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.

Bloggers – Make StumbleUpon your Best Friend in 2012

You aren’t even registered are you? Oh, you’re registered, but you never log in? Isn’t that the place that generates the “bad” traffic? So for all those unaware of StumbleUpon or non-believers, please take notice.

What is StumbelUpon? – StumbleUpon is a veteran in the Content Discovery space. SU was founded way back in early 2002. SU has over 20 million users, and a Global Alexa Traffic Rank of 125. Nice numbers, but not exactly Facebook. SU’s platform allows their users to discover new and interesting sites across the internet. SU uses a thumbs up/down grading system and determines what each individual likes and puts similar content in front of the user moving forward. SU loves new content. Earlier today I Stumbled over 50 sites in the topic Technology. Over 75% were articles from 2011, and the remaining from 2010. They just changed their interface and logo at the beginning of December. “Easy” is not the first word that comes to mind when trying to navigate. I witnessed many complaints from super users, with many demanding the old interface, which is still available. That’s the bad news, now for the good news.

Traffic, Traffic, Traffic – Back in August 2011 Statcounter came out with some surprising numbers. StumbleUpon (50%) has surpassed Facebook (38%) in referral traffic from Social Media sites. Wow. Really? Even if you don’t take Statcounter’s numbers at face value, you need to take notice.

Last month it was reported (Fast Company) that StumbleUpon’s Mobile growth rose 800% in the last year. That equates to 200 Million Stumbles alone in December 2011. Expectations are for 40-50% of SU’s volume to come via mobile over the next year. Are you starting to believe?

The Proof is in the Pudding – Until recently, I fell into the “don’t log in very often” group. I had joined years ago, and recall Stumbling on sports and technology topics. I became focused again after speaking with Saul Fleischman, who leads one of my Triberr groups. Saul made me a believer after sharing some of the positive traffic results he experienced to his site OsakaBentures.

Lisa Illman writes a blog called Kritters That Twitter. I was familiar with the blog and noticed that Lisa had over 2500 Favorites in StumbleUpon. I reached out to Lisa and discovered some incredible numbers. Are you sitting down? Lisa’s visitor count went from 2K in August 2011 to over 100K in October 2011. These are jaw dropping figures. Lisa credits StumbleUpon with the dramatic rise. I mentioned “bad” traffic at the start. Sort of like “bad” pizza, even when it’s bad it’s good. Eyeballs on your blog are always a positive. While Lisa admits that many stumblers hit her site for mere seconds, she has become more “social” with many stumblers to improve the quality of the visit and generate comments.

Discovery – If you discover your own blog posts, but never like or discover any other content it is frowned upon. However, if discovering your own post is a small percentage of your participation within StumbleUpon, then it is perfectly acceptable. By doing this, all users have to do is click like or thumbs up. It also allows you to choose the relative topics where it can be found.

Share Buttons – I’ve seen my fair share of blogs, especially over the last few months. My unscientific study shows that far less than 50% of bloggers have a StumbleUpon share button on their site. You’re missing traffic everyday you don’t have this share button in place. We all have Facebook and Twitter share buttons. Heck, Twitter came in under 5% on the report. Do yourself a favor, and get that StumbleUpon share button on your blog. Your blog will thank you for all the extra attention it gets.