Any business who has any inkling of today’s marketing climate knows one thing: you better have a routine blog published on your website. By routine, we mean at least once a month, and ideally once a week. But having a blog is just the food on the table – once you’ve cooked, you’ve got to make sure people come to the party and taste your goods. Therefore, we’ve put together some tips for how to promote your blog so people will read it.
1. Making Your Blog Promotion-Ready
Before we get into the specifics of “how to promote”, let’s talk about the setup. Your writer does not exist in a vacuum – she’s the executer of a grander plan. A team trio of content writer, SEO expert, and marketer serves to produce the most promotion-ready blog.
Quality Writer. If you’re hoping people will read your blog for more than the first few lines, it needs to be written well. Informative, engaging. And any search engine promotion efforts need good writing as well. It’s no longer just a keyword game, whereby people would “trick” Google into recognizing their keywords for highest placement on search engine results. Google’s algorithms have gotten smarter and smarter, and while keywords do play a part, the main thing is good. solid. writing. Grammar counts, spelling counts. The content needs to be interesting, engaging, organized, and targeted to your market. Yes, Google can now differentiate good writing from mediocre.
SEO expert. Good content notwithstanding, there are tricks to the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) trade. Google releases new algorithm updates often, and provides guidelines on how to best write in order to get to the top. Since these guidelines are often computer-programmer-technical, it’s best to have a routine consultation with an SEO expert. He or she should be astute at aligning your content needs with Google’s latest algorithms. The SEO expert gives guidance before the writing, and may tweak the finished product.
Marketer. Your marketer provides guidelines on which topics to write about and what angle to take, based on your company’s target audience and marketing strategy.
2. Promotional Tools Connected to Your Blog
The following are tools that are set up from the back end – where you upload your blog. They are often called plugins or widgets. Some are more user-friendly than others, so you might wish to involve a web designer in setting them up correctly. Just be sure to have a few people test them to make sure they’re doing what you need.
Easily Shareable. Make sure your blog can easily be shared to social media portals (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and any others.) With a simple click, your blog’s link is blasted to your social media. Look into tools or apps that allow you to automatically share your content – it’s a quick way to promote your blog. When you have social sharing buttons on your blog, you increase your chances of readers helping you promote your blog. All they have to do is click, and your blog post is shared with their network.
Easily Email-able. Many people prefer email as a means of communication, and they want to send their friend/colleague/sister your article right here, right now. Make sure you’ve got that trusty envelope icon ready to click. By making it easy to email your article, you encourage others to share your words of wisdom.
Easily Subscribe-able. Give readers the option to subscribe to your blog. They provide their email address, and voila, every time a blog is published on your site, it gets emailed to them. This personal delivery allows them to read it in real time, and keeps you on their Inbox radar. Most importantly, this email list becomes a primary means of connecting regularly with those interested in your content. Make sure you are using a reputable email marketing program to promote your blog and other information. Some examples of well-known email marketing programs are MailChimp, MadMimi, or Constant Contact – consult colleagues with a similar size business about which one they recommend.
3. Building Trust by Forging Connections
Christian Russell, a successful online marketer, salesperson and advisor, says this: “Internet business is a people business, believe it or not.” Promotion, therefore, is about being in contact. Russell has a daily goal of sending out 100 personal emails to current and new contacts. Yes, daily. That is one major way he builds his rapport and reach. While not everyone will dedicate that kind of time, the message is clear: Talk to people, online and in person. The Internet is not about hiding behind your screen – it’s about connection.
Be Real. The old adage that you can sell anything if you truly believe in it holds true. People can sense a scam, an uncertainty, or someone being in it just for the money. Drop your notions of earning grand sums – focus on what you have to offer and tell your audience as if you’re talking to them over coffee. Be friendly. Be sincere. By being real, you forge trust with your audience. Since trust is the basis for good business relations, once you’ve established the trust, they are more likely to be interested in your offerings.
Comment on others’ blogs and social media. Engage with others who are in your space as well as those who are, or might be, interested in your content. People working in social media do this as a matter of course – it’s their focus. The reason commenting on others’ blogs is useful is that it allows them to get to know you. Be careful, again, to be real: Do not comment in a way that looks like you’re self-promoting – it will be perceived as spam and you might even be blocked from further commenting. Just be engaging, and on occasion mention your own content when it’s relevant.
Create community. Reply promptly to any readers’ emails and comments – let them know you appreciate their interest and that you’re right there with them. Start community boards such as Facebook groups for those with like-minded interests to communicate with each other. If your audience feels like they’re a part of a network of like-minded people, they are more likely to feel a connection with you. This feeling of connection, can, in turn, build trust and loyalty, making your content all the more attractive.
Sound like a lot to take on? You don’t have to tackle all of the above at once. Start with good content, posting a new blog every couple of weeks, and then increase your robust efforts to promote your blog. It’s good to show you are publishing up-to-date articles on relevant topics, but ultimately you want that content to get out there as much as possible. After all, if a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it matter if it fell?
Submitted by Chaya Leah