Social Media Experiment (Feb. 08)
This is the second article of my journey into the depths of social media and the techniques used increase my web traffic on a very tight budget (ie - spending $0). Take a look at the first three months of my social media experiment to see how I got to this point in my journey.
If you have read through the first three months of this journey you will see that my focus was heavily directed toward social media networks and the effort to build up "power profiles" by submitting quality content and creating strong relationships with others within the communities. Though I still feel that being a "power user" of these social media outlets is very critical to the success of this experiment in the month of February I shifted my focus slightly. In February my goal was to begin to build "friendly relationships" with users that I had met in my first three months that I feel will be crucial to my prolonged success.
I recently came across a very interesting article which states that you can create an significant income with only 1,000 True Fans. I would suggest reading that article before continuing any further.
Somewhat closely related to this true fan model is what I call the true partner model. I believe that relationships with others who are trying to do the same as myself (promote their content) can provide extreme value when growing a websites traffic. I have not worked out the exact number of partners needed (yet) but I believe it is significantly less than 1000. With this true partner model "partners" help to promote one another within their niche market. These partners do not believe that promoting others takes away from their own content or readership but actually adds value by promoting one another.
I believe one great example of this model in action is a website I now frequent called Sphinn. If you visit sphinn often enough you will notice something very interesting. Unlike larger social media websites where those looking to promote content submit their own, those on sphinn actually submit one another's content. This I see as an example of the true partner model in its purest state.
How To Find True Partners
During February it was my goal to begin building true partnerships with others over the web. This process is not an easy one as just making the initial contact can be difficult. I have found however that there are those out there who are willing to share their time and experience with you if you are patient and not pushy.
My suggestion on finding and building true partnerships would be to find someone who manages a website or blog in a related area to yours and try to contact them. You may have to contact many people before getting a response but when someone responds be courteous and ask intelligent questions. I would recommend appealing to their ego by asking "how they became successful", we always like talking about ourself so start there and build from that. See how you may can provide value to them. Do you have skills they may be in need of? Find your strength and go with that.
Building partnerships takes time so be patient. Remember that the partnerships you build today should be valuable in a year or more so you are building for the long haul and not just for short term instant gratification.
Traffic in February was down slightly from the past three months due to me shifting my efforts away from content submission and towards building true partnerships. As can be seen from the google analytics graph traffic has stabilized around 4k visits daily. I believe that my efforts in building true partnerships will be evident in future months once a significant number of true partners has been established. I believe that the key to prolonged traffic growth can be found by creating strong partnerships with other quality websites and blogs who also see social media as a tool for growing their website traffic.