The Shameless Self-Promoter Keller Hawthorne (2/3)

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LogoIn part one, we went blog walking on Keller Hawthorne’s site, FresheVenture.com.  We examined how she was able to gain a PageRank of 6 within seven weeks of launching her site, how to treat your website like real estate, and the importance of fresh, original content.

In part two, we will look at how Keller drinks her own Kool-Aid and uses her website as an advertising platform to promote herself.  We will see how she grabbed the attention of blogger gurus and how she was able to get other bloggers to send links and web traffic to her site.

Everybody Loves Freebies

One of the secrets in making money online is that the money is in the list.  The easiest way to get someone to sign up for your mailing list is to offer them a quality freebie.

Keller offers her 31 page ebook Fresh Start for Your Online Business free of charge to those readers that sign up for her mailing list.  It is packed with lots of useful tips and three pages of links to other resources on the internet.

Fresh Start for Your Online BusinessSome of the topics in the ebook include how to:

  • Determine Your Business Niche
  • Successfully Choose Your Keywords
  • Do Your Own Market Research
  • Name Your Online Business
  • Continue Your Internet Business Education

Last week, she started offering the third part of her podcast interview with Yaro Starak exclusively to her email subscribers.  If you decide to use this approach to grow your email list, make sure that you continue to add new freebies periodically to keep people from opting out.

Write a Review About a Guru’s Product in Your Industry

Okay, so how did Keller get the attention of Yaro Starak to do that interview in the first place?  She read Yaro’s blog and forums and found that many people were asking the same questions about his Blog Mastermind program (you can hear the entire story on part three of her podcast).

Many people had written about Yaro or his blog before, but nobody had ever compared his Blog Mastermind program with the Become a Blogger program he created with Gideon Shalwick.  Her post, Blog Mastermind vs. Become a Blogger: Review and Comparison, caught Yaro’s attention.

It was a well written comparison of two of his products to which he was able to point potential buyers, and he did through comments, tweets, and with his blog.  You can imagine the sudden influx of web traffic and credibility that Keller received from this one post.

Interview Other Bloggers in Your Industry

A sure fired way to get traffic to your blog and gain credibility is to interview other bloggers in your industry.  Why?  Because they will tell all of their subscribers about the interview and help you promote your post via their social networks.  It’s a win-win proposition for both.

If You Land A Guru, Make the Most of It!

If you’re successful capturing the attention of a guru in your industry through your review of their product, you may also be able to land an interview with them.  Make sure you take full advantage of this opportunity.  Follow Keller’s example.

Highlight Prior Posts and/or Create More Posts

Too often, people squander an opportunity like this.   Make sure that you highlight any posts that you have written about the guru or their products.  If you have a featured post section move these posts there.  Write new posts, or a recap post, about why following the guru or purchasing their products are beneficial to your current readers.

Be Your Own Town Crier

Generate buzz about your upcoming interview.  Start announcing it through your social networks a few weeks prior.  Write an “I can’t believe I landed an interview with …” post.  Get your readers involved with the promotion of the interview.

One way to do this is to ask their help like Keller did with her Ask Yaro Starak Your Blogging Question Here On FresheVenture.com! post.  It’s a great way to shamelessly self-promote without spamming.

Learn to   S – T – R – E – T – C – H   Your 15 Minutes of Fame

Why limit the exposure from interviewing a guru to just one post?  If you have enough material, and can still provide value to your readers, break the interview into parts.  You can easily stretch an hour long interview into three parts publishing one post per week.

Keller did this with her interview of Yaro Starak.  You can listen to it at …

Two important points to remember while doing this.  First, post your best stuff during this time.  Second, don’t stop posting after the final part of the interview.  You should see a nice spike in your web traffic during this period.  Too many bloggers take a break after such a big effort and lose their new audience in the lull after the storm.

Become a Contest Host

FresheVenture Best WordPress 2009 ContestOne of the best win-win promotions you can do when your website starts gaining traction is to host a contest.  If done properly you can gain a lot of exposure and share that with newer bloggers.

I stumbled across Keller’s site while looking for a theme for my blog.  It was through her Vote for the Best WordPress Design of 2009! contest post I found searching Google.

Keller utilized all of the points above …

  • The submission period was one month long with lots of posts and hoopla.
  • The voting period was one month long with more posts and hoopla.
  • She required all participants to publish a blog post promoting the contest.
  • The winner was determined by votes thus creating many town criers.
  • The contest prizes were from gurus or sponsors/advertisers on her site.

Pretty savvy isn’t she?  Keller received numerous links to her website, lots of traffic from other websites, free advertising on all participant’s blogs, exposure for her advertisers and sponsors, and an almost instant guru-in-the-making status.

Of course, her participants received free advertising, increase traffic, a link from a high ranked site, and the potential for some really great prizes.  Like I said a real win-win situation.

Small Business Entrepreneurs Take Note

In part one we saw how to develop our website like a piece of real estate turning it from a vacant lot to a prime location.  Here, in part two, we saw how to use this asset to further increase its own value.  This is particularly nice for entrepreneurs using the internet as an advertising medium for their small businesses.  For bloggers, it is a way to make the advertising space you sell to third parties more profitable.

If Keller Hawthorne can have this kind of success, your small business can too if you follow her example.  It is important to point out again in this post that she has accomplished this over the last six months.  Her methods and results are effective now – not five years ago when there were no bloggers.  She is the best case study of how to build an effective online presence that small business owners can mimic today.

Did you miss part one of this series?  Read it here.

Read the conclusion to the series here.

DISCLOSURE: This is not a paid review – there is absolutely no compensation of any kind associated with this post.  The owner of the website was not made aware of the contents of this post prior to it being posted on my blog.  Unless disclosed elsewhere in the post, no notification of the post was provided to the owner of the website prior to it being posted on my blog (Since the 1st post in this series was labeled 1/3 the owner knew to expect 2 more posts. No other notice was provided.).  All logos or images from the website were used without prior permission and will be removed from the post upon request of copyright owner.

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Brad's Big Feet Marketing helps people on a limited budget enlarge their online footprint using blogging & social media. His other blog, Marketplace Christianity, examines faith's role in how we earn and spend money.

Brad has written 95 awesome articles for us at Bradley A Harmon

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Keller Hawthorne November 5, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Wow, wow, wow! You nailed it Brad. It's really interesting reading someone's analysis of my site and marketing methods. I can't wait to read part three!

Reply

Brad Harmon November 5, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Keller,

Part 3 of this series is my favorite part, because it is in off-page marketing that you do a few very interesting things that not many others do, or even write about. I think I have used this word a few times when writing about you, but it is the best descriptor of which I can think to use – savvy.

Brad

Reply

Dana @ Online Knowledge November 6, 2009 at 1:00 am

Now, i know why keller have that great success. :D

Reply

Brad Harmon November 6, 2009 at 1:38 am

Dana,

You've had quite a bit of success of your own, especially given that English is not your native language. I'm not sure that I have given away (or even know) all of her secrets, but I think I highlighted the ones that anyone can repeat with some hard work.

Brad

Reply

corriehowe November 8, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Looking forward to reading your third part. In the meantime, I'm going to check her site out.

Reply

Brad Harmon November 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Thanks Corrie. I think you will find her site very helpful for what you are trying to accomplish.

Reply

jaredplittle November 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Keller does very nice work. She dots the I's and crosses the T's. You can learn a lot from here. Nice work walking her business and blog

Reply

Brad Harmon November 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Jared,

Thanks. In part three, I look at her off-page marketing efforts. In that post, I will be talking about the interview you did with her. Come back and let me know what you think.

Brad

Reply

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