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Make a Reader Famous

FameDo you want to be famous? Do you want to be noticed? Do you want people to know who you are? Do you want to have more influence?

I did an informal survey of bloggers at a workshop and asked them why they blog. The majority of answers had something to do with one of the above questions. While many bloggers also have some desire to make a difference in the world or to help others – to do this they also generally have a goal of being noticed and read by more and more people.

Today’s task in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project is to take a break from building your own fame and influence and to build the fame and influence of someone else – preferably one of your readers.

Pick a reader (and if you’re new and don’t have any yet – pick another blogger in your niche, preferably a less well known one) and make them famous in some way.

Here are a few ideas on how to do it:

  • Promote a comment to a Post – sometimes readers make incredibly insightful and wise observations and tips in the comments of your blog. While they will be read by a handful of people in the comment thread – why not pull it out and use it as the basis for one of your post – highlighting the wisdom in it and the person who made the comment.
  • Write a Post about their Blog – visit the blogs of those leaving comments on your blog and pick one that you resonate with to post about. Write an ‘unpaid review’ of the blog – highlighting the best posts and what you like about it.
  • Send Your Readers to Comment on Someone Else’s Blog – write a post that links to someone else’s great blog post and instead of asking your readers what they think about it on your own blog ask them to head over and comment on it on the other person’s blog. Shutting down the comments in your own post and saying that you’ve left a comment on their blog already can help make this more effective.
  • Give Readers an Opportunity to Promote Themselves – run a project or write a post that gives readers an opportunity to promote themselves in some way. Last week on the spur of the moment at DPS I wrote a post asking readers – do you have a photoblog?‘ As I wrote the post I thought I’d add a line inviting readers to share a link to their photoblogs. I didn’t think much of it until the next morning when I woke up to 250 comments on the post and a whole heap of emails thanking me for giving readers the opportunity to highlight their work.
  • Reader of the WeekSingForHim recently left a comment here at ProBlogger talking how how she runs a weekly post called Readers of the Week where she highlights some of her readers and how they’ve interacted with her blog. Here’s one of her latest examples of this (you can see from the comments that readers appreciate it!).

OK – I can hear some of the comments on this post already.

“Isn’t the real reason that you want to make your readers famous so you become more famous?”

True – one of the side effects of highlighting the great things about another person is that it will often come back to you in some ways that benefit you too. Call it ‘karma’, call it ‘reaping what you sow’ or call it anything you like – it’s a principle that you’ll find to be true.

However try to get away from that more selfish motivation for a moment if you can. The blogosphere was built on principles of promoting others, conversation, celebrating diversity, open source knowledge etc. Some days I wonder if those things still exist – and to be honest somedays I wonder if I’ve played a part in making them endangered species. Lets recapture some of it by making others famous today on our blogs.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Darren, this technique has worked wonders for me.

    I recently started a series called Grow Your Business in 15 Minutes or Less that is basically a review of several great posts I found during that week.

    Wouldn’t you know, a few days later I was linked to from 2 out of the 4 blogs that I had mentioned in my article.

    Just goes to show you, what goes around comes around.

    Thanks for all of the tips this month,

    – Mason

  2. Making another person famous is a great way of showing that you have enough confidence in your own opinion to give another well deserved praise. On top of that, identifying a rising star helps build your reputation as a thought leader and someone who’s advice can be trusted.

  3. I kinda already do something like that. I post a “Saturday Special” to recap things that went on through the week. It includes mostly other people’s sites. I also have a “Blog of the Day” in my sidebar and always try to promote the not as well known blogs. Checking through my statistics, these other site I promote are getting traffic through me and I like that. What I would have given to have someone help promote my blog a bit. Good tip for the unselfish!

  4. This makes perfect sense. What a wonderful way to get others involved for more personal reasons! Good stuff! *=)

  5. I will try it Darren and I am certain, like all your tips – these will work. I like the look of your new template; it’s more suitable for your site.

  6. I do 2 and 3 a bit. A few of the blogs I end up Speedlinking are run by people who also read my blog occasionally. Also I do “Design Spotlight” (as I call them) posts that highlight various blogs now and then. I should try some of your other suggestions, Darren.

    I thought of something else that helps “make a reader famous”: Guest posting. Let a reader guest post on your blog, which would build there “fame”, right?

  7. I will try this technique. Thanks Darren, my blog about Spanish language is growing every day.

  8. This is an absolutely fabulous idea. I feel terrible that I didn’t think about it. I almost feel disloyal to the readers…..

  9. Interesting. Getting readers really involved looks to be a good way to build loyalty. I will utilize a few of these tips in the near future. Nice one.

  10. Interesting idea Darren. I’ve been looking for more ways to thank my readers. I’ve been thinking of a general thank you post which would link to the blogs of my top commenters along with a paragraph describing each blog.

    The idea of singling them out like SIngForHim does and like you’re describing here might be better. The hard part will be deciding who to make famous first.

  11. I blog for pleasure… I like to tell stories, whatever they are :-)

    But it’s true I also have an ego and, why not, it should be nice to see my page has a 1000 readers… Is good to have high expectations (I guess :-)).

    Anyway, I like to discover blogs (like this one) and I like to do “random-surfing” to find new places and to learn new stuff…

    1st tip to be a blogger: read read read and (guess what?) read a lot :-)

    Regards from Spain (the Overnight traffic strikes again :-)).


  12. Gee this is a great Idea, hi5 mate.

    I do not own a blog, but I read through hundreds of blogs each week leaving comments about what it is that I do think about the article.

    From what I’ve read this week, this article was the most interesting one I’ve come across.

    Most people blogging have one perspective in mind, to get viewers to their own blog, failing to realize that blogging is an interconnected net.

    One blog linking to the other, if you do you’re home work right you never need to promote your blog ever, the system does it for you if the article is interesting enough it will get the high ranks and get to the top of the charts. And that is where it all matters. When what you write is read, and what you write does make a difference.

    I congratulate you again for coming up with such a wonderful method where everyone can help eachother make this entangled net of blogs, even more tangled :P

    It’s the fun about blogging, if you start following links you won’t ever stop.

    See you all around and keep blogging.


  13. The best thing you can do for a commenter (if they have a blog) is link to it. That’s all anyone really wants :)

  14. I do all of those on a regluar basis, except for the reader of the week thing. That’s a pretty cool idea.

    I am going to have to consider doing that.

  15. Hi Darren,
    I’d love it if you could write about how to integrate a website for example: http://portallanguageservices.com (my site) with a blog for example: http://portallanguageservices.com/wordpress

    I have been using WordPress and many plugins but it seems that the website misses out on the pinging, easy sitemap plugins and dynamic content that a blog has whereas the blog misses out on the javascript and PHP games and other external programs that don’t have plugins.

    I’d be happy to implement any ideas you come up with and we could even make a series about it. What do you think?

  16. I really like doing this on my blog – highlighting a comment that one of my reader’s has left and writing about it. One of my favorite comments that I turned into a post was left by a reader who wrote about kicking her own sugar habit, which showed that I wasn’t special for doing this myself, and that it can definitely by done by anyone. ;)

    I also like the idea of sending readers to comment on someone else’s blog….never thought of that one before, thanks Darren!

  17. …waits patiently for darren to make me famous ;)

  18. That’s a great suggestion!

    I believe in karma – what goes around comes around. Meaning, if you help out your fellow bloggers by promoting them, then chances are they will do the same to you! Everyone wins!

  19. Great ideas. I think useing the Top Commentators wordpress plugin is another good idea too.

  20. Someone actually helped me out with the traffic to my blog this way. I write weekly funny (well, supposedly) summaries of 24 in the Live Blog that humorist Dave Barry hosts during the regular season for 24. During the off season, I write a 24 spoof that gets posted there every Monday night. I post the same writeup on my own blog ( http://www.magiclamp.org/ ), and Dave’s mentions have helped my blog traffic.

    This really works!

  21. wow its the 21th for u guys already??!?

    well yeah this is one awesome way to get each other famous!! :)

    My site is a gamer site. The purpose of the blog is to tell gamers about myself and wat my clan is doing. And how a pro gamer such as myself can maintain a website and make money off it as well!



  22. I love promoting other bloggers which I find noteworthy and whom I can learn much from. Many a times, I find them coming back to my blog and becoming a member of my blog’s own community as well.

    It is a truly satisfying experience to give love and receive love :D

  23. Not that Shoemoney.com needs anymore fame (he’s such a rock-star), but I just published a post about his post titled “On Shaving My Head”.

    I thought it was appropriate because his post was so product focused and, as a product search-engine, it’s a little embarrassing that we don’t have any product offers for his favorite razor.

    Enjoy the post:

  24. Very good idea. I will try to do a series on my blog.

  25. Wonderful Idea Darren, looking forward to implement it

  26. You make it easy to implement good ideas for my Egg Marketing Blog: all I have to do is put your ideas to work!

    No, seriously, I’m very interested in the democratization of media, and love the idea of having the power to expose my readers to a few people. I’m going to do it weekly!

  27. My Blog is Profitable Productive Blogging, and each week on wednesday I put out my list of Profitable Productive Posts featuring articles that caught my attention throughout the week. I also almost always include an article from one of my top commentators in the list.

    Since starting this a little over a month ago it has brought in quite a good amount of traffic as many of the featured bloggers link back. Like you said “karma” what goes around comes around.

  28. great post, I have a blog set up just to give others a chance at becoming more popular I even named it just that. Great stuff Darren..Jill

  29. Thanks Darren,
    I am going to try your tips before
    this week is over. Start back to school
    next week. The summer will be really over.
    Also, I have met a lot of great people
    from the comments on your blog.

    Actually this was one of your tips
    too. Thanks it has helped me a lot.
    When they include the Website or
    blog address after their name.
    I write it down so I can visit later.

    Elilzabeth G.

  30. I like it! “pay it forward” I think my post tomorrow will be on one of my readers…

  31. Just yesterday I used an insightful reader comment as post fodder and, just like you mentioned Darren, he really appreciated. It’s small things like this that makes readers really appreciate the blog.

  32. Good Karma! I like that thought and it’s always true that what goes around comes around.

  33. I was thinking about something very similar to this last week. After reading this I finally decided to go ahead with it and posted about it on my anime blog. I’m still trying to decide if I should give it a try on my general fandom blog.

    Thanks for giving me the little nudge I needed.

  34. Well I followed this advice – and it has got me in all sorts of trouble….. Shouldn’t the advice have come with a health warning?

    Here is my post…..

    and look what happened….

    Oh dear. Was that what was meant to happen or didn’t I follow the instructions properly?

  35. Darren, this is one of my favorites in the 31 Days series. I’ve added this post to my bookmarks so I will remember to implement some of these ideas. Thank you! :)

  36. Thanks for the tips, Darren. I actually subscribed to SingForHim. Not because this was nature of the post (although it did not escape me that you did what you’re describing right in the very post), but because I’m a Christian blogger as well.

    Anyway, this tip just about hits precisely on what I try to do with just about every post. Give a link to somewhere else off my site. My hope to drive traffic to others while helping people.

    I’ve never thought to specifically write about people who’ve commented, though. Good stuff. Thanks! -CP

  37. This is really a great idea! I think that more people should do this, since there are quite a large number of blogs out there that are just starting out and have some quality content.

    This would really boost ratings for them.



  38. Federico says: 12/22/2007 at 11:47 am

    I´m from Argentina, and i wanna be famous, coud you help me?
    i will be pleased all life.

  39. “Do you want to be famous? Do you want to be noticed? Do you want people to know who you are? Do you want to have more influence?”

    yes yes yes and yes….

    do I want to be stalked by fans? hassled by the paparazzi? the world to know about every minute detail of my life?
    no no no

    Be careful for what you wish for…

    But either way I’m sure the million dollar pay packets may provide me good comfort.

    ..great post and great ideas…



  40. Very good tips. I never thought of this before. Thank you so much.

  41. This will sound a bit odd: Yesterday I had a conversation with my 80-year old self. She told me to “write write write” and then she added: “Take more interest in other people. Write about them, it doesn’t have to be about you all the time.” This post says pretty much exactly what she said to me yesterday. :D How odd!

    (If you’re interested to talk to your 80-year old self and a bunch of other weird guides for some insight to your life, get a book called ‘Life Changes, Life Choices through image work’, it’ll tell you how.)

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