Step 6: Marketing You Blog
There's not much point in blogging if there is no one to read it right? You may as well just keep a journal. So we need to do something about it. No don't think that marketing is a dirty word…it's a necessary step that will take your blog from obscurity and place it in front of the very people you are trying to engage with.
This is an obvious place to start. Social media has grown at such a rapid rate over the last decade that we now get our news quicker from our “feed” than we do the television or radio. It's no wonder it's so popular, it's where all of our friends and family hang out and not to mention those cute cat pictures…I digress.
The average Facebook user spends 50-minutes per day (source) on their platform. It is a great way to reach your potential audience and get would out about your blog. You can also create a Facebook “Page” which is similar to your personal profile but for your blog. This will allow you to advertise and/or publish your blogs content to that page which can then be found by people interested in your topic.
Twitter is one of those platforms that works great for some niches and not so great for others. For blogging and marketing, it's great, for a food blog, not so much. This is because a Food Blog is very visual and despite twitter now allowing images to be attached to your 140 characters it is still very limited.
That said you should always create an account and test it out. If nothing else, by publishing your new post on the platform, each piece you write will get a backlink and some potential traffic over to your site.
Now when we are talking ‘visual' niches, Pinterest is your go-to social media platform. With over 80% of its userbase being Female, if what your writing would appeal to Women then you need to be on Pinterest.
That's not to say men's topics don't do well on Pinterest, they can and do. From Beards to Guns, Motorbikes to DIY. There are so many great boards on Pinterest, just check it out and I guarantee you will find something that interests you.
This is another platform that does well with some topics, more so than others. It is great to get your content onto a Google Plus page as it helps to build author credibility and as with all of the above, you get a backlink to each piece of content you share.
Good in front of the camera? You should get on YouTube…it's the 2nd largest search engine, behind Google…and did you know it's now actually owned by Google?
If your topic is visual and your readers/views would benefit from a video then this is the place to be. You can even earn money by allowing ads to play at the start of your videos…some people earn a lot of money doing this.
You can create YouTube Channel via your Google Plus page.
Whatever you like to do in your spare time, chances are that someone somewhere has created a forum for everyone who's into that specific thing to gather together and talk about it.
You can join these forums and get involved talking about what you love and from time to time mention your blog. Don't over do it but if you can help someone then it makes sense. Also, many forums allow a ‘signature' which is placed under each forum post you make, which we can use to showcase your blog.
Visit any other blog in your niche and you will find at the bottom of each article a change to make a comment. This is to continue the discussion and add helpful tips and advice. You can also use this to market your blog in a non-spammy way.
In the image above we have added 4 pieces of information:
- Our Name
- Our Email
- Our blogs URL
- Our comment
When we submit this comment, our name will appear as the person who made the comment, in this case, John Doe. Also, this name will be a backlink to http://problogbuilders.com like so – John Doe
Doing this on related blogs in your field will do 2 things:
- People will read your comments and if they find it helpful/entertaining they will click over to your blog
- The search engines such as Google will recognize this as a backlink for your blog (which is kind of a vote of confidence in their eyes and this helps with ranking in their search results)
Building An Email List
One way to ensure you get returning visitors back to your blog is to start an email list. This is a list of email address from people who have decided to “Sign Up” to get updates from you or for a freebie you offer.
In the industry this is known as a “Lead Magnet”, essentially you offer, say “10 Ways You Can Do X” in exchange for their email address, we call this an Opt-In. The more opt-ins you get the larger your list and each time you send out an email to your list a portion of those (typically 20-40% will click over to read your latest blog post or perform whatever action you have asked of them.
Again, we have software to help us with this task which makes it a breeze.
- ConvertKit – The latest and easiest email marketing tool for bloggers. You get unlimited everything and 30-day refund option.
- GetResponse – I have used this tool extensively. They offer a free 30-Day Trial and I use this software on this very site
- MailChimp – Good for beginners as they offer your first 2,000 email subscribers for free
This is one tactic that can explode your blogs growth and is one I have used for the last few years. Guest Blogging is where you find other related blogs in your niche, build a relationship with the owner and offer to write a blog post for them that they will publish on their blog.
You may think that's strange, why would you waste your time doing that right? We'll here's why…
Inside of your blog post, you will also place a link (or 2) that point to certain pages of your own blog. Now, when your article is live, the readers of your new friends blog will see what you have to say and also pay a visit to your own blog. Which, when used in conjunction with growing an email list discussed above, is the perfect recipe for growing your blog to 10-20k visitors per month in a matter of just a few months.