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Build it and they will come ? Yeah right.

I recently talked to a friend of mine who's an ambitious indie filmmaker (we're talking Napoleon-takes-over-the-world ambitious). He's preparing his second feature film, and I convinced him to create an online presence to gauge interest beforehand. He worked his face off (again) and created a rock-solid online presence: Twitter, Facebook, teaser trailers and a dedicated site with (what he claims) offers grrrreat content. But even weeks later, visitors were as rare as eskimos in the desert. He simply couldn't understand it and turned to me, looking like Bambi preparing to get shot:"I have all this great content. Why isn't anyone coming to my site ?" Welcome to ze reality, my friend. The times where you simply put up a kick-ass content-loaded site and hope that the people storm it like raving groupies are definitely over. As more and more hungry souls enter the fiercely contested online content area, it's harder and harder to stand out, even with kick-ass content. There's this strange over-saturation phenomenon happening nowadays: Even if you put out killer content, even if it's soo damn incredible that it makes Angels fall off the sky in sheer astonishment, you can still remain obscure. People have the attention spans of ADD goldfishes nowadays, and they guard it like a castle. The minimum energy they have is spent on established and A-list players. If you're not a biggie in your market (or perceived as such), you get left behind. Lesser known content creators get pushed aside, because there's simply not enough time (or attention) to consume their stuff, too. Damn, does this mean that your online career is over because you're not the Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie of the online space? No. There's hope on the horizon. How to get people on your site if you are not online famous If you are not a biggie (yet), you have leverage some tricks to make people find your hopefully awesome content. The goal is to enter reputable online outlets with big, existing audiences that YOU can tap into.

Let me clarify this with some examples:

Content contribution

I frequently contribute to Mark Schaefer's uber-popular social media online business blog Business Grow. Now here's the "phenomenon" : When I post a similar post on my site, I get maybe 22-50 tweets, but at his blog, the same post attracts at least a whopping 300 - 450 retweets. Same me, same style. But different outlet. And not only that - I often new clients and new readers to my own blog, because his reach is much bigger than mine.


Sometimes, I take part in little mutual content creation projects. A while ago, I did a content series about being successful online. 6 online influencers did a guest article in specific time frames, all linking to each other and igniting curiosity for the next one. Corbett Barr from Think Traffic and Francisco Rosales from Social Mouths were some of the contributors, and the little project resulted in more awareness and readers capture. Feature posts are also popular, where you create a post around a single question that gets answered by a bunch of online influencers. In a perfect case you attract a loooot of traffic and attention with an article like that, because the featured influencers will often share it with their community and thus maximize visibility. BTW - talking about features...

Feature effect

I have a special, non-sexistic relationship with Blogcast FM. I got interviewed twice and and did a personal branding webinar with the ever-charming Mayi Carles and dynamo dynamite Dyana Valentine. Also I did everything for free, the coverage attracted new interviews, clients and work and helpedspread my brand awareness. If you have seen a common theme here, you're abso-freaking-lutely right. Instead of concentrating on creating killer content on your site all the time, you tap into other, more established online platforms by writing content for them, getting interviewed and featured. This will of course mean you have to be INTERESTING enough to allow for these things, but that's another post ;) "Build it and they come." Whoever came up with that line smoked the wrong substance. It's "build it and tap into reputable outlets ".

Originally aired almost 5 years ago.

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