This is arguably More Important than Content…

Content is King! Content is King! Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I know Thoreau would be envious of your work. Unfortunately, if no one is showing up to see your incredible content, then what’s the point? Marketing and bringing people to read your blog posts arguably trumps content, at least in the beginning when you’re building an audience. The “Build it and they will Come” mentality doesn’t apply in this world. Over the last year I’ve viewed hundreds of solid blog posts, and I’m always shocked on how many have little or no shares and no comments. They are not getting the exposure that their writing deserves. Are you getting the exposure you deserve? If not, you have to take it upon yourself to bring readers to your blog.

Facebook Groups: There are Facebook Groups out there where it’s all about sharing and reciprocation. Many FB groups are about helping each other. I’m sure many of you reading aren’t even aware of these groups. They work. If you’re interested in joining a FB group, ping me or leave comment. I’ll be happy to assist and get you started.

StumbleUpon: Yes, I wrote a post a few weeks ago dedicated to StumbleUpon. Maybe if you keep seeing the name, you’ll jump on board and take advantage of the traffic SU can bring to your blog. I’ve had over 2K visits from StumbleUpon in January, and average time on site was 1:32. Even from past posts, I’m still getting traffic daily from SU. These articles stay in StumbleUpon, and do not go off to pasture immediately. Please do yourself a favor and join SU today. The traffic is waiting for you.

Triberr: Bloggers helping Bloggers. Triberr is a fantastic way to get readers to find your blog. While Triberr was by “invitation only” last year, it is now open to all. Triberr is a community where you share posts with other bloggers in your tribe. These posts are sent out with a link through Twitter. A general rule of thumb is to have at least 500 Twitter followers. If you’re serious about your blog and gaining traffic, Triberr is a must. If you blog about Social Media, Technology, or Marketing and are interested in Triberr please let me know.

Empire Avenue: While Empire Avenue isn’t for everyone, if you do decide to register there are communities and missions within EA which are very helpful to bringing readers to your blog. Empire is a Social Network where you buy and sell other players in a virtual stock market. Your Social Media activity influences your score. Empire requires a fair amount time the first 4-6 months as you build up your portfolio.

Share Buttons: I see many blogs that only have Facebook and Twitter share buttons. I highly suggest at minimum you have the following: Facebook, Twitter, Google +, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn. Other share buttons to think about adding are: Digg, Buffer, Reddit, and Pinterest. Yes, there is a Pinterest share button now available. Update your site, and make it easier for your readers to share to their networks.

Comment on other Blogs: I understand it takes time to read a blog and then put a couple of sentences together, but most appreciate it and will reciprocate at some point. Do not comment with “nice post” or “nice article” and nothing else. That tells me you probably didn’t read a word, and are just leaving a message to leave a message. Start commenting on a few blogs a week to start. Inevitably you’ll be learning something new by reading the blog, and commenting is good practice that will help you get comments in return.

Keywords: Keywords can take on a life of its own, but at least try to come up with some Keywords that aren’t so highly competitive that you’ll have a good shot of landing on page 1 in Google. Social Media is a highly competitive keyword and is not a good choice for most of us, but think niche and chances are your work will show up in some organic searches.

Having a nice new shiny car is fantastic, but if you don’t put gas in the car it’s pretty useless. Go out there and put some gas in your blog.

5 Social Media Favorites from 2011

The sun is about to set on 2011. The Social Media Rocket is moving at warp speed. Let’s take a look back at some Social Media Favorites. Well at least they were some of my favorites. These networks didn’t necessarily originate this year, but they made their presence felt and/or were cutting edge.

Empire Avenue – The social media game where individuals and businesses buy and sell virtual shares of each other. Your share price is based on share trading activity coupled with your influence on the major Social Networks. The trading is done with virtual dollars called eaves. There are dividends, shares outstanding, and share price graphs to name just a few. Empire really has so many variables within the game. If you want to start making connections Empire is a great environment. Now, if you want to jump in and do it right, expect to spend at least 10-20 hours per week playing the game. I’d say for a good 4-6 months. Well you didn’t think you were going to build relationships being in there 10 minutes a day did you? My Facebook, Twitter, and G+ accounts are saturated with EA friends. EA has been worth every minute. It’s all real life and the people you meet on EA are real. If your ego can handle be sold I would highly suggest Empire Avenue.

Klout – I can feel the cringing by many as this is being read. I know, they had privacy issues and their scoring wasn’t transparent. Tito pass me a tissue. The real problem was too many weren’t happy with their scores. It also made for non-stop complaining and bashing on thousands of blogs that brought some nice traffic. Let me take a step back. So Klout is the standard of influence online. They came up with that tag themselves. As we know influence is subjective, so there is no right answer. Evidently many didn’t like the answer they received in form of a score. Klout made a change in their “algorithm” in late October. The result, most users suffered a 5-20 point decline overnight. That pushed many over the edge. It definitely wasn’t the best PR move I agree. Today, just two months later, Klout scores are definitely more stable. Klout remains a great way to build rapport with other users. You can build Lists within Klout and give something called +K’s, which are a nice token of appreciation to someone that influenced you in a certain topic. You get 10 +K’s daily to give out to other users. Klout also has something called Perks. Based on your Klout score and influential topics, you are rewarded with perks. These perks include discounts, gift cards, and even a Windows phone. Klout is always trying to get better and never sits still. You can’t make everyone happy. I think Klout will only continue to improve in 2012.

Triberr – This is an incredible site where bloggers help bloggers. Triberr is the brainchild of Dino Dogan and went live earlier this year. Each tribe has a chief. The Chief invites tribe members and manages the group. Excuse me, he or she manages the tribe. Each tribe has a name that follows a theme (i.e. Social Media, Health, or Parenting). Everyone in the tribe will connect their Twitter account and Blog RSS feed. Once your blog post is published it automatically comes into Triberr through the RSS feed. Up until about a month ago you could set it to automatically tweet out your tribemates posts. It was discovered that this was not copacetic with the Twitter TOS (terms of service). So currently it is a manual process, but still worthwhile. A semi-automated process is being worked on for the first quarter. Anyway, I think you can envision the power of users tweeting your blog post out consistently. Imagine 50+ users tweeting out your message. A dream come true.

Athlinks – Athlinks is primarily a site for Runner’s and Triathlete’s. While you can connect with friends, add videos, and photos, Athlinks race results database is its strength. Let’s say you ran 5 races in 2011 and joined Athlinks today. Well chances are your times for those races are in the database. You just need to confirm that you’re the owner of that time. Your history just needs to be uncovered. Athlinks has a robust schedule of upcoming races which you can search by State and/or Month. If you don’t see a race that you’re running, you can add it in just a few minutes. If you’re running in a future race, add it to your profile and about a week after the race your time will show up in your race history. If you run races or are thinking about it, go register today. Athlinks has a lot to offer.

Spotify – Spotify is a digital music service that really exploded onto the scene when Klout gave as a perk earlier this year. Listen, Spotify doesn’t have every song ever published in its library, but it has a vast selection. You pick the songs, albums, or artists that you want and save to your account. This service is free. If you want to upload to your iPhone or Android there is a $9.99/mo charge, but no charge per song like iTunes. A few months ago they teamed with Facebook, and now you can link your FB account to Spotify. This allows you to share on your wall what you are listening to at the moment. You can also subscribe (no charge) to other FB friends music. If you like what they’ve compiled, simply subscribe and you can listen to their music. Of course, you can keep this all private if you wish. Unlike some other services out there, you can listen to what you want, when you want.