There are 40,000 new blogs started everyday. Pretty impressive number. My question is how many of those stick? Some tend to say blogging is a dying species. I say it is evolving and exploding. No one wants to create a blog that lands in the internet graveyards after the first post.
Every single young entrepreneur should have a blog. In my honest opinion, there is no faster way to get your name out there and to start making some noise in your industry. To make it successful, it must be content rich. This means you are not in it just to make money. You must enjoy doing it every single day whether you got paid or not. That leads to the desire to create quality content. We all suck when we first start. I still have a hard time believing people read my stuff after doing embarrassingly bad in every one of my English and writing classes throughout school. The only part I kicked butt at was storytelling. Anyhow, if you don’t have anything to say, you need to start learning. The simple way to do it is to start a blog that interviews experts or reviews products.
Blogging can take some time to pick up steam. In rare cases, you will find ignorant young entrepreneurs like myself, who have no clue what good or bad traffic means, nor do they care. They just go out there and do it. My first blog took several months to gain traction. If I would have known to plan and develop a strategy, it would have shortened the learning curve by leaps and bounds.
If you want to create a blog that causes a stir, you must be well prepared. Start by writing a stockpile of content and have at least 5 articles complete before you launch. But people need to find it, right? Once you have your blog up and running with a few excellent posts up, you want to find a way to get people talking and promoting for you. So here are my tips to create a huge buzz to drive hoards of traffic to your new blog.
1. Do Something Remarkable
To be remarkable is to be remarked about. You want to get people talking about what your are doing and if you are not pissing people off on some level, you are not doing it right. Maybe try gulping down a raw egg for every 100 people who watch you on Ustream or attempt the wickedly impossible jump on your skateboard. Just make sure whatever you do, you have a way to tie back to your blog’s niche. This could be kind of like a publicity stunt. Think about if you saw someone doing this certain out of the box thing, would you watch? Then run it by a few friends so you make sure you have not completely lost your mind. Live streaming video can be great in this case because you can promo your blog to everyone explain what you are doing.
2. Leverage A Big Name
Chances are that you don’t know Oprah, but on the other hand you can still approach a big name in your industry. Tell them you would like to interview them for your blog. Tell them who your audience is, what makes them unique and sell them on why they should take this interview. You don’t have to tell them it is for a new blog unless they ask. And be honest with them if they do.
If you need an extra push to seal the deal, show them you are prepared by a plan that describes how you will be driving traffic to the interview. You have to think about what’s in it for them. If you are good enough, you can even get them to mail their list and tweet their followers about it. If it’s a well done interview, there is a great chance that much of their traffic will now become your new subscribers.
3. Run A Contest
Seriously, who doesn’t like to win stuff? And don’t give away rusty old key chains that you found in your closet. One evening, I caught Gary Vaynerchuk live on Ustream. He was jamming out to Michael Jackson and I challenged him to do the moonwalk across his office. That challenge led to me ordering a few copies of his New Your Times bestselling book Crush It. I planned on buying them anyways, but the M.J. tribute was the kicker.
He ended up signing every one of them and I don’t think there was a hotter book out there that people wanted to get their hands on. If people wanted to win a copy, I exchanged them one entry into the drawing for tweeting the link to my video interview with Gary. This way I would not just be attracting a bunch of free seekers to the site and people would actually watch the interview before seeing the contest. It created a lot of curiosity when everyone was tweeting about it. Although I combined a few things on this list, the contest really gave people the extra push to be my promoters and share it with their network which landed thousands of views on my site.
4. Free Viral Piece Of Content
I don’t mean rub swine flu on a book and give it away. Spend some time to create an awesome video series or writing up a short powerful eBook or report that you can give away for free. Talk about hot and trending topics that will make people want to read. Give away some extremely valuable knowledge and tips on how to do something. If you need help, partner up with someone who can help you co-write it. You canthen setup an opt-in form on you blog that is attached to an auto responder that automatically sends them the piece. Now you can approach some of your online buddies who have big lists and ask them to send out a mailer to your blog to get people opting-in and telling all their friends on how to get this hot new free product.
5. Masterpiece A Blog Post
This may just be your best option, unless you suck as a writer. And even then, that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to creating viral blog posts. Some of the stuff that trends online makes me want to gag. Think about things that you would be absolutely salivating to read. How to posts and list posts are tremendously effective. They allow the reader to scan and digest your content quickly and easily. When you feel you have a great concept, write it up and run it by a few friends to see what they think.
This will be your best piece of work. The gold lies in the title. You should always be thinking in headlines. Make it short enough so when someone retweets it, it fits under the 140 characters including the link and @username. Also, this is a great opportunity for you to link up your other blog posts within to keep readers on your site. When you are ready to let it rip, choose a time that will bring you the most traffic.
Those are my tips for launching a blog with a bang. What’s yours?
Photo cred: Temari 09