AlexShalman.com Practical Personal Development Podcast #8
Muhammad Saleem is known as a ‘Social Media Maven’, which means he’s put news stories in front of millions of eyeballs using social networking sites such as digg, tip’d, and stumbleupon. If you’ve ever gotten off-track while surfing the internet, you could appreciate how Mu is able to stay focused while browsing for business.
Always online, always on social news, social networking, and microblogging sites at the same time – probably researching ways to take over the world – Mu’s day-to-day consists of a lot of social media consulting (stuff that’s so hush-hush he has to sign Do-Not-Disclose agreements). Mu’s consulting involves talking to people and figuring out what they’re trying to do with their website/business, what their goals are, and helping to develop and market their content so they can reach their goals.
You may not necessarily be interested in social media, but I know you’re interested in the philosophy that makes successful people successful. Let’s grind up Muhammad Saleem into powder, sift through his life, and extract the wonderful personality and success principles and see how we can apply them to our own success.
The Secret Formula To Digg Front Page
Mu is notorious for submitting over 2,000 (with as much as 250,000 readers per article!) Digg front page articles. To some people that’s a pretty big deal. As bloggers we want our words to be read, and a digg front page guarantees many thousands of eyes looking at our masterpiece.
In our interview, Mu is nice enough to reveal the simple formula for reaching a Digg front page. When you realize just how simple it is, you’re going to kick yourself for not thinking of it yourself.
The formula is: Become a part of the digg community. Learn about the trends and preferences of the demographic. Start or join a niche that would be of interest to this community. Be patient, and over time you will build a following. As your following grows, so will your articles exposure to digg traffic. That means the success ratio of articles that hit front page to articles submitted will increase.
Urbanist, Ecoist and Manliness
Muhammad Saleem is managing WebUrbanist, WebEcoist, and the Art of Manliness (you’ll love this one if you like my site). Mu helps develop content, train writers, content ideas, promotion of content, and has a part in monetization of the sites.
As someone that manages every conceivable area of his own site, I can definitely appreciate how much work Mu needs to put in to do this at 3 different websites. Each one can be a full-time job in and of itself. It’s important to realize that effort is not necessarily correlated with success — smart effort is.
Tip’d – Digg For Economy & Finance
Muhammad’s most recent project is Tip’d, which is somewhat of a digg clone, but strictly for financial news. With the current economic issues being a hot topic, launching a website dedicated to the top financial news online is a great idea.
If you’re a news junkie, and finance is your poison of choice, than Tip’d will prove to be an invaluable source of information. I’m personally not big on news, but I’m really interested in what it takes to get a project of this magnitude from concept to success.
For Mu this took a few weeks, $25,000, a super-star team of social medium experts, designers, and coders, and some good old fashioned elbow grease. The hardest part, after the project is built, is getting the world out and spreading it to both interested users as well as financial news website owners.
The Art of Networking Online
Actually building a website such as Tip’d is easy – relatively speaking – compared with the arduous task of attracting users to it. That’s where networking is absolutely essential. Mu covers 2 very important networking principles – creating mutually beneficial relationships and educating the target audience.
Mu and his team searched out and contacted all of the top finance websites on the net. They needed to create this beneficial relationship, but they didn’t have anything (specifically traffic) to offer them in exchange. Regardless, they went ahead and traded getting traffic now, for giving traffic later.
Since such a process is a gamble on the part of the other party, Mu had to educate these site owners as to the potential of Tip’d. The game plan is that 3-6 months after launch Tip’d will be generating enough traffic to return the favor and then some.
Staying Focused On the Internetz
One of Mu’s jobs is to find the best articles on the net to promote on social networking sites. This has the potential to be a tremendous time sink, as one interesting story can lead to another, and so on. Sometimes Mu even has to get some writing done, but the temptation of the internet is always there, and always calling – can you relate?
A lot of times I have to quit my IM, quit my browser window, and open a text edit and really start writing. It can be very distracting, and you can lose hours if you just keep opening tabs if you’re on digg or any of these sites. ~Mu
Isolation from distractions is the key element. This also goes for studying, or working on any projects that require singular focus. The more you get distracted, the longer it takes time to get into a work-flow, so you need to make sure you’re distraction free.
Key Elements to Starting an Online Business
The key focus of your business should always be to provide value ~Mu
When you’re providing value, you’ll get most of your clients through word of mouth. You see Mu do this with his consulting business. He merely leaves an e-mail on the website, and says ‘contact me.’ People that have already been told about his great work will quickly get in touch and make a deal.
His main question to ask himself when creating a new product or service is ‘what void are you going to fill with your service?‘
Last Bit of Advice
Many people think in terms of ‘How do I advance myself, so that I can make more money?’ This is the wrong approach, especially on the social web, because a lot of people will see through you. Mu makes himself readily available – at the risk of getting spam and bad referrals – which allows him to make some great relationships and bring a lot of value to people.
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