The Art of Getting What You Want in the Blogosphere

by Jan Geronimo on May 25, 2009

Moo cards for blogging workshopImage by Mexicanwave via Flickr

In this post I’m going to tell you how I get what I want in the blogosphere. My needs are modest – you maybe lusting after something completely different – but the same principle may apply. So hold on and listen.

My blogging needs are simple

1. Readers – Check
2. Engaged Readership – Check
3. Blogging Buddies – Check
4. Recognition – Check
5. Self-hosted WordPress blog – Check. [Note: Please bear with my false alarms. We're working on it.]

Getting readers

I did not get my readers by sitting on my ass all day marveling how powerful my latest post is. I get them myself by actively seeking them. I read both high trafficked blogs and those with only a handful of readers. True, I have a bias for blogs with large, bustling readership, but my heart beats as well for those who have only their mothers for a reader. I know how hard it is keep on blogging with no one giving you an encouraging pat in the back. I want my new found friend to remember me “as that guy who’d been there with me when no one else believed in me.” Sweetness!

Promote your buddies with FriendFeed

When a visitor reads my post and leaves a comment, I check out his blog. Who is this guy? What does he need? How best to talk with him? Those are my concerns.

Now, this is very important. If he has a brilliant post, I leave a comment. And I share his post in FriendFeed. Why FriendFeed? Because it’s the best social media aggregator there is – it pulls in your subscriptions to the various social media sites. If you want to simplify and make productive use of your social media presence, I recommend using Friendfeed.

So what, you say. Do you know that once I share your masterpiece in Friendfeed your post appears simultaneously not only in FriendFeed but also in my Facebook page and Twitter? If only two tweeters retweet what I’ve posted you’ve just gained possible eyeballs for your post. But what if an uber blogger retweets what I’ve shared? Think big – think Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, or Darren Rowse. Can you imagine the ripple effect of that single benevolent action?

About FriendFeed:

1. You can sign up for FriendFeed account or use it by signing in with your Facebook, Twitter, and Google account. Here’s a link to answers to your other FriendFeed related questions

2. For easier sharing of post in FriendFeed use a FriendFeed bookmarklet and drag it to your web browser. With FriendFeed bookmarklet you can both share the post and a picture to go with it at the same time. Nifty, huh?

Note: If you think the blog author is not that social media savvy, you can tell him nicely that you’ve shared his post in the social media. Don’t twist his arm and make him believe he owes you. That’s bad form. Just say you’re so pleased with the quality of his post that sharing it with others is the least you can do to repay him. Or something similar.

Giving incentives is a powerful blogging strategy

Giving incentive to readers is a fail-safe blogging strategy. You condition them that there’s something in it for them when they visit you. Do it often. It’s the best way to win their affection.

If my visitor prefers to lurk in my blog and refuses to drop a comment, I have no beef against that. Suit yourself, amigo. But let me tell you, I’m going to visit your blog, read your post and leave a comment. I’d break the ice. Get comfy with me. You’re in good hands, buddy.

Cultivating engaged readership

You want an engaged readership? Be accessible. Get down from your ivory tower and talk with your readers. Spar with them in contentious issues – but be civil. It pays to be humble. It pays to show you’re not Mr. Know-It-All. And that you’re willing to learn from your readers.

They want banter? Give them fun. They want high brow conversations? Then engage them with your lofty thoughts and expertise. They need help? Help them – if you can’t – find somebody who will. Being useful to them means you are -

1. ready to give them the gift of your time.

2. sensible enough to concede that sometimes your conversation with your readers is the main event in your blog. It’s the star of the show. Not your post. Not even you – you’re just the busboy that wheels in the topic of the day. Live with it.

Put your best blogging foot forward

Winning friends is an art form. There’s no cut and dried formula to it. In my post Top 10 List of Influential Blogs of 2009, I said that to get what you want you’ve to ask for it. Clarification: this call to action is best said in your own blog – get your readers to do something for you. They most likely will because they like you in the first place.

But when you’re out there getting readers, you had better be on your toes. Be subtle in your approach. Check out the profile of the author, observe how he handles his own readers, dig into his archives to see what makes him tick. Knowing these is essential so you will know how best to conduct yourself in his blog.

Bring out your best social media ninja moves

It maybe tough. You maybe intimidated with his erudition. But guess what – you have not come empty handed, right? So bring out your gifts. If he’s really that good – well, be generous with your social media gifts. Tweet about him, give him a thumbs up or a review in StumbleUpon, bookmark his post in Delicious or in Digg, promote it in Yahoo Buzz, share it in Facebook.

If he knows what’s good for him and his blog, he’d remember you. Visit him next time and repeat the process. Wear him down with your Mother-Teresa-meet-Chris-Brogan style of blog promotion and you’d most likely win a friend.

The art of getting recognition

Being cited as one of the Top 10 Influential blogs is cool. Makes your heart beat a little faster, right? Here are my marching orders for my top 10 nominees:

1. If the blog post is good, promote it in Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, and other social media you’re comfortable with. Make it a part of your routine.This is a must.

2. If the blog post is average and you fear that posting it to your social media sites will irk your friends there, don’t. What to do? Engage the blog author by leaving a wonderful comment. This means you don’t show off your expertise. Express your thoughts in such a way that you make your comment contribute positively to his post. It’s his show – make the author shine.

3. Subscribe to the comment feed. The author most likely will reply to you, or even his readers. You will never know that unless you’re subscribed. Remember you’re not only there to win over the blog author but his readers as well.

4. If
you fail to get the nod of the blog author, keep at it. With all due respect to Janette Toral and her great writing project, it’s just that at the end of the day: a writing project. You might not get the vote, but hey, guess what – gun instead for the ultimate prize: the respect of the blog author and the admiration of his followers. You’re in blogging for the long haul, aren’t you?

The blogosphere owes you nothing

In a nutshell, my point is this: To get ahead in the blogosphere you need to stop acting with a sense of entitlement. You maybe brilliant, you maybe pedigreed, you may have come from the perfumed set of society, but you’re nothing. The blogosphere owes you nothing.

Be useful, helpful, and generous instead and watch your readership and sphere of influence explode.

Over to you, guys. What do you think of my master plan? Am I too full of myself in this post? Let’s share insights.

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Related Posts:
Grow Your Blog’s Reach By Guest Posting
10 Reasons Why My Father Could Have Been an Uber Blogger
The Secret to Earning a Good StumbleUpon Review

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  • I like this post Jan. Very well said. I particularly like the way you said how important social media is in promoting one's blog - I failed on doing this, I swear. I'm a lazy blogger, he he he.
  • I think your best trick are those eye-catching titles. I always find them tempting and headed right in for a good read. I've always admire your writing and generosity. Everyone in P50 seems to be artistic and superb in creating content, wonder did I miss any course when joining? Are you guys having a literature course behind my back? :P

    Social/Blogging Tracker
  • Thanks a lot, Ching Ya. We used to "gossip" via email about lots of
    things. Perhaps, that's where the inspiration came from? LOL.
  • Hi Jan, it's great to hear from you so quickly! I think it's rather like smiling at a stranger in the street just because it's Thursday... or whatever, lol.

    It doesn't hurt to smile at anyone and may well cheery up their day. You will probably never see that person again, and have nothing else in common, but the fleeting moment of peace and warmth that comes from a simple smile is something that can be echoed by a quick word of recognition or popping by someone's work and saying "ooh, I like that, well done!"

    Even if that person never stops by again, a little positive message and a little lift in your self-confidence has resulted, and we are all the richer for that. So, artificially-induced or not, followed-up or not, a little mutual support can only be for the good of us all. Like a smile from a stranger, just because it's a nice day!

    Having said that, I don't believe in saying something is good if it clearly isn't. Better to say nothing at all other than, "hello". Constructive advice is good if it is carefully worded, and from that, friendships may come.

    Those early, polite exchanges can indeed blossom into full friendships, but if all they remain is a couple of polite and friendly exchanges, we're all still better for that.

    So, here's a smile for you Jan, and I hope you have a great day, and I can't wait to read your next incisive blog! Great stuff!!

  • Jan Geronimo
    That's a great rule to live by - we might not get the second chance to meet each other again. It pays to be kind. And to smile or wave our shy greeting.

    Thanks, Rebecca. You're an engaging conversationalist.

    And yes, I'm determined to have a great day - if it's the last thing I'd do. :)
  • Jan Geronimo
    Hi Rebecca: I'm happy we're on the same page on this one. I have a close online friend - she twitted my idea of artificially induced friendship and getting readers.

    True, it seems that way at the outset. The sad fact is you can't get ahead on the net if you don't make it clear the reader gets something in return. It's just human nature to take care of number one. We have to appeal to that reader's need. What's-in-it-for-me is one inescapable truism in the net as it is in real life.

    We need to deliver our end of the bargain with readers.

    Having said that, we need to progress from that initial stage of tit-for-tat reader engagement. Make it more meaningful and satisfying in the course of our dealing with them. That deepening engagement, of course, still has to be worked on. Like marriage. Ahahaha.

    Oh boy, you've set me off on this one. Thank you, Rebecca. Nice exchanging ideas with you.
  • Hi Jan, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this blog post, it's fantastic and fits my way of thinking perfectly! I love the message you are giving here... I love people, I love life, I love to help people feel special and to see them smile. Your post made me smile and I thank you for that!! Cheers Jan, all the way from Scotland, Rebecca,x.
  • zorlone
    What happened? So, I was chatting with Sir LJ and he mentioned that the comments disappeared. O my gulay! They did!

    Okay, can I just say that this post rocks. Would you like to exchange link with me? But you would have to do that first okay.

    Hold it LJ, before you react. Didn't I just catch your attention? I have been practicing that. Just to keep you reading the comment. Maybe there is more and maybe this guy will say something that will surprise you. Okay, I don't know what to say next. Blah...

    You know, there is a captured audience here already, now how do we expand the numbers? Some folks who are already in a group perhaps, so their group, plus our group, plus another group. The more people who read, the more powerful your words will become.

    Of course, power isn't anything. But, the content of what you write. Thank goodness I haven't seen a blogger as accommodating as you, or else, I'd be saying formal stuff here and there. Leaving a two liner the most, but your posts combined with the personal touch of your comments make me (a reader) want to come back for more. Addicting. Best of all, you are giving away your tips to everyone.

    More power Jan and to your new home, we'll break the champagne and set you to sea. (Yikes! Is this a boat?) LOL


    <abbr>Zorlone’s last blog post..Jodapoet</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Addicting? Sure ? Darn, got carried away putting in monosodium glutamate in the mix! Di kaya ako ipatawag ng Senado sa pinagagawa ko? Ahahaha.
  • zorlone
    Kaya pala I felt a bit light headed and nauseated. You put too much MSG!!! should have figured the signs of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome!

    <abbr>Zorlone’s last blog post..Jodapoet</abbr>
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