Through my work on [chrisbrogan.com] and also lifehack.org, I come across more and more interesting material out there, written by passionate people with thoughtful posts and zero comments. They’ve really nailed a great article, put a new spin on something they have been reading. But who’s reading?
Now, my opinion is that folks should form content networks, aggregate your stuff with others of like minds, and get it published into a big super-site, that people will come to and learn from. I think advertisers want this. I think consumers want this. You need 5 really committed people pushing their heart and soul into one site, not a bunch of folks all over the place. Imagine your newspaper smashed up and thrown all over the street.
But what if you’re against that? What if you want to just do your own thing? You want people to come find your site, and you’re scratching your head as to how to get more than 4 people to your site on a given day. Here’s what I’ve learned.
- Use STRONG Titles– A good title gets people to the site, and is easier to pick out via someone searching Google.
- Use Technorati Tags– The tags listed at the bottom of my post are so Technorati users can search on what I put there, and hopefully find me. I get lots of new readers from that.
- Comment on Big Famous Blogs– I am a regular reader/commenter on lots of huge volume blogs, where I try to add to the conversation. When I’m done, I often politely leave my website address in my signature.
- Add Your Website/Blog to Your Email Signature– I am blown away by how few people do this. Sheesh. You want more audience. No matter if you don’t want to make a PENNY, if you’re bothering to write, then you should bother to get people to your site. Make it EASY for them to find the site.
- List Your Site– Submit your site to search engines like Yahoo! and Google, and everywhere else you can find. There are companies that do this for you, some for free, and so far, in my experience, it’s been a crapshoot.
I did this for my podcast recently, and I did it manually, one site at a time. It was a real slog, but at the end, I had 10 more subscibers from those sites where I bothered.
- Write About Worthwhile Stuff– Are you writing a catblog? Is it all about you? Is it, “I watched Lost and then I called Jordan, and he was going out, but I didn’t want to” type stuff? Why would anyone else want to read about that? Is it a *mix* of that and important stuff? Consider sliding your good stuff to a targeted site/blog, and then keep the other site for talking about Lost.
- Be Interested, Be Interesting– Comment frequently on the stuff you like. Make MANY comments, and that will grow many friends, and you’ll get from that many readers. See how that works? Lots of you, the people I talk with all the time, are people who stumbled in, stayed for some reason, and commented on my writing. I visited your blogs, have loaded most of your sites into my RSS (when you give me those).
- Use RSS– Make it easy for folks to take your site with them.
- Ask– It’s not wrong to ask folks to check out your site.
Growing and serving an audience is a wonderful thing. It’s a time where we’re all publishers. We all have something to say. We all can contribute to media in a way we’ve never been able to do before. Remember those cruddy desktop publishing software packages? You could print a goofy newsletter? Well, look what you can do NOW!
So, go make your site more valuable.
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