The first step in promoting your blog is actually part of writing and posting it. You must have a schedule and be consistent. It’s one of the most important, yet often ignored aspects of blogging. Your readers, or future readers, are busy. They are looking for reliable sources of information. When they know they can depend on relevant posts from you on a consistent schedule, they will return to your blog, again and again.
Where do you promote your blog?
Social Media is the first place you think of when promoting your blogs. Ideally, your followers, fans and connections are already interested in what you have to say but don’t stop there.
Promote your blog through Social Bookmarking Sites.
“A social bookmarking service is a centralized online service which enables users to add, annotate, edit, and share bookmarks of web documents.” Wikipedia
Submitting your blog posts to websites that function as book marking sites or discovery engines will increase your SEO and enhance your credibility as an expert in your field by getting your writing in front of more of your target audience
Listing your site on bookmarking sites helps search engines in multiple ways:
· Indexing Sites Faster: Humans bookmark sites launched by their friends or colleagues before a search engine bot can find them.
· Deeper Indexing: When you manually bookmark information (posts) that may be deep within your site, you make it easier for the search engines to find it.
· Measuring Quality: Essentially if more users bookmark a page, the more quality and relevance that site has.
· External Meta Data: Users who bookmark sites tag them with keywords and descriptions which add an honest and unbiased definition that is created by the public and not the owner of the site.
· Number of Votes: Similar to the number of bookmarks, the more votes a page receives on a site such as Digg, the more useful that information usually is. If the same page receives multiple votes across multiple social news voting sites, the higher quality the site.
· Categorization: Can help define the subject of a site, therefore better helping the search engine address searcher intent.
It enhances your credibility as an expert. When searching for a particular topic, content marketers will frequently go to the bookmarking sites. There they can find articles based on their topic or keywords. When they mention your article in their marketing with a link back or list it on a curation site, your blog posts reach a wider audience. As your content is found throughout the internet, you become known as a thought leader in your field.
Promoting your blog through Content Curation Sites
“Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.” Wikipedia
These sites are another platform to get your information in front of a wider audience and increase inbound links to your site. In some cases, you simply post a link and short description of your blog post. On others, you post the entire content.
Some tips to make the most of your content curation:
- You should change the title of your posts.
- Include a customized image. This customization can be as slight as adding your company name or url to the image. The point is to make sure it will lead people back to your site.
- Make sure you include your author bio and it has a link back to your site.
Top Content Curation Sites
How to Encourage Social Sharing Of Your Blog Posts
We live in a social world where much of our news comes from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To grow your readership and make sure your blog posts get the attention they deserve, you need to encourage your current readers to share what you’ve written on their favorite social media sites. What those sites are will largely depend on the niche you’re in. Find out where your audience likes to hang out and then focus on getting them to share on those social media outlets to attract more like minded readers.
Of course it all starts with quality content that your readers want to read and share. No one is going to spread a crappy post on social media. Start by writing the best blog posts you can and do some research into what your audience wants and needs.
- Quality content demonstrates your knowledge of your audience. Each piece of content you publish is a part of building a relationship with your reader. The value and quality your content offers generates loyalty. Create the kind of content that your readers are waiting for, and that they’ll tell their friends about. If your content is consistently good, your reader will see you as a “go to” source of the information they like or need. They’ll come to you when they need help or entertainment.
- You should diversify your content. Produce content in as many different formats as possible. Keep topics fresh and varied. As part of your content strategy, regularly try adding something new to the mix. For example, if you usually write text-based blogs but decide to branch out into video, you’ll reach a new segment of your market that prefers watching videos to reading.
- Present value – not a sales pitch. Do you hate it when you are shopping and the salesperson follows you around wanting to “help you”? Years ago, my family and I were shopping for furniture and we soon discovered the sales people in furniture stores were as bad as the proverbial “used car salesman”! My teenage son said it was creepy and that the sales people were stalking us. (LOL) Don’t stalk your blog readers!
“The focus with your marketing should always be focused on delivering as much up front value as possible, because that means that you are winning over the customer, their trust, and not just the sale.” Chireg Kulkarni, Cofounder of Insightfully
It’s simple really. Serve your market well and they will in turn share what you’re writing with their friends and acquaintances.
- Make It Easy To Share. When your goal is to get people to share your blog post on social media, you want to make it as easy as possible to share. Make sure you have one click buttons to share the blog post available.
- Ask For the Share. Buttons are great, but sometimes it takes a little extra push to get your readers to take action. Don’t be afraid to ask for the social media share. Close your articles and blog posts with a little sentence or two that asks them to share on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest etc. if they enjoyed the post. Don’t forget to let them know how much you appreciate it when they share the love. Keep the conversation going by asking a question related to your blog post. It’s a great way to share another link to your blog post and get the conversation going at the same time.
- Engage Your Readers and Encourage Interaction. Blogging can feel like a very one-sided conversation sometimes. You’re sitting there, typing away, and sharing content with your readers. But you don’t hear anything back. They read and respond with silence. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
You know it’s important, but how do you get the ball rolling and encourage your audience, your readers to interact with your blog? You do it by asking them questions, by asking them for feedback and by encouraging them to share their opinions – right from your blog posts.
The next step is crucial. As soon as you see that first comment or two pop up, reply to them and keep the conversation going. This will do two things for you. Not only will you have a great conversation with the reader that commented (and a chance to form a deeper relationship), seeing you reply also shows other readers that you care and really want to hear from them. And that’s what’s going to encourage more and more of your loyal readers to comment.
If this all seems like to much after the time you’ve devoted to WRITING the blog post, remember that blogging is not like the Field of Dreams “If you build it they will come.” It’s quite the opposite. Publishing a blog post does little good if you don’t let the world know where they can find it. Make promoting your posts a part of your schedule.
Many entrepreneurs I speak to are not blogging consistently (or at all) and are confused about how to make it an effective part of their marketing plan. If this is you, I have created the Step by Step Guide to Blogging for Entrepreneurs to help you. Get your copy in my bookstore.