By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer
Blogs like Boing Boing and TechCrunch are a testament to the significant momentum blogs have experiences in the past several years. These highly influential blogs, with millions of followers, have built their social capital through many strategies that we’d like to share. As we will discuss, the blogosphere is very much a community where reciprocity is a highly valued currency and a unique perspective can go a long way.
1. Generate Relevant and Valuable Content
By generating unique and relevant content, other bloggers and social media mavens are more likely to promote your blog. A great way get picked up on news aggregators and search engines like Google News is to be topical. The same principles that drove the heyday of newspapers applies to the blogophere–the faster you can break the story, the more likely you are to be on the front page of a site like Google News. Furthermore, incorporating advice into your content will create added value — making it more likely for your readers to promote your content through linking and / or social networks.
2. Be Transparent and Honest
We are all human; we all make mistakes. The blogosphere is very forgiving if you’re transparent and admit your mistakes. Often times other bloggers will correct wrong statistics or offer a different perspective you might have missed. To maintain a friendly, honest rapport with your readers, add corrections and strike-throughs right in the blog posts. TechCrunch is a great example of transparency and honesty in blogging. The tech news site always uses a strike-through when they’re off the mark. Though it might not look pretty or neat, it will show you strive for truth and honesty.
3. Reach New People
Taking an active role in your community and promoting others’ content is a great way to increase your visibility within your niche. However, search is a highly valuable traffic referral tool. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for many bloggers. Using key words in your title and the introduction are incredibly important for search referrals. You can also utilize Google Trends to find which key words are relevant to your topic. E-mail signatures are another valuable tool to increase your visibility, particularly within your network. WiseStamp is a helpful tool from FireFox to incorporate your blog and RSS feed in your signature.
4. Be Active in the Community
The blogosphere is very much a community-oriented space where it pays to put in the extra effort. It can be as simple as commenting on another blogger’s post or even sending a friendly e-mail to start a conversation. Commenting on blogger’s content is a way to not only increase your visibility on their site, but if you insert a link to your site, it can generate traffic referrals. Another way to engage with other bloggers is to attend webinars and give advice in your area of expertise. Adding your perspective and becoming a thought leader can lend your blog credibility and ultimately, readers.
5. Promote Others
Blogging very much relies on the currency of reciprocity. Not only does being active in your community (e.g. commenting and participating in webinars) help familiarize yourself with other like-minded bloggers, but promoting others through links in your own blog posts and blogroll are also valuable in generating social capital. The more traffic you can direct to other bloggers, the more likely they are to reciprocate by promoting your blog.
Image by ivan petrov from Stock.Xchng