So yesterday I mentioned that my friend Daniel announced our scholarship for bloggers...and the story went nowhere. It is quite humbling. The story would have likely made the Digg home page yesterday, but I think they pulled the submission from the upcoming stories for spamming, likely because some combination of the following:
- many of the votes came from a button on this site instead of the site being voted for from that site
- the domain name of our scholarship site generally sucks
- our scholarship domain could likely use a bit of work on improving its trustworthiness
- some editor may not have liked the story
Since I did absolutely no marketing outside of the Digg submission and a mention here, my marketing sucked...too risky, too stupid, and clearly not comprehensive enough.
I think I have been quite lucky and successful recently, to the point of becoming a bit lazy and arrogent...which totally showed in the lack of spreading of The Blogging Scholarship. My lack of focus on, and general apathy toward, the launch was apparent by the results. I phoned it in, thinking that my blog had enough reach to carry the story, just phoned in the idea, and failed brutally. We only got a couple applications yesterday, which is absurd considering how viral the market is, and how good the general idea is.
You know you are screwing something up quite bad if
- your site has great reach
- friends are hooking you up
- you are giving away thousands of dollars
- toward a cause many people care about
- to a viral market
- where many people share your interests
- and many students are heavily in debt
- and the story still goes nowhere
thus...we decided to change The Blogging Scholarship to make it more remarkable...
Instead of giving $1,000 quarterly we are going to give away $5,000 once a year.
- $5,000 sounds much more remarkable than $1,000, and will help whoever gets it much more than $1,000 will help 4 people.
- By doing it once a year it is rare enough that it is special. If we did it quarterly it is not going to be as much of an event, and would be harder to get coverage or community involvement.
Pinging a few friends to seed the story...hoping they can give it a bit of love. ;)
- I know many of the big dogs in the blogging space.
- Some of my friends have websites which are more relevant to the idea.
Another thing I could have done to make the story more popular would have been asking a few bloggers what they thought of the idea, or if I should change it at all BEFORE I launched it. But I was arrogant and lazy and did not listen to my own advice, thus we failed, and needed to reformat the scholarship to make it more appealing.
The good thing about really good or really bad viral marketing is that you usually have great feedback almost immediately after launch, and if you listen to it, you can change to help spread your ideas further.
We are still looking for lots of applications, so please apply yourself or nominate a friend today.
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