Naked Wine People and Blog Promotion
I get lots of mail from folks who want to comment on posts but not publicly and from folks that just have questions. I don’t usually offer wine buying advice, which is what many of the questions are about. But here’s an obvious question that I simply haven’t gotten in a long time and I thought I’d take a whack at it:
How do I go about creating my own blog, getting some followers, and getting the word out there?
I’m not going to tell you how to create a blog. You should have figured that much out by now. However, there are some very basic things you can do that I promise WILL increase your readership:
1. POST OFTEN AND POST WELL
In other words, give them a good reason to come back and tell others. There are other ways to get folks coming back besides blogging often and well. You could regularly post pictures of naked people on your blog. I’ve considered doing this at FERMENTATION. I’m sure it would increase my readership (viewership?). But it struck me as cheating. Until I have a good cache of naked wine people I’ll stick with trying to post often and post well. However, my naked wine people collection is building. Pretty soon the FERMENTATION readership will explode. Maybe this is a good test run.
2. GIVE OUT LINK LOVE
I regularly discover new blogs as a result of scanning Technorati in order to see if anyone has posted about, or mentioned, FERMENTATION. I almost always add these bloggers or websites to my blog roll. By me doing this the other blog is likely to appear higher up in web searches, leading in turn to new readers. So, link to other blogs you like and do so liberally
Don’t count on me or any other blogger noticing your post with a link to our blogs then putting your blog on our own blog. We may be in a lazy mood, forget to put up a link to your blog or somehow miss your mention altogether. Instead, reach out to other bloggers likely to have an audience that would be interested in your blog and ask them to put you on their blog roll. It’s always nice if you’ve already done this for your target. I almost always respond positively to such requests unless the person asking for a link has a crappy blog or traffics mainly in pictures of naked non-wine people, is pushing "male enhancements" or is rude in some way.
4. JOIN THE NETWORKS
Get thee self to Open Wine Consortium, Facebook, twitter and the numerous other social networking sites and services that have joinable groups of wine lover Make friends with others in these groups. Make yourself and your blogger status visible. We used to call this "networking". Wait…we still do. We really should come up with another word. How about "Webworking".
5. TAKE AN INTEREST IN WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY
Go on regular commenting sprees on blogs who’s readers are likely to be partial to your own blog. And don’t tell me you don’t like the idea of placing a comment on a blog simply for the sake of getting your own blog into the public sphere. If you want to be blogging about wine, but can’t find anything interesting or relevant to say about nearly any other wine blog post, you probably shouldn’t be considering starting your own blog. Make sure when you post your comments that the URL of your blog is right there with your comment.
6. RAVAGE YOUR ADDRESS BOOK
Send an email to every single person in your email address book telling them about your blog. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t talked to them or written to them but once in a decade. It’s cheap, effective direct mail to relatively pre-qualified folks.
7. ANNOUNCE YOURSELF
Don’t send a press release out to the hole world over the wires. Start with send a press release to media in your local vicinity. Announce the creation of a wine blog written from the perspective of a person who lives in your community. Make sure you are sending the release to a real person in your neck of the woods, not just "[email protected]. Make sure the release gets to the news and business editors at the local radio and TV stations. Make sure you put info in there not only about yourself but about the world of blogging….context is everything.
8. GIVE YOURSELF AWAY
For heaven sake, offer to write a weekly wine column for your local paper with the caveat that your name and blog are mentioned in the byline. Most local papers don’t run a wine column but would love to…they just don’t want to pay for it. If the paper’s content is on the net, all of a sudden you are a "wine writer" with a blog and you and your blog gain a great deal more exposure.
9. WRITE REALLY PROVOCATIVE HEADLINES FOR EACH POST.
It works every time.
If all this seems like too much trouble for you to do, then you probably aren’t interested in growing an audience or you should hire a publicist to do it for you. The latter is much more expensive than the former…believe me.