Mission: Attract Visitors and Create A Following
I started Diary of a Stand-up Comedian in October 2011 because I loved to write. From a marketing perspective, I wanted my blog to build a following similar to Joe Rogan and Dane Cook, so that I could eventually put on my own shows. I was also new to SEO, and hadn’t even heard about backlinking.
Frustrated and Lonely
Two months in, I was frustrated. My blog was lucky to get 30 visitors when I posted new content. And even though I was writing reviews of Toronto comedy clubs 3-4 times a week, I was still ranking on the 7th page of Google for, ‘Toronto Stand-up Comedian.’
This sucks! My content is good, my videos are good, my pictures are good, and I have control over much of the HTML code. How come all of these other unfunny, uninteresting, poorly designed blogs are getting so much attention?!
Backlinking: Sage SEO Advice
I sat down with an SEO Specialist, and he told me about the importance of getting sites to link back to mine. “It tells Google that in the online party, you’re the talk of the town.”
He also told me that the more highly-reputed the site, the better. For example, a link to your site from CNN would hold more water than a link from your local newsrag. “Not only do you want to be the talk of the town, but you want to be talked about by the popular kids.”
Phase 1: Commenting on other Blogs
The Specialist said that the easiest way to start was to comment on other posts. So, I started advertising a recent Occupy Wallstreet critique by commenting on OWS news stories and including a link to my post.
Result: 30-50 new visitors came to the post. It was evidence that the strategy was somewhat effective. But did I really want to do that every time I posted something new? Not really.
Phase 2: Attracting Backlinks from a Highly Reputable Source
This one was a bit tougher. Sure, I could go on CNN.com and start commenting, but would that work? The artist in me wanted to do something better, something more unique.
I got in contact with the top news blog in Toronto, blogTO.com, and asked if I could write for them. We started talking about a weekly guest post to highlight the main comedy shows in Toronto. Given their great reputation from an SEO perspective and the opportunity to become an authority on comedy in my city, I jumped at the opportunity.
Result: Wowzers, did that ever help!! I’m now on the second page of Google for, ‘Toronto Stand Up Comedian.’ In addition, the guest post that I’m writing consistently gets 20+ shares via Twitter and Facebook.
Taking it to the Next Level
Now that I’ve seen tangible results in less than a month from creating backlinks via blog commenting and attracting links from highly-regarded sources, I’m going to continue using those strategies.
That said, I believe the next step in my journey involves:
- Getting my own domain with ‘comedy’ in the url, i.e. ‘michaeljagdeocreatescomedy.com’
- Start guest blogging (for example, this very blog post!). If commenting attracts visitors, writing full posts might work even better.
Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing
But I have to keep first things first, which is continuing to write good material and perfecting my stand-up comedy routine. At the end of the day, the most important part of a marketing program is the product.
For example, I don’t want to garner interest in a tablet that doesn’t have email. That would be dumb. Who would do such a thing?