Writing your blog posts is just a small part of growing your blog. The rest is getting readers to your blog…and that's not always as easy. While there are some tried and true means of growing your blog, there are infinite ways to get your message in front of new people. Here are just a few to get started with!
The Basics (Social Media)
- Tweet your post: Tweeting posts should be a regular thing. But one thing bloggers tend to do is just Tweet, “New post! [Link]” Truth be told, I NEVER click on those links. Write a snappy tweet with a link to your post. It could be your post title, but something that you know your Tweeps will click on. And change it up so you can tweet your post more than once.
- Facebook: Don't forget your readers on Facebook! Be sure to include an image on your post and test different times of days to see when your readers click on your links.
- Pinterest: A powerful traffic driver, Pimp your images for Pinterest, and be sure to include this in you promotional strategy. You may have to test a few things to see what works best for your blog.. including adding text, pinning close up shots, whatever it is your followers best respond to.
- Stumbleupon: This is an oldie but a goodie. It doesn't take long to “Stumble” posts, but you never know which posts might get “Stumbled” so you wouldn't want a chance to miss out on additional traffic boosts. It's a really great way to get exposure beyond your regular circles.
- Instagram: While there is no real way to link directly to your posts (yet) in Instagram, it's always great to let your followers there know you have new content on your blog. Be sure to let them know that your ‘gram is for a new post!
- Include a “Follow me on Bloglovin” link in all of your posts: Now that Google reader is going away, more and more people are using Bloglovin. Bloglovin actually drives traffic the more followers you have, so make sure you give your readers every chance to follow you on that site so they never miss a post.
- Do a Twitter chat around a blog topic: Tweeting your posts might not be enough… perhaps another way to promote your content (and your Twitter presence) is to host a Twitter chat and use a hashtag. Here you would write a post on your blog, invite a few blog friends to participate and have a conversation on Twitter.
- Use Google Keywords to promote via SEO: One of the best ways to promote content is to use SEO. It is still the number one traffic driver for all of my websites, and should not be overlooked. Google has a nifty Keyword Tool which allows you to search keywords and see how many people are looking for particular topics, and how competitive the keywords are.
- Look in your Google Analytics for to see how people find your blog (and expand on that): In Google Analyitcs you can find under “Site Content–>Search Engine Optimization–>Queries” What keywords people are using to find your site.
- Link to other posts within your site to boost SEO: Links within your site do two things, they build authority for your posts, and they keep your readers on your website. Erika Miller noted we shouldn't overdo it with the links in our post, so be strategic and try not to get carried away.
- Put relevant keywords in your image “Alt” Tags: Don't forget your images can be searched too!
- Guest Post: A lot of people complain that guest posts don't drive traffic. But maybe if you play it right, driving traffic could be secondary to your SEO goals. Use your guest post opportunities as a chance to link to specific posts within your site to help boost the SEO results and that will get you more traffic.
Good Old-Fashioned Email
- Email Newsletter to your readers: It's never to early to start building your newsletter. It may take time, but after all blogging is a long haul game. Email your readers once a week, or once a month to let them know about what's going on with your blog. It's the perfect time to promote specific content.
- Ask your blog friends to promote a post: If you have a post you'd like to promote, and you have a great relationship with your blog friends, asking them once in a while to promote a post for you is no big deal.
- Pitch your post to other blogs: Say you write a post that would be perfect for another blog, it would be a good time to let that other blogger know about your post. Who knows, maybe you'll get a link!
- Pitch your post to the press: Say you've done an independent study, maybe you're an expert in budget fashion or did something newsworthy, or have the perfect post for a website, developing relationships with the press would be a great way to get added exposure on news sites in addition to blogs.
Create Sharable Content
- Create a free download to share with your readers: Whether it be a calendar, desktop or even a template, free downloads are a great way to get readers to download, keep, and possibly share with others. Everyone likes a freebie!
- Write content that solves a problem: Do you have a solution to a problem everyone has? Getting rid of muffin top? If you solve a problem, it will help your readers, AND if your readers have friends with the same problem, they'll probably share your blog post too.
- Write a catchy headline: I cannot say enough about how important it is to have a straightforward, yet catchy post title. This is often times the first impression people get of your website whether it be through search or through social media. You only have fractions of a second to catch their eye!
- Write a controversial post: Maybe you don't agree with what's going on, maybe you're on the fence, maybe you have a juicy piece of information to share with your readers. A controversial post will get people talking.
- Feature another blogger: If you're new, maybe you can do a feature swap with a blog friend with similar traffic, but featuring other bloggers helps build community along with you might get social media promotion from the other blogger. Word of advice, the other blogger may not share, so don't expect or demand them to do so, as you may end up burning a bridge.
- Start a blog meme: Whether it be something like the IFB Project, or the various ones out there, bloggers love to engage with others by sharing content. If you provide a service to share their content, you can always ask that they share your content as well.
- Create an infographic, and pitch it to other blogs: Infographics… they are fun, and shareable, and most of all pitchable. If you think of a clever way to make information into a graphic, it could really lead to some amazing promotion for your blog!