Last week I wrote about 10 steps to starting a blog and I've been blown away by how many of you let me know that it's given you the prod you needed to get one going yourself. Excellent news!
Having made the decision to write a blog and then actually writing one, you now have to get it out there. It's H A R D!
If you're only writing a blog to boost your ego then check your true desire to do it - you should be motivated to write it regardless of who reads it. When you are passionate about a subject, you want to engage other people in it; to inspire, inform and even be evangelical about it.
Your blog could simply grow organically through your community but we have to accept that the golden age of organic growth is probably over and the market is becoming saturated. Therefore, you're going to need some ninja skills to get it seen by the right people (your ideal audience) and get them to take the desired action.
Self-promotion is a bitter pill to swallow for so many of us but there are many ways you can get your blog out there without the backing of a brass band announcing your arrival.
First off, let me say that the no.1 rule, as with so many aspects of life and business, is to be persistent & consistent (ok, technically 2 rules but what is one without the other).
Please don't give up because you posted the link once to your Facebook page and only your mum read it. Keep doing it. Keep passionate about it. Don't let it slip (either standard or frequency) because it's been read by less than 5 people. What you're building here is an enviable back catalogue of valuable content which will come in use later in your business (there are lots of ways to monetise content - more of this in a couple of weeks).
Let's now assume that you're writing great content on a regular basis... what now?
Here are some great ideas (some I have used, some not yet but I know they have worked for others). I'd love to know how you get one with them!
- Start with the obvious - post to your Facebook page (business and personal), Twitter account, Instagram etc. and send to your email list (if relevant to what they originally signed up for) or email contacts if you don't yet have an email list for your business. Remember to post more than once on social media - different times of the day, different days of the week etc. Don't forget to simple ask people to share it on their own pages or in relevant groups they belong to.
- If you're using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to post your blog links, pin them to the top of your page so new visitors will be able to see the link straight away.
- If you have a website, add the latest one to your homepage and a blog tab so that visitors can read your previous posts.
- If you don't already have one, sign-up for a business Pinterest account, create a board called Blog Name and post them there.
- Add the link (with a one-line subject title and content teaser) to the signature of your business emails (and personal emails, too, if you're feeling brave).
- Follow discussions in Facebook Groups or online forums that are related to your blog subject and then post a link when relevant to the discussion topic
- Try online sites for specialised questions Quora and WikiHow which require knowledge based answers where your blog might be helpful
- If you mention businesses in your blog post, let then know by tagging them on your page or posting it on their page (Twitter is great for this - even big corporations often retweet a mention).
- If you reference a post by someone else, or use their quote/data/idea, let them know by adding their handle or sending them the post. They will often repost/retweet your post and their followers will get to see your link as well.
- Follow other bloggers who may have a similar audience to you and comment on their blogs to show support. Many fruitful relationships are started in this way and can be mutually beneficial.
- Scan Facebook online forums or groups for other bloggers who are looking a guest blogger. Often you'll have complementary but not competitive blogs/businesses and you can both benefit from widening your audience. Even if you don't have a huge audience, if you have great content, they'll still be interested. Similarly, you can ask for a guest blogger for your blog and they can then return the favour at a later date.
- Contact suppliers of your chosen product or service. For example, if you make jewellery, your supplier will often have an email/contact list, blog etc. where they would love a satisfied customer to talk about how their supplies are used in their business to encourage further sales and inspire new makers.
- If you already have a PR or maketing contractor, let them know about the blog and give them copies of all the ones you have already written as well as future subjects for them to add to any material being published.
- Advertise in either print or online publications. It makes sense that if you're incurring costs then you should use your blog to generate income or have a direct link to your products and services to ensure it's a sustainable model - don't be tempted to advertise for the sake of it.
- Promote your blog on Instagram and/or Facebook. Depending on your business and blog, most readers won't be willing to sign-up for your blog in exchange for their email address - it needs to be more valuable - lists, templates, eBooks, free downloadables etc. all work well to entice new customers who you can then add to your blogging email contact list.
Before you part with any advertising dollars, be clear about your end goal so you can measure success. Be strict about your budget and don't be tempted by PR spin. Use all the free avenues first and if you do decide to go the paid route, choose your most popular blog to go with first (even tweak it if you know it can be better).
TIPS & TRICKS:
- create some relevant, correctly sized and attractive images that you can use for social media and Pinterest. Taking a few hours to create a library will save you the head-ache of doing it every time you write a post.
- ensure that the sign-up form is available on the page that your blog is viewed so that if people stumble across it, they can sign-up for more.
Until next time, keep creating!
PS. Don't forget to send me the link to any blogs that you may have so I can follow you!