When you first start out as a blogger – one of the hardest things you’ll have to learn how to do is to share your content. It’s one thing to get a domain name, choose a blogging platform and start writing. You’re in your own little corner of the internet and with a gazillion websites and blogs out there – nobody ever has to even notice yours. But to be a bonafied blogger (whether it’s a hobby or revenue stream), you’ll have to eventually start sharing your content and learn how to promote your blog posts.
The only way to grow your blog is to share, promote and share some more. Start with friends and family on your personal Facebook page. Then once you’ve been consistently creating content and posting, it’s time to move into the big leagues. You must start promoting your content if you want to drive traffic and attract more readers.
Start with Strategic Content
Now that you’re a blogger who wants to start sharing your blog posts, you must create content that stands out and is actually worth sharing. In expanding your blog, you’re now writing about what you enjoy discussing and are knowledgeable about, but also what your readers enjoy reading and knowing about. You are expressing your interests in a way that is also interesting to others. To ensure your readers keep returning, you’ll have to be strategic about your posts – making sure that your content is aligned with your niche and also that you’re presenting your ideas in easy, digestible formats that are easily sharable. Guides and tutorials, infographics, tip and tricks, lists, videos, are all various ways to post and curate your content so that your readers can enjoy and easily share.
Optimize for Search Engines
It’s important to write for people – not for robots. However, paying attention to SEO can help you drive traffic to your posts. When you come up with a topic to write about, do some keyword research to see what people are searching for. Then, once you’ve written the post, make sure to take a few extra steps to optimize your content. Write a compelling headline that includes your targeted keyword. Include keyword-focused title tags and sub-headings in your post (H2 & H3 tags). Write a compelling meta description that will show up in search results. The Yoast plugin makes this easy. Optimize your images by using keywords in the file name and in your alt tag description. If you’re not sure what all these things are and how exactly to optimize your blog posts – read my article and using Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. Even if you’re not on WordPress – my article will give you a good idea how to improve your SEO on whatever platform you’re using.
Leverage Social Media
Social media can be a powerful way to amplify your content and get it front of the right audience. In the beginning, you might have shared your content on your personal social channels but now it’s time to kick it up a notch and create your blog’s own social channels. What I mean by this is that your blog should have its own social handles. For example my lifestyle and beauty blog is called Like, Wutever. The domain name is likewutever.com and the handle across ALL social channels including Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Youtube and LinkedIn is @likewutever. This was very strategic on my part. Since the handle is the same on all channels it makes it easier to find and when it appears on Google – I get a full page takeover. This makes it easier for new readers to find you, returning readers become familiar with you and trust you, and it lets everyone know you’re a professional now – you know what you’re doing and you can be considered an authority on the topic that you blog about.
Now that you get the gist of why creating social channels for your blog is important and also why having the same handle across all channels is crucial – it’s time to start using them to promote your posts.
- Share your post at least 2-3 times on the day you publish the blog
- Write compelling teasers or headlines to promote your post
- Use hashtags when appropriate. Just don’t overdo it. One or two hashtags is plenty
- Include a photo with your link to help you visually promote your post
- Pin the tweet promoting your blog post at the top of your profile so new followers will easily see it
- Share your post on your Facebook page the day it’s published.
- Attach your image to show up with the post
- Join relevant Facebook groups in your niche and share content there
- Create a company page for your blog and share your post the day it’s published
- You can take it a step further and share the posts on your own personal page as well
- Find relevant groups to join and share your posts there.
- If there isn’t a group for your niche, create a group to get the conversation started.
- Syndicate or re-purpose blog posts on LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
- Share your post on Google Plus – both on personal profiles and your business page
- Include a compelling image to go along with your post
- Share your post using relevant hashtags
- Share your post with relevant communities you belong to on Google Plus
- Create a board for your blog posts and pin the image from your post. This works especially well if you use original images or create compelling graphics to go with your posts.
- Pin your post to relevant shared board to extend your reach.
- If you’ve got a great visual for your blog post, share it to Instagram and include a link to your post in the bio section
- Does your post include a video? If so, be sure to link to the blog post in YouTube video to drive traffic back to your site.
Build an Email Newsletter List
Most of the time, your email contacts have a much stronger tie to you than those you are connected with on social networks. That’s why you shouldn’t ignore this important channel in your promotion efforts. Building an email newsletter list should be an essential part of your marketing mix. Here are some ways you can use email to promote your blog:
- Send your latest post to email subscribers
- Encourage them to read and share the article
- Add a link to your latest blog posts in your email footer
Use Paid Promotion
Depending on your budget, you might not be able to do this very often. However, paid promotion through social advertising channels can help you get the word out about your blog post. I recently did a Twitter campaign as part of a Contest I was doing to increase my email newsletter list. I ran the Twitter promoted tweet campaign for one day and for $25, I received 4,153 impressions, 193 engagements and 5 new email subscribers. Here are other paid promotion offerings you can try:
- Facebook promoted posts
- Twitter promoted tweets (as I mentioned above)
- LinkedIn sponsored updates
- Google Plus Post Ads
- Pinterest promoted pins
- Pay-Per Click Advertising
If you want to drive traffic to your blog or website, you must invest the time to promote your content. You certainly don’t have to do everything on this list to promote your blog. But you must do something. Otherwise, you will continue to create content that doesn’t get read or shared.
Image via IFB