How David Blogger Can Beat Goliath with Triberr

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Hannover Bridge / Aquarius J

Join me on September 22 in New York City for the Triberr Takeover conference.

Today, media companies dominate the blogosphere. How can a small independent Davina or David blogger compete with Goliath brands like AOL, Gawker and Mashable?

In a recent call about a World Hunger Day campaign I’m engaged with on behalf of Yum! Brands and Razoo, I compared my blogger list with PR firm’s list of preferred social channels. None of the names conflicted, as the PR firm was focused on media company driven blogs.

This picture of which blogs mattered to each party — independent groundswell versus big media — typifies the picture of which type of masthead really gets the majority of attention online.

The task of becoming read has gotten harder with the rise of social network sharing and semantic search. Voices who used to be authoritative receded. While there are still strong independent blogs out there, many have faded into diminished status or have simply stopped publishing.

One of favorite plot lines in Lord of the Rings is the Elves leaving Middle Earth (yes, I am amped for this winter’s first installment of the Hobbit trilogy). It reminds me of the rise of the independent blogger last decade, and her/his subsequent decline as media companies took hold of the social web.

To many bloggers, it’s a hopeless battle against machines built on media company strengths, including diverse assets such as far-reaching email lists and established mastheads.

But, I’m here to say that with Triberr you can compete and thrive as an independent blogger in the face of Goliath media companies.

How Triberr Completed My Blog Revival

Bloggers

I almost fell into the darkness of silence like many of my peers. In fact, by my old plan I was going to stop blogging in November when the bulk of Marketing in the Round promotion was completed.

On Paul Sutton’s blog, I wrote how my work with co-author and front Triberr cover icon Gini Dietrich revived my interest in blogging. But even though content frequency increased, my blog was still limping along.

I did three things to revive interest and traffic:

  • Committed to an editorial mission and consistent delivery of content
  • Stopped engaging in snarky conversations and focused on being mindful about which social network threads to participate in.
  • Fully engaged in Triberr over the summer, joining 19 different marketing, sales and branding groups.
  • Though the prior two points certainly helped re-engage interest in my blog, Triberr brought a new network of referrals and readers.

    On any given blog post 25-50% of my social network referrals can directly attributed to Triberr members. RSS readership has increased by 14% since July.

    Triberr accelerated the renaissance of my blog.

    Lessons Learned on Triberr

    After participating in Triberr for a few months, here are some tips to help you engage…

    1) Become a Good Tribe Member, Not a Leader

    I’m not a big fan of the theory that leading tribes is the way to create influence.

    Leading a tribe offers value if you want to facilitate a particular type of conversation or perhaps even change within a sector. That’s a tangible outcome for leading a Tribe.

    For me, I just want to read what my peers are talking about, and also be read. I lead one tribe, and it has one member, me. Maybe that’s fitting given how fiercely independent I am, but I’m not one to be king of a fish bowl.

    Instead I believe in reciprocity and engagement. I talk with my Tribe members on Twitter, on their blogs, and in Triberr itself.

    More importantly, I am mindful about logging in every day and sharing their posts. Treat others as you want to be treated.

    2) Participate in Multiple Tribes

    Expand your presence across your subject area. Specifically, I wanted to access to as many bloggers as possible talking about marketing, sales and branding as possible.

    I don’t care about PR, and am mildly interested in blogging and social media, so I avoided those topical areas.

    As a result I have joined 19 different relevant tribes. This sizable community provides wide access to what the larger marketing blogosphere cares about well beyond the AdAge 150 echo chamber. Further, my content is accessible to over 500 bloggers who can share it if they deem the posts worthy.

    3) Write for the Tribe

    Triberr shows you statistics for your posts, not only how many members shared your content, but how many clicks your posts receive through those shares.

    Check these statistics against your larger blog traffic analytics. Also measure popular posts for general reshare metrics across social networks.

    From these three metrics you can triangulate the content types that best work on your blog. As a result of this type of analysis, I am now featuring one blog a week about how a technology or social network impacts marketing.

    4) Curate Intelligently

    Triberr is filled with all sorts of bloggers, young and old, new and experienced, rough and polished. Take the time to read posts from those new to your network to make sure the content should be shared.

    Sharing means more than just showing off the polished diamonds, in my opinion. Also be sure to share bloggers who grow, who show some unique style, and who bring to market fresh takes on old ideas.

    Conclusion

    The battle back has not been easy. It was fast, though, considering it really began back in May with the book release and then through the summer with format changes and Triberr participation. The recovery could not have happened this quickly without the blogger network.

    Thank you to Triberr Founder Dino Dogan, all of my Tribemates, pen pal Gini Dietrich, and of course, you my readers. All of you helped revive my blog, and I am extremely grateful.

    See you in New York on the 22nd at the Triberr Takeover.

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    • http://twitter.com/dino_dogan Dino Dogan

      Geoff, you are a gentleman and a scholar. Thank you so much for writing about us.

      I cant wait to see you at the TribeUpNYC, it will be the start of something magical :-)

      Dino
      Founder of Triberr

      • geofflivingston

        Thanks for helping get my blog back up and running like the old days!

    • http://twitter.com/dancristo Dan Cristo

      What an awesome story, Geoff.
      Great, actionable tips at the end as well.

      I’m so pumped that you’ll be speaking at TribeUpNYC in a few weeks. Really looking forward to getting to meet you in person.

      • geofflivingston

        Looking forward to meeting you soon, Dan!

    • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

      I have struggled a lot with Triberr. There is one huge problem I have, and it still is a David and Goliath problem in a way. The main engine behind success in Triberr is being able to join a lot of different tribes. To be able to do that, you need to start your own tribes, get people to sign up, etc. Since most people I know are already on Triberr and are bigger fish than me, I’ve had VERY little luck in getting my own tribe started. I also can’t join any more tribes without paying money because I’m out of bones. Although I like Triberr, I have been torn about paying money to join tribes because, frankly, I don’t have a TON of expendable income.

      I also struggle with Triberr because of tribe dynamics. I have never gone the automated route and was really happy when automating became optional. However, it seems like there’s an expectation that you tweet anything that goes through. I have spent two years trying to build my credibility online, and that has meant I’ve always been picky about what I share. Is failing to share a tribe-mate’s post making me a bad triberr user? At times I think so.

      Ultimately, it has felt to me like you still needed to be kind of a someone in order for Triberr to really work. The networking facet of it bends a significant advantage to people who have a lot of followers or a bigger social media presence.

      I could be wrong about that, but that is the way it has felt.

      I’m still hanging in there in the tribes I’m in, but I’m just not seeing the kinds of advantages you talk about here, nor have I over the last year or so that I’ve been in there.

      My 2 cents.

      • geofflivingston

        Well I can’t help you with the feeling thing abut people bigger than you. I do know most folks know the name Margie Clayman.

        My thinking on tribes is not to overinvest, actually, rather to become a part of more tribes in your subject matter area and serve as an ambassador across the board. I do think if you add three good comments to each area you will get accepted. It’s worth the investment.

        And like you, I curate. And if bloggers expect me to RT every thing they write, they are sorely mistaken. I owe it to my following to do more.

        In short, Margie. Be you. And if you want to be the only other person in my tribe, I’ll gladly have you ;) For a while. Until I need to roam. LOL.

        • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

          Aw, thanks :)

          How do you join more tribes without having to pay bones for “inbreeding” though? That’s where I keep getting stuck.

          • geofflivingston

            Bones are cheap. New readers are priceless.

            • BrentCarnduff

              Hey Marjorie – I’ll send an invite to join my tribe. We’d love to have you if you’re interested.

            • http://twitter.com/dino_dogan Dino Dogan

              Not any more. We just changed the invite process. You can search for Marjorie inside Triberr and shoot her an invite.

            • BrentCarnduff

              Thanks Dino – I’ll give it a try!

            • BrentCarnduff

              Hey Marjorie – I’m not able to find you through Triberr search

          • http://twitter.com/dino_dogan Dino Dogan

            Hi Marjorie :-)

            We removed the cost to join or invite people into your tribe few days ago.

            Go nuts :-)

            • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

              You win hero of the day status!!! :)

          • http://barrettrossie.com/ Barrett Rossie

            To me, Margie Clayman, she of the quick wit, is a big name. I’m glad to have joined her tribe.

    • Pingback: The Best Way To Get Comments Is To Blog About Blogging: Triberr

    • http://twitter.com/MattSouthern Matt Southern

      I can definitely relate to your story, Geoff. I’m proud to call you a tribemate as well. I spent a lot of time on Triberr this summer and I can’t believe how much my little blog has grown in a short time. Not to mention the great connections made along the way. I owe a lot of thanks to Triberr for reviving my passion for blogging

      • geofflivingston

        Absolutely, and I count you in that group of connections, I have made, Matt. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com/ Dexter Abraham

      Triber does rock.

      I will tell you that when I was using it last year I had the most social interaction on my site then any other time before.

      However, I kind of opted out when they went through some changes last year in terms of how things were done.

      This post has brought me back and as you can see from the comments a great post might be “how to use triberr” as to be hones it can be a little hard to figure out for the newbie.

      That being said. I’m a fan of the platform.

      Thanks

      • geofflivingston

        Well first, welcome back.

        Second, I think everyone’s style and posts would be helpful and insightful. Personally, I’m such a rogue I’m flying against the tribe method within Triberr and having success. Others may have a completely different take on how to make this work. One size does not fit all is my opinion.

        Thanks for a great comment!

    • BrentCarnduff

      I too am a big fan of Triberr. Having only joined recently, I have been amazed at the
      impact it has had on my blog and twitter accounts, and have really
      enjoyed getting to know the other bloggers that are involved. I think
      that your advice to curate intelligently – be willing to share and help
      other bloggers – is great, and is really the essence of being part of a
      tribe.
      Cheers!

      • http://twitter.com/dino_dogan Dino Dogan

        Thnx for being a fan and a community member, Brent. I appreciate it :-)

        Dino
        Founder of Triberr

    • http://barrettrossie.com/ Barrett Rossie

      Thanks for sharing this Geoff. I just started with Triberr and it’s making a difference. I’m looking forward to getting better at it as I come to understand it more, and this post is quite helpful.

      • http://twitter.com/dino_dogan Dino Dogan

        Welcome, Barret :-)

    • Lena Sledge

      What’s the best tutorial for Triberr? I’m new to Triberr and want to utilize it without losing interest before I even get started.

    • http://www.atlanticwebworks.com/ Kristen Daukas

      I’m with you Marjorie – I have tried and tried to figure out Triberr and I REALLY want to make it work, but I can’t get a handle on it. Before the change, I would diligently make comments in Tribes and even after leaving more than 3 never received an invite. Maybe I just didn’t past muster ;) I’ll keep trying but every time I try to figure it out, I get frustrated and leave and typically don’t return until I read yet another post on how wonderful it works for everyone.

      Sigh. I really am trying. I promise.

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