Tips for joining the A list

I keep getting asked “how do I get more traffic?” Or, “how do I get TechCrunch to notice my blog?”

Quick: go to Technorati and do the brrreeeport search. Now, which headline and opening text grabs you? Makes you wanna click? Hint: we’re all being slammed with hundreds of sites every day. The more interesting you can make your headline, the better. Think about what your headline will look like in the search engines and use every one as an opportunity to grab a little bit of traffic.

Now, look at the 98 brrreeeport results on Technorati. All are on the same topic, right? But some headlines stand out from the noise. Which ones grab your eye? The one that says simply “brrreeeport report?” Or the one that says “brrreeeport beats Mohammad cartoon?” Conflict is a story telling device. Use it in headlines!

Also, notice that Technorati has a way to “claim” a blog and if you do that you’ll get a little picture next to every one of your posts. Posts that have pictures win!

One other fun thing? Brrreeeport is a “top search” on the Technorati home page right now.

Need another tip on how to join the A list?

Here’s another one: be different. What do I mean by that?

Well, Dan Wieringa asked me for some help with his blog. It’s a decently written blog, but it isn’t getting much traffic.

First notice how his blog looks very similar to tons of other blogs? That’s hurting him.

One of TechCrunch’s popularity secrets is that he uses lots of graphics and screen shots. Makes his blog more pleasing to the eye. Sorta the way Technorati looks better than Google’s blog search.

Another thing? Dan’s title tag is boring. You need some personality! Look at Darren Barefoot’s title tag. Lots of personality and gives me some sense of who Darren is. Oh, and his blog’s design sticks out too. Different. Clean. Personal. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that smile? Yeah, WordPress.com makes it hard to change the template right now (Matt Mullenweg promises that’s changing soon, but in the meantime you can get ready by doing the other things — come up with a better title tag, write better headlines, work on finding interesting content that’ll help you stick out of the crowd on search engines and memetrackers.

Another way? Steph Booth taught me this one: tag often. Tag frequently. Tag better. In WordPress.com your categories are also tags. Don’t worry about using too many tags. The more tags you use, the more likely someone will find you in a search engine.

Another tip? Make friends with other bloggers. You know, if 15 z-listers link to you, are you a z-lister, or did you just move up to the m-list? Hint: it doesn’t take that many links to be seen as an “authority” on Technorati. Well, unless you’re Om Malik and then Technorati just thinks you don’t have any authority. Yikes. But, anyway, usually you will get noticed if a few blogs link to you and it’s not hard. Got a good post today? Why don’t you email a few people (one at a time, not in a group) and say “hey, I think you’d enjoy my post today on xxxxxx.” Don’t beg for a link, just show some passion about what you’ve written or posted.

Or, heck, do what I’m doing this week — just say screw it all and go skiing. See ya from the slopes tomorrow!

While I’m slushing at Keystone, Colorado as part of the Bloggy Mountain High trip (yes, my way was paid for, so this link is a sponsored link) why don’t you stick in your own URL and toot your own horn and join the A-List! Or, at minimum, post a good tip for getting noticed!

140 thoughts on “Tips for joining the A list

  1. Cool, I think I am either c or d list at this point, do you know of any math or forumlatic ways of determining blog ranks or scoring beyond sites like bloginfluence?

  2. Cool, I think I am either c or d list at this point, do you know of any math or forumlatic ways of determining blog ranks or scoring beyond sites like bloginfluence?

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  8. Lately it seems that everybody is an expert when it comes to getting on the blog A-list. Robert Scoble for example tells us that we should all go over to Technorati and do the brrreeeport search and make friends. That’s great advice Robert, but I guess being a Microsoft employee/blogger had nothing to do with your new found “success” did it. (Rhetorial question).

  9. Lately it seems that everybody is an expert when it comes to getting on the blog A-list. Robert Scoble for example tells us that we should all go over to Technorati and do the brrreeeport search and make friends. That’s great advice Robert, but I guess being a Microsoft employee/blogger had nothing to do with your new found “success” did it. (Rhetorial question).

  10. Hey Robert, I’ve been blogging virtually every day for 6 months. I have a Google PR of 4 and I get around 300 Unique visitors a day. I used to post a lot of original short stories and long commentaries but I’ve found people seem to go more for the short hits that I mostly find trawling the Web or reading mainstream media. Nobody wants to read anything longer than 500 words and we all seem to be obsessed with celebrity and SEX. So I chuck a fair bit of that in too. If I want traffic it’s easy – I just go to some right-wing nutcake’s site and leave derogatory comments. They can’t help themselves, they and their coterie attack back. But it’s not really the audience I want. Increasingly I find there’s a great sameness to all the blogs out there. Some stick out – like cocainecorner.com but they’re rare. But really, I think you just gotta post what you’re into and to hell with the rest. I’d rather have 300 interested regular visitors than 3000 morons looking for cheap thrills. I did post Brrreeeport though. What’s my blog about? A 55 year old Australian bloke married to a 29 year old froggie sheila living in Paris with their 19 month old son and yearning for the surf and beer of his native Sydney and commenting on what a fucked-up world we live in (thanks in part to you guys). Cheers mate.

  11. Hey Robert, I’ve been blogging virtually every day for 6 months. I have a Google PR of 4 and I get around 300 Unique visitors a day. I used to post a lot of original short stories and long commentaries but I’ve found people seem to go more for the short hits that I mostly find trawling the Web or reading mainstream media. Nobody wants to read anything longer than 500 words and we all seem to be obsessed with celebrity and SEX. So I chuck a fair bit of that in too. If I want traffic it’s easy – I just go to some right-wing nutcake’s site and leave derogatory comments. They can’t help themselves, they and their coterie attack back. But it’s not really the audience I want. Increasingly I find there’s a great sameness to all the blogs out there. Some stick out – like cocainecorner.com but they’re rare. But really, I think you just gotta post what you’re into and to hell with the rest. I’d rather have 300 interested regular visitors than 3000 morons looking for cheap thrills. I did post Brrreeeport though. What’s my blog about? A 55 year old Australian bloke married to a 29 year old froggie sheila living in Paris with their 19 month old son and yearning for the surf and beer of his native Sydney and commenting on what a fucked-up world we live in (thanks in part to you guys). Cheers mate.

  12. Having a title with personality is both a good and bad thing. It’s a good thing because it attracts readers. It’s a bad thing because it may not tell you what the entry is about and it won’t help in terms of search engines.

    Honestly, there’s no one magic formula that will make a blog an A-lister. A lot of it is luck and good writing. The rest… pray and make best friends with A-listers, which isn’t easy to do because they think everyone is using them.

  13. Having a title with personality is both a good and bad thing. It’s a good thing because it attracts readers. It’s a bad thing because it may not tell you what the entry is about and it won’t help in terms of search engines.

    Honestly, there’s no one magic formula that will make a blog an A-lister. A lot of it is luck and good writing. The rest… pray and make best friends with A-listers, which isn’t easy to do because they think everyone is using them.

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