Whether you have an established blog or are planning to launch a new site in the near future, you will need to understand how to promote your blog in order to attract readership and website traffic.
There is no point spending time, effort and money in creating the world’s best content if it’s not being read, especially by the right people.
Times change quickly in online blogging. Recognising how to promote your content now is only a short-term solution. You need to routinely do your homework and ensure you understand how to promote your blog each time a major, or combination of minor changes, occur.
These changes could be technological such as social networking advances, sociological such as evolving etiquette or social trending, or even political such as legislative changes. You should include your promotional framework within your testing and analysis activities. How you promote your blog has such a big impact on it’s performance and success that you would be foolish not to. Learning how to promote your blog should become a staple of your ongoing blogging and content marketing practices.
Here is a breakdown of how to promote your blog successfully in 2015.
Pre-Promotion Checklist Here is a quick checklist of the activities you should have already achieved, prior to creating a framework for how to promote your blog articles:
- Done your research – customers, industry, competitors, environment, content, keyword etc.
- Started writing a blogging plan – monetisation strategy, content calender, allocated resources etc.
- Chosen a niche
- Set up and optimised blog – chosen CMS/plugins/functionality, on-page SEO, split-testing resources etc.
- Content publishing – content writing, media creation/sourcing, outreach initiatives, citation, SEO etc.
If there are certain tasks on this list that you may have skipped over, then it might be best to go back and revisit these before focusing on how to promote your blog and it’s content.
- Create a distribution plan: Research where your ideal readers already exist online and create profiles and accounts on those networks in order to share your content with network users. Examples of distribution points for a marketing blog include:
- Facebook Groups
- LinkedIn Groups
- Google+ Communities
- Use syndication networks: Syndication networks are platforms that allow you to amplify your content through reciprocal sharing. By sharing other bloggers’ content that is relevant to your audience or industry, not only do you build reciprocal power, but it’s an efficient way of curating content for your social media streams. Examples of syndication networks include:
- Join blogging communities: Blogging communities are good places to grow relationships with other bloggers, curate relevant articles and promote your own content. A few examples include:
- Create an engagement plan: Human to human (H2H) engagement is good promotion. Period. Reaching out and talking to people on social media who are discussing topics around your blog content creates ideal situations to promote your content, while establishing fruitful relationships. Also use blog commenting to engage with other bloggers creating related content and to promote your presence (as well as promoting your blog articles on sites using CommentLuv and Disqus).
- Develop social listening practices: Use social media monitoring tools to listen to your networks and understand what content your ideal readers are interested in and how they react to certain topics. I use Hootsuite to set up searches for keywords, keyword phrases and brand usernames to listen out for relevant conversations and discussions.
- Develop an outreach strategy: There are two obvious way of doing this, #1 manually research influencers and industry peers who are not in direct competition with your blog and ask if they would like to feature your content in any form to their audiences, or #2 use software to accomplish the same thing. Software like BuzzStream or NinjaOutreach are more efficient and less time-consuming than manual outreach, so if you can afford the additional investment then it’s worth testing.
- Inform linking sites: Tell sites that you link to that you have included references to them. This is not only courteous, but usually results in additional social shares, comments and occasionally even reciprocal linking or referencing.
- Email JVs (joint ventures): Join forces with other bloggers or related businesses who are not in direct competition to promote each others content to email subscriber lists. My weapon of choice for email software is Mailchimp.
- Use social bookmarking: Share links to your blog articles on social bookmarking sites like Delicious, Reddit and Digg. Here is a list of 50 more social bookmarking sites to consider using to promote your blog.
- Guest blogging: You can promote your blog by writing content for other industry sites. Guest pieces will include a link or two back to your blog, enhancing SEO and promoting your knowledge and expertise to a whole new audience of engaged readers.
- Use content unlocks: There are WordPress plugins that ‘lock’ content and only allow readers to access it after they have shared the article on social media. A good example is to include a PDF print-ready version of your blog article and allow people to download it in exchange for a social share. This increases your blog promotion organically by incentivising extra social media exposure.
- Publish additional media: Turning your blog content into different forms of media can increase exposure to different audiences and cater for readers who prefer to digest content in different formats. Examples of different types of format your standard blog article could be turned into include: PowerPoint, Video, PDF, Infographic, Podcast or Flipbook.
Hopefully, this should provide some direction for taking how to promote your blog to the next level in 2015.
Paid Blog Promotion
All the promotional activities above cost nothing to perform – they just take time and effort to update and manage successfully. There are additional paid promotional activities that you should use to further increase your scope and reach. Paid promotion allows you to reach audiences that you wouldn’t normally be able to access using your immediate networks and platforms. This could open your blog up to a whole new level of readership. Here are some examples of paid promotional activities you can include in your blog promotion framework:
- Facebook advertising: Boost your Facebook posts that share your blog content to increase click-through traffic. You can also promote your blog incentives using Facebook Offers, or grow your blog community by using Website Conversion Ads.
- Twitter advertising: Use Twitter ads to generate more exposure, click-through traffic or goal conversions.
- LinkedIn advertising: Send LinkedIn members to blog landing pages to opt-in to your lead magnets.
- YouTube advertising: Promote your video tutorials through YouTube ads to attract more viewers.
- Paid article placement: You can pay to place blog articles on popular sites that don’t accept guest posting.
- Paid email distribution: Promote your blog articles through email lists that other industry bloggers or businesses have already built and established.
There are many other methods of paid advertising available. Some will work better than others for you.
My advice would be to start small and test each one for effectiveness – taking the best for your blog and niche and scaling as appropriate. Don’t think using paid methods to promote your blog is cheating. Paying for additional exposure is good business – if you can increase your Facebook reach from hundreds to tens of thousands for a very small investment, that certainly is good blog promotion.
As you may have noticed, you should be spend more time promoting your content than writing it. Don’t promote content only once. Routinely promote or repurpose content to continue to leverage it as a business asset. [Tweet This!]
I’m sure there are many other tactics and strategies for promoting blog content that I have missed or that are specific to different industries, locations or businesses. Do you promote your content sufficiently? What can you take away from this article about how to promote your content better?
What’s the first thing you will do to improve your blog promotion strategy?