9 Tips for promoting your blog
I am receiving a lot of questions about blogging and in particular, how to gain more readers. To help you out my lovelies, here is one of my articles on that subject. It was published with Nuffnang sometime ago and received a great feedback. I hope you will find this post useful too!
Every blogger knows the more visitors your blog has the better. Some visitors will convert into your followers and contribute to your fan base growth. However, to gain a sound fan base by just posting quality content, having Facebook and Twitter accounts set up is not enough. Social media and online promotion is a lot broader than many realise. Building a following on FB and Twitter is just the tip of the iceberg. What you need is to get serious about promoting your blog by building a marketing plan that considers the full online marketing mix and not rely on just Facebook or SEO to drive your success.
It is understandable that not everybody capable of writing a comprehensive marketing plan or strategy for their blog. So to give you a good insight and assist with online promotion of your blog, here I am sharing my knowledge and practical experience. Whether you just have started blogging or are a pro-blogger, the below 9 easy tips will help you to escalate your promotional efforts.
1) Online press release: Prepare one and upload onto sites such as prweb.com (or any other online press release sites) that use the keywords your prospects (i.e. potential readers) are likely to search. If you have an established blog with a good number of followers email your press release to appropriate online trade or business association websites, special interest groups (i.e. PR agencies, retailers, etc) and appropriate yahoo groups.
2) Announcement Email: If you just have started blog, prepare a short and interesting email with eye-catching graphics (or photos) about launch of your blog and send it to appropriate recipients - your friends, work colleagues and other people you know who can be interested in your blog. If you have been blogging for a while, you can create and distribute a “News Email” (do not confuse with News letter). News can be created out of any interesting event related to your blog as for example, you reached a certain number of followers, received an award, etc.
3) YouTube: Produce a short video for YouTube about yourself, your blog and / or your services. The video should be informative and/or humorous rather than merely a boring video asking to follow your blog. Have a good think about the idea for your video, trust me, the outcome will worth putting your time and efforts into it. If your video will go viral, you can get a thousand of visitors just over one night.
4) Classifieds/Directories: There are hundreds of directories and classified ad sites where you can place and list for free. Make sure you are submitted your blog URL to the major search engines and directories - Google, Bing, Yahoo, DMOZ. Also have your site listed in all industry directories related to your blog – if fashion is your subject then list under retail, clothing design, etc; if you are writing about food – list under restaurant business.
5) Social Media: If you have not set up Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and other accounts for your blog, you should do it immediately. Make sure all your accounts are integrated properly, i.e. be consistent – use the same photo (image) as an avatar, the same colour scheme, name, logo, slogan (if you have one) and blog description / summary. Also each media should have a link to your blog. Here is an example of such integration – http://crashingred.com, http://twitter.com/CrashingRed, http://www.facebook.com/CrashingRed, http://www.flickr.com/photos/crashingred
6) Guest Blogging: Find at least 5 other relevant blogs to comment on and start interacting with other bloggers. Build your friendship with leading bloggers. However, remember that friendship is not about using other people but about establishing a meaningful relationship. Be sincere, interesting, helpful and willingly return any favors back. After establishing a good connection, ask about making a guest post on their blog. By doing so, your fellow blogger’s regular readers will find out about your blog too. Moreover, go beyond that and offer to one of your fellow bloggers an opportunity to make a guest post on your blog. Double benefit - you will save time in creating a post while making your blogging buddy happy!
7) SEO: Lately everybody talks about boosting their search results, but not too many know how easy SEO actually is. First of all, it needs to be done on your site (i.e. blog) and also off site. On-site - you need to perform competitor analysis of your competition for keywords and then place them in your body (text of your posts and pages), urls, <h1> tags, titles, descriptions, and keywords in meta tags. Also upload new content regularly and as often as possible. Off-site – start by building quality inbound links, commenting on other blogs (you know it is crucial, right?), utilising social media, classifieds, directories, etc.
8) Business card and URL: Create your own business card stating clearly your blog name and URL, and hand it out whenever is possible. Put your blog URL on every piece of communication you send out - emails, letterheads, press releases, etc. When you are networking with people face to face tell them you have a website and give them the URL / business card.
9) Referral Program: Get more out of usual “giveaway” practice, ask participants to refer your site to others. A person who invites the most wins. Make sure you have a good prize, to motivate people to invest their time into your blog. Also make conditions of the entry as clear as possible and do not ask for taking too many actions (i.e. follow my blog twitter, Facebook, bloglovin, youtube, lookbook, etc)! Keep your offer concise and attractive.
Essentially, blog promotion is an organic process where growth achieved primarily via networking - commenting on other people's blogs, offering to write guest articles/posts, encouraging other people to write on your site too, nurturing every visitor and being responsive to your readers/visitors needs. It may take a while to build a solid following, but by investing your time in your blog promotion you are building your online reputation that will ensure you flourishing future as a blogger.
Just as a final note, stay within certain limits when promoting your blog. Avoid doing anything that may look like spamming and / or may annoy your audience. This will contribute to your reputation in a way rather different from favorable.
Be polite, sincere, original and people will follow you!
I really hope you found the above tips helpful. Of course, this is just a short list and there are much more nuances to each of the points. In my next post, I will share with you secrets about how to utilize Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools more efficiently in terms of building a fan base for your blog.
If you have any questions about this article, please leave your comment below or email me directly at mvlezko[at]crashingred[dot]com. I'm friendly (as you know) and would love to help you out with your blogging dilemmas. You're welcome to join me on Twitter, Facebook or follow this blog via Bloglovin. From time to time I post useful updates on the art of blogging :)