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Blog Review: – Blog Promotion 101

Keller Hawthorne | February 12, 2010 | 8 Comments
Blogging 101
Blog Review: – Blog Promotion 101

I met Will, the man behind, last summer during my Best WordPress Design Contest. He was the very first applicant and someone who got my attention through great blog comments and feedback. Half way through the contest, Will took a strong lead in votes for his website. Through perseverance, hard work and self-promotion, Will won the contest with an overwhelming majority of votes – 111!

In this blog review, I would like to analyze Will’s site and determine exactly how, within a couple months of launching, his new blog was able to generate the buzz and relationships it would take to win my contest. Hopefully this article will give each of you ideas of how you can better promote your own blogs!

A Quick Background launched in June 2009. The purpose is unique and interesting – through domain name branding, Will searches for quality sites that need attention and applies a “What A” domain prefix to them. The website categorizes these sites and therefore offers a high quality selection of hand-reviewed sites to his readers!

Why Did Will Become a Blogger?

I love the answer to this question as his is one of selflessness. It seems Will has a soft spot for all hard working bloggers who don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve, be it through traffic, public relations or connections. Will’s goal is to help spotlight these blogs and give them some much deserved attention. By doing so, a new community has been formed on the Internet – the WhatAWebsite community. Check out their Facebook Fan Page to learn more.

How Does Will Make Money from Blogging

This is, in my opinion, the ingenious part of his blog concept. Through domain name branding with the “What A” prefix, Will offers domain names to his blog community. Pretty cool, huh?

Ok, now let’s dive into the “nitty gritty” of Will’s blog!

The Blogger Himself – He’s Doing Things Right!

One of the biggest challenges every new blogger faces is the complete lack of connections in the beginning. You know – no one knows who you are yet, you don’t have any followers, barely any traffic visits your blog and certainly no one is writing reviews about you and your work! Yes, it’s a lonely experience in the beginning and this is often the challenge that either makes or breaks future successful bloggers.

Well, Will has accepted the challenge and then some. Though posting often and consistently is vital for building Google PR, rankings and traffic for your blog, Will recognizes that relationships must also be cultivated; relationships that can only be built by:

  • Leaving Consistent Comments on Other Blogs
  • Helping Fellow Bloggers by Posting Reviews of Their Sites
  • Sharing Other Blogger’s Posts through Twitter, Digg, Etc.
  • Connecting with Other Bloggers through Facebook, LinkedIn, Etc.

This is an area Will excels at (and one many of us are trying to work on).

Little Known Secret About Professional Bloggers

There is a reason why John Chow, Yaro Starak and Darren Rowse have all become so incredibly popular (and dominant) online. Of course their quality content and hard work have much to do with it. But there’s one other thing they’re doing that you may not be aware of – they’re using each other.

That’s right – they leverage each others’ traffic and reputations. Other online companies do the same thing. For example, Unique Blog Designs always includes John Chow’s name in their promotions as someone who endorses their products. What does UBD get from this? A boost to their reputation and a powerful affiliate – John. What does John get out of this? An affiliate product he can earn money through, as well as the perceived expertise that gets applied to him.

The top bloggers help each other by promoting each other’s products, blogs and newsletters. In fact, the three men I referred to above grew up in the blogosphere together – it’s good to have friends!

You can achieve the same thing by following in Will’s footsteps. Make friends with other bloggers. Help promote someone’s products or blog. Become a quality audience member. And don’t choose the obvious – Yaro and Darren – to help promote. Make friends with bloggers who are at your level. You can help each other climb the charts. Remember, eventually there will be a new generation of pro bloggers and you could be part of it!

How Did Will Win the Best WordPress Design Contest?

I believe Will is using a free WordPress theme called Atahualpa. So, did this free design win him the contest? Many would argue that there were better looking designs in the running. But no one disputes the fact that Will DESERVED to win. So, what happened?

The truth is the contest wasn’t about design. It was about votes – votes pulled in through connections. Will worked his butt off promoting the contest and asking for support. He utilized every social network he could, as well as his own blog space, to ASK FOR VOTES. He never wasted a minute over the course of the contest and proved to us all what a few months old blog could do. The win was impressive and paramount – he won 58 more votes than the 2nd place winner!

So, the answer is simple – Will NETWORKED like no other and that won him the contest! He, just like the pros, leveraged his connections.

What Makes Will’s Blog Unique – Is There a Niche?

The truth is you could view as just another type of blog directory. But, that would be only scratching the surface. I believe there are three important factors that make Will’s blog stand out and could very well procure a very successful future for this new blogger.

1. The Blogger Himself

Yes, Will is one of the major factors of his blog’s success. A blog is only as good as the blogger standing behind it. With millions of new bloggers popping up throughout the world, the Internet is certainly not in desperate need of new contributors, but it is in need of QUALITY bloggers.

As I mentioned earlier, Will has a selfless motivation behind his website. He truly has a passion for helping others. I can’t tell you how much he’s done for my blog – sharing posts, writing reviews, commenting and offering feedback. He’s someone I grew to rely on as a regular here and that type of connection is priceless in the blogosphere.

Since his blog is a type of directory, this “helping” attitude absolutely sets him apart from the rest.

Will also UTILIZES his social networks. Rather than the prominent “sit it and forget it” attitude many bloggers take, Will makes an effort to use these networks daily or weekly in order to connect and promote.

2. The Income Source

I’m not sure how much Will makes with his domain name branding strategy, but I can tell you it’s a pretty unique idea and one that could pay off greatly once his blog becomes an authority figure – a challenge I know he can win.

Most bloggers utilize the following income sources:

  • Advertising
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Product Promotion (Your Own Product)

These sources of income can work well – they are in fact how I’ve earned income through my blog. But they’re certainly not new or unique.

Will’s idea of creating a “What A” community eventually made up of thousands of bloggers, each utilizing a domain name purchased through Will’s site, is definitely unique. I love the idea and think it could work with the right promotion and brand strength. However, it is a plan that will require time. Hey, no one said blogging was a get-rich-quick job.

3. An Engaged Community

I joined a ton of blog directories this last summer and, though I wrote a review on them in order to help each of you decide which ones were worth your time, I never wrote posts announcing when each one accepted me. But Will’s community members do make announcements – why is that?

The key to getting is giving, right? Well, most blog directories feel they’re giving you traffic (though being one among ten thousand isn’t exactly going to break your traffic counter). In return, you’re giving them social proof (you’ve listed your blog on their site which entices others to do the same) and traffic (many require you add a button to your website that advertises the directory). In the end, the spoils are few.

Will, on the other hand, chooses “Sites of the Month” where he features quality sites on his home page. I was lucky enough to be chosen in September 2009! And guess what – many of the “Sites of the Month” owners post about their special promotion on their own blog. This in turn drives traffic to Will’s site. This traffic can convert into regular readers, new site submissions and potential new domain sales!

In return, Will has rewarded these sites with a special honor that can help build their social proof. Plus, a review is much more valuable than a simple directory listing. Overtime, the rewards can become quite beneficial to both parties!

Meet Will and Make a Powerful New Connection

I’m being completely honest when I say that Will IS a blogger you should look into connecting with. He has a heart of gold, the work ethic of a tiger and the networking abilities of a, well, contest winner!

I invite you to meet with Will and learn how you can benefit from a truly quality connection!


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