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Blog hosting plan purchased, domain name registered, blog posts ready to go, plugins installed and activated…check! Here we will cover 10 ways to promote your blog and grow your audience.
Assuming you have read How to Start a Blog in Five Easy Steps and Top 10 Free WordPress Plugins for 2018, let’s keep this blogging train moving right along with 10 Ways to Promote Your Blog…
#1 – Build a Brand
Take some time to focus on content and brand consistency. Do you have a logo? Have you established brand colors, if applicable? The extent to which you go to establish a look and feel for your “brand” could be determined by the type of blog you are running. This is going to be a personal choice, but establishing some sort of consistent look and feel will help readers to recognize you across various channels.
#2 – Know Your Target Audience/Reader/Customer
An important aspect of the marketing process is knowing exactly who you are marketing to. With a blog, who are you writing for? What does your perfect reader look like to you? Take some time to define your ideal reader. What information might they be looking for or what problem are you solving for them? Are you targeting certain demographics? Where/how will your ideal reader find you and your blog? Google search, social media, networking groups or forums, local community groups? Knowing this information will help you determine where and how you need to market your blog.
#3 – Social Media – Set Up Profiles
It might be obvious to most, but we can’t fail to mention the fact that most interaction online these days happens on social media. It is, therefore, critical that you set up accounts on at least one social network (preferably multiple). The obvious choices are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (not actually a social media platform, but rather a search network like Google, as is YouTube), Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn. There are others like Snapchat, StumbleUpon, Blogger, Flickr, and many more.
If you do not have accounts set up yet, pick your top 1-3 to focus on and grow others when the time comes. Managing social media can be a full time job, so try not to bite off more than you can chew. Think quality over quantity. Growing a true audience on one platform will benefit you much more than not growing any audience on all platforms.
You will need to consider setting up business accounts where available (IG and Pinterest, and a Group or Page on FB), as this will allow you options to run ads (see #4 below), if you choose. Again, concentrate on an option, or two, and grow from there. Remember to incorporate any branding you have into these profiles (logo, colors, etc.) and always share your blog links in your social accounts.
#4 – Social Media Groups/Tribes/Boards
One way to potentially experience exponential growth in a short amount of time is joining networks, or tribes, via various sources. Facebook groups, Pinterest boards, and blogger tribes are all growing in popularity for these exact reasons. These resources allow bloggers to engage with other like-minded bloggers on the same journey. Finding a few good groups with great engagement will not only serve as a growth platform, but also as a resource for answers and connections on the blogging journey.
#5 – Social Media Ads
If it’s within your budget, you might consider running ads on social media sites. Again, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. all offer options for advertising. This could be a great option to get your numbers growing, but you must have quality content published before you take this step. If you are not ready for this option, that is not a problem. Just know it’s available when you are.
#6 – Create an Opt-In List for Email Subscribers
Do this one right away. Using the subscription option of your choice, begin to capture the email addresses of your interested readers from the beginning (this is an option you give the reader). This will allow you to market to those readers either from the beginning, or at a later time when you have a product or service to sell. Even if you never sell anything on your blog, emails are a great way to keep in touch with your readers, update them on your blog posts, and keep them coming back for more.
#7 – Blogging Collaborations/Guest Posting
Another great way to promote your blog is to guest post on another blogger’s blog! This exposes your brand to a whole new set of readers, and does the same for the other blogger as well. You can find collaboration opportunities through various ways, but I highly suggest joining blogging networks and groups (mention in #4 above). Growing your network/community of fellow bloggers can serve as a great resource in many ways, and through those connections you can seek our opportunities to work with bloggers in similar niches and expand your audience.
#8 – Create quality/targeted content
You have probably heard the saying “content is king”. Well, it is. Content is the cornerstone of your blog, and it’s why your readers are there! Give them what they are looking for by creating quality content. Always think in terms of your targeted reader/customer that you outlined in step #2 above. What answers are they looking for? Is there a problem they need to solve? Are you offering the products and/or services they need? If you deliver what your audience is looking for, they will come back again and again.
#9 – Promote/Feature Others
I know we are discussing way to promote YOUR blog, so why would you promote others? Well, it’s the same concept as step #7. When you promote or feature another blogger on your blog, you are expanding your potential audience by linking to their sites and giving those readers exposure to your brand and a chance to click over to your site. Tagging other bloggers in social media posts because you admire their work or like the message they are putting out there is another way to not only show appreciation to that blogger and their work, but to put your name out there as well. Plus, it’s a nice thing to do. When you show blogging love to others, the favor will be returned.
#10 – Join/Submit Your Blog to Promotion Groups
There are a number of groups/sites that you can join and post your content to, allowing others to share it as well. Triberr, ViralContentBee, Blogengage, Reddit, Flickr, and Flipboard are just a few. As with social media platforms, the options here can be overwhelming. Research several and start with the one that makes the most sense with your brand, content, and targeted reader. You can always join additional groups and publish in different platforms as your content grows.
10 Ways to Promote Your Blog
While this list is not a completely comprehensive list, 10 ways to promote your blog is a great starting point. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. My best piece of advise is to take this blogging journey one step at a time. One day at a time. One post at at time. Do not try to bite off more than you can chew. Don’t rush things too quickly. The most successful bloggers have built their audiences over time. Take your time and build a quality blog. When you do, growth will happen.
Enjoy your blogging journey,