Promoting a blog is as important as writing a blog or a blog post. You’re nothing without the other.
There are some different things you can do to promote your blog and make sure people read it. While it’s possible to go to instant rockstar status in the blogging world it typically takes some time.
But as with anything worth doing it’s worth it in the end.
In this post we’re going to cover 5 keys to successfully promoting a blog or a blog post.
But before we get into that let me share a quick story.
In the spring of 2010 I started a personal blog: Country Music Life.
I just wanted to write about the latest news in country music as well as create lists of songs, do song reviews and listen to some albums. It was great and the blog really took off in the first few months. It was most with search traffic, which was fine.
But after a year or so the traffic really died off. Google made a change so that YouTube videos (and eventually other video sites) got the highest priority in the rankings.
Even unofficial YouTube videos for artist songs rank above the artists’ own websites or web pages for their songs.
My strategy had to change with promotion. You can’t count on search traffic for the majority of your traffic. It’s too unpredictable.
Today the traffic sources are more spread out. Search is a big part, but so is referral traffic from social and the growing email list. The site is coming up on three years old and I feel like it’s just getting started.
But the point I want to share is that on that site I’ve fallen into a good place with getting mentioned by artists themselves. Usually it’s the artists right on the cusp of breakthrough.
We write about them on the site and they share with their fans online. Some link back to the site from their sites or blogs. Some artists even put us on a list to get the latest singles so we can review them.
This promotion strategy is expanded on by Derek Halpern at Social Triggers in How to Persuade People.
Persuade is a word that kind of gets a bad rap. So if that scares you off just think of it this way.
When you do something good for someone else there is a good chance you’ll get something in return.
Derek talks about offering something interesting and helpful to others to get them to link to your blog or to a blog post. It’s a great way to build traffic fast for your blog.
And that’s the first point in this post.
Successfully Promoting a Blog
1. Offer Something to Bloggers and Site Owners
This is the point Derek talks about. His example is a good one. You offer something that’s interesting or useful to a blogger in hopes they’ll link back to you in the future. Go read his entire post.
Imagine it like this.
You’re a contractor. You create a man cave for a client and you publish the story on your blog. You also got all the parts at Home Depot. You could reach out to Home Depot via their blog and tell them how you used their supplies to create something awesome.
The reason this works is because there is something in it for Home Depot. They get to show their customers and readers how the supplies can be used. It’s great for them.
But it’s also great for you because they link to your blog and send their audience to you.
You can capture those new readers with an email signup.
2. Write About Others
This is a technique that just kind of works with Country Music Life. I write about songs I like. It’s fun for me and enjoyable. I get access to music I love and the artists get a little exposure.
But it’s funny because those artists and their teams want fans to know that the artist is being written about. It’s proof that the artist is doing well and getting bigger and bigger.
As as result of me writing about those songs the artists send me traffic. It’s a little backwards, but it works.
You can do this on your blog. Create lists or do features. Sometimes when you write about other people you get their attention and they’ll send some traffic your way.
3. Offer to Help Others
Rand Fishkin recently spoke about this strategy in a Whiteboard Friday.
The strategy is to reach out to your friends, colleagues and people you admire. Simply offer to help them. Promote their posts. Comment on their posts. Get the word out for them. Do some work.
Then when you write something great or mention them in a post go back and ask if they would help you out a little bit. Even just a comment or a quick share on Twitter.
4. Co-Write and Guest Post
Do some writing off your site. Do interviews with other bloggers. Co-write with other bloggers for their blog. When you read a post you like ask if you could work on a followup further emphasizing the original point for their blog.
Bloggers can struggle sometimes with creating content. They mostly like having great content given to them. Don’t ask for links right away. Simply do the work. Eventually you’ll get recognition and the audience will come back to your blog to check out all the great content you have ready for them.
5. Do the Dirty Work
The dirty work in blogging is commenting on other blogs without adding shameless plugs. It’s crazy to me to see people that comment on posts with nothing to add. They also include their company name or something in the name area on the comment. I’ve done this a few times about five years ago. It’s worthless now.
But commenting does work.
Writers read the comments. They love getting feedback. But you have to expand the conversation.
Simply addressing the actual point in the article is good. Then take it to the next level by adding your own thoughts. Give away your knowledge on the blog. You’ll be a hero in the eyes of the site owner.
You’ll definitely get their attention with a good comment because most comments are junk.
By now you probably realize that promoting a blog is about getting access to other audiences. You have to go where the people are. Analyze other sites and blogs. Figure out where your ideal reader is spending time online and figure out how to get their attention.
You’ll have to make it worth the while of the site owner. If you figure that out your blog can grow.