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
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:
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.
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.