Nowadays, to start a blog, all it takes is a theme, a few clicks of the mouse and a string of words to post. This is not to say that blogs are inherently low value because the barrier to entry is low. If you’ve spent any time online, you’ll quickly see that there’s a lot of amazing content being shared.
But finally, it takes more than an online presence and compelling content to be successful with blogging. If you don’t have inbound traffic, all your effort is a waste of time. With that in mind, here are 8 tips to help you take action and start promoting your blog content to drive traffic, encourage shares, and increase visibility:
1. Be a remarkable and reliable source
So anyone can throw random content on a blog and call it a day. But it won’t give you real traction with your target audience. Top performing content producers make sure their content is beneficial to their target audience.
Before you write anything, you should start by asking yourself, “Is this useful? “
If the answer to this question is “no” then you must start over.
Being useful means providing something of value so that your audience sees you as a trustworthy and reliable resource. If you write something that can help your audience solve their problems, answer their questions, or show them how to make their life easier, there’s a good chance you will provide them with value.
2. Maximize your chances of being found
You’ll probably put a lot of effort into writing content for your audience this year. Don’t let this effort go to waste. Do some keyword research that is relevant to your topic and naturally incorporate those keywords into your content. This will dramatically improve the chances of your blog posts being found organically in search results.
For example, if you search on Google for “Tips for Making Pizza”, you will see a number of articles and blogs at the top of the search results that explain how to make the perfect pizza at home. You can easily see how the search query matches the title of the articles listed in the results. This is what you want to reproduce so that your content appears at the top of search results.
3. Relationships matter
The people you connect with in your personal and work networks don’t want to feel like you’re just using them as a tool to spread your blog content, however good it is. Anything you do to promote your blog posts will be much more effective if you take the time to build better relationships through direct engagement and meaningful contributions to the conversation.
Saying “Hey, this is a great article – take a look at mine” is not the right way to put it. Don’t try to gamble on your network for links and shares. True two-way relationships are much more scalable, require less work, and will deliver better results as your blog grows. Which brings me to the next point …
4. Share content and engage others
Two-way relationships mean you have to give as much as you get, and you will get a lot more if you put the effort into building an authentic relationship. The people who follow you, as well as those in your network, will appreciate any additional help and attention you can give them.
So share their content, engage them regularly on their blog and social networks, and talk shop. When it comes time to publish your new piece, these people are much more likely to share it with their connections when they see that you are doing the same for them.
5. Post your content on social networks
Your immediate social connections aren’t the only ways to benefit from social media. Dig into relevant groups and forums where you can share opinions and participate in discussions. As your involvement in (and trust between) the community grows, you can start sharing your content within these communities.
Just keep this cardinal rule in mind: social media is about engagement – not spam. Don’t try to distribute your content to groups that you don’t belong to.
Do you have a great article that you want to get as much of as possible? Post it on your social networks and try a short paid campaign to ‘boost’ the post and get additional information to reach outside of your immediate network. For example, Facebook allows you to promote individual posts to make them more visible to those who like your page, and their friends.
6. Cross-promotion by email
Email may be getting old, but it’s far from obsolete. Place email subscriptions on your blog and other channels (like Facebook) that help you collect email addresses. Provide a great giveaway or regular tips exclusively to subscribers to increase conversion.
Use this subscriber list to let your fans know about new content, to review old content relevant to hot topics, and to encourage them to share the content with their networks. With a strong call to action and attention from your followers, you will be amazed at how willing they are to promote you.
7. Be lively
According to Search engine, YouTube officially became the number two search engine in 2014, with over 300 hours of content uploaded every minute, and those billions of unique visitors who watch over 6 billion hours of video every month.
It seems like a solid place to cross-promote your blog and ideas.
When you embed a video, you now have an additional channel to promote your content. Whether you’re recording a talking head video, a mini whiteboard lesson, or telling a presentation of your blog content, there are plenty of ways to incorporate sites like YouTube and Vimeo into your blog promotion strategy.
8. Guest message
Referral traffic is gold for any blogger, and one of the best ways to get that traffic is to post on blogs that are relevant to your industry or industry. Connect with influencers and other content producers, offer to provide content on a certain topic, and deliver the post in exchange for an author box with a link to your site.
Provide the same consideration – allowing others to post on your blog not only increases the chances of referral traffic, but also creates relationships that are part of your networking strategy. Then there’s the added benefit of having other people fill your content calendar with content, which occasionally gives you a much-needed break from writing.
No matter what you do first, take action. Before you do anything else for the day, sit down and set some goals. Go through your list and pick one thing you can do right this second to help promote your blog.
Then do it. It is that simple.
So what’s on your list for today? Tell me in the comments in the comments below: