I read a great blog post last week at the Wassup blog about word of mouth marketing that got me thinking a lot about the subject. I sure you have wondered how some blogs get tons of traffic without much promoting. It seems like their readers just grow and grow. I am putting Mashable in this category, he has unbelievable traffic, loyalty and brand name awareness.
How is this done?
This is done through word of mouth advertising. In short, the readers market the blogs. This is done through linking to the post and of course through Twitter and other social networks. This in turn produces a flood of targeted traffic. Many of these new readers will turn into regulars and then recommend the blog to their friends and the cycle continues.
How can I do this?
There are two basic ways to achieve this type of viral marketing.
Build a bond with your readers
This is very important if you want other bloggers to recommend you. You must develop a welcoming blog that fosters a sense of community. It is important to respond to blog comments, especially first time commentors. Make it easy for your readers to feel like part of the community. Another way to strengthen your bond with your readers is to visit their blogs as well and become a part of their blog community. The way I approach this is like making new friends. The more blogging friends you have the better your chances of achieving viral marketing.
We have all heard this before but content is still king and this will never change. If you focus on writing posts that entertain, inspire, or educate, then you are in good shape. If you have taken care of step one and built a strong bond, then you should have some insight into what your audience is interested in and what types of posts they like to read. Another factor that is related to content is consistency. The more you update your blog the better chances you will have to connect with your audience and “wow” them with your content. If you update your blog once a week or less, it is very difficult for you to engage with your readers.
If you have not yet achieved this type of word of mouth marketing, do not worry. It takes a long time to gain an additional audience and a long time to build up a library of quality content. For some this can take less than a year and for other bloggers it could take several years. Just keep writing quality content and engaging with your readers and you are bound to go viral at some point.