Launching Linkbait is like organising a party

beerKnow what today is? iiiiitttt’s.... Analogy Friday!

Tomorrow night, the Distilled crew is coming to my house for a party. It’s called Boardgames and Beverages. Rocking. While I stayed up all last night decorating personalised menus and filing the party bags with appropriately luxurious gifts, I was reminded of all those times I’ve stayed up all night crafting the perfect bit of content*. As it happens, the analogy holds:

1. Scout the idea.

If no-one’s interested, there’s no point. “Hey guys, who’s up for a party at mine?” If this happens, come up with a better idea. The same applies to linkbait: if no-one’s the slightest bit ‘baited’ by your content idea, it might be worth having a rethink.

2. Make sure you have some reliables.

party-hatsBefore I emailed everyone at Distilled, I checked that a few reliables were keen to don their party hats and would attend without fail. I don’t know about you, but I like going to parties that I know lots of my friends are going to. It’s kind of the same with social networking: people attract people and traffic attracts traffic. If you’re really lucky, your friends, followers, whatever, will also attract lots of new visitors to your site.

3. Plan something wonderful

There’ll be boardgames, there’ll be beverages. Who knows, I might even get out the indoor remote control helicopter. Similarly, you should try and impress with your content. Think about who it’s trying to attract and go all out to blow their socks off.

4. Build up the hype

I’ve sent round a few emails about my party, dropped it into conversation here and there, pointed and laughed at the people who can’t come, that sort of thing. There are two things to think about:

  • Anticipation is often better than the experience itself
  • If people think they’re going to have fun, they’re much more likely to actually have fun.
5. Go go go!

Timing is critical. My party is neither on a schoolnight nor in the morning. That would be silly. When you launch your linkbait, think about when you’re doing it. If your audience is US centric (so, Digg), it’s a good idea to launch pieces at around lunchtime here. Get a few diggs and comments going (hey, that’s like inviting a few people to your party early to get the atmosphere going) and that should hopefully attract the attention of the US at the start of their day.

Once the launch is underway, there’s no going back. You need to be on call for the next few hours at least to nurture the linkbait on its young unsteady legs.

6. Follow up and recovery

Phew, party’s over. Hopefully, we’ve all made some new friends and/or found out something new and interesting. Every time you launch some linkbait, you should try and build some new connections and/or learn from the experience. This can seem quite overwhelming to begin with, but a thoughtful comment here and a genuine shout there can really add up.

____________________________ *I’ve not ever actually done this. I do dream about linkbait quite regularly so that sort of counts, right?