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Letting others Promote your Blog for you

Finding readers for your blog can be one of the hardest and most frustrating parts of blogging. You slave over your content, writing witty, clever, insightful, humorous posts and check your stats at the end of your day and barely anyone has taken any notice – it can be downright depressing. I’m always on the lookout for new and fresh ways to expose potential readers to blogs and love to check out how others do it.

One of the more innovative things I’ve seen recently is over at Idol Blog – particularly in their American Idol Section where they have just made public their American Idolblog Popularity Tracker.

The tracker is basically a poll about which contestant people like the most. The poll is reset every week and tracked back on the blog in graphical form. Up until now they’ve only run these popular polls in their own sidebars but now they are offering them via a javascript code to other bloggers and websites.

So if you’re into the show you can participate in the poll by posting it like this

<script language=”javascript” src=”http://american.idolblog.com/idolblog.js”></script>

Whilst not every blogger is going to want to put this poll on their site – some definitely will. Bloggers love gimmicky free stuff to put on their sidebars. The beauty is that the poll links back to the site bringing readers but also potentially helping its Google ranking by providing Google Juice. It is a very virus like promotion and a pretty smart move. Not only that their polls become more and more useful as more people vote in them.

Where did this idea come from? The people behind idolblog are the same people that I partnered with in the Athens Olympic Games blog last year. We ran a similar program there whereby we offered bloggers and webmasters a free mini Medal Table for their sidebars.

Was it worth the effort of coding the table and updating it around the clock so that the results were accurate? You betcha! We still don’t exactly know how many sites used the table – but it was in the hundreds. Hundreds of sites promoting our site for free. Not only that – they had 13 links on that table back to our blogs! Some of those tables are still online today and still referring traffic to us. In reflecting upon the success of our Olympic Blog (we had over 2 million readers in two weeks) we realized that these mini tables were probably one of the main reasons for achieving what we did.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Rick says:

    Hey – this has possibilities. Somebody should take this idea and run. People love popularity contests and graphs and stats and stuff. Sort of like a blogging hot-or-not on steroids.

  2. Tim says:

    Javascript won’t be read by the search engines so I doubt the incoming links would have given you PR and anchor text. But, it is a great idea anyway. :)

  3. Darren says:

    yeah Tim – the javascript isn’t going to help with SEO – I think they are working on doing without it like we did with the Olympic one.

  4. Alex says:

    Great concept. I don’t do anything with NZ idol. Or American Idol, don’t really like the show. There I confessed it.

    Can you go into other ways to promote a blog and to get readers. Thanks. Love the tips you give btw.

  5. rob says:

    Heck, I still have the Olympic metal count on there! Will it be updated for the next one? I’ll keep it up if you will

  6. How about
    The last 5 things that blogging bought to Darren Rowse :

    • A new house
    • A 2nd wife
    • A new teeth
    • A Sony CyberShot M1
    • 1 week of ad on TV
  7. Gonzalo says:

    Interesting. Javascript won’t work for PR, as Darren said, but it really works to get traffic back to your blog. Lots of it! Also it makes your blog more sticky, blog readers love renovating content. You can also mail the results of your polls to the media, getting you some off-line attention. Why not?

    Gentle plug: we run http://www.BlogPolls.com that allows bloggers to place free polls on their blogs. We provide the technology, the bandwidth, everything. Give it a shot. Thanks.