Blogs are fun, approachable, and relatively easy-to-produce ways to bolster your business, service, or product. Even the best-written or most interesting content in the world, however, won’t gain traction or reads without good blog promotion. You’ll need to have a plan for reaching the right audience and promoting your content if you want your blog to be a success.
Why Is It Important to Promote Your Blog?
Image via Flickr by tillwe
Promoting your blog helps it reach your target audience — the people you want reading, engaging with, and acting on the content you create. The more views your blog gets, the better your chances of converting visitors into repeat readers or, even better, customers. If you’re promoting quality content, your readers are likely to endorse it organically through social media shares, for example. The more traction your blog gets, the greater its reach, and the cycle of growth continues.
How to Promote Your Blog
You can promote your blog in a variety of ways, depending on your audience, content, and budget. Here are steps you should consider when planning your blog promotion process:
1. Gather All Your Information in One Place
For each blog post you produce, create a text file with the information you’ll need to promote it on various platforms. This step will help you promote your blog more efficiently. The details you might collect include:
- The post’s URL.
- Three to five versions of the post’s headline to use on different platforms.
- Short social media messages for outlets such as Twitter.
- Long social media messages for platforms such as Facebook.
- The social media handles or contact information of any people or companies you mention in the blog post.
- UTM code you can add to the blog’s URL anywhere you share it to track its traffic from that platform.
- A shortlink you can share instead of the blog post’s full link if it’s long and distracting.
2. Optimize Your Blog
If you want your blog posts to show up on search engine results pages (SERPs), you’ll need to use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques such as:
- Adding relevant, high-ranking keywords throughout your content.
- Linking to internal pages on your site as well as reputable external sites.
- Using strong title tags and meta descriptions.
- Building backlinks to your site.
If SEO sounds intimidating, you can find a variety of free and paid tools to help analyze data and pinpoint areas for improvement. The payoff, however, is people are more likely to find, read, and share your blog post organically.
3. Market Through Email
Email is a wide-reaching and cost-effective way to promote your blog. Build an email list of subscribers to your blog or website and send them updates every time you post a new blog. This tactic not only drives traffic to your blog but also gives you an opportunity to ask subscribers to like, share, or comment on it. If someone already subscribes to your site, chances are they like your content and are members of the target audience that will act on it.
Include a call to action (CTA) at the end of some of your posts asking people who don’t yet subscribe to your newsletter to do so if they want to receive more great content.
A more subtle method of email marketing is including a link to your blog or most recent post in your email signature. These are all easy email tactics that stand to provide you with big returns. Email marketing as a whole produces a return on investment (ROI) of 4,200%.
4. Leverage Social Media
Sharing your blog on social media is one of the most powerful and effective ways to promote your posts. But first, you’ll want to build a social media presence on various platforms with your target audience. Schedule a variety of posts, not just about your blog, for followers to engage with. Designate three to four posts per month that drive traffic specifically to your blog. Social media platforms you might promote your blog on include:
- Facebook: In addition to posting on your own Facebook page, search for and join groups in your niche or relevant to your content. Engage with its members, then promote your blog posts once you’ve established credibility.
- LinkedIn: Ask to join relevant industry groups, particularly if you run a business blog, and share your posts there. While LinkedIn is not going to generate the same amount of traffic as Facebook or other platforms, the visits you do get will be high-quality.
- Twitter: Twitter is a great place to promote your blog if it features or mentions someone you can tag in a Twitter post. This increases your post’s reach even more. And because Tweets have such short life spans, you can share the same post repeatedly, in various formats and with different hashtags, to draw more visitors in.
- Pinterest: If your blog posts contain lots of visual elements or you can easily transform the content into infographics, then consider promoting it on Pinterest. Pin each infographic to various boards on relevant topics.
- Instagram: While you can’t share blog post links directly through Instagram, you can place your blog link in your bio, post related or promotional images, and pair posts with clever hashtags. This platform likely won’t generate large amounts of traffic to your blog, but it’s a great way to build brand awareness.
- BeBee: If your blog is business-related, consider promoting it on this social media network for professionals. Search for and share your blog URL in groups (hives) relevant to your niche. The more popular your post, the more traffic your blog will get.
Create a social media strategy for promoting your blog that targets the most relevant platforms for your audience, engages with people and brands, and participates in niche groups.
5. Partner With Influencers
Contact influencers in your industry or niche that already have strong followings and ask them to promote your blog to their audience. This technique typically isn’t free, however. Whether you pay the influencer a fee, provide them with free products, or promise to link to their sites in your blog, you must provide them a favor in return for sharing your posts.
One of the best ways to get influencers to partner with you is to build relationships with them first by engaging with their content or mentioning them in yours. See if you can interview an influencer for an upcoming blog post. If so, they’ll likely share it with their followers.
6. Guest Post
Reach out to the writers of popular blogs in your niche, ask if they’d be interested in a guest post, and pitch them a few interesting ideas. They might see the value in getting free, quality content for their blog in exchange for a backlink to your site — often through your author bio. While this tactic can result in rejections before you find the right partner, it can be extremely effective. It also gives you brand recognition and helps establish you as a reputable authority on your topic.
7. Repurpose Your Content
Give your blog content new life by taking your top posts and repurposing them as infographics, charts, videos, presentations, and more. You’ve already done the hard work, now all you have to do is re-imagine it in a creative way that will boost blog traffic and engagement. You can promote infographics, for example, on different platforms than you can blog posts and potentially reach a larger and more diverse audience. Add a CTA to the bottom of the repurposed content driving viewers back to your site.
8. Engage in Online Communities
Join communities and forums that foster discussion and sharing of ideas, so you can promote your blog and expertise to a relevant audience. These platforms might include:
- Quora: Create an account on this question-and-answer site, and respond to queries related to your industry or niche. Provide genuine, useful answers, and add a link to your blog for more information. You not only drive traffic to your posts, but you also establish yourself as an expert in your field.
- Subreddits: These discussion groups form around specific topics, where anyone can share their knowledge. Create an account and join relevant conversations to establish your voice. If community members find your content valuable, they will upvote it. The more votes you get, the more traffic your post is exposed to, and these posts remain online and searchable for years. Some subreddits don’t allow members to share links, however, so read the rules before linking to your blog.
- Bored Panda: If your blog is related to creative topics such as art, design, travel, or photography, you can join this community and share or repurpose your content to like-minded individuals.
- Triberr: Join this community of marketers, bloggers, and influencers to find “tribes” related to your niche, collaborate with other users, and share your content.
- Growth Hackers: This community allows you to submit and republish blog posts related to marketing, social media, SEO, design, and similar topics to people in that niche. Once approved, members can read and share your posts. You get a bio and can promote your social media profiles as well.
Promoting your blog through these types of communities requires a bit more effort on your part to contribute to conversations and build a reputation and relationships.
9. Post on Content Curation and Aggregate Sites
Join content curation sites that allow you to create a topic on your niche and save related content, including your own posts, in lists and collections. Readers can then search for, find, and browse your collections. Content aggregators, on the other hand, are sites that simply gather content from websites on a central topic and organize it in one easy-to-use place. Examples of content curation sites include:
Popular content aggregators include:
- Blog Engage.
- WP Clipboard.
- WP News Desk.
By posting or allowing your content to be posted on these types of sites, you’re exposing your blog to a bigger audience and potentially increasing traffic to your site.
10. Syndicate Your Content
Content syndication is essentially the republishing of your blog on a third-party site to promote it to a larger audience. Rather than cannibalizing your own site, wait a few days or weeks after you’ve published a post before offering it to syndication sites or republishing it on platforms such as Medium. If you don’t want to release your entire post, you can post just a teaser on these syndication sites with a link to the full article on your blog.
11. Advertise on Social Media
If you’re not getting the organic reach you desire from social media posts, consider paying for advertising. Several social media platforms allow you to target your ad to reach the demographics you want. Paid marketing avenues you might consider include:
- Promoted tweets on Twitter.
- Sponsored content on LinkedIn.
- Static or video ads on Facebook.
- Promoted pins on Pinterest.
- Carousel ads on Instagram.
- Quuu Promote, which targets multiple social media platforms.
Choose a platform based on your ad format (text, image, or video), where your audience is most active, and costs and budget.
12. Engage With Other Blogs
Find reputable or popular blogs on similar topics as your own and leave comments on posts. This step is completely free and helps you build brand awareness and relationships with other authorities in your industry. If you provide thought-provoking and complimentary comments (not links to your own posts), you’ll gain name recognition from the blog owner as well as its readers. Your networking efforts might pay off if those connections promote you or your content in the future.
Blogs don’t build followings overnight, and they certainly don’t do it alone. Research which outlets are most likely to get your content the greatest reach and recognition for the amount of time, effort, and money you’re willing to spend. Then create a plan for promoting your blog and enjoy where the journey takes you.