One of the biggest challenges any site faces is how best to build traffic. Blogs are often touted as a great way to do this and have built a bit of a reputation as an instant traffic-building product. This is, of course, not true. And so the question is, how does my blog actually build traffic? As the session title announces, posting isn’t enough.
This session is a presentaion on those issues from Robert Schoble and Dave Taylor. Scoble opens with a preview of a link analysis site which appears to be an outgrowth of memeorandum called tech.memeorandum. Much as memeorandum tracks the political blogs and what they’re talking about, it appears this will do the same for tech. This will apparently be out in September.
Scoble says that if you want to be the top guy in memeorandum, you need to actually break news. You can be included in the discussion by linking to news that’s already broken, but you won’t get to the top of the list. One place Scoble uses to track what’s happening now in tech is the chat room on Joi Ito’s site.
Dave Taylor chimes in that one thing he does is read a lot of other blogs to find out what’s interesting to them. If Taylor sees an interseting story, he’ll email the blogger or journalist to prime the pump of conversation. It’s in his best interest for people to know that he’s involved in these conversations.
Scoble notes that in the email, don’t straight up ask for a link as it can upset some of the more popular bloggers. Just email them that something you’ve written might be of interest to them.
Scoble currently likes Chris Anderson’s Long Tail blog. Scoble doesn’t think he can explain the Long Tail well enough. Taylor makes a stab. The best explanation, according to Anderson, comes from a former Amazon employee:
We sold more books today that didn’t sell at all yesterday than we sold today of all the books that did sell yesterday.
Shel Israel (shouting up from the audience) notes that in the electornic world there are millions of microscopic markets, and companies can access all of those markets and be successful. When Scoble started his blog, he very intentionally wanted to be noticed in those niches. Taylor summarizes this as “stay on topic.” Scoble notes that your <title> tag is important in defining what niche you’re going after. A lot of this is standard SEO stuff, check out Lee’s blog for SEO advice from an expert on the topic.
Taylor mentions WordTracker as a great way to find out what words are most popular in order to frame your blog most effectively. Spend a day or so before launch working with WordTracker and a list of the most popular words in your niche. Scoble notes that this is an effective way to find out what your site is about. Beyond just the title tag, use WordTracker to pick good titles. Spend a few minutes thinking about the title, and how people later will best be able to find the post.