- Now that I have our blog up, how do we get visibility? How do we get people to find it and open it and look at it and participate?
- Our target market is widget manufacturer CTOs. How do we reach them?
These are my favorite questions because this is what Business Blogging Pros is all about: Leveraging conversations on the Web to boost your image, exposure, and reputation.
Put simply, you must engage in a campaign comprised of the following four steps:
Find other blogs speaking to the same audience.
These may be other blogs on the same topic as yours. Remember though that Markets are Conversations. You may be selling widgets, but conversations about them will occur wherever your present and future clients may gather. This means that you should also look for other blogs about entirely different topics but are visited by your target audience.
For example, suppose your target market is the CTOs of widget manufacturers. First, find the ones that blog. Next what publications do they read? Almost every journalist has a blog these days.
And don’t limit your search to just blogs. Forums, Facebook Groups, and similar spots should not be ignored.
Read these blogs regularly.
Look for topics (conversations) you and your company are knowledgeable about and offer you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.
Leave comments that add to the conversation.
This is strategic. Comments that say ‘Great Post’ are worthless. Just as in a face-to-face networking venue, you must contribute to the conversation. Your objective is to write insightful, informative, thought-provoking comments. The comment form usually has a place for a URL. Always include your blog’s URL. You want people to find you.
What will happen is that after you’ve left a few really good comments, that blog’s author will begin to recognize you, recognize you are worth listening to, and begin to read your blog regularly.
Write articles on your own blog about what you’ve read.
An alternative to leaving comments on other blogs is to go back to our own blog and write about what you’ve read. When you do this it is crucial to do two things: First, include a hyperlink back to the blog post or article you are writing about. Second, include a trackback to that post or article. The trackback will notify the author of the original article, telling her about your article. Some blogging platforms will also place an excerpt of your article in the comments and trackbacks section of her article.
When would you trackback vs comment? At a high enough level of abstraction, comments and trackbacks do the same thing:
- Make another blogger aware of you.
- Make the other blogger’s readers aware of you.
Having said that, you would use a trackback instead of a comment for either of two reasons:
- What you want to say is too long for a comment. Sometimes you want to take the conversation further or in a different direction.
- You want your own readers to be aware of the conversation. Note that when you leave a comment, that blogger and his readers are aware of it but your own readers are not.
Of course, none of this will have the desired affect if you don’t write good, informative, thought-provoking content on your own blog. If you’re writing good comments then people will visit your blog. You must give them a reason to come back and read your blog regularly.
Admittedly, this process can be a lot of work. Done well, finding all those blogs and reading them regularly can consume several hours each week, but it can allow you to accomplish what large companies with millions to spend on marketing would be hard-pressed to accomplish.
Shameless commercial plug: This is our specialty. We offer a service whereby:
- We find those blogs.
- We scan them regularly. (We looked at over six thousand blog posts for one client this week.)
- Once each week, we provide you short list of a dozen or so articles that are right on target for you.
- We meet with you, strategize, and help you craft responses that are effective.