Dr. Tony Karrer, CEO/CTO of TechEmpower, was one of the first people to highlight my writing outside of {grow} when he invited me to participate in the wonderful aggregation site B2B Marketing Zone.  Tony is an inspiring web entrepreneur and offers in this Community Week guest post today some new ideas to attract more attention to your blogging efforts …

I’ve been blogging since early 2006, so I know first-hand that it’s hard work — with often slow results — for both new and established writers to reach a sizable audience.

The good news is that I’ve found a really great way to effectively amplify your blogging, reach a new set of potential customers, build relationships with fellow bloggers, and create a useful and powerful library of relevant content for your industry.

Introducing Topic Hubs

The heart of this strategy is what I call “topic hubs.”  A topic hub aggregates a collection of information sources (web pages and RSS feeds) to form a new information hub around a particular topic.   An example that I created, the B2B Marketing Zone is a topic hub on … you guessed it … B2B Marketing.  It brings together more than 50 of the top bloggers including Mark’s efforts on  {grow}.

In the world of eLearning, a similar topic hub has been created with amazing results.   It has grown to be one of the Top eLearning Sites in the world, represents a significant referral source for my own blog and puts me at the center of the eLearning bloggers network.

But this same opportunity for amplified exposure exists for bloggers on any subject really.  For a topic hub to work, there simply needs to be a critical mass of content being created on roughly the same subject matter.  Generally, I’ve found you need 30+ bloggers all writing about the same industry, geography, niche, etc.  Looking at fellow blogger’s blog rolls might indicate those who could be included in a topic hub.

Once you’ve decided on the specific topic, you can create a hub using one of many different services such as Browse My Stuff (what I use), Individurls, MySyndicaat, Feedbite, Planetaki, Protopage, Netvibes, PageFlakes, or even community oriented solutions such as Ning and WordFrame.  Each of these solutions has different characteristics, but they all allow you to aggregate content from many sources and either manually or automatically curate it.

Blogger Relations

From there, you will need to contact the bloggers you want to feature on your topic hub. I recommend that you start with a couple of key bloggers and get them to agree to participate.  For the B2B Marketing Zone, Tom Pick, a well-known blogger in the space agreed to support the effort.  Once the first blogger agrees, convincing other bloggers becomes easy.  After all, you are offering them the opportunity to get additional visibility and traffic.

Doesn’t this take a lot of work?  It takes some, but not much more than what you probably are already doing to promote an individual blog by yourself.   It’s likely that you already know the essential bloggers in your space and are already connected to them through various social media platforms. You’ve probably already accomplished some of the leg work on creating relationships with bloggers you know and respect.

Results from Topic Hubs

By creating a topic hub that is associated with your blog and your company, you are going to get several interesting effects:

  • Get your name in front of B2B Searchers.
  • Provide a rich source of content without having to create it yourself.
  • Easily create a relationship with bloggers and other key influencers in your industry.
  • Build expertise and credibility with your audience through association with industry experts.
  • Be seen as an innovative company that is closely tied to the newest happenings in the industry.

The net effect of all of this is that you will greatly amplify your blogging.  You will expand your reach – especially with people already searching for your topic. You’ ll create a rich source of content without having to create it yourself, you’ll expand relationships with fellow bloggers, you will get a halo effect through association with industry experts, and you will put yourself at the center of the industry conversation.

I want to thank Mark for his input into this approach and the opportunity to contribute this guest post.

I certainly welcome your thoughts on this approach.  And if you happen to be a blogger participating in the B2B Marketing Zone (or would like to be), it would be great if you could weigh in on your experiences with this aggregation concept.

Dr. Tony Karrer is CEO/CTO of TechEmpower, a Los Angeles Web Development firm, and is founder of Browse My Stuff, a social publishing solution that helps B2B marketers reach buyers and influencers.  He has 20 years’ experience as a CTO including at eHarmony and he has consulted with many Fortune 500 companies.   His well-known blogs include eLearning Technology and SoCal CTO, and is a frequent speaker at industry and academic events.

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