Why No One Links to Your Best Posts (And What to Do About It)

Does this sound familiar?

You’ve picked a topic that your ideal readers are dying to know more about. You can write about the topic with authority. You’ve even chosen an interesting angle. In short, you’ve got a killer post that should bring your blog thousands of new readers.

You’re also smart enough to realize that you need to tell other people about it. So, you send an email to all of the top bloggers in your niche, pointing them to the post. Then you sit back and wait for the links to come rolling in.

But nothing happens.

You don’t get any links. You don’t even get a reply from any of the bloggers you emailed. You check your stats, and none of them even clicked the link that you sent them.

No, you got ignored. And worse, you now realize that no one is paying attention to you. You wonder, could you really be that much of a nobody, that no one would even read your email?

Yep. You could.

The Oldest Blogging Myth

“Content is king.”

It sounds good in principle. Produce a truly great piece of content, and you’ll get all the links you could ever hope for.

Maybe it worked too, several years ago. The Web used to be a fairly quiet place compared to what it is now, and it was easier for people to notice great blog posts.

But not anymore.

Now great is no longer good enough. The Web is full of so much remarkable content that bloggers don’t have enough time to read it all, much less link to it.

If you want links now, you need to be more than great. You need to be connected.

The Secret to Building a Popular Blog

Remember the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?”

Well, it’s kind of true. A mediocre writer that’s friends with every member of the Technorati 100 will become a popular blogger faster than a brilliant writer with no friends at all.

Why? Because bloggers link more often to their friends than anyone else. If you write a reasonably good piece of content that interests their audience, they’ll link to you, mainly because they like you.

The secret to building a popular blog isn’t just writing tons of brilliant content. It’s also having tons of well-connected friends.

How to Make Friends with Popular Bloggers

So… how are you supposed to make friends with all of these popular bloggers and get them to link to your best posts?

Traditional wisdom says you should link to their posts, hoping they’ll notice you and start reading your blog. Sometimes it works, but in my experience, you need to be a little more creative. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Write a guest post that gets lots of traffic and adoring comments
  • Attend conferences that all of the “Who’s Who” of your niche go to and network your tail off
  • Volunteer to “vote” for any posts that they’re pushing on social media sites like Digg, Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon
  • Email them an irresistible question, hoping to spark a discussion
  • Leave lots of truly memorable comments
  • Interview them in either a post or a podcast, making sure to ask lots of intelligent questions
  • Join their private membership program (like Teaching Sells) and make lots of smart posts in the forums

Give and Ye Shall Receive

We’re not talking about anything new here. Really, it comes down to one of the oldest principles of persuasion: reciprocity.

Contrary to what many people think, A-list bloggers aren’t islands, separate and self-sufficient. They deal with problems and annoyances, just as much as anyone else. If you can help alleviate them, they’ll thank and remember you for it.

The key is finding ways that you can be genuinely useful to them. Make yourself relevant and then use that opportunity to start building a relationship.

Give it a few months, and then start pointing them to your best and most relevant content. They’ll probably link to you anytime you do anything interesting, bringing you lots of readers. They’ll also introduce you to other popular bloggers, giving you a chance to do more favors and expand your network.

It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. If you put as much effort into building relationships as you do writing great content, you’ll have a popular blog in no time.

And better yet, you’ll have made friends with some of the most interesting people on the web. That’s a reward in and of itself.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is CEO of Boost Blog Traffic. If you’d like to learn more about what it really takes to get more readers, build your email list, and become an authority in your niche, subscribe today.

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Comments

  1. I just started my blog four months ago. The experience has exceeded my expectations on every level, but nowhere more so than in the comments section. Great dialogue daily, from a diverse group of intelligent people. I didn’t see it coming, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

  2. Jonathan,

    This is an excellent post with solid advice, as usual. As a fairly new blogger (my own site is less than 3 months old), I have stumbled across some of these truths already as I learn the ropes.

    As you mention, it’s not really rocket science is it? Reciprocity is the key to all fruitful relationships, when it comes right down to it. From international trade agreements to gentleman’s rules in soccer, the Golden Rule is an overarching theme: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

    As an extension on this advice, what I would like to see on Copyblogger (perhaps you’ve done something in the past and I missed it) is a guide for how to pitch guest posts to A-list bloggers. I think this is probably the most difficult of your tidbits to accomplish. Any chance you could do something on that?

    Cheers,

    Daniel Smith
    Smithereens Blog
    Productivity, Persuasion, Prose.

  3. It is shocking that no one has left a comment here yet! (Considering the content of the post :) )

    So Technorati 100 are real people too?? I just thought that they were automatons who churned out blogs like ultra-religious Jewish and Muslim women churn out babies.

  4. Yes, it all comes down to building relationships. I’ve learned that most people don’t like to be sold, even if – maybe especially if – you’re trying to sell yourself.
    Good post. Thanks.
    Steve DeVane

  5. “In short, you’ve got a killer post that should bring your blog thousands of new readers.”

    Story of my life…

    Actually – I’ve never e-mailed anyone asking them to link to a post of mine.

    I guess it takes a little work becoming the big man on campus.

  6. I find that guest posting on other blogs brings you a lot of traffic and readers. I know this also allows people to start linking to my blog posts. of Lake the funny thing is that most of my blog posts that have the most links to them are ones I want to think of.

  7. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. If you put as much effort into building relationships as you do writing great content, you’ll have a popular blog in no time.

    So true, I’ve been working on this a lot lately for a new niche.

  8. Interesting stuff; I’ve often clicked a link posted by a major blogger to find the content mediocre at best and wondered why/how that happens.

    I do wonder how much loyal, return traffic it generates for them; knowing people might help you grab people’s attention, but are they going to come back for less than great content?

  9. Boy, I’m feeling this one today. I wrote a really “from the heart” post, and it’s getting a response, but no traffic.

    Thanks for the reminder. I’m on to that next.

  10. So…. want to be friends? :)

    Now I know why my best posts sometimes get ignored!!

    By the way, a wonderful informative post with some practical advices. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Excellent post! I took it to heart and shared it on Facebook and then StumbleUpon.

    Here’s how I summarized it there:

    Content is not king. It’s always who you know and who knows you. You can rant and rave about how unfair that is or simply learn to network better.

  12. I’ve been really considering the blog convention in September (Vegas), but have been going back and forth because of cost. Sounds like it might really be the right thing to do.

  13. Contrary to what many people think, A-list bloggers aren’t islands, separate and self-sufficient. They deal with problems and annoyances, just as much as anyone else. If you can help alleviate them, they’ll thank and remember you for it.

    so true, often all it takes is just an email asking them whether you can write a guest post or do an interview with them. If the ideas are interesting they do respond.

  14. I have to say the title to your post is awesome! Unfortunately content does only get you so far, it is tough to realize that you can’t be an island. As my brother and I are members of teaching sells we have realized that there are benefits to networking with other like minds.
    It’s not always easy to connect with the top bloggers and make them aware of what’s on your blog, but if you stay at it, it really helps.

  15. Bamboo Forest – Asking for links is essential. Never just expect a popular blog to notice your post. Once you’re friends with a popular blogger, you can be blatant about it. Ask them straight up for a link.

    Ultimate Blogging Experiment – That’s true, that the biggest benefit of guest posting is the relationships that come from it. It becomes a lot easier to ask for links after you’ve written a few popular guest posts.

  16. I like the emphasis on getting inlinks but I would question whether ‘content is king’ is a ‘myth’. I’ve no doubt that if I were cannier with my community building I’d have more subscribers but I think I’ve done fairly well quite simply by writing stuff that I wanted to say and that, it turned out, people found interesting. So it’s a balance. You need both – a linking strategy, and some kind of content strategy.

  17. So Jon, the real question is how we can help you?

  18. Thanks! I like this approach. Really! At first, it looks like something new and innovative in blogging to me. And improvement has been very important always. It’s about relationships. Do not make yourself hoping you will be blogging on your nice Mac and the world will let fall in love with you just because you are clever. Without the relationship – the connection – you have and be sure will have less. I follow this. Thanks Jonathan.

  19. Such a great post and reality check for all bloggers, new and experienced.

  20. These are some good tips and I’m going to re-read this post, because it certainly applies to me.

    I started blogging less than a week ago. If anyone would stop my site, two things:

    1. I’ll be very grateful
    2. You’ll hopefully find it funny

    Comments I’ve had so far have been positive – and thin on the ground! So please, spent two seconds and send a few people my way. Thank you.

  21. You know, there’s another reason people don’t link to great content – it’s the brand. For years, my main site had a title, even an address, that resonated with my population but not my peers, that gave me great search rankings but was only relevant to a few of my closest connections.

    If I had to go back and do it over, I’d have picked a snappier brand name, and relied more on my link building skills than my long tail to short tail keyword methods.

  22. Its all about lack of ego and humbleness in the nature of the posts. If they are of value and just don’t talk about your ‘sales pitches’, people will link and form a relationship with you.

    Great post.

  23. Content is king.

    As I recently pointed out, Paris Hilton is a more popular writer than most of us. Likely not a better writer (especially considering that she had a ghostwriter helping) but more popular.

    But where does that leave us? 100 hundreds years from now (perhaps even 100 days from now) her book won’t be relevant. Yes, marketing and her connections and her name got her published, if you insist on calling it that. Yes, she made a lot of money from it. But is that the type of writer most of us want to be?

    Would we trade it all — our talent, our hard work, our writing journey — for a few weeks at the top of the best seller list, and a few million dollars?

    Sounds tempting, I’ll admit. But can you imagine going the rest of your life after losing your ability to write a simple sentence?

    That being said, marketing yourself is important too. The best comparison I can think of is a website. Some say design is key, and others say the web content is key. I don’t think you can have a successful website without both.

    You need great design to help form that great first impression, give the image that your content is worth reading, that the website will be useful.

    Then you have to deliver on that promise and give excellent content. But it all comes down to that, to the content. It’s just that you have to gain the reader’s trust through a clean, good-looking website before they’ll listen to your words.

    Content is king. Image is everything. It may be a paradox, but the simple matter is that both statements are true.

    And what is also true is that you need both to succeed.

    ~Graham

  24. The oldest wisdom on earth… it’s not who you are, but who you know ;P

  25. Mark – I was waiting on someone to ask. You’ll find out within the next month or two what you can do for me. Thanks for asking. :-)

    Graham – I agree that you need both great content and strong relationships, but I think relationships are a little more important. If I had to put a numerical weighting on it, I’d say it’s 66.6% relationships and 33.3% great content.

    I wish I was wrong. As a talented writer, it’s easier for me to write great content than build relationships with influential people. But I’ve learned it’s not enough. The great content you produce never gets noticed without the relationships to back it up.

  26. A mediocre writer that’s friends with every member of the Technorati 100 will become a popular blogger faster than a brilliant writer with no friends at all.

    Content is not king. It’s always who you know and who knows you. You can rant and rave about how unfair that is or simply learn to network better.

    I know why I hang out here, It’s because of post like this.

  27. Totally agree Jon,

    Great content can fall on “deaf ears” if it’s not spread around by the right people.

    It’s kind of like when I was in little league and it came time for the All Star team to be picked.

    There were always a couple kids who were great ball players but they weren’t picked for the Allstar team because their dad wasn’t buddies w/ the coach… or the kid just didn’t make himself noticed as much.

    Then… there are the kids who were mediocre at best… but made the team because their dad was buds w/ the Allstar team coach… and this kid was friends w/ a ton of players in the league… and got voted in just by popularity.

    This rule applies to pretty much all aspects of life… it’s best we start to learn how to master the art of getting out of our cocoons and making things happen.

    Great post!

    Cheers

    - Trevor

  28. Living in Las Vegas, I know this rule only too well.

    This is key not only in getting links, but being successful in business. It’s about networking.

    Did Bill Gates have a superior product or Steve Jobs? It’s about who you know, how you get to know them, and connections.

  29. Great post and so true, I have been blogging for parents of kids who have a serious or terminal illness for several months and it is hard to get the word out there even when you have great content. Keep up with the good information.

  30. I tend to agree with Graham and Brendan on this one. Content, design and networking are all important. I’d rather place my bets with a mediocre networker who has great content than with a great networker who has mediocre content. I think in the long run the better content wins, assuming that the writer doesn’t neglect to network.

    Technorati aside, A-list seems to be relative to your niche. In cases like mine, where the blog is still evolving, it takes time to identify exactly who you hope to have linking to your site.

    Plus, once they do, you’d better be ready for it. And that means having the content.

    I’ve had one larger blog link to a post in which I had linked to him. That drove in my largest spike in traffic so far and resulted in about seven other blogs linking to me. But just for that one post.

    Basically it happened before I had enough of the right content in place to convert a lot of those readers to subscribers. My blog was about a month old. But it did give me an indication of where to focus at least part of my networking efforts.

    So maybe it’s more of a give and take between the two. Generating good content and being a good networker, back and forth until you get it right. At least I hope that’s how it works.

  31. What I noticed about Jon in Teaching Sells months and months ago is that he backs up his ideas with actions that lead to results… and there’s sometimes a really good list.

    Content, both visual and written, is king…but you can’t have a king without a country. ;-)

    Thanks again, Jon.

  32. I advise my blogging clients to spend 2/3 of their time networking and 1/3 on everything else. You’ve explained why very well. It really is all about helping others.

  33. You can also speak your mind on a topic on which you’ve got a reasonable amount of authority. Stirring things up can have a great positive impact for your blog, even if you get negative reaction.

    Because when you do that, you often get cited by people who take the time to publicly dismantle your post.

    It’s happened to me and brought traffic, comment love, and a short amount of publicity.

    It also generate some fantastic and lucid comment discussion.

  34. I’m really disappointed in this article. Click my name for my full response.

  35. You have some great points in here. But, I don’t know about the comment thing. Most people don’t read any of the comments (except for the author of the post).

    Also, this is off topic but one of my best friends’ name is John Morrow. :O

  36. Does anyone know what would be the best way to approach a blog to be a guest author? It is something I have done but a lot popular blogs are bombarded by requests from people wanting to be guest authors…

  37. This is such a good post, Jon. If you can show Brogan something about making connections, you’re doin’ ok.

  38. Jon,

    As far as I am concerned the phenomenon that you are describing is the equivalent of valuing Keyword and Ranking over Visitor Satisfaction and Responsiveness.

    Sure a blog writer can stir up a lot of initial reaction by having great friends with low standards as to what they link, but if you want to be truly Great in the blogosphere you need more than exposure and visibility – you need substance and authority.

    The reason that the Jill Konraths and Seth Godins and Jonathan Farringtons and Tom Peters and Rosa Says of the blogosphere are so high in the rankings is not from cross linking alone but rather because at the end of the Day …

    Content Is STILL King.

  39. I hate to link drop, but many people are asking about guest posting. We wrote a series that our readers leaped on, so I think it has value here.

    http://menwithpens.ca/category/best-of-mwp/guest-posting

  40. @ James: I’ve link dropped only a few times on blogs. When it’s highly relevant such as in this case, it’s wise.

  41. I’ve been thinking quite a while about the “content is/isn’t king” slogans, bumper stickers and oaths that seem to be based on the idea. I’ve finally concluded:

    It’s semantics, really.

    In the end we know that content is essential, but it isn’t everything. Nothing is everything in marketing. Just because “content is king” doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need something else to work. Kings need armies, CEOs need secretaries and content needs networking.

    Internet marketers are just as human as everyone else, and one attribute of that humanness is the ability to lose focus and to forget the basic marketing tactics in pursuit of the advanced tactics.

    Online success, once the website/design is established, is found in writing great content and link building (which would include networking). There is no “more important” among the two basic activities; both link building and writing great content are equal in their “kingship”.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed the post.

  42. I find that just commenting on people’s blogs is often a good start. Of course these comments should be thought out or helpful, not the age old, “Nice post.”

    One thing I cannot stand is commenting on a blog for 5-6 posts in a row, and them not even commenting back. I can understand that people may be very busy, but unless you have more than a comment or two a post, then you should return the common courtesy comment.

  43. Not sure what just happened, but I think my comment got messed up in the submission process. Feel free to delete a dupe.

    Anyways, I feel that one of the best ways to meet cool blogger friends is to read their blogs on comment on their posts often. Something more than, “Nice post.” I’ve met a few good blogger friends this way and I just started a couple months ago.

  44. I had to come back and say something after I read this further.

    I’ll add something to this: Don’t tap an A-lister, start a conversation and then drop the opportunity. I’m not quite an A-lister yet (Hey. I aspire to big things), but I can say that many a blogger has started a relationship… and then dropped it.

    Even worse? Don’t write a guest post if that’s the last time you plan to communicate with the individual. I’ve seen that happen over and over. “Where’d Mark go?” “Dunno. Haven’t heard from him since that day his post ran…” Um, no.

    Reach out to people, yes. But keep reaching. It’s a continual process, not a one-shot deal.

  45. Hi James, thank you for “link dropping”. It was very helpful. There is no doubt that some credibility has to be established before requesting to guest post. I had a funny thought while visiting your site, since it has a title “Men with Pens: Shooting from the Hip”, I wonder how female writers could position themselves for guest writing gigs.

    With regards to the “content is king” comments, I have been disappointed with the quality of the content on some A-lister type blogs, but I see that many people are still eager to digg posts with no valuable content at all. Maybe this has more to do with credibility than “content”.

  46. Content is not king because most people wouldn’t know good content from bad if it bit them in the butt. People are clueless. Look how popular that awful song “My lovely lady humps” or whatever it was called got before everybody sort of sheepishly realized it sucked and stopped listening and pretended they never did. We’ve got a beautiful voice like Andreas Bocelli or Josh Groban selling out and doing schlock. I don’t fault them, they have to eat, and they wouldn’t if they did really good stuff.

    I want to drop out of the human race and be in a club with higher standard.

  47. I think it is about network AND content. I have a lot of friends and I love them coming to my site, but I want people to come to my site because its good not because they love me.

    Of course they will love me once they get to know me then I will have more friends. Is that how it works?
    Carma
    http://carmaswindow.blogspot.com

  48. To everyone who posted a comment above this, why do you, 9 times out of 10, include the pronoun, “I,” in your introductory sentence?

    If you are mulling about a water cooler with coworkers who ask you questions, it’s fair to respond in the first person. But if someone suggests something or offers advice, wouldn’t you respond in second person?

    Thirdly, if you do not click the box for “notify me of followup comments,” why not?

  49. I’m really new to all this and am blogging for real estate clients in College Station, Texas. I may not be great at this yet but I am willing –
    Would be happy to have someone guest blog on my site or I’ll be glad to try to write something worth posting on yours.
    Ideas? Suggestions? I’m open…..

  50. much of what you write here sounds like developing friendships, a common human behavior. i don’t think the key to success is by making friends with famous bloggers, b/c a house of cards will always be just that.

    i believe if your content is entertaining enough, people will come to read regardless of how you go about getting yourself “out there”. as well, there are plenty of blog cliches to serve all of the different types of people.

    it seems as though many “hot” bloggers are almost afraid to make friends with others b/c they think someone wants something from them. this seems sad to me.

  51. Very useful information, as always!

  52. Great post. Great content. You really know how to get linked :)
    I have those problems all the time. I’m almost never get linked to, and very few visotors write comments.

    Thanks for this.

  53. This article talks a lot of sense. Networking is the key to getting on in all walks of life, and the same is true for blogging. The more you get your blog out there, the better it will do. The better it does, the more people will want to be associated with you and your site. And so it goes on….

  54. @ Ari – What exactly is wrong with using the first person pronoun here? Jon addresses “you” in the post. Those who take the time to comment respond back with “I.” You tell me something, I respond.

    Perhaps that seems in some way self-absorbed or arrogant to you, but it would be more arrogant for me to turn around and tell Jon and the others who posted here what to do: you need to do this, you ought to do that (unless I have the authority and crediblity to do so, and then if done nicely).

    Perhaps you are referring to the lack of common courtesy of not starting with “great post” or “thank you for posting this”? Well, how many times do you want to read that in a comments section as long as this one? If someone takes the time to write a thoughtful comment, isn’t that even better?

    As for you final question, I don’t click on the notify option because it clogs up my inbox. I keep track of the posts and blogs where I leave comments and check back for a day or two.

  55. @Bill: How is my asking a question “tell[ing someone] what to do?”

    Perhaps you view blog commenting as a “conversation” between the writer and the reader; Jon posed a question, you read his question, and you responded in first person. That’s legit and there’s nothing wrong about that.

    I’m going a step further within the language of social media. Jon asked a question not so much for a direct answer but for the global community of 1.4 billion bloggers to engage each other in identifying whether he’s right. Don’t you agree?

    It’s great that up in comment #31, Bill, you referenced Graham and Brendan’s responses, but is that any different than James Shewmaker name-dropping Seth and Tom and Harry or Colleen referencing Josh Groban?

    In the end, from my perspective, I’d rather see dialogue (which we’re having right now) and not one-on-one conversations that the whole world can see.

    Thoughts?

  56. I agree, content can only be king if creativity has been applied. We must convince our readers that our posts are unique in nature. As I have mentioned in my recent post – How to make your post a Masterpiece, I included creativity as an important tool and to do that, the following must be religiously performed.

    1.0 Try to experiment with colors and do not be afraid about your competitors.

    2.0 Make every post better than your previous ones.

    3.0 Leaving a mystery on your post will also give your readers something to think about.

    However, all of these will be useless if you are not capable of socializing with others.

    Thanks for sharing your bright ideas.

  57. Ari- I think they are both vaild. Sometimes it takes awhile for people to feel comfortable enough to engage like that. But it happens on several of the sites I find most interesting.
    It wasn’t clear to me what you meant in terms of voice, or what you found lacking. Commenting is an organic structure after all.
    As for “social media” language. How about language, period? I find it tiresome to think that protocol is so radically different just because it is instant and electronic. Don’t you think that civility works consistently no matter what the method of delivery? I have no watercooler experience so I am curious.

  58. I always try keeping it a mix of the two – networking and great content – but most of the times it’s the people you know that will make you famous.

  59. Don’t forget the readers that are not fellow bloggers. Over the last year, through meeting people I am convinced that the majority of my readers are non-bloggers, who have heard word of mouth about my blog and then spread the word. They don’t often comment in the comments box, they don’t link to you…they just come up to you at parties and quote “you” back to “you”. In real life, as a real actual honest to goodness live person with arms and legs and a head and stuff!

    I am constantly startled by this. And more than a little chuffed.

    So whilst I think that all this advice is great, don’t lose heart if a bit of blog whoring doesn’t really sit well with you, or you find it difficult to get any kind of kudos from the giants of the blog community.

    When non-bloggers read you, it’s even more satisfying. Because they are reading you because you are good; not because they want links, mentions, acknowledgment etc.

    And that’s why content still is King really. Because real people with arms and legs and stuff couldn’t give two hoots about Technorati ratings and all that gubbins. They just like that you wrote something so funny that they’ve now got to go and clean the spat coffee off their computer screen.

    (and now you’re asking me how to get these real people’s attention….? Well if I knew the answer to THAT….)

  60. So the way to get really, really popular is to write mediocre stuff and spend most of your time sucking up to the ‘Top 100′? Thanks anyway, but I’ll stick to doing what I actually believe in the best I can, make sincere efforts to get the word out, hang onto my integrity, and let the chips fall where they may. I’ve been doing business on the Internet this way for over 10 years and I’m still here, still prospering … even though the Technofarti 100 have never heard of me. I couldn’t care less. I’d rather have 1,000 loyal, enthusiastic customers than 100,000 witless lookie-loos.

  61. This is great advice, but what if you can’t find anyone else in your niche? I’ve searched high and low, and so far I’m the only one with the goal that I have. It makes it hard to network when you’re the only one your niche.

  62. OMG …

    you’re so right! I’m living proof. I don’t post
    to my blog all that often (my bad) …

    but when I seldom do get a comment, it’s very
    positive!

    The’re just aren’t enuf, yet.

    Then, there was the server and SEO problems
    that have, supposedly been fixed now. Oy vey …

    So, now I’ll try to figure out who to best network,
    since I don’t give a hoot about just fellow bloggers …
    I’d like more real business people to like what I say.

    Then there are the ones who read me, but don’t comment because they’re not in the business of linking or being liked.

    Opportunites and opposition … aahh, the rub. :)

    Here’s to everyone’s popularity, though, if it
    gets you what you want from it — or, if it is an
    end unto itself — here, here!

    Ciao,

    Carolyn

  63. Well this is really marketing 101. It’s the old if you build a better mouse trap, people still have to know about it.

    No one is going to knock on your door, if they don’t know what you have to offer. You have to get the word out.

    Isn’t this really about helping people to find your great content?

    I am just going to say common sense copyblogger. Many newbies don’t know how to get found.

  64. @ Ari – Are you suggesting that blog comments should be more of a dialogue among the commenters? I know that a few blogs do that, but blog comment sections aren’t really designed for any real volume of back and forth discussion. Forums and message boards are much better for that.

    Even taking into account the limitations, though, it is true that some comment sections have no dialogue whatsoever. But I’ve also seen decent discussions emerge in the comments section of certain blogs. I won’t name any names for fear of name-dropping.

    Which brings me to your observation about referencing other comments in my response. You really think that’s name-dropping? I call it adding to the discussion. This is name dropping: “When Darren Rowse and I were chatting about this earlier today on Skype, he told me … ”

    But this is getting far off topic from Jon’s original post.

  65. My issue as the more blogs I read, the more content I gather which I want to blog about…the less often I am linking to great content because I am overwhelmed.

    This has become a real issue because I can’t keep up with all the great posts or I will neglect writing my own original copy and simply be linking out to others…and this is not a way to keep readers.

    Any suggestions?

  66. You put up nice points regarding networking.

    Though, the most important tip I like along with others is make friends with popular bloggers, as this way you can build your brand by connecting with your readers by providing value to the community.

  67. ….Hmmm…let’s see what adorable, eye catching, thought provoking, inspirational, attention grabbing, super sensational, one-of-a-kind, borderline genius comment can I come up with to foster the beginnings of a beautiful friendship with the author of one of Technorati’s Top 100 Blogs? ….It was on the tip of my tongue…oops I mean fingers but it slipped my mind after all that other jargon I wrote…Ok…ok…I’ll get serious. This was a great post with lots of valuable and interesting information. I hope novice bloggers (myself included) visit often and make it a practice to utilize some of the tips provided here.

    Thanks again,
    Roschelle

  68. That was a great post, quite unique and informative. It sounded slightly like you were advising people to suck up to the A-list bloggers, however the points you made are definitely true.

    Bloggers who are friends with A-list bloggers would obviously be more likely to succeed than the average joe.

    Its a shame that it comes down to this, but i suppose you have to do what you can to succeed.

    Thanks.

  69. Great post…

    Content + Links = King

    But the real king is…

    Your website or blog should offer Real Value to your visitors.

    So the equation should be:

    Website + Useful Offer = King

    Where Useful Offer is your product, service, or information.

    Think about that before you blog.

  70. Very good post. I took all advice from experience bloggers with evidence that their blogs are very much growing and driving some wild traffics.

  71. Hello Jonathan,

    Thanks for that post. It provided new ideas for me on how to connect with other bloggers. I do agree with you that networking is the essential factor to blogging. But merely linking will really not get results, especially if that blogger has thousands of links to begin with.

    What I realized when I read your post is that all bloggers are ordinary people. They have problems and they can be approached. It somehow shatters the invisible barriers whch always stopped me from approaching the known people in the blogosphere.

    Thanks so much for the information. I’m Aira by the way and I’m a marketing researcher. I’ll be sure to apply your strategies as I start out in blogging.

    Aira

  72. This is great advice, especially for entrepreneurs who can’t afford a PR agency and are trying to figure out how to build a reputation from scratch. So much more actionable that the Cluetrain’s vague dictates. Nice work.

  73. Excellent post and one that rings incredibly true. Getting noticed seems to be a massive hurdle these days for some otherwise fantastic bloggers.

    Sometimes, the big names in blogging can seem like unapproachable demigods – but some of the techniques suggested here can certainly break down the walls and create powerful relationships.

    Networking is key – whether it is through great comments or through parallel services such as Twitter (@Kimota – if you must know…) – but that networking has to carry some worth. I see it as turning myself into a resource for other bloggers – either as someone reliable for social media submissions and voting or as an authoritative voice that can be called on for an opinion or fact when needed.

    All bloggers – big or small – need reliable resources. I know I have a network of bloggers I call upon all the time for help, votes, opinions and information. Even the greats like Brian would as well.

  74. Jnonathan
    Thanks for the advice. So……Anything I can do to help you!? Or anyone else reading this?

    Happy to reciprocicate. Should be a new word – or maybe reciprocication – the new form of e-communication for bloggers.

    I’ve just launched my blog having spent years in development mode on my mission of digital inclusivity and need all the help I can get – so I hope my blog helps you.

    I had no idea how rich, fascinating, powerful, younameit the seam of learning is around communcation diversity and digital inclusivity. I hope to pass on my enthusaiasm – and learning.

    Kindest Regards

    http://thedyslexicmarketeer.typepad.com/kmt/

  75. *Sigh* I am just not good at popularity, and never have been. However, I do genuinely like people and do well in creating relationships. I appreciate the advice on building blogging relationships. I don’t want to toil in anonymity, that’s just not fun!

  76. Lutra: No, the way to get really, really popular is to write great content and build relationships with other popular bloggers. Both are important. It’s just that, in my opinion, relationships are more important. You need to have them in place before your content will get the attention it deserves. It’s the difference between having 1,000 loyal, enthusiastic customers and 100,000 loyal, enthusiastic customers.

    Dominic: If you’re the only one in your niche, then you’ll have to reach outside of your niche for readers. Figure out what other popular blogs and websites are closely related to yours and find a way to bridge the gap between them. I’m actually thinking about writing an article about this in the future.

    Susan: Lots of bloggers have this problem. The most common solution is to write all of your original content during the week and then post one or more link posts on the weekend.

  77. @Jon – “You need to have [relationships with popular bloggers] in place before your content will get the attention it deserves.” – But what I and I think other commenters are saying here is that you need to generate content that deserves attention. Both are important — perhaps it’s a “chicken-or-the-egg” type of thing.

    I still say content is king. Marketing that content is the kingmaker. You need both to succeed.

    ~Graham

  78. I digged you too, man. Or is that dugg? Either way, I get it. One of the biggest surprises for me as a nascent blogger has been how much fun it is to participate in other blogger’s conversations. And if that helps me get noticed, that’s just gravy. I think a lot of the comments were right on, too. Especially MisssyM’s comment: don’t forget the lurkers and non-bloggers. In the end, I think you can do everything you can to attract attention, but without valuable content, nobody will come back.

  79. As usual your post are really interesting and great but because some many bloggers out there the new blogger like myself have to be really creative and as you mentioned befriend and be friended

  80. Great post and definitely good discussion generated here. I think people always try to simplify things to build the case for their ideas and this is no exception. There is always multiple factors and never one better than the other. It depends on so many things, including the content and style of writing you have. It also depends how you want to GET your traffic and comments.

    There is much more than meets the eye, this is no exception…

    If everyone would look to apply things in their own ways and views, you’ve got solid advice here. Offer your help to others first, reciprocation will come I agree there)…

  81. Re comment #3, @Ezra Butler:

    Yeah, just like those religious women you mentioned, they pump out posts the same way: With love and care, pouring their heart into every individual post.

  82. Nice post. It sure is hard to get “popular”.

    You’re Sphunn!

  83. Liz:
    Well, there’s another reason why I am not getting the traffic I had hoped for…It seems I am a selfish blogger…I love reading other people’s posts…but seldom link back to them or comment on their [hard] work in developing the site content.

    BUT NO MORE!!! Instead of telling people about the site…I will comment and let the gods of the blogosphere do their thing…
    GREAT POST!

  84. This post has hit home for lots of people. I sometimes feel like throwing in the towel. It’s tough because life will always get in the way with family commitments, work, building a business etc…. and then finding time to work on blog posting and linking and reading other blogs. We all live hectic lives and just have to keep plugging away and like you say get friendly with people that are connected.

  85. @james, thanks for the link.
    m;)

  86. While content is king for SEO, connections are king for Social Media. Without connections, it wouldn’t be social, it would just be media. These connections are all part of the social equation that makes something popular and therefore generates traffic. Thanks for the article.

  87. :) A very good point well explained, its funny how we all need such reminders to get things on track when we get blinded by one school of thought.

  88. This is an uphill battle especially for new bloggers like me. The key thing is to be patience and follow all constructive ideas like the ones you mentioned in this post. I am sure the A-list bloggers did not built their success overnight. Hard working pays.

  89. I really feel this blog makes sense if you look at Steve Pavlina he writes that his blog was popular because of all the other bloggers linking to him.

    I also want to say that he is worth reading, he has a unique point of view that draws you in. I believe that his writing skills and point of view also made a huge difference. As you can see I am a big fan of Steves.

    As I am a fan of this blog. I love it! You offer a lot here and it is worth linking too. Keep up the great work.

    Peace

  90. Jonathan,

    This is a fine post – I always wonder why my blog posts that I think strong ones, are actually having one of the lowest visits!

    Doing what you recommend will likely solve my problem – laser-target my post to what people (especially the top bloggers) interested in, without losing my writing style.

    Thanks!

  91. I’ve tried several methods to get the best results. I think I you may have just solved my problem. Thanks!

  92. that’s a pretty good idea, tried the online stuff but didn’t quite work to the level that i had wanted. i’ll try this though, but there really are few really GOOD blogs out there honestly. even those in the top technoratti sites aren’t really THAT good, or am I the only one who thinks so? :) sorry, i like blogs with original and good content, so I’m kinda disappointed by some of the top blogs in those blog lists. will definitely try the advice above though, thanks!

  93. I agree that you can’t just make something sit back and expect everything to go the way you want it to. It’s a long and hard road to get their.

    Give and you shall receive is one of my favorite sayings as well.

  94. Comment Tip!

    Don’t bother commenting when you are the 112th commenter. Nobody is going to read it.

  95. Ben,

    To the contrary; I just did.

  96. Indeed, Ben. If you check the box below to be notified of follow-up comments, then you (like me) will see comments like yours, despite how far down it is.

    Moreover, the farther down one’s comment is reflects the relevancy of the post whenever it’s commented. Posts don’t die, nor do comments. So keep commenting and we’ll keep reading and following up.

  97. Well, I think you are wrong because I make sure to subscribe to every post I comment on and come back to read the other comments.

    I like to think of comments as a conversation, and the more people in the conversation the better.

    ~ Jim

  98. LOL, I guess I am wrong then. I have problem admiting when I am wrong.

  99. Yep… this is my favorite post. It definitely hits home and I’ve wondered why my past blogs have not been a success.

    Thanks for quality content!

  100. wow, Interesting Tips to get the readers ob blog ..Thanks a bunch…

  101. Great tips Jonathan! I’m new to the blogging scene, so I’m not well connected as of yet.

    Hmmmmm, “Leave lots of truly memorable comments…..”

    Okay, I can DO THIS! I officially DARE you Jonathan, NO!

    …..I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU to become my official very first super-duper (i’m a pioneer for using this phrase I swear) guru friend in the industry.

    What do you get in return? A contact who’s last name will gain you reciprocal traffic and longer visits because they have absolutely no freakin’ clue how to even begin to pronounce it OR why there’s only 1 vowel; well, sometimes y…

    The offer is on the table 8)

  102. Triple Dog Dare you?!? Gotta love the internet!

    I think you hit the hammer on the nail when you stated, “Content is King” as a myth.

    If no one reads your content, which is supposed to be the greatest ever, what’s the point?

    Thanks to blogs and articles like yours, I’ve made it a point to put “Copy Blogger” on my favorites list.

    Maybe I ought to Digg this article soon?

  103. Interesting post! However, most of the things up there are easier said than done. Perhaps there is never a short cut to be successful in the internet world. Thanks for the information.

  104. Thank you Jon you have changed the way what I was thinking so far.
    Your article is great source to make your blog popular and get lot of back link.
    Thank you again

  105. So writing is now a popularity contest? Damn! Unfortunately, I am finding this to be true. You’ve got to work both ends–the content and the networking. I can’t say I enjoy the latter, but am trying to do better. Glad I found your blog!

  106. This is such a great post. Often I write an excellent post and then get no links. I just think what will make people link to this? I mean the content is great. Yet people will not link to you.

  107. Wow, my last comment was on building great pieces and links would come..lol way to kill that pipe dream.

    Great idea though making friends, I think forums are another great place to network and build friendships.

  108. I read a post on an extremely popular blog last week and felt compelled to e-mail and thank the blogger. Within about 30 minutes he e-mailed me back and then posted some of my content on tumblr. My page views skyrocketed for the next few days! The lesson is: find blogs you like and thank the blogger for having written them.

  109. I’ve been waiting for someone to blow away the “content is king” myth.

    Thanks for the post. A Stumble for your troubles :)

  110. This was an excellent post, and certainly does solidify the fact that it is “Not always what you know, but who you know”. I couldn’t agree more.

    Thanks!

  111. You make sense. Applies in other professional domains too.

    Stumbled in here from Chris’s post and am glad I did come. I started blogging out of curiosity, Final Transit got me started, Chris Phearson gave me a design and confidence, your post makes me want to play :) Thanx.

  112. Killer blog posts deserve some action. I agree, it’s hard to drive writing traffic to your blog. I actually get more comments emailed to me than on my blog.

    The best blog posts don’t necessarily get a lot of comments. Sometimes the comments are slow arriving, or don’t come at all, because you’ve stirred up new thoughts, and other folks are blogging your topic. Search the topic and find ways to bring traffic.

  113. Nice one. I’ve been doing that for a while now and works like a treat but without having a blog or anything. What? You got no blog, no website, no way!’ Yes way.

    I’ve been commenting on other people’s post, joining any webinars people do, building relationship, and it’s them that shout, “oi! Gives us your blog, so we can plug it for yah mate!”

    So, I am so looking forward to my blog.

    So excellent post mate. You’re right…content is king BUT with added relationships. Works like a honey that brings the bees wanting more.

  114. Great post. I agree very much with the post. Seems people get lost behind the PC and forgot the old traditional way of reciprocity

  115. “It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. If you put as much effort into building relationships as you do writing great content, you’ll have a popular blog in no time.” — So true, I’ve been working on this a lot lately for a new niche.

  116. On my case, my worst post became very popular, and has gotten too much exposures. –a Well…. this world’s crazy…

  117. Sometimes when people found good and nice interesting article, they sometimes forgot to linking back to your post, so this article should at least helped and noticing those people to link back to where you find those article

  118. Nice post again. I think “content is a king” will always remain… unless you are greater hehe ;)

    I just recently launched my first ever blog and I’m not that so sure if it will be popular… by the way… thanks for sharing this. I hope I can use it to become a better blog.

  119. Shrug…

    At the bottom of each of my posts, underneath the comments, is a link that asks “Why no “Digg this!” etc.?”

    If you followed that, you’d find out why I think all this “social engineering” stuff is bogus.

    I don’t do it. I won’t do it. Link to me if you want to, don’t link if you don’t. I do fine either way.

    ‘Volunteer to “vote” for any posts that they’re pushing’ – that’s really, really ugly..

  120. Niche blogging — gardening, in my case — is more difficult to attract readers without a lot of social networking.

    In the last two months, six of my posts have been carried by major media sites. However, I get very few click-throughs from the stories. I suppose I had higher expectations when being published by the mainstream media.

    Cameron
    Defining Your Home Garden

  121. Yes, even in the internet world now… relationship is a huge factor. People still need to connect on a more personal level. For those who think they can hide behind the computers while trying to make it big, think again…

  122. Yes, some good advice here. Even those who’ve scaled dizzy heights can be generous in spirit.

    I’m a reporter and I’ve found that even well known people are often happy to be interviewed and more approachable than you might think. I once asked a very well known author from my home town for an email interview. I didn’t think I stood a chance but he responded back within 48 hrs, with a yes. I think they are flattered by being asked.

  123. Very strong advice! Thank you for posting!

  124. Great Post!! Really I like this approach. first it looks like something new and innovative in blogging to me. And improvement has been very important always and It’s about relationships. We should make good relation with our readers.
    Thanks!!

  125. When I find great content and build on it, I link to it.

    Some time back I Stumbled some great traffic on a blog. So I linked to it. Ever since, I’ve been getting email requests to Thumbs Up some gosh-awful mediocre content. After trying, unsuccessfully to unsubscribe, I finally marked the emails as spam.

    They wrote a great article that got the muse moving for me. I honored their inspiration by linking to them (dofollow) from my article. Now, every time they drool on the keyboard I get an email asking for a Stumble?

    Wrong. That’s not productive marketing. That’s biting the hand that fed you.

    Knowing people is a good thing. But there has to be something on the receiving end of the link. Else the A-List blogger gets egg on his/her face.

    I’m not an A-List blogger, but I will trade dofollow links with anyone who is willing to write great content for me to link to and is willing to extend a dofollow link to my better content.

    Hey … they can’t all be gems. But let the reader wander around a bit before they find the stinkers, eh? ;-))

  126. I have to agree on this one “Attend conferences that all of the “Who’s Who” of your niche go to and network your tail off” it does help a lot I am personally myself going to Affiliate Summit this January 2009 just to meet people and network off.

  127. Wow… did I ever need this blog post! Hate that it’s taken me so long to find it. Love the offering to digg and stumble idea. Will use that one for sure!

    Hey – can you share the name of the plugin or script you use to get that “Bookmark and Promote” link set?

  128. Thank you for sharing these insights. I have to fight off the old school notion that you don’t share stuff – it’s all proprietary. Says something about my age I guess. I’m glad the world is changing in this regard.

  129. Great information. Right now, I’m starting a new blog that I think will attract readers. I came to the realization that my old personal blog would never attract a lot of readers due to the nature of my crude and offensive humor.

    Now I just need to work on networking with people. It’s something I’ve always been horrible at.

    Thanks

  130. Great tips for us amateurs just starting out. Blogging for a new website is a challenge, but I have also learned that the more you explore a blog and its followers the more interesting it gets. I have found many great posts this way. Thanks for the advice!!

  131. In my experience of building a couple successful, monetized websites, blogging had absolutely ZIP to do with it. Don’t get me wrong, I see the potential and thank you for a great post. But the problem is, you DON’T get links very often. I’ve posted and posted to get 1 link for every hundred posts. Sound familiar?
    The way to get links is to GET LINKS. You have to set-up a great program (hopefully with employee’s help) to get links EVERYDAY. Getting links is the key, so if you’re not actively getting links the “right way,” forget it, unless you get REALLY lucky.
    Thanks for your help, and I have yet to give up on content to generate links, but the old fashion way works best for us (hard work getting links through directories, friends, and building relationships). The links you receive are equal to the links you give (just kidding:)

    Chris@LetsGoBanners.com

  132. Jonathan,
    I read your blog post and had ?? hanging over my head when you talked about “Content is king” being dead. But you clarified it later on in your comment back, in which you said that you do first need to have really good content and then you can start making relationships with really popular bloggers. It takes a while to “find your voice” and Copyblogger offers a lot of good advice on how to do that. In reading through your post as well as the comments added by others, I would say that you are wise in saying that we first have to have good stuff, then we can approach others. Same offline as online. Good advice as always. Cheers, Stephanie

  133. Great Articles – Amazing how much hype there is about getting links & money though.

    I was thrilled to death making 2 dollars last month :)

    Helpful hint of advice I have learned though – Watch who’s wanting to link to your site.

    I had an individual that requested linking-up.

    I said sure why not – Checked out their site, wrote a brief description of what their site was about, and posted a link to them.

    Few days later I checked to see if they had done anything similar – Just to see all of my hard work (content) posted on their site.

    Nothing like getting a site “google banned” for duplicate content, and being linked to the culprit as well.

    Needless to say – I pulled the link instantly, last I checked their site – My content was still posted – but they removed the link back — TOO Nice of them I’d say.

  134. Well, I think you are right…

    Bloggers often forget that visitors are not bots but people. So write for, network with and promote real people. Then things will start to really work out!

  135. Thanks for the advice. I just started blogging for fun and am starting to realize that interacting with other bloggers really adds a lot to the overall experience.

  136. What an amazing post. I have read this article and now I am pretty sure that I shall drive more traffic to my blog after reading this article.

  137. Very rightly said i had always been wandering that why don’t people link to my posts now i had got the idea thanks.

  138. this is overwhelming and huge job to take on if you want to make some real money. I mean if you want to make like $40 a month you do not have to try to hard… but making a nice paycheck like u guys I wish I had like a team of 300 volunteers to work for me. haha

  139. This title is way too hard to get passed by, it attracts me instantly maybe because I am having the similar problem. I’m sure many are having the same doubts whether ‘Contant is King’ works anymore? It does, in fact, but may require more time to get discovered.. problem is, do we have the patience?

    Some good points are made, I’m fascinated with the ideas pointing out how we could befriends with the popular bloggers. To be creative, persistent, sincere, but not until we annoy them. Not easy, but even now we have microblogging such as Twitter to help us get closer to them. Worth a shot.

    Quality Content + Good Connection, is what all bloggers are constantly working hard on. Blogging is never a 1 person’s journey, in my opinion.

    @wchingya
    Social Media/Blogging

  140. Thanks for the insights. I think I’ve fallen into the “great content” trap myself. Networking and building relationships has always been a bit difficult for me. But your post makes me realize I’ve got to put more effort into it.

    You’ve made a difference for me.

  141. I agree, this important aspect is many time ignored.

  142. I do agree that being great is just not enough anymore. Content needs to be compelling and trendy. If I see another top 10 list I am going to go berserk…hey wait that is a good blog topic: Top 10 Things that Make me Go Berserk!

  143. Thanks for that post. It provided new ideas for me on how to connect with other bloggers.

  144. Well, crap on me, I’m just not that damned friendly.

  145. I think you’re absolutely right about “content is no longer king.” Personally, I’ve written a few articles that I expected to be cornerstones of my site only to be disappointed with 1 ReTweet. It’s pretty discouraging but maybe it wasn’t the content as much as the lack of self-promotion.

  146. A great post, which was the only post I could find in google that fit when I typed (in anger!) ‘does anyone really link to you?’

    I am not relying on other people to do my work for me. Link building is a painful task imo but a necessary one. When a blog is fully recognized then links will come in but for newbies like me, it’s about doing the work yourself.

    cheers.

  147. you know, there’s another reason people don’t link to great content – it’s the brand. For years, my main site had a title, even an address, that resonated with my population but not my peers, that gave me great search rankings but was only relevant to a few of my closest connections. If I had to go back and do it over, I’d have picked a snappier brand name, and relied more on my link building skills than my long tail to short tail keyword methods.

  148. I’ve been finding that being proactive and knowledgeable online truly helps grow your audience. And it’s not just in blogging – get known at forums too, and the traffic will come.

  149. This is the first time I visit your blog. At my very first second, I was amazed of your great skills of writing. Your headlines had successfully made me curious to read more your posts. I thought you were just good at making powerful headlines, but when I read trough the entire post, I realize that you also good at writing the contents. Unquestioningly, I subscribe this great blog. Thanks for the great post, Jonathan!

  150. Having recently launched my website, Sharp Objex, I can completely relate. I feel that the website is doing fairly well considering we’re just shy from 2 months old, but we get practically no comments. By following these tips, I hope that we don’t just get tons of readers, but tons of comments too!

    Thanks for posting!

  151. Good lessons here. I’ll definitely take some of these pointers.

  152. So in essence we come down to the same old scenario:

    Due to how society has formed its constructs, those who can’t perform in the “socialization circus” are doomed to failure through no fault of their own.

    I have generalized anxiety disorder. I’ve been unemployed since 2002 because I can’t find a job environment that will work for my skill set and anxiety requirements (no travel, no 7 days a week, no insane deadlines, no constant phone, no customer service, etc. etc.)

    So I’m told, “Just work from home!”

    What options are there for home-based CREATIVE computer work (and it must be creative, or I’d slit my throat)? Blogging or web design, really. No other choices unless you have the ability to make something from scratch to sell. I don’t, other than writing.

    Obviously web design “requires” (again, under current societal constructs) travel, client meetings, phone calls, and all the other stuff I’m incapable of doing that also achieves little more than waste time in most cases. Not to mention it’s a career swap for me, and with the millions of kids coming out of college who know 8-10 of the scripting languages fluently, I can’t compete for a career, as my work was niche.

    Blogging is the perfect career for me. I’m a professional-level writer, have never received less than an A+ in any English class, love to write, and have a superior writing style compared to a vast majority of what is found in other writing efforts.

    Now you tell me to make money at it- I have to have a “non-meaningless” blog (my blog is on creativity and imagination- discussing/reviewing movies, tv, film, gaming and with a creative writing focus).

    I don’t “solve” anything- I provide my personal take that is far less jaded towards entertainment than 99 percent of what is out there today. (To me that’s worth all the value in the world if I can go to a blog without reading, “That sucks!”)

    Now you’re saying to do the one “perfect” job for me, I’d have to travel, try to meet people and form relationships, and all of the very things that I’m incapable of doing due to the incurable disorder I can’t get health treatment for under our current health system? “Gah!” Is all I have to say. And I’m not even sure what “Gah!” means.

    I’m getting ready to find a tall bridge to leap from.

    What’s a person to do in this world that does not require other people, to make enough income to live off of, doing something creative on the computer, utilizing writing skills, without all the rest of the social nonsense that often wastes time more than benefits anyone? O_o

  153. This is insightful. I started blogging *(for the second time) a little over a month ago. I’m relatively pleased with my site’s traffic. Just not really sure where I want to go with the blog’s “main” theme.

    I blog about an assortment of things but sometimes it feels a bit like pure hodgepodge…lol. Maybe I’ll finally settle in and come into my on soon.

  154. Lovely article. I am contemplating starting my own blog soon. So many stories to tell… :-)
    I joined facebook this year ( http://www.facebook.com/lovelyseema )and that has been super successful. I just joined Twitter @seemasugandh and that’s going well too.
    This article made me realize how similar blogging can be to those sites and made it seem a lot more doable sooo thank you! :-)

  155. I’ve been finding that being proactive and knowledgeable online truly helps grow your audience. And it’s not just in blogging – get known at forums too, and the traffic will come

  156. “In short, you’ve got a killer post that should bring your blog thousands of new readers.”

    Story of my life…

    Actually – I’ve never e-mailed anyone asking them to link to a post of mine.

    I guess it takes a little work becoming the big man on campus

  157. Great Post.

    Guest posting on a popular blog can bring in the desired traffic and maybe even subscribers. Interviewing popular bloggers is also very popular method.

    Thanks for great tips.

  158. This information is very useful.
    And it’s encouraging too. Building good relationships is key…

  159. A great post. I particuly like this statement: “A mediocre writer that’s friends with every member of the Technorati 100 will become a popular blogger faster than a brilliant writer with no friends at all.”
    It is so true. Then all of a sudden that mediocre write is popular, while you battle to even get your wife to read your post.
    Relationships are the key. But a slow and difficult process. It’s about networking, becoming social. Most of all it’s more about how you can help others first. Help them, promote their blogs, and you will find that they will do the same without even asking.

  160. You make it sound easy, but as with all things, an expert can do that. We poor mortals with thumbs for fingers as far as the web is concerned, still stuggle.
    The annoying thing for me, is I started to get 10,000 hits a day on my humorous blog -mainly from Stumble – but it’s all dried up – yet the content is no different.
    I’m obviously doing something dreadfully wrong

  161. Very good post, I agree with 95% of it.

    Web design and content need to go hand in hand. They complement each other. Great content can still rule, provided you don’t spoil it with a failing first impression of your website.

  162. All these are great suggestions but there is a problem. If one actually does all this then where is the time to develop content? I know that I link to posts which are good and it doesn’t matter if I know the person or not. In fact I am sure some of my friends might complain if I don’t link to them. I think it is a sad world when people only link to people they know. I think this also reflects on their integrity and character.

  163. People are certainly paying attention to THIS post, I had to scroll downwards for 5 minutes to reach the end of the comments. Excellent work!

    I’m not yet a pro blogger but I am trying to get there. I bring this up because I get the odd comment on my blog, even without really marketing it to this point. Nothing like this one of course, but I kinda wonder if we aren’t ignoring the elephant in the room here.

    All this talk about content and building relationships is great, however I think the fact that this blog has a page rank of 6 and simply oozes link juice might have helped with the comment volume. And there is nothing wrong with that!

    I came here because I noticed the page rank but stayed to leave a comment because the subject interested me and I thought perhaps someone should state the obvious i.e if you want comments on your blog posts, build up the PR of the blog pages, moderate the comments to weed out idiot spammers and make the blog dofollow. This gives folks who are willing to take the time to add value to the post with their comments an incentive to do so.

    Cheers,

    Jim

  164. So the key is link not online but in the real world. Great thought.

    Eugene

  165. I am new to the blogging world so all of this is just great stuff for me to digest. I wish I had been known about these techniques from the beginning! I am at the end of month three. Great advice, now I got to find people who write about storage auction units LOL

    Glendon

  166. @ Glendon — “Great advice, now I got to find people who write about storage auction units LOL”

    Or auctions, or storage units or small businesses or estate sales … think WIDE, as well as deep.

    @ AJ Barnett — “The annoying thing for me, is I started to get 10,000 hits a day on my humorous blog -mainly from Stumble – but it’s all dried up – yet the content is no different.”

    You’ve already solved the problem in those last 6 words. I’ve never seen 10k hits in a day, but I do know that you can’t let stuff get stale.

    @Nita — set aside a schedule for researching, for writing, for publicizing, for monetizing, for answering email and so on. One doesn’t ‘find’ time, one makes it. First and foremost; turn the television off, turn your cell-phone to vibrate (and don’t answer ten cent calls on dollar time!) and USE the time you budgeted for each activity exclusively for that activity. Period.

    Now, to go drink my own kool-aid.

  167. @Bill I just went to an estate sale this weekend. Funny! You are write( I meant it that way)

    I discussed it with a friend this weekend this blog can be much deeper than I ever thought. Thanks for the suggestions!

  168. I’ve been finding that being proactive and knowledgeable online truly helps grow your audience. And it’s not just in blogging – get known at forums too, and the traffic will come.

  169. alot of it for some is just getting started and doing it. the fear of failure is so strong that you need to have the will to overcome it. you can learn much from your mistakes. so don’t be afraid to try, get out there and start that blog!

  170. This is so true. I’ve found that my best blog post don’t really get noticed as much the first time around. It’s when a question comes up on a related topic that they get the most traffic. For example, when someone asks a question within one of my social networks, I respond with a link to my article.

    As far as the content itself, I still see a lot of traffic from search engines and keywords play a big part.

  171. Great post and great comments. I come from the email marketing and publishing worlds, and we preach the same points. Blogging (and building relationships through email marketing) is just like building a relationship in the real world. It doesn’t happen overnight; it evolves over time. While it does take work to come up with solid content, which I do believe is critical and hence why “content is king,” it takes time to build the connections, the trust, and ultimately the relationships which get people to read your material.

  172. This is one good suggestion i’ve ever read about blogging. Others simply give their thoughts and never get to to the point or what should really be done or how to do it.

  173. Oddly enough, the posts I expect to draw comments do not. The ones that get the best traction are the ‘I’ll spend 15 minutes and get something posted today” sort of posts.

  174. CrimeNarrative.com :

    I agree with the posters who say there is a happy medium. Bloggers who consistently link to boring, bland blogs quickly lose any appeal.

  175. From my experience as a blogger, the way I managed to build a readers’ base of over 13,000 in 6 months was to:

    1. find a very specific niche (Spanish-speaking women over 40)
    2. write relevant content based on what my readers ask for in their comments and through polls (in other words: not only writing but listening before I write)
    3. bring traffic to the blog through a fan page in facebook
    4. create a community feeling both in the fan page and in the blog

    The links from other blogs have come on their own from other people who are speaking to the same audience! So only now I am starting the networking bit: when I have the readers, I have the content, I have the momentum …

  176. Great post and great comments, Web design and content need to go hand in hand. They complement each other.

    “Content is king.”

    It sounds good in principle. Produce a truly great piece of content, and you’ll get all the links you could ever hope for.

    Yeah!

  177. write( I meant it that way)

    I discussed it with a friend this weekend this blog can be much deeper than I ever thought. Thanks for the suggestions!

  178. It also helps if you monitor your blog stats. The software that comes free with WordPress is really good and will tell you who is linking to you and how much traffic you get from each post.

    Google Analytics is free and gives you even more information about the people linking to your site, so you get more detail than basic trackbacks.

  179. Great Post Jon, So what is the appropriate etiquette for sharing your post on my own blog or in other articles?
    Is it just a link back to it or can there be some summary of the topic to help encourage reading? This comes down to copyright law I realize and Blog posting seems to be a particular target for breaking those copyright laws. Hopefully you can set me straight.
    Patrice

  180. Sonia Simone :

    Hey Patrice! Nice to see you round these parts. :)

    As a general rule, you want to email the blog owner and ask them. We pretty much always say yes, provided there’s credit and a link (or if it’s a print piece, the URL of the blog) back to the original post.

  181. Hello!
    I didn’t realize you were still writing here. Hows it going?
    So just to be sure I got it. If I copy the post completely and put it on my blog I just need to include the link back to the original post and put the credit ( perhaps at the top) to state that it is a post from Jon and the link back to him right?

  182. I have found that on the web, as in life, nothing pays like hard, intelligent work.

    Note, not just hard work, a road digger can do that, but hard, intelligent work.

    And by intelligent I mean taking good advice from successful people and applying it well.

    So, thanks for this, it makes sense to me.

  183. How to Make Friends with Popular Bloggers – You made some really good points your article. I also truly believe in Social Media Marketing as a good way to drive traffic and get back links to your website. Anyone else have success with SMM?

  184. No queston that Gramps was right when he said to us growing up..”The only free cheese is in the mouse trap!”
    Like everything worth doing this takes consistent effort and much thought.

    I started my second blog for my team building and teaching my group and it’s going well.

    I may be one of the stupidest bloggers online but I want to take my blogs to the next level and this is really great teaching you have here.

    I am though a hard worker and smart enough to learn from very smart folks like you.
    Thanks for leading.

  185. Thank You so much for this post.

    I’ll definitely be putting the techniques to use, God knows I need to.

  186. Great post! Definitely you have answered some key questions many new bloggers will have.

  187. Hi

    If this is true that you need to get connected, then copyblooger should give some link to my site :)

  188. Very thought-provoking… Looks like I have more work to do than making posts look all shiny and bright.

    I have a burning question – are posts like seeds that gradually come to fruition? Or are they more like fresh milk with a brief best-before interval?

  189. I’m glad I stumbled upon this post. I’ve been real frustrated lately with my blog. When I read your post I thought you were writing about me! I feel I have great, unique and compelling content but I’m struggling to get people to link to my stuff or even leave comments.

    Your suggestion to network is awesome. To that end I’m trying to find guest posting opportunities and trying to recruit guest posters in an effort to make more connections with bloggers.

    Travis

  190. very nice to read and give me more information how to be the best blogger in writing a blog.
    great!!

  191. wow, Interesting Tips to get the readers ob blog ..Thanks a bunch……!

  192. Great post! Definitely you have answered some key questions many new bloggers will have.

  193. I agree with Piglet to some extent that making friends with “hot bloggers” is difficult because of the “they might want something from me” factor. I’ve met a few people at online marketing conferences and even though I feel I am a genuine person, my offers of “business friendship” went nowhere. Here’s where I turn the corner. My blog is young. My business is in the formative stages. But I still believe that anyone who gives genuine advice(Jonathan) is worth listening to. Some “hot blogger” will be hearing from me shortly….
    Richard Bloom, Unstuck Unlimited, personal branding for entrepreneurs richardthebrand.

  194. If I had to go back and do it over, I’d have picked a snappier brand name, and relied more on my link building skills than my long tail to short tail keyword methods.

  195. Great post. Very informative. That is the new web concept, is not only about giving value, is about SHARING VALUE! yes, I agree. It is not just a good content, is also to find others with similar interests.

  196. Two years later and still relevant, that’s impressive. I have been “writing my tail off” and getting decent traffic, my numbers are all up, but getting people to add comments and link is still an issue.

    I listened to your Third Tribe interview with Brian and I am looking forward to the 18th and the start of your course.

    Great advice Jon, all the way across the board. Investing in your course was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made!

    Thanks!

    John Zajaros

  197. I don’t think anyone links to our best articles because I don’t think many people actually ever see them!

  198. Thank you for providing an answer. I have been asking that question for months now. I wonder what’s wrong with people that they do not care to comment or even visit my “best” post.

    Jef Menguin

  199. That’s not truly refreshing information ;-) but thanks anyway. Good blog by the way.

  200. Great tips! I particularly enjoyed the advice about getting and staying connected with the blogosphere!

  201. A combination of SEO friendly posts/articles, plus your advice, plus lots of networking platform blog pushing like tweeter, facebook and other social media is what I always strive for. I Haven’t however tried guest posting.
    Thank you for this nice post!

  202. Awesome post, I really liked the blogosphere stuff.

  203. This is some really good stuff. Now , I need to apply these techniques to my blog writing endeavors.

  204. I like what you said about reciprocity and building relationships with other bloggers. I think writing a guest post, or interviewing them is a great way to start building a relationship. Taking some serious notes here on networking…Thanks for the outstanding advice.

  205. Good insight. It’s who you know in the web that will take you places – and give you links

  206. I do link building and leverage social media networking to bring new and returning visitors to my information website. I have read about the need to “build relationships” but that never sank in until my foray into using Facebook and Twitter to gain a following. Just having Facebook friend requests accepted and Twitter followers does not mean that much; relationship building is needed and finding the right audience to match with the content is important.

  207. These are some awesome tips. I used to always believe that “content is king” too. Yet, you can be a brilliant writer, but if no one knows you or your works, then unfortunately, your great article goes to waste.

    While having mind-blowing content is great, the reality is people would rather network to well… people they know (e.g. associates, friends, and family). That’s why people that get jobs usually have a connection, guest that get free passes to a concert have an “inside person”, and bloggers that get many links back know each other. Copyblogger made me realize that!

    From personal experience, to drive more traffic to your website, I would:

    1) Join social network media: Go onto Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. These three are the biggest and easiest way to expand your influence. StumbleUpon and Digg are also nice side options too.

    2) Hit up the “who’s who” of your niche: They have the connections and the fan base. Most famous bloggers are usually very nice and incredibly helpful too.

    3) Have a clean website: Make sure everything is easy to access and your best material is on the front page.

    4) Having great content: This goes without saying. Yet, like many say here, I feel that your content either needs to have that “killer content” in your niche or answer peoples’ needs. Otherwise, most people won’t really care :(

    I hope this helps, as reading Copyblogger and the numerous comments already helped me. Thanks!

  208. how can a comment get noticed when there are 207 comments already? (about your tip of commenting on their blog, )

  209. Those are certainly great tips for improving writing for those who weren’t born to write. A good review is also useful for good writers.

  210. This is great tip, as i am running a blog from last one and half year and does not receive a lots of visitor to leave comment, though it is do follow blog and have a great page rank in google. Now i can understand what was the missing factor. Thank you very much, certainly i am going to follow your tips

  211. Another good point to add to the list. It seems strange that people assume that this post should be read as the only aspect of marketing. I think the title speaks for itself. How do we generate links? Develop community.

    thanks, Jonathan.

  212. I find that many of these advice blogs work if you are blogging about blogging … but what if your content is a little edgy, or considered a bit too risque for the mainstream? Even though my own is very much about a personal journey, like some of the others here just from a more liberal soapbox, it seems more and more to me that I’m in an area very few want to venture into. I’d love to see some advice on dealing with that – short of scandalous commentary and judgment, that is.

    Andee

  213. Hmmm…

    Not that I don’t like the recommendations, but I think that there’s a part that just doesn’t quite sit well with me.

    The one about chasing name bloggers, commenting on their blogs, following them around to conferences and writing guest posts only for them, though you didn’t say “only”. I get the point about it sometimes being “who you know” rather than “what you know”, but I’ve also read where people have said that they’ve written guest posts for these big time, well known folks and after an initial bump got absolutely nothing else from the experience.

    It would make me feel violently sick to chase down anyone like this, whether it’s to be successful or just to show how much I might enjoy what someone else puts out. It has the potential to be effective, but, well, it just seems to be a type of virtual genuflecting that someone like me just can’t do. Probably that slavery thing that’s still in my mind…

  214. Great tips here – I love the bursting of the “content is king” myth. Thanks for the honesty. You’re right – blogging is really about relationship (and content).

  215. Wow! What an amazing article :)

    I especially liked the “How to Make Friends with Popular Bloggers” section, because that is what I’ve been thinking about for a while now…

    Whoever is going to read this comment, feel free to become my friend on Facebook and on other Social Networks :)

  216. I have really been searching this information for at least 6 months! As you write here: “content is not the King”. Content is important to earn credibility. But one could have the most interesting content ever and to not obtain any backlink. Relationships are the most important keys to have in mind while blogging. If you have a good content, and you make good relations, results must be positive (with more backlinks, of course)!

    Well… Let’s go to connect in our social media network and start making strong relations!

  217. Good post. I love my blog, The Pragmatic Marketer, but I wish more people would like it as much as I do.

    When my clients ask me if they should be blogging, I tell them to be prepared for it to take a while to gain momentum. That being said, I’m a very pragmatic person, and I believe in getting some mileage out of my content. A blog can be repurposed as an article for my newsletter and converted into an article for ezines. Excerpts can also be used on social media wallposts. It’s important to know that you’re not wasting your time.

  218. What time do you want to come over for dinner?

  219. It will always be content, SEO and networking in that order. The content is what compels the reader in the first place.

  220. Topics such as “How to make money” get obvious attention and attraction. But there are so many such articles and blogs that it is hard to discern the superior ones. I think the ability to get linked depends on the absolute best content plus “who you know” which is a truism long before the Internet.

  221. I like the title to your post and thanks for the part about building relationships.

  222. Excellent article containing solid advice. I will try to follow the methods outlined in this article as much as possible.

    Thanks,
    Faizan Elahi
    bestbloggingtools.com

  223. In a recent talk with a social media expert, he stated that “you need to give more than you get – only then will you begin to get some back”. It sounds like that applies to blog linking as well.

  224. It all comes back to “givers gain.” And there’s another theme that runs through marketing today. It’s a lot of work. You can no longer run a beautiful ad and track the response rate. You have to be out there making friends, doing nice things for them, writing insightful articles, and even commenting on other people’s blogs. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom.

  225. Great post! As neither a new nor established blogger, I found time to be a major factor.

    It has taken about 3 months for the hits to start to arrive, with a combination of the points above. Even then they are less than admirable but they grow steadily (an indication people are coming back).

    So if you are a new or fellow blogger and the hits still aren’t coming, allow some time and you’ll soon see the changes.

  226. Michael Gilbert :

    Awesome article. One key word: reciprocity. Good…no…great stuff. Keep it coming.