Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Create A Blogging Crew

Part 3 of Creating Your Marketing Machine by Tamela Buhrke

In my last post, we looked at how to build a list of candidates for your marketing machine. This list will become your team for promotion and marketing. However, each of the members of the team will have different strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to match your marketing machine members to the marketing strategy that they do best. That makes them more likely to promote you regularly and eagerly.

Today, we will go through the list to find those whose strength is blogging. Begin by sorting them into five blogging areas:

  1. Commenting
  2. Blog Roll or Badges
  3. Guest Blogging
  4. Group Blogging
  5. Blog post referrals

Any person on your list can be categorized into multiple areas. Just be careful not to stretch them too thin. If you have them doing all five, they will quickly get burned out.

So let’s take a look at each of the these arenas and how you and your marketing machine members can help each other build your readership.


Commenting is an important part of building momentum on your blog. It can also help you in search engine rankings if you post a link back to your own blog when making comments on other blogs.

Choose three or four members from your list who are already good at commenting on other people’s blogs. If commenting is a regular part of their routine, then adding your blog will be easy. Send them a message that you’d like to be comment partners. You’ll regularly comment on their blog, if they promise to do the same for you. If they agree, I recommend that you come up with a plan that works for both of you. Ex. Only commenting occasionally or more structured, such as five times per month. The important thing is that you both agree to the terms.

Blog Roll or Badges

Having links to your site from another blog can quickly build your readership. The key is finding people on your list who already have badges, blog rolls or favorite lists on their blog. This indicates that they are willing to exchange blog links. Contact them through their blog to propose a link exchange. Some bloggers only exchange links with those who have reached a certain number of blog followers. Don’t get discouraged. Find out what those numbers are and ask them if you can contact them again when you reach that level. Most will say yes. Then just go on to the next person on your list.

Guest Blogging

Doing guest posts puts your writing in front of new sets of eyeballs. Reading the blogs of the people on your marketing machine list to get a feel for their style and substance. Now do a bit of brainstorming. Are their any contributions you can make to their blogs? Have any ideas for a series or an interview or critique that might interest them? Maybe it is the other way around, and they have something that could benefit your site.

Start with a few guest blog posts, either them on your site or you on theirs. If it works out, see whether that is something you can do regularly. Be sure to work out terms on announcing guest posts and providing bio information.

Group Blogging

The benefit of a group blog is that you have multiple people announcing their posts to different crowds of people. You may only post a couple of times a month but the blog is constantly being updated by all its members. That gives the blog a lot more traffic and vitality. It can also lower burnout and offers camaraderie.

It is important to find people who fit together for blogging under a common theme or banner. Be aware that this is a method that requires a lot more commitment. You will need to put together a brand-new blog, then agree on a name, a theme, a blogging commitment and more. It is really important that you take the time to create the ground rules, theme and tone so that your group blog will have a coherent feel.

Blog Post Referrals

With each of the above, you will getting and giving referrals on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks. However, there may be people on your list who are not as good at guest blogging or commenting, but who are great at referring people to a good blog post. See whether they would like to team up to swap referrals for blog posts. Again, the key is to define the type, frequency and timing of the referrals so that everyone is on the same page.

This sharing of referrals is a perfect way to get you started Forming Social Media Allies—which, strangely enough, is the next post in our series.

See you next week!

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