Friday, June 16, 2006

Blog Marketing Thoughts

Quick note about my usual Charlie Jade and utopianism readers: I won't make an entry on either of those topics today, since this entry does address them a little. It does on the level of the public consciousness of them.

While walking around today, I did a fair amount of thinking about blogging and marketing.

My first thought centered around crossing interesting but not-popular-yet topics and subjects with more popular ones. At least, trying to find the best way to put popular tags and keywords into an entry about something that doesn't have tons of attention yet.

For instance, my entries about Charlie Jade or utopianism. Not too many people go on the Internet looking to read about an esoteric topic like utopianism or a show that doesn't get broadcast in the United States like Charlie Jade.

In fact, I have been ignored and blown off by some "major players" in the science fiction community on the Internet whenever I try unofficially promoting Charlie Jade. I don't know how much of it comes from my passion (coming off as sounding fake, like I'm someone getting hired to promote some dinky little show and get attention) or from some kind prejudice against something that isn't American, Canadian or European.

Someone I know from South Africa even voiced the typical South African prejudice against native productions. Apparently, South African production doesn't have a good reputation at home, and they pretty much watch American fare.

But I'm getting somewhat off the topic. . ..

One way I could try mixing Charlie Jade and utopianism with more popular tags and keywords include using: science fiction, tv, books, literature, South Africa and possibly some other oens. I don't know which ones, but I have the feeling that the more general I would make them, the better. So a principle to set forward for blog marketing:

Use as general and popular words as possible for tags, keywords, titles and in the body of your entries.

My next track revolved around how general/diversified or particular/specialized to make the blog. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. By keeping entries diverse and often, I have the possibility of attracting a lot of attention but not necessarily keeping reader loyalty who will check back often or get involved in the conversation. Having to filter through entries that don't interest them may try their patience.

Also, since I'm just one person and don't have all the time in the world to focus on all types of diverse topics, I may not get as deep into a topic as the people interested in my topic would want to get. They may stop getting anything out of it, after filtering through a whole bunch of entries that don't strike their interest them.

A possible solution to keeping the specialized people interested: Keep up multiple blogs that address the different areas of specialization. I guess that makes for a good option. Only a couple things strike me as something negative about this one: for the people who want to read everything, they have to run around to all these different blogs, which would cause attrition there.

The other bad aspects include ignoring one blog while working real hard on another. Designing and maintaining them all could get annoying, especially for someone who doesn't expect to make much money off them or anything.

Another negative issue: Where to draw the line between topics, when to start a new blog and how to direct people to other blogs, if they have interest in the other topics. It would really make for something of an annoying mess for me. Kirk at kisrael.com seems to pull it off pretty well, but I'm not sure if I could. He may beg to differ, too.

Diversification, on the other hand, has the advantage of attracting a lot of different people. They have less guarantee of sticking around, though, as I've addressed above. I may not discuss topics they want to read about as much as they'd like. They may grow bored with the user interface, of having to cycle through entries that don't hold their interest to reach the ones that do. Nonetheless, diversification does allow for entryway entries to attract people that could get them interested in other topics I address.

As, for instance, I would like to happen with the Charlie Jade and utopianism topics. Maybe someone has never heard of either of them or doesn't have much knowledge of either of them, maybe if they knew a little more about them, their interest in them would grow, so by diversifiying, I'm introducing people to new topics and subjects. They'll become loyal readers and participants because they like that they've gotten introduced to a new topic, they're up to speed with it here as they might not be elsewhere and they can also feel some gratification by adding something to the discussion that they learn from somewhere else. And, in time, maybe, just maybe, their growth with The Lextopia could lead them to talking about it and the topics on it with other people, creating a viral marketing effect.

So. . .I think I will settle on the way that I'm currently blogging now. Even if I don't get the participation and loyalty that I would like, I think that I'll do a good job of promoting topics, subjects and issues that I believe need to get out there and more popularized. Not a principle, but a decision.

Besides with the blogging technology out there, such as with Soulcast and WritingUp, viewers don't have to scan through so many entries that don't interest them. Good technology, good technology.

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