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21 Ideas on How to Promote Your Blog

how to promote your blog

Right now, content marketing is all the rage. Ask any online marketer or agency what they’re currently having the most success with and a majority of them will mention blogging. The growing importance of adding new content to your website on a regular basis has pushed a lot of companies to pour hours into creating amazing blog posts with the hopes of improving their SEO and attracting new leads.

However, there’s more to content marketing than just writing blog posts. You need to learn how to promote your blog to get it in front of the right people. Otherwise, all the hours you put into creating that mind-blowing piece of content will have been for nothing.

It’s time to stop the “publish and pray” approach. If you’ve been struggling to come up with ideas on how to promote your blog, here are 21 proven techniques that will put more eyes on your content:

1. Reach out to Sources You Mentioned in the Article

If you mentioned a blogger, online publication or influencer within your article, reach out to them and let them know. Most people are thrilled to be quoted within an article and will share it with their audience.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the share either. Just shoot out a brief email letting them know you mentioned them and that you would appreciate them sharing it with their audience.

This is also a great way to start making connections and meet bloggers in your industry without being pushy.

2. @Mention Sources When You Share

Another great place to reach out to people you mention within your blog posts is Twitter. Instead of just Tweeting the title of your post and a link, create unique Tweets that @mention sources you mentioned within your content. For instance, if your post links to an article you found on Sprout Social, create a Tweet including “@SproutSocial” when you share your post.

The accounts you @mention will receive a Twitter notification, and they may reply or Retweet you. At the very least, you’re grabbing their attention.

3. Share Your Post Multiple Times On Social Media

Tweeting a link to your post once and then forgetting about it has little to no effect unless you have hundreds of thousands of extremely engaged followers. Due to how quickly content moves on Twitter, you won’t be able to reach all of your followers, or even most of them with a single Tweet.

Your followers are online at different times throughout the day. In order to get the most reach possible, you need to Tweet multiple times. The easiest way to do this is to create multiple Tweets, then use a social media scheduling tool to assign them out for different times and days throughout the week. The same thing applies for other social networks as well.

Schedule Social media Posts

4. Message Your LinkedIn Network

LinkedIn is one of the most underutilized social media channels for content promotion. And the companies that do share content on LinkedIn take the wrong approach. They simply share a link on their feed and move on.

A more effective approach is to use one of the most powerful features of LinkedIn, which is your network. When you create a new blog post, send a message to people in your network that you think would find it interesting.

Of course, this method is more effective with connections that you’re in touch with on a fairly regular basis. Messaging your connections once a year to tell them about your latest blog post makes you look like a spammer and it’s bad etiquette.

5. Contact People Who Have Shared Similar Content

Find people who have shared content similar to your new post and reach out to them. Finding posts that are in the same vein as yours is as simple as doing a Google search for similar topics or using a tool like BuzzSumo.

For instance, if you wrote a blog post called “10 Tips To Whiten Your Teeth,” you could Google “teeth whitening tips” to find posts that are similar to yours. Then plug that URL into Twitter to find Tweets containing that link.

Twitter Search

Alternatively, you could do a search in BuzzSumo for the main topic of your post and see a list of articles that have been highly shared on social media. Then click on “View Sharers” to see people who have Tweeted a link to the article.

BuzzSumo View Sharers

6. Contact People Who Have Linked to Similar Content

In addition to reaching out to people who have shared similar content, you should also reach out to sites that have linked to similar content.

You can use Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs or any other backlink checker of your choice to find the sites that link to a particular article.

Backlink Checker

Put together a list of these sites and send an email to them letting them know you’ve created an article similar to a piece of content they’ve linked to in the past. At the same time, your emails should be personalized for every site you’re contacting.

7. Email Influencers

Why handle all of the content promotion yourself? What if you could get other people with established followers to share your content for you? That’s what this tactic is all about.

Influencer outreach (or blogger outreach) is a three step process:

  1. Find influencers in your industry.
  2. Tell them about your new post.
  3. Ask them to share it with their audience.

There’s a good chance you already know who some of the top influencers in your industry. If not, you can do a Google search to find popular blogs related to your field. A simple search like “industry blog” will bring up plenty of results.

How To Find Influencer Blogs

Put together a list of influencers in your industry that you can reference back to whenever you want to do blogger outreach. Start building relationships now instead of waiting until you need something. That way influencers are already familiar with you before you ask them to share your post.

8. Use Audio on Your Blog Post

Podcasts have made a strong resurgence in the last two to three years. With hectic schedules, people are constantly on the move, so they prefer to consume their content by audio rather than reading through an entire blog post. In order to reach this audience, you can make an audio version of your blog posts.

You don’t just have to read your blog post aloud. Give your listeners a special experience by adding extra insight that’s not inside the original post. Another option is to invite guests to talk about the topic of your blog post. For example, if you created a blog post about the health benefits of sweet potatoes, you could interview a dietitian or health blogger about the same topic and have an entertaining discussion.

Once you have your audio recorded, you can upload it to Sound Cloud, Stitcher or iTunes as a podcast.

9. Turn Your Blog Post Into a Slide Deck

Another great way to repurpose your blog posts for extra promotion is to turn them into slide decks and share them on SlideShare or other presentation sites. Don’t take the lazy man’s approach and just copy and paste each paragraph onto a white slide. Re-work the content into a professional looking presentation. This technique works particularly well with list posts or “how to” articles because each slide can be a different tip or step in the process.

When you upload your slide deck, include a link back to your full article in the description section. You can even link to the article within the slide deck. This will help push new traffic to your site instead of having them just exit out the page once they’ve gone through all the slides.

10. Add Video to Your Blog Post

Just like some people prefer audio content to text, others prefer video. Making a video can expose your blog post to an entirely new audience of people looking for video-based content on your topic. Your video can be a short two-minute overview of the topics you discussed in the blog post. You could also just further talk about one of the main points mentioned in the article.

WPBeginner does an excellent job of turning its tutorial posts into videos, which allows the site to serve people who prefer to read through a guide as well as those who want a video walk-through.

WPBeginner Repurposed Video Content

11. Submit Your Site To StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a content discovery site. It suggests blog posts based on your interests. One of the ways StumbleUpon gets content to suggest is through people submitting URL’s. Here’s how to do it.

After creating your account, click on your profile image and select “Add a Page”

Stumbleupon Step 1

Then, fill out the information and click save.

Stumbleupon Step 2

12. Create A Pinnable Image And Pin Your Post

Sometimes Pinterest gets overlooked in the social media marketing conversation. However, it can be a powerful source of referral traffic for your blog. Murals Wallpaper used Pinterest marketing to get a 77% boost in new site traffic. If your audience is on Pinterest, you can achieve similar results.

In order to get a piece of the Pinterest pie, start by creating an image specifically to be shared on Pinterest instead of just uploading a picture from within your picture. Refer to our social media image size guide to find the latest Pin size. Here are some additional tips to get more eyes on your Pins.

13. Share Your Post In LinkedIn Groups

In addition to reaching out to your LinkedIn network, another great place to go is LinkedIn Groups when you’re looking how to promote your blog. LinkedIn Groups work well because you’re guaranteed to get your content in front of people who you know are interested in your industry or topic. The mistake that most businesses make with LinkedIn Groups is they don’t add value. They simply use it as a way to syndicate their latest blog posts. In other words, they spam.

The majority of your activity should be answering questions from other members and participating in discussions. Only share a blog post with your groups when it’s relevant, and be careful not to overshare. You want to be known for the value you bring to the group, not for being a spammer.

14. Share Your Post In Google+ Communities

Google+ isn’t usually the first site that comes to mind when businesses think of promoting their content. There has been a lot of confusion about what the benefits of the social network are and how to utilize it. However, after a lot of retooling, it looks like Google has decided to focus on the community aspect of Google+ rather than try to compete with sites like Facebook and Twitter.

There are several active communities to choose from in a variety of industries. You can search through the communities to find a few that are relevant to your business. However, Google+ Communities aren’t going to be effective for every business. The social network is particularly popular among techies, Android users and marketers. The best way to tell if Google+ will be a good fit for your business is to take a look around and see if your target market is there. If there are active communities for your industry, that’s a great sign.

Before posting links to your own website in a Google+ Community, make sure you read through the rules. Some communities don’t allow self-promotion so be respectful and follow the rules.

15. Comment On Other Blogs

Blog commenting gained a bad rap because of online marketers who were using them as a way to get mass backlinks to boost their search engine rankings. However, the benefits of blog comments go far beyond SEO. The comments section of popular blog posts can be a goldmine to promote your blog organically.

For most blogs, in order to leave a comment you have to fill out your name, email and website. The website section is what your name will be linked to.

Blog Comment Example

Start by finding popular blog posts focused on similar topics as yours. Then, go into the comments section and leave a genuine comment about the piece. You could even reply to someone else’s comment. In the website space, enter the URL for your blog post instead of your home page. Keep in mind that this strategy works best if you take the time to leave real comments. Just writing “great article” isn’t going to cut it. You goal is to get people to stop and look at your comment, and hopefully feel enticed to click through to your website.

16. Use Forums

When you’re looking for places to learn how to promote your blog, you should think about the platforms that encourage conversation. There’s no better place online for that than forums.

Try to find forums related to your industry. Here are some good Google searches you can use to find these forums. Just replace “keyword” with your industry or niche:

  • inurl:forum.*.com “Keyword”
  • forum+Keyword
  • intext:”Keyword”forum
  • Keyword “powered by phpbb”
  • Keyword “powered by vbulletin”
  • Keyword “powered by smf”
  • Keyword “powered by phpbb”
  • Keyword “powered by vbulletin”
  • Keyword “powered by smf”

Once you’ve found an active forum, create an account. This is the part where most businesses mess up. They just go into the forums and start posting links to their sites. This is a good way to get your account banned.

Instead, you’re going to use your signature to promote your site. Your forum signature is the section that appears below every post you make.

Forum Signature

Some forums will allow you to post a link in your signature, which is where you’re going to promote your blog post’s newest article. All you have to do is come up with a sentence/headline to entice people to click through. For instance, if you wrote an article about how to choose a roof for your home, your signature might say something along the lines of:

“Thinking of buying a new roof for your home? Check out my guide that walks you through the entire process! yourlink.com.”
Then start posting in different threads and contribute to conversations. The more helpful and valuable your posts are, the more likely people will be to click the link in your signature. You can update the link in your signature as often as you like on most forums.
17. Use Q&A Sites
Does your blog post answer a question or provide a solution to a problem? If so, then using Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers and Quora to promote your blog can be very effective. Start by creating an account on either site. Yahoo Answers tends to have more general questions, while Quora typically requires more in depth answers.
Next, search for questions that your blog post can answer. Once you find one, write out a sincere answer to the question and link to your blog post as a resource for additional information. Don’t just give a one word answer and link to your post. The more effort you put into your answers, the better results you’ll get.
Also, become a regular contributor on Q&A sites to build your credibility and authority. Many of these sites highlight top contributors which can give your blog even more exposure.
Top Stackflow Contributors
18. Share Your Post With Someone Who Has an Opposing View
If you want to know how to promote your blog, sparking a little controversy in your content can certainly help. However, w’re not recommending to turn your website into a gossip blog. If you’ve written a piece of content that goes against the grain or offers a different view than another popular post, you can email the other blogger and let them know.
A great example of controversial blogging in action is when Mark Schaefer published an article debating the sustainability of content marketing. Because content marketing has been one of the most popular marketing tactics in recent years, the post sparked a lot of interest. To date, the post has nearly 400 comments and over 4,500 social media shares.

19. Add a Link in Your Most Popular Posts

An overlooked tactic on how to promote your blog posts is through your existing content. If you’ve published a new article that’s related to a popular article you’ve published in the past, add a link to the new article inside the older one. Not only will this get more traffic to your new post, but internal linking is also beneficial for SEO.

You can find the posts on your site that have received the most visits by logging into your Google Analytics account under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

Highest Traffic Pages

20. Ask Readers to Share

Simply asking your readers to share your content can immediately get more eyes on your site. One study found that websites with Twitter share buttons were mentioned seven times more on Twitter than those without them.

It doesn’t stop at your site either. When you share content on social media, ask people to share it with their audience as well. Tweets that specifically ask for a Retweet get four times more Retweets.

asking for Retweets

Take these three steps to encourage your readers how to promote your blog for you:

  1. Add social media share buttons in each post.
  2. Ask people to share your posts when you promote them on social media.
  3. Ask readers to share the post at the end of your articles.

21. Share With Your Email List

This last idea might seem fairly obvious. But there are a lot of businesses that don’t send emails to their subscribers when they publish a new post because they feel it’s too promotional or they assume their email subscribers are already aware of their new content.

Depending on how often you publish new blog posts, you can send an email out each time you have a new article, or do a weekly newsletter that contains all your latest posts from the previous week.

Don’t Just Create, Promote

Taking the time to promote your content is crucial if you want to succeed with blogging. Many experts recommend spending more time promoting your content than you do creating it, which shouldn’t be a problem with the 21 techniques you just learned.

Ensuring your promotional behaviors is essential, which is why you’ll want to use a social media publishing tool to keep articles spaced out and shared at right time.

If you found these tips helpful, share them with your network. And leave a comment to let us know what your favorite way to promote your blog posts is!

This post 21 Ideas on How to Promote Your Blog originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

Even the most seasoned content marketers make mistakes. In the world of SEO-driven content, with constant algorithm tweaks and changing search patterns, it’s nearly unavoidable. However, those same mistakes can often lead to discoveries that enable even better content performance.

The key is being able to recognize those easy-to-fix SEO mistakes and address them. As a result, your content will become an optimized, integrated network of metaphorical highways, leading searchers to best-answer content in a strategic and purposeful way.

So, what are the most common SEO mistakes, and how can they be addressed? Below, I’ve singled out the ‘usual suspects’ along with guidance on how to fix them while setting yourself up for long-term SEO success.

SEO Mistake #1 - Choosing Target Keywords Based on Volume vs. Relevance

How Keywords Affect Content Marketers: Great content isn't great unless people see it. But when content marketers overemphasize high-volume keywords, they miss out on meaningful engagement.

It’s tempting to plug into your keyword research tool of choice and select keywords with the highest search volume as your focuses for new content. But if the content you’re creating doesn’t match the search intent for that high-volume keyword, it’s unlikely to perform to your expectations.

The Fix: Google it! All jokes aside, evaluating the first ten search results for your target keywords can help you understand what searchers are trying to find, and what supporting content you should provide to truly be the best answer for that query.

While you’re analyzing those top results, pay attention to key factors that will shape your content creation and promotion strategy:

  1. What type of information is NOT included in top content, but is topically related? This can help you inform how you differentiate your content.
  2. What’s the content demand for that keyword? For example, are mostly top of funnel blog posts ranking, or are you seeing mostly product or service pages?
  3. How many backlinks and referring domains are pointing to the top search results? This can help you understand how competitive the first page of results is, and whether or not ongoing link building should be part of your content promotion strategy.
  4. How long is the top-ranking content for that keyword? This will help you determine ideal content length for your own post.

SEO Mistake #2 - Targeting the Same Keyword with Multiple Pages or Posts

How Same-Topic Targeting Affects Content Marketers: Pressure to create comprehensive content on a topic can actually result in dilution within search.

The conventional wisdom that more is better doesn’t apply universally — especially when it comes to SEO-driven content. Creating multiple pieces of content that target the exact same keyword is a surefire way to stand in your own way of success. There’s enough competition out there for B2B marketers without having to compete with your own content.

For example, a B2B technology company that wants to rank for B2B software consulting should optimize their service page for that term based on what is currently being served in search results. But, if they also create a series of blogs or resources that are targeting that specific term, search engine bots will be confused about which page is the best answer for that query. This could result in none of the content appearing in the top 10 results, in favor of competing sites with a more clear ‘answer’ to that query.

The Fix: Determine which of your pages or posts is the best answer for that particular query by analyzing ranking and analytics data. Which post or page sees the greatest amount of engaged organic traffic for your target keyword, and most closely matches the associated search intent?

Once you’ve determined your target page, it’s time to evaluate the remaining content targeting that keyword. Look for opportunities to:

  1. Remove or prune low-value or outdated content. Is there a blog post full of stats from 2009 that’s hindering your priority page’s chances of ranking? It might be time to consider removing that post and implementing the proper redirects.
  2. Optimize existing content for related, but different, keyword targets. For example, if you have a priority post for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and another post that more closely relates to ‘Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, consider optimizing that post for the latter and implementing internal links back to your priority cookies post.
  3. Combine closely related content. For example, if you have several blog posts around your targeted keyword(s), consider combining those posts into a longer, more robust piece of content.

SEO Mistake #3 - Ignoring Internal Link Structure

How Internal Linking Affects Content Marketers: Links are like electricity on the web, lighting up content for people and search engines alike.

Content is discovered by links. Your site’s internal linking structure tells bots (and users) which pages are most important, and which pages are most relevant to specific keywords. If you link to several pages from the same anchor text, for example, there will be some confusion about which page is truly ‘about’ that topic. Other times, you could have pages or posts on your site that are orphaned, with no internal links directing users or bots their way. This can confuse your site users, search engine bots, and even your own team. Confusion is not a ranking factor!

The Fix: Make sure you develop and continue to update your site’s keyword map. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your page’s URL and associated target keyword(s). This keyword map will help you determine what anchor text should be used to link to your target pages.

Next, conduct a site audit to determine:

  1. If there are orphaned pages that need internal links
  2. If you are linking to multiple pages with the same keyword-rich anchor text
  3. Where there are opportunities to create additional supporting content
  4. Where you might have opportunities to reduce and prune existing supporting content

Next, you’re going to want to crawl your site to find any orphaned pages. Then, map those into your overall keyword strategy and implement internal links.

SEO Mistake #4 - Ignoring Data from Other Digital Tactics

How Marketing Data Affects Content Marketers: Inspiration often drives ideation for many content marketers, but data drives optimization for ideal content performance. Marketing performance data can provide both.

Any data you can collect about how your audience engages with your content has the potential to be an SEO gold mine. For example, analyzing the keywords from your paid search campaigns can give you insight into which keywords are your best converters, and what content best suits searchers for those terms. Social posts that get the greatest amount of engagement can tell you which topics your audience is most interested in. Ignoring data from your other marketing and sales channels means missing out on an opportunity to better engage your prospects.

The Fix: Meet with different teams or departments to find out what kind of content performs best on their channels. Look at the data each platform or channel provides and compare that with your site analytics data for a full picture. And, be sure to share your channel performance data with the rest of your marketing team. The more information available related to content and marketing performance, the better equipped you are to optimize.

SEO Mistake #5 - Giving Up

How Persistence Affects Content Marketers: Content performance in search is a long game and persistence is essential for success.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes a lack of results can feel demoralizing, but giving up is simply not an option. You wouldn’t stop building your house just because the nearest lumber yard ran out of wood, right? You’d find another lumber yard and keep plugging along.

The Fix: Take a step back. Re-evaluate the search landscape, your competitor’s organic presence, and your site’s overall health. Being able to remove yourself from the frustration can help you find opportunities you may have missed and additional whitespace to tackle.

Next, seek out advice from other SEOs. Ask questions on social media, in specific groups or forums, or send a question to your favorite SEO blog. If budget permits, enlist the help of a consultant or SEO agency that can help you break through your roadblocks.

Finally, we have two big SEO bummers that are tougher to fix, but absolutely necessary to address.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Migrating Your Site with No SEO Plan

How Migrating Without a Plan Affects Content Marketers: A bad migration can effectively undo your hard work, reducing content visibility and creating more user friction.

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of SEOs cringing around the globe. A botched site migration can wreak havoc on your organic positioning and torpedo your results. It can take months, even years to recuperate organic visibility to pre-migration levels.

The Fix: Always, always consult your in-house SEO team or SEO agency when you’re considering a website migration. Before you move forward, it’s imperative you have a plan for technical, on-page, and off-page factors.

If you’ve already migrated your site and have experienced a loss of organic traffic and rankings, start with a site audit. Check for the basics, like whether or not your site is being indexed, first. Then start to evaluate technical factors like broken links, crawl errors, and duplicate content.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Recovering from a site migration is a challenge for even the best of SEOs, and sometimes those big challenges call for a little teamwork.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Not Optimizing for Mobile

How Not Optimizing for Mobile Affects Content Marketers: Even the greatest content can’t stand up to a bad mobile experience. Users will bounce, reducing engagement and sending negative signals to search engines.

Mobile accounts for about half of web traffic worldwide. Knowing this, in March 2018 Google started migrating sites to mobile-first indexing. Providing a seamless mobile experience is no longer optional, especially when you’re living in the wild world of search.

Sites that didn’t properly prepare for this can and will likely see some declines in organic search traffic and rankings as a result. And, as more sites follow mobile best practices, more users will notice and become frustrated by poor mobile experiences. This leads to declines in other pivotal ranking factors like on-page engagement. In short, if not properly addressed, a poor mobile experience can wreak havoc on your search visibility.

The Fix: The first thing to do is to conduct a mobile audit on your site. Understanding your site’s mobile performance is step one toward making improvements. Look for things like:

  1. Mobile site speed. A couple great tools for this are Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom. These tools can tell you where to look for issues like slow-loading code, images that aren’t optimized, and other technical issues.
  2. Mobile experience. Visit your site on your phone. Ask someone who doesn’t use your site regularly to do the same. Record your experience, take notes on where you get stuck and why. Click on everything. Turn your phone into horizontal mode. Try to think of every single way a user could browse your site. And, don’t forget to try a site search on mobile.
  3. Look at mobile analytics. This will tell you key metrics like mobile bounce rate, mobile time on page and pages per session.

These steps will help you build a hypothesis to test against. Is your mobile bounce rate crazy high? Does your site take a long time to load? Is your time on page way out of line with desktop traffic? Then, use A/B testing to root out the discrepancy. Use these same metrics to test if the fix is working. Then, repeat with another element.

So, What Does This All Mean for You?

Ultimately, following SEO best practices as a content marketer can reduce performance-related headaches and set you up for long-term success.

For example, when Innovatech Labs decided it was time to make major changes to their website, they worked with our team at TopRank Marketing to implement a safe website transition strategy, minimizing their risk of reduced content visibility on Google. This assessment involved avoiding many of the big risks mentioned above, including linking, use of data and keyword research which allowed us to act quickly post-migration to combat organic traffic declines. The result? Double- and triple-digit increases in organic traffic (and increased conversions, too!).

A best-answer content strategy focused on creating content with the most relevance to their audience was the ticket to better marketing performance for a martech SaaS company. Working with the team at TopRank Marketing, long-tail and hyper-relevant keywords were researched for a comprehensive content strategy to help the brand content become the best answer for those queries. The “best answer” approach and topics were applied across organic and paid efforts. As a result, the volume of both paid and organic MQLs increased, leading to better content performance and spontaneous proclamations of love from the client’s sales team.

Fixing these big SEO mistakes aren’t only for short-term wins. Our longtime partner Antea Group USA has achieved amazing triple-digit growth over three years by avoiding these big mistakes and implementing an ongoing commitment to SEO-driven, best answer content.

As I mentioned earlier, even the most experienced content marketers can make these common SEO mistakes. But, with the right SEO strategy driven by diligent execution and monitoring of results, you can get back on track. The key is to be intentional about your site’s architecture, as well as the content you create, and to never, ever give up.

Still feeling stuck? Or maybe your team doesn’t have the resources to take on this battle alone? Check out our SEO services, tweet us your thoughts @toprank, or drop me a line in the comments. We are here to help!

The post 5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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