Do you want to be famous? Do you want to be noticed? Do you want people to know who you are? Do you want to have more influence?
I did an informal survey of bloggers at a workshop and asked them why they blog. The majority of answers had something to do with one of the above questions. While many bloggers also have some desire to make a difference in the world or to help others – to do this they also generally have a goal of being noticed and read by more and more people.
Today’s task in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project is to take a break from building your own fame and influence and to build the fame and influence of someone else – preferably one of your readers.
Pick a reader (and if you’re new and don’t have any yet – pick another blogger in your niche, preferably a less well known one) and make them famous in some way.
Here are a few ideas on how to do it:
- Promote a comment to a Post - sometimes readers make incredibly insightful and wise observations and tips in the comments of your blog. While they will be read by a handful of people in the comment thread – why not pull it out and use it as the basis for one of your post – highlighting the wisdom in it and the person who made the comment.
- Write a Post about their Blog – visit the blogs of those leaving comments on your blog and pick one that you resonate with to post about. Write an ‘unpaid review’ of the blog – highlighting the best posts and what you like about it.
- Send Your Readers to Comment on Someone Else’s Blog – write a post that links to someone else’s great blog post and instead of asking your readers what they think about it on your own blog ask them to head over and comment on it on the other person’s blog. Shutting down the comments in your own post and saying that you’ve left a comment on their blog already can help make this more effective.
- Give Readers an Opportunity to Promote Themselves – run a project or write a post that gives readers an opportunity to promote themselves in some way. Last week on the spur of the moment at DPS I wrote a post asking readers – do you have a photoblog?‘ As I wrote the post I thought I’d add a line inviting readers to share a link to their photoblogs. I didn’t think much of it until the next morning when I woke up to 250 comments on the post and a whole heap of emails thanking me for giving readers the opportunity to highlight their work.
- Reader of the Week – SingForHim recently left a comment here at ProBlogger talking how how she runs a weekly post called Readers of the Week where she highlights some of her readers and how they’ve interacted with her blog. Here’s one of her latest examples of this (you can see from the comments that readers appreciate it!).
OK – I can hear some of the comments on this post already.
“Isn’t the real reason that you want to make your readers famous so you become more famous?”
True – one of the side effects of highlighting the great things about another person is that it will often come back to you in some ways that benefit you too. Call it ‘karma’, call it ‘reaping what you sow’ or call it anything you like – it’s a principle that you’ll find to be true.
However try to get away from that more selfish motivation for a moment if you can. The blogosphere was built on principles of promoting others, conversation, celebrating diversity, open source knowledge etc. Some days I wonder if those things still exist – and to be honest somedays I wonder if I’ve played a part in making them endangered species. Lets recapture some of it by making others famous today on our blogs.