you can also hire a team of ’subscribers’ in Asia to boost your count as well. I suspect this is what they did in part because the huge counts faded afterward where emails would run until canceled.

 
 
2008-01-06 15:03:44

I’m not sure I’d go for the faking RSS and income - but I do like the stumbleupon idea. I’m having a few waves at the moment with StumbleUpon and adding this approach may add more too.

Cheers,

David

Comment by jfc
2008-01-06 20:36:52

Hi David,

I don’t particularly recommend these tactics but you see them being used quite often.

 
 
Comment by Alexa redirection and widegts are wothless?
2008-02-07 07:12:51

I installed alexa toolbar & widegt but no result see in ranking of my website here.

Comment by jfc
2008-02-07 09:05:26

The Alexa redirect trick no longer works as of about 3 weeks ago.

 
 
2009-06-02 06:38:02

StumbleUpon is no longer seo friendly.

 
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