Posted by: Jim Adcock | February 21, 2011

Promotional Venue – Yahoo Groups

Yahoo Groups may seem a little pre-iPhone, a little early-21st-century, a little old-fashioned, but there are still millions of people using the service.

This is a great way to find an audience for your posts on specific topics.

If you have never joined a Yahoo Group, here are the basics:

  1. You need a Yahoo account. If you already have one (and lots of people do), you are pretty much set to start. Yahoo also lets you create an account with your Facebook or Gmail account, too.

    Signup is pretty simple.

    You can use your accounts at other services to set up your Yahoo account.

  2. Find groups! If you have a specific topic for your blog, or a number of specific topics you revisit regularly, find the groups that best match those topics.
  3. Some groups require moderator approval before you can join, and may require you tell them a little about why you are interested in joining the group.
  4. Once you have set up the Yahoo account and joined a group, you can then have the group e-mails sent to whatever e-mail address you own that you want the mail to be sent to. This setting is configured on a per-group basis.

    Once you have signed up for a group (and been approved, if needed), you can change your membership settings.

    Choose these options when you sign up for a group, or you can edit them later.

  5. You can choose to get the e-mails individually or in a daily digest. You can also choose to not get the e-mails and just read the posts online, which is a perfectly acceptable selection if you are already getting more e-mail than you can deal with.

My advice is to get the e-mails and interact with the group at least occasionally. This will enhance your ability to draw on the membership as a readership base.

One thing to look out for, some groups are set up so that when you hit reply, you are replying to the individual and not the group, other groups are set up so that you are replying tot he group as a whole, not specifically to the person you are responding to. When you reply, check to see who the e-mail is going to before hitting send, and make sure the reply is headed to the target you intended.

OK, so now you are signed up, you’ve got your e-mail straightened out, and you have found some groups and hopefully begun to interact. Now what?

Make posts on your blog, and send an e-mail to the group(s). If your posts are meaty, tease them with a portion of text (a paragraph or a couple of sentences) and a link to the post.

If your posts tend to be shorter – that is to say, if the couple of sentences to tease the post contains the majority of the content of the post – send an e-mail regarding several posts at once, with the titles of the posts, something about your blog, and a link to your blog.

Either way, give them something that will make them want to click the link (and make sure your content made it worth it to have clicked the link, or they won’t come back!)

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He also serves as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors. He also wants to know why everyone keeps asking him about sleep…

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