You have created a blog post and loaded it. Now you are waiting for views and comments. You have spent hours developing your brand, your logo, your “about page,” and a few solid posts, but that effort will be wasted if you have few visitors.
Whether promoting a business, developing your personal brand, or simply as a platform for developing your ideas, blogs are versatile. However, whatever your reasons for launching a blog, your goals will not be achieved if you cannot connect with an enthusiastic and engaged audience.
At the same time, you do not want to spend more time marketing than you spend actually developing quality content. You want to create blog traffic that is self-sustaining and does not require all of your attention. Here are several methods to get wider and wider exposure without constantly spending time on blog promotion:
Utilize SEO Immediately
Before you even hit the post button, make sure that your blog posts are SEO friendly. Many people will actually find your blog as a result of posing certain questions to Google or other search engines. You will be surprised by how many of your initial blog hits come from search engine inquires if you use SEO techniques. You do not need extensive knowledge of SEO to get noticed by people using search engines. Follow these simple steps for each post to ensure that your blog remains at the top of the search engine return pile:
-Make sure that each post has a clear objective. Seek to answer questions or address problems that are related to your niche.
-Formulate descriptive titles and accurate categories and tags for each post.
-Develop relevant keywords for each post, but do not overdo keywords. Mentioning a keyword two to three times is sufficient. Otherwise, your post may be labeled as being “keyword stuffed” by search engines, and your blog will be blacklisted.
-Keep your writing natural.
Harness Social Media
A well-focused post that solves a problem or answers a question will be easier to promote on social media. Often teaser titles attract the most attention, but do not sacrifice credibility or integrity. Here are a few things to consider in harnessing social media:
-Use social media sites that fit your brand. For example, Instagram and Pinterest are invaluable if your brand is highly visual. Pinterest is a good choice for blogs promoting products since Pinterest users pin several million commercial pins a day.
-Use social media tools to their full advantage. For example, include two good hashtags for each tweet. Keep in mind that a well-developed Pinterest pin or Facebook share can go a long way.
-Whatever social media platforms you wish to use, make sure to have the buttons readily visible on each blog post, so that content can be shared easily.
-Use applications and plug-ins that assist you in automatically updating your new posts to all of your favorite social networks.
-Focus on three to four social networks. Growing a brand on social media takes time and patience, and you do not want to spread yourself too thin.
Take Time to Engage Online
If you want to draw an audience, you have to be a part of the community of people who are potential readers for your blog. This can be extremely time-consuming, but whether your blog is commercialized or not, in many ways all blogs are businesses. You must plan to have good customer service and treat any potential visitor or reader with the utmost respect. Here are a few things to consider:
-Some people are already regular blog readers; this audience will be quick to post a comment, probably on the blog itself. Other people are not as comfortable with this open forum and may comment on your social media posts in which you have shared a link to your blog. Regardless of how your readers choose to comment, respond back to every single comment in a timely fashion.
-If someone poses a question, respond to it by directing them to additional helpful information on your blog.
-Scout out the blogs similar to yours, and engage with them. However, resist spamming other blogs. If you take the time to substantively contribute to online discussions related to your niche, you will find people visiting your social media profiles and blogs on their own to find out more about your brand.
Keep Readers Coming Back
Employ every tool at your disposal to ensure that you turn casual readers into a full-time audience.
-Make sure that your blog has several solid posts before you start promoting it. Often ten to twenty posts will get the most hits year after year.
-Also, link related articles on your blog. This will keep a reader engaged who has stumbled upon your blog. Hopefully, they will recognize the quality of the content that you are offering, and they will stick around.
-Use an RSS feed, and make your RSS link highly visible on your blog so that potential readers can follow your content.
- Create blog email lists. After all, people who willingly give you their email and permission to send them regular updates are the people serious about your content or product.
-Consider offering additional content, such as a weekly newsletter or product give-away, in exchange for a reader’s email address.
-Make sure that you make this offer and email sign-up option readily visible on your blog. Then, watch your followers grow. This email subscriber list will be invaluable in building your customer base with a commercial blog.
At first, promoting your blog may seem overwhelming, but a few key strategies will help you turn one-time visitors into long-term readers. For a commercial blog, this means more income. Focus on setting up a marketable blog from the beginning, and the time that you spend promoting it will reap big returns.