The other day in a offline conversation, Steve Groves was harassing me about my low Technorati rankings. Pure and simple, it is a case of 'the cobbler's kids have no shoes'. I firmly believe that in order to have a successful blog, you must:
- Find other blogs speaking to the same audience as yours.
- Read those blogs on a regular basis, preferable once a week.
- Leave comments on those blogs. Write on your own blog about topics found on other blogs and link/trackback to those posts.
- In addition, systematically scan the blogosphere for mentions of you, your company, your URLs, trademarks, etc.
What Steve didn't realize is that I do that regularly, but I'm doing that very thing for some of my clients. Some people just don't have time to scan the blogosphere like they should. For example, I have a client with multiple blogs on disparate subjects and a dozen or so URLs. Even with an RSS reader, it takes about five hours a week to keep up with all of that and he just doesn't have the five hours. I act as a driftnet, monitoring about 180 blogs and google searches, and send him an email once or twice a week containing one or two dozen blog posts. From those, he picks a smaller number that he finds compelling and leaves comments. It saves him a ton of legwork. To him, it is worth it to have me do the legwork for him.
I, some cases, I also do this for other smaller clients as part of the ongoing blog coaching I offer even though it involves only about an hour a week. The reason is simple. I find that it takes most business owners 3-6 months to to really get into the groove of blogging. Regular presonal coaching during this period of time helps jump start them and get the good habits engrained. So part of my coaching is hand-holding: directing their attention to good opportunities to leave comments, help them stay engaged in the blogospher's conversations, etc.
Yea, I really need to start carving out some time for myself, but helping my clients be successful bloggers is important too.