Okay, you’ve done the research, wrote the post with original and engaging content, you’ve informed and entertained your target audience, you edited, revised, copied and added visual content. And then … you hit PUBLISH. And now you wait … and wait … and wait for your site to be read, liked, shared and commented on, but instead, your stats show NOTHING.
What went wrong? Why isn’t your post being found? What can you do to promote your blog posts?
Here’s a easy to manage checklist on how to promote your site:
First before you publish make sure your blog post has the following:
- Original content. Blogs are always best when written personally by the business owner or blog creator. If you need help writing good content, hire a reputable company that offers web content writing (or ghost blogging), but make sure they write original content. To ensure quality content, meet with them regularly so you are directing the topics they are posting, previewing the content that is being published, and have a large participation in the analysis and management of the blog.
- Key-word rich content. You are not trying to fool the search engines, i.e. keyword stuffing, but make sure the content has the keywords you are trying to target. And the subjects are inline with those keywords, so you attract the target audience you are setting your sights on.
- Informative content. Add value to your blog posts by sharing content that educates, informs, corrects misconceptions, clarifies complicated subjects, shares a story that inspires or motivates them, and shows your expertise in your particular industry. If people can learn something or feel inspired, they are more apt to read it. Recently Hubspot CEO, Brian Halligan said in an interview when it comes to social media marketing, “Don’t be boring!” – I couldn’t have said it better myself.
- Engaging Images with Captions. Add pictures, graphics, photos to your blog post that emphasize the subject of your post, that add visual interest, and get people to stop, think and remember the point. Add a caption which increases sharing and users clicking on it. If you use a stock or generic photo, you are missing an opportunity to personalize your post as well as making it less likely that your article will be liked, shared, pinned, retweeted or even read. So get a photo editing program or app to add some captions, post titles or quotes on your photos. Here is an example of a personalized graphic:
There are several great email marketing tools out there to broadcast your new blog post to your clients, colleagues, friends and family. Whether you use Constant Contact, MailChimp, or AWeber, promote your latest blog with a well-written teaser or synopsis of your post. Tell your contacts why they should read it and the benefits they will receive by the information. Keep your email list up-to-date, add new contacts (but only if you have permission to do so) and offer various ways to sign up for emails on your website and blog. Also write a creative subject line that will grab their attention and increase your open rate. Include a captioned picture in your email as well (see above).
When sharing on your social media accounts, make sure to optimize your post to create attention, direct user’s focus to your blog post subject and tell they why it would be beneficial to read*. Ask a questions, quote from the article and always add an image to the post to draw people in.
Announce your new post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any others you are active on. Add sharing buttons to your post to make it easier for your user to do just that. Share your article on your friends, colleagues, vendors and membership’s pages and profiles as well, with their permission of course.
*Here’s an example of an engaging post with a synopsis, question, link and picture:
What are Bookmarking Sites? Social bookmarking can introduce your blog to others with relevant tastes, drive traffic to your site, and valuable backlinks. There are some great blog bookmarking sites to add a link to your site, and its easy. Create an account, verify it and then add your link to your latest blog in a specific category. Again, write an engaging synopsis to encourage more hits and votes from users. Here’s a list of reputable Bookmarking sites:
- Digg: Digg is a news aggregator and social news website that categorizes content and makes categorization based on topic very simple.
- Reddit: a social bookmarking site which blogs posts can be found by “sub-Reddit’s” that act as categories. Reddit stories are instantly voted upon and if liked by the community as a whole, can drive incredible traffic and users.
- StumbleUpon: Owned by eBay, StumbleUpon is an amazing blend of social bookmarking, voting, networking, web surfing, search and blogging.
- delicious: Owned by Yahoo, this social bookmarking site easily allows you to add sites you like to your personal collection of links and to categorize those sites with keywords.
- There are many more and some are specific to topics, industries, or for more journalistic articles: Newsvine, Furl, Gather, Ez4u, Blinklist, MyBookmarks, Buzzfeeed, etc. Instead of trying to flood the web with bookmarking on all, choose 3 or 4 that you favor and focus on those. And there are plugins you can add to your blog to automate this process.
Does it work? Yes, it take some extra time to optimize, share and bookmark each time you publish a post but by investing this time, you will increase your blog’s reach. I recently tried it myself and my visits tripled in one day, imagine your results if you promoted your next blog post.