Blog Promotion – Tips to Get Traffic and Increase Readership
When I got started with my first blog in 2004, I scoured the Internet every day to find news and subscribe to RSS feeds. Just by highlighting news and link to them, I could grow my traffic level to several thousands every month. Not bad at all, considering that I knew nothing much about blog promotion.
Why Starting a Blog is Different Now
Nowadays, the competitions are stiff in almost any niche. If you are starting a blog, you can’t expect to become world famous just by blogging regularly.
If you have been reading blogs for some time, you should find blogs that have superb content but lack of readerships and followers. On the other hand, bloggers who know how to position and promote their content raise to the top.
Like most bloggers, you may think other people are watching everything that you do. In fact, no one cares at all, especially when you are just starting out. This is the reason why most bloggers are struggling with traffic. They’d think they have done enough. Perhaps they are in the wrong niche or wrong time.
Don’t live in a bubble. You can take action and change the situation.
Here’s a good way to start. If you have been wondering how to build traffic the right way, I’ve written a piece about blog traffic and audience.
Blog Promotion is More Important Than Ever
Getting the word out should now be a part of every blog strategy. This will accelerate the pace and help you get traffic and be noticed. With a well-rounded strategic plan, you can start bringing in prospects and customers (or visitors that earn you money via views and clicks on your ads).
If you allocate none of your time every day to promote your blog and everything to create blog content, it is time to change your schedule. These promotion tactics are not easy to implement.
It is hard to keep readers interested in what you offer and get new visitors at the same time, but if you are consistent in doing it, the results will start compounding.
The majority of the energy burned by a rocket is during the launch. It is hard to keep going while you haven’t seen significant results, but those who put efforts in it will eventually take off with their blog.
Here are a few ideas to promote your blogs (if you don’t have time for all of these in detail, read the 7 top traffic and conversion strategies for busy bloggers):
1. Write Quality Content
You may think this has nothing to do with growing your traffic, but the impact can be substantial. Visitors come to your site to find and read information. If they like what they see, either they are going to subscribe to your RSS feed or enter their email address in the subscription form.
What they expect is more of the same quality of content from you. They have high expectations. It is your job to deliver that to them.
2. Blog Regularly
Another important activity related to blog writing is to blog regularly. Once people are engaged with your blog, you must keep them interested by publishing more content.
If you fail to do this, before long, they will lose interest. Some readers are going to leave anyway, but if the growth of new subscribers is faster than the unsubscription rate, you will see an increase in traffic and readers.
3. Don’t Forget to Ping (and Tag Appropriately)
Pinging is still an effective way to promote your blog. You need to do this to notify blog services when you update your blog.
By strategically using the right tag, you can get your blog post found by other bloggers. Tag pages are going to rank for long tail keywords, so that is something worth doing.
You never know who will discover your site, how influential they are and how they can affect your blog.
If you link to another blog, you may also send trackback or pingback to the blog so the linked bloggers know about your post. What is trackback? How do you use it?
4. Make Your Blog Search-Engine Friendly
As you blog, you want to make your page optimized for both human visitors and search engines. Many bloggers say that a blog is search engine magnet, but you have to make it work to rank for your keywords. How a blog links pages and notifies blog services about new updates make it easily found by search engines, but to rank you need more than those.
Interested in this topic? Read more about blog SEO here.
Nowadays, you can write naturally and the search engines will notice. You have to know which keywords to target though, and produce content that suits the reader’s expectation.
Getting the content out is one thing, promoting it to get link juice is another different beast.
Search engines need time to work and you will not get instant results, but you must build the content with search engine in mind from the start so you are building the momentum as soon as possible.
5. Promote Your RSS Feed
Although RSS is becoming popular, it is still not as common as email. Your blog will create RSS feed in real time (or automatically in every blog update), but not everyone will understand what it is for, especially if your blog is targeting less tech-savvy audiences.
Educating them about the use of RSS is necessary, if not compulsory. It will be worth the effort though, because it is a tool for which you can hook up the readers and give them more information.
For bloggers who are making money by selling ad space, eyeballs are everything. If you can get them back to your site through one of the communication mechanisms, more power to you.
Marketers who sell products or services could use it as a follow up tool. If you can offer RSS feed and email at the same time, you need to consider both.
6. Encourage Comments, Trackbacks and Pingbacks
A blog is a communication and interaction tool. You can use it to gain feedback from the readers or have them discuss the topic you start in the blog. Some bloggers claim that comments don’t attract more traffic but it certainly establish an involvement with the blog because they feel closer each time by participating in the discussion.
Comments are compulsory for certain situatione but not necessary for others. For bloggers who want feedback from the readers, allowing comments can help, but it requires quite a lot of work once the blog becomes popular, mainly because of comment spam. You may also want to answer reader’s question or they may not come back to comment next time.
Trackbacks and pingbacks are useful if you are extending the conversation outside the original blog. When people link to you, the link to their blog post will appear on your blog post. This kind of interaction can develop into further relationship with fellow bloggers.
Once you build relationship with other bloggers, you can show them your content and get across the message much easier than if you try to get their attention without building rapport first.
7. Comment on Other Blogs
This is exactly the opposite from the sixth point above. While tracking news and information from the blogosphere, you will find interesting posts from friends and new bloggers that you want to get links from.
By commenting on their blog, you can establish relationship with them. Networking is one of the most important activities for bloggers.
I know, some people hate interacting with others, offline or online. The thing is, you can promote your content and blog faster if you know other bloggers who are also influencers. They can send you a lot of traffic that would take weeks or months to build.
8. Being a Guest Blogger
Find blogs who accept guest blogger and offer contribution regularly. While you blog exclusively for the blog and give content to their existing audience, you secretly pimp out your own blog.
This isn’t necessarily bad though.
For the time and content that you’ve given to the owner of the blogger, they usually allow you to steal their traffic. You can promote your own post and get inbound links to your blog.
Every new blogger can make use of a few more links from related blog or site.
9. Participate in Discussion Boards
Discussion boards are great place to tap into your target audience. They are where people hang out. Approaching such a forum strategically, you can drive traffic back to your blog quite easily.
Many people blatantly promote their site and this is exactly the opposite way to do it. You want to contribute and build your name first. After you establish your expert status there, whatever you put in the signature in the forum, people will visit because they know you provide solid advices and content related to the topic of the forum.
Other experts often also hang out in the same forums. This can lead to joint venture and other opportunities that you may not realize right now. If they own a blog, you can also cross promote each other.
10. Social Bookmarking and Networking
Social media are the new buzz word. People are sharing their own bookmarks of interesting web sites with others. When people vote for the usefulness or value of a piece of content, other people can make use of the votes. You can often discover new blogs and web sites from social bookmarks. Using these sites can also give you link juice and promotion.
Social networking sites, just like forums, are places where people with the same interest hang out. Just that in social networking, the main focus is in the user profiles while in forums, discussions are the main highlight. You can meet like-minded people there and spread your message out, including your new blog post.
If your content is good, you should be able to get interested people who will visit your site and hopefully become long-time subscribers. Again, influencers will notice and promote your blog too.
11. Email Marketing
A few years ago, email was claimed to be dead as blogs became mainstream. It never happens though.
If you want to be successful in any online business, you need to focus on a handful of marketing strategies. Become really good at it. Email marketing, in my opinion, should be in every blogger’s toolbox. It is an extension of blog. Some people prefer RSS feed while others insist on email. You either have email subscription or you will lose a part of your visitors.
Email is about leveraging what you already have. It is used to follow up and get in touch with your subscribers. Marketers use it as a nurturing tool. Smart bloggers build relationships via email communication and get very good results with it.
Studies showed again and again that email tops other marketing strategies in terms of usage and result. It even wins over search by a huge margin.
Tips: If you want to know who is opening and looking at your email, transactional emails can help.
There are more ways to promote your blog. It is a matter of creativity and diligence. Every time you interact and meet people, it is a chance for blog promotion. You may not want to be too direct with your promotion though because that may sound desperate and needy. Smart bloggers know when to pimp their blog and when to be helpful and resourceful.
Some methods or blog promotion is not as effective as others. A few traffic sources will send you mostly one-off visitors. The average visitors from the blog promotion strategies above are very sticky and responsive.
Disasters happen. Learn what they are and how to tackle them when (NOT if) they happen from this article, 15 blog traffic and revenue disasters.
If you are getting stuck having tried different strategies above, perhaps try a different approach. Often the lack of blog promotion blunders means progress. It is like unloading 100-pound rock from your shoulder. Read this 15 blogging mistakes article.
Return to Blog Tips for a Better Blog — Blog Building University.