This article is a guest post from a blogger friend Mwangi of the Displaced African. He has been a great encouragement to me and he is full of wonderful ideas. Read and Enjoy 😉
My name is Mwangi and I come to you from the blog known as the Displaced African. Technically speaking I have been blogging for a lot more than five months. Like all professional bloggers I have left a small trail of dead blogs. One was a blog where I left only entry: After watching the movie “the Corporation“, I left one blog post on a quickly created blogger account. I paraphrase:
Of course there was no traffic and of course no one left any comments. Clearly I missed the memo that said that blogs do not automatically become communities because I have written one sentence on them, I have to provide value first. Fortunately I have grown as a blogger since and am enjoying a steadily growing readership, an Alexis Ranking that jumped about 20,000 points the day I wrote this and a commenting community that I just adore.
1) If You Want Your Readers to Do Something, Ask Them….Nicely 🙂
If you read through my first two months of blogging, every single post ends with a call to action: leave comments or contact me and let’s talk. By this point in my blogging career, I am glad to say I have built up a great community of loyal, constructive readers. I also receive a few emails every week from readers seeking advice or simply saying hi and sending me thanks for blog posts that I have written. Sadly a lot of blogs have to contend with their blogs being message boards for hate speech or immaturity, while others have to deal with the frustration of thousands of people every week stopping by to say:
I currently have the great pleasure of a readership that interacts with me and leaves helpful, actionable information. And I think part of that is because I asked my readers over and over again to join me in discussion. But of course all this doesn’t matter unless:
You knew this had to come up eventually. The key is quite simple: know who you want to speak to and then start throwing things against the wall. Don’t throw just anything though. Through valuable content that can improve your reader’s lives (For more information on how to write killer content allow me to recommend the great free report, the Blog Profits Blueprint by Yaro Starak (NaijaEcash’s and my mentor)).
My blog is targeted at the African and African migrant community. This is a very wide topic area and as such, to this day I am still experimenting. Once you have thrown things against the wall, make sure you regularly check on what people respond to using free tools such as Google Analytics, Technorati and Crazy Egg. Once you find something that your readers love repeat it again and again and again and over time you should develop an intuition as to what your ignites your readership.
Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what to write yet. This process of tweaking and testing may take a long time. It took Yaro Starak, 12 months, and his blog is blessed with an excess of 28,000 RSS subscribers.
I have had some limited success with StumbleUpon and two article types appear to be great for drawing some traffic from Stumble Upon:
1) Relationships: A list article that I did in this area, check out an Open Letter to Women on How to Treat Men, did so well in StumbleUpon that it got 3000 readers in 48 hours though I had never had more than 50 readers a day up to that point. Though I have never been able to duplicate this success, my articles on relationships have done pretty well on StumbleUpon since then.
2) Personal development: My next most popular Stumble articles all cover areas of personal development that are useful to us all as human beings. Check out Are you in Control of Your Life? or to check out the type of we-all-go-through-this articles that seem to do well in Stumble.
Social Traffic Club: If you are going to Use StumbleUpon, then let me recommend that you start up a Social Traffic Club. These are people you get together with on the basis of promoting each other’s articles through StumbleUpon. You would need significant numbers: definitely more than 10 and somewhere between 20-100 is super. To make this work it might work something like this:
a) Every time that you publish an article that you are especially proud of and/or you think can be very useful to other people, submit it to the social traffic club.
b) All the members of StumbleUpon should have the Stumble Toolbar installed (check out the screenshot below) and if they read your article and like it, should immediately Stumble it.
In order for this club to work, ONLY STUMBLE ARTICLES THAT YOU LIKE OR THINK CAN BE USEFUL. Social media sites don’t like people who just blatantly promote each other. This can work to reduce the ranking of all your Social traffic members over all.
Personally, I am a member of Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind group which has a Social traffic Club that has been responsible for giving all my articles a Kick start on StumbleUpon.
To learn more about how to fully leverage StumbleUpon, check out this classic blog post from One Man’s Goal.