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How to Use MySpace to Build a Blogging Audience

Myspace
This Guest post on the topic of Using MySpace to Build a Blogging Audience was submitted by Kevin Palmer from Buzz Networker.

The preconceived notions that the blogging community has about MySpace and other social networking sites couldn’t be any more wrong. These social networking sites are valuable resources that allow you to target market to your specific niche. When I talk about MySpace with bloggers, most of them look down on the site with disdain. They feel that MySpace is a site designed for teens, sexual predators and that spending any time on there would be a waste to them.

If you look at MySpace’s demographics , you’ll see that the user base isn’t just a bunch of teenagers, with 36% of users being between the ages of 35-54. Each day there are about 500,000 blog posts published on the site covering diverse topic including politics, entertainment, technology, and a plethora of other topics. There is an audience reading these blogs that you can obtain. With a little effort and an understanding of how to target a market on MySpace, you can create word of mouth about your current blog or build a strong audience that you can transition off of MySpace when you are ready to launch a new blog.

Use Original Content to Build an Audience

I have seen a lot of bloggers post a static page on MySpace that acts as giant link to their blog. After having their page up for a few weeks they will complain that they aren’t generating any traffic from it. There are a couple of reasons for that; users are typically reluctant to leave MySpace when they first encounter profiles with all outbound links. To a lot of users, MySpace is a one stop shop. They don’t even realize (or perhaps equally like, care) that there is a blogging community outside of MySpace. You need to take the time to write original content at least once a week and engage your MySpace readers. By doing this you will create a loyal reader base that will follow you to your blog away from MySpace, creating a quality and consistent source of traffic.

Take Advantage of MySpace’s Powerful Search Features

The other reason why bloggers don’t see a return from their MySpace page is that they don’t take the time to target market. MySpace has search features that allow you to target people based on their location, age, gender, keywords, interests, and numerous other demographic information. These powerful search features aren’t limited to individual profiles – you can also scour the site for groups based on various keywords.

Take the keyword “Photography” for example. When searching for Photography groups, the first three groups have a collective 117,000 members. That is the huge audience that MySpace gives you access to! Right there is a large starting group to which you can offer blog invites and friend invites to, as well as posting within the bulletin board of that group.

Target Blogs within Your Niche

Examine the MySpace blog rankings and find blogs that are within your niche. Once you have identified the leaders, target their audience using Technorati as a tool to determine who their subscribers are. This is a little bit of an involved technique which I explained on my social networking blog here.

While this technique takes some time and effort, the success rate (determined by the number of people that will subscribe to your blog) is about 1 in every 3 invites sent. Personally, I have been highly successful using this technique and so have my clients. It is a really powerful technique that is definitely worth the time investment.

Other Things to Consider When Using MySpace to Build Your Blog’s Readership

  • MySpace blog readers are not big RSS users. When I moved away from MySpace, close to 75% of my readers chose to sign up to my site via e-mail instead of RSS. Make sure you have that option for them to sign up to e-mail updates and make sure that the instructions are clear.
  • Did you know that you can directly invite people to read your MySpace blog? If you go to their blog page on MySpace under their avatar is a link titled “Invite to My Blog”. By clicking this link it will directly invite the writer of that blog to become a reader of yours.
  • Once you build up your friends list and blog subscribers to around 2000 users, create word of mouth by asking people to repost links to your posts. Make sure you create a text box for them to cut and paste the link to your blog. Don’t assume they can handle the HTML. If you make it easy, you will be surprised how many people are willing to do this for you.
  • Typical blogging practices go a long way on MySpace. Commenting on other people’s blogs is considered a best practice for building a readership on any blogging platform. On MySpace a good profile picture, a witty name, and an entertaining comment go extremely far in drawing traffic to your page. You will notice the results almost immediately.

The growth of MySpace and similar social networking make these sites vital ways to advertise yourself or your website as well as establishing a brand. By spending a few minutes a day using focused techniques, you can build a significant audience. Don’t discount these sites or look down upon them. Like any other community, you can find people with the same interests as you or your company. Knowing how and where to find them is the key.

Read more of Kevin Palmer work at Buzz Networker.

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. Local bands often message users whose listed favorite bands match the band’s influences.

    Perhaps bloggers could message users who’ve listed an interest in their blog’s topic just like these bands target people with a similar taste in music?

    I think there are plenty of ways MySpace can be used to tap into new readership and it’s nice to see that getting some deserved coverage here.

  2. shawn says:

    It seems that myspace has it’s reputation thanks to profiles that go out of their way to make the most user unfriendly experience possible. Examples would be loading 5 different videos and then loading another 5 songs on top of that all at the same time.

    However, there are quite a few users that have enough discipline to use myspace for the powerful networking tool it can be. I’m definitely going to beef up my efforts there.

  3. Hmmm, honestly I’ve had much better results and higher quality interactions using these techniques but on Facebook.

  4. Dadviser says:

    Myspace is easily one of the top referrers to my site as I’ve used the power of the huge amount of users in certain groups to send bulletins and grow relationships. I’ve offered my own advice on using Myspace to market your blog here and have gotten good response from it. It’s actually the second most popular post on my blog.

    Great post, thank you.

  5. Josh says:

    Always with the excellent information. Any large site with public posting access is great. Success here I come. I am not very active with myspace due to lack of interest. Thanks again Darren for the great posts.

  6. I think myspace has it’s good and bad points… I have found most myspace traffic to be rather ineffective.. but I guess it depends upon your niche’.

  7. ChristianPF says:

    This is good info, I have not really tried reaching out to the myspace crowd, but I think you bring up a good point about them not really knowing or caring about the outside blogging community. They do seem to treat it as a “one stop shop” – I don’t blame them, it is a lot easier that way.

  8. I’ve always been able to bring traffic from MySpace, but it isn’t the best ‘quality’ traffic, if you know what I mean. They don’t seem to click on ads much :)

    I do think it depends on what you’re pushing. MP3′s and electronics would probably be a great fit.

    Don

  9. NoviceSEO says:

    MySpace can be used effectively to drive traffic to both blog and websites if you find the right group. For instance I have a site that deals with BBQ. As some of you may know bbq’ers are a fanatical lot and have fierce competition on who is the best and what is the best. Tapping into the MySpace BBQ community has been great for my site as it allows me to contact bbq’ers from around the world with a click of a button each time I update my site or have an announcement. It is actually easier than maintaining an email list and I dont have to worry about opt in opt out. Once my MySpace was established it started to grow on it’s own. I receive about 10 requests a day but only approve those that are bbq related or close to the topic. About once a month I go through about one third of them and leave a message on their myspace’s with a link back. It seems to work.

    For my particular search term I am number one on Yahoo and MSN and number 3 on Google…… Yeah some people think MySpace is a little flakey and only for teens……. I disagree….. use it wisely and like the poster above said……make it simple and dont load up with multiple videos, etc.. and it can be very useful.

    Cheers…….. Eric D

  10. I have been using my wifes for about three months now. I know I really need to set up my own account!!!

    Thanks for the GREAT advice!!!

    Jason MoneySpace

  11. BeingParents says:

    Myspace is not only for teens. Rather,Myspace has grow up to cater to different age and demographic groups. I will try this tip. Emailing someone who commented was a great idea. thanks

  12. Syiru says:

    yea i agree with your Kevin, Myspace is a nice place to market your blog, not only posting a blog in my space but you also can use a bulletin as a method to advertise your blog… but spamming is bad…. so you have to do it in manner…. build your myspace community as much as you can and send them a massage about your blog… maybe you could tell them a progress of your blog too.

  13. Myspace is a unfortunately a great place to find people due to it’s huge user base but many of the people available only use it for a small fraction of things. I think I may have to begin using myspace and seeing if tapping into this user base will produce the desired results.

  14. tks for the reminder to start working on a another way to market my blog in order to further expand my audience. But i’ve one question, you mentioned that you moved away from Myspace; if its so effective, why did you do that??

  15. Skelliewag.org- Bands use programs that will extract the friends list of another band or will allow them to search myspace for that keyword on their page. It is pretty effective to use that technique. By targeting blogs in your niche using technorati on MySpace you are doing the same sort of thing, except it is not automated.

    Shawn- Of course there are horrible profiles within the 60-70 million that are active on there, but why does it matter? We are looking at it from a promotional perspective not from a design one.

    The TriniGourment- These techniques can be deployed on any social networking site except for the technorati technique I talk about. The one drawback with facebook is that people really don’t like blind invites and you can’t automate these processes.

    Dadviser, Josh- Thanks

    TerraAnderson- If you want to e-mail me and give me information on what you write about and the niche you want to target I would get you a list of profile ids to target within a few minutes. You just need to know where and how to look for your niche on the site.

    ChristianPF- It really is interesting to see how the typical MySpace user doesn’t look beyond the site.

    Lifeperspective- I had one of the most read blogs on the site, they have blog rankings on MySpace and for almost two years I was almost always in the top ten. The thing is I realized my content was worth something and I decided to leave the site to blog on my own webpage, I still use myspace to promote my blog but I no longer put up original content because I have already established a large reader base on there.

  16. CatherineL says:

    Thanks for the excellent info Darren. I have always shied away from myspace because of the age thing, but my son recently set up an account there. I have been using his laptop the past few days and noticed that he gets heaps of friends requests, but I know he hasn’t done any marketing as he is on holiday.

    I will definitely be trying out your tips. Thanks.

  17. NewsScribe says:

    Very informative Kevin. I subscribed to Buzz Networker. Thanks.

  18. annl says:

    Wow, Thanks Kevin,
    My neighbor is a huge MySpace user. She’s been bugging me to set up a blog there. She told me I could use it for business. I have an account but I find the whole place confusing. I started a blog-only to have the blog virus. I was going to discard the whole mess, but now I’m going to rethink that.
    With a copy of your article in hand, I’m going over to MySpace and try this again. Thanks, again

  19. lifelessons says:

    Darren and Kelvin, thanks for this GREAT info. I, like so many others, opened a MySpace account some years back but never used it. I have opened up MySpace now and I am going to put your tips to use.

    Just imagine over the last weekend, I got a call from the owner of a local social networking website in my country telling me to start my blog on their site. I have not been able to do that, but with this info, I am on my way to working on both. ;)

    Kelvin, I subscribe to your feed too. ;)

  20. Brad V. says:

    I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that my blog has gotten a good amount of traffic from MySpace’s news feature! My blog isn’t really “news” heavy but several of my posts have come up in the Entertainment section. MySpace is definitely a force to be reckoned with!

  21. arnold says:

    Brilliantly written article. This is certainly uncovered territory for a lot of people. I have been amazed with the exposure several friends’ myspace sites have gotten. Unlike most blogs, The traffic actually comes to you on Myspace, and the comments are usually not so scathing. Cheers!

    http://streetjesus.blogspot.com

  22. Don Lafferty says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I preach three keys to rising above the MySpace madness:

    1. Design your homepage and content to capture the interest of a potential MySpace friend within the first few seconds of their visit.

    2. Understand who your target audience is and use MySpace’s “Browse” and “Search” functions to find and befriend them.

    3. Provide fresh, interesting and applicable content, even if you want to keep it light, on a regular basis and let your friends know. Keep the content Bite-Sized. Don’t expect people to read your 2000 word blog unless they have no life or you’re providing something they absolutely, positively need. This is a busy, ADHD world. Provide your content accordingly, and feel free to link your content to something else interesting on or off of the MySpace environment. The visitor can decide if they want to follow your link after they’ve made a decision on the quality of your content. If they TRUST you, they will follow you. Build trust with quality content.

    The MySpace environment, in combination with Photobucket or any of the other photo hosting sites enables a user to creatively broadcast their content. Take advantage of these features. MySpace is visual as well as textual. Understanding how to take advantage of this feature will improve the packaging of your message and increase your traffic.

    For more details, come be my friend and ask. I’m happy to help.

  23. lifelessons says:

    Darren,

    This is an update of my activities on MySpace.

    After reading this article, I visited MySpace to activate my account and
    ever since, it has been a wonderful experience. I just made a
    post on my blog
    sharing my MySpace experience in about 9 days.

    Thanks Darren and Kelvin once again, you have brought my life into another level.

    Just to let you know, I am still on MySpace and it is 5.45am in my country.

    You are GREAT Darren.

    Adebola

  24. steve says:

    I know of lots of successful websites that use Myspace to drive traffic to them. Most of these companies use software programs such as http://www.adderbadder.com to add thousands of MySpace users to their list. Programs like this can help you add friends from anywhere on MySpace – grab other people’s friends, grab friends from Groups, or simply browse for friends by zip code, age, sex, etc.

    It’s worth checking out: http://www.adderbadder.com

  25. Femi Tunde says:

    Informative article. I am just beginning to familiarise myself to myspace and from the look of it I believe it has wonderful tools to reach target audience if one really knows what and what.

  26. Agnes Levine says:

    This is truly great stuff! I publish a Professional Blogger, Swaggie Coleman, at http://swaggiecoleman.blogspot.com. I never dreamed of using my own myspace page to drive traffice to that blogger!

    As I read more and more of your posts, I am looking forward to spending more time improving that blog and readership.

    Thank you!
    myspace.com/agnesblevine