How to Get Attention Blogging Part-Time
In the past I often made the common blogging mistake of trying to raise hell or be spectacular to get attention from readers.
You really have to be amazing, outstanding and extremely useful to get engagement.
There is an easier way though. You don’t have to act as if you’re an island. Nobody blogs in a vacuum.
Are You a Part-Time Blogger?
Are you a part-time blogger? Does blogging part-time even work? If yes, how?
Can you start blogging part-time as a side-gig until you get traction and then go full time?
Blogging part-time can work as long as you don’t try to compete with everybody else.
Work together with other bloggers and make sure not to go for the same audiences and keywords the pros do.
As I’m usually a part time blogger I can’t make 101 lists every week or write up huge tutorials either.
Without a whole team or endless hours spent per post you can’t create amazing and outstanding content each and every time.
Most of us bloggers are part-time blogging and only a handful of us can make a living of just blogging professionally.
Thus I decided to show you a different and less time consuming way to get attention blogging part-time: go where the attention already is and get a fair share of it.
Why attention? What is attention in the first place? Attention is the most important factor in online publishing nowadays: It’s the gold of the Web.
Once you have attention you can even write crap and people will still hail you as the messiah, infamous fake click baiters do that all the time.
For others – ethical bloggers like myself – who do not offend people with outright lies there is still a great way of getting attention.
You don’t have to spend all day on writing or use bullshit marketing. There are always attention waves you can ride.
How to Ride Attention Waves
Now what is an attention wave? Each time a new iPhone version comes to market we experience an attention wave:
Let’s say the 50th generation iPhone “50” has been unveiled. For a few years I have written for a client blog about gadgets, products and industrial design in Germany.
The client was a shopping search engine which focused on people reviewing products. People can only test things which they already own.
Thus the blog focused on products that weren’t on the market yet so that these products got reviewed in advance so to say.
To make things more difficult I got paid one hour a day for writing for this blog. This isn’t very much as I needed 2h for instance for an average SEO 2.0 blog post.
How can you possibly grab the attention of completely distracted people?
They can read thousands of other far more important blogs and publications instead? You do not want to write another “iPhone 50 Released” story. You’d have to compete with the giants. Instead try these techniques:
- Find a new unique angle to a story
- Anticipate people’s needs and desires
- Be the first to compare, offer more insight
- Publish a different media type, an infographic or video
- Express a differing opinion where everybody just reports the news
- Write something funny, a parody or satire
- Collect links to other resources and compile a list
Now all these techniques are fine but you still have to get the people to your blog, either by way of Google or from somewhere else, there are basically 3 options:
- search engines, not only Google
- social media
- other blogs and websites
On Google others – here the likes of Engadget and Gizmodo – will outrank you quickly but social search engines like Twitter search will still find you in some cases.
You need to target a specific three or more term keyphrase for Google, e.g. iPhone 50 price or iPhone 50 release date.
On social media like Facebook you certainly won’t be the first to report that the new iPhone has been unveiled, but with additional value like in the above examples you still can get attention:
Something “The Worst iPhone 50 Flaws and Quick Fixes” could still succeed on social media without being simply regarded as another duplicate story.
Other Websites & Blogs
Now as I’m in Germany and the social media in German are less competitive but also smaller when it comes in reach, they have much lower traffic numbers, you can’t go mainly for this option.
You have to aim for other websites. Some websites especially some major blogs allow trackbacks.
When you add some valuable information you can not only add a trackback to the more popular site or blog which broke the story but you can also expect people to flock to your blog.
People won’t read the same story on your blog but they will be glad to find some additional value there.
Start Watching Trends
There is still one issue: A new iPhone isn’t released everyday, so how can you find out where the attention waves are?
Start watching trends! Check Google Trends, Exploding Topics and similar keyword research or blogging tools but in fact you would be still a day behind at least.
You really have to read the newspapers, watch TV and even watch out for special offers by retailers or companies.
In fact you have to check what popular TV shows will run next week or month or what sports events will take place.
A huge SEO feast in Germany was the local Next Top Model version, “Germany’s Next Top Model” for example.
As localized versions of this show are aired in 35 countries worldwide you can expect huge attention waves in all these places.
Ideally go offline and make sure to find out what’s going on in the “real world ” as well as traditional media.
Most people still rather watch TV even when they go online. They will watch TV and then want to read more about it on the Web.
To get attention you better go where the attention is instead of frantically crying for attention. You’re not a baby anymore.
Answer Questions People Also Ask
I sometimes explain jokingly how Google is not a search engine anymore but rather an answering machine. That’s also one of the reasons why Quora prevailed in the long term.
People ask questions all the time, even without using whole sentences. Many search queries are questions inherently. A search like [best smartphone 2022] is actually [what is the best smartphone in 2022?]
Google has increasingly focused on answering questions and understanding them in the first place.
In the past you’d get sites on top that asked the same question you typed in. That would be forums usually – alas low quality results.
By 2021 this blog here gets most of its traffic from so called PAA questions on Google. When you search on Google for [twitter business] you’ll get some questions suggested “people also ask” e.g. one of them sometimes is “What are the pros and cons of Twitter?”
Thus even though I do not rank on top for the query [twitter business] itself, my blog post explaining the advantages and disadvantages of Twitter gets sometimes shown as the answer to one of the popular questions about Twitter.
When answering questions make sure to respond on your own site, not just Quora or other social sites, as otherwise you merely feed the competition.
Also do not just restate the question and add some blah blah blah gibberish below but genuinely answer the question as best as you can and as readable as possible.
This isn’t an approach I personally use, but it is a good idea. Breaking news is tough unless you’re a full-time blogger, but taking a unique angle like you suggest can certainly draw some attention.
when there’s a gold rush don’t go for the gold. sell pick access and lanterns, or if your really forward thinking go look for oil. we basically all know that the social media blog rush is all tapped out. There is no point, unless your are incredibly gifted, trying to fight for scraps of attention. Your only chance is to totally reinvent it.
I agree to what Steven said, if you are a full time blogger, then it’s a good idea
to blog the latest news and updates and it’s the best way to drive more traffic from your website.