If you haven’t been living in a cave for the past several years, you’re aware by now that blogging is an important part of drawing traffic to your website. If you have been living in a cave, refer to previous sentence (and take a shower, you probably smell).
Blogging is no longer just a tool of cutesy home chefs recording the experience of cooking a Julia Child recipe a day. It’s not merely a plaything of eating/praying/ loving divorcees documenting their spiritual journeys. Blogs have become a powerful instrument for businesses in all fields, and anyone can take to the blogosphere. Not convinced? Check out our 13 reasons why you need to get blogging.
Here’s the rub though: the simple act of publishing a great blog does not automatically result in increased traffic or conversions. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Who cares? No one’s there anyway…
Your super awesome, way informative, impeccably-written, completely unique post could end up being that tree that falls silently in an empty wood.
The following 7 steps will ensure your new post doesn’t end up like a drunken, lonely internet tumbleweed, rolling tragically through an abandoned town in the Old West.
1. Blow Up Your List
If your business hasn’t built a solid email list of customers yet, GET ON IT!
Internet marketing 101 here folks… the power (and profit) is always in your list.
It’s truly a comforting feeling to know that, even if all crumbled tomorrow, you could tap your list and build a business from the ashes in a fraction of the time it took you up to this point.
That said, lets just assume you’ve been building a substantial list, and more importantly, have been cool to your list (no spam, loads of useable info, etc).
The 1st thing you want to do, is share your latest post with these good people.
The whole point behind a blog is to give real, actionable tips, tricks, and content to your in-crowd with every intention of making their lives that much better. They deserve to know, and you’re here to give it to them.
Why not shoot them an email?
2. The Key (words) to Google’s Heart
You don’t have to an SEO expert to understand and use Google to your benefit. Even pedestrian knowledge on the subject of SEO will help you make sure Google “sees” your post. (For a more advanced course on Google search engine result positions, see our guest post about the mysteries of Google Memory unveiled).
Best practice here is to throw one keyphrase in your title, and at all costs avoid “keyword stuffing”. Lets say your newest post is about twerking in your 40s, you don’t need to use the term in every sentence. i.e. Twerking in your 40’s. How to be a Twerking expert by learning Twerking till you can’t Twerk no More. Twerking.
Don’t sacrifice the quality of your writing for the sake of keywords, write naturally, and your blog will inevitably include your main keyphrases.
3. Socialized Blog-Care
Get out there on social media, and don’t be shy. Post links on your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & Google+. You can even snag an image from your post and put it on Instagram or Pinterest. Join as many of these free social networking sites as you have patience for and blast away! Ask for likes, re-posts, shares, whatever the lingo is.
Check out sites like justretweet.com, where you can get other users to reTweet your Tweets by sharing their posts from your account.
There’s really no end to the ways you can use social media to promote your blog. It’s all about the amount of time you’re willing to invest in posting and connecting with other users.
4. Internal Linking
Who better to promote your new post than your old post? Believe it or not, internal linking does help you get indexed by Google. Find one of your past posts which has already gotten traffic and has been indexed and add a link to your new post. Something like,
“Over 40? Want To Learn How to Twerk? Check out my new post here!”
Linking to yourself gives the ol’ Google search spiders roads to travel on to get to the new post you’re trying to promote. 10 points if you can find a couple examples of internal linking in this very post!
5. Comments Away!
Go forth and comment! First make a list of the major influencers in your field. Then just take a few minutes every day to leave personalized comments on those key blogs. You can make sure you’re posting to popular blogs by checking the domain’s Page Rank (you can easily find it by nabbing the Chrome Page Rank plugin, which will display the number in the upper right hand corner of your browser).
A note about commenting: smart bloggers who closely monitor their site will probably remove comments that look like spam, so make your words personal, relevant and not all about YOUR new post. The key to commenting is making sure that your name hyperlinks to your site. It’s definitely cool to talk about your blog in the comment, but try to avoid coming across as a used-car salesman.
Commenting on other blogs is a 2-prong strategy. First, it increases your inbound links, which Google likes. Second, it increases the chances that other bloggers and their audience will read your post and share it. We recently commented on a post that was similar to one of ours and got 63 visits to our new post that day alone. Wowza!
6. Lights, Camera, YouTube!
YouTube (and other free video-hosting sites like Vimeo) is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, did you know YouTube garners more searches every day than Bing & Yahoo, combined? Use the force!
When you Google a topic, you’ll notice that video links are often some of the first to pop up. Posting a video gets you indexed with the almighty G, which puts you in the forefront of user searches.
You’ve got a couple of options of how to use video. You can treat it like a teaser by giving a few golden nuggets from your post and telling readers to click on the link to your blog for more awesome info.
Alternatively, you can blog in the form of video, or vlog, as the kids are saying. Now, don’t sit in front of a white wall and read off a paper like a 4th grader giving her first class presentation. Speak naturally in an engaging manner to communicate your command of the subject.
Another cool tool is the screen cast, which allows you to create videos that capture your actions on a computer screen along with your voice. This is a great option for those ubiquitous “How To” videos where you might walk a user through a complex website or software program.
There are several screencast programs, most of which are free to use. Our favorite free option is Jing. If you’re hungry for more features, you can pay to use Camtasia.
Not only does posting videos put you in front of more users, but it also allows other bloggers to embed your video on their site, ultimately giving you more exposure (and links).
The holy grail of video-posting is getting your video to go viral. If you’ve got a great idea for a video, which you know will inspire mass shares, by all means, make that video, share it like your life depends on it and pray to the all-powerful YouTube gods.
7. Forum Fodder
Take social media promotion a step further by becoming an active member of industry forums. You are a wealth of golden information for your community. Share that info by helping forum users with questions tips & tricks. Also be sure that your website link is a part of your forum signature. Forum users will certainly be appreciative of your help and visit your links.
I’ve been a part of SEO & Web Design forums like WarriorForum.com for years and have been able to help hundreds of users. Some, even became new clients. Go figure
Overall, there’s no exact recipe for how to promote your blog, and no substitute for real interaction. Rather, it’s a cocktail you mix to your liking. You can decide how to build buzz for your new post using any combination of our suggestions.
It really depends on you, your business and your personal style. If you have a huge following on Facebook, squeeze that lemon till it’s dry. Are you a smoking hot blogger with charm to spare? Take up video blogging in the vlog-o-sphere, you gorgeous creature.
However you decide to do it, just make sure you do it. The saddest thing in the world (besides an orphaned baby elephant) is your magnificent blog sitting out there on the web, belting out, “All By Myself,” and staring at the empty comment section, praying for a little action.