Publishers Lunch recommended Seth Godin’s piece about how to generate traffic for your blog, so naturally I did.
As usual when I read these things, I ended up slightly depressed and confused. Seth, who is never short of ideas, lists 56 ways for a blogger to find readers. Some of the steps that he recommends are things that I already do, and some aren’t. And some (as I'm sure he realises) are entirely contradictory. Here are just a sample, not an exhaustive list.
Things I do, or try to do (it would be immodest to say that I succeed):
Become an expert in your field.
Be timeless… write posts that will be readable in a year.
Share your expertise.
Write long, definitive posts (but see below).
Answer your email.
And here are some I don’t do (usually):
Write short, pithy posts (see above).
Encourage readers to help you manipulate the technorati top blog list.
Write about your kids.
Be snarky. Write nearly libellous things about fellow bloggers.
Tag your posts. Use del.ico.us.
Do e-mail interviews with the well known.
And that’s just out of the first 20 tips.
Well, this is a pretty boring subject unless you’re a blogger, so we’ll stop there. But Seth is no slouch when it comes to marketing in general, so here’s another of his tips, from a separate post; it’s relevant to anyone, or any organisation, with anything to sell:
When I type your brand or your name into youtube, what do I find? What about technorati? or flickr? You can fix all three of these things today. It's easy to worry about Google rankings, but hard to change them. Now, though, there are dozens of horizontal search tools that you can populate yourself. They're not hiding. Are you?
By the way, while we're on the subject of blogging: if you're a regular blogger, hie thee to Scooptwords.com and discover how you can possibly -- just possibly, perhaps, maybe -- generate some income from your work.
Scooptwords, as you will see, is associated with Nightcap Syndication, a web site which, if you're a blogger, is also well worth a look.