Get Attention on Inbound.org the Right Way

attention

Long before Facebook and Twitter, there was social news. When Digg.com has started in 2004 it was a slight but important improvement from the model of Slashdot. On Slashdot you could contribute news but editors would decide whether they get published. On Digg

the model was run by users completely, they decided what gets submitted and promoted to the frontpage.

Today we would call that crowdsourcing probably. Digg is dead by now, the current Digg.com is just a zombie. Similar sites like Reddit or Hacker News are still influential but severely limiting the freedoms the people have there.

There is a new site on the block, well it’s more than a year old by now, that proves the community publishing model can still work. It’s the more surprising given the topic the site deals with. Inbound.org is about modern marketing. It deals with

  • SEO
  • social media
  • blogging
  • content
  • entrepreneurship

and many more similar topics.

Most people out there still think that SEO = SPAM. Unless you work in SEO yourself you probably won’t understand what it is about. On Hacker News or Reddit anti-SEO hatebait is winning over hearts and minds over and over. In fact Digg vs notorious for censoring all submission about SEO.

So one would assume that all these spammers would kill a so called “niche social news community” from day one.

The contrary is the case, Inbound is gaining influence and improving with time. I was a bit sceptical myself especially as an eighteen years old youngster took over the site while its founders have limited themselves to being the grey eminences behind it.

Of course there still are issues, some of the same issues that made Digg frontpage obsolete over the years and replaced the social news model with the distributed social networking model of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ etc.

On social news sites there is always an elite group of most active submitters who are trusted and respected by the community is that their submission are far more likely to get popular.

You have celebrities on Facebook and Twitter as well but on social news sites all people see popular submissions by the most popular submitters. They are on the frontpage.

inbound-self-submission

Most people still don’t get the social news approach.

It’s about collecting the best content from over the Web and deciding as a group which one of them really matters. Instead website owners, bloggers and business people tend to promote themselves. Self-submission still runs rampant. Inbound was stable enough to deal with it until now, low quality mass submitters get banned right away. Others get away with promoting themselves but do not get the attention they could have. Why?

Just think of it: You can enter a room on a party and shout something: everybody will hear you, but will they really listen and trust you?

The same applies to Inbound and other social news communities. You can trick your way to the frontpage just by asking your friends or employees for a view votes but even the fp won’t guarantee you the attention. You need to earn it to get the full power of it. There are posts on the Inbound that get 100+ votes and hundreds of highly targeted visitors while others get just a few votes and a bunch of visitors.

It’s not whether you can enter the frontpage it’s how you enter it.

Of course there are a few legit ways to make the frontpage. Some are “harder, better, faster, stronger” than others to cite Daft Punk.

The hard way is to

  1. join Inbound
  2. listen closely
  3. be active

there for quite a while until you understand the community and people get to know and trust you. Then you can even submit your stuff. Vinny la Barbera just recently showed how it works. I’ve contributed on Inbound for a year or more and I’m still not really there yet.

It’s partly my own fault though, I never submit what the community wants, I submit what I want the community to know. Other people breathe the Inbound air every day and can tell you what will work there and what not.

inbound-org-top-10

Of course it’s obvious that some topics work better than others, some sites work better than others, and some submitters “work” better than others.

Posts from SEOmoz, about link building and submitted by Jason Acidre work better than others.

It’s not only because Jason is a power user and has more voting power it’s rather because Jason knows the popular demand. So once Jason submits your post you know you got what the people want. Then the chance of getting discovered and promoted to the HP is much higher. Jason is not the only one. Who else knows what’s going on on Inbound? How can you get their attention? Let’s see what power users who know what’s going on do submit:

Notice that I haven’t included all of the top Inbound users here in this list. Not all of them are curators on the look out for fresh content. Some submit only from well established sources, others prefer to share their own know-how.

Some people actually work for Inbound or SEOmoz so they are a bit biased when it comes to content selection.

Last time I checked I was still in the top 20 for the most influential Inbound users but that’s just by karma points. I comment a lot, and sometimes people agree with me so they vote up my comments. That’s where much of my karma stems from. I tend to submit content that I deem important but is often slightly off-topic for many so it doesn’t get a ton of votes.

The perfect Inbound.org submission that will get you hundreds of highly targeted visitors is about

  1. the right topic (link building, SEO, Inbound.org itself, major industry news, Google updates)
  2. from a well known, reputable or at least professionally designed source, ideally dealing with SEO or inbound marketing
  3. submitted by the right person at the right time, a power user during the work week while UK and US audience are up

You can choose the right topic by selecting one of my examples or looking closely at the posts that get popular usually. You can post on a well known blog like SEOmoz or Search Engine Land to get more attention by showing that the editors over there trust you enough to publish your writings. Ultimately you need to court influential users instead of submitting your posts yourself. You need to get their attention.

For example when I wanted to get Aleyda’s attention I’d certainly write something technical about international SEO.

A group interview about link building techniques would be the ideal way to get Jason’s attention IMHO. Anthony loves exceptional writings skills reflecting humor and social skills. He also values the inclusion of community in otherwise boring posts.

These are just the power user’s I know a bit better by now. Some of the others might be even better to court as they submit less often but succeed almost each time. So do not only write for yourself and submit yourself. Write for the Inbound audience and get promoted by it. You won’t get “massive traffic” but the elite of the global inbound marketing and SEO industry will see your message.

* Creative Common image by Live Life Happy

19 responses to “Get Attention on Inbound.org the Right Way

  1. Interesting. I have submitted a number of things to Inbound. Some are my own (self-promotion). Some are just for interest. I really have no idea if any of them ever made the front page. The thing is that I don’t search out content that will hit the home page. Nor do I create blog posts that will hit the home page. I submit when I find something interesting (and it occurs to me to submit) and I blog about what moves me, not about what will do well at Inbound or any of the many other social sites I participate in.

  2. Interesting. I have submitted a number of things to Inbound. Some are my own (self-promotion). Some are just for interest. I really have no idea if any of them ever made the front page. The thing is that I don’t search out content that will hit the home page. Nor do I create blog posts that will hit the home page. I submit when I find something interesting (and it occurs to me to submit) and I blog about what moves me, not about what will do well at Inbound or any of the many other social sites I participate in.

    1. I do it too to some extent but sometimes I first think about what will benefit the community instead of what I like.

    2. I do it too to some extent but sometimes I first think about what will benefit the community instead of what I like.

  3. This article was overdue Tad. Thanks for posting it and doing it justice.

    When I first started using Inbound.org I used it with the intentions of (1) finding new content and (2) saving content that I find useful for future reference. I have found that when I save things to Pocket (or somewhere else) I just don’t go back and read it. Inbound.org almost forces me to only save the stuff I will actually read as there is a chance of others seeing and voting / commenting on it as well. It helps that the articles I save are all specific to marketing too so I am not distracted with other topics.

    As my use of Inbound has expanded I have found myself using it not just for the above reasons, but also to share content with the community that I think would be helpful to other people like me. When I do this I tend to see pretty good engagement (voting / views) on these types of articles.

    As for getting posts to be seen, I think you nailed most of the stuff on the head from what I am noticing. Day / time of submission and the source of the article / tool seem to continue to be big factors for whether or not an article / tool will hit the front page.

    Looking forward to seeing Inbound grow. Especially looking forward to an Inbound.org iOS app (hint hint Rand, Dharmesh and Ed).

    1. You certainly do it right. I even looked up your site to find out who this amazing guy is that keeps on unearthing the best content out there.

  4. This article was overdue Tad. Thanks for posting it and doing it justice.

    When I first started using Inbound.org I used it with the intentions of (1) finding new content and (2) saving content that I find useful for future reference. I have found that when I save things to Pocket (or somewhere else) I just don’t go back and read it. Inbound.org almost forces me to only save the stuff I will actually read as there is a chance of others seeing and voting / commenting on it as well. It helps that the articles I save are all specific to marketing too so I am not distracted with other topics.

    As my use of Inbound has expanded I have found myself using it not just for the above reasons, but also to share content with the community that I think would be helpful to other people like me. When I do this I tend to see pretty good engagement (voting / views) on these types of articles.

    As for getting posts to be seen, I think you nailed most of the stuff on the head from what I am noticing. Day / time of submission and the source of the article / tool seem to continue to be big factors for whether or not an article / tool will hit the front page.

    Looking forward to seeing Inbound grow. Especially looking forward to an Inbound.org iOS app (hint hint Rand, Dharmesh and Ed).

  5. Well said, Mr Chef. I think my feelings are well-known on the site but if it wasn’t clear, that embarrassing screenshot is pretty much the case in point… 😉

    Seriously though, I think you’ll always get people simply using it as a vehicle for self-promotion and therefore attempted self-profit. Hopefully these people will learn over time, but unfortunately and inevitably others will take their place. I think it’s the nature of the beast, and given the industry in which we operate, we’re bound to see this type of thing to be more prevalent than on other similar sites.

    That said, people like Vinny are exactly what’s right with the site. I didn’t realise he was ranking 7th though – the man’s a machine!

    1. I hope you don’t object to seeing your avatar in that context. IMHO it was a very important point you raised and in a way you inspired me to write this whole post.

  6. Well said, Mr Chef. I think my feelings are well-known on the site but if it wasn’t clear, that embarrassing screenshot is pretty much the case in point… 😉

    Seriously though, I think you’ll always get people simply using it as a vehicle for self-promotion and therefore attempted self-profit. Hopefully these people will learn over time, but unfortunately and inevitably others will take their place. I think it’s the nature of the beast, and given the industry in which we operate, we’re bound to see this type of thing to be more prevalent than on other similar sites.

    That said, people like Vinny are exactly what’s right with the site. I didn’t realise he was ranking 7th though – the man’s a machine!

  7. All your points seem spot on, Tad. I’ve been intentionally spending more time on Inbound the past couple of weeks in hopes that it will be useful. Perhaps if the community doesn’t give up on it we’ll turn this in to a great resource.

  8. All your points seem spot on, Tad. I’ve been intentionally spending more time on Inbound the past couple of weeks in hopes that it will be useful. Perhaps if the community doesn’t give up on it we’ll turn this in to a great resource.

  9. A very timely post, because I’m trying to become more active on Inbound myself. I am surprised that you didn’t mention Sphinn though… any particular reason?

  10. A very timely post, because I’m trying to become more active on Inbound myself. I am surprised that you didn’t mention Sphinn though… any particular reason?

  11. If there’s a number one rule to get attention in inbound or any kind of community, that would be to focus on providing value. The more value you give, the more people are greatful for what you shared.

    Great value comment or shared content is also conducive to more discussion.

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