I want to address something thatI learnt, and try to refine since I started this blog and the course of my two year affair with Twitter. What I am about to discuss is really the three orders of failure when writing for your social network crowd. If you are really looking for ways to kill your spouse, mosey on. Or speak to Yoshimi_S:
NOTE: This applies only for writing and distributing content to your own crowd, not a bunch of strangers.
I have over two and a half thousand followers on twitter. Of course I am aware that I cant reach all of them at any given time, but I do know a large majority are active around the hours in various stages while I am. If my key source of visitors are in fact from social networks like Twitter and Sphinn, then not only do I need to write for those audiences, but I need to share the content appropriately. And spreading content isn’t always as easy or obvious as some people think. Sometimes whole campaigns could depend on the right distribution method.
I don’t always get it right. For example, I genuinely thought that my stupid comic will get giggles, and in return retweets – I misjudged my crowd. Ideally I should have maybe added some intelligent thought and content to that post, and trust me the topic was ripe for it. But I am no Aaron Wall, and to be honest I was getting a bit bored about writing on Black Hat SEO and Content Networks.
In my opinion, if I cant get between 4% – 5% retweet of a post I am creating for my readers, then I consider that a fail. After all, I am not creating it for Search Engines. I don’t sell anything on the site, nor am I looking for employment opportunities. Neither am I interested in becoming famous. I just want to create great content that is appreciated by my peers (and some admirers ).
Above a tweet by Darren, which resulted in How to Be a More Relational Blogger. I may not agree with everything that he reccomends, but that maybe because my approach is slightly different. Part of that process is to write the right content for the crowd, but equally seeding that content plays a major part. You need people to click through to your blog from twitter for example, in order to get them to read your post. And then the content matters. If its good enough, it will be spread by your readers. However, in order to maybe judge what the best way to look at my own writing and distribution tactics, I came up with:
The Three Orders of Failure in Writing for and Sharing with Your Social Crowd
- If you cant get people on to your post from your network, eg Twitter, you have failed in the first order.
- Once on your blog, if you cant get them to stay long enough to read the whole page, then you have failed in the second order.
- Once if they have read your content, and they don’t take a reinforcing action, in this scenario either comment or retweet your post, then you have failed in the third order.
Depressing isn’t it? Well who said blogging was easy? The work, effort and thought that needs to go into a non commercial blog to take off is probably more difficult than one that’s commercial – after all for commercial content you have marketing budgets and resources. With a personal blog, you are essentially looking to get the whole thing off the ground free!
So what tips can I give you?
First off – get to know your crowd. Interact with them. At least understand some portions of their online personas. Learn what interest them. In the words of 4chan, “Lurk Moar”. In doing this you will understand what kind of content appeals to them, what they are likely to respond to. In fact, take notes. I do. all the time. Twitter has the Favorite function – Use it. Thats how I kept Sarah’s and Darren’s tweets bookmarked. Thats how I try and keep what I write relevant to people I want to talk to on this blog.
Then apply some of that marketing knowledge you have. (Here I am assuming that my readers are people from my Twitter stream, who are online marketers, after all, I only write for you!) What example can I give better than this blog? Once in a while… a bit of bait and switch cant hurt. (BTW, no one does it better than Lyndon). But that isnt the only tactic available to get them to read your content. Tantalise people, appeal to their vanity, help them solve a problem. If you notice my stream, I do all three. Often. Once you maintain that relationship with people, you will find it easier to garner distribution of your content.
Finally, be who you are. I am no different on twitter (at least I hope so!) than I am on my blog. Conversationalist, ever ready to engage in a conversation, and I hope, to share.
Now do me a favour, and don’t make me fail in the third order – either drop me a comment below – or Tweet this
- Viperchill, apart from being a really good online friend, is an excellent writer and really clever.
- Maki (doshdosh) is another person I have maintained that knows what he is talking about.
- Tad is a brilliant SEo blogger and networker, and his latest post is pretty awesome advice
Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile