What does it mean to ‘play in the bigger pond’? That is the question I am setting out to answer in this post. But first of all, let me briefly explain why. In an earlier post, I explained that my inner sense had provided me with this idea as an answer to my concerns about how to grow this site. Sure, I had been reading what other people had been saying about how to promote a blog, but there is a difference between getting a site to a level where you might call it a success and getting beyond that level.
My own site is a success by the criteria that many people would propose measuring it, but I want to get beyond the current level and, as Edward DeBono once said (possibly imperfectly remembered) “you can’t solve a problem by using the same sort of thinking that created it”. Those are very wise words indeed. The essence of it being that we need to find some way of breaking out of our habitual behaviour if we want to see exceptional results or, as another wise person once put it, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got”.
Looking back over the past few years, the traffic at my main site has largely been static. Sure, there has been a slow and steady improvement in terms of my traffic stats, but nothing dramatic. Now, if I were to project that trend, I would soon be able to forecast when I would be able to double my traffic using my current methods, and the bad news is that it would take me in excess of ten years to do that. So, that realisation has led me to this point where I need to figure out what I need to do differently in the present in order to create the future I want.
As I said above, the answer I have been pondering (nice little pun there) is to ‘play in the bigger pond’. Now that is the answer, but at the moment I am not sure what that means exactly. So the following list represents my first thoughts on what activities I might choose to get involved in:
- Recently, I was approved by Alltop who added the RSS feed of my blog to their network. This gives me good quality links from a top site and within a relevant category. There must be plenty more similar sites that do this kind of thing. So one activity will be to find good quality blog networks for me to join. I won’t be submitting my site to every blog network or directory I encounter – that would be counter to the spirit of ‘playing in the bigger pond’. I will be submitting my blog only to quality sites that are relevant. I don’t yet have a list to work from, so that activity – compiling such a list – will be high on my list of priorities.
- Networking with other bloggers. Now, this is something I was beginning to do anyway, but the change in strategy will be to link to other quality blogs within the same genre. Putting my search engine head on, my judgement is that Google can easily tell me which sites I should be linking to – they are the ones that come top of the SERPS (search engine results pages) when I search for my main keyword i.e. ‘personal development. So I will be seeking them out and writing about them in the way that I wrote recently about Gleb Reys personal development blog. They may link back to me, they may not, but this activity will begin to make the right associations between my blog and other good quality, relevant sites.
- Commenting on breaking news stories, but from a personal development perspective. My thinking is that Google may take the view that a blog should be topical, which is another way of saying ‘newsworthy’. If this is the case, it raises the question of how Google would make the decision as to whether or not a blog is newsworthy? Of course, I don’t know, but my instinct tells me that such a blog would be commenting on, and linking to, relevant and newsworthy stories. Again, Google can easily be used to discover the events that it considers to be newsworthy, so finding and commenting on such stories will become a regular activity for me. To this end, Google realtime – something I have only just become aware of – looks like a promising tool.
- Social media. Now, I have to confess that I don’t use Facebook or Twitter (that much) and have not really understood the attraction of some of the other popular social networking sites like Reddit, Stumbleupon and Digg. But that does not really matter because I know they are all important to Google. Somehow I need to understand how to participate in important social discussions around my topic. So as a first step, I will identify the top bloggers within my niche and follow them on Twitter in order to observe what they are doing and how they are actually using the medium.
- With regard to writing my books, it is high time I considered approaching Simon and Schuster about publishing one of my books. Getting published by them has long been a goal of mine because I have read and listened to so many programs by them over the years. It would give me a great thrill to get my work published by that particular company and this definitely would represent ‘playing in the bigger pond’.
Well, that’s about it for now. There is my simple strategy for moving my site forward. Of course, I also need to keep up with my previous goal of writing 1000 words every day for my blog – as far as this is practical. The plan is to engage in this additional activity for a period of three months in order to measure the results. After that, I will be able to decide whether or not the increased activity has produced positive, measurable results in terms of traffic and revenue and naturally, I will post my results in due course.