Posted by: John Vandivier | July 21, 2013

11 Ways to Explode Online Influence

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1 Write well and often. Many people will recommend 500 words per article, 5-7 days per week. You must be consistent about this to build momentum. Traffic builds along an exponential curve in my experience. Miss a few days and you get to start all over, just like hitting the gym. Writing well means understanding and appealing to your audience as well as technically writing with good grammar, word choice and what have you, so that the audience can better understand you.

2 Diversify outlets. Do not stick to Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube or any other site. Use them all.

3 Focus. While it is good to spread your message in numerous ways, try to pick a narrow message to spread. This will allow you to develop expertise in an area, making #1 easier for you.

4 Cough up the cash. Get the paid WordPress which allows tons of plugins and widgets which can explode your site quality and audience. Paying for advertising on Facebook or other sites are also cost-effective ways to gain attention.

5 Don’t let them get away. Ever. Work on developing organic retention through better content and site flow. In addition, work on capturing email addresses and other contact information so that you can track them down once they leave.

6 Bandwagon and trend-whore. If you see a trend developing on twitter you should jump on the bandwagon or “whore” it. Don’t limit this technique to twitter either. Observe current news on TV, the radio, Google News or whatever and build your content to relate to the ongoing trends across the world. Look for general concepts, key words and leading people. You need to become a master at “channeling” and “guiding” any topic or conversation to your topic. If someone starts talking about football you should know how to guide the conversation and relate it to everything from art and war to politics and french fries.

WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

7 Build producer-side relationships. You are a producer. Maybe you are a business or maybe you are doing this without financial motive. It doesn’t matter. You are producing. As such you already are working on attracting consumers, readers, listeners, watchers or whatever. That’s a great skill, but why not tap into some already produced networks? Building relationships with already known bloggers, Facebook pages, YouTubers and others can multiply your audience many times over. To build relationships with others engage in commenting their articles, following their accounts, video responding on YouTube, emailing them, write articles and linking to them or addressing their articles, post on their Facebook pages and otherwise interact in any way possible. Just like in offline interaction, “interacting” is not sufficient. You must interact in a way that allows them to perceive you as friendly and intelligent. Don’t leave shallow comments like “nice one bro.” Instead, put some real content into the response and give as many genuine compliments as possible with as little criticism as possible. In particular I would emphasize following people on twitter. Many people on their will follow you back in an act of reciprocity which can lead to significant gains in followers.

8 Offline networking. Tell your friends about your websites. Discuss current events with people and, when the opportunity arises, guide the discussion toward your website or other work. If they seem to have a strong opinion or much to say, consider inviting them to write a guest article. If you find that your offline friends, family or acquaintances have websites try to find if the two sites are compatible for a conversations in which you mutually back-link. Another great way to find out about current events is to use an RSS reader like Netvibes.

9 Improve your credentials. Get a new degree, take an online course, get a better job, pick up a hobby related to your expertise, write or shoot a video for someone, and then brag about it! All the degrees in the world matter very little if no one knows you have them. On the other hand, do not over represent yourself either. Getting people to endorse your skills on linked in is a fairly easy way to advertise and claim skills with credibility. After 5-10 people have endorsed you for a skill, especially if any experts are included, you can fairly well claim it.

10 Ask and you shall receive. We need to get ambitious. Do you want to guest write for a site? Find out who writes, email them and ask. Do you want to explode your Facebook likes? Rather than just “sharing,” take the initiative to invite people. If someone tells you “no” ask “why not?” If they give you an answer listen, fix it and follow up. At the end of the day, if you are writing or producing things you are embarrassed or afraid to speak directly about then you are probably producing garbage and need to rethink what you are creating. You should be creating things which you are passionate about. You should be so passionate you shouldn’t need me to tell you to speak directly to your friends and family because you should be so passionate that you have already been doing that as a matter of second nature.

11 Listen, continuously improve and be coachable. When people tell you something on your website needs improvement, while occasionally they are wrong, they are usually right. Fix it. When people make a scathing comment grow some thick skin, see past their offensive language and figure out what they are really telling you. Perhaps you just need to fix your wording or perhaps your style is a bit too aggressive. Those are both things I’ve had to, and continue to, work on. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your success.

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