How to create a blogstorm

Last year thousands of bloggers figured out that writing articles in a certain way was a great linkbuilding strategy. Digg was filled with “How to” and “Top 10″ articles and a lot of people gained a lot of links.

Now it’s 2008 and this tactic doesn’t work very well anymore.

Of course some bloggers are happy to point their readers towards an article about the “Top 10 iPhone Applications” but can you imagine TechCrunch, Engadget or Wired picking up on it? To get links from these major sites you need to find a unique news story and break it extremely aggressively.

Picking your story

The best stories to choose are ones to do with a major tech giant. Try to find a story that has either not been seen before or not picked up by any major news sources. Perhaps you found a story a few months ago and can relate it to an announcement made last week.

For example if a search engine was supporting green initiatives and yet 6 months ago had been found polluting a river then you could tie the two stories together.

Ideally the story will be related to your niche as this will make you seem a credible expert on the subject.

Writing your article

Once you decide on your story it is essential that you make your article the most comprehensive resource on the subject. Being a leading resource means that other sites won’t try to write better coverage than you, they will just link to your story. This helps focus all the links towards your site rather than allowing them to become spread over a number of stories.

Use good formatting, images, diagrams, quotes from experts and a title that makes the article appear legitimate. The entire article should appear like it was written by an industry expert.

Promoting your article

One the article has been published spend a few hours sending personal emails to hundreds of major blogs and news sites. Make sure you are promoting the story and not begging for links. You need to get them to read your story, then they can decide if it’s worth covering.

While you are writing these emails start pushing the story on Digg, StumbleUpon and any other social news site you can. You need a strong initial burst of traffic to build up the momentum and encourage news sites to cover it.

Fuelling the storm

Once major sites start to cover your story you need to promote every single one of them using Digg and other social news sites, get enough buzz behind your story and everybody will assume it is a huge story even if it isn’t. If Engadget covers your story it will be a lot easier to get their story onto the front page of Digg than it would be to get your site there. Ideally you might be able to push more than one story onto the front page but this is not always possible.

If every other site is covering something and it’s on the front page of Digg you can bet that people who previously ignored it will take notice.

Photo credit

By Patrick Altoft. at 2:23AM on Wednesday, 23 Jan 2008

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.


  • Mystic Liquid

    Those are some great tips. I hate when the creative well runs dry, so it is good to hear some different techniques.

  • Pingback: links for 2008-01-25()

  • Pingback: January 26th Weekend Link Festival()

  • Hafiz Dhanani

    Great ideas here. Just wanted to point out that under the heading “Promoting Your Article” it says ‘one’. I think you mean ‘once’.

    Keep up the good work,
    Hafiz Dhanani

  • Ryan from Internet Marketing Blog

    I’m looking forward to using these tips to create my own


  • Eamon

    Useful article. Mmm and your right about Top 10: been a bit overdone now.

  • Dean

    Good advice, Patrick. I’m liking StumbleUpon as a promo tool at the moment. You mentioned ‘tracking tools’ in your intro. What sort of tracking can you do?

  • Mike

    Haha, Linkbuilding with how-to’s or top-10’s still does work, albeit not to the same degree as it once did, but it still can generate interest.

    I can agree well researched topics make for much better blogs. Good article, definitely will keep it in mind when writing blog articles.