Ever wonder about why some bloggers are popular, with traffic (and maybe revenue) levels and community participation that many can only dream of? Well, for instance I’ve always thought which comes first: whether it’s the popularity of A-listers gets them lots of linklove, or whether they get to be popular in the first place bcause of tons of links from other bloggers. And I’ve always thought whether it’s in the content, the style of writing, the niche, or other factors.
Ahmed has some good arguments over at techsoapbox that having good, unique, content is usually not enough to ensure a good following for a blog (or any other online material, for that matter). It has to be backed by good marketing, too.
There is a lot of great content out there. People who spend hours writing one single article, re-writing it multiple times so that it is flows nicely, conveys its points across, and doesn’t bore the user. But that is far from enough. You write this great content – how does it get found? It isn’t that Google sends out some magical gnome to check on your content. No, you have to put your head down and promote your site non-stop.
And once you build up interest in your material, and once you get to start a community around your blog, then the following and the readership will be there. It could take a handful of emails to other bloggers and writers, or sometimes leaving comments on other blogs. The point is that along with writing the good stuff, you should also spread the word about your blog.
Now I do want to step back and say that unique content is important. High quality content is important. But without promoting it, you fantastic unique content will go no where. Unique content with no promotion vs so-so content with promotion results in the so-so content beating down the unique content.
Ahmed suggests that everytime you publish something you think is worth spreading the word about, do find several blogs whose owners might find your material interesting. Go write them an email–preferably personalized and individually written (no spam!). If you’re compelling enough, and if your content is considered a good read, then you’ve got yourself the makings of a good readership.