So you’ve created your blog and have started writing posts. Maybe you’ve only had it for 2 weeks or maybe you’ve been blogging for a year but haven’t had many visitors. Either way you are looking for ways to promote your blog.
What Does It Mean to Promote Your Blog
The definition of promote most relevant is:
To attempt to sell or popularize by advertising or publicity
In this case we are not selling our blogs but popularizing them (making them popular, getting more visitors, interactions etc.) Visitors are not just going to magically appear at your blog, for the most part, you have to do something to attract them or to let it be known that it’s out there.
Here are my top 5 tips for Blog Promotion
Join forums, Facebook groups, ning groups and the like for bloggers, whether general or for your specific niche. Many of these groups, besides answer questions, allow places to leave your social media profiles to gain more followers and sometimes places to leave a post you want comments on, tweets to retweet, pins to repin etc.
There are a lot of communities out there and you will need to try a bunch to find the ones you like best. I’m a member of over 25 at least but I’m active in 10 or so and really active in about 5.
2. Participate in Hops and Memes and Carnivals
Hops are posts, often with a theme on one blog and many other people do a related post on their own blog and then link it up to the host blog. Then you visit some of the other participants, see what they wrote and leave them a comment. Hops are sometimes referred to as linkies too as they often include a linky where you can add your blog link. There are follow hops too where you leave a social media link and then follow others while others follow you.
Memes are similar but usually one blogger does their post, answers certain questions or blogs about a certain topic and then “tags” a certain number of other bloggers. Those bloggers then do the meme on their own blog and tag more bloggers and so forth. Sometimes people will just leave the tagging open, saying whoever wants to join in can.
Carnivals are also similar to hops but are a bit different too. Sometimes the same blogger always hosts the carnival and other times there are guests hosts and it goes from blog to blog. There are carnivals with specific themes (like a Homeschooling Carnival or Book Review Carnival) but sometimes with each new carnival (can be weekly, bi weekly or monthly) there is a specific sub topic that blog posts should be about. For example a Homeschooling Carnival might one week have the topic of “What do you consider your most important materials?” or “What’s your blogging schedule?” To participate, you write up a post that fits the guidelines and submit it to the host by a certain date. On said date, the host makes up a post that says a little about each bloggers’ post with a link. It’s sort of like a roundup.
3. Social Media
I get the majority of my blog traffic (on all my blogs) from social media. Facebook and Twitter are generally in my top 3. If you are signed up for Google Analytics (which you should be) there is a newer section that allows you to see referral traffic for social media. Once logged in and looking at your dashboard. Under Traffic Sources is Social. You can also click further to see what links they clicked on and such.
I HIGHLY recommend using Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon and Pinterest at least. Learn how to use them, one at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Every time you do a new post, a link and a blurb to that post should be on your fan page and twitter account. Add pinnable pictures to each post and pin it buttons so others can pin. Stumble other blog’s posts you like and make sure there are buttons on your blog for people to stumble your posts.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO can be difficult to understand and there are different views on what is good or not. Basically SEO is making your blog or website easily indexed by search engines so your blog/website will show up higher in the search results. For example I want this blog to show up in searches for topics such as blogging tips, blogging advice and so on. So I need to use SEO to do that. Look for tips from bloggers, not SEO experts or you’ll just confuse yourself.
5. Guest Posting
Guest posting is when you write a post but instead of posting it on your blog, another bloggers accepts it and posts it on their blog with a short bio at the end that includes a link to your blog. If you are struggling with coming up with posts on your own blog, it can be hard to make time to write a whole post for someone else’s blog but the readers of that blog, if they like your post, will click over to your blog to see what else you’ve written and if your blog is optimized (easy ability to follow or subscribe, and other quality posts) you will get new readers.
See the resources 2 page for specific sites and help on all the above topics.