10 Ways to Beat Online Obscurity

Courtesy of Copbyblogger


1. Dominate LinkedIn groups

Not too long ago Sean Jackson wrote 16 Smarter Ways to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Business. Good advice, but instead, I’ve joined a few groups and went on a posting and commenting spree.

Guess who was the number one influencer for the past several weeks in groups that other people had started? Yep, me.

2. Give away content

A good friend of mine (and freelance photographer) once said, “It’s the ‘free’ part of ‘freelance’ that hurts.” No doubt about it: Giving away something for free hurts. But if you’re an up-and-coming writer, blogger and business owner, your problem online isn’t about money.

It’s about visibility. Rather, your lack of it.

3. Write guest articles (with a twist)

Writing guest articles isn’t the whole trick.

It’s the mindset behind writing guest articles that matters.

It’ll take time for your blog/website to gain traction and reach critical mass. There’s a natural temptation to keep the best stuff for your own blog — and send out the half-backed mediocre work to others.

My suggestion to you is to put your best stuff on other people’s blogs and leave the mediocre stuff for your own.

The exposure you’ll gain is completely worth the risk. Again, the real risk is obscurity.

4. Influence the comment section

You’ll pretty much hear it from anyone who is visible online: part of their success was rooted in spending time in the comment sections of blogs, grinding it out.

Yes, it’s time consuming.Truth is, you can’t afford NOT to slog it out in the comment trenches.But let me warn you: It’s not as simple as “Hey, nice article” one hundred times a day.No. In fact, that approach will HURT your work.If you want to influence people, leave thought-provoking comments. Share additional information [other people’s articles, videos] that builds on their existing work.And ALWAYS ask questions. Online influencers lead the conversation with questions. You do the same.

5. Promote other people to promote yourself

No doubt about it: we are fixated on ourselves.You have to fight that and purposely find people doing wonderful things and share their work with the world.Write blogs the showcase their work. Spread their work on Twitter. And if it doesn’t come naturally to you, then schedule this into your day.

6. Treat Facebook like a research lab

I like Facebook as a research lab. The kind you might find on a university campus where you can walk to the quad and start asking people questions like, “Got any tips for conquering online obscurity?”

Listen: people like to share their opinions. It makes them feel valued. And you can grow in popularity and visibility as you work those questions and comments.

7. Follow 237 Twitter power users who follow back

I’ve done this twice now with two different accounts. And the results are more than satisfying. Social Media Watch rounded up a list of Twitter users who will follow you if you follow them. [There are larger lists, yes.]It’ll take you somewhere between one and two hours to do this, but it’s worth it.

Don’t forget: once you’ve got them, interact with them. Ask them questions. Promote them. Share their stuff.

8. Email influencers

Snail mail sucks. It’s slow, painful. Email, on the other hand, rocks.

How so? In the past ten years I’ve emailed famous people like T.C. Boyle, John Carlton, Andrew Solomon and James Altucher.

And guess what? Every single one of them wrote me back. And then some.

John Carlton carved me a new copywriting rearend [that’s what you get when you ask him for advice]. T.C. Boyle shared his thoughts on rejection. And James Aultucher, in an extended email exchange, challenged my desire to go to graduate school. Here’s my point: email is the backdoor to the minds of great people. Use it.

Use it liberally.

9. Record SEO-friendly, trend-heavy videos

Twenty-year old MC Lil B skyrocketed to fame using tricks that could’ve been lifted from a primer on search engine optimization.

He tweets constantly, talks to his fans through videos, spars with the stars, encourages fans to make YouTube responses to his songs and produces a staggering amount of work. People stumble across his work when searching for Dr. Phil or Paris Hilton. Copy these SEO fundamentals and you’re bound to start registering on more and more people’s radars.

10. Wear an eye patch

Raise your hands if you know what David Ogilvy did to a Russian aristocrat with 20/20 vision for a Hathaway shirt ad.

If you said “Put an eye patch over one of his perfect eyes” you are correct.The Man in the Hathaway Shirt campaign was an instant success. It was so successful, in fact, imitators followed immediately.

What made it so successful? The sheer oddity of it. That one little quirk separated Olglivy’s ad from thousands of other men’s shirts ads — and it went viral.What can you do that will make you and your blog stand out? Think unique, useful, urgent and ultra-specific. And of course, do your homework.


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