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27 Awesome Ways to Get People to Listen to You

This guest post is by Nick Thacker of livehacked.com.

I’ve been creating stuff lately—blog posts, articles, tweets, videos, ebooks, etc.—and I realized something:

The biggest struggle I’ve had during it all was getting people to listen.

While blogging and submitting articles, leaving tons of comments, and submitting guest posts, can garner an initial positive result, it’s tough to keep at it. I wanted to share a few ways I’ve found to really get people to listen.

How to get people to care, listen, and take action

1. Ask

I can think of no better way, and no way that’s led to more open doors, than simply asking people to do something. Sure, it takes guts—but that’s why you’re different. You have the guts—go ask!

2. Advertise

If you want a measurable and controllable result, give advertising a shot. It may not be perfect for your niche, but chances are there’s at least something you can advertise in some way. Most pros say to give it at least six months, too, so if you don’t have the funds, this may not work. Check out Project Wonderful for dirt-cheap ads that have gotten me results in the past.

3. Guest post

We all know this one, so there’s no use recounting all of its benefits here. Suffice it to say there have been many successful blogs that have used this strategy almost exclusively to get attention.

4. Share

Almost anything can be shared—blog posts (as in guest posting), ideas, network leads, products, etc. Which leads me to:

5. Joint ventures

JVs are great for getting your message out to huge lists of people, for the price of sharing your profits with another marketer. Check out the Warrior Forum for an entire board dedicated to JV opportunities.

6. Create a video

ProBlogger.com has been writing a lot more on using video content lately, and I know I’ve done a few trailers for my own book as well—with much success.

7. Create an infographic

Neil Patel of QuickSprout has used infographics, sent to major blogs and news sites to use exclusively (for a backlink, of course!), and it’s gotten him plenty of great traffic—and lots of attention, as well. Take time to create a graphic that’s compelling and telling for your market, and see where it goes!

8. Write an ebook

Just about every blogger has, or aspires to create, an eBook. These days, having an ebook is almost expected—where’s yours?

9. Self-publish a book

Having a “real” book tends to lend credibility to our efforts—being able to have a print copy of someone’s work in hand really does “feel” different than an electronic copy. Check out Amazon’s KDP Select program, Lulu, and CreateSpace for more.

10. SEO

I like to think of SEO as one of those “slow-drip” strategies to get attention—it takes time to build, but it’s almost essential in competitive industries. I recommend Glen’s post over at ViperChill.com if you’re doing SEO on WordPress.

11. Use the 80/20 rule

Pareto’s law states, “…For many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” To use this in your own marketing, try to promote other people 80% of the time, and your own work 20%. This establishes you as a connector and sharer of helpful content, not as a spammer.

12. Build a platform

Essentially, all of these tips can help you build a platform, but if you focus on actively building a brand, slowly but surely, chances are you’ll stick around longer—and people will pay more attention to you!

13. Leave more comments

Leaving more comments on blogs you read regularly does two major things: it gives you a link back to your site (no matter what your stance on “rel=nofollow” is), and it starts a conversation with the site owner or author of the post. Trust me when I say many blog owners will recognize their repeat commenters—be one of them!

14. Leave better comments

We’ve all heard the rule: leave lots of comments, and people will visit your site! Well, yes and no—they’ll see you quite often, but unless you really make a concerted effort (read: spend more than 30 seconds) on crafting and submitting a thoughtful, value-adding comment, people won’t care about you or your cool blog.

15. Write epic content

Corbett Barr, author of ThinkTraffic, says we need to write “more epic stuff” (I’ll let you click through to his exact words…). I’ve said we need to write “more epicly” (because I love epic, made-up adverbs, I guess), and it’s true. Gone are the days of 500-word-or-less posts giving generic and thoughtless advice. Take time to craft your work, edit it, and then expound on your thoughts some more. Add in images, pictures, infographics, and more. Then edit and do it again. Then you’re ready to hit Submit.

16. Article marketing

Article marketing seems to have fallen off a bit after the infamous Google updates, but sites like E-zine Articles and GoArticles certainly are not going anywhere. Use them to further promote your work—your off-site SEO can greatly benefit from some well-crafted, useful content. Don’t go overboard, and be sure to maintain your consistently great writing style—remember: the Internet is forever!

17. Write pillar posts

The first time I’d ever heard of a “Pillar” post was right here at ProBlogger. It makes perfect sense, too—if I visit your website, right now, what articles are going to serve as my “Start Here” roadmap through your muse/meme/world? Guide me like I’m a first-time visitor to your market, and tell me—through general, broad-form Pillar Posts what I can expect to find on your site. Here’s an example of one I wrote on social media for writers.

18. Start a newsletter

If you plan to be online for an extended period of time, you should really consider growing an email list of subscribers, and sending them an enewsletter regularly. Newsletters have been proven to bring in more authority traffic and ready buyers than most other marketing methods, because you’ve already qualified them as leads.

19. Start a podcast

I’ll admit—this is one area I haven’t tried out yet. But podcasting is not something that’s going to go away anytime soon, either, and if you’re a bit more technically inclined (or if you own a Mac), you can start podcasting almost immediately. Some of my favorite authors run very successful podcasts. And I hear that ProBlogger will be running a post on the topic in the next couple of weeks…

20. Write more

This one’s simple: let your writing be its own platform. The more saturation throughout your market you have, the more opportunity there is for people to find you.

21. Blog less

Maybe getting more attention needs less of your attention? Follow blogs like ZenHabits and Lifehack.org to get your head in the game. Minimalize, simplify, and relax: those of us working 80+ hour weeks probably don’t want to! Focus your energy on those things that really matter. Remember the Pareto principle.

22. Do something ridiculous

I like to think Tim Ferriss is so well-liked because of the fact that he does things not many of us do. If you set out to do something spectacular, you’d better believe we want to hear about it! Even better: do a video blog journaling your experience.

23. Be controversial

The idea that all press is good press may not be entirely true, but there’s something to be said for being staunchly defendant of a topic. Instead of posing neutral concepts, get on one side or the other. People may hate the post, but they’ll come back for more.

24. Send follow-up emails

This is something I’ve started doing more and more, recently—almost to the point of being annoying. Follow my blog, I’ll send an email. Say yes to my guest post idea, I’ll shoot you a thanks. Buy something from me—you got it! A “thank you” email is on its way. Doing this is just giving a little bit of personal attention to your network, and they will reciprocate.

25. Add value everywhere

Forget this tip at your peril. No one likes a conceited or arrogant person, and online it seems that anonymity has made this even easier. Figure out how to help one person, in one small way, every day. Then help them.

26. Sell something

When people have something to sell, I’m usually more apt to think of them in higher esteem. Even if the product looks terrible—hey, they went through all the trouble to create it, right? (I might not ever buy it, but they do carry more authority because of it…)

27. Do something for free

And the best one of all: even though we won’t always admit it, “free” is sometimes expected. This behavior isn’t justified, but it exists. Cater to the expectations of your market by offering something to them for free. Your blog doesn’t count.

Maybe you’ve tried every single one of these ideas—in that case, I’d love for you to comment and let us know how they went! But I’m sure there are many, many other things you all can think of to add to this list. So, let’s get to it: leave a comment with more ideas, and we’ll keep the list going. Maybe one day I’ll turn it into an awesome infographic!

Nick Thacker is a blogger, writer, and author of fiction thriller novels. He likes to hack his life to be more productive, live better, and write the best he can. You can check out his site at LiveHacked.com, or subscribe to the LiveHacked.com newsletter here.

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Comments

  1. I would also recommend reaching out to other bloggers through Twitter. Reply to their tweets, help them, learn to know each other and (s)he might promote your posts for free if you deliver high quality content.

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Definitely–thanks for noting that, Stefan!

      I use Twitter as a tool to connect, first by promoting other peoples’ work, then by connecting to them through DMs, email, and @ replies.

      Thanks for the comment!
      Nick

  2. Tim Barnes says:

    I have done most of these tips to varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, because I am shy and suffer from a stutter, I am not comfortable with video or podcasting, although I want terribly to educate people. I work with insurance planning for Baby Boomers primarily, I only work with Generation Xers when they have problems with insurance on-line. My problem is not so much getting readers to read my blog. My problem is getting people to sign up for my emails in my state. I know that Baby Boomers respond better to email than they do to blogs but I am looking for a way to get them them to voluntarily subscribe. I could spam thousands of emails but that is illegal and I am convinced that I do not want clients who would respond to a spam email in the first place. I want people who actually think before they purchase. I know that they will remain a client for a long time rather than hop to the next spam that promises them a lower rate.

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Well, one thing that jumps out at me right away, Tim, is that your first (and possibly only?) email opt-in box is below “the fold” of your homepage. Not to mention it’s not very noticeable if you’re not looking for it. On my site, as well as here at ProBlogger, the email form is right on top of every page, and sometimes even inside the content as well!

      If you don’t have trouble getting your folks to read your stuff, that means you’ve got the traffic. Awesome job on that! Now, you should try to optimize your site to capture the people who ARE visiting!

      Hope that helps/makes sense–feel free to email me if you want more clarification!
      Nick

  3. Trung Nguyen says:

    I’ll follow these points: #3. Guest post, #6. Create a video, #10. Do SEO, #11. Use the 80/20 rule , #13. Leave more comments, #14. Leave better comments, #15. Write epic content (as said on the e-book of Darren), #20. Write more, #21. Blog less, #27. Do something for free

    Thanks for the post, I love it

  4. warren kuan says:

    Thanks Nick, it’s Awesome!

  5. Great post Nick!

    I’ve experimented with commenting on other blogs and inviting bloggers within and outside of my circles to write for me. This is a great way of making your blog the middle man as comments from other blogs direct readers to your blog then from there they can find fresh & inspiring writers. They can be either be those who want to write as a hobby or serious writers who may be in the game full time or for University.

  6. Lizjames says:

    How do you select the best that works for you remains to be part of a quagmire to me and many others. Thanks for sharing these great ideas.

    • Nick Thacker says:

      I think it’s about picking the ideas that you can really “own.”

      Don’t do something if you can’t get behind it and see it through–all of these things I mentioned are ways to become “successful,” but only if you DO them!

      As I heard once, the best advice is the advice you actually implement!

      Take care,
      Nick

  7. Well, i can’t stay without thanking you for this post @ Nick. I agree in your points and managed to ready em’ all, though it feels a bit lengthy (lol). Majority of the points are already heard and used by most of us. But, yes, its a great idea to try podcasting. I have started podcasting each of my posts to various podacast directories and most importantly to Apple’s iTunes Store and i am getting some visitors from there too which is a positive result for a blog which is not even 6 months old.
    But, as far as applying #22 and #23 concerned, i am bit self-conscious as being controversial and ridiculous. These technique may attract and start a very quick discussion but can be out of control most of the time and can display negative perception to new visitors too. And yes, how about creating hubs and squidoo lenses? I think we can meet like minded people over these platforms too.

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Thanks, Gjivan!

      I haven’t given much play to Squidoo and other “lens” sites, admittedly, but I have used these sites for SEO tactics. I think any of these points, and yours, can work wonders if you give them time and true effort!

      Thanks for the great comment!
      Nick

  8. david says:

    Hmm, thanks for the info. I am running a deal blog and having a hard time to find another blog for a guest post

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Hey David;

      No problem–and keep pitching other sites! If you write well enough, you’ll get the placement you want eventually!
      Nick

  9. Ferb says:

    27 greate ideas, when I complete the 27 tips I will definitely get more value from my readers than just get my readers to listen to me.

  10. Pranaya says:

    Hi Nick,

    This is a great compilation. To add to your list, engaging in sites like Quora, Reddit, Hacker News (http://news.ycombinator.com) also are some of the great ways to engage in dialog with influencers and get others attention.

  11. Glynis Jolly says:

    Although selling something is a good idea, selling just anything isn’t. If you aren’t terrific at writing more than 1000 words, writing an ebook and trying to sell it is worthless. And I do mean you have to be TERRIFIC at writing more than the length of an essay. How do I know? I suck at writing more than this length.

  12. I would also recommend reaching out to other bloggers through Twitter. Reply to their tweets, help them, learn to know each other and (s)he might promote your posts for free if you deliver high quality content.

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Hey Andreas;

      Definitely–Twitter is a great tool for reaching people quickly and effectively in a busy world–I meant these tips to be sort of complementary to however you go about reaching people (Twitter, newsletters, all of the above, etc.).

      Thanks for the comment, and for reading!
      Nick

  13. Excellent post. I’ve started to reach out to other bloggers through Twitter and it is proving to be a worthwhile endeavour.

    Cheers!

  14. Martin Damian says:

    Hey Nick.

    I am from South America. I ve been reading all your tips and I can say I feel more confident right now about starting my new blog. My big problem is that I don’t know what should I write about, maybe you could give me some help? Thank you very much!

    Martin.

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Sure, Martin.

      1. What do you know?
      2. What do you love?
      3. What do you think other people want to know?

      I don’t usually self-promote to this extent, but I’m working on a new project called “101 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start A Blog” that’s going to help with your question. It’s not out just yet, but if you want to sign up for my newsletter, you’ll be the first to hear about it when it’s live in a few weeks!

      Thanks,
      Nick

  15. Sandy Coops says:

    Truly great ways dude. They are awesome. Will yield excellent results

  16. I haven’t tried many of these ideas, but would love to challenge myself to try them all. It’s a great list post Nick, I think it could be an awesome infographic too, but even without the graphics I’m printing it to keep it handy.

  17. Marc Ensign says:

    This is a great article! Most of these “how to get people to listen to you” articles include using really bad techniques like mega blasting people on Twitter with automated “hey, check me out, I’m awesome” direct messages which come across as an intrusion. The fact is that it’s no longer a given that if you have a blog and follow a million people on Twitter you are destined for fame and fortune. It’s actual work..it’s fun, but it’s still work that requires your attention, focus, commitment and (ideally) integrity!

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Great comment, Marc, and thanks!

      Very true–it’s no longer enough to have a website and follow everyone we come across. It takes cultivation, vetting, and care.

      Thanks!
      Nick

  18. Harmony says:

    Great post with a list of good ideas. I would add that showcasing others, giving other people credit, becoming a resource – the open arms stance, creates an energy readers often relate and react to.
    Thanks again!

  19. Excellent post! I might add one thing – differentiate. There are so many voices out there that it’s easy to get drowned out in all the “noise”. I have found it helpful to really focus on a niche – something that few others are doing. There may be less people interested in that niche, but there will also be less people blogging / podcasting / tweeting / etc. about that niche, giving you the full attention of those people interested in the the thing you’re talking about / promoting.

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Very true, indeed. Differentiation is always a goal of mine, especially since I’m in no position to give anyone chunks of my non-existent wisdom.

      Not only focusing on a niche, but on crafting content that’s compelling enough in a different or new way–”spin,” but not in a bad way!

      Thanks for the comment!
      Nick

  20. Spikes says:

    The thing is not about selling but about finding that which you’re selling. Some people don’t even know what they’re already selling and ways to promote it’ Every online presence already has something to sell, you just have to figure it out yourself cos no one would and can ever do that for you. I’ve written a post on it, actually wants it to be a guest post so that everyone can find it asap. Hope it will be posted here soon.

    • Nick Thacker says:

      That’s an interesting concept, “Every online presence already has something to sell, you just have to figure it out yourself.”

      I can’t disagree, though. Good luck posting it here–I’m excited to read it! If you want to post on my site, too, just let me know!
      Nick

  21. Diana says:

    This information is definitely going to help me! As I continue to write and build an online presence it its really important to do these things as a way to succeed. Thank you!!!! XO

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Awesome, Diana! Glad you enjoyed it! Good luck with the platform-building, and let me know if you ever need any help!

      Thanks,
      Nick

  22. Bruce Barker says:

    Great for us new bloggers to have an itemised list in front of us or stuck on the wall. All of the gurus’ courses airily toss in a few of these but this is a nice comprehensive list. Thank you Nick.

  23. Hi Nick
    what a great post. I am just strarting out in my blogging career and was just having a look around when I stumbled upon this. Lots of information and ideas :0) am going to try a few and see what happens.

  24. Mrs H says:

    Excellent post, Nick (for the record, your post about having a blog AND a life was also excellent … curious commenters can view here http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/how-to-maintain-a-blog-and-a-full-time-job.html).

    My blog is so much more low-key than most of your intended audiences’ may be, but I still seek to expand a reader base and reach an ever-broadening group of people. Something like a joint venture may not work for me, but something like a pillar post or a tip such as leaving comments definitely will have an impact on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing your lessons!

    • Nick Thacker says:

      Hi Mrs H!

      Thanks for sharing that post of mine, and for sharing your blog–I checked it out, and it’s great!

      I just posted about expanding readership and reaching more people on my own site–it was specifically targeted to authors, but the concepts would be essentially the same for growing a blog! Check it out if you get a chance.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Nick

  25. Torrado says:

    I’ll follow these points for good results:
    #3. Guest post,
    #6. Create a video,
    #10. Do SEO,
    #14. Leave better comments,

    Thanks for the post, i liked it :)

  26. Thanks for the post. It’s one of the most thorough I’ve read so far.
    Helping a friend to sell a house, I thought I could create a website to explain and show the characteristics and photographs of the house. Doing all this job, that is not easy, I started reading about how to position the website, how to promote it, where and so on and I liked it so much that, now I’m beginning a Masters degree on Ecommerce in Madrid to work on this world of marketing online.
    I hope in one year I can have my own blog to write about these issues.
    And listening to you, I’ve written an answer in a blog and in English, that it’s not my mother language ;)