Blogging isn’t all about you. Yeah, I know, most of it is, but the truth is that blogging is really about community. And if you know how to use the community, it can bring great benefits. What do I mean?
It’s rare that I don’t have anything to write about. My imagination is pretty good. But it does happen here and there. What I do when that happens is I go and check out other blogs. I’m one of those people that actually enjoys commenting on other people’s blogs, but in this case it’s not all I’m doing.
Something people don’t think to take advantage of is writing a long piece on their own blog based on inspiration from someone else’s blog. I do that often, and it works really well, even if I comment on someone else’s blog. But the extra step I take is that I’ll link to the article that I’m commenting on.
What that does is brings to my readers attention another blog and gives them a boost, whether they’re ranked higher than I am or not. It gives them a one way link which of course benefits their blog, and it gives me a topic to write on. We both benefit, and I show that it’s not all about me.
And here’s the thing. You don’t have to agree with whatever you’re writing that’s addressing the other person’s blog. I go both ways equally and both serves the same purpose, which is giving me something to write about and the other person a free link, even if they might not see the benefits of my disagreeing with them. It’s a win-win; search engines will love it.
This is a little tip but an important one for many reasons. Give it a try; it’s probably one of the easiest things you could ever do to give your blog more character.
Yesterday I came across an interesting blog post titled 50 Most Influential People In Blogging 2010. This is a list, or at least the type of list, that I’m shooting for to get more recognition for what I do on this blog.
Whenever I come across lists like this, I tend to do a few things. The first thing I do is see who’s on the list that I know and have talked to in some fashion. There’s a few people on this list like that, so at least I know a few prominent people. Then I look to see other names I recognize, and that number here is just slightly higher than the first one.
The next thing I do is take a look at those people who are on the list that I’ve never heard of, most specifically to see what their rankings are compared to mine. After all, one wants to see what the competition has over you (I use “competition” here only as a comparison word, because I think the belief that we as bloggers actually compete against each other is ridiculous). And based on my perceptions, I believe I’ve come up with some differences.
The first difference is that about 70% of the people whose blogs I visited have a pop-up as soon as you get to the page. Most of them seem to be promoting either a product or newsletter subscription. Y’all know my belief on that one; if I have to add an annoying pop-up to my blog then I’m just not doing it. As a matter of fact, I tend to not visit all that many blogs more than a couple of times if they do have pop-ups. I don’t like toolbars either, but at least those things aren’t blocking the content before you get to check it out. Anyway, who do I know, or at least have exchanged a word or two with at some point on the list: See below:
Congrats to the buddies of mine who made the list.
The second difference is cross promotion. Many of the folks who are considered big time bloggers all know each other in some capacity. So, they’re good at promoting each other, something that the rest of us aren’t always all that good at. Obviously I’m pretty good at linking outside of my blog to other people, and even better at internal linking, but not everyone does this. Thing is, if we do it to the big time bloggers, it’s already too late because they’ve pretty much stopped reading all their comments; okay, most of them. So, it’s left up to the rest of us to, when it’s legitimate, link to something someone else says that can help them build up their influence.
The third difference is that most of them talk about making money, and that seems to be a major driving force when it comes to people visiting one’s blog. Not everyone, of course, but the overwhelming majority of folks are doing it. Actually, I keep wondering if it’s all that much different than mine. I certainly talk about it often enough, and I test things and tell what my experience is. However, I don’t make money blogging right now, so I talk about other things that have to do with blogging and other interests of mine, and thus those only interested in making money aren’t coming by anymore. That’s okay because I love the rest of you that do stop by on a regular basis. I’d just like there to be more of you out there; I really want to make some of these top 50 lists! lol
I discounted rankings as a difference because of three reasons. One, I actually rank higher than 3 or 4 blogs on the list per Alexa. Two, since I don’t have Google PR on this blog (taken from me), I can’t use that as a comparison at all. Three, the writer didn’t mention rankings as a criteria, and thus it would be presumptuous to think he based everything off that.
So let’s see… what did I learn that’s going to help me spread my influence enough so that I can make one of these lists? I have absolutely no idea. I still can’t talk about only making money by blogging, so that’s not going to get there. If anyone thinks that most of my posts aren’t personally engaging, whether you care for the topic or not, let me know. Actually, personality is a major trait for most of the blogs I saw, though a couple only give information without any extras. It’s certainly not frequency because I believe, writing by myself, I write as frequently, or moreso, as anyone else.
Then what it has to be is the cross promotion part. In other words, I, and by extension the rest of you, have to try to get people to talk more about you on their blogs. We all have to get better at linking to other people, and using what someone else has written as inspiration for us to have something new to write about from time to time, while giving those people a link and a mention when you can. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t give any name recognition to the writer of this blog because all I could find was Michael. He’s violating one of those rules I picked up from Darren Rowse about having an About page and/or Contact page on your site so people know who you are and can contact you. It seems he’s marketing a book or training course he’s created, yet you can’t learn his last name until you buy it; that’s an odd way of branding if you ask me.
Do you have aspirations to be a top 50 blogger on someone’s list? I do! Let’s help each other get there. Or, if you don’t want to get there, then help me! 🙂