So, you’ve started using the techniques described in our previous post – from pinging to guest posting and a comments field – and have made some important strides toward improving your company’s outreach. However, you’re still not getting the awesome results for which you hoped.
This second set of seven more ways to promote your blog posts gets more granular about the tactics you and your business can take to improve the state of your blog. Most of these steps focus on the behind-the-scenes strategies that will force you to do some thinking and planning to get more concrete results.
The good news: Doing your homework before writing the first sentence of your first blog post by incorporating these steps into your process is like creating a roadmap that shows you the way ahead, and prevents you from getting lost in the process.
1. The first thing you should do before writing a single word: Learn whom your audience is by devoting time to do the proper research. For instance, what makes your expertise and experiences richer, different and worth sharing on the Internet?
Get to know your competition. What bloggers occupy the space you want to write about? After identifying a handful of key influencers, spend some quality time reviewing the pain-point issues they write about regularly. Do their topics and target audiences mirror the subjects and people you want to reach?
2. Are you reminding your always growing list of email subscribers (you do have one, don’t you?) every time you post a new blog? Promoting your blog is as simple as signing up for an auto-responder account (MailChimp, ListWire and AWeber are very affordable options) and start emailing. You can also use this email list for promoting your products, both new and old.
Be sure to include an opt-in form on your blog where people can sign up to receive your posts via email.
3. In the process of promoting your blog, have you forgotten to develop rich content that makes people want to share it in the first place? In this post-Google Penguin era, strategies that attracted eyeballs to site your blog site via SEO link-building – many of them on the shady side – no longer work.
Some call it the fine art of Being Generous, an innate quality many social media folks have to help themselves by recognizing opportunities to help others out. This can be as simple as sharing a link from a blog post, page, or image that inspired you to write quality content worth sharing with others.
4. An important part of promoting your blog is extending yourself beyond the social media icons imbedded at the bottom of each blog post and actually participating on social media channels that best promote your blog.
If you don’t have a good idea which social media outlets will work best for you, go back to your research for guidance. Make sure to scope out what your competition is doing on their Facebook pages.
5. Have you formulated an editorial calendar that collects the ideas percolating in your head and helps you schedule them? Populating a spreadsheet with data and dates seems to be the easy way to collect and monitor ideas and schedules, but the loading of material can quickly become a cumbersome chore and intimidating for some people.
If your blog is WordPress-based, a simple Editorial Calendar plugin incorporates drag-and-drop functionality that will make scheduling a breeze. However, if you’re working with a group or at an agency, DivvyHQ may a good option, particularly if you’re working with a group of people to populate more than one blog.
6. Did you include a call-to-action in every blog post? Conclude a killer blog post with a call-to-action button linked to a value-added freebie – white paper, webinar invitation or ebook – featured on an attractive landing page to build more buzz around your blog and products.
7. Taking a page from the late management consultant, educator and author Peter Drucker, his famous saying, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” matters, even in the blog world.
How can you judge the effectiveness of your blog or who’s reading it, if you can’t measure the results? Setting up UTM tracking codes, custom tracking parameters that report bits of information about how referral traffic is interacting with your calls to action to Google Analytics, will help greatly.