As promised in yesterdays post this article will discuss the key elements of the BlogStorm marketing campaign and how you can apply the same techniques to build links to your site.
Phase One: The Prelaunch
Before your website is viewed by anybody you need to ensure that you have something remarkable. The key aspect to BlogStorm is the link tracker tool which is used by hundreds of bloggers to track links to their blog posts. The tracker gave BlogStorm a unique hook that separated it from all the other internet marketing blogs competing for attention.
We have a lot more tools in testing and hope to launch those within the next few months but the tracker was designed to establish the focus of BlogStorm as a location for bloggers to learn about linkbait and using social media.
In addition we took the time to create a visually appealing design without too many ads. The template also has been fully search engine optimised with unique titles and meta tags and no duplicate content or low value pages.
The code is custom created and designed to be very light on the server. This is important as it means the site can stand up to a front page Digg with no problems at all (it did get a bit slow under the load of 50,000 uniques in 2 hours).
Phase Two: Content
The first four posts on BlogStorm:
- Welcome to BlogStorm
- How can we improve?
- How to use hotlinkers and Google Images to build natural links to your site
- Advanced use of Google Analytics and the new interface
The first posts on a new blog set the tone for the rest of your posts. If a reader notices that the posts are low quality then they are unlikely to return to read some more. Usually I work on the principle that if the writer is posting useless tips they are not suddenly going to start posting amazing content.
The Google Analytics Tutorial was quite an in depth article and is useful to most people who run a website. It was written some time ago and then had to be re-written from scratch when Google changed the interface. This turned out to be fortunate as it helped the article gain traction in the social media sites as it was one of the first in depth tutorials concentrating on the new interface.
Phase Three: Launch
The first step is to email your friends and ask them to blog about your new site. It is important to start with the people you think will help you and then work down the list from there. In my case I also contacted famous bloggers with a personal email and ended up being featured on several large blogs resulting in 30,000 visitors in week 1.
There really is no secret to launching a site, its all down to market timing, a good product and hard work.
The key steps are:
- Email friends
- Email anybody who might be interested (make it personal)
- Use social media
- Leverage your reputation
Phase Four: Make your readers happy
After you launch a new site it is very tempting to keep churning out linkbait articles but most of your readers don’t want to read this kind of content. I try to limit the linkbait to one post per week on BlogStorm and make sure the rest of the content is actually useful. Of course sometimes good content is also great linkbait which is a win win situation.
Phase Five: Linkbait
If you dedicate one post per week to creating a really strong piece of linkbait your readers will actually start to look forward to it and will welcome your post. Some might even help you seed it on social media sites.
The key aspect in promoting the linkbait articles on BlogStorm was using social media such as StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg etc.
Other good linkbait hooks we used were shouting about our traffic and links. John Chow gets traffic because he earns lots of money from his blog, BlogStorm sometimes gets traffic because we tell people how many links we got via linkbaiting and how much traffic each bit of linkbait sent to us.
Phase Six: Reputation monitoring
Monitoring your reputation to see what people are saying about your brand is important for any blogger but for a new blogger it is vital. You need to respond quickly to criticism and take action.
Phase Seven: Quality content
When you look past all the self promotion and linkbait articles it is important for a blog to produce quality posts on a regular basis. I like to think anybody reading BlogStorm has a chance to learn something new each week that will help them promote their sites.
Without good marketing nobody would ever find a blog. Without good content nobody will stick around to read it.