You’ve written amazing content, captured the perfect image and created a relevant and useful blog post–so how can you make sure it is actually being seen? Content creation is the toughest part of the job, but your blog post isn’t truly complete until you’ve promoted it across all of your social media and network channels. Guest contributor Samantha McNesby shares nine ways to promote your blog and get more people to come read your sterling content.
How to Promote Your Blog: 9 Tips to Get More Visitors to Read Your Content
Once your content is complete, the promotion cycle begins. Use one, several or all of these channels to promote your blog and to spread the word about your latest posts. While Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and other social media sites all offer amazing outlets for content, the posts you make need to be slightly different for each venue.
A concise but informal tweet would look out of place on LinkedIn, while a lengthy, well-thought-out discourse would fit in on the professional networking site just fine. Which formats work for which sites–and how can use email, social media and even your circle of friends and family to promote your blog? These tips will help:
#1 Promote Your Blog with Email
If you haven’t already created an opt-in for blog visitors to subscribe to your email list it should top your list of things to do. Subscribers who opt in for your emails or newsletters are actually letting you know they want your content on a regular basis.
Once you have those coveted email followers, make sure you are serving up relevant, regular content with appealing subject lines so your emails have a better chance of being read. Every email you sends needs a call to action (even if it is simply asking readers to visit your blog) and every email needs your blog address in the signature line to give readers another chance to visit.
#2 Promote Your Blog with Facebook
Images make any post more interesting–and Facebook places a higher importance on posts with images, so choose an appealing visual for every post you share. In an effort to compete with YouTube, Facebook is also placing a heavy emphasis on video, so if you have the capabilities or want to promote your blog in a different way, Facebook may be the place to do it.
Your text can be as long as you’d like on Facebook–but only the first few lines will show up as a preview. Users will need to click through to open up more, so take full advantage of those first few lines.
Hashtags and mentions can be used on Facebook, but use them wisely and sparingly. Randomly calling out users to visit a post can easily be seen as spamming, so only use the mention function when it is truly relevant to your post.
#3 Promote Your Blog with Google+
The content you share on Google+ and the formatting used is very similar to what you’re likely sharing on Facebook. The main difference for Google+ is the addition or circles and the added benefits of using a business page vs. a personal one. You can target your shares to specific circles (people won’t know what circles you’ve added them to) and easily tailor posts to meet specific demographics.
#4 Promote Your Blog with Instagram
Your photos and amazing visuals can help boost awareness of your blog and help the followers and viewers who love your images find your content. It is always a good idea to include your blog link in your social media profiles–but on Instagram, it’s essential. Your blog link allows viewers who love the images you share to find you and see more of your great content.
Using the most popular Instagram Hashtags (you’ll find a great list to start with here) can help boost your followers and viewers. As users find and enjoy your content they’ll naturally want to learn more–making your blog an ideal place to start.
While you can’t officially add a link to your image, using the profile section for linking purposes will help viewers find you. Use the comments section to remind viewers about your blog and prompt them to click through your profile link. Tech giant Mashable makes great use of this feature, combining trackable bit.ly links with prompts and reminders
You can also create memorable short links using a custom shortener–and share your posted images on Facebook and Twitter as well. The shared image will show up in your feed but be designated as an Instagram image; this technique also makes it easier for readers to find and follow you across multiple channels.
#5 Promote Your Blog with Pinterest
This visual network is a natural match for craft, home and DIY bloggers, but it also offers an amazing opportunity for bloggers in other fields. Choose your image wisely for Pinterest–great visuals are the key to creating pins that get shared and saved.
Make sure your first board is a “Best of” Board that features all of your blog posts and favorite pieces; this gives viewers the chance to see all of your pieces at once. Create additional boards that resonate with your target audience to make sure you have plenty of content to keep pinners interested.
While Pinterest has a more relaxed text limit than Twitter, only the first few lines of your pin will show–so make them count! If there is information that actually must accompany your image, you can add it to the image itself to be sure viewers can find you.
Pinterest does not have link length limitations at this time, so you don’t need to use a shortener unless you choose to do so for the analytics.
Related link: Pinterest as a Writing Tool: 5 Tips for Creative Writers
#6 Promote Your Blog with Twitter
The microblog giant features a thriving and diverse community of readers and writers and offers several easy ways to connect, 140 characters at a time. Twitter’s rapid fire pace and stringent character count limit can seem intimidating at first, but once you join the conversation you’ll find it’s easy to keep up. Some things to know about posting your content and directing traffic to your blog:
Use hashtags to expose your posts to a wider field. A hashtag allows your post to be searchable and to show up whenever a user searches for your preferred term. Hashtags as simple as #books, #reading or #read can be enough to get your content in front of targeted readers. Bonus points (and more targeted followers) if you use the hashtag for your blog’s genre or post content: Try #fiction, #gardening, #cats, #horror or #scifi to instantly attract users interested in your genre.
Mention others to boost your own following and to engage and connect. The “@” symbol before a username calls a specific user to the post; use it when you want to ask or answer a question or send a specific comment.
Images boost your visibility and make your content more shareworthy on any site–including Twitter. An image will reduce your character count slightly, so adjust accordingly. Images can even help you bypass that strict 140 character count; using text in image form can help you convey a longer message or quote on Twitter if needed. Twitter cards are also useful for promoting your blog or sharing video–and follow your posts wherever they go.
Use a link shortener when you post on Twitter; otherwise a long blog link could eat up most of your character count.
#7 Promote Your Blog with HootSuite, Buffer and TweetDeck
Each of these sites offers a different interface and a variety of analytics and scheduling functions designed to make it easier to promote your blog and to post on multiple sites at once. Give each site a try–it is likely that one will resonate with you more than the others. While each of these tools is unique, they offer two big advantages:
Schedule your Posts: Your target demographic is on Twitter and Instagram at 7AM–are you? When you have the ability to schedule your posts you can make sure you have a steady stream of content running at all times. Schedule Tweets, status updates and more from a single dashboard when you use one of these useful utilities.
See the Big Picture: Posting and promoting both your blog and your newest post takes time—and if you have to visit Twitter, log in, post, and then visit Facebook, log in and post, simply sharing content could eat up a huge portion of your day. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and similar utilities allow you to see multiple channels at the same time and schedule posts to all of your accounts at once. This is a huge time saver and a game changer for those who don’t feel like they have time to truly take advantage of all social media has to offer.
#8 Promote Your Blog with Groups
The places you visit every day and the people you know can help you promote your blog as well. When you visit and interact with a group that is together based on a common interest or goal, you have a built in audience who will be interested and likely to click on your link and read what you have to say. LinkedIn groups, specialty or interest based websites and even shopping venue groups are all great places to promote your blog, particularly if it is relevant to the subject matter at hand.
#9 Promote Your Blog with Friends and Family
Your friends and family can also help, by sharing your posts and updates with their own circle of friends. Not only does a share help you garner new readers, the very act of sharing acts as social proof and a recommendation of sorts, boosting your credibility with those “friends of friends”.
Promoting your blog is an ongoing process, and by diversifying your sites and posting venues you can get your message and brand across new readers every week. If you already have a site that performs well for you (the inbound analytics on your site can reveal where your readers are coming from) then choosing a similar site and branching out is an easy way to start increasing your readership and expanding your promotional efforts.
Samantha is a professional freelance writer and journalist whose expertise extends to social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. She’s been published in a diverse group of print magazines and newspapers and online. Find her online at SamanthaMcNesby.blogspot.com and follow her on Twitter at @SMcNesby.