Building Your Attention, Traffic, Trust, & Subscriber Base

    October 2, 2007

Some Things Only Spread Because Who is Behind Them

I recently created an Internet marketing mind map and published it on my tools subdomain with a link to it from, but nobody mentioned it. A few days later I blogged about it on and dozens of webmasters linked to it. Same publisher, same content, drastically different results…because one channel has attention while the other does not.

The Flaw of Pull Marketing Advice

Much of the marketing advice offered on blogs assumes that you have a well read blog and can get away with great content spreading based on pull marketing, but when you publish a new site and write about ideas that others covered you don’t get the credit you deserve until you build an attention asset. Which means you have to use push marketing until you get readers / subscribers / brand advocates.

Markets are not fair. People are more likely to link to familiar trusted channels then new channels. It can take years to build a significant readership. And if you wait for it to happen on its own it may never happen.

Ineffective Blogging

It is hard to be the regular news spot just by producing similar news to what is available on other channels. If you cover stories that are worth spreading, but are not dong much more than syndicating them, then even if your content is useful the reference links skip past you and on to the end story you wrote about. You might get a hat tip link here or there, but you are not going to get many if you have few readers. And those links are not going to be enough to pull readers away from market leading channels, to do so requires people talking about you. Your content has to amalgamate ideas from multiple sources or unique perspectives such that people are TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Owning an Idea

If you do not have enough leverage to own mainstream ideas then you need to own ideas on the edge or borrow the authority of someone or something else. The first person to crack an iPhone got lots of exposure. Announcing a new Google feature gets you exposure. Real in depth reviews of exciting new stuff gets you exposure. Every market has an Apple, a Google, or some relation to one of those companies.

The easiest way to get a community involved in your site is to ask them for involvement. Collect their feedback and aggregate it in a meaningful format. And interviewing a market leader is an easy way to leverage someone else’s brand and gain attention. Getting community involvement is crucial because each trusted person who associates with you moves you that much further away from being irrelevant or potentially spammy. They make you worth paying attention to because they cared enough to participate.

If you get community participation it also protects your idea. It gets competitors called sleazy when they clone your idea and throw a few more marketing dollars at it.

What if you can’t get anyone to participate? Desperate times require desperate measures! Wrap your message in a fictitious backdrop based on real world opinions. Want to reach out to financial bloggers? Notice they are talking about Alan Greenspan a bunch recently? Tell everyone why Alan Greenspan thinks Google is under-priced. Quote his principals and use them to justify Google at $2,400 per share.