Promoting your blog used to be a simple case of posting the link on twitter, and maybe on Facebook too. Things have sure changed!
I like to follow a certain pattern, which I have developed over the last few months and has led to an increase in my page views of 150%. I would like to share this pattern with you today in the hope that utilising it, or something similar might be of use to you.
* Note: This may seem like much more work than you were originally putting into promoting your blog posts each time you made an entry. Fact is, it does take time and effort to get the word out there about your blog but the rewards are highly increased page views and post interaction! So worth it :-)
1. I've spoken before about getting twitterfeed to automatically post the link to your blog once you have written and published a new post. I would bet you an ice cream sundae that this is usually around the same times of day. That means that people who are following you from different time zones are probably not getting to see your link. You are missing out on these people, who have already expressed an interest in you, seeing your link and potentially visiting your blog!
Between 6 and 12 hours after you publish your blog post, tweet your link again. Maybe something like "Have you seen my post on taking photographs at night?" with a short link. You've just doubled the audience of your promotion :-)
I would strongly recommend against doing this more than twice, or too soon after your initial publishing/tweeting. It'll look spammy.
2. Pinterest is massively overlooked as a promotional tool. Have a look at my board here. For every article that I write for my blog, be it a nail tutorial or a social media advice post, I create a image with similar characteristics. The three things I usually make sure are cohesive are rounded corners, bold text and an instagram picture that belongs to me. I make the image in Picmonkey and then I use it at the top of the post.
Create a header image for each post with bold, informative text, signposting your article. Pin to Pinterest and repin at intervals you feel comfortable with.
When I've published the article or tutorial, I'll then go to Pinterest and add the image as a pin to the board. Simple right? Followers of that board often repin the image. It serves as a sort of flag for what the blog article is about, and quite often people will pin things they want to read later. Every repin is a huge truckload of extra exposure for me! I will even 'repin' the image myself after a few weeks, and then again a few months later. This means that all my articles are being seen by new people on a regular basis.
3. If you are not using LinkedIn to promote your business to like-minded individuals or potential customers, you are missing a trick. It's an engagement-heavy platform with the added bonus of being more credible that most social media sites. You do have to put time and effort into building up a following though.(I'll talk about how you can do that in my upcoming Brand Awareness E-Course) Regardless, even with under 100 connections, it's more than worth posting a link to your article on the site. All it takes for your article to be seen by potential hundreds of interested people is a few 'likes'.
The key to LinkedIn is mutual engagement. If you read and like articles that posts that other people are posting, tell them! They will be much more likely to do the same for you, and every comment, share or like on LinkedIn exposes you and your blog to all of that individuals connections too.
4. Next in the promotional round for me is Google+. I wrote here some beginners tips to using Google+ but I have an awful lot more to learn. If you don't have an account yet, do it right now. Set one up, add a photo and start looking for interesting and relevant people to follow. If you provide business consulting services, you'll want to find small local business owners. If you sell handmade jewellery worldwide, you will want to be adding people that fit into the demographic of your business. There's a real knack to finding the right type of people and you'll need to put significant effort in at the start, but the rewards are evident when your blog articles are shooting up the search pages. Your popularity and ability to engage people on Google+ is going to have a significant affect on your SEO in the future, as Google search pays more attention to what people are liking and sharing.
Share your blog article from the main page of Google+. Add a short description where you have space to, don't repeat the title of the post though, that's a waste of valuable SEO opportunity. Describe the post in a different way, keeping it short and sweet. Don't forget to thank everyone who +1's your post on there. I do this by name, shouting out each individual by putting a plus before their name (like with twitter's '@')
5. The final tip is common sense, but it's kind of worth saying because sometimes people miss this valuable step.
Tell people in real life about your blog!
I know it's hard. I know you may feel that people won't be interested. I know these things because I felt them too. But once you bite the bullet and just do it, you'll see that actually people can be extremely supportive of your writing. Obviously, if your blog is about a controversial topic, or particulally liberal or right-wing, then you may encounter some negativity, but in general, as long as your blog is inoffensive, I think you'll be surprised at the positive reception you get from sharing your blog in real life. Start by posting the link on facebook. I do away with the preamble and just title the post 'Blog.' I've had some lovely messages from people who I haven't spoken to in a while - definetely worth getting over the shyness :-)
You are probably exhausted just reading all of this but once you get into the swing of it, this method of non-spammy self-promotion really does work, and give you the bext chance of your posts being seen by others. Of course, keeping people reading, coming back for more and ultimately following you is a totally different story altogether.
Look out later in the week for my Beginners Guide to your Bounce Rate (how long people stay on your pages once you finally manage to get them there!)