Being a Proactive Blogger
With millions of blogs in the blogosphere, and more being added everyday, all of us face stiff competition for the attention of our readers. With so many choices available for readers it’s easy for them to overlook your blog (or anyone else’s for that matter).
One of the best characteristics any blogger can have is a proactive approach. A proactive blogger will not wait for opportunity to come, but rather go out and find the opportunity.
In the competitive world of internet marketing and blogging, if you are not proactive you’ll probably be left behind. Fortunately, it is a trait that anyone can develop with the right effort. However, in order to get the best results your activities must be focused and worthwhile. After all, you can spend plenty of time online trying to market your blog, but if you’re doing unproductive things it won’t really matter.
So how can you jumpstart your blogging results by being proactive? Here is a quick list of a few things you can put into action today that will increase your exposure and improve your chances of success.
1. Contact your readers.
Readers who have left comments on your blog have also left their email address. If you have never contacted them, now would be a great time to start. Try sending some of your readers a short email to thank them for reading and for participating by leaving their feedback. You may be surprised at the results of a simple, personal thank you email. Almost every day I get responses from readers just to say they appreciated a personal email.
If you can, click through to the website or blog of the readers and briefly include something that you liked about their site in your email. Mentioning a post that you enjoyed or an aspect of the design that you like tends to be appreciated.
Even if you are not asking for anything from the reader in this email it will still give you another chance to get your name and your blog in front of the reader (always include at least a link to your blog in your signature, and a link to your subscription feed is helpful too). Now the reader will feel a stronger connection to you and you will stand out a little bit from all of the other bloggers.
2. Email another blogger to offer a guest post.
One of the major reasons to be proactive as a blogger is to help other bloggers to become familiar with you and your writing. Once they become familiar with you and they like your writing, they may link to you or even refer their readers to you.
Submitting a guest post is one of the most effective ways to get the attention of other bloggers, and to show your abilities. Not all blogs accept guest posts, but many do. If you offer a high-quality post that is relevant for their audience there is a good chance it will be published.
Writing for other blogs has a number of benefits, including the chance to reach a new audience, a link back to your blog, and the opportunity to network with influential bloggers. You never know what opportunities might arise when you submit a guest post. I submitted a guest post to Daniel at Daily Blog Tips and now I’m one of their regular writers.
If you’ve been sitting back waiting for other bloggers to ask you to write for them, you could be waiting for a while. There are plenty of others out there are willing to take action. Find a few blogs that you read on a regular basis that you think would be a good fit for your writing and contact the blogger about the possibility of a guest post (for more detailed information about the guest posting process, see A Guide to Promoting Your Blog Through Guest Posts).
3. Leave feedback everyday.
Find a few blogs that you read each day and make a commitment to leave valuable feedback each day for a week. Don’t settle for leaving generic comments like “thanks,” or “great post.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with these types of comments (they’re all appreciated and welcome), but to be truly proactive you need to demonstrate more effort. Get involved, build on the writer’s points, ask questions, or even leave additional resources.
If you consistently leave valuable comments, others will notice. The blogger and the other readers will benefit from your feedback and you may even get some click-through traffic. Once you start to become recognized as a source of valuable information your efforts will pay off.
4. Post in forums.
Most online forums will have a place for you to introduce yourself and to great other members as they introduce themselves. This gives you an opportunity to meet other bloggers that may be valuable contacts.
The best way to stand out in a forum in to be noticed by others is to provide answers to other people’s questions. Similarly to leaving intelligent comments on other blogs, providing help to others in forums will help you to be seen as a valuable source of information.
5. Start an online community.
While most bloggers will only join other communities or not use these sites at all, a proactive blogger will start a new community and benefit from the contacts that are made.
Starting a community is relatively easy, although it may require some time to monitor (so it is not for everyone). For the best results, try to distinguish your community from all of the other existing communities by making it unique in some way.
6 – Contact another blogger for an interview.
Interviews, if done well, can be an excellent source of information and exposure at the same time. Whether you are interested in being interviewed or interviewing someone else, contacting them is the first step.
If you are looking for someone to interview for your blog, find someone that the majority of your readers would be interested in knowing more about. Ideally, you’ll want readers to get some useful information through the interview as well to help them know more about the person you’re interviewing.
If you are interested in being interviewed by someone else, you’ll want to look for a blog whose readers would benefit from your information. For the best results you should first contact others that are already familiar with you. If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for, try a service like Peopleized, which helps members to find partners for interviews.
7. Contact other bloggers for a link exchange.
If you’re like most bloggers you use a lot of outbound links in many of your posts. Why not contact the bloggers who you want to link to and ask them if they would be interested in reciprocating with a link back to you? Of course, not all of them will, but most will consider it if you have quality content that their readers would benefit from.
Even if you don’t get a link, it’s a good way to introduce yourself to other bloggers. You’ll probably at least get them to visit your site with the proposal. This will work more effectively for smaller blogs, as A-listers get plenty of links anyway.
You’ll want to be careful not to go overboard with this linking as Google frowns on excessive reciprocal links. The type of linking we’re talking about is not a problem unless it is done in overkill.
8. Contact other bloggers for a link without an exchange.
When you’re asking for a link exchange you’re proposing a way for both bloggers to benefit at the same time. If you have a blog post that you think would be incredibly valuable to the readers of a particular blog, a link exchange is not always necessary.
In this case you may want to simply contact the blogger and give them a brief description of your post and how you think their readers would benefit from it. Ask them to consider providing a link to your post if they agree that their readers would enjoy it.
If the post is highly relevant and valuable there’s not always a need for an offer to reciprocate. Sometimes the quality of the article alone will get you a link.
Now we’ve looked at 8 ways you can quickly take some action and make strides towards growing your blog. If you want to be proactive find a few that you would like to try and implement them right away. If you have other ideas on the topic please feel free to share.