Scratch that … this goes way beyond blogs. It works pretty much the same when promoting anything else, really.
To make any sort of promotion actually work, you need either of two resources: ⏲️ … 💰
(That’s time and money, in case you have emoji disabled.)
For example, when Medium first got off the ground, lots of people got exposure by moving their articles over to that new platform, and then linking them back to their original blogs.
In principle, the tactic was simple – this was very near to what we could call a silver bullet.
But opportunities like that don’t come often, and when they do, you can only take advantage of them for a short while.
- ⏲ spend time promoting your blog regularly using a couple of methods, each time perfecting your approach,
- 💰 spend money to get blog traffic instantly and hope that it’s going to be enough to get the ball rolling.
Neither is perfect. Neither is better. Both have their place, and both can be used when learning how to promote your blog.
So, what do we recommend specifically – as in, what to do to promote your new blog effectively?
Here’s the process that works:
How to promote your blog
1. It starts with your content
We published a separate post a couple of weeks ago all about how to come up with blog post ideas, plus what’s worth writing about in the first place. We’ve done that because your content is the most important asset of your blog.
Or, to say it yet another way, only the best content is worth promoting.
So, again, think content first. If you’ve really given it your best and you have a truly awesome piece of content in your hands, this is when you promote it!
2. ABN – Always Be Networking
This rule is just as true when it comes to promoting a blog as it is in any line of business – who you know is just as important as what you know.
Knowing the right people can take your blog post from just another page on the web, to one of the trending sensations of the week, and I’m not exaggerating here.
Therefore, what you should do first when learning how to promote your blog is join every Facebook group that’s relevant to your niche.
- 👂 Start by listening in. Pay attention to the discussions going on, interact with people, start helping them with whatever you can help them with.
- 🗣️ Every once in a while, ask your own questions. Not fake ones, though. I’m talking about some genuine things that you’re curious about regarding your niche/blog topic.
With time, you will become known in the group and people will naturally pay attention to what you want to show them as well.
Over time, your network will grow to the point where you will be able to make a “payout” every once in a while by asking people to take a look and possibly promote something that you wrote.
3. Do one thing, repeatedly
Your network will come in handy when you want to promote a new piece of your “cornerstone content” – something big that you publish only once in a while, and something that you really want people to see.
However, you can’t be asking people to share your content every time you publish anything new. This would make them quite annoyed with you really quickly.
So for regular promotion, it’s good to build your own process, which you can reliably execute every time you publish a new post.
- You begin by promoting every piece of content the same way.
- Pay attention to the early results coming in.
- If anything starts bringing in, say, 10x the usual results (more shares, more comments), ramp up your promotion efforts by either sharing with your network or investing more funds in paid promotion.
There are two main ways: the free route or the paid route.
This is why you need to promote everything equally and then pay attention to what works.
The point of both the free route and the paid route is to start getting even the tiniest bit of exposure for your posts.
4. Important: Double down on what works!
This is the most important step of them all when it comes to learning how to promote your blog.
Once you’re doing your day-to-day promotion, perfecting your methods and learning the process, you will inevitably have some posts that do much better than others. It’s when something starts getting 10x the shares or comments.
- Allocate more budget to promoting the post on Facebook (or start promoting it in the first place if you’ve only been doing free promotion so far).
- Reach out to your network and show them the post.
- Submit the post to more social networking / bookmarking channels if you haven’t already.
The goal is to make the post go as “viral” as we can. If enough people see it, it will inevitably get to some influencers as well, at which stage it can be shared even further.
Viral posts will also lead to more links coming to your site, and thus more people following those links to check you out.
What you’re ultimately looking for are big wins. If some post remains ignored for the most part by your audience then don’t try to shove it down their throats repeatedly no matter what. Move on to the next one.
After that, it’s your job to keep those people on the site, which brings me to:
5. Keep people engaged
40.5% – that’s the average bounce rate reported by Mercury.one. Bounce rate stands for the number of people that visit your site only for a second and leave basically immediately upon arrival.
Getting people to visit you is just half the battle…
You also want to keep them on your site somehow, so that they can consume even more content. There are two main ways to do that:
a) Interlink your content heavily 🔗
A good internal linking structure is a hugely underrated thing.
Without good internal links, people won’t consume any more of your content than the page they originally came to see.
Aim to include at least one internal link per 250 words of blog post content.
b) Start a newsletter ✉️
A professional (or semi-professional but money-making) blog needs a newsletter list.
The idea is that once you convince your website visitors to subscribe to the newsletter, you get to notify them of any new posts that you publish. Great for blog growth.
The difficult part is the convincing.
There are various ways to do that. Chief of them is offering people some free resource in exchange for subscribing.
- Another idea, content upgrades. Read more about those here.
To run the newsletter itself, you can use platforms like SendinBlue, MailChimp, Sendy or MailPoet. The setup is rather straightforward and can be done in under an hour. The newsletter can be a digest-style message that you send out to your email subscribers regularly.
The promotion puzzle – a bird’s-eye view
Taking all of the above into account, this is what blog promotion is all about:
- 📚 Create content worth promoting.
- 👱 Always be networking – take active part in relevant Facebook groups.
- ⚙️ Build a promotion process that you can reliably execute every time you publish a new post. Rely on free and/or paid methods.
- ⚡ Double down on what works! Meaning, allocate more resources to promoting the content that brings in 10x more initial results than your average post.
- 😄 Keep people engaged and on your site. Do this by interlinking your content well. Also start a newsletter.
Have you been struggling with various methods to get blog traffic without much to show for it?
Is there anything you’d like us to talk about next?