Here is an idea how far some marketers go on how to promote your blog. Consider that at least one marketing guru admonishes his followers to put four or five times as much work into promoting a post as they did into writing it. Yikes!
Related post: The Zen of Winning the Battle of the Content Plan
While that might well work, it’s a bit extreme. However, many successful bloggers do spend as much time promoting their posts as they did writing them. These bloggers advise a 50/50 split between content creation and promotion.
If you just rolled your eyes and thought “Great. Now I have twice as much work to do,” I hear that. It is a problem. But consider this:
- You could also be getting two, three or even four times as much results from the posts you write.
- Some of that promotion work can be automated.
- With a little experimentation and some Google Analytics tracking, you can figure out what works best for your audience. Then pare down your promotion tactics to only the most super-effective.
How to promote your blog … tweet or email audience
This is most effective when you’re contacting “influencers” or editors. You’ll need to have faith in your post, but if you’re polite, brief, and helpful, and your post is excellent, this can work like wildfire.
Just be 100% sure the people you reach out to will be interested in your post, and make sure your post is worth their attention. You can find influencers and super-sharers in your niche with BuzzSumo.
Participate in content sites
Sites like Triberr, Scoop.It, Social Buzz Club, Biz Blogging Buzz, Viral Content Buzz, and BlogEngage. Depending on your audience, also try BizSugar and Internet Billboards.
Go on sites like Quora and Clarity and search for topics relevant to your post. Has anybody been asking questions your blog post answers? Give them a link.
Content aggregation sites
These sites gather content from different online sources for reuse. Try out Digg, Alltop, Technorati.com, or BloggerScope.
Comment on other blogs
Note that you should be careful about this. You want to contribute, not to spam. But where it makes sense, mentioning your related post in a comment can work nicely. Avoid looking like you’re trying to hijack readers; make it clear you’re augmenting what the post offers.
How to promote your blog on Facebook … participate in groups
These kinds: Google+ communities, Facebook groups, Linkedin groups, Yahoo groups, Niche forums, and Professional bodies. Always read the rules of any group you want to post to before you post. Also remember you should be contributing to these kinds of sites, not necessarily promoting.
You may need to pick 3-5 core groups that you participate in and contribute to those groups when you have new content. Use a light touch, or you can get flagged as a spammer.
Here is a text with some impressive examples: Book Synopsis: Exploring New Age Marketing … Learning from Examples
Start with a few of the 500 sites listed on Buzz blogger.
Commence on these: StumbleUpon, Reddit, OnlyWire, Delicious, Digg.
Also, bookmark your post on niche bookmarking sites. Search on “bookmarking” and click around to find a few places that serve the interests of your likely readers.
One thing to note: promote only on sites that are clearly active. By “active” I mean they are active on social media, and other people are apparently using the site a lot.
How to promote your blog … make your post easy to share
This is key, and there are several ways to do it.
Make some sentences of your post tweetable
Set them up with a plugin that makes them tweetable with one click. There’s a free “ Click to Tweet” plugin available from CoSchedule that’s a snap to setup.
Add social sharing buttons
This one is a no-brainer. But you’d be surprised how many sites and blogs don’t have any social sharing buttons up. And if you do have sharing buttons up, are you sure they’re working?
If you don’t have this checked off, try ShareThis, or the newer Mashshare. Both are free and widely used.
Add a Twitter card to your post
This is a type of markup that will make your post look way better on Twitter. Because it looks better, your tweet will get retweeted and liked more.
Twitter cards are free to use and don’t take more than a few minutes to set up. Get the free plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast to make setup faster (and to give yourself an excellent SEO optimization tool).
Add Open Graph tags
Open Graph tags are like HTML meta tags but are used for social media sites, particularly Facebook. They can be added to the source code for any page (for free) to make it look better on different social media platforms.
To give you an example of how powerful they can be, consider this: Tumblr got 250% more traffic from Facebook after it set up open graph tags. Neil Patel increased his Facebook traffic by 174% with open graph tags.
There are a couple of different plugins that make setting open graph tags up pretty easy. To keep things simple, start with WordPress SEO by Yoast, which is also recommended above.
Set up Feedburner
Thousands of people read RSS feeds every day. Make sure your posts are available in this format.
Use rich snippets
This is a type of HTML markup that makes your pages look extra good in search results. It regularly increases clickthrough rates by 30%.
You can use the free All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin to dress your pages up. Then confirm they look good with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
Add links from other pages to new posts
Everybody misses this one, but it’s a brilliant way to get more traffic to a new post. It will also help your internal link profile, which is good for SEO. Another twist on this is setting up a related posts plugin.
Send an update to your email list
There’s no better way to get attention to your new content than to tell your email subscribers about it. These are the people who specifically raised their hands to get updates from you, so don’t let them down.
If you publish daily, you might consider creating a preference center that would allow people to receive all your posts in one weekly round-up. It’s friendly to let them manage how often you contact them.
Fire up your Buffer (or HootSuite)
Buffer and HootSuite are terrific social media automation tools that could potentially change your life. Seriously. If you have been manually creating updates, being able to automate them will free up a ton of your time.
Mention any people or companies in your new post? Tell those people/companies about the free PR you just gave them. This can get your post serious exposure sometimes. It’s amazing what one tweet from someone with 200,000 Twitter followers can do.
Republish your post
Try LinkedIn, Tumblr, Business2Community and Medium. These aren’t appropriate for everyone, but if you’re in the B2B market, it may be something you should try. The graphic below shows how much extra reach Scoop.it’s bloggers got by posting to other sites, aka “republishing.”
The duplicate content issue
Neil Patel recently wrote an excellent post about whether or not this republishing tactic is a good idea. He did find it quite capable, but he got hit by a duplicate content penalty until he was able to get the sites he republishes on to use rel=canonical tags on their pages.
Unfortunately, sites like LinkedIn and Medium won’t do this for most bloggers.
The workaround is to rewrite your posts. If you’re fast, that’s a 30-40 minute task, but if you’re not, it might be worth hiring a writer to do some rewriting for you. Don’t risk the duplicate content penalty, though.
This is a terrific, though somewhat less known, content sharing platform. List.ly lets you create lists on any topic, then share those files on their site or embed those lists on your site. To make things even cooler, you can add items to other people’s lists if they’ve set them to be publicly editable.
Perhaps there are a few lists your new post should be on?
Employ paid promotion
Is this cheating? Maybe, but big blogs do it all the time. You may not have $10,000 to spend to promote a post, but why not $20? Unpublished paid posts on Facebook can be particularly effective, especially when shown to custom audiences. And if you don’t want to put money on Facebook, you could also tryStumbleUpon, Outbrain or Taboola.
Reformat your post to slideShare
This is easier than it sounds, and SlideShare can deliver a surprising amount of traffic. You don’t need to create a 30-slide PowerPoint deck – even 10-15 slides summarizing your post is enough.
Note that you can embed the SlideShare in the post to give people a particular way to “consume” your content. Or you can set up the now free lead capture feature in your new SlideShare to grow your email list.
Make your post into an infographic, then post it on Pinterest
Note is there an image related to your post you could share on Instagram?
Create a PDF version for PDF sites
This works best for checklists, calendars and diagrams, but it’s worth a shot even if your post is mostly text. There are dozens of PDF sharing sites, but here are a few of the best ones. As always, post only on active sites that look well maintained. More is not better with links anymore.
Reformat your post … create a video
You’ve done the hard work of the research, and it won’t take too long to adapt what you’ve written into a video script. So break out that smartphone and start recording! Remember: YouTube is the second largest search engine …
The bottom line
So there you have it. There’s enough there to promote your blog post for four weeks, not just four hours, but you can pick and choose which tactics you want to try.
Given your particular audience and the topics you blog about, some of these are going to work better than others. Once you find them, you can focus on them.
And, of course, let me know in the comments if I missed any of your favorite promotion tactics.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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