What Lil’ Wayne Can Teach You About Marketing Your Blog

A guest post by Joshua Noerr of Personal Development, One Mind at a Time.

No matter who you are or where you live, the odds are high you’ve heard of Lil’ Wayne. You may not listen to his music, but his approach to marketing has made him something we bloggers aspire to be: Ubiquitous. The guy is everywhere, and it’s time for us to learn a few lessons from ‘Wheezy’ about marketing our blogs.
First though, I need to define a few terms to help you understand ‘Lil’ Wayne’s Marketing Machine.’
Lil’ Wayne is a rapper, and therefore his products are albums (I know, advanced stuff here, stick with me). In the Hip Hop world, simply releasing an album is not enough. Rappers also release “mix tapes.” These are underground albums that are less structured in nature and have no involvement from the record company. Oftentimes, rappers will showcase their freestyle skills in a mix (rhyming over a beat without writing down what they are going to say). Wayne is the king of the mix tape, sometimes releasing multiple mixes in the same year!
Next, rappers use “collabo’s,” or collaborations. This can be just a simple verse on another rapper’s record or can be as involved as partnering up for a whole album. Lil’ Wayne has done both. In fact, if you want a hit record, you call Wayne for a verse. If you can afford the price tag, featuring Wayne on your record almost guarantees a hit.
After all this, is Lil’ Wayne’s self-promotion. Interviews, music videos, documentaries, underground videos, and concerts all fall under the self-promotion umbrella.
What Does All Of This Have To Do With Marketing My Blog?
All right, I get it. You’re ready for point of this whole thing, aren’t you? Ok, here we go!

Mix Tapes. You don’t make rap albums, so you can’t release a mix tape right? Well, you actually can, sort of. Think of your blog as your album. All of the different Web 2.0 tools out there are your mix tapes. This gives you a chance to explore other areas that interest you, which may be slightly out of your niche, all the while driving traffic back to your site(s).

Your blogging mix tape essentials include the following:

  1. Squidoo.com
  2. Hubpages.com
  3. Gather.com
These sites let you create one page websites, essentially just a blog post, about any topic you like. The pages can point back to your blog (a little link building if you please), and give you the chance to explore a few new topics that might be just outside of your niche (freestyling). Don’t stray too far though. If you use your name in your Web 2.0 pages, they’ll still be associated with your personal brand. If you really want to come out of left field with these, perhaps a pen name is a good idea.
Collaborations. I can imagine what you’re thinking . . . . “Here’s where we get to read yet another 75 words on the importance of guest posting.” Well guess what? Since you already know that, and there are tons of other articles about it, I’m not going to talk about that at all.
I’m actually going to talk about commenting first. Yes, commenting is important, and I love doing it, but I want you to start thinking of your commenting as a form of guest posting. If you’re joining the conversation, add value to the post. The author of a blog that allows comments is being kind–he or she doesn’t have to do that. So before you hit submit, make sure what you’re adding is valuable to the conversation as a courtesy to the blog owner. This has the added benefit of getting some nice connections online (in fact, it’s how I connected with Jean. She and I commented on many of the same blogs).
The next trick in your collaboration toolbox is Blog Carnivals. I love BC’s. I love reading them, I love submitting to them, and I’m in the preparation stages of hosting one. Try to submit to a handful of BC’s every month and you’ll find you’re being exposed to new audiences every time and  making great connections with the hosts and other contributors along the way. Once again, great for building links, and you don’t have to come up with new content–just submit posts that are already live on your site.
Self-Promotion. There are so many things that I could list here, but this is a blog post not a book. Here’s a brief list of some of the things you need in your self-promotion toolbox:
  1. Social Media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
  2. Social Bookmarking (e.g. Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit)
  3. Article Submission Sites (e.g. EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, GoArticles)
  4. Video Sites (Just get a TubeMogul account and make it easy on yourself)
Again, for the sake of space, I can’t go into incredible depth on each of these. Regarding the first two on the list though, I do have a tip. Make it easy for your readers to share your content via Social Media and Social Bookmarking. There are a ton of Plugins to help with this (I use Socialize). Find one you like and start using it.
If you’re going to submit articles to submission sites, make sure to include not just anchor text pointing to your site in the resource box, also include the full URL. Sometimes your articles will be published on other sites or in Ezines, and the anchor text may be made inactive. If you don’t include the full URL, you will miss out on that traffic opportunity.
Lastly, with video (if you use it), don’t worry about being a perfectionist. Have a good time when you shoot your vids. That will go a lot further than fancy production value and a perfect script.
“Rapping” It Up

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Let me leave you with this: Lil’ Wayne rose to prominence by being everywhere. GQ even named him “Workaholic Of The Year” in 2007. Your blog is your brand. Get out there and promote it! Make sure people can’t look online in your niche without finding you in some way. Most importantly, have a great time doing it!
Bio. Joshua Noerr is the culprit behind Personal Development, One Mind At A Time. He is out to prove that Personal Development can be irreverent, funny, and important all in the same breath. Born in Southern California, he currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Discover the Other Laws Not Revealed in “the Secret.”


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59 Responses to What Lil’ Wayne Can Teach You About Marketing Your Blog

  1. alexwhalley June 30, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    hahaha 'rapping it up' you just couldn;t resist could you Jean! :)
    I love the way you applied the story of little wayne (never heard of him actually) to the way we should be using social media and the online blogosphere to spread our own brand.
    I have just read a post about not self promoting and it had some great points but I think this post is much more relevant to the stage we are all at now, and you wove it oh so intricately too Jean.
    I knew it was going to be an awesome post because it started with Ubiquitous.
    Awesome.
    …and it's nice not to have to spend 5 minutes scrolling to comment, I must have blog hopped at an opportune time. :)

  2. virginbloggernotes June 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    I'd love to take the credit for the wittiness, but it's all Joshua's doing :)

  3. annahaller June 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    These are some good points Joshua makes here and it makes sense he related it to Lil Wayne because he is everywhere! It's like how Mars Dorian puts it by spreading our influence and being known in a positive way online. It does take time to apply all of these things but if done consistently then in could bring in some great results!

    Anna

  4. joshuanoerr June 30, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    @Alexwhalley, thanks for that great feedback. Sometimes word play is a loaded gun, play with it too much and you could shoot yourself, but I am glad it went over well. Thanks for the comment.

    @Annahaller, you are absolutely right about spreading influence online. I believe each of us has taken the important step of branding ourselves, and it is important to promote that brand in any responsible way we can.

    One thing I've learned…Blogging is hard work! I would much rather be doing this kind of work than anything I can think of though.

  5. Dev | Technshare June 30, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Hey Joshu,

    Excellent Post. Another cache headline….!!
    You've made some great points. These days I've started working on squidoo, hubpages and ezinearticles.

    I though jean has wrote this post.
    Anyways, Thanks for sharing this great Post joshu.. Retweeted..

    ~Dev

  6. Karen Ruby June 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Hey Joshua, isn't lil wayne off to jail or something?

    Other than that, this is an interesting post. I couldn't agree more with the need for collaboration. The blogosphere is too big and having a network of both fans and peers is very important. I also agree with the branding strategy and being everywhere (or appearing to be everywhere). Jean is an excellent example of this :-)

  7. virginbloggernotes June 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Mars has a great article up today on how to spread your influence in a minimalist way. Really good stuff!

  8. joshuanoerr June 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    @Dev thanks for the retweet, I'm sure Jean appreciates it too. I have had a lot of success with Article Directories. Just to reiterate, the key is in the resource box! Don't just leave it at anchor text, have your full URL in there

    @Karen Ruby, he's there now, but maybe we can look at that like a vacation. He did a huge volume of work before he left and will still be in the public eye while on the inside, that way no momentum is lost. We should do the same as bloggers before we leave on a trip where we know we can't post.

  9. virginbloggernotes June 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Yeah, I just appear to be everywhere when I'm really out back in a lounge chair :)

  10. Dia June 30, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Thanks Joshua and Jean for this post. You have raised some great points. In regards to submitting the articles to submission sites, I personally make sure that every article that I write gets submitted to ezines, articlebase, and selfgrowth.com You can get some good traffic from them. Also, twitter and facebook are important and help in getting traffic. Thank you for sharing

  11. John Soares June 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Joshua, good tie-in with rap.

    Right now I'm focused on creating quality blog posts, leaving comments on other blogs — some longer and more insightful, some not — and also connecting with people through Twitter.

    And I also watch Jean post comments just about everywhere I go…

  12. virginbloggernotes June 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    My street name is Lil' Jean :)

  13. TheInfoPreneur June 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Hah!

    Jean…I didn't even realize this wasn't your post for a bit…I'm thinking…man…she knows a lot about rappers!

    Joshua…great post. I like how you tied to the two together.

    Brandon

  14. virginbloggernotes June 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    It's my new niche market, Brandon :)

  15. Kaizenvision June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    Jean – this is a fantastic guest post!!!! Your not only a brilliant writer your brilliant at having phenomenally helpful guest posts.

    Joshua – thank you for this post. It's incredibly helpful and I'm going to use it as a guide. I take a few hours a week to have blogger technology growth – and this week I'm following your guidance and will investigate hub, squidoo, gather, article submission etc… great,great post!

  16. Kaizenvision June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    you do appear to be every where and at the same time – your magical, like santa in every mall at Christmas.
    It's admirable!

  17. rob white June 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Blog Carnivals are a new one to me. I don't think I've seen one of these… will have to look into it.
    Thanks for the great info.

    • Anonymous June 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

      Blog carnivals are really awesome. You can wander on over to blogcarnival.com to see examples and submit to carnivals. It’s a simple process and I think you will find you get a lot out of it because it just links to your current content. No need to work on new stuff specifically for a carnival.

  18. Angela Artemis June 30, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Josh, great post. I really learned a lot – even though I'm not into Rap.
    I've heard of blog carnivals and wanted to get involved with one but have not yet had the time to look into it.
    I do agree about leaving thoughtful comments and adding to the conversation – a very important point.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  19. k0zm0zs0ul June 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Ha! Love this post Jean and Joshual! 😀 I'm a fan of reference to rappers. 😉 And you're right, Weezy's got the marketing thing DOWN.

  20. Eric June 30, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    There definitely are a lot of ways you can get out there and make yourself known – you just have to go out there and figure out what works for you and stick with it.

    I'm checking out the video site you mentioned… haven't heard of that one before.

    Thanks for this awesome info. Appreciated much! :)

  21. JB June 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    How Cool is this comparison. I am not a Lil' Wayne in anyway shape or form but I am aware of his current mass appeal right now. And get this, his marketing machine has not stopped even though he is currently serving time for gun possession. The BET awards were recently held this past week and his name and artist dominated the winners. The more I think about the clever twist this blog post puts on “Lil' Wayne marketing the better I understand what I could do with the marketing and promotion of my own blog.

    Great stuff

    JB

  22. virginbloggernotes June 30, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    I thought this was an awesomely creative way to talk about marketing and loved Josh's idea. Who says this stuff has to be dull?

  23. k0zm0zs0ul June 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Agreed woman! 😀 And man! (Josh) lol. Dull is out, creative is in. In fact
    I'd say there are several well known rappers who are pretty killer at
    marketing themselves, but I have to say Lil Wayne is probably one of the
    best. Although Ne-yo works it pretty well too. :)

  24. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    Thanks, Aileen. I love Josh's writing style and the way his mind works. It feels like a nice fresh breeze blowing across the blog.

  25. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    Hi JB. I'm going to be using some of Josh's ideas too. Plus, he's really opened my eyes to looking outside our own industry for ideas. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  26. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    I've never participated in blog carnivals but I'm going to check out that link, Joshua. Thanks for pointing out this new opportunity.

  27. Jake LaCaze July 1, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    Good post, but my wife says I'm a horrible rapper.

    But in all seriousness, I like the analogy. We have to use the underground to get our names out there. Now, I need to go get my swag on…

  28. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    I confess that I haven't done a speck of article submitting yet, but when the snow starts flying in this neck of the woods, so will my articles :)

  29. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    You seem to be getting pretty comfortable with videos, Eric, so there's a lot of marketing potential for you there. You've got a nice, natural way about you on camera.

  30. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    I second the 'blogging is hard work!' statement, Joshua. I'm almost glad I didn't know how much work it was before I started or I might have been scared off and missed all this fun.

  31. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    You're wearing me out with all that activity of yours, Dev. Leaving me in the dust . . . :)

  32. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Now if only I had some elves to do some of this work :) And you should talk about being everywhere, Ms. Awesome Good Life Zen guest poster! That post rocked.

  33. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    Just the name, 'blog carnival,' makes me want to get involved. Sounds like there should be cotton candy and fries . . .

  34. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:30 am #

    I'm going to take your wife's word for it and not ask you to send us a video :)

  35. joshuanoerr July 1, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    Ah Jean, I can actually feel my ego expanding!

    @Kaizenvision I'm glad I was able to offer a few more tools for you. If I can be of any help, please let me know.

  36. joshuanoerr July 1, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Hey Dia, good to see you. There are so many article directories out there, that we have a great opportunity for backlinks, and since folks can go on there an republish your content in their blogs, newsletters, or ezines, that opportunity increases exponentially.

  37. joshuanoerr July 1, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Nothin wrong with a little swag! Thanks for stopping by!

  38. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 2:58 am #

    I'm so out of the loop on article marketing that I'd totally forgotten about the potential for republishing and the increased exposure that could bring. I'm feeling more motivated already :)

  39. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    Well, Josh, I don't know if you rap, but you certainly do rock when it comes to guest posting!

  40. Leah McClellan July 1, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    This is really helpful. Thanks Jean and Joshua! Have to admit I didn't know who “Lil Wayne” is so I'm glad you explained. Definitely will have to check out blog carnivals! I can't picture ever having time for the article submission sites, but I definitely can do better in some other areas, like Twitter. Really have to spend some more time there–doesn't require a whole lot of brain energy!

  41. Katie Tallo July 1, 2010 at 3:27 am #

    Joshua (and Jean) as usual I am overwhelmed by the wealth of knowledge that Virgin Blogging Notes brings my way. It's late so I'm really overwhelmed but in the light of day, I'm sure I'll be able to re-read and begin some action steps. Bookmarked and ready to use. Great post. Very useful. Must sleep now. Did I mention I was overwhelmed. Brain hurts.

  42. Dave Doolin July 1, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    “Be everywhere.” I was wondering where Risley (who I heard it from) got that… now I know!

    I'm curious whether these automated tools for “being everywhere” will end up backfiring on people.

    Ok, off to be somewhere else…

    -d

  43. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella July 1, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    I just started making some serious use of Squidoo and really am enjoying the experience.

    I can indeed see the potential for link building and leading people back to my main blog for more information. I also try to keep active in the commenting world, not always easy to do! So many blogs to visit, so little time! And, when you visit my blog, you'll see that I've taken steps to make my blog more interactive and helpful to my readers. This includes starting the Blogs With Wings Blog Carnival.

    I've taken what's written here to heart! :)

  44. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    'So many blogs to visit and so little time.' Truer words were never spoken :) You are doing an amazing job with creative marketing, Joella!

  45. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    It took me some time to get active on Twitter, but I'm a fan now. I love to tweet out articles I enjoy, chat with folks, send out links to my newest stuff, etc. It's been a top source of high quality traffic and takes very little time compared to other tools.

  46. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Sounds like you had a day like I did, Katie! Today is another one of those too . . . Hope your brain feels better :)

  47. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Yeah, Risleys pretty deep into the rap scene from what I understand :)

    How do you think things could backfire, Dave?

  48. kate July 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I am relatively new to blogging so this post is just what I needed….Have never submitted to blog carnivals so am going to go and find some now, oooo I'm excited!!
    Many thanks,
    Kate

  49. Angela Artemis July 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Fries? Where? Just point me in the right direction…..

    ————————————————–

  50. Leah McClellan July 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Yea, I stay open minded. Have been on it like a year and a half, do the articles and all that but the chat isn't going to happen because I'm never there lol (I mean I tweet the articles and buh bye lol

  51. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Hi Kate. Good luck with the carnivals . . . I'll be doing the same soon!

  52. virginbloggernotes July 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    My are usually hit and miss. I'll check my @'s and respond to a message there or a DM, and if the person happens to be on then we'll do a few back-and-forth replies. Otherwise, I'm not on it either. I'd never get anything done!

  53. Jeannie @ Take Childbirth Back July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    You don't know how tickled I am to have read this on your blog, Jean :)

  54. joshuanoerr July 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    You didn't know that Jean had some hardcore rap in her background did ya?

  55. Eric July 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Yeah I love doing videos now… I pretty much love being in front of the camera daily but I know I have to stick to providing excellent content all around hehe.

    Thanks for the compliment and I plan on doing a lot more videos in the future… Especially in the Enhanced are of my Monthly Experiene.

  56. motiontech July 4, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    I couldn’t bookmark this post fast enough. Great tips shared and a unique approach comparing it to rapper’s marketing success. I too like a few other posters mentioned have wanted to try blog carnivals but haven’t reached that part of my to-do list yet.

  57. virginbloggernotes July 4, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    Glad you liked the post. I thought Joshua did a phenomenal job. Needless to say, I never would have thought of the connection here, but I'm sure glad he did :) Thanks for taking the time to stop in and comment.

  58. Tia July 10, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    ROFL – Saw this under Recent Posts and went, seriously? Jean listens to Lil’ Wayne et al?

    Good stuff, though. My “mix tape” includes Hubpages, which I love dearly. I have Squidoo up and just don’t have the energy to really add it in yet. And I haven’t checked out Gather, but will. I really believe in getting outside of the blogosphere to reach other writers who choose different channels but write about similar topics. I even started bring hubbers over to “our side.” Pretty cool.

    Nice mix here with this post.

    Cheers,
    Tia
    Tia recently posted..Question of the Week- What the heck is the point of Facebook for bloggers

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