Most, if not every blogger, wants to write posts that are popular with their readers, and other bloggers.   And while there are no foolproof ways to guarantee that others will be interested in what you write, there are several things you can do to greatly improve your chances that others will talk about, and link to your posts.

Writing a link-worthy blog post can be seen as a bit of a 'black art'.  I'd like to think I have a pretty successful blog, but despite having written for multiple blogs over the last three years, I still can't always tell which of my posts will resonate with others.

But a recent post I wrote at The Viral Garden continues to bring my blog a nice stream of traffic.  It's sent me traffic from other blog links, from marketing newsletters, and even from Twitter.  I think this post has several areas that appeal to other readers/bloggers, and I wanted to break the post apart in an effort to hopefully help you improve your efforts to create a post that will send traffic to your blog.

First, let's consider the topic of the post itself.  Two of my marketing passions are the areas of music marketing, and customer/brand evangelism.   I wanted to write a post that covered both these areas, so I focused on how companies can think of empowering and reaching out to their evangelists as in the way an artist relates to their fans.   But the key is, I wrote about topics that I am passionate about.  This is the key to creating good content, letting your passions come out.  Passionate writing is MUCH more interesting, at least to me.

Next, I needed a title.  You have to consider that today, so much of blog content is viewed through feed readers, so many of us (myself included) quickly scan the titles, giving a blog post's title about 2 seconds to grab our attention.  Knowing that most people like 'How-To' posts, I entitled the post 'How to Market Like a Rockstar'.  Sidenote:  When I finished the post, I linked to it from Twitter, and Chris Brogan, one of the most popular Twitter users, immediately commented that he loved the title.  This no doubt encouraged members that follow Chris (and he currently has over 3,000 followers on Twitter) to check out my post.

Another thing that I've found improves a post is to give solid examples.  In writing my post about how companies can market like rockstars, I pointed out several examples of how companies are reaching out to and creating 'fans'.  I talked about how Harley Davidson workers ride with their customers and are a part of their culture.  How Threadless lets their community of customers create the product, and how they reward them for doing so.  Even how Maker's Mark has brought together their existing fans in a wildly successful Brand Ambassador program that helps give their most passionate customers a sense of ownership in the brand.

Now we've got a good title, and we've written a post that covers topics that we are passionate about, with clear-cut examples to back up our ideas.  Are we done?  Nope, in fact we've got one area left, and it might be the most important.  We need pictures for the post.  Not just any pictures, we need jaw-droppingly gorgeous pictures that also tie into the story and points we are making in our post. 

We need Flickr.
Thumbnail image for HarleyOpenRoad.jpg 

For this post, I chose a few pictures from Flickr's Attribution Licensed Photos section.  Flickr photos are a must for your blog, and I use them as much as possible.  Skellie has an excellent tutorial on how to use them correctly.  The absolutely gorgeous shot above of a Harley on the open road was one of the pics I used, it came from Flickr User DanieVDM.  I also used shots of a member of The Donnas on stage cheering on a concert crowd, a shot of a long line of Apple enthusiasts waiting for the iPhone to go on sale, and even a YouTube video of a creative marketing campaign for The Dark Knight.  All of these photos and videos capture your attention, but they also re-enforce the points and examples I am citing in my post.

TVGStats.jpgSo how much traffic has this post sent my blog?  It's hard to say because I really haven't tracked it.  But I will say that unlike many of posts where I get a few links right after publishing it, this post continues to draw new audiences to my blog.  Just yesterday, I noticed a sudden influx of traffic referrals to the post.  Here's a picture of my daily traffic for the month, and notice how yesterday's traffic spiked, which was due to a new link to this post.  I saw almost a 100% jump in traffic yesterday, and that came from just one link to one post.

Also notice the comments left to the post.   Someone mentions finding the post from a link at Twitter.  Another commenter says they found it from a link in a MarketingProfs newsletter (that link send about 250 visitors to my blog in one day).  Becky mentions how she will be linking to the post, and she did.  So the post continues to pick up not only blog links, but links from email newsletters, and even other social sites.

BTW one final tip.  This post was written back in December, but after a few weeks and people kept linking to it, I decided to put it on my blog's sidebar in a special 'Best of the Garden' section where I have some of my favorite posts.  This raises its visibility even more.

So that's one example of how to create a post that draws traffic and links to your blog.  I hope it will help you in your efforts to create content that has to be shared with others!

February 13, 2008





Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.






Comments(24)

The blog posts that have received the most play from me are almost always a mystery to me. Meaning, I write something and think it's going to be the Best.Post.Ever, and nothing happens. Then, I write something and some dozen or more folks find something of resonance, and we're off to the races.

My *only* little repeatable secret is that I try my hardest to put something "useful" in every post. I call them "idea handles" and that means things you can pick up and take with you and use. Feels to me that these posts are the ones that do the best for me.

Never EVER when I try to draw artificial interest (and by that, I mean beg for sphinns, stumbles, diggs, and the like) does it ever work for me. Not sure why. I mean, when I've hit the digg front page, it hasn't been bad, but it's always a spike with zero longer term impact.

Thanks for the post. It got me thinking.

Hello from super rainy Boston.

"My *only* little repeatable secret is that I try my hardest to put something "useful" in every post. I call them "idea handles" and that means things you can pick up and take with you and use. Feels to me that these posts are the ones that do the best for me.

Never EVER when I try to draw artificial interest (and by that, I mean beg for sphinns, stumbles, diggs, and the like) does it ever work for me. Not sure why. I mean, when I've hit the digg front page, it hasn't been bad, but it's always a spike with zero longer term impact."

Chris I agree, I can never accurate predict if a post will take off or not, but I agree that the posts that try to help/explain/teach are usually seen as more valuable by others.

And I agree on Digg/TechMeme, etc. From my experience, it's just not worth the effort. Even if I get a spike in traffic, usually I don't see any more interaction or links. That's why I pointed out Marketing Profs linked to my Rockstar post because that sent a TON of targetted traffic to my blog, and I ended up getting several comments from people that clicked over from the newsletter link, and I got some emails as well.

Hope the weather is better there soon, here it is just cold ;(

Any useful post has a chance to make it big. The key is to make sure enough people hear about it in the first place in order to give it the push needed to make it big. Sometimes you hit lucky and someone of note notices you and gives you a big push.

Excellent comments!

As a developer of a new blog this info is very helpful. It appears that most blogs -- including those directed to b2b marketers, are a conglomeration of tips, trends and a smattering of stats....A blog that consistemtly posted solid, updated metrics would probably pull a lot of consistent, high-value traffic.

Thanks for the tip about Flickr. Great images at a great price!

Just wanted to stop by from your RSS feed and say thanks for a very informative article - I'm off to check out the flickr info.

Mack, thank you for the mention, as well as for the info about using flickr photos. I usually pay for photos but have been wanting to branch out a bit to some new ideas for photos.

I also agree with you that passionate writing is the best - for reading as well as composing! I do find that posts where I highlight a specific company doing something well, or where I share a positive story, do very well.

Rock on!

if you posting a useful article that return some useful sources, or any important information you are sharing, definitely it will generate high traffic.

But you have post a great analysed tips. Thanks

Thanks for all the great comments! A tip I give clients is 'Promote value, not yourself'. The value-oriented posts also seem to have a longer link-life, in that they will continue to gain links over time, not just when they are first published.

the most popular post on my blog is the 'philosophy' page.

which quite frankly is the least useful and doesn't even have an interesting title.

but its by FAR the most popular page!

I have been in Network Marketing for about 15 years. I have NEVER seen such a total opportunity where almost everyone who takes a look wants to join. People just see the magic in this program

check it out by going to..

work at home online

Just wanted to stop by from your
medikal RSS feed and say thanks for a very informative article - I'm off to check out the flickr info.

if you posting a useful article that return some useful sources,
or any important information you are sharing, definitely it will generate high traffic.
mavi şeker But you have post a great analysed tips. Thanks

Interesting article. Just goes to show the huge power of Twitter (and users like Chris Brogan!).

Getting the article noticed by some heavy hitters is aslways good I guess.

I too found your article very insightful and interesting. I am not into social media, blogs, etc. and I was unaware of flickr. I am going to check into them and research to see how they might benefit what I need to do. This could help in generating traffic I need.

Lynda from Prior Lake

Nice, so basically it needs to start with passion, then great catchy title, use solid examples, GREAT pictures from Flickr, and last and I think most important part of it, is to get an opinion leader at any (or all) of the social/web2.0 sites to link to you...that part may take a little bit of creativity or solicitation if you don't already have that relationship, but can be done.

Alley @ Alkaline Water Info blog


Marketing like a real ROckNRolla is really the way to go. Just like what you said in How to "Market Like a Rockstar".

Smart aggression is the way to go.


Internet Marketing Specialist Denver

Oh for me I know that the title is so very important. Actually it IS the most important thing when it comes to creating a traffic-drawing post. Good tips.

I loved this article, lots of good tips. I really do agree with the title is your "grabber", I get distracted easily, so if it isn't exciting, you're not grabbing me!


Amy at Best End

Sehr wertvolle Informationen! Empfehlen!

I do agree that title is key for captivating audiences, but if the content couldn't give justice to how superb the title is, then chances are that the reader would leave your blog, never to visit again. This means that going overboard in the exaggeration of a title is a no-no. Yes we could exaggerate to a certain extent, but only if we can "prove our claim".

BTW, great example Mack! Will definitely keep it to heart and spread the love. :)

I devalued photo images before but after I tried putting images on my blog entries I noticed a huge increase of people visiting my website, also they are more interested in sharing thoughts on my entries.. its really a nice idea to put photos on blogs..

Great ideas here. I just started a blog a month ago. I post everyday, have great titles and cool content but seem to get no traffic or so. I mean, I guess this is where passion comes into play. What can I do to improve traffic to my site.

Thanks again for the tips.

Although some say that aggressive marketing is a good way, I still prefer ethical ways of marketing, specially when using emails, by the way content speaks for itself and the title is the enhancer and the ones that encourage people to take a peek on our site and this factors plays a critical role in driving traffic to our website.. (I got this idea from you. ;p)

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Search Engine Guide > Mack Collier > The Art of Creating a Post That Draws Traffic and Links to Your Blog