If you’ve started blogging as a means to market your business, that is awesome. You are a step ahead most of the small businesses in the UK.
The question is, is anyone reading your content?
Writing an effective blog post is no mean feat, so when you log on to your Google Analytics to discover that no one has read it, it can be pretty demoralising. All that time, all that effort, and no results.
What’s the answer?
Writing and publishing your blog is only half the task. In order for it to reach your audience, you need to promote it.
If you’ve ever asked yourself…
- How can I drive more traffic to my blog?
- How do I get more readers for my blog?
- How do I grow my blog’s audience?
…then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 10 ways to promote your blog posts, so that your content gets the results it deserves.
Email your mailing list
Your email subscribers have actively demonstrated that they want to hear from you, and read your content. So let them be the first one’s to know when a new post goes live!
The email doesn’t need to be fancy, or complicated. Write it in exactly the same way as you would if you were sending it to one person. Briefly explain why you’ve written the blog post, and why you think it will be relevant or valuable to them, insert the link and sign off with a simple call-to-action. This might be to leave a comment, share the post on social media, ask a question by reply, or download your freebie.
Email featured people/companies
I’d also recommend taking the time to send personal emails to any people or companies that you’ve featured in the blog article. This is an effective way to build relationships, and kick-start engagement on social media, as they will often share your content with their own audience.
Email your network
Then I would think about your wider network and email a few contacts who might find the article helpful. These contacts could be people you’ve recently met at a networking event, potential customers or referral partners.
2. Social media
Schedule posts for the major platforms
I’m sure it will be of no surprise to you that you should promote your blog posts on the major social media platforms, namely Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ (yes, it still exists!).
How often should you promote your latest blog on social media? Well, it depends on the platform. For Twitter, I would say 3-4 times per day, for roughly a week. Facebook, once when the post goes live, and maybe a second time later in the week. LinkedIn and Google+, just once.
Use a social media management tool (such as Buffer or Hootsuite) to schedule your posts in advance. And remember to continue promoting your old content in rotation, as part of your ongoing social media activity.
Share on visual platforms
Image-based platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are extremely effective for generating traffic to your blog and are worth including in your distribution procedure. It’s true that their users remain predominantly female, but that doesn’t mean that you should overlook them if your audience is mixed demographic.
Success on these platforms relies on having quality images to accompany your blog post, so use a tool like Canva to create your own, or hire a graphic designer to help you. Then you can use a tool like Later, Tailwind or Viralwoot to schedule your posts to Instagram and Pinterest.
Tag featured people/companies
As well as emailing the people and companies featured in your blog, you should write personalised social media posts and tag their profiles. This gives them an extra bit of promotion and makes it super-easy for them to share the content with their followers.
Share to your personal profiles
You might think that your friends and family won’t be interested in your business content, but you’d be surprised how curious people are, and how willing to show their support, through likes and shares, they will be.
This can be a great way to get engagement on your post, which in turn encourages the platform algorithms to push it out to a wider audience. So don’t be shy – share the posts you made to your business page with your personal audience.
3. ‘Stories’ and live broadcasting
Share in your daily stories
Sharing behind-the-scenes through Snapchat and Instagram Stories (and now WhatsApp Status) is an increasingly popular way for businesses to be more “human” and deepen their relationship with their audience. If you haven’t started producing video content yet, this would be a good place to start.
You can use this format for blog promotion by talking about your latest post before, during and after it has gone live, and letting your followers know where they can find it. You could even upload a designed promotional image to your story to really catch their attention!
Do a live stream
As a medium, live streaming is getting a lot of attention at the moment. This is another easy way to bring your blog content to life through video, without the hassle of editing and production.
Start a live stream on Facebook, Periscope, Instagram or YouTube (or all four!) to talk through the key points of your article, and answer questions from viewers as they come in. You could then save the video and embed it within the relevant blog on your website!
4. Online groups
Share in Facebook and LinkedIn groups
Are you a member of any Facebook or LinkedIn groups who would benefit from your content? This could be a great way to gain new readers. However, many groups will have rules around promoting your own content or services, so make sure you follow the guidelines of the administrator.
Share in membership communities
Equally, you might be part of one, or several, online membership communities for your industry or local area. For example, I’m a member of Youpreneur and the Content Marketing Academy, both of which allow members to share their content and happen to be in my target audience of “ambitious entrepreneurs”. Therefore, it makes sense to include them as part of my promotion procedure.
5. Social bookmarking
Submit to social bookmarking sites
Social bookmarking sites are websites dedicated to storing and sharing links to web pages, categorised by topic. Each platform has its own unique community, which means some are easier to use for blog promotion than others.
StumbleUpon and Digg are two of the largest social bookmarking sites – they act as discovery engines, providing content to users based on their interests. To add your blog to these platforms, you simply need to submit the link. However, to generate serious traffic from these sites, as with any social media platform, you’ll need to spend time doing the “social” part.
Others, like Reddit, have a particular etiquette and require a more thoughtful approach. If you’re just getting started, I’d recommend giving StumbleUpon and Digg a go.
6. Question and answer sites
Answer questions on Quora
Most of your content should address the questions of your prospective customers, so why not bring it to the place where people are asking those questions?
Type your blog topic into websites like Quora to see if anyone has posted a relevant question recently, with a view to answering it with your content. But don’t just drop your link and run! Provide a helpful, tailored answer and include the link to your blog post as a source of further information.
7. Content syndication
Reach out to curators of content lists and collections
Are there blogs in your industry or niche who regularly curate lists or collections of content which they promote to their audience?
If you’re not sure, do a bit of research. Reach out to them, let them know what you do and establish a relationship. Being listed in round-up posts on other blogs could open up your content to a whole new audience.
Repurpose for LinkedIn Pulse and Medium
Once your blog has been live on your own website for 7 days (to allow Google to index you as the original source), you can repurpose it for third party publishing platforms like LinkedIn and Medium.
It may seem counter-intuitive to publish your content elsewhere – “doesn’t this mean you lose out on web traffic?” Well, perhaps. But people are actively consuming content on these platforms and may not come across your content any other way. Isn’t it better that these people – these potential customers – read your content, than not?
With a bit of extra research, you might find article publishing websites which are specific to your industry, such as BizSugar, and therefore highly targeted when it comes to reaching your audience.
Increase the reach with Facebook ads
If you have budget to spend on getting your content out to a wider audience then you could consider paid advertising on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
This might be particularly useful if you are in the early stages of building your audience and only have a small following on your social media pages. Social advertising can be highly targeted and therefore highly cost-effective, when done correctly.
For best results, you’ll need a strategy in place for capturing the details of your readers and nurturing those relationships, using lead magnets and email marketing.
Repurpose for other media formats
Remember that one idea isn’t limited to one blog post. You can repurpose the same content into multiple media formats to capture the different audiences that hang out on each platform.
One of these formats should be video – we consume one billion hours of video every day on YouTube alone. Then there’s graphics – what about turning your blog post into an infographic or Slideshare? Or perhaps a podcast episode? The opportunities are endless.
10. Tell people – in real life!
Speak to your customers and contacts
Lastly, don’t forget to tell people about your blog posts in real life! Let your customers know that you have content which will answer their questions and help them in their buying decision. Tell people you meet at networking events about your blog, so that they know where to find more information about you and your services.
After all, that one person you tell could lead to your next big opportunity.
- Got any other methods for promoting your blog content? Share them in the comments!
- Tweet me and let me know which of these content distribution strategies you’re going to try for your next blog post.