If you’re blogging to market a product or service, you will of course need people to read it. If no one sees your blog, it has no value. Below are some blog promotion ideas that can help grow a blog following:
1. Produce for Different Platforms
Create content in different formats to tap into new networks. Each of the below networks are like miniature search engines. People go there to search for, browse, and consume content. By producing content for the below platforms you can reach their different audiences.
YouTube is the second largest search engine, and the third most visited site globally. To get results with YouTube, produce content that’s valuable to your target audience. Use the right keywords so they can find it. To get traffic from YouTube to your blog, mention your blog’s URL in your video, and include a link to your blog in the video’s description.
On SlideShare, users can upload PowerPoint, Keynote, PDF or OpenDocument presentations. You can think of SlideShare as “YouTube for presentations.” To increase the chances of viewers navigating to your blog, make a link to your website accessible to viewers. Include a link in your profile, in your presentation’s description and within your presentation.
Udemy is an online marketplace for video courses. Anyone can produce a course on any topic and publish it to Udemy. Over 2 million students use Udemy to search for and consume educational content. Create video courses on topics related your blog’s topic and relevant to your target audience. Mention your blog in all of your lectures and include links to relevant blog posts within the notes for each lecture. You can also make announcements and send promotional emails to your students with links to your blog posts.
A podcast is like a radio show for the Internet. The Podcast marketplace is like it’s own search engine. Podcasts can be subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. Start a Podcast on your niche. Mention relevant blog posts through the show and include links in the show notes.
Quora is a question and answer site with a lot of active viewers. Answer questions that are relevant to and followed by your target audience. Provide strong, detailed answers that provide value to your target audience. Link to your blog in your Quora profile, in your bio line for the answer, and within the answer if appropriate.
Amazon has a massive network of users that search Amazon for products. By self-publishing a book on Amazon you can tap into a proverbial fire house of traffic. The book can be as short as long as you’d like and you can set the price as you’d like. Self-publish a book on the topic of your blog. Link to blog posts and your primary blog domain within the book.
2. Social Media
My typical tweet structure when sharing a blog post is “[post title] [link] [relevant hashtags].” For example, “How to Use a Blog to Market Your Business http://qr.ae/thBLo #blogging #contentmarketing”. I will also quote key points from the blog post and include a link. I typically tweet each blog post about 3 times after publishing it and sporadically after that.
Do some searching on Twitter to determine which hashtags to use. Some hashtags have active conversation and many people following or engaging.
If you mentioned anybody in the blog, or if there is anybody in particular you think would benefit from reading the post, mention them in the Tweet by including their @handle. By mentioning them, they may be more likely to respond or retweet, giving you more exposure.
ii. Find People Expressing a Need
Use Twitter’s search functionality to find people using keywords relevant to your blog. Engage with people who fit your target demographic. When appropriate, reply to their tweets with blog posts that might be helpful. For example, if someone tweets that their building a landing page, reply with a blog post your wrote on landing page design. There are a few great apps you can use to search Twitter for relevant conversations quickly and easily. Check out this video course to learn more about them: 13 Twitter Apps: Automate and Optimize Your Twitter Marketing.
There are great two ways to get more views from LinkedIn: status updates and groups.
Status updates will be seen by your connections and the connections of anyone who “likes” your update.
Groups are great regardless of how many connections you have. Search for groups related to your industry, your target audience, or the topic of your blog post. Join them. Share your posts in those groups. Add some personalized commentary.
Share your posts as a status updates. People who have you in their circles will see them.
Post to communities. Start by finding relevant communities (similar to LinkedIn, above). You can post directly to communities from the share container on your home screen.
You can add hashtags to your status according to the topic of the blog to increase the chances of someone finding it when searching.
Also…and this is a big one…per Moz’s Search Ranking Factors, the number of Google +1’s a page has is the second most influential factor for how it will rank on search engines!
Share your posts on your personal profile or business page. Posts that have a picture will stand out a lot more.
Also check out Facebook groups that pertain to the interests of your audience. For example, if I were to distribute a blog post about promoting a blog post, I would think about who would want to get views on their blog posts. Who uses blog posts to promote their product/service? Many do, but I would focus on some the Facebook groups I’m most interested in and already a part of — i.e. authors/book marketers, Udemy instructors/course marketers, etc.
3. Niche Social Networks
Who is your target customer segment? Who are you trying to reach? Where do they hang out? Go where your customers go.
For example, photographers might be hanging out on Instagram. People who travel a lot might be on Airbnb.
Many industries and interest groups have online forums or discussion boards. Think about what social networks your target audience is likely to be active on, especially the networks that pertain to your product area.
4. Content Distribution Networks
Reddit is a “social news” site where registered users can submit links and users promote the articles they like. The most voted articles get promoted on the front page of Reddit, which can lead to massive exposure.
There are a few other article distribution/link sharing networks that I use that pertain to startups: Hacker News, Quibb, and Growth Hackers. There are probably others for different industries that you’ll want to search for.
5. Direct Outreach
While sending specific people blog posts one by one may not be a scalable traffic acquisition strategy, it can have big payoffs over time, and is often needed when first starting. Sending blog posts to people directly can ensure that your target audience sees it. Below are a few types of people who may benefit from your blog posts:
Email your blog posts directly to your target audience. If you blogging about marketing for small businesses, email your blog post directly to a small business owner. You’re not being annoying if the post is truly valuable.
Email your blog posts directly to influential people who could help share your blog. For example, I wrote a blog post about the higher education bubble and sent it to a popular economist who hosts a radio show/podcast and often speaks on CNBC. He then shared it on Twitter to all of his followers.
Email your blog posts directly to people who curate content and share it with their audience, such as newsletter editors and bloggers with “resources pages.”
6. Guest Blog
Guest blogging is when you write a blog post and have it published by another blogger. Most blogs who accept guest posts will allow you to include a link to your blog in your profile line of the blog post, or to link to other relevant blog posts within the guest blog post. Guest blogging can help you in two ways: a) When your article is published on someone else’s blog, that blog’s audience sees it. b) Having your domain linked to by another domain (link building), improves search ranking on Google.
7. Search Engine Optimization
Many, many people go to Google to find stuff, blog posts included. Therefore, you want to make sure your posts appear when someone enters a search term that you have a blog post in. Check out SEO 101 via Slideshare to learn more about SEO.
8. Blog Commenting
Search for blogs and blog posts related to your blog and blog posts. Write value added comments on the blog posts you find. For example, if you wrote a post titled “How to Promote Your Blog” search for blog posts about blogging. Add tips or your opinion about the blog posts you find and then offer your blog post to help the author and the readers with what was recommended in the blog post.
9. Build an Email List
By allowing people to opt in to receiving your blog posts by email, you increase your potential to get traffic on your posts. Every time you publish a post you will have a list of people to email. Mailchimp or Aweber are some of the most popular email marketing products. I use Mailchimp.
To learn more about blogging, check out “The Ultimate Guide to Blogging.”