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:


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.

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.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Posted In: Uncategorized


16 Responses

  1. genevelyn - July 9, 2008

    I have a vivid image of the Vitamix blender ads featuring a famous nude chef , blender just at waist level for coverage. Do you have a similar strategy for your wine nudies?
    Awesome post today–you have helped many wine bloggers (myself included) via the Fermentation Top Tens.

  2. Arthur - July 9, 2008

    All good points, Tom
    One of the challenges of blogging, I find, is keeping things, timely, fresh and original.
    If just about every wine blogger seems to be writing about the most recent resveratrol and breast cancer study, or addressing the styrofoam-vs-more eco-friendly packaging, can one really offer something new?
    I think that if I am not going to be THE first (if not one of the very few firsts) to address a story, I generally won’t write about it. If it’s 2 or more days into the story’s cycle, I’ll skip it and find something original.
    Additionally, I try to mention the person/blog who originally “broke’ the story, or started the whole topic. Besides being a courtesy, a link and at least a one-sentence mention is effectively a ping-back/track-back.
    Finally, I think that the only people who can afford to be the last to write about a hot topic are those who everyone turns to for the final, authoritative comments/summary. Waiting too long to address a story or not checking the bloggosphere to see if others have already written about it, or jumping on the bandwagon and rehashing something that was just done tends to be counter-productive.

  3. dhonig - July 9, 2008

    Okay, I’m begging. Can you please return the link? “2 Days per Bottle” (

  4. Arthur - July 9, 2008

    genvelyn & Tom:
    I think we can formally coin the term: “Wark Bump”:

  5. David Harden - July 9, 2008

    Apropos of this, I borrowed your deadly succinct wisdom on contemplative drunkenness as a “Quote of the Day” on (7/3). Spent 20 minutes trying to figure out trackback, only to discover that Blogger doesn’t support it. Left you a message via a comment, but it was a post from a ways back. Never occurred to me to send you an email. Doh! So while I’m here, I’d like to argue (decorously, or course) with Arthur that blogging doesn’t have to be journalism or even journalistic (if it did, of course, he’s absolutely right). Blogging can and should be reflective and philosophical, or deeply personal, or imaginative and inventive… myriad things. That said, I’m in total agreement that we don’t need more noise about tetra-bricks.

  6. Arthur - July 10, 2008

    I welcome all arguments – decorous, contentious, pedantic and heated. It makes for interesting reading.
    With blogging poised to be the next medium, the notion of giving kudos, should be part of the etiquette whether you want to see it as a medium adhering journalistic standards or not. At the minimum, it is a basic courtesy which, it seems to me, you have made all good faith efforts to observe.
    If you link to the post of interest, ultimately, this will pan out as equivalent to a track back (as long as your blog is open to bots and indexing). The automated track back feature of many blog apps becomes jut a convenience.

  7. el jefe - July 10, 2008

    Looks like someone has written my presentation for me for WITS next week! Thanks Tom!!!
    Seriously, if you are starting out, don’t publicize your blog until you have at least a few posts up – say 6-12. Give your new readers something to read when they check you out (and they will!) And post meaningful and cogent comments on other blogs (kinda like this one, only better.)
    As far as whether you have to be jounalistic – it depends on your blog. Arthur probably needs to be more journalistic than I do as a winery blogger.
    And regarding naked wine people – if you have ever been to a nude beach or nudist colony, you know that nudity is overrated. However, we have done pretty well on El Bloggo Torcido regularly featuring semi-naked wine people. Again, to each their own.

  8. Mark Koppen - July 10, 2008

    I asked around our place to see if anyone would do the naked thing – no takers. Someone did say something about a lawsuit, so at least that will give me something to blog about…

  9. Fredric Koeppel - July 10, 2008

    of course genevelyn has the best name of a blog ever.

  10. Karl Laczko - July 10, 2008

    Good advice Tom, I have been thinking of offering up a column for my local paper, your advice may just have been the necessary spur to actually do it.

  11. Heloisa Fialho - July 11, 2008

    Tom, thanks a lot for some nice ideas. You have already listed my English blog Literary Pumpkins. However, the one where I write most about wine is in Portuguese. I’ve seen some some of your readers are Portuguese speakers or can read it. So, here it comes: Do you think you could possibly add “É só um diário” ( ) to your blog’s list?
    Big hugs fom Southern Brazil.
    PS – was that begging enough?

  12. Stephanie Honig - July 11, 2008

    That’s great advice, thank you! I enjoy writing the weekly blog on our winery site but always wonder “who cares” and “who’s reading this”. You have posted some polemic and interesting topics and have been extremely succesful in driving traffic and readers to your site (myself included). I would love to have reciprical links with you but hate to beg. What to do?

  13. Jerry Murray - July 11, 2008

    I have to agree with David that wine blogging needn’t be about ‘journalism’, largely because I am incapable of that sort of writing. Taking your cue to engage in shameless self promotion, regardless of how uncomfortable I may be with it, I would like to invite all readers to take a look at Unfortanately there are no naked pictures, or if refering to pictures of me, FORTUNATELY there are no naked pictures.

  14. Sharon - July 12, 2008

    Good advice, Tom! And thanks for listing my blog in your blogroll. I need to work on posting more regularly, and of course working naked people into my wine/movie posts. Well, actually, if you knew how many people viewed my blog in search of ‘naked Gerard Butler’ in 300… quite a few!

  15. Arthur - July 12, 2008

    Jerry: you write very well – with clarity of thought and depth of soul and you observe the fundamentals I put out. Yet you think you’re incapable of the very thing you are doing.
    I think you are being too self deprecating.

  16. Derrick Schneider - July 13, 2008

    I understand the impulse to tell a fledgling writer to write for free. It’s the mantra of the would-be writer: You need clips to get articles, so how do you get those clips?
    I hate hate hate this philosophy, and tell people who ask me for advice to avoid it at all costs. It sets up a trap for wine writers everywhere. Know why food and wine writing pay so poorly? In part because there’s a large mass of people willing to write for less (or for free). Every time you write for free, you help to support a system that will bite you in a couple years. I’ve had publishers overtly say that they won’t pay me what I’m worth because there are other writers out there who will work for less. (‘Cause they want less experienced writers?) And I’m not very demanding about my wages.
    I sold my first published piece, and I continue to ask for fair compensation for my work. Especially now, when I’m a much better writer than I was at the time.

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