Viral Marketing Tips

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Numbers 6 to 10

Tip 6 -Create A Blog

Of all the techniques I have listed, blogging is the most work to keep up with. It is also probably the slowest growing method on the list. In order for one of your blog posts to go viral, people have to know your blog exists. With so many quality blogs already in existence, it may take some time to get your blog noticed. It requires persistence.

Before you decide to begin blogging, make sure you are interested enough in the topic to write about it on an almost daily basis. For a blog to be effective, you need to post at least 3 – 5 articles a week. While the posts do not need to be long, they should at least contain the elements that any technique needs to go viral; a unique point of view on a subject, informational, entertaining, and fresh.

Not only do you need to be consistent in posting new information, you also need to work at marketing your blog. There are several easy ways to start getting other people to pay attention to your blog. Start by finding other popular blogs that cover a similar subject as you cover. Leave insightful comments on their blog. When you leave a comment, you can include a link back to your own site. If some reads your comment and like what you have to say, they may head over to your site to see what else you have to offer. If the blog you leave a comment on is very popular, this could drive a fair amount of traffic to your site.

Another method of getting your blog notice is to write a post on your blog commenting on something you read on someone else’s blog. You add a link in your post pointing back to the blog you mentioned. In blog language this is referred to as a “trackback”. When you put the URL of the other blog in the trackback section of your blogging program it sends a message to the blog you are linking to informing them that you mentioned them in your blog. They come and read what you said, and if they like it, they may write something on their blog about your post. Their viewers can also click the link, which will drive traffic to your blog.

It is very easy to get started blogging if that is an area you are interested in. There are several good online blog services that will allow you to set up a blog for free. Some of these services, like Blogger.com, even allow you to set up AdSense advertising on your blog, which will let you earn a little extra income with your blog. If you would rather have the blog located as part of your own website, programs like WordPress are very easy to set up and use. The best part is, it is free to use.

If you write good blog posts, and can effectively market your blog, your readership will grow. The more readers you have, the greater the chances of one of your posts going viral. The key to success is quality material that is fresh, and holds the readers attention. You can not get away with recycling what you read on someone else’s blog.

When visitors come to your blog, make sure you give them a compelling reason to go to the main part of your site to look around. If your blog becomes popular, this method could drive a flood of traffic to your site that will continue on an almost daily basis.

Tip 7 -Use Social Bookmark Sites

Something that has really flourished in recent years is the popularity of social bookmark sites like Digg, Stumble Upon, and del.ico.us. These sites allow users to search, set bookmarks, organize, read, and rate anything on the internet. If something you have written is posted to one of these sites, other readers get a chance to vote on whether or not they like it. If someone thinks it is good, and worth sharing, they can vote for it. The more people vote for it, the higher up in the rankings it moves. The higher it goes, more people see it. The more people see it, the more opportunities there are for someone else to vote on it, which helps it to rank even higher.

The good part for you is, even if a reader doesn’t vote on your article, they still might go to your site to see if there is anything else there that they might like.One important thing to note is, these social bookmark sites do not like you to vote for your own articles. In fact, if you do vote for your own, it could cause it to move lower in the rankings. You have to have something that other people find interesting enough that they feel compelled to vote for it.

These sites attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every day. If you are fortunate enough to have your message ranked toward the top on one or more of these sites for even one day, the flood of traffic to your site could be tremendous.

Tip 8 -Incorporate An RSS Feed

Another way to build returning traffic to your site is to provide an RSS feed. In its current form, RSS stand for “Really Simple Syndication”. RSS allows someone to place a link on their homepage, website, or RSS reader that sends an update every time you update the information on your site.

This is especially popular with news sites and blogs. If you are posting to your blog every week day, your readers will get an update 5 times a week. That means 5 times a week they will be reminded of your name and your website. This can really work to your advantage because they are getting that reminder because they asked to be reminded, not because you are forcing yourself on them.

Every day they have a chance to read your message, and have the opportunity to visit the main part of your site. The more traffic that comes to your site on a regular basis, the more sales and advertising revenue you can generate.Another way to use RSS feeds is to bring news or information about your niche that will add value to your site. By putting fresh, up to date information on your websites main page, you give visitors a reason to come back to your site on a continuing basis. If they are interested in your topic, the will return to your site to get updates.

Both uses of RSS are designed to keep your customers coming back. The more often they come back and get new, useful, or entertaining material, the more likely they are of spreading the word to their friends and family, and that is the first step of going viral.

Tip 9 -Give Others Their Chance To Spout Off On Your Site

Another great way to spread the word about your business is to provide free content to other websites and blogs. Everyone wants fresh, well written content for their website. Fortunately for you, not everyone has the time or the ability to do it themselves. With the ever increasing number of websites and blogs on the internet, there is an ongoing demand for article writers and guest bloggers. That’s where you come in.

By providing free content for someone else to use, they get useful information on their website, you get your name out, and they pay the marketing costs. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

Look around for blogs that cover your area of expertise and offer your services to them. They may want you to show them a sample of your writing before they are willing to take you up on your offer. After all, they have their own reputation for quality to consider. If you have a specific article in mind, you could show them the first couple of paragraphs. If you are extending an open offer, write a sample article that shows what you are capable of doing. Just make sure your sample displays the kind of quality they will be looking for.

After you write your article, you can place a short “About the Author” paragraph at the end. Included in that paragraph is information about your business, and more importantly, a link back to your website. Not only do you get a surge in traffic that comes from their website, but the more different places your material appears, the better the chances that one of your pieces will get picked up by one of the social bookmark sites or another blogger and starts to go viral.

Tip 10 -Use Linkbaiting

It sounds scary-link baiting. Like you are doing something really wrong. A clue for you -all marketing can be considered “wrong.“ Marketing employs tactics to manipulate the way that people think. And the same tried and true techniques that have worked since the beginning of time are still being used. Linkbaiting is just a new term, that’s all. The term “Linkbaiting” meets with mixed reaction among internet marketers. It refers to the practice of “baiting” viewers into linking back to your site from there site. You write something on your site that catches the interest of other website owners and bloggers, and they trackback to your site with comments about what you wrote.

The reason that linkbaiting is sometimes looked down on is that some marketers use somewhat controversial methods to get those links. While most of the methods are very legitimate, there are some that many feel cross the line, and are not appropriate to use. When those people start paying your mortgage, then you can start worrying about what they think. The bottom line is link baiting works. And this is a book about viral marketing, not about making friends with strangers online. So let’s get to it.

There are several ways to get other site owners to link back to your site, many of which I’ve already discussed. The first is to provide useful information that is new, or a unique view of existing information.

The second way is to offer fresh, hot information. This is especially good if you are credited with breaking a story. When it works, this can generate a lot of traffic very quickly. The downside is, news stories have a very short life. The viral effect from a hot news story could be over within a day or two.

The third way is to use humor. People love jokes, cute or funny stories, and things that make you go, “hmm…” Everyone likes to be entertained. The trick is to get your message across, while being entertaining at the same time.

The fourth way to get links is to offer free tools or games that people can use from your site. Banks and insurance companies take advantage of this when they offer financial and loan calculators on their websites. While you are using the calculators, you are also being shown a message about other products and services that are offered. Even if you are not actively looking at the information, it is still planted in your brain, and builds brand recognition for the company.

The final method is the more controversial one. It relies on the power of controversy to get links. The way it works is for the site owner or blogger to take a contrary position on a popular subject, or to attack a popular person. Other blogs start to comment on what you said, either because they can not believe you had the nerve to post it, or they are coming to the defense of the person who was attacked.

The reason this is seen as somewhat controversial is that often times it is less than honest. The person making the post may not really feel that way at all, they only take that position for the passion, and links, that taking a contrary position it evokes.

The danger of this last method is the damage it could do to your reputation. If you are seen as a trouble maker or rabble-rouser, many of your regular viewers may leave your site and begin frequenting other sites that are a little more in line with their way of thinking. So why would site owners risk damaging their reputations for links? The first reason is the immediate flood of traffic it can send to their site. Even though they may not agree with your opinion, some people will still check your site out to see if there is anything else controversial. And one thing that you should understand when going online is that CONTROVERSY ALWAYS SELLS. People will not be able to stay away from a controversial site.

The second reason is that links represent popularity, and some search engines, most notably Google, use the number of sites that link to your site when they determine the ranking of each site. When other sites link to your site, it improves your ranking with Google. This is especially true with sites that are ranked higher than yours are. The more sites that link to you, the higher your site climbs.

For some site owners, the traffic generated by getting links outweighs the negative consequences that might come from a bruised reputation. For your business, you need to consider whether it is more important for you to have a quick burst of traffic to your site, or whether you would rather build a steady stream of regular customers that will continue to return to your site long into the future.

There are a number of sites that have effectively used gotten other sites to give them a link. Most notably are The Million Dollar Home Page, One Red Paper Clip, and All My Life For Sale. All three of these sites used unique ideas that made other site owners and bloggers want to write about what they were doing. The resulting surge of traffic made all three of these efforts overwhelmingly successful (and yes, the Million Dollar Home Page really did earn a million dollars).

So what do you want? A really good “reputation” online with a bunch of people who you will never meet nor want to meet…or a million dollars?