I have many reservations about the sheer amount of crap professional bloggers talk. Someone will proclaim Twitter the next big place to promote your blog, and off go the ADD masses looking for the next batch of hits for their wee blog.
Having blogged for quite some time now, I’ve seen a load of these trends come and go. For many years it was Digg, which spawned a cottage industry of bloggers raving about how to get on the front page and receive a traffic avalanche. Then StumbleUpon became the chosen one, and a host of niche social bookmarking services sprang up to try and capture a share of the market. Most became a vast wasteland of spam.
The recipe? Add a ton of ‘friends’, hope some or most will friend you back, then spam them to death with your latest blog posts. That’s the irony of social media these days, more people use it as a marketing tool than use it to connect to other people. It’s sad.
This brings me back to my point – Seth Godin talks about this gold rush mentality in his latest blog post:
Rush to the easy money, then look for more and rush after that.
He rightly points out that joining the latest ‘traffic magnet’ social media site leaves you spread too thin, and means that you’re ultimately losing authority by trying to be everywhere at once.
If you have a presence on twitter, squidoo, blogs, facebook, myspace, linkedin and 20 other sites, the chances of finding critical mass at any of them is close to zero. But if you dominate, if you’re the goto person, the king of your hill, magical things happen. One follower in each of twenty places is worthless. Twenty connected followers in one place is a tribe. It’s the foundation for building something that matters.
The bottom line is – I’ve tried most of them, and they don’t work. The Darren Rowse’s and John Chows and all those other guys have established, tech-savvy audiences who are backing them up at every turn.
I think the key is, if you want to succeed with marketing yourself or your site online, limit the social nets you belong to (if only to save yourself time – you should arguably be creating content for yourself), and focus on making personal connections.
These are mistakes I made early on – submitting stuff and getting distracted by other social media sites instead of working on my own. While I still submit the odd post, most of my activity these days is limited to StumbleUpon and Plurk, and I rarely submit links to Plurk.
So many people are racing to promote themselves via these services anyway that I think the audiences can easily tune out. I know I do.