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Gaining a Top Google Ranking in Two Weeks – Blog Case Study

The following post was submitted by Martin Roth as part of the ProBlogger Case Study Series

An excellent way to jump-start a new blog is to write a lively and authoritative article about your particular topic, then alert other bloggers in the hope that some of them will link to you. I’ve done it for two of my blogs, with good results.

The first time was with Bird Flu Update, which I launched last October. I decided to try to write an article that would appeal to bloggers. And what sort of theme would most appeal to bloggers? Something on blogging, I reasoned.

I posted my article, “The Bird Flu Bloggers” – a review of all the best blogs covering bird flu – late in October, then sent polite emails to 50-or-so of the most popular writers in the blogosphere, suggesting they might be interested in it. A couple of them mentioned it on their sites, bringing me several thousand hits over a few days.

I repeated the process a month later with “The Best Bird Flu Humor on the Internet – A Top Ten List” Only one blogger linked to it, but that was sufficient for a further several thousand hits.

Of course, these massive hit waves are just short-term. But I found that each time when the tide turned I was left with quite a few more regular visitors than before.

The same has now happened with my men’s grooming blog, Shaverama which I launched in January. By late-February it was averaging three visitors per day. Then I wrote an article about Gillette’s new five-blade Fusion shaving system. Once again, the emphasis was on bloggers. I looked at how some newspaper commentators had adopted a tone of intense sarcasm about a razor with five blades. Meanwhile, many bloggers reviewed it objectively, and usually favorably.

I titled my article “Gillette Fusion Razor – The Mainstream Media Mocks; Bloggers Give Objective Reviews” and posted it on February 24th, then sent off short, polite emails about it to around 50 leading bloggers.

Half-a-dozen of them linked to it, including – joy of joys – Instapundit, who wrote simply: “Mainstream media vs. the blogs: A close shave.” Over the following week I received more than 7,000 visitors.

Now that the tumult has died down I’m getting about 60 visitors a day, and – to my astonishment – when you do a Google search on “Gillette Fusion Shaving System” I come out at Number One. Even for the far more common search term, “Gillette Fusion,” I manage to squeeze into the Top Twenty.

Of course, writing articles is not for everyone. Some bloggers simply are not good at putting together a readable, authoritative, medium-sized article.

And finding a theme can also be tricky. I’m an experienced journalist of several decades, a former foreign correspondent and a book author, yet I’m struggling to think of article ideas for other blogs that I run.

Try to be topical. See what the leading bloggers are writing about. Getting a link from Instapundit was possibly helped by the fact that he (Professor Glenn Reynolds) had himself earlier written about his own purchase of a Gillette Fusion razor. Don’t make your article too heavy. A little humor is good.

Be polite in your emails to other bloggers, alerting them of your piece. Try to sum up the article in just one or two short sentences. And don’t repeat the process more than, say, once or twice a month.

Of course, even the best article may not attract any links. All the bloggers you email may have a ton of other things to write about on that particular day. I thought my article on bird flu humor was a winner, but only a single blogger (OxBlog ) linked to it. In fact, one of the bloggers emailed me back sniffily to say that he didn’t think it appropriate to make jokes about bird flu.

But if you can make it work, I can think of few quicker ways for an invisible blogger to start getting known.

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. rols says:

    That was a very informative article with something new for me – but don’t you think it is little bit awkward to “mail” other bloggers and ask them to comment, specially for someone like me who think highly of blogging community and don’t want to be labeled as a spammer. Atleast I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of mailing to some 50 email addresses I collected randomly. On the other hand if I choose blogger who have something in common with my topic then I be more comfortable. Still I am scared at the thought of getting blocked by fellow bloggers with who I wish to have health relations. I be glad if anyone can clear my doubts and fears :-)

  2. DaEMoN says:

    rols: As long as you are polite and ask for a link because you think that would add up to the quality and/or depth of eachother’s blogs, nobody is ever going to label you as a spammer or “block” you.
    I have been asked for links quite a few times and have declined only once, because the contents weren’t pertinent to my site’s theme: so go for it.

  3. Julian says:

    Thanks for this nice posting!
    I’m doing it exactly that way at the moment with my german weblog around the topics adsense, affiliate marketing, blogging and seo (we dont have so much blogs yet, so that is niche enough *g*). I write about 1 useful post every day and mention the link in suitable forum threads. So also a lot of bloggers already link to me (even in their blogrolls).

  4. Shaun Carter says:

    Great post and advice. I have been trying to figure out ways to increase the number of readers of my blog and I think this piece hits the bullseye. I look forward to applying your techniques.

  5. Daniel Fluck says:

    I am with rols here. I don’t really like the idea very much and would feel like a spammer desperately looking for some more traffic.

    My blog is about color blindness. So I could post something like: 100 colorblind bloggers. That’s ok. But then I would either send some trackbacks to those bloggers or point out my article only to them. I don’t see any reason why I should ask one of the top 50 bloggers to reference me.

    Of course. Maybe one or two will do it and you’ll get lots of traffic. But as I said this doesn’t sound like you want to deliver good content but more like you want to earn lots of money – now.

    Another thing I would like to point out: “Of course, writing articles is not for everyone. Some bloggers simply are not good at putting together a readable, authoritative, medium-sized article.” Who feels spoken to?

  6. Pete says:

    Hey, this is a great article.
    I also have a birdflu website.

    http://birdflu.blogtopper.com

  7. Power Play says:

    I believe its also referred to as “catching lightning in a bottle”.
    Have done it a few times myself.
    Or you could call it luck! ; )

  8. I’m with those who say you shouldn’t email other bloggers. I can’t think of a better way to get visitors to your site, or blog than to sit there twiddling your thumbs in the hope that they’ll come.

  9. Zelig says:

    Hi.

    I got here from a post on Micro Persuasion.
    I am with rols and Daniel Fluck, and I welcome the positive feedback from DaEMon.

    It is true that is increasingly hard to ‘get noticed’, as there is way too much to read already, but why this urge to jump start? To the benefit of whom or what?
    If the blog one is trying to rise is truly “lively and authoritative” and it can contribute to the larger conversation and benefit of the community, then I can understand one wants to try to be discovered (rather then “get noticed”). But giving credits in ones posts, linking to the sources of inspiration (wheater or not the most read bloggers) and using tags (I think usage of tags for blog promotion was covered in this very same blog, but I can remeber when/where; try searching for it) should suffice on the Long run to eventually be linked.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. James says:

    Martin, tq for sharing the info. on getting to the top of Google. This just shows that a simple strategy can be carried out to high effective levels.

    I think I’ll try it at my blog at personalmoneytips.com too.

  11. Andrew says:

    Not the best place for such sentiment but…

    So when someone searches for Bird Flu they are going to get flooded by sites who’s main aim is to generate adsense revenue?

    Could be just me but I see something very much unsettling about this.

  12. Actually Catherine, I am with those who say you shouldn’t eMail other bloggers. I am with rols and Daniel on this one.

    The simplest definition of Spam would be unsolicited eMail, whatever the reasons may be. And I personally feel that such an eMail would fall under this category.

    If the question is how do you get bloggers to link to you, the answer for me is don’t. Link incest is not what we are playing. A better way is link every interesting blog or blog-post that you find. It doesn’t have to be from a friend or a known blogger.

    I post on a variety of topics and very sporadically. But I don’t like to request people to link to me. Like I have mentioned in my last blog: You either blog for the market or for the masses.

    Trackbacks and Comments are a great way to build a relationship. When you drop a comment, it means that the post interested you. When you do a trackback, it means the post interested you so much that it is worth quoting.

    And that does not necessarily have to be from a “well-known” source, does it?

    Regards,
    Shri.

  13. Rob says:

    I have no great problems with receiving link requests from other boggers – as long as the article is decent.

  14. Loren says:

    But what if those bloggers are your friends?

  15. Leon says:

    Do you have a list of the top blogs/bloggers? I know a few: Slashdot, Michelle malkin, Instapundit, Gizmodo, Chris Pirillo.

  16. Tim says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I linked to this article on my blog. I also stole a copy of your pic. Hope thats OK…

  17. Saskboy says:

    I agree that witing for, or talking with big-name bloggers is the best way to get noticed, short of getting on the TV about your blog or topic. Some bloggers won’t enjoy the “spammed” articles, or will ignore them, but if you don’t try you can’t succeed as rapidly.

    I also find that some traffic comes from simply leaving relevant comments on other blogs.

  18. Lance says:

    I like the idea….Now I am just afraid that some of the same bloggers are going to get inundated with requests and it will lessen its effectiveness.

    I know there are days when I just get hundreds of emails and I am sure some of the request emails are going to get unanswered….Sorry

  19. paolo says:

    but works ?

  20. Tristan says:

    Fantastic idea! Im such a super newbie, just started 1wk+ ago, and i will do just that. You are the master, man!

  21. Webfusions says:

    Thank you, this was most interesting as i have never considered emailing other bloggers. I really do not understand why my web traffic is so low. I submitted my site to Google and added meta tags with no success. Can i please leave my web URL…. http://webfusions.blogspot.com/

  22. Kleeneze says:

    A superb blog, it’s most certainly food for thought.

  23. reccemaster says:

    I see.. so you really just need to find that ONE link to have to bring hits into your site.

  24. here’s how i top rank on google search engine! its fast and easy! i get top rank within 24hrs!

    http://digg.com/educational/How_To_Top_Rank_On_Google

Trackbacks

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  6. Jamdo says:

    7 Tips on Emailing Other Bloggers

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