How To Really Get On The Problogger List Of Bloggers To Watch

This is a guest post by Jade Craven of JadeCraven.com

Wanna get on the Problogger List of Bloggers to Watch? It’s easy. Get my attention. Let me explain.

Problogger List of Bloggers to Watch

Writing a list post is hard work. The 2011 edition took 80 hours, and that’s despite asking my friends for help. Researching someone outside of my network takes between 5-10 hours. Writing about someone I’m familiar with takes about two.

Familiarity is just one of the factors I use. This post is designed to give you an insight into how I created a list that became an industry tradition.

The Three Essentials

In the comments of the post, Paul Cunningham narrowed it down to three steps.

  • Do amazing work all year long, year in and year out
  • Do something that fits the niche
  • Network in the circles where your presence becomes known to the people who influence these lists

That’s basically how I roll. Let’s break it down:

Do Amazing Work

I’m not going to rehash this – there are the three posts that talk about, well, their own amazingness.

The tips given in these posts are solid. However for most, you need something extra to really stand out. I pay more attention to those whose work benefits the community.

  • Lavonne Ellis has created a small business incubator with Customer Love. I included her because she is creating a supportive environment for bloggers who want to get into product development
  • Srinivas Rao puts so much effort into his work for BlogcastFM. He gives many bloggers a voice and gives everyone else the opportunity to learn.
  • Ashley Ambirge writes content that makes my heart sing. I know that people will read her and feel inspired to give this self-employment thing a shot.

From a marketing perspective, this also benefits me. If you have a passionate and vibrant community then it is likely that they’ll share the post within their own networks. It gets more coverage and the person gets more accolades.

How to get on the Problogger list of bloggers to watch

Do Stuff That Fits The Niche

Problogger is a post on blogging. Sometimes, there will be posts on specific forms of monetization like freelancing or product creation. People write about taking care of yourself while blogging, and give tips on how to leverage social media.

I try to include people that will be useful to the audience. People can look at the list and get a bit of inspiration from the various niches and move on. Or, they can find blogs that contain information highly relevant to their situation. They can dig into the content and find what they need to take the next step.

The readers save time finding the best information. I’ll adapt it to include stuff from different niches next year, but there will always be the emphasis towards blogs about social media and lifestyle design.

Network In The Circles

I rely on my inner circle for everything. I’m not superwomen and rely on my friends to filter information. I do the same for them. The best way to see someone’s inner circle is to monitor the conversation on twitter and see who I’m talking to, and about.

My inner circle evolves but currently it is people like Catherine Caine, Srinivas Rao and Jonathan Wondrusch. And yes, they were all on my list. That is because they freaking rock. If I say someone is going to change the industry, they will. You know who else impresses the bejesus out of me?

Ainslie hunter. Laura Belgray. Tricia Karp.

They are going to be accomplishing the stuff of win. You can wait until another list comes out or you can trust these recommendations and act now.

The point is, I go out of my way to ensure that I don’t favor the people in my immediate network. I’ll ask friends on twitter. I’ll email my close friends. I’ll hunt through my favorite forums. I also go through the people recommended in the comments of the previous year’s list.

Alternately, just contact me. I have a free seeding service for those who have awesome stuff. And you can be darn sure I’m already hunting for talent for future lists.

Other Criteria

Be A Rising Star

As PostRank noted, this year I focused more on the upcoming stars and less on the established players.

The readership primarily consists of upcoming bloggers; those in the early stages of their career. As such, they find it hard to relate to those who target the corporate world – and they are rather vocal about their disapproval.

See, it’s not so much about what I want– it’s about what the readers demand. Despite my changes, people are still commenting that I focus too much on social media and blogging blogs despite that being the niche that Problogger serves.

Here’s the kicker though. Becoming a ‘rising star’ is incredibly formulaic.

  • Make the right connections
  • Accrue a couple of thousand twitter followers
  • Write a couple of really popular posts
  • Launch a product that makes a couple of grand.

Anyone can become a ‘rising star’ in a short period of time. I’ve been a rising star for 18 months.

What is hard is building a sustainable business. I spent so much time proving my ‘star’ status to my peers that when I lost my main client, I lost my main source of income. Popularity does not equal a business.

I’d recommend that you focus on building a business rather than accumulating social proof. Being listed won’t pay the bills.

Have A Usable Site

I got a lot of snarky comments in that post. In all cases, I went to their site to see if they’d be useful to keep an eye on. A good curator never ignores someone just because they dislike them.

In most cases, they were capital-f Fugly. Their about page gave very little context to the site. The navigation was a mess.

  • Have a very, very clear about section. Tell me about you, about your blog and about your work. I put 80+ hours into the last post and removed some people because I still had no idea what they did after spending an hour on their website
  • Have press images that are easy to edit. This didn’t affect my choice but it makes it easier for people to talk about you. I’ve excluded people from previous posts because I couldn’t find an appropriate image
  • Have a clean sidebar. It can have a lot of stuff on it – Jess Van Den did – but each thing has to have a clear purpose

Over To You…

It’s fun being a person on the list. However, there is something even better.

Be the person who creates the fucking list. Not write – create.

Jade Craven on SocialMouths This is a guest post by Jade Craven – Jade is the author of the world-famous Problogger List of Bloggers to Watch. She’s a Relationship Marketing specialist and co-founder of Social Media Solutions. You can also follow her on Twitter.


  • I love the lists that Jade creates because she does the leg work for me. I am sure people used that lists in multiple ways – some probably followed everyone, others probably used it as a spam list. I took it one step further. First I made sure I was following everyone, then I studied how they interacted and connected with others and then I thought of the changes I could make to the way I interacted with others online.

    The list can really help you study online behaviours and how each person, with their unique personality, engages their people.

    The trick for us is to not copy their styles but find our own voice.

    Cheers

    Ainslie

  • Hi Jade,

    Do you have a place we can submit lists of our favorite bloggers? Many of us have a post or two (or more) that have links to the blogs we most admire.

  • Anonymous

    I asked people to add their favourites on the post itself http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/01/13/40-bloggers-to-watch-in-2011/ or you can email me at jade@jadecraven.com I’d love to hear your suggestions 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Totally 🙂 I know a lot of people use the lists in dodgy ways, like mass emailing them about guest posts and then using the wrong name. I know of others who use it as the list of people they watch and learn from, as you do.

    Thanks, as usual, for your support xx

    – Jade

  • I’m super-thrilled to get a mention in this post! But I’m commenting to say that your list did great things for me this year, just from reading it. I found some great people, like Matthew Kimberly and Srinivas Rao…I found blogcast fm, where I’ve now been interviewed…I rejoined 3rd Tribe after listening to Mr Kimberly’s interview, which yielded me a couple of clients…
    That list paid for itself.
    Oh wait, it was free.

  • Anonymous

    🙂 Thankies muchly!

    That’s what annoyed me about the rah rahing from cranky pant-faces. I put 80 hours into something for free – if they disagreed, go and do the same thing. Anyhoozle, I’m glad you like the mention. I love it when awesome stuff like that happens. The people that go on there do so because of their talent and because I know in my gut that they can do a lot for people. It’s so fun watching that become a reality 🙂

  • Great article Jade. My favourite line “I’d recommend that you focus on building a business rather than accumulating social proof. Being listed won’t pay the bills.”

    SO important!

  • Jade! Darling! What a fab post. I love that you’re like, “Here’s how to do it, now go do it!” Can’t get much clearer than that.

    By running this list every year, you have actually fostered and encouraged the blogging community to do more good in their business. By telling us that being good for the community is part of your qualifying process, you inspire us do great things (even if it’s just to get goos press…lol). Thanks for spelling it out for us.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the goal 😛 Three friends had written their own posts and I’d read them and get pissed off. All the stuff they recommend is great, but if you don’t get the attention of the author then it’s all for nothing.

    I’m a softie at heart. I can’t do much but I can draw attention to the genuine people who do so much to others. I dunno, it’s one of the few things I do that brings me real joy. Like waking up to tweets from people I mentioned, thanking me for mentioning them. 🙂 With great power comes great responsibility

  • Anonymous

    I learned that one the hard way 😉

  • Thanks for sharing your views on the topic.

  • As I’ve said before Jade is the Kevin Bacon of the Blogosphere. Somehow we can all be tracked back to her. There’s no question that you should get to know her, but do it because she’s awesome, not because you want to be on the damn Problogger list. The ultimate irony for me is that I’ve never had a guest post published on Problogger, but I’m on the list :).I reached out to Jade because I wanted to have her as a guest on BlogcastFM. I had no idea she was the one who put together that list. Because of her we really got on the map in the blogging industry. We also were able to find a ton of new guests to add value to the podcast. My favorite thing about these lists is finding new people to interview for BlogcastFM.

  • Cristina Ansbjerg

    Hi Jade,
    I read that post and it helped me to find great people and great blogs to follow. It was very complete and interesting. I can’t understand that some people didn’t like your list. Maybe it was just envy for not being listed. I see it from a “neutral” point of view since I play in a totally different league (I blog in Spanish). I love reading good content in English and learning from it. Your post definitely was amazing, 40 blogs in one post.

    I’m sure next year you’ll find new interesting bloggers for us.

    Congrats,
    Cristina

  • Hi Jade,
    I read that post and it helped me to find great people and great blogs to follow. It was very complete and interesting. I can’t understand that some people didn’t like your list. Maybe it was just envy for not being listed. I see it from a “neutral” point of view since I play in a totally different league (I blog in Spanish). I love reading good content in English and learning from it. Your post definitely was amazing, 40 blogs in one post.

    I’m sure next year you’ll find new interesting bloggers for us.

    Congrats,
    Cristina

  • Hi Jade,
    I read that post and it helped me to find great people and great blogs to follow. It was very complete and interesting. I can’t understand that some people didn’t like your list. Maybe it was just envy for not being listed. I see it from a “neutral” point of view since I play in a totally different league (I blog in Spanish). I love reading good content in English and learning from it. Your post definitely was amazing, 40 blogs in one post.

    I’m sure next year you’ll find new interesting bloggers for us.

    Congrats,
    Cristina

  • Thanks Jade. I’ll head over there right now,

  • Great content. I found myself clicking on a link here, reading, then clicking on another link, and finding more great stuff. Blogs I hadn’t seen till now. I had to stop myself or else I wouldn’t sleep tonight. 🙂

    With a new blog I’ve definitely tried to meet people who are on the same path I am or further ahead. I love to be inspired and help motivate each other.

    I enjoyed the last list. Amazing work. Didn’t realize it took 80 hours but it was well done!

  • Jade, this post totally rocks. Please consider me your newest stalker/fan.

  • “Jade is the Kevin Bacon of the Blogosphere” – best. comment. ever. Couldn’t agree more.

  • I must be traveling in all the wrong circles, Jade – I haven’t heard of many of these people. 🙂

    Thanks for the advice – always great to hear from someone “who’s been there, ‘s done that”.

    Ana

  • Anonymous

    When he first said that I was like ‘whose Kevin Bacon?’. I then remembered I’d read about him in some business book. #fail

    And yeah – Srini was totally a case of accidental networking. We have our mutual friend Ali Luke to thank for that one 🙂

  • Anonymous

    That’s something I hear a lot when it comes to my post. Glad you enjoyed the list – let me know if you need further recommendations 🙂

  • Hi Jade,

    I don’t see any way to comment in that post. I believe Darren closes comments on older posts so that is probably why. I’ll email them instead.

  • Anonymous

    They used to close after about 3 months; I’m assuming that happened. I didn’t know as someone commented just last week but I’ll look out for your email.

    Thank you xx

  • This is an inspiring article. I have involved in blogging for one year but still not getting much recognition. I really get the ideas from this article. Thanks a lot!

  • Anonymous

    Glad to help xx

    Even when I was doing a lot of stuff, I wasn’t getting much recognition and it sucked. Then I just focused on doing bigger things less often and being different. It’s been a lot easier since then 🙂

  • “Be the person who creates the fucking list. Not write – create.”

    And there it is! BAM! Create the fucking list! Love the vernacular!

  • I like that line, too. So key. I don’t really try to make anyone’s list of anything. I love the lists and think they’re wonderful but I’m so happy my sun doesn’t rise or fall on approval of peers, most of which my target clients have never and will never know about. 🙂 Of course the lists are great for me as most of those folks provide a lot of continuing education that is otherwise non-existent.

    Everything has its place!

    Cheers,
    Tia

  • Great article. Having recently launched my blog within the last 6 months I found the information useful. Hopefully you’ll see our blog on a “watch” list soon!

  • Great article. Having recently launched my blog within the last 6 months I found the information useful. Hopefully you’ll see our blog on a “watch” list soon!

  • Thanks man! I’m really glad that you’re digging By Bloggers. It’s a pleasure to have you hear, especially since I’ve enjoyed what you’ve written since before I was a blogger.

  • This didn’t affect my choice but it makes it easier for people to talk about you. I’ve excluded people from previous posts because I couldn’t find an appropriate image

  • Well I notice that People write about taking care of yourself while blogging, and give tips on how to leverage social media.As anyone can become ‘a rising star’ in a short period of time.

  • Well it has lot of matters to read.. The readership primarily consists of upcoming blogger  those in the early stages of their career…thanks for sharing this post…

  • Becoming a ‘rising star’ is incredibly formulaic.
    Make the right connectionsAccrue a couple of thousand twitter followersWrite a couple of really popular postsLaunch a product that makes a couple of grand.

    Anyone can become a ‘rising star’ in a short period of time . These lines are the best lines in the article.I truly agree  with it. 

  • The goal is to help individuals stand on their own by creating personal brands that allows them to claim expert and leader status.

  • Well this three essentials or three steps are must for this….And this is explained very well in this blog which is worth to read..thanks

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    All the 3 essential were really awesome! thanks a lot or sharing! i fonded that it was very informative.

  • Thanks for share this excellent information with us i’ll never forget this type of information and tells others about it! Thanks once again

  • I read that post and it helped me to find great people and great blogs
    to follow. It was very complete and interesting. I can’t understand that
    some people didn’t like your list. Maybe it was just envy for not being
    listed. I see it from a “neutral” point of view since I play in a
    totally different league (I blog in Spanish). I love reading good
    content in English and learning from it. Your post definitely was
    amazing, 40 blogs in one post.

  • This is my own list of the people I’m watching. I was approached to do this list because of my work as a professional connector. These are the people that have stood out to me, or my network.

  • This is somewhat a useful trick or you must say an useful way to get on probloggers list. And according to me it’s about what the readers demand.

  • This is a very good idea! Just want to say thank you for the information, you have to share.Just continue to write such a position. I will be your faithful reader. Thank you again.

  • Well good one..There’s no question that you should get to know her, but do it because she’s awesome, not because you want to be on the damn Pro blogger list.

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  • I’m so excited to find your blog, I couldn’t find so worthy information on this matter. This is perfect job, your post is just what I was looking for!

  • Researching someone outside of my network takes between 5-10 hours. Writing about someone I’m familiar with takes about two.

  • Network in the circles where your presence becomes known to the people who influence these list

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  • Familiarity is just one of the factors I use. 

  • The 2011 edition took 80 hours, and that’s despite asking my friends for help.

  • The 2011 edition took 80 hours, and that’s despite asking my friends for help.

  • Network in the circles where your presence becomes known to the people who influence these lists

  • This post is designed to give you an insight into how I created a list that became an industry tradition.

  • I especially liked that sentence where you said ‘fucking’. That was a good one.;)

  • Momo Chaine

    A lot of people are all blahblahdelivervalueblahblah. Andconnectionconnectionconnection.
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    You have really figured out something unique here and it looks you are on the fast track to kicking some serious butt!

    Of course I would looove to be on the list next year (what blogger wouldn’t?), but I can see why you were mentioned.

    When I see your blog, I see an undiscovered gem. I mean, you have got some killer posts, are using multi media effectively, and are offering great products, and you only have 9 comments on this post!?!

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