2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More Traffic

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Stalking is a pretty strong word to use here but it’s not a bad idea to get on someone’s radar screen. All of us have stumbled upon someone who is making an impact online. Maybe they have a healthy number of quality followers. Perhaps their tweets are retweeted so much it makes you envious. Wouldn’t you just love to get on their radar screen?

The impact can be huge. If you get noticed by some of the more popular bloggers and they start liking your Facebook posts or retweeting your tweets, all of their followers have the opportunity to see this which gets you on their radar screens too. This snowball effect can be a great way to build awareness and drive new traffic to your website or blog.

#1 Figure Out Who the “Experts” Are

You already know who your niche target customer is and you know what motivates them. Who are they following? Who has their attention and is doing a good job getting the word out? Who do you go to when you’re looking for an easy explanation?

One of the bloggers that I follow who writes wonderful how-to posts on subjects like Facebook is Kimberly Castleberry. I first met Kim almost a year ago when I first started blogging and was trying to figure out ways to get readers to my blog. Kim quickly became my Facebook expert to follow. (Check out Kim’s blog at Just-Ask-Kim.)

Another person who I quickly identified as knowing what they’re talking about is John Paul Aguiar. I’ve learned an enormous amount from John Paul and I often direct people who are looking for advice on social media to his blog  The Money Dummy Blog. I credit John Paul for getting me to break my habit of only tweeting a new post once so that I wouldn’t be a pest.

#2 Get on their “Radar Screen

An easy way to get noticed by someone is to shamelessly promote them. Once you know who the leaders are, you need to try to find a way to get noticed by them. Start leaving comments on their blog and promote their posts. Retweet their tweets. Vote for them when you see the vote buttons for sites like BloKube, BizSuar and BlogEngage. Like their posts on Facebook and become a fan of their page. (It doesn’t hurt to link directly to some of their awesome posts in articles like this either.)

It may take a while for them to start noticing you but if you’re diligent about it, they may start mentioning you on twitter. (Even a thank you @keepupweb gets my name out in front of their followers.) Eventually, they may check out one of your posts and if the content is good enough to share, they’ll retweet it. Since these bloggers are well respected in your niche (step #1), you should start seeing your traffic numbers grow.

Does Stalking and Getting Acknowledged Help?

You may never know exactly what new traffic you’ll get from following and promoting bloggers like Kim and John Paul but when you start seeing new readers who also follow these experts, I think it’s safe to assume that you have them to thank. Most likely, these are new visitors who may not have found you otherwise.

Now, over to you. . . Can you increase your website traffic by strategically following popular bloggers? Will other people start associating you with them and start paying more attention to you? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips!

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Author: Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

74 thoughts on “2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More Traffic”

  1. Hey Sherryl,

    You have to do what you have to do to get that targeted web traffic. If stalking is the thing to do, then go for it LOL.. well I don’t know about the word, but maybe following would more appropriate, but hey, all I can say is whatever works. I’m not one to judge LOL….

    But anyways we should turn out focus on those influencers as well as other people who are in our niche. You have the right idea of promoting them, commenting on their posts and sharing them across the internet. If you’re consistent in doing this, eventually they’ll take notice of you and start promoting you. I’m pretty sure those influencers started out the same way.

    Thanks for sharing this post Sherryl! I hope you’re having a great week!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..5 Online Marketing Tools You Need To Leverage Via Your BlogMy Profile

    1. Hi Sherman,

      “Stalking” – LOL. Anyone who knows me knows I could never get away with stalking someone (not that I would ever do that). I’d look guilty just thinking about doing that. 🙂

      This is one of the earlier posts that I wrote back when I started blogging. At the time, I was feeling pretty desperate. Very few people were visiting my blog. I completely understood why there were so many abandoned blogs!

      I had been following popular bloggers to learn from them and then I decided I had to get on their radar screens. I never knew then that I would actually become friends with many of them but (as you know) most of the popular and influential bloggers achieved their success by building relationships.

      As for my choice of the word “stalking” instead of “following”, that was meant to be an attention grabbing headline. (It seems to have worked. 🙂 )

      Thanks so much for sharing this and taking the time to comment. It’s important to me. I am just now getting back to commenting and blogging (due to recent family matters). You know you’ll be seeing me at “your place” soon!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Things You May Not Know About Google and SEO – #FridayFindsMy Profile

  2. Hi Sherryl,

    Nah, stalker is a good word for this particular thing I think! LOL!!! They might not think so but I think it’s appropriate.

    I think the only way to get on anyone’s radar is by showing up at their place, commenting on their posts, sharing it, referring it and keeping that going. Most people like John Paul appreciate that and they “see” and “hear” you. Those are the kind of people I really like to be connected with. Let’s not forget all the great stuff we learn from them too while we’re at it. But when someone of a higher influence is able to start promoting some of your content then that’s how we can at least get in front of new eyes that hopefully will see the value in what we share too.

    Great post and great tips, love them all my friend. Thanks for sharing this with us and hope your week is settling down some.

    Adrienne recently posted..A BIG Twitter Mistake: Are You Doing This?My Profile

    1. Hi Adrienne,
      I’m glad that you think stalker was an appropriate word. It sure helped make my title more interesting. John Paul came over and commented on this post. So, I’m sure that he wasn’t offended by the thought of me stalking him. 🙂 To this day, we still share each others content and comment on each others blogs. John is definitely a high influencer.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and weighing in on this. It’s always great to see you here!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Website Signals SERPs and Title Tags #FridayFindsMy Profile

  3. I really enjoyed this post on “stalking”! Glad you put it up on BHB as a question related to guest bloggers.

    Initially, I was looking for the less popular folks to follow. But I see the logic in this strategy. I shouldn’t feel like just because person X has 1000 people commenting my comment will not be valuable. Still not sure who I would follow that is popular, however. Maybe I’ll get ideas from my own Twitter feed (I follow over 3,000 people, some of whom are quite popular but I barely know).
    Leora Wenger recently posted..Benefits of a Business Blog for Small BizMy Profile

    1. I was chided by someone for using the word stalking but that described how I felt at the time. 🙂 I was shy to follow really popular bloggers at first but if you keep sharing for them, you can be hard to ignore. After I engaged with them on their blogs, and shared their content, many of them started sharing and commenting for me too.

      I think looking at your Twitter feed is a great idea. If you see a “thanks for the RT” tweet and you recognize a lot of the usernames that’s probably someone to get to know better.

  4. What I noticed to increase your website traffic in need links back to your site so it is important strategically following popular bloggers and also blogs that relate to your site. I actually got a phone call from an SEO company that suggested to follow popular bloggers. Of course he wanted me to sign up with his company so they give you a little food and hope you buy the whole dinner

      1. Been there done that to a tune of $145000.00 a year and really didn’t see any real boost to my site. I have spent a tremendous amount of money on my website, however, it really doesn’t matter if you do not get noticed. I just started on my own reading about driving traffic to my site and hopefully one day it will work. It seems following popular bloggers works. That is how I found you.

        1. Rudee,
          Have you considered blogging and using social media to drive targeted traffic to your website? I’m glad you found me but honestly you haven’t given me any clues to connect with you (like a Gravatar/profile pic and a Twitter ID). Since your niche is B2B are you on LinkedIn? Have you tried PPC (pay-per-click) advertising? Depending on the amount of time you have to invest, blogging could be good route for to go. (I noticed that you already have a newsletter.) If you’d like to chat for a few minutes, use my contact form and we’ll set something up. I might be able to give you a few ideas.
          Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can One Website Meet the Needs of Multiple Niche Target Markets?My Profile

  5. By being able to be in their radar we can bask in the same limelight they are in. Aside from that I think it would be a great way to get more followers. Thanks for these great tips. I wonder how long it would be until I get noticed though.

    1. John,
      I honestly don’t remember how long it took this strategy to work but I think it may have been two or three months two and it didn’t work right away (or at all) with some bloggers.

      I hand picked the bloggers who I chose to follow and I followed them on their blog, Twitter and Facebook. I interacted with them a lot. In addition to being in my niche, I could tell by their tweets that they were the type of people who like to see others succeed. By scanning their tweets, I noticed that they thanked people and said you’re welcome.

      One thing that everyone should do for starters is to go to Gravatar.com and create a free globally recognized avatar. That way, we’ll get to see your profile and start “recognizing” you when you do post, twee and like.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Does Twitter Drive Traffic to Your Website Blog?My Profile

  6. heh shamelessly promote them. never actually thought of it that way but it makes sense to go do that to catch their attention and tickle the curiosity of checking you out 🙂

  7. I wonder if stalking is the right word because in the internet world we prefer being stalked for people to know who we are and I wonder if that is still considered stalking. But I know bloggers would prefer that way.

    1. Hi John,
      “Stalking” is a word that I normally would not use but I’ve been making a conscious effort lately to write more creative titles for my blog posts. It appears to be working. One of my more recent posts talking about lessons learned from watching American Idol has already exceeded my expectations for the number of comments that I’ve received. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Low Cost Resources Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Can AccessMy Profile

      1. Yes, I’ve seen that post. With that kind of topic I’m not surprised you’ll have that number of comments. 🙂

  8. These are techniques that I have been using since the inception of the fan pages on facebook. Having the “popular” kids take notice of what your doing can pay exorbitant dividends if you play it to your advantage correctly. It is quite interesting how the game of cat and mouse changes from one medium to the next!


    1. Good point Katherine. 🙂 To me, networking online is not all that different from networking face-to-face. I have heard some unbelievable stories of people who have found success on Facebook. It’s amazing really.

      Can I offer you a suggestion? You’re obviously already doing a lot of the “right” things online but I can’t help but notice that you don’t have an avatar. You’d be amazed at how much that will help you when you leave comments online. I’d like to recommend, registering your email address at gravatar.com and uploading a headshot. I know some bloggers who won’t even approve comments without avatars because they’re so worried about spam.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tips for Optimizing Photos and Graphics for Your BlogMy Profile

      1. Thank you Sherryl for the helpful hint!
        I am now in the process of finding a picture of myself that I like! Thank you again!

  9. Sherryl, the title of this post caught my attention immediately. Social media reminds me so much of high school sometimes! It seems like the toughest part is separating the experts from the wannabes…

    One thing I’ve noticed about “stalking” the popular kids is that the majority of them are 100% willing to talk to you, but you’ll never know unless you try. I’ve had the pleasure of tweeting with some major influencers just because I reached out to them or asked them a question. If I had waited on the sidelines and done nothing, then I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do that! People assume social media is nothing more than a popularity contest when it goes so far beyond that: it’s about communication and connection. Great post!

    1. Hi Jill,
      I’m glad my title caught your attention! I was really making an effort to come up with a somewhat quirky title to see if it helped bring extra traffic. So far, I’m getting a lot of comments which is great.

      You are so right when you say social networking is about communication and connection and not simply a popularity contest. I think the majority of the savvy bloggers will agree with you on that.

  10. Hello Sherryl,

    You make a good point. Reputation by association is a powerful concept and when attempting to be noticed it can bring visitors to your site. To keep those visitors coming back though it’s not enough to just be seen hanging around pro blogger sites. Your own unique voice and value must be evident in your posts, and blog layout welcoming to new visitors – a tall order indeed for new bloggers.

    I’m building my own brand by developing useful plugins for a certain section of the blogger community. It helped early on to visit the pro sites not just to comment and be seen hanging around there but to gleen some great ideas from their layouts and value delivery.

    1. Hi Michael,
      I totally agree with you that it’s the content that keeps visitors coming back. I believe that even if I write an article about a topic that’s being discussed elsewhere as long as I can add value in some way, readers will come back for more.

      Good luck with your software development! I’m following you on Twitter now. So, I’ll be able to see what you’re up to. 🙂

      1. Thanks for the follow on Twitter. I am still coming to terms with the value of using that service. It seems to be overrun with a lot of users who broadcast affiliate offers and do little or nothing to interact with followers. I don’t want to distract the discussion here so I’ll leave Twitter discussion till another time. Regards, Michael.

  11. Great points here. I cover similar things as related to web marketing, and yes it works. Stalking is a funny term but definitely useful when you are a new blogger and just learning how to gain visibility and deliver content your market will consume. I do RT but have found that is it rarely reciprocated; getting on their radar is somewhat tricky. I use a different approach but definitely find these tips helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Christian. I used term “stalking” because I was trying to come up with a unique title and I thought that might draw a little extra attention. 🙂

      I think RTing for each other starts slowly and naturally. It comes easier when both of you have the same target reader. That way, we’re bringing value to our blog readers by sharing information that they will value too.

  12. These are great ideas, Sherryl, and I am sure they work. However, I think many people are doing the same thing so it causes a bit of a back up. Plus, most times they robot-tweet so you never know when it’s them tweeting or their robots-self. I will say that I have used some of this advice in the past and it has worked, but it requires a lot of maintenance, like any relationship, but you know that. Thanks for the tips.
    Dennis Salvatier recently posted..Life of a Designer- Where Can Inspiration Come FromMy Profile

    1. I think it’s important to do this strategically. I started following John Paul and Kim because I found their posts to be valuable. Also, they both reply to comments and answer questions. Even if neither of them had ever followed me or RT’d for me, I would have continued sharing their posts because it adds value to both me and my readers. The fact that they both RT for me and like my posts is a bonus. Plus, it makes me feel good that they value my content enough to share it.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Treat Your Blog Posts Like Website Home PagesMy Profile

    1. I like to spread the link love around. 🙂 I usually tweet the person to let them know that I’m sharing their post with my readers too.

  13. Sherryl:

    You are correct that we should be targeting some influential folks to follow. I have created online relationships with some of these folks. Now when I have a question I can DM them and get a response.

    Rob Berman recently posted..Innovation- The ProcessMy Profile

    1. I’ve asked both Kim and John Paul questions on Facebook and have messaged both of them. When I ask questioins, I tend to get a little long-winded to DM people. 🙂

  14. Hello Sherryl,
    I’ll start leaving comments on the blogs of Kimberly Castleberry and John Paul Aguiar if we have common interests and I’ll seek out the “experts” in my own fields of energy and manufacturing. Thanks for the advice.

    1. Hi Russell,
      I don’t think you can go wrong by following either Kim or John Paul. They’re both great networkers too. So, you’re bound to find people who are following them that you’ll want to follow too.

  15. hi Sherryl, great post as always! Following these tips will have a positive impact at our traffic in the long term, because it works like an avalanche. Thanks for your help

    1. You’re welcome Steven. I’m glad you liked this. The extra traffic is in addition to all of the great information you can learn which you can share (by tweeting and liking) and then you’re bringing value to your readers and followers too. I just love win-wins!

  16. Hey Sherryl,

    You make a great point. If you can get noticed by some of the top bloggers you will benefit by getting more eyeballs on your site and will create a snowball effect.

    I think the best tip you gave here is to figure out who the experts are. It would be counter productive to follow a blogger who isn’t as influential or as popular as they may seem.

    I believe if you follow a blogger closely enough they will begin to notice you and check out what you have to offer to the blogosphere or their followers. Great advice as always Sherryl, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks John. I’m glad you liked my article. I was able to find a lot of these experts because I’m constantly searching for answers. (Even if they’re not originally my questions.) Whenever I find a post that has educated me, I share it. That way, we all win.

  17. I think it’s especially important if you’re going to land on someone’s radar screen that you have AMAZING content that they’ll be drawn to. I know when I started to reach out to people early on, I can’t remember getting much response. Now that my blog has been redesigned, I’m turning out some useful information, and I’ve got over half a year of blog topics under my belt, the response is completely different. Have you seen a similar trend with reaching out early on vs when you’re more established?
    TJ McDowell recently posted..KEHcom ReviewMy Profile

    1. Hi TJ,
      That’s great that you’re getting the response that you are looking for now. It’s definitely easier now to get noticed. I believe it’s a combination of a lot of efforts revolving around social media. That first few hundred Twitter followers was very tough for me to get. I had already decided that it was very important to me to only promote and follow serious bloggers who I respected. I decided early on that I was not looking for sheer numbers.

      I think I’ve always had the content. It was building awareness that’s the challenge for all new bloggers. I put a lot of effort into building my connections on LinkedIn at first. Once I made those first few valuable connections and learned what sites they were visiting, I followed.

    1. I’m sure you’ll get some volunteers! I was just on John Paul’s site and I saw Samantha over there. Maybe he’ll pick up a “stalker” or two. 🙂

    1. LinkedIn is another great resource for connecting Keyuri! Thanks for mentioning it.

      BTW – Have I ever told you how much I enjoy the titles of your posts? “Parenting Like a Pansy”? – very funny title. How could I now want to read that. 🙂

  18. Great recommendations Sherryl. I just go where the smarts are. I want to be the best and so I study the very best. Fortunately, some of them have taken notice of me – it’s always such a huge compliment when that happens. Side bonus: Most A listers are on Twitter and, if they follow you, your Twitter becomes more authoritative.

    1. Catherine,
      Great point about your Twitter becoming more authoritative. I too feel fortunate when someone that I truly respect notices me. It’s such a vote of confidence that I’m doing something right!

  19. Hi Sherryl,
    I agree with what you said here that if you get some kind of approval by the influential or popular bloggers in your niche via them retweeting your posts or liking them or even commenting on them, then it would catch the attention of the other readers. But of course, it’s up to the people themselves if they would want to follow you and read your every new post.

    1. Hi Johanna,
      As much as I’d like to read every post for some of the bloggers that I follow, I find it impossible to keep up. One thinf I like about Twitter is that I check my lists at least once a week and look for my favorite bloggers. That way, I can quickly see the posts that they’re promoting and easily hop over to their blog to read it.

  20. Hi Sherryl,
    Some bloggers have also installed a “Top Commentator Widget” so when you make regular comments on their blog there are chances to show your picture with a linkback by doing this.

    1. I was using that widget for a while. I honestly don’t remember why I removed it. I seriously need to spend some time spiffing up this blog a little. There are a few things that I’ve been wanting to add. Maybe I’ll put that back on again or something similar. Thanks for the suggestion.

  21. This is a great thought, Sherryl. If stalking can be called great. 😀 But, I understand what you are getting at here and I think I am even doing this myself, although I didn’t quite label myself when I started looking into blog sites such as yours. Now, that you put a name to it, let me call myself a certified blog stalker. 😉

    – Wes –

    1. A “certified blog stalker”! I love it. Maybe we’ve coined a new phrase here. 🙂 As I said in my comment to Susan, my motivation for connecting with bloggers like John Paul, Kim and Tia was to learn from them and share the information. I always think that if a post is valuable to me, it will be valuable to other people too. Driving traffic to my site is an extra benefit. The whole “stalking” idea came to me when I was trying to get creative with my heading.

  22. I must admit I have never stalked any bloggers. That said a few years ago I made regular comments on what is now a very popular site and opportunities opened up.

    One question for you Sherryl, apart from traffic did you have any other goals in mind when you did this?
    Susan Oakes recently posted..Segment Your Way to Marketing SuccessMy Profile

    1. That’s a great question Susan. My main goal was to develop an online network of strategic thinkers. I was looking for people who were both knowledgeable in their area of expertise and open to the idea of sharing and helping each other. Secondly, I was looking to build awareness of my brand. It’s the awareness that has helped to bring traffic.

      I approach online social networking the same as networking face to face. I’m looking to develop mutually beneficial business relationships where we can help each other to grow our businesses.

  23. It takes some research and time to find out who the influential bloggers truly are. As John Paul mentions, the quality of what an influential blogger publishes speaks volumes more than the number of comments. There are many bloggers that tout that they are an expert in their field, only to prove that they aren’t. Such bloggers may provide bad advice, that someone will follow and take to be true.

    It is important to not only follow an influential blogger, but also learn from their success, as well as their failures.
    Paul Salmon recently posted..Marketing For Your Company Just Got EasierMy Profile

    1. Exactly Paul.. following the “wrong” blogger will waste your time and maybe money following advice that doesn’t work since they cant even make work for themselves.

      People need to be smart here and look deeper past the pretty blog and smart talk.. if they they are a social media expert but get only 2 Rts or 2 likes then you have to question how is he an expert.

      If he is a traffic blogger yet has 200,000 Alexa rank on a 3 yr old blog, then you need to ask, how good is he at getting traffic?

      Taking a few minutes to look deeper will help you in the end since you will find the RIGHT bloggers to follow and learn from.
      John Paul Aguiar recently posted..Follow Friday Favorites Week 3My Profile

    2. Great point Paul. There are so many self proclaimed experts in the blogosphere that it’s a bit like the wild-wild-west out here. Just because someone has a ton of followers, there’s no guarantee that they actually know what they’re blogging about it. It takes time but it’s critical to do your due diligence and ensure that their advice is true and makes sense.

      BTW – Thanks for the comment. I’m now following you on Twitter!

  24. Sherryl, great post, only good things an happen if you attach to bloggers that are ahead of you. It can be learning it can be some mutual sharing no matter what it will be a beni to you and your blog.

    Also Thank You for including me in your post and the positive comment. Im happy I was able to help you break a “bad” Twitter habit 🙂

    @Samantha you need to look at more then the comment to find people you can follow. Look deeper at their numbers

    ex> if you are looking for a blogger that teaches traffic getting tips.. well make sure they have great traffic stats themselves.

    Look deeper then just comments to get the best bloggers to follow.
    John Paul Aguiar recently posted..Follow Friday Favorites Week 3My Profile

    1. Good point! Quality over quantity. Quality in both the comments people leave and in their posts. =) Thanks for the gentle slap on the head!

    2. You’re welcome John! I really do get a lot out of your posts. I just read your post “8 Surefire Ways To Build A Popular Blog” and took note of your gentle reminder to guest post. Not guest blogging is the next habit I need to break!

  25. Hey Sherryl – I call this “blogger outreach” and it’s very effective. Even big brands are doing this. This is the practical part of social PR. It helps enormously.

    On the other side of the coin is the fact that the bigger the brand, the more this is actually critical and not optional. Bloggers will say what they will about you and your brand. Getting on the radar of influential bloggers and micro-bloggers (tweeple) is required, I think. It’s a critical aspect of both monitoring and story telling.

    Great post!

    P.S. The new blog is up but far from perfect. I just want to get it going before I lose my mind over it. Have a look!

    1. Thanks for dropping by Tia! I love the term “blogger outreach”. That’s exactly what it is.

      I love your new blog. I’m already following your new twitter ID and I’ll be over to help you promote it!

  26. How coincidental! I was just spending the last half hour looking at blogs to break into a certain niche. It seems clear who the authorities are based on the number of comments people leave for each post. Thanks for the tone of this post, Sherryl — you make self-promotion something positive! =)

    1. Hi Samantha,
      Bottom line, it’s all about building relationships. The best way to get people to follow you is to provide great content. You’ll find by reading comments that some of the most successful and popular bloggers use the comment section to add to the conversation. When you read a comment that hits home, you’re bound to hop over to their blog and check out what else they have to say. Next thing you know, you’re promoting them and getting on their “radar screen”. Good luck! Looks like you’re off to a good start.

      1. Thanks for your input, Sherryl. You really have me looking at comments in another way. I’m really enjoying the different ways of connecting with other bloggers. =)

        1. One of the best way to connect with other bloggers is, as you’ve guys talked about in the comments above, to leave comments.

          But. What’s even greater is when you actually mention the blogger in your own blog, placing a link back to the blog whom owner you’d wish to take notice of you.

          After that: make sure you also leave a comment on the blog. That leaves, like, 3 impressions making it impossible for the blog owner to ignore you which is the case a lot of times. Works out for me at least, over here in Sweden! 🙂

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