Blog content is one of the best places to start attracting subscribers and future customers. We're all guilty of spending hours perfecting a post only to spend a few minutes promoting it. Promotion should be almost as important if not more important than the post itself.
It's like the tree falling in the woods scenario, if no one read your post, did it really even happen?
[bctt tweet=”It's like the tree falling in the woods scenario, if no one read your blog post, did it really even happen? #blogpromotion” username=”m_j_thompson”]
A better question might be, what was the point of writing it if no one is going to see it? It doesn't matter how good it is, if no one reads your post, the time taken to create the content was wasted.
You can no longer rely on search engines to put your blog posts in front of your target audience.
To ensure your content gets noticed and increases your blog traffic time and time again, turn to social media. Social media platforms are an easy, and often free alternative for blog promotion.
First let's set some ground rules.
1. Don't be spammy! No one wants every post from you to be selling something. *This is especially true if you're using a personal account that is connected to your friends and family. Do everyone a favor and create separate accounts for work and pleasure!
2. Give value. Make your posts worthy of social sharing – share insider tips, new technology in your niche, content your readers can use.
3. Constantly syndicate your best content. Posting 1 tweet or a single Facebook post is pointless… repost links daily. Use a site like Meet Edgar to create a library of your content and set a posting schedule so your content is reposted at optimized times.
4. Recycle your best content. That great article from last year can be rewritten or turned into a great email, infographic or guide. Work smarter not harder.
5. Make it as easy as possible for people to find you. Put a link to your website on all your social profiles. Remember to brand everything that goes out, put your website or logo on all your social images and infographics.
Last week I started a case study to resurrect an old, abandoned, unloved blog. Without adding any new content, and just by sharing some of the existing content socially, I managed to drive over 300 unique visitors.
Twitter works well for promoting your blog and your best content, although it does take a well-planned strategy to start to build your traffic.
First, choose 4 or 5 #hashtags that are related to your blog posts. Don't use obscure words that people won't search for. Check your hashtags to see how popular they are using Hashtagify.me
Then search out people who are using your hashtags, these are the people in your niche you should be following. In return, some will start to follow you.
Finally, create a constant stream of content to promote your blog. Twitter is like trying to look for red cars in traffic on a 12 lane highway. People will only see a fraction of what's being posted to their twitter feed. The more “red cars” you put on that highway, the higher the chances are that your followers will see them.
Over time, you want to build up a library of content that you can rotate every 30 minutes or so. My next target is 150 posts, quotes, or images that I can tweet every 30 minutes for 16 hours a day. That way, each post will only appear every 3 or 4 days.
Below you'll see a tweet to a lead magnet that got 40 engagements last week for zero cost. Twitter advertising to the same tweet would get me 66 clicks for $100… no thanks!
LinkedIn surprised me. I've had an account there for several years but never really used it. I recently started posting links to my content there and it's generated some great traffic. On several posts, it's driven more traffic than Facebook.
You can also use LinkedIn to join groups centered around your niche. This is often a great way to connect with your niches' key influencers.
There are 1.3 billion Facebook users. You should be able to find enough traffic there to keep your visitors ticking over.
Unfortunately, there is an issue. Facebook wants you to pay to promote your content to your fans. You've spent money building your fanbase, now it's time to spend more money so that they can see your content? No!
There is a simple solution. Facebook shows your content to a small percentage of your fans, so ensure that you post content at optimized times on your fan pages.
Find your best content and schedule it to go out 2 -3 times a day. The more content you have the better.
Just because Pinterest has images and not words doesn’t mean you can’t get your message through with good images. Congruence and interesting images are the keys to Pinterest.
When users click on a “pin” and are taken to your blog, they expect to find the same image in your post. This will help you gain instant credibility.
Enable Rich Pins to extract the greatest value from your post.
Use forums to promote your blog and drive traffic to it. Find relevant public forums and become an active member. Choose forums that allow signatures and add your latest post or most successful post to your signature.
I have mixed feelings about Google+, it used to drive a lot of traffic to my blogs, but lately that seems to have lessened. I get the feeling that Google isn't interested in any further development so maybe it has a limited lifespan. Having said that, it's another potential source of traffic so post your content there.
The key to Instagram just like Twitter is #hashtags. Get the correct hashtags and you can drive a boatload of traffic to your images on Instagram.
There is the problem that you can only have one link in your profile on Instagram and that makes it hard to convert views into traffic. Add to that the lack of an easy way to post from your blog directly to Instagram and at the moment I don't feel it's worthwhile for me to use it.
UPDATE: I've recently been testing Grum.co to schedule posts from my desktop to Instagram with great results.
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