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Little Blog? Big Benefit! The Hidden Potential of Smaller Sites

This guest post is by David Edwards of A Sitting Duck.

In my last post, I talked about building an audience on YouTube with techniques that you could implement by making friends that work in the same field as you.

Not so long ago, I remember YouTube being a place just for comical, viral videos. Today, it remains a hub of viral videos—but it’s also becoming a strong forum for businesses. It seems that these days, the standard practice for a new business website is to plug in Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube somehow.

We all know there are other places online, but I imagine that most ProBlogger readers are working for themselves—you’re probably pushed for time, and don’t have many free hours to spend on other websites. So perhaps you only focus on these main sites.

Candy Slots

“Other websites” are still important

If you have a website or blog, and you’re looking to inject more life into it, I’m here to tell you that it’s probably worth reaching out to smaller websites, and offering your videos (or other media and content) for them to embed in their pages. I’ve found this technique really helpful.

Many people over look starter websites, because they assume that a site that has 100 readers has nothing to offer them or their blog.

But look at it this way: if each of those 100 readers has 130 Facebook friends (which is, statistically, the average), that equates to more than 10,000 potential views for your video if all the site’s readers hit the Facebook Like button!

Okay, so it’s unlikely that all the site’s readers, and all their friends, will Like your video, but these figures reveal the potential that exists in the smaller sites within your niche. It’s often much easier to get your work published on these smaller sites, too—and that exposure can give you an introduction into the circle of larger players in your niche.

In my first year of launching my video series, I managed to have it featured on ten small animation websites. Each of these sites sent viewers to the videos, and they shared the videos with their friends. This gained us traction both with viewers, and with the entertainment-video niche’s bigger players. Eventually, I hit the jackpot by getting the video featured on Weebl’s Stuff, which is probably the biggest Flash animation site in the UK.

As another example, on Twitter, we’ve started a Follow Friday team of illustrators: around ten to 15 of us tweet each other out to our followers every so often. This group isn’t just good for gaining followers—it’s also helping to build a small community that will gain the trust of, and hook people in from, the larger community.

Finding the right sites

I’ve found some great illustration bloggers through search.twitter, by searching for illustration and animation. You could do the same using keywords from your niche—it can be a really quick way to find relevant people operating in your field.

As you’re probably aware, searching for your keywords on Google will bring back the most powerful results, including directories or large blogs. But, at first, you may not have much of a chance of getting your blog on their radars.

1,000 views a day

Currently, we receive between 500 and 1000 views every day on our animation series, without blogging or paying for traffic. Although I do post every Friday on my website, and I’ve managed to keep this up for 40 Fridays in a row!

If you’re looking for a magic bullet to keep the momentum from your initial exposure going, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you are confident that you own a video that’s worth watching, you should push it to at least ten smaller bloggers in your first year, then reach out to a couple of large websites and see what happens!

David Edwards is the founder of A Sitting Duck, and currently is the SEO Director at Webfactore Ltd. You can follow him on Twitter at @asittingduck and on YouTube.

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Comments

  1. mario_monk says:

    There’s a site called tribber that allows members to join small “tribes” and tweet every new post within it. It’s a great multiplication of the reach. You man have if every tribe member has 500 followers and tribe has 10 members it’s already your new post tweeted to 5k followers, instead of just 500.

  2. Great post. I’m an advocate of out moving outside of the box, and living there, set up a tent! It makes perfect sense that smaller websites can deliver tons of traffic, especially if you’re a larger, well known entity (site or person) and your videos are right there for people to see.

    Great point, most people look at smaller known blogs and assume they have nothing to offer; that’s crazy. How do huge blogs get hundreds of thousands of visitors? By starting off small.

    Great post David.

  3. Oh boy, I really do need to start adding video to my site. Your post is yet another prod in that direction. I notice my own increased likelihood to watch short videos on sites compared with just a year ago. Once I get started it will probably be easy, but….. I will have to be in them-argh! Maybe I should find someone to make an animated version of me for the videos!

  4. For most of the time, featuring on smaller sites are equal as when we are being featured of the bigger sites. It is because not all the audience of the so called bigger sites are loyal followers. They simply for example commented on the sites to get traffics in return.

    The most important thing is it is imporant to analyse what kind of audience the sites have; the size is the second thing.

    Plus, it is always easier to be featured in the smaller sites ;)

  5. For most of the time, featuring on smaller sites are equal as when we are being featured of the bigger sites. It is because not all the audience of the so called bigger sites are loyal followers. They simply for example commented on the sites to get traffics in return.

    The most important thing is it is imporant to analyse what kind of audience the sites have; the size is the second thing.

    Plus, it is always easier to be featured in the smaller sites ;)

  6. Sara says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this blog. I’m totally the type to spend more effort and attention toward a business if I see them on Facebook, Twitter or blogs. With being a college I spend a lot of time on social networking sites. I feel this has become the smartest and most popular strategy for marketers these days with where our technology is at. I do still believe it’s important to have a main site that consumers can resort to for most information, but I feel there is great potential in investing in the smaller sites as it’s fast and easy to market.

    I agree with the comment above about analyzing the audience. Obviously there are companies that wouldn’t market well with Facebook or other sites, but most these days do.

    • Any platform where people are happy to talk about your brand is great!… Google are introducing some cool new features soon too!… ;]

  7. Certainly social media is growing but the effect of this also lost in seconds.

    Just imagine 100 readers of your blog like your video and after 5 minutes they also like other videos as well. So now your video under the one layer.

    What do you think ?

  8. It is nice that you are getting traffic from promoting your videos and content… actually guest blogging works in the same manner, you introduce yourself to the readers of that other blog.

  9. Jessie says:

    Darren, thanks for having David!
    David, I’m off to take a look at what you’ve said about YouTube posts. In addition to vlogging about my niche blogging efforts, I’ve been amassing a stable of quality videos for my niche blog to bring in visitors, add value to visitors and to share in guest posts. You’ve outlined something I take from my former freelance writing career: those little sites can be big value. Shouldn’t over look them. I consider them “long tail” blogs: they’ve got a smaller quantity of visitors but they’ve got a high quality of visitors, often times.
    Thanks for your tips :-)

  10. Justin says:

    I often go to newer sites and leave comments on their blog posts. Many times they will visit my blog in return and leave comments as well. Don’t ignore smaller websites, because some of them will be big someday and they will remember that they were ignored.

    I’m all about cross-promoting with other blogs, whatever you have to do to increase traffic to your website.

  11. blogtips says:

    Thats a good tips to new blogger. Its help me out reach my target.

  12. Marcie says:

    I never thought about smaller sites, but I will make it a point to reach out to these groups. Thanks for this.

  13. I use smaller sites for things like guest posts and such but I don’t really use video marketing for my blog (purhaps I should!) Maybe you could write an article about the effects that guest posts can have on smaller blogs?

  14. Nice article.

    Do you have a strategy for “pushing your content out” to smaller bloggers? How do you approach them?

    Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment. I got myself a note pad and pen and just built a list of 10+ blogs that I could contact. It’s probably best to follow them on twitter to start off and @reply them. Then follow up with an email…

  15. Great article!

    It couldn’t agree more with the fact that smaller blogs can also bring big impacts to a company. If you come to think about it, small blog sites may mean that the people posting there have focused on a specific topic or talks about a certain service or product. If you have searched about it and it is somehow related to your company, then that would be great!

    I guess it doesn’t really matter if it would be a small or big blogging site as long as the content is relevant and worth-reading. What is the purpose of a blog site if the content is crappy, right?

    By the way, I like your article so much, keep it up! :)

    • Hi Daryl,

      Thanks for the great comment!… There are sites that are good and bad out there regardless of the amount of traffic. I guess every site needs a good editor to make sure the content is consistent.

      All the best,

      David Edwards

  16. Rick says:

    Thanks for the great insights. I, like Marcie, had never thought about reaching out to smaller sites but certainly will now.

  17. I like the idea of guest posting and offering instructional videos to smaller websites. As a beginning blogger myself (my blog is only about four months old), I think it’s a great way to help build each other’s platforms and begin creating personal connections. Plus, it gives great practice for when you’re ready to guest post on larger blogs that cater to your target market. It’s just like building a resume.

  18. I learnt some amazing tips on how to benefit from small sites.

  19. It’s tough finding guess bloggers if you’re not established. I have a blog site that is less than 6 months old getting a lot of traffic but no one wants to help keep it up.

  20. couldn’t agree more with your article.
    it happens to me. :)

  21. Michael says:

    I like it. I’ve been using youtube for a few weeks now, and it’s a great way to bring traffic to the site!

  22. Fran Civile says:

    I watched Candy the Magic Dinosaur and really enjoyed it all … I also tweeted to get my postcard download, thank you for a few very enjoyable minutes. I wish I could charm my blog visitors but I wouldn’t know how!

    I will be visiting Sitting Duck,

    Fran :)

  23. Also note those who are BIG today were small yesterday…Similarly the small sites you may be ignoring today may become big tomorrow – just the way it is :)

  24. Awesome article. :)

    I must go around and look for small blogs… hopefully we will be able to help each other out!

  25. Ankit Saini says:

    The potential of big site is only from viral networks like facebook,twitter,etc.. otherwise they are small
    Thanks for sharing

  26. greentea says:

    Starter websites are useful in promoting your products and services and to gather information about potential clients. Finding the right websites can increase traffic to your website. Social media is also important in gaining people to go to your site.

  27. Nick Kern says:

    Hello, I’m new at blogging and I am getting between 50-100 views a day with about 3-5 new facebook fans a day, but I only get about 1 subscriber a month. Everything I read online talks about after having your first 100 followers, but how do I get them? I’m currently working on creating a free e-book to distribute to people that join the subscription list, but any other helpful tips would be amazingly appreciated!

  28. ScorpionGod says:

    Yeah I’m wishing to launch a Video in my site too.!

  29. Great article and great concept! There are not many people that have written something like your article. Smal sites can actually be a gem! Especially if they are offering incentives to guest bloggers like a contest or small payment. I’m always going to be providing contests for the bloggers that get the most recommendations for their articles. I think it’s only fair to pay the guest bloggers that get the most recommendations more $. Its something else I suggest that new small blogs offer too

    • Thanks Brian, incentives could be the way forward. For big blogs the exposure is worth much more than cash. Plus the link is like gold-dust. ;]