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How to Get the Right Attention

Laser targetYesterday on the Blog Herald I wrote about how bloggers seem to be focusing on just the attention part of the blogging equation. What are the other parts we need to be aware of?

Attraction is just one step in a process. If you think of your blog as being a system then attention brings people in to the system but the rest of your system is where the actual magic happens.

Any blog requires:

  • Attention – You could call it traffic, awareness, publicity, visitors
  • Engagement – Where a lot of promotion effors fall down is the visitor arrives and is underwhelmed – you need engaged traffic not merely traffic
  • Action – What do you want these visitors to do?
  • Loyalty – One problem with a lot of traffic generation schemes is the visitors bounce off, you need them to want to come back
  • Recommendation – The peak of success is when your loyal visitors love you so much they bring friends

Attention is just the first step, and attention can not be considered without the other elements of your strategy.

Before you even think about attention or promotion, you need to work outRobin Hood

  1. What your goals are – Are you blogging for adsense clicks? do you want to sell product?
  2. Who your target is – Who most matches your most likely prospect, what can you do to delight them?
  3. Appropriate tactics – Not all tactics are going to bring in the appropriate people that will help achieve your goals.

Have you noticed how some blogs scale massively based on Digg and Social Media attention? FreelanceSwitch, DoshDosh, Digital-Photography-School, ZenHabits, all feature (or featured) heavily on Digg and grew very well. Other blogs do badly or barely make a blip even with multiple front page stories. This is because no matter how well the Digg attracts a torrent of visitors they are either mis-targeted (geeky male students arriving at a Mom blog for example) or are not engaged (misleading headlines, blog downtime, bad usability).

As with most endeavors, you have to pick your battles. Match the tactics to your audience and your goals and you will succeed not just attracting attention but also meeting your targets too.

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Comments

  1. Good one, Chris. This pertains especially well to blogging, not just business. Most blog owners throw up a blog and focus on traffic, but once they get that traffic, then what?

    We’re focusing our immediate goals on traffic, but we always have our long-term goals in the back of our mind. I think more people need to have those long-term goals in place first and consider attention a simple means to achieve those goals.

    Spotlight is nice, but if you can’t sing when you’re in the lights, the whole stage is useless.

  2. Good one, Chris. This pertains especially well to blogging, not just business. Most blog owners throw up a blog and focus on traffic, but once they get that traffic, then what?

    We’re focusing our immediate goals on traffic, but we always have our long-term goals in the back of our mind. I think more people need to have those long-term goals in place first and consider attention a simple means to achieve those goals.

    Spotlight is nice, but if you can’t sing when you’re in the lights, the whole stage is useless.

  3. Building web traffic to our blogs really is just one piece of the blogging pie, because if we don’t write anything of vital interest to keep visitors coming back or cause them to subscribe, then all the traffic building goes to waste. What do we write that would make anyone want to stick around for more?

    I prefer to concentrate my attention on creating content that is informative and useful for readers and visitors, and that in itself builds traffic and increases subscribers. I’m not a big fan of Digg personally, as my niche doesn’t seem to work well with the plethora of Digg users seeking tech news and celebrity blah, blah, blah. Not my thing. StumbleUpon and a few others work much better in my not so humble opinion.

  4. Building web traffic to our blogs really is just one piece of the blogging pie, because if we don’t write anything of vital interest to keep visitors coming back or cause them to subscribe, then all the traffic building goes to waste. What do we write that would make anyone want to stick around for more?

    I prefer to concentrate my attention on creating content that is informative and useful for readers and visitors, and that in itself builds traffic and increases subscribers. I’m not a big fan of Digg personally, as my niche doesn’t seem to work well with the plethora of Digg users seeking tech news and celebrity blah, blah, blah. Not my thing. StumbleUpon and a few others work much better in my not so humble opinion.

  5. I like to think of social media properties as tribes, each tribe has their own custom, culture, tradition, jokes etc. Digg is no different, those writers you listed are members of the tribe. Their starting point is within the village.

    They have already sat around the campfire, attentively listening to their Elders’ hunting stories.

    When a stranger arrives in the tribe, they get put in the pot and eaten.

    I agree, systemising your blog production is vital.

    Vital to question who you are blogging to and if you are blogging to the right crowd.

  6. I like to think of social media properties as tribes, each tribe has their own custom, culture, tradition, jokes etc. Digg is no different, those writers you listed are members of the tribe. Their starting point is within the village.

    They have already sat around the campfire, attentively listening to their Elders’ hunting stories.

    When a stranger arrives in the tribe, they get put in the pot and eaten.

    I agree, systemising your blog production is vital.

    Vital to question who you are blogging to and if you are blogging to the right crowd.

  7. Attention is easy, loyalty is hard…

  8. Attention is easy, loyalty is hard…

  9. Good Post Chris….
    I’m hoping that by weaving a cliff hanger into all my posts that people will want to come back and see what happens. It is way to early in blogging life to tell if that will work. But certainly you are correct when you say that traffic alone is not the end all and be all of any business…especially blogs.

    If a thousand people show up at McDonalds but none of them are hungry…what has the restaurnant gained?

    The Masked Millionaire

  10. Good Post Chris….
    I’m hoping that by weaving a cliff hanger into all my posts that people will want to come back and see what happens. It is way to early in blogging life to tell if that will work. But certainly you are correct when you say that traffic alone is not the end all and be all of any business…especially blogs.

    If a thousand people show up at McDonalds but none of them are hungry…what has the restaurnant gained?

    The Masked Millionaire

  11. Perfect timing for me. I am adding my link list today (of course you are on it for all of your great advice) and will add Digital Photography School also. Thanks.

  12. Perfect timing for me. I am adding my link list today (of course you are on it for all of your great advice) and will add Digital Photography School also. Thanks.

  13. Great points here. It’s really fruitless to drive a bunch of people to your site if you aren’t making sure that they’re the kind of people who are actually going to want to read what’s there. I think misleading headlines are the biggest culprit in this problem … and one that I was guilty of a lot myself when I first started using social networking sites and didn’t know any better. Live and learn!

  14. Great points here. It’s really fruitless to drive a bunch of people to your site if you aren’t making sure that they’re the kind of people who are actually going to want to read what’s there. I think misleading headlines are the biggest culprit in this problem … and one that I was guilty of a lot myself when I first started using social networking sites and didn’t know any better. Live and learn!

  15. I’ve been thinking lately that there is SOME value in having stories on Digg even if they don’t hit front page. If nothing else, you can make some interesting contacts, some of whom are influential. Some of the more savvy Digg users actually spend their time in the Upcoming section as opposed to Front Page.

  16. I’ve been thinking lately that there is SOME value in having stories on Digg even if they don’t hit front page. If nothing else, you can make some interesting contacts, some of whom are influential. Some of the more savvy Digg users actually spend their time in the Upcoming section as opposed to Front Page.