Tooting your own horn and when you need to as a blogger

Contrary to the arch of my article; nobody likes a bragger….

I used to have a manager at work (and my colleague Marie-Anne will laugh if she reads this) who used to brag like a trooper. In the end we called him “Two Sheds” because if you had one shed, he had two. My father refers to such a kind of person as a “Topper”, that person who will always look to top your achievements and rub it in.


Tooting your own horn and when you need to as a blogger

Tooting your own horn and when you need to as a blogger

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At any rate there are appropriate times when you should brag about how you are doing when blogging because being aloof in the blogging world will soon get you lost in the hypercompetition sea (you can read about this phenomenon here).

Murica & Success

Something that Americans are good at is celebrating success. I have to tip my hats to the USA and Americans in general in their ability to put on a good victory show. Because they really do put on a good show.

In Britain, we can glaze over victory a bit with a humble smile on our face and a slice of cake in one hand and a pint of something in the other. Occasionally we might send a bus of people around London (supposedly the only city in Britain) but we don’t really milk the Richard out of it. In the past we did things better. We built a column for Nelson when we beat the armada. Maybe that’s a bad example.

In the blogging sense, making a big deal of a major milestone is definitely blogworthy. You need to embrace the awesome, you need to send out the trumpeters, have the streets awash with dancing girls, baton twirlers and massive floats.


Here is a list of milestones that maybe you should think about pulling out the party poppers for:

  • 6 Months Anniversary, 1st  Year Anniversary, 2nd Year Anniversary (and so on)
  • 1st article to reach 100 views
  • 1st article to reach 1,000 views
  • 10 subscribers on your mailing list (then 100, 1,000 and so on)
  • 100 posts, 200 or 250 posts, 500 posts, 1000 posts
  • 50 guest posts, 100 guest posts
  • 100 user comments on your blog (200, 300, 400 and so on)


Other things to celebrate

New services and themes are good targets for celebration. If you’ve instigated a new theme then you should definitely toot the horn, especially if it cost you a pretty penny. New services that provide awesome for the audience should also be flaunted. This could include new plugins that help (commentLuv is a good example as there is an incentive for commenters to make a comment on your site, sharing a recently published article of their own, I’m all for reciprocity). If you’ve spent hours working on a new archive layout for your blog, you should toot the horn.

It is best to outline new features mostly because some of them will need a bit of exposure to be taken up. You go to the effort of adding these features so you want people to use them. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income had a good story about how he’d created a system and spent $30,000 on it but had failed to publicise it and eventually had to wave goodbye to months of work and money. With Pat’s massive income, he can afford to soak up that sort of risk but the average blogger cannot. Even the big guys and gals can make mistakes from time to time so you don’t have to feel bad about tripping up. Just remember that bragging about big new features is okay in blogging!!

I would also be inclined to toot the horn about big new articles (those of 2000+ words), new substantial video content (because it can often take longer to put together than just a blog post), new ebooks and pdf guides (because you probably slogged your guts out to make them or paid someone to make them) and any other colourful window dressings (such as brand redesign).


How can you make the celebration extra awesome?

Give something away that has some value. So if your milestone revolves around comments for example, the 100th person to comment wins $25, $50 or $100.

Give away a T-shirt with your unique design on it. Pat Flynn does this with his Ask Pat feature when a person’s question gets read out on the show.

Give away an exclusive. So for those lucky readers of that article, give them a time limited download of something new that you are working on, for free. When you come to close the time loop on the article, those who read later will know to keep an eye out in future for time limited offers of interest.

There is much more you can dispatch as prizes. Give it some thought.


A little side note on giveaways

You have to be careful with some giveaways though. Say if you were expecting your 100th Subscriber and they would win $100. There is nothing to stop the 99 other subscribers, unsubscribing and then re-subscribing to see if they can jump in at the 100 spot or they just use another of their email addresses. That is going to cause you some anguish. Some of these items need some serious thought. Comments could go the same way. You might receive 25 nonsense comments from the same person so that they could win that prize. Where you need quality, be explicit.


And you don’t only have to celebrate on your blog

In the current time frame, Social Media is an extension of your blog, social media referrals help where the search engine doesn’t. You should be celebrating here too. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn and more. You can celebrate your social media milestones just like you would with your blog. Obvious choices are likes, shares and followers but you can also celebrate anniversaries. You can even take your celebrations from your social media and make an article about them, further reinforcing your interconnected media network. People love these sorts of social signals and you should seize the opportunity to blow your trumpet. You worked hard enough for it.


So I hope you are suitably stirred to celebrate something awesome!


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