I’m the worst at taking my own advice, I insist on thinking that original and well written content matters. Even when it is quite clear that the string of comments I generate by skillfully repurposing generic content is much longer. I keep being fixated on the crazy idea that providing value up front, putting it in the hands of my readers, will keep them coming back for more. I don’t know where I got that notion that spending hours leaving thoughtful comments on other blogs about the writer and their topic — vs. about how good *I* am — would get me any traffic at all.
Now that I got your attention, I can take the tongue off my cheek where it was firmly planted, and share with you eight easy tips to market your blog so that people can find the goodness you provide.
1. Seek out yourself — choose and attract the audience that is most like you. Unless you are one of those people who can adapt instantly to any other kind of person, you will find more comfortable building rapport and conversations with people who are like you. They will find it easy to identify with your material, enjoy reading it, and spread it to others. This also means being able to “see” yourself in others — find the common ground and the basis for a relationship by seeking out the other instead of pushing yourself upon them. You’ve heard the expression like-minded, this is where it comes in.
2. Use speed to your advantage — the tortoise’s win was a fluke. Do it intelligently and in a way that contributes to your brand. You must be constantly alert to opportunities to make a contribution that is timely. If you’re alert to what topics and news are changing or coming and sense their imminence, you can capitalize on them. One minute too late and you are left alone at what was a busy intersection just a little while ago. Sometimes this is luck, most of the time it’s the ability to be prepared to talk about something at the right time. Do your research and be poised to pounce.
3. Tell people how good you are — be a master of clarity. Communicating clearly is the essence of creating the impression of competence, skill, and mastery. Great branding and marketing is the simplest articulation of what is at the core of a company’s offering. Your ability to explain what you blog about, rather than actually reading what you write, is what most influences another’s impression of your skill. The expert is the person who most clearly communicates their expertise. Communication is not a skill, it is THE skill.
4. Be incomplete — know how to or who but don’t let those deter you from allowing your readers to complete your thoughts. Yes, one of the hallmarks of extraordinary experience is completeness. Yet, having all the answers may deprive your readers from their role or a role in your blog. You cannot be an expert at everything, even with diligent research, yet if you’re diligent at developing relationships, your readers will know when to jump in and help you out.
5. Be grateful — use the magic words: thank you. Don’t move to the next post before demonstrating true appreciation for your readers. Wait a moment, is this a marketing technique? Yes, indeed it is. One of the most powerful introductions in lead generation for existing customers is the acknowledgment and appreciation of their business. There are other ways to show your gratitude — reach out by email to inquire how someone is doing, welcome new visitors who leave a comment to your site (to this day, I am still amazed at how few do it, despite the advice), address people by name.
6. Radiate passion about what you do — technique barely matters, I can give you an easy formula for marketing your blog. There are techniques and processes that you can put in place to plot a course and assess ways to increase readership steadily and mathematically. No breakthroughs will come from those. Express a commitment to better and you will attract what you radiate — these will allow you to leapfrog.
7. Make your readers feel important — it is their most basic need and the truest form of connection. You know it yourself, you love to hang out with someone who cares about you and places you ahead of themselves. Contribute to their success, give them the red carpet treatment, make it about them… it is.
8. Inspire — the emotional connection is above and beyond experience. It’s about standing for something meaningful that touches your readers on an emotional level. Find out what interests and inspires your readers and provide motivation and encouragement. Use your influence to make things happen for them.
If I took my own advice, I would also be very honest with you and tell you that what really made me a better writer and marketer has been practice and involvement. Putting skin in the game is what makes me a strong brand, different from anyone else.
Author: Valeria Maltoni
With New World attitude and Italian style, Fast Company expert blogger and Conversation Agent Valeria Maltoni demonstrates her unique talent for synthesizing marketing, public relations, and communications. See how customer relationships are always conversations, and why this knowledge is essential to doing business in the Information Age. Valeria also blogs at the Marketing Profs Daily Fix and Marketing 2.0.