Web marketing: How to get others to help promote your work
Posted by mandyf on July 5, 2012
Marketing yourself and your work on the web is really no different than marketing out in the physical world with the exception of it actually being easier and more cost effective if you pay attention to what you are doing. The fact is you do not need to hire professionals to market yourself or your work effectively, and in most cases you can even get people to help you do it for free. There are a few simple steps you can employ to make all this happen as will be outlined below which are especially useful for promoting your blog or yourself as a writer.
The first rule is to be active and be useful. It is not enough to post one thing now and then or post something which is of interest to nobody but you and perhaps your close friends and family. Stories about what you did over the weekend with aunt Martha have a place and that place is called your personal blog. A successful blog that is going to help you promote your work has to be updated consistently. It need not be daily, but a least ten new entries per month is a good rule of thumb. They should always be equally spaced out in reference to the time of their posting, every three days in the example given above.
Going hand in hand with that, the content has to be useful. This is a great chance to not only display your skills but build fans, followers, or whatever the blog you use calls these people. These people that come back to read your good content are the people that can drive your marketing campaign. The way you compel people to help you for free without twisting their arm is really quite simple, cater to their ego and desire to be involved!
The fist step to this is to leave your blog open to comments. Let people discuss what they have read and only remove the content which is truly offensive. Let people disagree because it shows you do respect their opinion. Actually answer posts to your blog so people do know you pay attention. When people feel like a respected part of your community their natural inclination is to want to share it with other people. If they are another blogger they may link to you, or if not they may send your blog URL to others they are in touch with.People love to share whatever it is they feel they are a part of.
Highlight them with some extra recognition! It doesn’t take much to create your own little wall of fame or similar tribute to your loyal fans beyond a link to their blog. It doesn’t take much to offer up space on your blog for a guest contributor now and then either. Most of the biggest blogs on the web have guest contributors and they do so because it works. If a person contributes to your blog it is an near certainty they will promote your blog if for no other reason than to market them self. This doesn’t cost you a dime and again it goes back to appealing to a persons ego which is a powerful draw.
Don’t be ashamed of a little self-promotion to get others to promote you. While that sounds odd it is perfectly logical, and while it can be done for free, a little incentive never hurts. You will notice how many sites offer links that allow a person to “email this story” or “invite a friend.” Don’t shy away from using these tools to get people to promote for you. While some people are industrious enough to copy and paste a URL into an email, if you offer them an easy option to share your work you only help yourself. To really step it up a notch offer a special promotional deal. Make an offer that is available via the web (Something that can be transferred anonymously via email is preferable) in which you tangibly reward the person that brings you the most traffic over a given period of time. Something as simple as an iTunes card can do the trick. If the race is close, post updates of the standings to keep people motivated! It sounds silly and simple but it works.
If you do not have or do not wish to purchase tracking software for this function this idea may not work. To counter that possibility what you can do is tweak it to who brings in the most referral comments to your blog. This is much easier to track and can be accomplished by having people leave a note in their comment like “user x sent me!” Of course the possibility of someone purposely cheating is possible, but sometimes you have to show a little faith.
Make it known you have no objection to people using your blog content in another medium so long as they meet two conditions; you receive your rightful full credit for it, and they provide a very visible link with it back to your work. The truth of the matter is some people that bog are lazy. They simply do not feel like creating original content all the time. Sometimes someone hits a brick wall and feels like they have nothing of use to post. Let your work fill that void! It spreads your name and the more links to your work you have on the web, the more effectively you are marketed. This is a great option to make use of because it fills a void, it is free, and it doesn’t cost you any time.
The final way to get others to help promote your work for free is to just ask them! You would be surprised how many people are willing to do this. When a person does help you, recognize them publicly. Most important is you have to be willing to make this a two way street and do the same for others. No matter how great your work is, if you turn people off with your attitude they will not help you. Be reasonable, don’t be shy asking for help, and always give credit where it is due. If you follow some of those simple tips you will have no problem getting people to help you promote your work for nothing more than a pat on the back.