If you want to have a popular blog, or even just have a loyal following, there are some steps you’re going to want to take. The first step is having a great blog. But, what comes after that? Well, the marketing and promotion part of being a blogger. Today, we will talk about the tips and tricks to promote your blog to your target audience.
A Great Blog Speaks For Itself
When it comes to creating a great blog, there are three main components that you should focus on:
1. The quality of your blog posts.
2. The design of your blog.
3. The effectiveness of your keywords.
The quality of your posts is determined by how well they are written, regardless of your subject matter. You want to have compelling stories and interesting headlines. But that’s not all that makes a post great! You want to use accurate words and proper spelling/grammar. You should also use proper formatting, wherever applicable.
If you’re putting together a list, bullets are more visually appealing than a block of text.
It’s also a good idea to use effective images in your posts. This gives your posts a more visual appeal. When it comes to your use of images, use them in moderation. If you’re using too many graphics, regardless of how great they look, they will be slow to load. This could cause readers to skip over certain posts.
Here’s a post on where to find free images for your blog.
The design of your blog should be something that is both visually appealing and easy on the eyes. You don’t want a cluttered header image or an overpopulated navigation tab. You want everything to be laid out in an easy-to-use manner so that your readers are happy to keep coming back. The best blog designs are always minimal. They use a monotone color theme, adding maybe one or two bright colours as accents. This is psychologically the most visually appealing theme.
The effectiveness of your keywords is as important as your content and your design. This requires you to do a little market research and find out what the keywords for your niche are. Then, you’ll want to use these keywords in your blog posts. You will want to focus on the long tail keywords because they will help you rank well in search engines.
Now, you may be wondering what any of that has to do with promoting your blog?
You can easily get thousands of pageviews a day. But if you don’t have great quality, your page views won’t convert to regular readers. You can have great content and page views, but if your layout is hard on the eyes, you won’t see conversions. So, you can see why having a great blog is the first step in promoting a blog.
You Can Catch More Flies With Honey
The next step in promoting your blog falls into your online presence. In this section, we won’t focus on where you should be seen, but how you should be seen. Your online behavior is important to the outcome of your blogs readership. If you promote your links too much, people may consider you to be spamming.
They may report you. They may block you. But they will definitely ignore you.
So, you’ll be posting links for no reason because no one will be visiting them. If you share your links at the right time to the right people, it will be appreciated.
The best way to gain a readership is to be someone who other people want to connect with. You can do this one of two ways: Being helpful and informative, or being nice and friendly. You can gather a readership just based on your positive personality. Or, you can gather a readership by assisting other people with any issues they may have. People are far more inclined to visit a blog they know has helpful and reliable information on it. So, it’s a good idea to have a few how-to posts or guides on your blog.
It’s also important that you connect to your readers. There are a few different ways you can do this. The first way is through social media outlets. We’ll cover the usefulness of social media in another section. One of the other ways you can connect to readers is by setting up a mailing list. This mailing lists allows you to send an email to all your readers every time you update your blog with a new post. You can do this through plain emails, or by sharing a newsletter. It’s up to you which one you’d rather put together. This is a good way to keep in touch with your current readers.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when promoting themselves is that they are too focused on the “end game”. Yes, you want to build a loyal audience for your blog, but you want to do it the right way. This means that it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Instead, your primary focus should be on networking with other people. You want to focus on connecting to the kind of people who would be interested in your blog. If you spend too much time making connections that aren’t interested in you, you’ll just be wasting your energy.
It should be easy to find a good readership if you’re looking in the right places. Needless to say, making right connections helps you to increase blog traffic as well.
Giving A Little Goes A Long Way
One of the things that will make your blog compelling is having something to give your new readers. This could be an e-Book you’ve put together. Or it could be an exclusive audio from you, or even a short video. It doesn’t matter what the gift is, all that matters is that it’s unique to those who read your blog. This incentive is bound to encourage new readers. It’s usually offered when a new reader signs up to a mailing list.
I want to mention Peter Beckenham here who has nailed this technique. Peter will send you a personalized video after you have dropped your first comment on his blog. This not only acts as a welcome surprise for the reader, since its personalized, it definitely strikes a chord. And you will visit his blog for more useful information and share it with friends and family. A great way to publicize your blog.
The value of offering this kind of incentive can’t properly by emphasized. So, imagine you go to a store for the first time. You’ve decided to make a small purchase because you enjoyed the service or are simply curious about the product. At the cash counter, you’re offered a free gift for making that purchase. Are you going to be more inclined to shop there again? Yes, you are.
That gift is a sign of appreciation towards the business you’re giving the shop. The same way signing up for a mailing list is for your blog. It’s important to make your readers feel special, because it keeps them coming back. But, more than that, it encourages them to tell their friends.
The most valuable thing you could possibly give your readers is your time. There are a few different ways you can do this. You can have live broadcasts that your readers can tune into. Or, you can have an “ask me anything” event where your readers send in questions they have. You can also just connect through social media, simply responding whenever you’re tagged in a post.
It’s important that whenever you get an email or social media message that you do your best to try and answer it. If you get too many messages, you could always send out a batch email that apologizes for your inability to answer more personally. You could share stories from your life as to why you’re unable to answer. This gives your readers a more personal insight into your life. If you’re comfortable with that, of course. But, ignoring any emails or messages on social media could leave people with a negative impression of you.
The impression people have of you will impact your readership and traffic to your blog. So, make a good impression.
Word Of Mouth Is The Best Advertising
The best way to get your blog seen is to have yourself seen.
Again, I reinstate the importance of having an online presence. Of course, social media is the best way to build an online presence, but it isn’t the only way. One of the more popular ways that bloggers are seen is through guest blogging. This means you reach out to other blogs within your niche. You offer to write an article or a story that they publish on their blog. This post will link back to your own blog. This will likely send their readers over to your website. You may also ask other bloggers to guest post on your blog. This brings over the readers who follow their posts as well. This is a great way to promote your blog to a new audience.
Now, you’re not going to want to contact a random blogger you’ve never spoken to before. Instead, you should pick a few blogs that you read regularly. You want to post relevant comments on those blog posts, or on social media posts about the same subject. This will help you build a relationship with those bloggers. That will make it less awkward when you approach them for a guest post. It’s also a helpful tactic to building a relationship with other readers of that blog. This might help you to convert those readers to your own blog.
Along with blogs and social media, you might want to consider joining a forum. It should be a forum within your niche, so don’t choose one at random. You don’t want to share a link to your blog on any forum, but you can put the link in your forum signature so that it is always seen. On the forum of your choice, you’ll want to share stories and helpful tips. This will draw other forum members to click the link to your blog and read some of your posts.
Since reaching out is an important part of promoting your blog, you’ll want to do it at every chance you get. You may not think reaching out to other bloggers is a good idea. You may think it’s counterproductive to talk to the competition. But, your blogging competition can become a promoter for you as well, if you put enough time into the relationship. You want to target bloggers who are considered experts in your niche. Much like every other relationship, you don’t want to rush it. Remember that keeping your eyes on the “end game” is never the right outlook.
Another thing you may not have considered is promoting other blogs within yours. This is a slightly more risky tactic, as it encourages readers to leave your blog. That being said, the owners of those blogs you’re advertising might be inclined to return the favour. If you end up getting advertised on their blogs, you’ll see an increase in traffic. Especially if those blogs are considered authoritative.
Sometimes We Need A Change Of Scenery
It can be a great marketing technique to branch into other areas of interest. You may typically write text posts. This may be your comfort level and what works the best for you. But, every once in a while it could be fun to try something new!
You could try posting a video or an audio that reads the same text that would otherwise be written. This will attract new readers who aren’t that interested in reading. It might also give your readers a better connection with you. It’s hard to connect with text, but it’s easy to connect to a face or a voice. If you choose to post a video, this gives you the chance to promote your blog on YouTube. This is a great marketing opportunity because there are plenty of people who access YouTube. It gives you a better chance of being seen on a whole new platform. For the same reason, if you choose to record an audio, you can promote yourself on Soundcloud. Of course, you don’t have to change the way you post every time. But it’s fun to mix it up.
If you’re comfortable in front of a camera, you could always try live-streaming. There are different social media platforms that are now allowing for this. Twitch is popular among gamers, so if you have a gaming blog you could use that to connect with your readers. Facebook Live and YouTube Live are great ways to connect with a different audience as well. Then there is always Periscope, which also allows live streaming events. You can do almost anything on these live streams. You could talk about your writing process, or you can just read an unseen post out loud. There are many options for you to have fun with this idea.
If you’re not interested in audio or video, you can try new text-post ideas or even use images. You could post how-to guides about something in your niche that you’re great at. Or tutorials always go over well. You can use ideographic instead of using text. You can make a fun list-style post using either bullets or images. For images, it’s a great idea to create your own. When you do this, always make sure you have a link to your blog on the image itself. This makes it easy for readers to share your image while you can still get a link back. This is a great way to promote your blog and drive traffic.
For the purpose of getting more exposure, you can also try changing where you’re posting. You could try writing for a newspaper or a magazine. Yes, they are older mediums. But, this means your writing will attract a whole new audience. Your name will be seen in print, likely with a link to your blog. So write something that is compelling and send it off. It’s always a good idea to make contacts in those industries for the times you need that change of scenery.
The Importance Of Social Media Marketing
You’ve probably seen the amount of people using social media on a daily basis. This is your audience, regardless of what your target is.
With so many social media outlets, it may be hard to know which ones you should focus on. There are many applications designed to help you manage your social media accounts, like HootSuite. Even still, you may feel you’re spreading yourself too thin. Instead of joining every social media website, you should pick a handful to focus on. It helps you use your time more effectively. The social media outlets you absolutely need to have are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Facebook and Twitter are the most popular, and both have advertising programs. You can pay a small price to have your website advertised on Facebook as a banner. Based on the Facebook user database, there is a very high chance your advertisement will be seen. On Twitter, you can pay to have a certain Tweet highlighted and promoted, or to have your whole account promoted. All of these options are a great way to promote your blog.
If you don’t want to pay for advertising, you can still accomplish being seen. The best way to connect with social media users is to be active. You want to follow people who have similar interests to your own. They are likely to follow you in return. You want to share their relevant posts and add your own comments. This encourages them to check you out. When it comes to building connections on social media, it’s fairly easy. You simply have to be likeable and post interesting content.
The readership you gain from social media outlets will likely convert. This means they will sign up to mailing lists, or purchase whatever you’re selling. As long as you’re marketing yourself to the right people who would be interested in whatever you’re offering.
Promoting your blog won’t bring you instant gratification. It will take time to make connections and you won’t see immediate results. But the more you build your online presence, the more you will be seen. If your content is high quality, you will gain a dedicated readership. You just have to work for your success.