In response to my recent post on Apple stickers, I received the following comment:
Congratulations on your Blog
I really like your writing style. Would you like to be a guest author on the Jacob Report? We have been voted one of the Top 100 Blogs in America, and we are assembling some of the best Blog Authors from around the web to contribute. We would like to include you as a guest author.
The Jacob Report is everything Sales and Marketing, and it looks like you would be a great contributor!
Let me know as quickly as you can please.
He has an interesting model here. He gets a bunch of other people to generate (most) of the content for his site, which drives up its Google ranking and links, which drives up traffic to what is essentially an advertisement for him. I don’t begrudge his cleverness — its win-win-win. The contributing authors presumably get a little more exposure that they otherwise would; site visitors get some (occasionally) good insights into sales & marketing; and he gets more traffic.
He is not alone in exploiting this strategy – the top 10 blogs according to Technorati are ALL aggregators. They all feature multiple authors grabbing content from all over the Web that meets the theme of their site. They throw in a personal comment or two, and post many entries a day. People who are interested in that content visit every day to see the latest stuff.
And it’s not just blogs – the highest-ranked non-search engine site (YouTube, #3) is the mother of all aggregators, with millions of contributors and thousands of new “articles” every day.
So should I be honoured that Mr. Jacob thinks enough of my work to add me to his stable of (mostly unfamiliar) authors, or affronted that he wants me to help him make his blog more popular?
And amazingly, I can tie this back to bar marketing. Let’s say your place has a particular theme: Irish, Sports, Country (as in music), Country (as in bucolic), Literary, Granola, Biker, Goth, whatever. You should encourage your customers (blog analog = readers) to become contributors. This could be by having them make art for your walls, bring in books that they want to share, help with the garden or houseplants, donate antique licence plates or mounted deer antlers, whatever. By helping to shape the environment they essentially become part-owners, and therefore much more loyal.