Another way to generate traffic for your blog (and uncover unanticipated opportunities) is to leverage your personal and professional networks.
Spread the Word Throughout Your Network
Using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as I have discussed in a prior blog, can be instrumental in distributing content to your personal and professional networks. You can also use more traditional methods such as sending a mass email to friends and family. Of course, you must do it in a manner that your friends and family will not construe as spamming. If you must do it, do it sparingly.
You might also reach out to your university’s alumni network, especially if that network has a group tailored to the issues about which you care and write. I did precisely that in order to encourage people with whom I have shared similar experiences to visit my site.
My “Sort of Big” Break
Some time before the 2010 Congressional elections, several Harvard alumni created a group for Republican graduates of the university called the Harvard Republican Alumni Network (HRAN) and somehow I discovered and joined it. When these folks started this group, they asked that everyone briefly introduce themselves. I never did, but was happy to receive the emails and get updates for how Harvard Republican alumni were faring in various elections nationwide.
When I thought I had enough interesting content in my blog, I finally decided to make my introduction to HRAN and then left a link at the bottom of my email to a Thurston and Talbot post on “The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.”
That day, my site received 205 page views, 127 of which derived from my Thurston and Talbot post. This leads me to believe that most of these page views came either from HRAN members or via their sharing of the link with others.
Furthermore, it turned out that one of the HRAN members was a contributor to and full-time employee of Breitbart. After reviewing my blog, he asked if I would be interested in contributing to one of the Breitbart sites and I chose Big Peace because of its international security focus.
The bottom line is that you never know what opportunities can spring from leveraging your network.