Most, if not every blogger, wants to write posts that are popular with their readers, and other bloggers. And while there are no foolproof ways to guarantee that others will be interested in what you write, there are several things you can do to greatly improve your chances that others will talk about, and link to your posts.
Writing a link-worthy blog post can be seen as a bit of a ‘black art’. I’d like to think I have a pretty successful blog, but despite having written for multiple blogs over the last three years, I still can’t always tell which of my posts will resonate with others. Drive more traffic to your platform. In order to guarantee your success, buy website traffic.
But a recent post I wrote at The Viral Garden continues to bring my blog a nice stream of traffic. It’s sent me traffic from other blog links, from marketing newsletters, and even from Twitter. I think this post has several areas that appeal to other readers/bloggers, and I wanted to break the post apart in an effort to hopefully help you improve your efforts to create a post that will send traffic to your blog.
First, let’s consider the topic of the post itself. Two of my marketing passions are the areas of music marketing, and customer/brand evangelism. I wanted to write a post that covered both these areas, so I focused on how companies can think of empowering and reaching out to their evangelists as in the way an artist relates to their fans. But the key is, I wrote about topics that I am passionate about. This is the key to creating good content, letting your passions come out. Passionate writing is MUCH more interesting, at least to me.
Next, I needed a title. You have to consider that today, so much of blog content is viewed through feed readers, so many of us (myself included) quickly scan the titles, giving a blog post’s title about 2 seconds to grab our attention. Knowing that most people like ‘How-To’ posts, I entitled the post ‘How to Market Like a Rockstar’. Sidenote: When I finished the post, I linked to it from Twitter, and Chris Brogan, one of the most popular Twitter users, immediately commented that he loved the title. This no doubt encouraged members that follow Chris (and he currently has over 3,000 followers on Twitter) to check out my post.
Another thing that I’ve found improves a post is to give solid examples. In writing my post about how companies can market like rockstars, I pointed out several examples of how companies are reaching out to and creating ‘fans’. I talked about how Harley Davidson workers ride with their customers and are a part of their culture. How Threadless lets their community of customers create the product, and how they reward them for doing so. Even how Maker’s Mark has brought together their existing fans in a wildly successful Brand Ambassador program that helps give their most passionate customers a sense of ownership in the brand.
Now we’ve got a good title, and we’ve written a post that covers topics that we are passionate about, with clear-cut examples to back up our ideas. Are we done? Nope, in fact we’ve got one area left, and it might be the most important. We need pictures for the post. Not just any pictures, we need jaw-droppingly gorgeous pictures that also tie into the story and points we are making in our post.
We need Flickr.
For this post, I chose a few pictures from Flickr’s Attribution Licensed Photos section. Flickr photos are a must for your blog, and I use them as much as possible. Skellie has an excellent tutorial on how to use them correctly. The absolutely gorgeous shot above of a Harley on the open road was one of the pics I used, it came from Flickr User DanieVDM. I also used shots of a member of The Donnas on stage cheering on a concert crowd, a shot of a long line of Apple enthusiasts waiting for the iPhone to go on sale, and even a YouTube video of a creative marketing campaign for The Dark Knight. All of these photos and videos capture your attention, but they also re-enforce the points and examples I am citing in my post.
So how much traffic has this post sent to my blog? It’s hard to say because I really haven’t tracked it. But I will say that unlike many of the posts where I get a few links right after publishing it, this post continues to draw new audiences to my blog. Just yesterday, I noticed a sudden influx of traffic referrals to the post. Here’s a picture of my daily traffic for the month, and notice how yesterday’s traffic spiked, which was due to a new link to this post. I saw almost a 100% jump in traffic yesterday, and that came from just one link to one post.
Also notice the comments left to the post. Someone mentions finding the post from a link at Twitter. Another commenter says they found it from a link in a MarketingProfs newsletter (that link sent about 250 visitors to my blog in one day). Becky mentions how she will be linking to the post, and she did. So the post continues to pick up not only blog links, but links from email newsletters, and even other social sites.
BTW one final tip. This post was written back in December, but after a few weeks and people kept linking to it, I decided to put it on my blog’s sidebar in a special ‘Best of the Garden’ section where I have some of my favorite posts. This raises its visibility even more.
So that’s one example of how to create a post that draws traffic and links to your blog. I hope it will help you in your efforts to create content that has to be shared with others!
About the Author
Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is “Don’t focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate.” His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nurture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.
His social media ‘homebase’ is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.
Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketingprofs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.
You can learn more information about Mack’s social media training and consulting services here.
Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thing is just for fun.
The blog posts that have received the most play from me are almost always a mystery to me. Meaning, I write something and think it’s going to be the Best.Post.Ever, and nothing happens. Then, I write something and some dozen or more folks find something of resonance, and we’re off to the races.
My *only* little repeatable secret is that I try my hardest to put something “useful” in every post. I call them “idea handles” and that means things you can pick up and take with you and use. Feels to me that these posts are the ones that do the best for me.
Never EVER when I try to draw artificial interest (and by that, I mean beg for sphinns, stumbles, diggs, and the like) does it ever work for me. Not sure why. I mean, when I’ve hit the digg front page, it hasn’t been bad, but it’s always a spike with zero longer term impact.
Thanks for the post. It got me thinking.
Hello from super rainy Boston.
Posted by: Chris Brogan… on February 13, 2008
“My *only* A little repeatable secret is that I try my hardest to put something “useful” in every post. I call them “idea handles” and that means things you can pick up and take with you and use. Feels to me that these posts are the ones that do the best for me.
Never EVER when I try to draw artificial interest (and by that, I mean beg for sphinns, stumbles, diggs, and the like) does it ever work for me. Not sure why. I mean, when I’ve hit the digg front page, it hasn’t been bad, but it’s always a spike with zero longer term impact.”
Chris I agree, I can never accurately predict if a post will take off or not, but I agree that the posts that try to help/explain/teach are usually seen as more valuable by others.
And I agree with Digg/TechMeme, etc. From my experience, it’s just not worth the effort. Even if I get a spike in traffic, usually I don’t see any more interaction or links. That’s why I pointed out Marketingprofs linked to my Rockstar post because that sent a TON of targeted traffic to my blog, and I ended up getting several comments from people that clicked over from the newsletter link, and I got some emails as well.