Writing is hard. I have yet to found a person who said otherwise. So, I believe that every piece of writing, that you create, should be treasured, in our case blog posts. If you took the time and energy to write it, then you should also take the time to promote it and get it read by as many people as possible.
I went out and asked blogging experts to share their most effective blog post promotion strategies. Their replies are just awesome, tons of golden nuggets.
There Are No Secrets
Almost all tactics are covered by most blogs – what we can do is improve upon the basic strategies, experiment and adapt.
For instance: Commenting. It’s a great way to build relationships, but you can also build a lot of traffic with it if you use the right tactics.
Like say, conversing more. Rather than just commenting on an article, reply to someone else. This way you are building multiple connections at first – with the blog owner, and with the commenter, you are replying to.
And if you made an impression, both of them might check your blog (along with other commenters). Not a lot of people reply to other commenters; it’s rather unusual, and if it’s an interesting conversation, more people will join.
I have tried this strategy, and it has worked for me well. Commenting on blogs with commentluv is an even bigger plus (you will be allowed to link to one of your recent blog posts).
You can also try similar strategies with other things: Participating in chats on SM sites; Like Twitter chats. Or participating in blog communities, from promotion based like Blogengage to outright weird (and very useful) ones like Myblogu.
It’s about experimenting too – try manipulating factors. For instance: when posting updates on social media, use tools to check when you get the maximum exposure/hits – post your important updates (like latest blog post) during that time.
I would also advise posting less during that time – give a longer lifespan to your latest update (which should be the link to the blog post).
Here is a list of some methods that I have used to promote my posts:
1) Promoting my online marketing posts on Inbound.org & Kingged.com 2) Sharing on LinkedIn groups. 3) Repurpose content as PDFs and share on Slideshare 4) Find people who have shared similar content (using Buzzsumo) and ask them to share your content. 5) Comment on popular posts similar to yours and link to your post. 6) Include or link to influencers in your posts and then ask them to share your post. 7) Link to your post from your other blog posts and future guest posts. 8) Sharing content multiple times on social media 9) Use ViralContentBuzz, justretweet, triberr, and socialbuzzclub
Since my blog is such an image-heavy site, I see a lot of success syndicating my content to image sharing websites, such as Pinterest, Imgur, and Imgfave. All of these sites either link back to the source or allow a source link in the description, so I’m seeing a bit of traffic coming in. My next experiment is to link the images back to my Facebook page instead and see if I can get more likes that way.
Press Releases, Aggregate Sites, Guest Posting/Collabs, Business Events, HARO
Press Releases: Get onto PR sites like http://help.npr.org/npr/includes/customer/npr/custforms/contactus.aspx, and submit your stories there. There is a ton of these sites. They make for good backlinks and traffic, though I wouldn’t make too much of them because it could actually hurt your SEO.
Aggregate Sites: Sites like http://www.techspy.com are great for posting your blog articles, and getting instant traffic. Much of the time these sites are user run, so you can also experiment with what content gets more views/what the public wants rather easily.
Guest Posting/Collab: OK, this is not a lesser-known one, but it is one of the best. Guest Posting will get you quality, organic backlinks, forge contacts/relationships with other bloggers in your niche, and mutually benefit each other with traffic. This is probably the best way to promote your blog/ blog posts.
Business Events: Look around for local business meet-ups. This is a time where many business owners come together to exchange information. Sometimes I like to go to these and look around for interesting people and write a post on them/their business/life. Then after you write it, they would probably share it with their network and get you loads of traffic! Also, this is a great opportunity to offer services from your area of expertise if they are looking for any (EX: I found many people looking for someone to build a website for them at these events $$$)
HARO: Help A Reporter Out. Basically, this is a service for bloggers/experts. You sign up, and then reporters from popular/established websites, and more often than not a high PR (usually 6+), look for experts/perspectives/help on their “query” or recent article they are working on. If you help them, they cite you in their article along with your website that you contributed. This is an excellent way to build backlinks and get traffic.
Take a look here and here. These are recent link bait pieces that I designed and promoted for a client. Good promotion starts with one thing: high-quality content. Once you have the ideation process down and can publish a quality piece of long-form content then it’s all about the promotion.
Quality promotion is all about “outreach.” I start with BuzzSumo and formulate a list of quality outreach targets that may be interested in the project. For example, for the “Dangerous Toys” piece above I targeted mommy bloggers and got some great links.
Besides the individual outreach, I specifically concentrate on Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Facebook to drive traffic. I make sure the piece is socially optimized with open graph tags, easy to share, and engage with users on these platforms. I then “kickstart” the content even more by using promoted posts on Facebook and content syndication like Outbrain.
The two pieces above generated 19,000+ unique visitors during the month of December for the site. In contrast, the home page generated 1100+ unique visitors. The blog is by far the biggest referral of traffic and possible new leads for the site now and going into 2015. That’s the power of good long-form content backed up social media promotion and individual outreach.
Viral Content Buzz works great for social media promotion. I love the quality of shares and interactions I am getting from it – and they work great for traffic!
I also make sure I create a MyBlogU Brainstorm project before publishing any article. If I use a couple of opinions in my article, those contributors are always leaving comments and posting shares. This way I always have people who want to help me! This is a great way to generate additional exposure from real value (as well as ultimately make my article better / more in-depth by including different opinions!).
I did not plan it this way, but I enjoy networking with other bloggers, and I seem to have built up a variety of private networks. Some are mastermind networks (where I have learned some great hacks and tips, but also get some good promotion as a side benefit), some are commenting tribes, some are sharing groups. A couple of these I started myself, but most of them invited me just because I was already an active sharer, commenter or networker.
In addition to these private networks, there are more structured networks for mutual promotion. The four, that I have found most helpful, are ViralContentBuzz, SocialBuzzClub, Triberr and JustRetweet (and sometimes also EasyRetweet). I participate daily in each of these.
Great strategy for promoting your posts is to use Quora (http://www.quora.com/). People use Quora to ask questions and you can provide an answer with a link to your blog post. Doing Quora search, you can find many people asking questions you already have answered in your blog posts. Let them know that answer is there!
Quora is also a great tool for blog post idea generation. You can see what people want to know and can write a blog post answering that question. You can also see how many people want an answer so it is a great post success indicator.
Choose, Test, Evaluate, Choose…
I’m guessing that after reading about all of these different strategies you might feel overwhelmed. It’s common when you get too much information at once. So, what I suggest is to pick only a single strategy and ty it out. Test it out for a day or two, maybe even a week. See for yourself, if it works or not. Once you tested the strategy, revisit this blog post again and pick another strategy. Continue this cycle as many times as you need.
What strategy was new to you and caught your attention? Let me know in the comments below!