So I wanted to give my own answers and tips for the question: How to promote your blog?
Blog promotion is highly crucial to get your blog content in front of more eyeballs; right eyeballs.
However you cannot simply blindly go about promoting your blog posts. There are quite a few things that you need to set right before you can think about blog promotion.
Now, I assume that you have taken care of all the stuff I have pointed out in my earlier post, because, I would like to stress once again, all your promotion methods (that I explain below) and your promotion efforts WILL go wasted if you don’t fix those points first.
So how to promote your blog? Let me answer the question right away!
Embrace social media
Social media is getting hotter by the minute. More and more people are joining social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and many others. If your readers and potential customers are active on social media, then you must have an online presence on social media platforms too.
It is because you should be willing to deliver quality content and promote your (useful) blog posts outside your own blog.
Sure you have spent a lot of time in creating that content. But if it lacks social shares, and social engagement your blog post is missing a large piece of the pie.
Do not ignore social media thinking it is a waste of time. Indeed, social media can be a great distraction. But it should not be ignored on this basis. You have to have control over yourself when you use social media sites for promotion. Otherwise you will stuff yourself with unwanted information and you will also be wasting your time.
Have a strategical system in place. Pick 2 or 3 top social media sites that bring you traffic. Go to Google Analytics (I assume you have an account and have the analytics code pasted on your site – if not, you MUST do it!).
On the left sidebar, click on “Acquisition” and then “All Referrals”. You should see a list of sites that are giving you referral traffic.
Pick 3 social media sites from the top 10 and do more work concentrating on those sites. For instance, in my case my top 3 social media sites are Twitter, Google+ and Facebook (see image above).
So I need to work more intensively on these social media with a strategy in mind.
Since there are too many social media sites, it is good not to try to be present on all of them! You will feel a lot overwhelmed and you will be wasting your time.
I am not telling you should totally ignore the other social media platforms. It is nice to be everywhere (according to PatFlynn). But you won’t be able to build a solid social media strategy if you start treating all the social sites equally and if you try to put your work equally on all of them.
You can set up automatic sharing or hire a VA or spend very less amount of time on other social sites. But the top 3 should be your top priority.
Set up a strategy, allot a specific amount of time and rock on these social media sites. When I say “rock” don’t be aggressively promoting your posts alone.
You have to be actively engaging, useful and provide quality content on these sites (top 3) – and you should also be friendly, entertaining and helping people out on these sites.
This way, you will be building a strong fan base outside your blog – and this will be a good form of blog promotion.
Comment on related blogs
I hear you. After all the slaps from Google, you wonder what blog commenting has to do with promoting a blog. Well, if you are going to comment on blogs to build backlinks then you will suffer (at least from the point of search engine traffic).
So how can you differentiate commenting for links and commenting for traffic and to build authority? – there is a huge difference between the two.
If you start blasting 20 comments a day on do-follow blogs alone, or if you are targeting only those blogs that have commentluv, then you are probably doing it for links. And in that case, one cannot expect (within reasonable limits) that your comments will be of good quality.
Since your aim is to get X number of links per day, you will be leaving low quality comments on the blogs. And you will be targeting a certain type of blogs (say, Commentluv enabled blogs).
But if you comment for traffic and to build authority, the story is totally different. You won’t care
(i) if the blog has Commentluv enabled or not,
(ii) if the blog gives do-follow links or not or
(iii) if the blog has native commenting system or any other third party commenting system.
You won’t care anything about links. Rather you will now leave your genuine valuable comments that add value to the original post and that voices your opinion.
Doing this consistently will help you build your brand and also will act as a free advertising to your blog – it doesn’t matter if the links are do-follow or no-follow, if your comment stands out, people will click through your link to see who you are!
Just like blog commenting, guest blogging too was abused by many for links.
After the death of article marketing, people started using guest blogging just like article marketing – bulk guest posting of spun articles on various blogs just to build links became too annoying that Google had to take action against this trend.
Now, don’t panic that I am asking you to do guest blogging to promote your blog. I am asking you to do it in a genuine manner. Just like blog commenting, do not guest blog for links. Do it in a genuine manner so your post helps the audience of the host blog.
Here are a few tips to grow your blog effectively:
Blogging communities are a great boon to the blogosphere. They are places where like-minded folks come together and share each other’s work. Your blog posts get voted by the community and get a lot of exposure.
Again, simply joining blogging communities and posting your blog post links won’t do you any good. You have to be willing to reach out and connect with people genuinely over there.
I’ve had huge success with getting referral traffic from blogging communities – and I have my own blogging community, DoSplash.
I highly recommend (and invite) you to join DoSplash.
Use bookmarking sites
OK I hear you. Now this starts to sound as if I’m teaching you some black hat technique. Nope!
Again, do not blast or automate submission to bookmarking sites hoping to get a few hundred links to your post in a short time so you can shoot up your ranking in search engines.
I am suggesting using bookmarking sites to gain traffic. Ya, that’s right.
If you are bookmarking for links, you can choose any kind of bookmarking site – in this case, you care about the number of sites – and then you could use an automation tool, or outsource the whole task in order to get as many backlinks as you can.
But now, since we are talking about bookmarking for traffic, we need to pick up only high quality bookmarking sites. The number in this case will be much lesser and we have to do the bookmarking manually – either by ourselves or by outsourcing – but no automation tools!
There are good quality, high traffic bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious and the like. Go for them.
How can I not include email marketing in this list? If you have been following my words for a while you’d know that I’m all in for email marketing. I highly recommend bloggers to start building their email list from day 1 – yes day 1.
You would need an email autoresponder service like Aweber.
In my previous post I have mentioned about this – encouraging bloggers to put up those sign up forms in place BEFORE they start promoting their blog. I mentioned how I got 45 subscribers when my blog was only getting 20 visitors per day.
If you are taking all efforts to build email list fast, you should have a good number of subscribers in your list.
And promoting your blog post to your list is a great marketing strategy where your ROI will be super duper. Why? Because, your subscribers are people who have already expressed their interest in you!
You know you are promoting your blog to a bunch of people who are already interested in what you gotta say! Do not ignore email marketing!