How do I Get Bloggers Attention?

Feb 5th

SEO Question: Your mention of blogs got me thinking. Do you know of a reliable "paid to post" service that will not spam blogs but will find related/relevant blogs to post notices about the site I'm launching simultaneous with the launch?

SEO Answer: I would not recommend ideas like pay to post. There are a whole slue of reasons, but at the core of the issue is that the people who are going to be blogging and ranking for terms related to your field can probably burn you pretty bad in the search results if they dislike you. The community aspect of the web is probably the single most important marketing mechanism for the average new webmaster and it is one of the easiest things to screw up.

Here are reasons why the webmasters and site owners should work directly with bloggers and other website owners to market their sites.

  • People who write often tend to also read often. If the people who write often are friends then they likely will defend you or alert you when others bring up your name or brand in a negative light.

  • If you learn the interests of those talking about your topic it is easier for you to appeal to their interests.
  • Search engines want to move toward counting naturally earned organic links. Google is heading that way quicker than Yahoo! or MSN, but you can't count for them to be behind the curve forever.
  • Traffic from related sites should convert exceptionally well, especially if it is from people who write about you or your products in a positive light.
  • It may not be this way right now, but eventually sites that have few or no votes from sites within their topical community are going to struggle to get high enough in the search results to earn self reinforcing links from others outside of their community.
  • With how many scams there are on the net I think people tend not to trust new sites until they are repeatedly exposed to them. If the first exposure smells at all like a marketing message they you may have to pay for any further exposure.

All the above information assumes you want to build a long term brand and business. If your goals are more short term and your name is not attached to the site both low cost outsourced labor and automated somewhat sophisticated comment spam bots can market your message, although that is pretty shitty to do and not something you want to do if you are in the business for the long haul.

Here are a few legitimate ways you can get bloggers attention:

  • Search for what they are interested in and talking about. Create a story that is more comprehensive than anyone elses or takes a different perspective.

  • Create something that is web based that bloggers can integrate into their blogs. Try to make it something social.
  • Ask some of the bloggers that you want to cover your stuff if they would have time for an interview. I have seen exceptionally new bloggers get to interview old time web gurus just by asking. Odds are you may get an I was recently interviewed by link which leads to many secondary links. You also can then offer that blogger a free version of your product as a thank you, although there are still some tact issues with how you do that.
  • Come up with a controversial blog advertising program. Try to involve some big names in it to where all the blogging ethics crew talk about it.

Some people tend to think that you just need enough money to get seen, but that can backfire if you offend the ego of bloggers. All you need to do is find a way to appease their egos.

Recently a few people contacted me with press releases. The emails were deleted and I sent some of the people the optional are you an idiot? replies.

One person was creating a parallel and competing channel and sent me a press release about it. When I suggested that they could buy ads they said that industry news should not need to buy ads. I told them that since they offered me nothing in return I thought they could go to hell.

You don't get much help by telling others what you expect them to do. Especially if there is no return / reward incentive in the exchange.

Occasionally a smart person comes along and doesn't ask for a link. They ask for feedback or my opinion, and in that they likely get greater value. I am not going to link to something that I think is crap, but if I think their product is no good I will tell them why. If I review it and like it then odds are pretty good I would mention it.

Published: February 5, 2006

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Comments

name removed
February 5, 2006 - 7:18pm

I agree that there are times when paying for posts on blogs (or forums) seems a rather "dirty" thing to do.
However,thinking of it another way, if you find people who are going to post anyway somewhere, why not let them post for your site and collect some money in the process.
I am rather biased in this, since [we] offers forum posting services for hire. There is definitely a demand for this, although I'll leave ethics for someone else to discuss.

February 5, 2006 - 7:56pm

You totally missed my point, and that in and of itself is a reason why I would not outsource blog comments.

I am removing your company name and link so there is no commercial benefit to you for your comment, but thanks for proving my point on why outsourcing community integration is a bad call.

February 6, 2006 - 8:14am

Your playground Aaron, your rules and that's certainly fair and does prove the point.
I actually doubt your target audience has any interest in my services, but it does start to seem no matter how on topic you post, all you are allowed these days is to have another blogger post on blogs.

February 6, 2006 - 8:18am

It certainly does start to seem that way if your posts are blatent self promo.

Geoff Digan
February 6, 2006 - 11:34am

At least the poster admitted his bias in the matter
but I don't agree that it is Aaron's playground or HIS rules rather I have learned that it is a matter of etiquette a sort of unwritten code not to hijack/spam somebody else's site.
Did I tell you that I offer individual one to one tution on this subject. You can contact me on:)

February 6, 2006 - 12:53pm

Actually, I have read Aaron's site for a reasonable period of time (not terribly long but still 6 months).
I don't go around spamming posts, but in this case I felt compelled to mention my service, since it was relating to subject matter.

That line between blatant self-promotion and contributing to subject matter is a thin one indeed and my apologies for crossing it.

Aaron's articles are an interesting read 95 percent of a time *cough* appeasement of bloggers ego*

February 6, 2006 - 2:06pm

So true - and nevermind outsourcing comment spam marketing to button pushing monkeys (reminds me of a story Loren Baker posted a while ago on Threadwatch) - even some business owners can't get it right, as we can see... Intelligent comment spam is an art in itself and can hardly be automated - or at least, automating it requires employing much more logic than any current comment spam script I'm aware of employs... I've posted about intelligent comment spam a while ago but I'm yet to see anything really intelligent implemented or used intelligently by people, to that matter.

February 6, 2006 - 3:36pm

What a shame - There are probably some brilliant folks working on intelligent comment spam scripts, who could have used those gifts of precious brain juice to build and brand a great product with long-term value.

Perhaps we'll (including myself : ) be better remembering that our greatest asset isn't our brand, a product, or a big pile of cash.

Our biggest asset is time. We all have a finite, and unknown quantity of it. Most spammers will wake up one day (hopefully) to realize that they spent their life being an ass, and that they are still "a day late and a dollar short."

Don't mean to bring down the party, but when I talk w/ other business people at the end of their careers, their greatest regret is not the opportunities missed, or mistakes that cost them $. It was that they spent their whole life climbing the proverbial ladder w/o realizing it was leaning against the wrong wall.

Great posts, Aaron - thanks for all you give back to the industry.

February 6, 2006 - 6:12pm

>I don't go around spamming posts, but in this case I felt compelled to mention my service, since it was relating to subject matter.

And my point was that being somewhat relevant is not enough. You need to be interesting and add value before you should try to extract value from someone else's website.

I am not pissed at you. I am just stating that you have to go to great lenghts to be able to leave anything commercial on another website if you are not paying for it.

>intelligent comment spam

I have seen some comment spams from scripts that would probably fool 90% of webmasters, but even if you get caught by only a few it still may have a negative net effect.

jp
February 6, 2006 - 8:05pm

GotWisdom:
>It was that they spent their whole life climbing the proverbial ladder w/o realizing it was leaning against the wrong wall.

..damn right - why am i reading this at 2am after coming home drunk? time to get back to the real world i think!

February 6, 2006 - 8:26pm

Community forums are hard to fake also. I did a bunch of development for hip-hop music sites 4-5 years ago and had them all develop inhouse forums and also to have interns go out into the space and develop personas on other forums and after getting credibility to link to their site.

They wanted me to do it and I had to explain I was a middle aged white guy who would never written in a style where I was taken seriously.

People know who is a fake in their own community. It is only the ones who do not have their own hands at the wheel that allow spam etc. to grow.

February 6, 2006 - 9:43pm

>People know who is a fake in their own community. It is only the ones who do not have their own hands at the wheel that allow spam etc. to grow.

And early community growth really dictates what type of community members will be attracted to what is there.

In fields where people care enough to passionately discuss, debate and give away their knowledge they are not going to be attracted to a forum that was grown mechanically.

Sluz
February 7, 2006 - 12:31am

Great post and comments. This is why I keep coming back. I have a new Blog and am also a newbie at commenting on others. For years I have just read the posts and lurked on the forums but never commented or contributed anything myself. I would like to start to contribute more but the last thing I want to do is piss off the people who have contributed so much to my SEO education. It’s always good to know what to do as well as what not to do. Usually people learn what not to do the hard way by accidentally crossing the line. Hopefully I can avoid that.

February 7, 2006 - 2:08am

I would like to start to contribute more but the last thing I want to do is piss off the people who have contributed so much to my SEO education. It’s always good to know what to do as well as what not to do.

Keep in mind that most authoritative voices are at least a tad bit hypocritical in some way and do not follow their own advice all the time.

The key is to know the intent and frameset of the message. You want to take it all with a grain of salt and then create your own social framework you operate in.

Usually people learn what not to do the hard way by accidentally crossing the line. Hopefully I can avoid that.

Well IMHO if you do not piss anyone off you are either unoriginal or boring. The key is picking who you want to piss off and weighing the risk vs reward in saying or doing things that may piss people off.

When I was new to blogging I probably commented on a few hundred various sites, but I tried to make sure I wasn't going to piss people off with how I was doing it.

There still are a few unfortunate comments out there from my new to blogging days which may come back to haunt me

February 7, 2006 - 8:56am

Glad to see my inane first comment started a useful discussion at least.
It was a bit strange SEObook doesn't get as many comments as other sites which get similar traffic, too many lurkers afraid to post?

You can't worry too much about a few bad posts you've made in your lifetime.

February 7, 2006 - 9:07am

>Glad to see my inane first comment started a useful discussion at least.

yup. that is why I did not delete the post...only wanted to remove the commercial element from it.

>It was a bit strange SEObook doesn't get as many comments as other sites which get similar traffic, too many lurkers afraid to post?

I think there are a number of factors to that. For a long time I placed the book marketing element above the comments. But I do think I tend to flame people a bit quickly and delete almost anything that is exceptionally commercial and/or off topic.

And because I write a book on SEO and much of the content is geared toward early in the learning cycle I get lots and lots of "nice site" comment spam though.

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