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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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You Can’t Get Rich if Nobody Knows You Exist

Last year, a friend of mine graduated from college and moved to Japan to take part in the JET program. If you’ve never heard of JET, it’s a program run by the Japanese government that brings foreign college-grads into the country to teach their schoolchildren English. Right now, he’s living in a decent-sized city teaching a bunch of middle schoolers.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well, he started a blog not too long ago to document his life in Japan. Lucky Isle, his site, covers all of the interesting stuff that happens to him. When you’re an American in Japan, life is strange, and he wants to share his experiences with the world.

Trouble is, he’s not getting any traffic. Today he told me over AIM that his traffic over the last month has been piddly at best. Stumbleupon gave him a brief surge, but it quickly died off. Since then, his traffic has completely stagnated and he doesn’t know what to do.

As you may or may not be aware, Japanese culture is hugely popular online. Hardcore anime and manga fanatics represent a pretty big chunk of the Internet demographic. So, the problem here isn’t lack of available readers, it’s finding them. I asked him what he’s done to publicize his blog. To sum it up, pretty much nothing. I decided to give him a few pointers, and I guess I’ll share them with you as well:

  • Comment on other blogs in your niche.
  • Digg and Stumbleupon can be helpful, but don’t rely on them.
  • Join forums and message boards, and then let their members know when you’ve written something interesting. However, be sure to establish yourself in their community first. You don’t want to look like a spammer.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask bigger bloggers in your niche for a plug, but you’d better have the content to justify it.
  • Set a consistent update schedule. It doesn’t need to be every day as long as it’s the same every week.

I’ve done all of the above, and my average daily traffic is roughly 20 times more than his. Did I mention that we both created our blogs around the same time? Let people know that you exist, and if you’re good, word-of-mouth will do the rest.

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One Response to “You Can’t Get Rich if Nobody Knows You Exist”

  1. Cromely Says:

    A good friend of mine spent a year in the Jet program in the mid-nineties. She was in the nether regions of Kumamoto (I think).

    Probably the most important thing your friend can do is decide why they Blog. Once they know and can clearly articulate what they want to get from this activity then they can look at traffic.

    Until then, any strategy is likely following a road map without really knowing the final destination.

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