The best way to promote a new blog is to track conversations, interject your opinions, and to talk about others when it makes sense to. The WSJ published an article titled How to Get Attention In a New-Media World [Sub Req], in which a blogger stated:
"Our best PR," Ms. Dunlap says, "comes from people who are mentioned or featured on our site and forward the link to their friends."
Of course, it is hard to build up enough authority to do well if you start off with non controvercial fan blogs. You have to have a great writing style or a certain amount of credibility built up before people want to share your mentions as being newsworthy. You need to build brand loyalty one visitor at a time starting from day 1.
Short term you can get exposure quickly by creating controversies (see Valleywag) or being the consumate contrarian (see Nicholas Carr). But, if you want to do well longterm it is important to create a platform for showcasing the value of others and their ideas, like Paris does.
One of the things I wrote in my ebook was something like "If you make other people feel important they will do your marketing for you." (yes I know it is shitty to quote myself)
But the large theme of most successful and profitable sites is that there has to be some associated social element...some way for the site to make the consumer feel special. An insider's club circle jerk, if you will. People like to feel like they are in the in crowd and that they are important. That is why you see low level information being so popular so often on the social sites...people can quickly consume, understand, and identify with it.
The web, at least as a social marketing medium, is less about doing deep research and more about creating something that can quickly evoke emotional reactions or help people reinforce their worldviews, identities, and sense of purpose.
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