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
- Comment Luv
- Forums, public and niche
- Pinterest [updated]
- Asking for help
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
[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.
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