The process of writing and posting to your blog can be long and tedious, spanning days if not weeks. First you do your research, then you write, edit, and post. After all is said and done and the piece is out of your hands and on your website, it would be nice to say that you could kick up your feet and relax a bit.
Unfortunately, any seasoned blogger who has been around the block a time or two will tell you that this isn’t the case.
After all of the stressing and editing comes another task - one that, at least to some, can be even more difficult than the writing stages themselves.
In a perfect world, you could post on your blog and wake up to dozens and dozens of helpful comments and views. This, however, is not a perfect world. This is a world filled with competition and internet trolls. In order to stand out, you need to learn how to promote your post, and also your brand, because at the end of your day, your brand is your content.
In an attempt to speed this process along, I did a bit of research and tried countless promotional strategies for myself. I discovered what works, what doesn’t work, and what strategies have little to no effect on promotional outcomes at all.
And now, with this information in my arsenal, I’m prepared to share it with bloggers just like myself who are in need of a bit of help.
It is important to note before we begin that every blog is different, so the strategies that work for one blogger may not necessarily work for another. That being said, I’m confident that at least one of these eleven proven promotion strategies will work if you dedicate a bit of time and effort into it.
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Strategy #1: Use SumoMe’s Welcome Mat to increase your number of email subscribers.
Once your blog really starts to take off and you find yourself connecting with “regular” readers in the comments section of your posts, the gradual next step is to start an email subscription. If you are unfamiliar with them, they are a weekly or bi-weekly way for you to connect with people who want to be alerted to important happenings in your life. This clearly is the perfect place for you to promote your latest blog posts.
The main problem that most bloggers have, however, is finding a way to get people to join their email subscription.
Next, it’s all about personal preference. You’re going to want to plug in your call to action and connect it to your email provider.
Think about what your subscribers are going to see. Once they enter their email, there’s usually another screen they are faced with that asks them to confirm their subscription.
You’re going to want to enter your “success” URL in the ‘After’ section, and enable the Instant Landing Page feature.
From there, you can offer an incentive for your subscribers - an e-book, an online class, downloadable PDFs, or something of similar value - and you’re just about done!
Strategy #2: Find “Top XXX Blogs” in your niche and use them to reach out to influencers.
With so many different bloggers on the internet, it really is a reader’s market. They have the unique advantage of being able to choose who and what they want to read.
So, if you want to be considered one of the best, you need to associate yourself with the best. Googling the best blogs in your niche may seem like a waste of time, but I assure you that it isn’t. Many people will put together “top” lists in various niches to help readers narrow down the competition and sift out the bad from the good.
Start off with a Google search of “top *your niche here* blogs” and start to check out the results. Chances are, there are dozens of lists already available to you. Look through them and start saving blogs and emails. Personally, I save them in a spreadsheet to make my life a lot easier in the end.
Once you’ve managed to get around 100 email addresses, all of people who are considered ‘top’ bloggers, you can start sending out emails that ask for a quote to be included in your article.
By using a program like Pitchbox, you can even automate the email process and save a ton of time.
I know that sending out 100 emails sounds like a lot, but there’s a greater chance of receiving a positive reply if you really focus on your sending efforts. The more people you contact, the more people who may contact you back.
Strategy #3: Use BuzzStream to connect with influencers.
You may have an influencer in mind that you’d really like to be included in your article, or you may be headed into this completely blind.
Either way, BuzzStream is extremely helpful to help bloggers connect with high profile influencers. After searching for the niche you want to find an influencer in, you can narrow down your search results according to social media followers, domains, etc. to find the perfect person for you.
What makes this so great is that you are virtually guaranteed to find someone to help you - it is, after all, the basis of the program.
Once you are able to find the influencer who is right for you, you can reach out to them and ask for a direct quote for your article, which is about XYZ.
Then, after the article is finished, make sure you:
- Link to their blog in the body of the post so they are credited
- @ them on social media
- Email them the final copy for approval and suggest that they share it with their readers if they like it.
Strategy #4: Use Buffer to get more social shares.
In most articles, you’ll have linked to “authority” articles on a specific subject. Most people would plug those authority links into Buffer and send it out into the universe.
People would then look at your site, click the authority link, and most likely start looking there and forget all about what they were originally reading with you. But I discovered another way to hijack those posts and send your readers right back to you.
First, create a free account on Snip.ly. Once you have completed your profile, you’re going to want to create a message for the article you want snipped. Add a call to action, finish getting all set up, then schedule that link to go out with Buffer.
Here's what a snipped article looks like:
Make sure you @ the authority in your tweets, too. Then it’s on to the next authority person with the next link. You will continue to do this for all of the links in your article. Why, you ask? Because you want to make sure that people will always return to your article after leaving the authority.
It may seem tedious, because truth be told it is, but it’s well worth the time and effort that it takes to complete.
Strategy #5: Use Fiverr to find a freelancer for a $5 infographic.
Infographics are an increasingly popular way for bloggers to share their information with a wider audience.
Basically, it’s one image with all of the information from a single blog post jammed in through the use of visuals. It’s especially great for people who don’t have the time (or desire) to read fifty paragraphs, but still want to receive the information.
Plus, it gives the blogger a cool new way to share “old” information. You can repurpose old blog posts by turning them into infographics, or you can share an infographic to coincide with your newest posts.
If you are graphic design challenged, simply head over to Fiverr. Fiverr is a marketplace for people to find freelancers in all areas. Graphic design in particular is popular, which is what makes it such a great fit for bloggers to find someone to make their infographics.
The best part about Fiverr is that you can walk away, infographic in proverbial hand, without spending more than $5.
Type “infographic” into the search at the top of the page, browse the several pages of graphic designers who are willing to create infographics for you, and choose the person you would like to hire for the job.
After a few days, the infographic will be sent your way, you’ll be charged the $5, and you can share your new image all over social media with a link to the full article as a promotional tactic!
Strategy #6: Promote your content on LinkedIn.
Most people use LinkedIn as a way to find a job or connect with their employers. While this is a great way to use the website, it isn’t the only way.
There are tons of really awesome groups on LinkedIn that you can and should use as a way to promote your latest blog posts.
Do a search of your niche in the top bar, then click the “groups” button to narrow your results down to only include groups in that niche. Then you’re going to want to look around and join plenty of groups.
A word of advice however, is to make sure that you post your content on groups that have a relatively even number of comments to posts. What I mean by this is if you see everyone posting and no one commenting, there’s a great chance that everyone else had the same idea as you and that no one in the group is actually going to take the time to read your article.
Pro Tip: You can also follow this strategy and find groups on Facebook, as they also offer a group option in searches.
Strategy #7: Add widgets to your posts for easy social shares.
As important as it is for you to share your latest blog posts across social media, it’s just as important (if not more so) for your readers to be able to share it.
That’s why widgets are so very important. They allow your readers to easily share your post on the social media outlet of their choice with just one click of the mouse. The ease of this means they’re more likely to do it - and that means more free promotion for you.
I recommend setting them either as a footer or sidebar, so your readers can see it while they are reading.
To get started, all you have to do is check out this post by WordPress that explains how to set it up.
Strategy #8: Find popular link roundups and recommend your blog post.
Remember when we found those top niche blog sites because we wanted to narrow it down to “the best of the best”? This is a similar strategy, but now we want to focus on BECOMING the best of the best.
Many bloggers will participate in link roundups, which is essentially when people do a complete masterpost of the best niche articles in a particular week. The idea is to help readers narrow down what they’re reading so they can focus on the things that are truly important.
Once your article is finished and live for the world to see, don’t be afraid to reach out to the people who create these link roundups and suggest your article for their next post. If the article is good, they’ll probably include it.
As a word of advice, when looking for link roundups in your niche, you’re going to want to do several different Google searches:
- “link roundup” + your industry
- “weekly link roundup” + your industry
- ~KW + “link roundup”
- “KW” + inurl:roundup
- “KW” + intitle:roundup
Strategy #9: Install Yoast SEO plugin.
When you are a blogger, you quickly come to terms with the fact that SEO means a whole lot. Think of the internet as an endless hole. Things get thrown into it, but you have no idea what happens to them or where they end up.
When you optimize your SEO with plugins like Yoast, you are virtually guaranteeing that whatever you throw out into the internet endless hole will be found by someone.
SEO improves your chances of getting found on search engines. Being found on search engines is basically the key to being found at all, so this is of the utmost importance.
Furthermore, Yoast does a whole host of other things for you, too. It rates the readability of your blog post, ranks your title, and has an entire checklist it runs through to let you know what you can improve upon before you even press “Post”.
That being said, this particular plugin is very, very advanced and should be handled with care. It can be overwhelming for a beginner to jump right in, so I suggest checking out as many tutorials as you need to feel comfortable before getting started.
Remember, it may seem like hard work in the moment, but it will all pay off in the end.
Strategy #10: Create a blogging wolfpack.
You know that song that sings, “we get by with a little help from our friends?” That’s no more true than it is in this particular instance.
Blogging can be an incredibly competitive, sometimes downright frustrating profession, so it’s always nice to have someone around who gets it. That’s just one of the many perks of having blogger friends, though.
As a matter of fact, I highly suggest forming something of a “blogging wolfpack” with 3-4 other bloggers who are in a similar situation to your own - a decent following, but in need of that extra push. You can all agree on a few terms, such as that you’ll leave thoughtful, conversation-starting comments on each other’s posts, and you’ll share those posts on your social media accounts.
Your friendship will grow and you will continue to have those important contacts in the business, but you will also add some validity to your blog. When fairweather readers head over and see that someone took the time to leave a lengthy comment, they may feel compelled to do the same.
Having blogger friends who are willing to help you out is beyond important. If you don’t know anyone, that’s okay. I suggest finding other bloggers in your niche, perhaps through Google, and searching for someone whose content is good, but who has yet to reach the pinnacle of their blogging career. If you both have something to gain from the friendship, you’ll work harder.
Strategy #11: Check out your competitors’ backlinks.
There’s competition everywhere. Even if you think you have the single most original blog post of all time, I’m here to tell you that there is a 90% chance that someone out there has done something similar to it already.
There’s no shame in this fact, either. The world is constantly changing, so it makes sense that posts would require periodical updates and revamping. What was accurate 6 months ago may not be accurate now, which is why it is important to make sure that your post is the biggest and the best out there on the internet.. At least for the time being.
Now, because there’s a virtual guarantee that you’ve got some competition, you can use that competition to your advantage by taking a look at their backlinks. Chances are that if someone linked to the outdated post your competition made, they’ll link to yours if you send it out.
All you have to do is head over to Ahrefs and plug the competitor’s link in. You will then be able to see all of the people who backlinked them. With this newfound information, you can take it upon yourself to send those people emails and suggest that they check out your much more updated, much more in depth version instead.
Considering the fact that most bloggers hate outdated links (it makes your site look unkempt), they just may be willing to replace that old link with yours. If so, that’s free promotion for you!
Andrew Wise is a serial entrepreneur whose sites generate $1+ million in revenue and receive 2.6+ million uniques per year. He teaches people how to start a blog online, and shares actionable advice on how you can build massive, passive income streams, designed for everyone from the complete newbie to the experienced marketer. Follow him on Twitter @WiseStartupBlog.