Monday, 10 December 2007

What's Your Measure of 'Blogger Influence'?

How do you measure ‘'Blogger Influence'?

Ever since I became interested in the subject of Blogging for Influence & Attention, I've wondered how best to measure influence.

I've always disliked 'leaderboards' which rank influence by using an algorithmic approach - based on inbound links, or ‘reach', or RSS count or some other metric.

But is that really 'influence'?

Should a 'make money' blog be ranked based on the amount of money it makes a blogger? Or alternatively, by the amount of money the blogger makes?

Would a 'change the world' blog be better judged on the impact it has on readers or the change it helps bring about?

How about a 'technology' blog? Do we ‘rank' it based on how effectively it implements technology? Or talks about it? Or influences the use and development of technological innovations?

And what metrics can measure influence in the multiple other niches?

Harder still, how would you COMPARE influence between bloggers and blogs in different categories?

Of course, you could say: Does it really matter?

Let's assume it does. How would you measure influence across niches - or even within one?

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Blogging For Influence - Where's YOUR Fire?

We're still on the subject of Blogging for Influence & Attention.

When I built my first website in 1995 on Geocities, it was about a subject I was passionate. Congenital heart defects. In a month, on average, the site had 8 visitors. I didn't care. Mine was a labor of love.

A talent scout for (then The Mining Company) found me, invited me to write for's heart disease section, and I was soon making $1,000 a month - a royal income for a post-grad in India (conversion was Rs.47 for the US dollar!)

It was a similar story with blogging.

'Remarkably Purple Spots' was born in June 2003. This is how I answered the question:

"Why this blog?"

Every day, several remarkable things cross my desk, my mind and my computer screen. Hilariously funny things. Shockingly outrageous ones. Wildly profitable stuff. Or just simply curious.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

What's With 'Influence & Attention' in Blogging?

On the subject of Blogging for Influence & Attention. Think about it for a moment... WHY do you blog?

There are obvious reasons. Like blogging for money. Or blogging for authority. Or blogging for learning, and sharing things you've learned.

Money. Power. Wisdom.

And then there are deeper reasons.

To me, blogging is intimately tied up with my work for kids born with congenital heart disease. By blogging, I've raised awareness and funds for my non-profit, the Dr.Mani Children Heart Foundation. The annual Heart Kids Blogathon has become a permanent feature of my annual online itenerary since 2003.

But there are even deeper reasons why I blog (and maybe you do, too).

Influence. And attention.

As a blogger, like you, I seek to spread my ideas to a wide audience. And the first step to it is gaining your trust enough to have your attention.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Secrets of Influential Blogging

First Comes Attention, Then Trust - And Finally Influence... that's how one goes about Blogging for Influence & Attention.

Having influence is the 'Holy Grail' for many bloggers, as it can translate into money, power and wisdom.

Yet influence is but the natural end-point of a sequence of events that begin with attention.

Without grabbing your readers by their eyeballs and sucking them into your personal vortex, the game doesn't even get started.

You may gain attention by being outrageous, funny and crazy. Or by being persistent, steady and reliable. Or anywhere in the middle.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

What's Worth Striving For In Your Blogging?

So, you're Blogging for Influence & Attention. Can blogging become something more than a marketing platform?

Good question. Blogs are indeed personal diaries for some, 'closed network' communication tools for others, and platforms for marketing for another group. Seth Godin, in 'Small is the New Big' calls them 'cat blogs', 'boss blogs' and 'viral blogs'.

But rather than calling 'viral blogs' a 'marketing platform', Seth explains: "... they're viral blogs because the goal of the blog is to spread ideas."

Spreading IDEAS. "What a novel concept," say many 'marketers'... because ideas are the last thing on their minds.

Sales are higher. Opt-ins, maybe next. Response rates, conversion rates, killer copy, all rank higher. Ideas, if they even make it on to the list, come straggling in towards the end.

Blogs can be more than 'marketing platforms'. They can be 'media to spread ideas'. The ideas would spread wider, further, more effectively.

At the core of it all is that vague, uncertain, hard to define, yet determining thing inside each blogger/marketer called ATTITUDE.

Don't Do These 7 Things After You Grab A-List Blogger's Attention

While Blogging for Influence & Attention we talked about the 7 ways to snag an A-list blogger's attention. Now let's talk about what to do next - or rather, what NOT to do.

Don't be in their face - all the time. So they noticed you... doesn't mean they want you to comment on their every blog, daily - many times!

Don't annoy, irritate or anger. No further explanation needed.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

How To Grab The Attention of A-List Bloggers

Imagine you are Blogging for Influence & Attention and want to catch the attention of an A-list blogger.

What will it cost?

Here's a short list of attention-grabbers… with a note on the economics involved.

1. Write Outstanding Content. On their specific niche. It could take between 5 and 20 hours of research and writing. At $10 an hour.

Cost: $50 to $200. Chance of success: 50-50

2. Comment Frequently on Blogs. Their blogs. Often. As in daily, or at least 3 times a week. Try and be among the first. Do it for 3 or 4 weeks. At 15 minutes per comment (to read the post and comment intelligently), that's 5 to 6 hours a month. At $10 an hour.

Cost: $50 to $60. Chance of success: Good

3. Become a Customer. Buy their stuff. Preferably niche products related to your interest in them. Then establish contact personally. Your cost - $10 to $200, depending on the product or service.

Cost: $10 to $200. Chance of success: Excellent

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

7 Ways To KEEP An A-List Blogger's Attention

So, you are Blogging for Influence & Attention and captured an A-list blogger's attention. What next?

1. Paint yourself in a positive light. Say and do things to them that will show your best face - and strengthen the weak bond that has formed between you.

2. Engage them in conversation. Ask for advice. Share a helpful resource or experience. Comment on mutual interests. Aim to get some response.

3. Offer to help them. Ask not what _____ can do for you; instead ask what you can do for ______ . Giving first is a guaranteed strategy to long term wins.

4. Respect their time and space. Don't waste a busy person's time with trivialities or stuff that'll take up their time. Stay at a distance - until you've been invited into the ‘inner space'.

5. Evangelize them - yes, now it's ok. Because, now that you have their attention, they'll be watching what you say and do. Well, maybe!

6. Give them an advantage. Let them break early news you've heard about. Or get extra special profit shares on co-promotions they do for you. Or send them more traffic, clients, subscribers.

7. Pitch yourself - sensibly. Yes, after all you're in the game to get something in return. And the best way to get is to ASK. So pitch yourself - but do it subtly, gently and after you've shored up your position. Or you'll ruin all the hard work that went before.

Monday, 3 December 2007

The Ethics of Influence

While working on my Blogging for Influence & Attention blog, this thought about the ethics of influence crossed my mind.

I'm a heart surgeon.

I see this happen. Man has chest pain. Goes to the doctor. Is advised some tests. The results arrive. Doctor scares patient to within an inch of his life, recommends major surgery as his only option. Terrified patient agrees to have the procedure.

Unfortunately, many times, the fears are exaggerated and advice doesn’t fit ‘best practice’ guidelines. Patient is too scared to listen to contrarian second opinions.

As an infopreneur and online marketer, I see this happen too. Beginner hopes to launch an online business. Goes to a 'guru'. Is convinced he needs high-end coaching or consulting. As the first step, is sold an expensive course or homestudy. Newbie digs deep into her credit to meet the bill.

Unfortunately, many times, the material is far too advanced for the beginner to put to good use. Having made the investment, and not profited from it, she figures the fault is hers.