There’s nothing wrong with having a blog where you can release pent up emotions, sharing your interests, or just having a way to organize your thoughts. However, if your goal is to get as much traffic as possible, excellent content alone isn’t going to cut it.
You need to promote your blog.
Promoting your blog is so important, it can take up as much as 90% of your time spent blogging. This makes sense since spending so much effort creating awesome content won’t do you any good if it doesn’t reach enough people.
There are several ways for you to do this and they each have of their own merits. An in-depth look at every single one might be necessary at some point to really understand their worth. For now, let’s just go through the following in a more general format:
- Social Media
- Guest Posts
One of the most effective ways to promote your blog is to build an email list through subscription to your blog for newsletters. However, this method is contingent on the condition that your blog has excellent content worth subscribing for. This won’t work if you don’t have anything worthwhile, helpful or valuable to contribute.
Once you have your list, you can start sending your subscribers emails that contain pertinent information about your blog, what it does, what it offers and how it can help them. This will create a perpetual cycle of readership and notifications about new articles posted on your blog.
There are a few things to remember when using this method in order to optimize results such as the following:
- Time your emails right when sending them
- Send emails notifying users of new posts
- Plain text emails get more clicks
- Re-send unopened emails to recipients with new subjects
Now, it’s worth remembering that promotion through emails is a whole other beast of its own. So it’s best to learn as much about it as you can if you’re interested in this method.
Social media pertains to every single website or app where users congregate to share ideas, content and connect. As you might expect, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all fall under this category. So does Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so many others.
Generally speaking, the more active you are in as many social media platforms as possible, the better the results of your blog promotion. However, this isn’t always achievable since there are just so many of them. More than that, depending on the type of blog you’re running and the topics you cover, the results you get from different social media sites will inevitably vary. So it pays to pick and choose.
Once you have made your choice, however, you can start creating a social media campaign optimized for best results. Create a Facebook page about your blog and encourage viewers to give it a Like, share it with their friends and so on. Create official Twitter and Instagram accounts and accumulate as many followers as you can.
If your blog is a little more demographic-intensive, for example, and you’re targeting a younger audience, Snapchat is your best bet. According to a recent study, Snapchat is the most popular social media app for teens. It’s so effective at bringing in the younger crowd that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are starting to copy it.
Participating in forums where people are talking about the same topics you cover, or better yet, where your particular blog is the main source of conversation is extremely effective at promoting your blog. If you play your cards right, mingling with your audience can make you a lot more approachable. This will have a positive effect on you as a blogger and on your blog.
Barring that, simply commenting on threads about topics that you write about can be enough. You could then sneak in a mention of your blog or even a link if it’s possible so that the users can check out your work.If you haven’t thought of it yet, one of the best forums that you could visit for the best chance at gaining traffic is Reddit.
Reddit is one of the biggest forum platforms on the web, averaging 17 million unique visitors every month. Those kinds of numbers can present you with an amazing opportunity to promote your website, which will then be seen by millions of users. You might want to make your posts as engaging and memorable as possible too. Interesting posters often accumulate street cred.
Now, there are some things that you may want to avoid if you are going to participate in forums. The most obvious of which is to avoid confrontation. You don’t ever want to get caught in an online conflict unless you planned for it.
Yes, getting into a flame war can be beneficial, but you know what they say about playing with fire. Something about getting burned or whatever. This is especially the case if you’re dealing with a professional troll.
This part can function as both a learning experience and a means of promoting your website since it goes two ways. You can be a guest writer at someone else’s blog, sharing your ideas and contributing to a conversation bigger than your own sphere. In return, your blog and skills get more exposure.
You could also have that same person or another blogger write a piece for your blog, which benefits you and them. It benefits you because it adds variety to your blog and shows that you’re not just some weirdo loner in your parents’ basement, which is how a lot of people view bloggers.
Now, there are two ways that you can approach this method. You can approach other bloggers who have already shared content by other creators that are similar to what you have. This is much easier than having to barter with bigger blogs that have stringent standards on content they share. Just make sure that the content you want shared is of higher quality than the similar content already shared by your prospective partner.
The second approach is to get in contact with those who blog about the same things you do. The most interesting part about this route is when you share contradictory opinions about certain topics. If they agree to let you post controversial content on their blog, you could be looking at traffic bonanza.
Finally, we arrive at setting up competitions where visitors can participate to win a prize. Now, it goes without saying that the better the prize, the more exposure your contest and your blog will get. You’ll see more participants signing up, which can be an amazing source of valuable content for your blog if you know what you’re doing.
This is an even better idea if you’re running a blog that also sells actual products since it can function as both a promotional material for your blog and for your products. It showcases exactly what your contestants will be receiving, and the better the product, the better the results.
As to the type of contest you are going to run, here are some potential options:
- Comment competitions
If you’re considering using raffles, tools like Rafflecopter can be a great help. You can host the contest on your blog and all your audience has to do is join in.
Submissions are when your readers or viewers create their own stuff to share with others and you choose the winner. This could be anything, from a short story to answering a really tough question. How you go about it is up to you.
Competitions involving comments are fairly common on things like YouTube videos. Content creators ask their viewers to post certain things in the comment section and they will choose the winners either at random or through purposeful selection. This could work just as well with a blog.
Finally, we have promos such as rewarding the 1000th visitor of the day with a free e-book or something. This is just one example, though. It can also pertain to the 1000th buyer, commenter, social media sharer, and so on. The important thing to keep in mind is to generate as much interest around the contest as possible. The higher the interest, the higher the traffic you get.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways for you to promote your website, and all of them are readily accessible and free. It’s also worth remembering that there are other ways for you to promote your website; so many other ways. As you develop as a blogger and grow your audience, you’ll start seeing methods of getting word of your blog out there in a manner that’s completely unique to you.
For now, these methods are going to have to suffice, especially if you’re just starting out. There’s no need to rush either. Promoting your blog can be as much of an art as it is a necessity. Once you get the hang of it, you can go at any pace that suits your needs.