Summoning Blog Traffic

Now that I have started to blog and have begun to post my deeply held opinions on the subject of marketing Christian books, the challenge is to actually get lots of people to read my blog. I have, of course, already posted my blog on my websites, added it to my email signature, and announced it to people in the industry via the discussion groups I am a member of. Being the marketing professional that I am, I know that this will not drive a whole lot of new traffic to my blog. I need to generate word-of-mouth advertising to get people to read my thoughts and opinions (this of course has an inherent assumption that people will think they are worth their time to read).

Most best-selling books and products do not become best sellers through a large advertising campaign alone. At some point, word-of-mouth begins to outpace the advertising campaign to increase the popularity of a product. And word-of-mouth only takes hold if people find the product worthwhile. For example, the recent best selling Christian fiction novel’s, The Shack, success was made almost exclusively through word-of-mouth. By the time the book was well on its way to becoming a best-seller, the publisher had only spent about $300 on advertising.

On the Web, word-of-mouth promotion of a product is known as viral marketing. The buzz about a product, video, or website is picked up and spread via social networking sites and email. Of course, not every new blog or product goes viral on the Internet. However, there are a few techniques to help increase the chances of a new blog becoming viral. One technique is social book marking. Social book marking is another form of social networking. It is about placing those websites that you like on a social book marking website for the world to see. The old method was placing the websites that you liked and wanted to revisit in the “favorites” file on your own computer. This new method posts your “favorites” online so that not only you can access them, but your friends can too.

For many people, social book marking sites are taking the place of the old search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.). People are choosing to use social book marking sites to search for information using key words, because the sites that show up on a book marking site are those sites that actual people like, not ones that have the most number of tag words or external links and the other criteria the traditional search engines use. (Did I just use the word traditional to refer to the Internet?).

So, here is the scoop. I, the author of a blog, can bookmark my blog posts on social book marking sites and tag them with key words so that they will appear when people search for those key words on the social book marking site. I have signed up with www.delicious.com and www.stumbleupon.com. There are many more social book marketing sites including www.digg.com, and www.reddit.com. However, if I alone tag my posts, they will not be very popular. I need to also invite the readers of my blog to bookmark the posts that they like and think other people derive benefit from reading.  To do this, I insert a little free widget at the end of each blog post (you can get one at www.sharethis.com or www.addtoany.com).  

If you like what you have read, I invite you to use the Share/Save widget at the end of this post to bookmark this post on one or more social bookmarking sites that you belong to. The widget makes it easy. Just try it – click and follow the directions.

Which social book marketing sites do you use?

2 thoughts on “Summoning Blog Traffic

  1. I worked with a marketing company who suggested the social marketing route. So, I’ve been doing it for six months or so. I set up accounts on MySpace, Twitter, Gather, Care2, MyChurch, etc., and began interacting. My experience is that it has been a waste of time.

    First, it takes a lot of time to build and nurture on-line friendships with people. Internet relationships are not like flesh and blood relationships. People tend to be fragmented and hyper-sensitive on-line. They are looking to be stroked, approved, schmoozed — but not too deeply, not really.

    People freely speak their minds, but they interact only with people who agree with them — which tends to make them think that they are always right about everything. This is a huge problem in our world today. People tend to gather into like-minded Internet groups and engage in flame wars should anyone cross their presuppositions.

    Internet social-site relationships tend to be shallow, truncated and ADHD-esque. And in order to build traffic on the social sites requires a regular presence on many sites, building relationships takes time. But what I found to be most exasperating is that the world has discovered social marketing, which means that a lot of people (businesses, companies, marketers) are using the social sites for marketing. This means that the kinds of relationships that are available are of the mutual or reciprocal marketing relationship kind.

    You tell me your “elevator speech” and I tell you mine. Thanks. Good to know ya. Next!

    It’s like going to your local chamber of commerce meetings. The chamber is not a bad thing to do, but everyone is using everyone else for networking purposes — and the only people who go are the networking professionals (marketing people). Such relationships are not deep, personal relationships of mutual trust, concern and love for the Lord. Rather, people are using each other for commercial purposes.

    Maybe I’m just too much of a curmudgeon to do the social marketing thing, or maybe I think that Christian relationships should be different.

    Anyway… that’s my two cents worth.

    Phil

    Like

  2. Phillip:
    I recently read a very interesting article that said that about 80 percent of the user-generated content on the Web, including comments and questions, is created by less than 10 percent of Web users. Additionally, half of the Web’s most frequent contributors are under the age of 22. The person who wrote the article stated that he felt that companies could have great influence using social networking, but that most of their influence would be through the non-contributors reading how they were responding to the few contributors. Just some food for thought.

    Like

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