The story here is that, in online marketing, if you don’t make yourself a part of the community, and if you don’t bring any value to the community, then you can never sell. I learned this lesson from the blogs I’m writing about WordPress and e-commerce. My challenge is, I have good, helpful and educational content but no one knows. No one reads or shares or comments. It’s no use writing good blogs for your audience but they’re left unopened, like a treasure box deep down at the bottom of the blue ocean.
So, I went researching. I did share my blogs around on social media and some targeted groups but the traffic only increased a little. I came up with these strategies after researching:
1. Sharing actively on social media is a must for any blog – okay I’m already doing that.
2. Build an audience and interact with them – like, at the end of the blog there should be encouraging comment-driven CTAs.
3. Related to the 2nd point above, content should be relevant and helpful for your targeted audience (yes, answer their questions).
4. Increase your presence in the community, and
5. Last but the most important, engage with the influencers in the fields on which your blogs focus.
I will skip the 1st, 2nd and 3rd point. 4th and 5th are what I’m going to tell you about. I list these 2 here as bullet points but in action, they must be 2 detailed strategies, and we need to plan the operation.
Why is it necessary to become a part of the community? And how do we increase our presence in the community we’re in?
Say, we always have our friends and family be the first to support us when doing something, right? Like if you’ve just open a small restaurant, guess who will be the 1st guests? Of course, it’s your parents, your sisters or your close friends, your neighbors, right? And they will be your 1st marketers/referrers who tell others about you.
It’s the same with doing business online. You need to make friends, create a network and stay close with your friends in that network. Only then will you have people support you. Of course, you must do the same for other people too. Imagine that you have no friends, then no one helps you when you start.
That’s why it’s important to build an audience and be an active member in your community. To do that, first, you have to find which one will be relevant to join and which one has your targeted audience.
Okay, so after joining the community, it’s time to act as a real contributor. Like I said, you can answer questions by others or raise questions which you think they might be interested and collect ideas. This is a good way to be inspired and find new topic/point of views for your own blog.
Or, you can contribute your force in making your community better. Be an influencer and have your own voice. In WordPress, I see many people get others’ attention by joining developing WordPress core, or teaching WordPress, or creating free and helpful plugins or themes for WordPress. They do many things for the sake of the community and people naturally notice them, follow them.
Not only joining in the groups, or becoming an influencer in the community, you’ll need to make friends too. Follow the influencers, add friends, both via the community profile and via their blog/website or their social accounts. You’ll need to define a list of influencers with profile ranking from high to low (ranked by level of their pro-activeness in the community, or the number of followers). Then depending on your purpose, select ones you’ll think you can make friends with them. Subscribe their blog, comment on their new posts and express your opinion. Join the forums or groups that they have joined and interact with them there. Don’t act like a stalker though.
Don’t be stand-alone, the only tree in the jungle which doesn’t bear fruits. Get connected. Be socialized and then, get things sold.