Blog Marketing 101: Circlejerks for All!

Sep 25th

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.

Published: September 25, 2006

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Comments

October 3, 2006 - 1:38am

Amen Brother. You know Aaron... The whole blog makes me feel like Aaron is being nice to me not because he is a nice guy (though I am sure you are) but that he simply wants another hook to his site and simply does not care. Everything is business I guess. Thanks Aaron for opening my eyes to a dirty world as I see everyday as a real estate agent. :-p I really dont know if this post is praising you or insulting you but this is the game we play I guess.

October 3, 2006 - 6:03am

Mert - Nice back-handed compliment. It was both insulting and praising...very efficient of you. ;)

But I think you're off the mark with your logic. Aaron doesn't need another hook. His hook is pretty big already. He's the pied piper of SEO. The everyman's David to Traffic Power's Goliath.

Below is the link to the beginning of Aaron's rise.

You must have missed while you were sleeping. :)

http://www.seobook.com/archives/001130.shtml

October 5, 2006 - 8:27pm

Dear Rob,

I know Aaron's history pretty well. The world of celebrities (no matter the industry (including SEO) is what have you done for me lately and not last years. If you are not on the spot light at all times, you are yesterday's news. And from what Aaron charges in SEO consulting (not talking about the book), I would hardly call him a David. P.S. The above was actually 100% meant to praise Aaron's skills on being able to remain in the spotlight. Ahhaaa, another concept, praising but still controversial. :p

September 25, 2006 - 2:23pm

Well I agree with you, altough the hardest part of all this story, is to get your brand known. What comes next (and what your post talks about) is fairly easy to work with and accomplish.

September 25, 2006 - 3:03pm

"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."

There's not much difference between what you say here and most definitions of "branding". Good branding makes those who interact with it "feel" something. Like feel special, happy, optimistic, satisfied, etc.

Nice to see you're posting more here.

September 25, 2006 - 3:03pm

I would say seeing what others are doing to be successful and trying to run the same program step-by-step is the sure way to fail in establishing your own brand. Blogging, deep down, still has to be about the author's personal voice. I want to know what bloggers think, not how good they are at following others' foot steps.

September 25, 2006 - 3:15pm

"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."

There's not much difference between what you say here and most definitions of "branding". Good branding makes those who interact with it "feel" something. Like feel special, happy, optimistic, satisfied, etc.

Nice to see you're posting more here.

September 25, 2006 - 8:29pm

In my opinion the most difficult part of branding is to decide what that brand is to be. Just because you have decided what your branding is doesn't mean everyone will perceive it that way. Once you have decided on your "brand" you should stick to your ideal of what that "brand" is. If you compromise your brand ideals you are leaving your branding to everyone else (which is not always a bad thing).

The web as a social medium is right on. Most people now days don't want deep information they enjoy staying on the surface and responding to and from emotion.

Ian
September 26, 2006 - 3:54pm

controvercies -> controversies

October 14, 2006 - 7:43pm

Aaron, just wanted to thank you. I have read your ebook, subscribe to you blog and followed your advice. Since the August launch of our website, your advice has launched our blog into the top 100,000 in Alexa traffic, helped us rank in the engines and climb the SERPs. We are bloggers and use the controversy technique along with the education technique to grow our popularity and it WORKS! Thanks again.

September 26, 2006 - 5:07pm

I agree that brand is important, and I also agree that discovering what your brand is can be one of the most difficult tasks.

When we first opened we discovered that what we were trying to get across as our brand wasn't what people actually wanted. We have made a bunch of changes and soon here our transformation should be complete, but it took us a while to figure it out. Our blog, I think, helped us get there. Even though many of our readers don't post comments, they email us and we make sure their questions are answered back in email too. They see the blog, recognize us an authority on the subject and a friendly voice willing to answer questions, and we develop a strong, if quiet, following.

September 28, 2006 - 6:51am

What freaks me out the most about what you wrote is the bit about lack of depth.

If we are doing deep as a puddle, where does the quality go? If it is a circle jerk, that seems we are feeding the lust.

Isn't it more than that? Can't the exchange of ideas be valued over strokes?

October 1, 2006 - 7:34pm

right on the dot. nicely said.

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