We’ve all seen those spammy comments on blogs and social media posts:
“Hey, great article! By the way, visit my completely unrelated website where you can learn how to cure literally anything that’s troubling you with ancient (and expensive) activated crystal water.”Every internet spam-artist ever
Rule one of blog promotion – don’t be that person. There are so many ways to promote your blog that are far more effective while also being 100% non-annoying.
With rule number one (don’t be a spam-hound) out of the way, let’s get into the most effective methods for blog promotion.
Your first step is to ensure you have great content that’s SEO-optimized while being useful and engaging for your readers (if you need help with this, click here for a complete guide to SEO-optimization).
Once you have the on-site aspects of blog promotion handled, here are the most effective ways to head out into the wilds of the internet and share your blog with the world:
1. Mastering social media
Though it would be great if this involved little more than sharing a link with a short blurb asking people to check out your blog post, social media algorithms sadly will not make it that easy on you. External links don’t get as much of a boost as selfies on sites like Facebook because, while the selfie will keep you reacting, commenting, and scrolling, the link will channel you away from Facebook, which is the last thing any social media platform wants.
So, to use social media to your advantage, you need to have a strategy in play:
- Establish a dedicated business page for your blog and create regular, engaging posts to intersperse between the article links you share. This will help you build up a following on social media, thus expanding your reach.
- Don’t feel the need to be on every social media platform (unless you live for social media, then go nuts). Choose one or two platforms that you enjoy using and that suit the subject matter you cover on your website, and put all your energy into those.
- Don’t post the same things in the exact same way across all social media channels. Instead, tailor your posts to suit the style of the platform.
- Feel free to re-share evergreen content (articles that remain relevant over time), especially if an old post becomes relevant to a topic that comes up in the news.
- Be social – don’t just use social media as a stage from which to babble about your business. Creating a dialogue by engaging with people through comments and messages is the best way to develop a loyal following.
- Get involved with relevant groups – keep rule one of blog promotion in mind and resist the urge to spam people with your content! But, do feel free to get involved in discussions, let people know what you do, and share information and advice.
- Try social media ads – once you have plenty of content on your site, it’s worth giving social media ads a shot. Be sure to track your metrics to assess whether they’re worth the investment, and always be open to adjusting your approach.
Popular social media sites to consider (there’s more than you think):
- Facebook – useful for text-based posts, images, live videos, stories, and article sharing
- LinkedIn – great for developing a professional network and sharing articles
- YouTube – the place to be if you want to create video content
- Instagram – best-suited to those with highly visual content
- Pinterest – another site that’s tailored towards visually appealing content
- Quora – a great platform for building a reputation as an authority in your industry
- WhatsApp – fantastic for offering global customer support
- Twitter – share your content with everyone from industry figures to celebrities
- Reddit – join subreddits relevant to your industry, and have access to “the first page of the internet” (so many sites like Buzzfeed and Vice use Reddit as a source for creating posts and understanding new trends)
This is by no means an exhaustive list of social media channels you can get involved with. However, these are the top platforms for businesses and bloggers with a website to promote.
2. Email marketing
Though it’s almost as old as the internet itself, email marketing is in no danger of becoming obsolete. In fact, establishing a mailing list for your blog and sharing valuable information with your readers on a regular schedule is one of the best ways to boost engagement.
To get started, all you need to do is add a call-to-action on your website, allowing people to input their email and sign-up for your newsletter. Make it clear what you’ll be sending and how often you’ll be hitting up their inbox.
In addition to alerting subscribers when you’ve added a new post, consider sending useful information relevant to your industry. A great example of this comes from Ryan Holiday, author of Trust Me I’m Lying and The Obstacle Is The Way, who sends fans a monthly reading list (complete with affiliate links to each book). Though he’s making money from any book purchases subscribers make, he’s also offering them value by sharing his reading list with people who are interested in his opinions and explaining what he got out of each book.
Another interesting way you can use email to promote your blog is to reach out to anyone you’ve quoted or mentioned in an article. So, for example, we could send an email to Ryan Holiday, giving him a heads up that he got a mention on Hope For Finance.
This serves the dual purpose of putting your brand on that person’s radar and opening up the possibility that they might share your content. Maybe nothing will come of it, but you’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a shot. As a side note, Twitter is another great place to do this as even if the public figure you mentioned doesn’t respond, others will see your post.
Some quick and dirty email marketing tips (based on recent statistics):
- Sending two emails a month seems to give you the highest opening rate (source: Techjury)
- Including the recipient’s name and otherwise making the subject line and email feel personalized will boost your read and clickthrough rate (source: SuperOffice)
- Email campaigns get a clickthrough rate six times higher than Tweets (source: Techjury)
- Avoid buzzwords like words “free,” “reminder,” “help,” and “percent off” as they send your read rate plummeting (source: MailChimp)
3. Connect with influencers and fellow bloggers
It’s amazing what a mention from a popular blogger or social media influencer can do. Connect with the right people, and your audience could grow substantially overnight. Of course, these people aren’t always easy to connect with.
Here are some strategies you can use:
- Follow and engage with influencers and bloggers relevant to your niche on social media.
- Start by giving – share their content, link to their websites, and get chatting with people in their following.
- Reach out to them to let them know you’ve shared their content – keep your message short, polite, positive, and to-the-point (resist the urge to be excessively flattering or verbose).
- Look for other bloggers in complementary niches who are at a similar level to you. They will likely be easier to get a hold of and more amenable to working together for your mutual benefit.
- Be patient and persistent but not annoying – relationship building takes time. If you’re creating awesome content and focussing on what you can give these people rather than what you can get from them, you’ll start making connections soon enough.
If you’re keen to add another powerful blog promotion and SEO technique to your arsenal, check out our article on mastering the art of guest posting.