Marketing your blog, while essential to its success, can sometimes seem like a struggle. You know the basic principles, but you can’t seem to get a grasp on the actual steps to take. Sometimes you just want someone to break it down for you.
This list of 20 ways you can market your blog will be able to do just that:
Become a Part of the Blogging Community
Connecting with your fellow bloggers is a great way to market your blog. Not only are you exposed to their audiences, but many times you can get useful advice from them about what to do and what not to do that you might never have discovered on your own.
Think about it this way: would you rather learn from trial and error or from the advice of someone who has been there before? Here are some ways you can market your blog and connect with your fellow bloggers:
- Comment – Commenting on other blogs can spark interest in your own blog. If you pick blogs with a similar topic to your own or one that relates in some way, you have a greater chance of enticing some of their audience into coming to your site.
You want to leave insightful comments that show your interest in the topic being discussed, not comments that will be regarded as spam. Spammy comments are typically short, meaningless comments that do not help your blog. A well-crafted comment takes time and effort, but it can pay off big.
- Guest Posts – Another way to get your blog’s name out there is to write a guest post for a well-known blogger. Writing guest posts for popular blogs with heavy traffic exposes you to a wider audience and can help grow your blog’s traffic.
When writing a post, however, you’ll want to keep in mind that overt links and keyword packing do not work. You need to write quality content that is pertinent to their site as well as your own. Only then will your guest post efforts pay off.
- Recycle – If you do not have the time to write a whole new post for another blogger, then you may want to consider recycling one of your old ones. Like a unique guest post, you’ll want to choose a topic that fits well on their site, and you’ll want to include a link to your site.
Recycling older, well-written posts can get you all the benefits of guest posting without the work. One warning though: do not do this too often. Google penalizes posts that are copied or plagiarized, even when it’s done with the author’s knowledge.
- Linking – Once you have formed a relationship with your fellow bloggers you can ask for a link exchange, meaning you will mention them on your site if they will mention you on theirs.
This is a great way to get a ‘personal recommendation’ from a fellow blogger, which in turn gives you access to their audience. Another way to get a link is to tell the blogger about a post of yours that their readers may like and ask them to share the article with a link back to your blog.
- Community – Join a blogging community and reap the benefits! All bloggers love marketing,and blogging communities are one of the best ways to market your blog to other bloggers.
A blogging community can give you access to new contacts and give your blog more exposure to your fellow bloggers.
Connect with Contacts
If you have followers or people that have signed up for your newsletter or RSS feed, then they want to hear from you! Do not ignore your current followers in favor of getting new ones. Instead, keep your followers and gain new ones by connecting in these ways:
- Have an RSS Feed – If your blog does not have an RSS Feed or follow button, then get one, and fast!
Your best bet in retaining your audience is to allow them to follow your blog’s updates. Make it easy for new readers to be updated each time you post something new to help keep the interest alive.
- Ask For Help – Asking your readers for help or feedback is a great way to keep them interacting and interested in your blog. You can ask for advice on new topics, allow them to pick out questions they want answered, and so on.
By connecting with your readers in this personal way you can keep them coming back. After all, they have already invested their time in helping you, so they will want to see the results of their efforts.
- Email Friendly – If you are like most marketers, you probably send out tons of emails every day. Make the most of every email by adding a link to your blog or your latest blog post.
By including a link you can increase traffic and reduce the amount of effort a potential reader has to do to get to your blog. Make it easy and they will come.
- Forums and Groups – Do you have a forum you hang out in or a group you talk with? Make your blog part of the conversation.
All it takes is a simple signature link to make your blog a part of every message you write. This easy addition can help expand your audience and make it easy for the people you talk to every day to come check out your blog.
- Newsletters – If you have a newsletter, then by all means include your blog in it. A newsletter can be a great way to get access to those email-only subscribers and draw them into your blog.
Show them your latest post or posts that would appeal to their tastes. Expand them from email-only to regular blog readers and reap the benefits.
Use Social Media
While everyone tells you to use social media to market your blog, very few tell you how to actually do it. When using social media as a marketing tool, there are five big social media platforms that you should focus on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.
Depending on your blog, you may want to focus on just one or two to make the most of your social media marketing. Here is a quick rundown of the top five:
- Facebook – The big leader in social media, Facebook is all about interaction. While it’s a good idea to use images to augment your posts, they are not the sole concern. Your content needs to be compelling and interesting to make the most impact. To get your name out there you have to make your content shareable and you need to create talking points in your content.
In addition, make sure you respond to comments and become a part of the Facebook community.
It’s also a good idea to create a business page that is separate from your personal Facebook page. Keep it professional and business oriented for the best results.
- Twitter – No images here, just 140 characters of text to work with.
Twitter is all about being short and sweet. Make your Tweets count by using one or two hash tags and asking followers for retweets.
Try to phrase your Tweets in compelling ways that make people want to click on links. You should also Tweet about the same post two to three times a day for up to 30 days, mixing up the wording of your Tweets to generate new interest in the post.
- Pinterest – All about images, Pinterest is a visual learner’s dream. That means your posts will have to be visually appealing. Do not pin every image on your blog. Instead try to pick images that are especially compelling or beautiful in some way.
Go for bold colors and close up shots for the best results. You should also add text to your images to convey more about the post it is linking to.
- LinkedIn – More than just a way to find a job and keep connected to previous employers, LinkedIn is a great spot for business minded blogs to make contacts and to get your name out there.
Share important information, join groups with similar interests and make your name in the business world.
- Google + – Circles are what Google + is all about. To get the most from your Google+ account, make your circle public and share your posts with the world.
As an added benefit of Google +, your blog will then have your profile image pop up in Google search results.
This can mean more traffic from simple searches without any further effort on your part.
Keep in mind that you want to add social media buttons on your blog to further enhance your marketing strategy.
Making it easy for readers to share or Tweet your posts is a great and easy way to get more traffic.
Some things just don’t come in categories. To make marketing your blog a success, you may want to keep these general ideas in mind:
- Bookmarking Sites – Bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious and Technorati are great places to market your blog. Sign up and add your most popular posts to these bookmarking sites to get your blog noticed.
You should also add bookmark buttons at the bottom of your blog posts to make it easy for your readers to add you too.
- Keyword Optimization – Keywords are essential to any successful marketing campaign, and it’s worth it to do your research and know what keywords your audience is searching for. By integrating keywords into your blog posts naturally you make marketing them much easier.
Make sure you use keywords in your titles and descriptions as well.
- Quality and Quantity – Speaking of keywords, do not go overboard and pack your posts with them. All of your posts should be high quality to make it easier to market them to other high quality sites.
You should also update your blog frequently to keep it in the top search engine rankings and in reader’s feeds, and you should be consistent in when you update.
- Be Honest – You have your own writing voice, so use it. If you try to sound like another blogger or write the way they taught you in school, no one will ever read your blog. Honest voices are a big part of why blogs are successful. Find your voice and use it.
- Be Passionate –Love what you write. How can you expect to successfully market something that you are not passionate about? You should be proud of your work, and if you are it will shine through in your writing. Ultimately this will positively affect your marketing efforts.
Marketing your blog does not have to be a huge undertaking. Building your marketing efforts one step at a time can get you great results. Just keep in mind who your audience is, where they go online and when they go online to make the most of your efforts.