Having spent time writing your engaging or killer blog, you now need to ensure that it gets the airtime. The big question is where to promote your blog? Where will bring you the viewer numbers that you need to start making a difference?
Take care of your blog before promoting it!
You need to ensure that your site is professional, engaging and a pleasurable place to visit. Advertising is important but don’t allow it to swamp your site. Nothing is more irritating than trying to navigate around adverts to find the next paragraph that you have written.
Quality also applies to the writing on your site! Don’t be tempted into slapping any old thing down on your site and then expect viewers to flock to you. Imagine buying a pair of gorgeous red shoes only to find that the first time you wear them, the dye comes out, and the heel falls off. You are not likely to return to that same shop to buy again. The same applies to your site, poorly written, uninteresting blogs will win you no return viewers. Neither will links that don’t work.
The buzz word here is check, check and check again that everything is as it should be. If you are uncertain of your skills, hire someone that does know what they are doing. You will not regret it.
It’s all good – now what?
If you want to eat an elephant, you have to take the first bite. Make no error, getting your blog recognised amongst the millions of other blogs out there in web-land is not going to be easy. You are going to have to take many bites at this elephant. Don’t be disheartened; you will get to put down your knife and fork, but you are going to do a lot of work before that happy day!
Search engines – Don’t rely on keywords!
You may have written you blog and ensured it is SEO (search engine optimised) compliant with regular keyword use. Everyone’s favourite search engine will not magically place your blog at the top of the list of sites found. Most search engines need to see a great deal more than keywords to get you to the top of the pile.
You will need others to link back to you, and you will need your friends, and their friends, and their friends to share your blog. Popular blogs are shared over social media thousands of times and thus appear at the top of the search engine selections.
It will take you time to get to that level but ensure that your family and friends share what you have written.
Remember to put the ubiquitous Twitter and Facebook share buttons on the top and bottom of your blog, to make it oh so easy to share. If your blog is business oriented, don’t forget Linkedin.
Know your site – Analytics
Get some form of analytics package working for you. Software such as the popular Google Analytics will help you to understand what is happening on your site.
Understand the metrics that are being displayed for you. Know how you can use those metrics to improve throughput on your site. Know how to reduce your bounce rate and what pages are catching the eye of the beholder.
The old favourite, e-mail
Do not turn your nose up at this! One of the most comprehensive means of drawing people back to your site is to have a strong e-mail list, guard it jealously, and to use it effectively.
Do not swamp your readers with a copy of your blog, after all, you want to draw them back to your site. Write a clear précis of your new post and send it out, remembering to put the link to your new blog on the mail.
Be clear on what you want people to do. Use verbs such as ‘read’ and ‘visit’ to make sure that there is no confusion about what you want them to do. This may sound basic, but if someone is reading twenty or thirty e-mails, you want them to stop and do what you want so make sure to tell them.
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The choice to use plain text for a more visual HTML type is largely up to you. You must know your readers and send what they want. Plain text e-mail that does not clutter up an In Box and runs no risk of being blocked due to size may be a better option that a flashy HTML one. Remember, many e-mail packages will not automatically download photographs so your flashy HTML may appear drab if the photographs are not downloaded.
When to send emails?
Research has shown that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send an e-mail to your list of subscribers. Try to get the mail to them between eight and ten in the morning. It is the time that most people are most receptive!
Know if people have opened your e-mail or not. If you have many people that have simply deleted your mail without opening it, do not despair. Change the mail slightly, rework the title and send it back ONLY to those people who did not open the original one. Each person that opens it now is one more than before. Spend the time!
Leap into niche forums
Use your favourite search engine and look for a user forum in your niche. These are excellent places where to promote your blog. For example, if you are writing on off-road travel and driving, look for any off-road forums where people go to chat, or if your blog is about children, look for a forum where mums get to chat to each other about kids.
Become a member and read through the new posts on a daily basis. If you see one of the members post a query that you have covered in your blog, jump in with a contribution and include a link to your site. Now you have hundreds of new potential customers to your site. Not only do you build up a reputation as an expert over time, but you will also be in constant contact with a valuable resource for visitors to your site.
Use social bookmarking sites
Look at using sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg or Alltop. These sites will assist you in the promotion of your site. Like all other tools, you will need to work them all to ensure you get the response that you want.
Answer your comments
This may sound simple, but it can be tough. Make sure that you respond to the comments left for you on any of the social media platforms or on your own site.
You are trying to cultivate a community, and nothing makes a person feel like they belong than to have the leader (you!) of the community recognise them personally. Answer and use the person’s name. This will give the feeling that you are talking directly to them.
Never, get drawn into a battle on any form of social media. If you do, you will ultimately lose! You are one person, and there are millions of people out there so don’t allow an altercation to start. People are entitled to their views, and if you don’t like them then a simple ‘thank you for your view’, will suffice.
Share your golden oldies again
If you wrote a killer post a few months ago and found that it was well received, share it again! Don’t share everything over and over again, take the best and put them out there again. You will attract a whole new audience, and your existing audience will enjoy reading it again.
Twitter is a great way to get that short burst across
Look at the headings and sub-headings in your blog. Could they stand alone as Tweets? If they can, put the ‘Click to Tweet’ button next to your heading or subheading, and suddenly you give your viewers and easy way to send your text into the stratosphere!
Spend time and reap rewards
All these tips and tricks are some ideas on where to promote your blog. Promoting your blog depends on knowing your audience and making sure that you connect with them in the manner most appropriate for them. Mature adults will want a different approach to young adults who will want a different approach than tweens. It is unlikely, but not impossible that you will be trying to reach a variety of groups simultaneously.
Spend time promoting your blog. Writing content is important, but if you do not spend as much time in promoting it, you will have missed a huge opportunity. Writing is like art; it needs to be seen to be appreciated. Where to promote your blog is a personal choice. Wherever you choose, the rewards will be commensurate with the amount of effort that you put into the task.