How do you do that? You’re going to find out in this article. Today we’re going to have a look at different ways you can use to promote your blog.
Before we begin, let me note that you shouldn’t go for all of them from the get-go. I’d suggest you start with one or two ways and then expand your blog promotion strategy.
If you try to do all of them at once, you’ll get overwhelmed, and you likely won’t drive a lot of traffic to your website, if any.
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Why do you have to promote your blog?
Is it really necessary to promote a blog? Won’t the readers just find your blog over time? No, they won’t.
Because they won’t be searching for something they don’t know exists. You can’t just drop a link to your blog on your LinkedIn profile and hope for the best. You have to put in the work.
With all my previous blogs, I was just publishing content and hoping someone would come.
Eventually, someone would. I was getting a few visits a day.
Thanks, mum! Very appreciated!
But that was it. As you can tell, it’s not a good promotional strategy.
When should you start promoting your blog?
One of the main questions bloggers ask is when they should start promoting their blog.
Well, I’ve heard mixed opinions on this topic. Some say you should wait until you have a substantial amount of content on your blog. I say, start from day one.
Hey, if you’re publishing great content you are proud of, which you should, by all means, why not driving traffic to it right from the beginning? This way you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t quite early on.
Of course, you will have to be testing the strategies for an extended amount of time to know if they work or not, but that’s just one more reason to start right away.
I bet you’re working hard on your blog, and are writing great content, so why would you not want to get your work seen?
With every single blog, there’s the dead phase at the beginning. I like to call it “the screaming into the void” phase. That’s where you’re publishing blog posts and very little people, if anyone, is reading it. You want to get through this phase as fast as you can.
Can you promote your blog for free?
Yes, you definitely can.
There is a number of free ways to promote your blog.
In my opinion, you shouldn’t use paid ads anyway to promote your blog unless you have a product to sell anyway.
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
Before you start promoting your blog, there are a few things you need to do:
I. WRITE GREAT QUALITY CONTENT
You have to write good-quality content if you want to drive traffic to your blog, and especially if you want to turn your visitors into readers.
Clicks and number of visits isn’t the goal of driving traffic to your blog. Dwell time and bounce rate are equally important.
What is dwell time?
Dwell time is the time a user spends on the website before clicking away.
Those two metrics are very important as they show you how valuable your content is to your visitors. The goal is to keep your visitors on your blog and turn them into readers.
You want them to stay on your website, read the whole article, visit other pages and blog posts on your website, and keep coming back. The key is to build a relationship with your audience.
It’s okay if your content isn’t as good as more seasoned bloggers’ content. Create the best content you can to your ability.
- Are there grammatical errors in your blog posts?
- Do your blog posts solve your readers’ problems?
- Are you writing your content with your target audience in mind?
- Are relevant blog posts on your website interlinked?
II. CREATE A BLOG MARKETING STRATEGY
Why do you need a marketing strategy for your blog?
If you want to turn your blog into a business, you need a promotional strategy, and you need to implement it from the beginning.
Ideally, you should develop a marketing plan even before you launch your blog.
If you’ve already started your blog, and are looking into ways to promote your blog, that’s fine. Start now.
If you’ve been blogging and promoting your blog for a while, but you’ve never seen much traffic on your site, you can try a different strategy.
Just keep in mind that it takes time to drive significant traffic to your blog. Don’t get discouraged in the beginning.
Here on Blogology, I focus on SEO, email marketing, and Pinterest. I will go through all of them and more in this article.
RECOMMENDED READING: How to Measure the Success of Your Blog
My advice for creating a blog marketing strategy?
- Decide how often you are going to be posting
- Learn how to do SEO
- Start building an email list from the beginning
- Pick one social channel and learn how to use it to drive traffic
- Expand your strategy after you’ve gotten hold of these three
WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the practice of optimizing a website so it can rank high in the search engines.
There’s so much that goes into SEO and so I will try my best to explain it as simply as I can.
But before I begin, let me tell you that you can’t skip this strategy. It was my biggest mistake when starting my other blogs. I never paid attention to SEO because it was overwhelming.
SEO won’t drive traffic to your blog straight away. It takes time to rank in search engines, especially with a new website.
I’m not an expert at SEO so I will only cover the basics.
1.1 ON-PAGE SEO
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages so they can rank higher in the search engines.
On-page SEO refers to the content of your website and the HTML source code, and the quality of those two.
I found this article about on-page SEO ranking factors by Moz so definitely do check it out.
First things first, you need to learn how to do keyword research. But first, let’s address what a keyword is.
A keyword is a word or a phrase that people are typing into the search engine.
There are three main types of keywords: short-tail, middle-tail, and long-tail.
A short-tail keyword is usually one or two words long and tends to have a high search volume. An example of a short tail keyword is “photography gear”.
A middle-tail keyword is slightly longer and more specific. The search volume is usually lower. An example would be “wide-angle lenses for Canon”.
A long-tail keyword is very specific, and the search volume is usually low. An example of a long tail keyword is “the best wide-angle lenses for Canon 700d”.
Of course, it’s not always as simple as that. There are also exceptions to the rule. Not every short-tail keyword is highly searched for. On the same hand, some long-tail keywords are very competitive.
HOW TO DO KEYWORD RESEARCH
1. Choose a topic for your blog post
2. Go to AnswerThePublic and type in the topic
It will give you an extensive list of queries people are searching for on the internet.
3. Google your topic
4. Go to Pinterest
Don’t dismiss the Pins as well. The top Pins are most likely the topics people are interested in the most.
Type in your keyword and have a look at the search volume and difficulty. Ideally, you should go for keywords with high search volume and low difficulty.
6. Go to Google Trends
7. Check the search intent
Are they predominantly guides? Or lists? How long are those blog posts?
This way you can determine what the searcher is probably looking for when they type in the keyword. These are also the types of content Google favors in regard to the keyword.
Okay, cool. What now?
The keyword you pick to summarize the topic of your content is your primary keyword. The other related keywords you are going to be using throughout your blog post are secondary keywords.
In the case of this article, the primary keyword is “promote a blog”. The secondary keywords are other related terms such as “drive traffic to your blog”, “grow your blog”, “ways to promote your blog”, etc.
What do you do with those keywords? You include them in your blog post and optimize it.
So, where should you include the primary keyword?
- The first paragraph
- At least one of your subheadings
- Names of your images
- Meta description of your images
- The URL of your blog post
- In the body of your blog post
How many times should you mention your keywords in the blog post?
Well, there’s no exact number I can give you. Mention your primary keyword in the places I mentioned in the list above and throughout the body as long as it makes sense.
You don’t want to use the keyword over and over just for the sake of it. That’s called keyword stuffing and it can hurt your rankings.
Keyword placement is more important than keyword density.
Use synonyms and other related terms as well.
EXTRA TIP: Go for long-tail keywords. They’ll be much easier to rank for in Google. When doing your keyword research, go for difficulty 20 or below.
1.2 TECHNICAL SEO
Technical SEO refers to website and server optimization so web crawlers can crawl and index your website so it can appear in search queries.
It refers to:
- security of your website
- how fast it loads
- whether it’s mobile-friendly
- redirection of broken links
- and a LOT of other things
Links are very important for SEO in general. Internal links (the links within your website) help the web crawlers discover new pages.
Backlinks, however, are links pointing to your website from other websites. Apart from driving traffic to your blog, they can act as “votes” for your website.
In turn, the search engine might see your website as more authoritative, which can improve your rankings.
So, that was a beginner overview of SEO.
As I said, I’m not an expert. I’m still learning. I don’t want to spread any misinformation about SEO, so I will leave the job to experts.
I highly recommend you check out this SEO beginner guide by Moz.
This video from Ahrefs explains SEO and how search engines work and is great for total beginners.
#2 EMAIL MARKETING
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a strategy based on the people who already found a way to your blog. If they are interested in what you’re writing about, they can subscribe to your email list.
This way you’ll be growing an audience of people who are truly interested in what you’re doing.
How does email marketing work?
First of all, you’ll need to sign up for an email marketing provider. There are plenty to choose from. There’s ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Benchmark, and a lot more.
I use ConvertKit. It’s a beginner-friendly email marketing service and it has all the features you need.
You’ll write the emails you want to send your audience, and the provider sends them for you.
You should create an opt-in where you’ll remind your readers to subscribe. This is how you’ll grow your email list.
Don’t waste your email list on only notifying your subscribers when a new blog post is published. Send your readers weekly newsletters and updates, send them new resources you found, send them different freebies.
If you’re thinking of offering a paid service or product to your audience, you will need a lead magnet.
Let’s say you want to start offering 1:1 coaching sessions. Send out an email, and tell the readers on your blog, that you are offering free 30 minutes long coaching calls. At the end of the session, you will offer your paid service.
It’s up to the person to decide whether they were happy with your service and whether they want to buy your coaching sessions.
That’s a lead magnet.
A lead magnet can also be a freebie like a check-list, short e-book, and really anything short but valuable.
But what is a lead?
A lead is a person interested in your service or product. A potential customer.
When should you start building your email list?
In my opinion, you should start collecting emails from the beginning. It’s a highly targeted strategy because only the people who are truly interested in your blog will subscribe to your email list.
#3 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
You can use social media to promote your blog. That being said, don’t try to do all of them at once. Pick one or two that make the most sense for your target audience to be on.
3.1 SOCIAL CHANNELS
There are quite a few social media channels to choose from:
Everything you do on your blog you should do with your target audience in mind. The blog posts you write, how you write them, and where you promote them.
That being said, Pinterest is probably the best social media where you can promote your blog.
Because it’s actually a search engine. Yeah, you read that right.
How much socializing have you done on Pinterest? Probably none, right?
Look, if you post something on Instagram or Twitter, it’s going to be irrelevant a few days later. However, if you use the right Pinterest strategy, your pins can appear on the top of the search results for years to come.
I’m going to be writing a detailed blog post about Pinterest marketing soon.
Same with YouTube. I suggest you look into eventually creating a YouTube channel for your blog.
Cross-promoting is one of the best ways to grow your blog into a business. AND the future of digital marketing is video.
IMPORTANT: Don’t even try to promote your blog on all of the social channels at once. Start with one, and when you confident with that one, you can add another one.
3.2 SOCIAL SHARING BUTTONS
You can use social sharing buttons so your readers can share your content as well. If you scroll down this page, you’ll see Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter buttons.
If you click on them, you’ll be able to share this article to an appropriate social channel.
The secret behind that is the Shared Counts plugin. Although, there are many more plugins that can do the same.
You will have to go out of your way and network with other bloggers. Ideally both online and offline. The best ways to network are:
4.1 GUEST POSTING
What is guest posting and how does it work?
Guest posting or guest blogging is when two bloggers in the same or related niche write a piece of content for each other’s blog.
You write a blog post for them, and they write one for you. In the blog post, you mention your blog and link to it, and their readers can then visit your blog.
And of course, the other way around.
4.2 COMMENTING ON OTHER BLOGS
Read other blogs and leave insightful comments. You might not get a huge amount of traffic doing this, but you might catch the attention of the author of the post, they might visit your website, and you might end up guest posting.
IMPORTANT: I can’t stress enough: comment something insightful. Don’t spam.
4.3 BLOGGER OUTREACH
What is blogger outreach and how does it work?
Blogger outreach is when you write a blog post and email it to other bloggers in your niche.
Be nice about it. Don’t just send them a link. That way the email would probably end up in trash straight away.
Mention who you are, that you’ve written this particular blog post, and you think they might be interested in reading it. You can mention that if they like it, you’d be grateful if they shared it with their audience.
4.4 INTERVIEW OTHER BLOGGERS
You can interview other bloggers and influencers in your niche.
If an expert in your niche agrees to be interviewed for your blog, that would be even better. Chances are that their audience would come to your blog to read the interview.
4.5 ATTEND EVENTS
Blogging is not just about sitting behind your computer and writing blog posts. You will have to go out of your way and network with other people in person.
Look up blogger events and events regarding your niche in your city, or wherever you are. Go there and talk to other people.
You might be surprised who you meet there.
#5 GROUPS AND COMMUNITIES
5.1 SOCIAL MEDIA GROUPS
There are plenty of groups to join. The best start is Facebook groups. Facebook groups are great for promoting your blog.
You can find Facebook groups in your niche and engage with the people in the group.
But don’t limit yourself to Facebook only. I’d also try Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Alternatively, you can start your own group on social media. It’s a great way to find bloggers in your or related niche for guest posting.
5.2 BLOGGING COMMUNITIES
Similarly to social media groups, there are a lot of blogging communities on the internet, where you can submit your blog posts, and engage with other bloggers.
I’ve never submitted my content to a blogging community, so I don’t know how effective it is.
I will definitely be testing it for you, so I’ll update you once I do.
5.3 WEB FORUMS
By web forums, I mean websites such as Quora or Reddit.
What is Quora?
Quora is an ask-and-answer website where people ask questions and other people answer them.
This strategy won’t drive massive traffic to your blog overnight, but over time, as you keep answering more and more questions, it will grow.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is a social sharing website. There are subreddits around specific topics where people discuss the topic.
To be completely honest, I don’t use Reddit very often, so I’m not sure how it works.
But it might be worth looking into if you use the platform often and think your audience might be there as well.
What is a round-up?
You know these types of articles where “25 fashion bloggers share their styling secrets”?
Yeah, that’s a round-up.
You can invite other bloggers in your niche and publish a round-up post on your blog. Their audiences will likely visit your blog.
You can also participate in a round-up. If you know about a blog or a website that does round-ups, you can reach out to them and ask if you could be featured in the next one.
#7 ADVANCED STRATEGIES
7.1 PODCAST INTERVIEWS
Podcasters are always on a hunt for people to interview, and you can be their next interviewee.
You can reach out to podcasters in your niche and ask them to be interviewed.
7.2 PUBLIC SPEAKING
Public speaking can be scary. But if you’re not afraid, it’s a great way to promote yourself and your blog.
You can look up relevant speaking opportunities in your area and join them.
7.3 GOOGLE NEWS
Yes, you can appear on the homepage of the Google app.
If you want to appear in Google News, you should submit your articles to the Publisher Center.
Although, according to Google, your articles can appear in Google News even if you don’t do that as it can discover your site through a normal web crawl.
Among other things, your website needs to very good quality. So SEO is imperative here. You also need to be publishing good-quality, relevant, and trustworthy content.
I don’t have experience with submitting my blog to Google News so my knowledge about this topic is quite limited.
Once I do, I will make sure to update you.
7.4 SUBMIT YOUR BLOG POSTS TO MEDIUM
Medium is an online publishing platform.
Similarly to Google News, you need to be producing high-quality content in order to be able to publish on Medium.
You can register for free and start publishing articles.
There are so many ways to promote your blog, but you shouldn’t try all of them at once. That way you’ll probably fail. Pick a few that appeal to you the most and try them. You can try different strategies later.
I organized the ways you can promote your blog in the order I think you should go about it. Focus on SEO and building your email list in the beginning, pick a social channel, and add other strategies later on.
That’s what I’m doing now. I will keep updating this article as I haven’t tried a lot of these strategies yet.
Which ones are you going to try? Let me know!