Get Attention on Inbound.org the Right Way
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
- social media
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.
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
- join Inbound
- listen closely
- 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.
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:
- Jason Acidre, link building expert of global repute at Xigth
- Aleyda Solis, well known international international SEO working at SEER
- Vinny la Barbera, versatile Internet marketer
- Anthony Pensabene, splendid content writer working for Skyrocketseo.com
- Chris Dyson, the search & social media psychologist
- Jonathon Colman, the “beyond SEO” avantgarde
- David Cohen, a gifted allround marketer from the SEER team
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
- the right topic (link building, SEO, Inbound.org itself, major industry news, Google updates)
- from a well known, reputable or at least professionally designed source, ideally dealing with SEO or inbound marketing
- 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.