Talking about other people is the most powerful way to get more traffic

"How do I get more traffic?" Every blogger and marketer out there goes to great lengths to bring visitors (drive traffic) to their blog or site using content. But very few people are succeeding, and there are good reasons for this.

First of all, the cold hard reality of business and marketing blogging is that there is so much content being created that not everyone will succeed.

The vast majority of traffic is sucked up by the big blog, news and social media sites, which leaves a small share of the pie for the vast majority of bloggers and businesses.

That's the reality. What it means is that it is critical to build up a social network and following of highly engaged readers, fans and customers. It's the only way to ensure a steady flow of traffic, and therefore income.

Leveraging the power of "talking about others"

Because everyone is so desperate to convert visitors into followers and paying customers, precious man-hours are devoted entirely to self-promotion and promoting products and services that benefit the author or author's company.

But that's not the best way to go about building up a large following.

Instead of writing articles like:

"A list of eCommerce resources"
"How to write a blog post"

which have been done a million times before, by perfectly good writers. Change the way you approach topics by giving it a human or social feel. Write about how people, products and services in your niche work.

Look at how these great marketing personalities do it:

Notice in particular that while they almost always reference their own content (driving traffic), they almost never talk about themselves or their own products. On the odd occasion they do they've got credibility.

How to talk about others effectively

I'm not saying you have to promote direct competitors in your content. Instead, find influential people and people who offer great advice, work out how you can help them and do it... unsolicited.

Here's a couple of articles that expand on this idea:

By giving other people exposure - especially if it is something meaningful to them, like coverage of their latest book (which, believe me, takes a lot of work), you are costing yourself very little. But, you are gaining a huge amount of social good will, trust, and authority.

Your tweets, instead of being bland subject matter headlines, now have human interest and social appeal:

"A list of eCommerce resources. Including the best by #mentionedyou @someproduct @SME Pals"
"How to write a blog post. Including expert advice from #mentionedyou @someoneelse"

People will respond positively - even though it may take a little while for your new people oriented content paradigm to gain momentum.

Notice, in particular, my use of the "#mentionedyou" twitter tag. I am recommending this as the standard for posting tweets that mention other people, products and services.

A search on that tag will show other people who are adopting this people oriented approach to content marketing. They are potentially the type of people you also want to connect with.

People oriented approach to creating and promoting content

Here's a method I use to get the word out about my content on Twitter. It's worked for me in a very short space of time (a week, to be precise):

  1. Devote space in each bit of content to one or more related persons (blogger, marketer, book, product or service) - make sure you provide a link to that person or product in the article
  2. Make sure you are following that person on one or more social networks - after all, you are recommended them implicitly by linking to them
  3. For each person benefiting from unsolicited exposure in your content, send out a personalized tweet, alerting them to the coverage you have given
  4. Encourage their response (if any) with positive comments

Don't send all the tweets out at once. Use a service like Buffer to space them out.

Social marketing results?

Don't be disheartened if you don't get a response from everyone. You'll soon learn who responds well, and who isn't bothered one way or another. The people who do respond well are more than likely going to be the people you end up connecting with, and working for mutual benefit, going forward.

Think of it as team building for your own brand.

If you want to see proof of how this concept works in practice, all you need do is look at some of the most successful Internet marketers and bloggers around - like the ones mentioned earlier.

Engage with the people who offer great advice and don't be afraid to promote them further. At the very least, it will put you on their radar. Keep doing it and you are bound to eventually gain a valuable social connection because everyone loves to have their content promoted and referenced.

Proof that business blogging works. Pic by nicoleec

The vast majority (in the region of 95%) of all sites and blogs ever created fail to make any money at all - let alone a profit. Against this backdrop it's quite easy to lose faith in blogging as a viable tool for online marketing.

But all is not lost. There are plenty of businesses out there quietly creating great articles and content to share and promote around their networks. Many of them have had great success in driving new leads, customers, sign-ups, traffic and direct revenue.