How to Promote Your Blog and Its Content: In this post, you learned that your blog content is the defining factor that will make or break your blog. You learned what it takes to create amazing content, as well as the types of content you can create for your audience. But your content will never help you succeed in blogging if no one ever sees it.
This is why you need to learn online marketing strategies to help you market your blog as a whole, as well as each piece of content you create. This is called content marketing. Your content marketing skills will determine how much traffic comes to your website, how many social shares you receive, how many comments are made on your posts and how many subscribers you gain.
Ultimately, the goal is to have as many visitors as possible when you start to monetize your blog. Visitors who you can convert into advertising clicks, affiliate referrals and product/service buyers—depending on your monetization strategy, which will be discussed in the next chapter.
Until then, let’s look at the many ways you can promote your blog and your content.
Preparing for promotion: –
Before you start promoting your blog, you will want to make sure it’s ready.
This step is checking everything you have done from previous chapters, from setting up your blog to creating your pages and posts.
- Make sure your core content is live and ready for promotion.
- Test your menu bar and sidebar links to make sure pages, posts and archives open properly.
- Test your blog on the top browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer) and see if everything looks right.
- Check your contact info and test your contact form to see that it works well. Test your blog comment form to make sure people can easily leave comments.
- Test your social sharing buttons so people can share your posts on the top social networks.
- Give your visitors one or more ways to connect with you and subscribe to your blog including an option to subscribe by email.
- Set up Google Analytics to track your visitors, where they come from and top content pages on your website.
Promotion goals: –
As you begin blogging, you will have three main goals for promoting your blog.
You need to get the word out about your new blog so that those interested in your niche can find your blog, consume your content and spread the word.
Focus on becoming an authority and gaining trust from your readers and from other influencers within your niche. Build relationships with top bloggers in complementary topic areas and strive to enhance your name and credibility.
Engagement with your niche market happens every time anyone mentions your blog. When people start discussing your content, be sure to join into the discussion wherever it may be, including on your blog, social networks, forums, etc.
Think of these goals in everything you do while promoting your blog. Your goals are to get exposure for the blog, establish yourself as an authority and engage with your niche audience.
Ways to promote your blog: –
Now, let’s look at the ways you can promote your blog as a whole. These are especially important steps when you are just starting out.
Let your connections know about your new blog :-
Everyone who comes in contact with you should know that you have a blog. Some good ways to ensure this include the following.
- Add your blog URL to your email signature so your email contacts can check it out. WiseStamp is a great app to try for anyone using Gmail or other browser-based email systems. It will even pull in your latest blog post into your signature.
- Add your blog URL to the social profiles you use the most, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. This way, whenever people find you on social media, they can discover your blog as well.
- Add your blog URL to forum profiles and signatures where you participate in discussions, preferably related to your new blog’s niche.
- Add your blog URL to author bios of any sites you are already contributing to, including other blogs you own. Maybe you already have a blog about photography and you’re starting a blog about marketing. Your author bio and about page should link to your new marketing blog.
Network with others at every opportunity: –
Attend networking events? Be sure to have a quick elevator pitch about your blog when people ask you what you do. If you’re at a blogging conference in particular, it’s highly acceptable to let people know that you founded yourdomain.com, a blog that helps people learn more about your subject matter. Even if you have a day job that you need to promote, your elevator pitch is that you are a [your job title], and you also run yourdomain.com, a blog that helps people learn more about your subject matter.
Submit your blog to search engines: –
We suggested a plugin called Yoast SEO. One of the features of this plugin allows you to create a custom sitemap for your blog. You can use this sitemap to submit your blog to search engines through Google Webmaster Tools (for Google) and Bing Webmaster Tools (for Bing and Yahoo).
Submit your blog to directories: –
While there are hundreds of directories that will list your blog for a specific yearly fee or a permanent fee, only a handful should be considered in terms of quality. These include DMOZ (free, but hard to get into), Best of the Web Blogs ($150 for a submission), EatonWeb Blog Directory ($35 per submission) and Yahoo Directory ($299 for 7-day listing guarantee). Some of these directories offer free listings as well, but you will wait a very, very long time to see yours added, assuming they add it at all.
Comment on other blogs: –
Commenting on other relevant blogs is a great way to build relationships with top bloggers within your niche. Research the Web to find top blogs in your niche and start commenting on their newest posts. This will help you make blog hosts and their readers aware of your existence and help you establish your own authority within the niche.
Read also: Bluehost Review
Contribute to other blogs in your niche: –
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, has denounced guest blogging as a tactic for SEO. That said, it’s still a great way to get exposure within your niche so long as you are submitting quality content to quality blogs. Find blogs that have strong social shares and community engagement as judged by the number of comments per post and social followers. Get to know the blog owners and/or editors, establish a relationship with them, then approach them to see if they are accepting new contributors on their website.
The key is to say new contributors as opposed to guest bloggers. “Contributors” tells the blog owner/editor that you are committed to creating high-quality content for them as opposed to just slapping something together to promote yourself.
Create a Feedburner account: –
Feedburner is a service owned by Google that allows you to track the number of subscribers to your RSS feed. Use it to offer your blog visitors a way to subscribe to your blog in their favorite RSS reader such as Feedly.
Optimize your blog for search: –
Regularly creating valuable content on your blog is one way to get search engines to index your content. If you want your blog and posts to rank for particular keywords, you’ll want to always strive to optimize both for search. This can be as simple as using the fields provided by Yoast SEO to add a keyword optimized SEO title and meta description to your blog’s homepage, main static pages and each one of your posts.
To stay on Google’s good side, avoid overstuffing your blog with keywords. Choose one keyword phrase to optimize on each page and post. Include it in your SEO title, meta description and inside the Alt text (alternative text) of the image on the page.
Start building your mailing list: –
Don’t wait until you begin getting a substantial amount of traffic to build a mailing list—start from the very beginning. If on your first day of launching your blog you get two people who love it, you want those two people to be able to give you their email address so you can keep them up to date with what is happening on your blog. Later, you’ll use this list to promote your monetization strategy. Operating a mailing list is generally not expensive in the beginning. Services like MailChimp allow you to have up to 2,000 subscribers with up to 12,000 emails for free, while services like Aweber allow you to have up to 500 subscribers with unlimited emails for $19 per month.
Look at what your competitors are doing: –
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to promoting your blog. Just look at what your competitors are doing in terms of marketing strategy. You can use SEO backlink tools to show you the links your competitors are getting, which will shed light into their strategies for social networks, directories, guest posting opportunities and other online marketing tactics. CognitiveSEO has a free Backlink Explorer you can use for this purpose.
Look at paid advertising options: –
If you have a budget, you can boost your initial traffic through paid advertising. Google AdWords allows you to pay to promote your blog on Google Search and their display networks. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon have their own advertising platforms to help you drive traffic to your blog and blog posts. You can also look at advertising options on other blogs in your niche that receive a lot of traffic. This will generally be in the form of banner advertisements or sponsored reviews.
Ways to promote your blog content: –
In addition to promoting your blog as a whole, you will also want to promote your blog content, i.e., each, individual blog post. As you promote your content, your entire blog will gain more traffic, social shares and engagement. Following are some ways to promote your content.
Submit your blog posts to bookmarking and voting sites: –
Similar to directories, there are hundreds of social bookmarking and voting sites. And similar to directories, not all of them are worthwhile. Your goal is to look for social bookmarking and voting sites that have engaged users. These include Delicious, StumbleUpon, Reddit, BizSugar and Inbound. Note that many of these sites are not fond of people constantly promoting their own content. You may want to consider establishing friendships on those networks and occasionally sharing content with them. Often, they will submit your content to the networks, particularly if you do the same for them.
Try blog promotion networks: –
Several networks exist solely for the purpose of gathering people who love to help each other promote their blog posts. These networks include Triberr, Social Buzz Club and Viral Content Buzz. You can also build your own blog post promotional network as you network with others in your niche. Just have everyone connect in a Facebook group or in an email list where they can share their latest posts.