Get more eyeballs on your blog posts

Get more eyeballs on your blog posts
Laser eyes image courtesy of Shutterstock

Laser eyes image courtesy of Shutterstock

You have written your blog post, checked for Spellos, Typos and Grammos (Grammos are a bit like Cheerios but less happy) and added an image that has a caption to your blog post, what next? In this blog post I am going to talk you through how I promote a blog post. Here at Birds on the Blog we get approximately 500k of page views every month.

Each blogger here uses a variety of techniques to attract search engines and human beings. The secret, the key to successful blog post promotion though is to attract human beings.

Publish and promote

After you have written your blog post  the next step is to publish the post and get promoting. Blog post promotion can take up to an hour when you first start actively promoting your posts. You will find you get faster as you get used to doing it.  In this post I am going to focus on what I use, please add your methods in the comments :)

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Scribe
  • Comment Luv
  • Forums, public and niche
  • Email
  • Pinterest [updated]
  • Asking for help

Using Twitter

If you use a Twitter tool called Crowdbooster or Buffer you will see what times are the best times to tweet a post for interaction. Mine are 10am and 2pm and  5.30pm. That makes sense to me, morning / afternoon teabreak and going home from work time (people using their smart phones to read tweets). So when I publish my posts at lunchtime, I also schedule a tweet about them for 10am,2pm and 5.30pm.

Crowdbooster

Click to enlarge image

I also Direct Message two Twitter  friends and ask them to comment on the post. I didn’t use to do this and then I had a post go on a bit of a tear, 5k of views  in 4 hours and no comments… I looked like Billy No Mates, all social proof  (Twitter shares) but no conversation. So I now ask for two comments before I start the rest of the blog post promotion techniques. Just in case.

Using Facebook

A while back I wrote a post on why blog post  automation tools will kill your audience. I suggest you take a look, a precis of the post is as follows – manually update Facebook or your posts won’t reach the audience.

So when I have written the post and published it, I “like” is so it shows immediately in my Facebook stream.  My next step is to hit the Facebook send button and send the post to an appropriate Facebook group. If it’s a regional based post I add it to the regional groups I belong to. If it’s a post about women, then I send it to women’s groups. Remember the human factor, we are marketing our posts to human beings.

I don’t target groups that would have no interest in the post, because that is spamming. I don’t share on the Facebook walls of Mashable when I have written a post about the strength of knicker elastic these days. I target the groups and pages that are relevant and the information in the blog post is useful to  the majority of the readers.

If I have mentioned people in the post or written it for them or with them in mind, I tag them too. Be careful with the tagging some people get annoyed about it.

When I have done that (usually takes about 10 minutes) I move to the next tool.

Promoting blog posts on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn I belong to a variety of regional, trade and interest groups and three alumni groups of courses that I have taken. Again looking at what the blog post is about, I choose a group to share that information with. I know that I belong to several overlapping groups, so I don’t submit the post to every group I belong to. I choose carefully which ones would appreciate the content.

I’ll assume that if I post in one motoring group, then another motoring  group will have the same members and will see the content again. Some people will post there anyway but not on the same day as they shared in the other group. I also add the blog post and some info to my LinkedIn status updates.

This takes about 10 minutes and I then pop back to Facebook and add the blog post url to my Facebook news stream. 20 minutes have passed since my original Facebook like showed in my stream, so by manually adding the blog post URL I can choose a different image and amend the title if I want.

Using Google+

After promoting my blog posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn I then move onto Google Plus. I look at what circles I have and which circle would benefit the most and tag them in the post I am sharing. If I am looking to thank a person for inspiration or have written a post for someone, I tag them too.  I also hit the “public” button and share publicly as well as in the niche circles. I try and start a different conversation in the circles to the ones on LinkedIn and Facebook. This is useful for future blog posts research as well as good conversation.

Using Scribe

Scribe is a terrific tool, not only will it help you optimise your content for the right words it will help you find influencers who may be interested in your blog post.

If you have the Scribe plugin in your sidebar you will see under your “Analyze” box that there is a link building box. If you click that then click the social tab, you can then select a keyword and Scribe will search and find influencers on Twitter who may be interested in your post.

You can then reach out to them and start building a relationship, you can also ask for feedback. Be humble in your contact and be human.

Scribe has a free 30 day trial so you can try before you buy.

Promoting posts through blog comments.

If you find a blog in your niche and you would like to comment on it, grab the URL of your blog post and place that in the section for website. Write a decent comment and people will click through and find your post. If you write a naff comment like “great post” or ” I agree come and look at my blog post that’s written better than yours” then you will be lucky to be published let alone attract people to click through.

Comment box for blog promotion

Comment box for blog post promotion

If the site uses Comment Luv (like we do) you can have two different links, you can add a blog address in the website box.

2 links from comment luv

Click to enlarge image

Go to the comment section and write your comment, as you type Comment Luv will pick up your latest blog post to show. When you have finished your comment, go back to the website section and add a link to another post you are promoting. Providing you don’t click the comment writing area again, you will have two different links for one comment. Make sure though the links are relevant to the audience that are reading that blog post or all you will get is curiosity clicks.

Using Forums

I have never found forums particularly useful for promoting blog posts. I write a lot about unsexy transport related things and although everyone gets deliveries they are not interested in the actual logistics, just that they get their goods quickly and cheaply. So forums are tough for me. I can get traction when I give away free fuel saving guides but not when it comes to the nuts and bolts of getting an awkward item delivered. In trade related forums these type of posts tend to get ignored and the competition is fierce and unfriendly. So be prepared for forum promotion not to work in some niches. When that is the case focus on the other types of blog post promotion you can do.

In forums the conversation will often take place there rather than on your blog post. The conversation is still taking place but in a different location. This is not a bad thing and it’s not counter productive to promoting your blog post.

If you belong to niche forums you can often ask for comments and blog post promotion. This is a two way thing. If you ask for help you must be prepared to help others promote their post and comment when asked. That can be tough, commenting on a topic you know very little about but you can ask in the forum what type of comments they are looking for.

The blogger will then indicate what sort of comments she would like

  • They may suggest you ask a question.
  • They may help you write a comment
  • They may suggest you just adapt and write a better variant of “good post”.

Email

If I write a blog post that is a guest blog, I promote that post even more that my usual posts.  I  promote it via email to my subscribers and write a little note as to why they may find it useful.

If it’s timeless content I add it to my autoresponder, so that the reader still benefits from that snippet of knowledge long after I have forgotten about it. It’s not about “me” when I do this, it’s about providing value to my readers.

Pinterest

[updated] Pinterest is a powerful traffic driver to your blog post. That means creating an image that’s pinnable and adding that to your blog post. IT also means editing your post and adding the link to your pin and asking people to “pin it to read later”. I’ve also found that a call to action underneath the image (in the caption area) is a good way of attracting repins. The writing infographic that had 3,000 repins had the following call to action “If you like this please pin it to your writing board”. And people did.

You can also make suggestions to other people that they pin your pin. Again, you need to be hyper-targeted here and ask people with your audience and the relevant boards.

Canva is a great tool for creating stunning images for your blog posts – you can get a free VIP account here.

Asking for help promoting your blog post

When I have done all the above, I go back and respond to the comments I asked for on Twitter. I thank then profusely, publicly. They also know they are good for some reciprocal promotion from me and more importantly they are not afraid to ask.

Asking for help is not a bad thing, you can ask people to Tweet, to Like, to G+. Lots of people will help you. Remember though it’s a two way street you should help back and like and tweet their posts too.

I am going to ask you one thing now…

  • If you like this post, will you share it on Facebook

Why do I ask only one thing? When you invite people to like / share/ comment / email the world and her husband you are overwhelming the reader with choice. Ask for one thing, and one alone and you’re more likely to get it.

Sarah
PS When we changed Hosting we lost all of our social shares *sob*, I’d really love it if you helped get them back again. Thank you.
PPS This post was originally published in 2011 and was refreshed in 2014.

 

Join 1,000s of other smart women and subscribe
to our weekly updates.
Never miss another post (and get exclusive subscriber only content) 


Sarah Arrow
Blogging an issue for you? Social media not quite working how it should be?That's okay I understand. I started blogging back in 2006 and grew into a kick-ass blog coach as well as creator of Birds on the Blog (listed 3 times by Forbes as a top 100 website for women), I'm frequently listed as both a top content marketing expert and as an influential marketer. You want your blog to make a difference, so subscribe here and stay in touch, my updates will help you achieve content marketing success.
Sarah Arrow

Comment how YOU like

47 Comments

  1. Nice post, Sarah. I was really surprised at how much difference Twitter made even for a niche blog like mine. Yesterday afternoon I did a quick post and was surprised to suddenly see 69 people online reading it during a normally quiet time for me (3pm ET), so social media can be very effective indeed!
    sally lovingly created…Prostate Cancer Market ResearchMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thank Sally, I like Twitter a lot and good conversations spring up around it :) Have you tried using Crowdbooster / Buffer to see what other times may work for you?
      Sarah Arrow lovingly created…What is a dedicated courier?My Profile

      Reply
  2. Excellent informative and practical blog Sarah and I have Evernoted it as a very useful resource .

    I will investigate the Scribe plug in which was a mystery before now.

    [ this post was encouraged by a twitter DM]
    steven healey lovingly created…For SteveMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Steven, thanks for the comment and the disclosure :) I bet you get an inbox full of blog comment invites :D

      I find Scribe dead handy for reaching out to people as well as optimising content. It also reminds people to do things like complete the meta descriptions etc. Let us know when you get your first 100% on Scribe :)
      Sarah Arrow lovingly created…Clampdown on driving idiotsMy Profile

      Reply
  3. Once again, a highly informative and valuable article. Well done Sarah, I don’t know how you have the time and energy to do all that you do.
    Lynn Tulip lovingly created…Dream JobMy Profile

    Reply
  4. This is really helpful – I loke the way you have completely systematised it so that you go through the same checklist without thinking – speedy and efficient process, great tips.
    Sarah Wood lovingly created…Set your goals then start talkingMy Profile

    Reply
  5. Wow, was just wondering the same as Lynn – do you have a post on time management!! :)

    I’m going to do the old fashioned thing and print this out. Becoming a good, regular blogger is a target for this year and systemising it can only make it easier.

    Thanks also for not being hypey about how quick it is to blog – I like that you spell out how long it takes to publicise blog posts (on top of actually writing the post in the first place).
    sarah lovingly created…Confidence Building Tip – The Donut of PainMy Profile

    Reply
    • @Yolanda is the woman to see about time management :) we may have to persuade her to write us something :) for me it’s the routine write / promote write / promote and through practice it has become easier.
      Sarah Arrow lovingly created…How to get your product recommended on LinkedInMy Profile

      Reply
  6. Fantastic information – and very timely for me (although Sarah has already given me some really great feedback about my blogs). This has now made my to do list even longer!

    You don’t mention Ping.fm and Onlywire.com – I use these to promote my blogs too – what do you think of these?

    Also I use live-keyword-analysis.com to check I’m somewhere in the region of 2% keyword density, although I don’t do it for all my blogs, it does help if I am keen to get that particular key word or phrase featured.

    As always, you write incredibly valuable ‘stuff’!
    Lesleywriter lovingly created…Do you know too much?My Profile

    Reply
    • I am not a huge fan of automation tools such as Ping and Onlywire, I have tried them and saw no benefit from them. So I prefer to promote, selectively and targeted to the ideal readers. I wrote this post with Lisa in mind and how easy she might find it to promote her posts in forums / and via Twitter.

      If onlywire and ping are working and bringing you traffic and the right kind of links, carry on. If they are not then ditch them.

      Glad you find it useful :)
      Sarah Arrow lovingly created…Blog Community, Sons of Anarchy Motorbike Club StyleMy Profile

      Reply
  7. Oh dear! I feel so inadequate!

    Sarah, an excellent piece and very well detailed thank you.

    I need to get myself rather better organised methinks!!

    This gives me some structure to work to and a few more tools to investigate.

    Many thanks for a great blog.

    Keith
    Here to make a positive difference…
    Keith Grinsted ( lovingly created…Going, Going, Gone………My Profile

    Reply
    • Feel inadequate! You have only just started seriously blogging (all the prior stuff was just for fun) so how can you feel inadequate? Check out the tools, there are some excellent ones available and can help you get excellent results
      Sarah Arrow lovingly created…How to get your product recommended on LinkedInMy Profile

      Reply
  8. Thanks, I’m taking notes (!) as this is so helpful, though I’m pleased I was instinctively doing some of this anyway.
    I also chat with friends online sometimes about what I am planning to write, and ask for help with research. People then feel involved and motivated to have a look at what came out, while I write something with the added benefit of their contributions.
    Just this morning I suddenly had the idea to ask someone if I could use one of his photos for my last post. It’s a nice feeling to collaberate or share a creation too.
    Lisa Attias lovingly created…Breakfast goes on holiday (to the mediterranean)My Profile

    Reply
  9. Hi Sarah

    This is great stuff – informed and in-depth. It clearly demonstrates that as bloggers we are only ever as strong as our weakest link, and that we have to take the time and trouble to physically communicate with our readers. I found the tip about actively asking for comments especially helpful; it’s a useful way of sparking conversations. Also found the stuff about duplicate content in the previous blog very helpful.

    Kent
    Kent Austin lovingly created…Outbound Marketing vs Inbound MarketingMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks for dropping by Kent, much appreciated. The human touch is priceless, connecting with our readers is what it is all about for me :)
      Sarah Arrow lovingly created…What is a dedicated courier?My Profile

      Reply
    • I don’t think it is Jackie, nothing wrong with it just that you may have your post filtered put when it updates the stream. Adding by hand gives you the edge, I think Ed Dale ran a test on it, I don’t have a link to hand as I can’t recall 100% if it was him.
      Sarah Arrow lovingly created…Solving future transport problemsMy Profile

      Reply
  10. Fantastic post Sarah, thanks! I’ve been very hit and miss with blogs for a couple of years, but these steps you use seem to be a great way to get on top of it. Lots more for me to get to grips with but it’s very timely as I’m wanting to get my blog performing more.

    Reply
  11. Immense. Of course. Nuff said – except thanks Sarah ;)

    Reply
  12. Regularly I don’t make comments on blogs. But I’ve to point out that this article really forced me to try and do so. Because really fabulous blog to me.
    Thanks
    Charles

    Reply
  13. hi Sarah, saw this post mentioned on Twitter. I found the info really useful – have always been a bit wary of over-promoting my blog posts but perhaps I need to get over that! It’s good to have a regular routine for promoting your posts and I shall certainly try to do this in future.
    I’ve been using Disqus commenting on my blog – would you say CommentLuv was a better choice?
    thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Naomi, welcome to Birds on the Blog :)
      We surveyed our community back in January and found out why they were commenting and then installed the appropriate system. We are actually going to move to Livefyre in the next few days as they now have the last post feature. As much as we love Comment Luv (and we adore it) it has become a bit flaky lately and not everyone is getting the benefit. If you like Disqus and it works for you, keep it. Ask your readers what they prefer.

      As to promoting posts, I used to think that everyone would just find me and sure, some of them did but a lot more find me now I place my content where they hang out and the conversations that come from it are excellent – even if they are not on the blog post itself. It took me a while to get over myself and to a certain degree I am still a bit hesitant hence my routine.
      Sarah Arrow lovingly created…Clampdown on driving idiotsMy Profile

      Reply
  14. Brilliant article Sarah, thank-you. Clearly written, useful hints and tips I can really use. I’m looking forward to trying it out and watching my audience grow!

    Reply
  15. Hi Sarah I’ve found this post REALLY useful so thank you! I am a COMPLETE blogger virgin and set up my first blog TODAY! :-) Just wanted to know do I just promote my blog on my regular FB, Twitter and Linked In pages under my name or would you advise to set up accounts that match my blog…if that makes sense..? Anyway really keen to get my ‘voice’ out there…very exciting and thank you for you valuable advice! :-)

    Reply
  16. @YogeetaMistry Hiya, just got your email, was going to send you here :) Are you about for a chat tomorrow? And I will be asking for a guest post :D from you… great to see you here

    Reply
  17. Thanks Vanessa, I find Linkedin works quite well for blogs in statuses and groups, have you tried that yet?

    Reply
  18. @SarahArrow Hi Sarah …soopa doopa…guest blogger virgin…I’m only one day old!! ;-) That would be FABBY! Will be around after lunch time for chat…that’s really great ta!

    Reply
  19. @YogeetaMistry Can you ping me an email with your number on?

    Reply
  20. The aim is definitely to get readers to share and comment on your posts after you have written them. The more shares you receive, the more traffic you will definitely see.

    You have mentioned some great ways of increasing sharing, and Scribe is not something i have looked into before. Looks like i will need to take a peek and get started with it!

    It definitely pays to spent time on the post promotion to maximise the eyes that are going to see your work.
    Catherine Holt lovingly created…Make Money Blogging By Selling ProductsMy Profile

    Reply
  21. Hey Ms popular can you put the new comment box at the top immediately after the post so I don’t have to scroll down past your millions of comments to leave you one lol. Great tips – going to check out Scribe as I don’t use that one and officially nominating you as my ask to share on Twitter person from now on. Big Hugs :~D
    Ola Agbaimoni lovingly created…Week 14: Weekly Writing Tips For Creating Awesome ContentMy Profile

    Reply
  22. Oh how I would love 46+ comments on a blog post! I get a few comments on the post and more on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In and even more Face to Face so I know people are reading my content but look at my blog and you would think I’m Billy no Mates! This article shows me how much more I should be doing to promote my blog and they’re all practical, do-able tips. Thanks Sarah.
    Glenda Shawley lovingly created…How an email can disappoint!My Profile

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge
Loading Facebook Comments ...