How To Promote Blog Posts updated Dec. 2018
There are some who suggest that when you’re comparing your time spent writing blog posts with your time spent promoting blog posts, it should be an 80/20 ratio, with the bulk of your time spent getting that post out in front of more and more people.
Honestly, I don’t subscribe to that.
While there is a long list of promotional techniques that I use, and even more that I don’t personally employ, the actual time spent is typically 1/2 to 1/3 that of the actual writing.
In other words, I focus more on creating great content than trying to promote it.
Yet if you do some searches or ask some people, you’ll see me and my content everywhere. Why is that?
It’s because I’m thorough. It’s not enough for me to share to the top three or four social networks. I need to share to many, many social networks and social directories, and I need to re-share that content as often as my audience and the platform accepts.
And I employ a variety of tools and techniques to make sure my best content continues to resurface to new readers and followers.
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I wrote about how to promote blog posts a few years ago and it’s been one of my most popular posts. I’ve edited and updated it, but felt it was time to give the topic a new post and new format and and even more thorough explanation. I’ll be including my own techniques just as before, but updated with current potential (the date in the upper right of this article is when my blog promotion techniques here were last reviewed and updated, so you know it’s current). And I’ll also include a number of additional platforms to share to that I might not personally but might make sense for you, as well as techniques that I’m using to promote blog posts beyond social media sharing.
(If you haven’t yet learned how to start your blog, begin here.)
Note that while this blog post and resource is presented as an article, it’s written as a course for you to follow, complete with Prerequisites and necessary Lab Equipment. 😉
We will cover:
- Welcome to How To Promote Your Blog 101
- How To Promote Your Blog 101 – Prerequisites
- How To Promote Your Blog 101 – Lab Equipment Needed
- How To Promote Blog Posts Like Mike Allton
- Other Blog Post Promotion Techniques and Platforms
- Paid Blog Promotion
- Influencer Marketing
- Repurposing Blog Posts
- Syndicating Blog Posts
- Blog Post Promotion Checklist
Welcome To How To Promote Your Blog 101
In this course on How To Promote Blog Posts we will be examining the various tools and techniques used to promote blog articles, and indeed, the entire blog itself, to interested readers using a variety of available mediums. We call this Blog Promotionology.
blog – A website that displays content by one or more individuals in chronological order and usually has links to comments on specific postings.
pro·mo·tion – Support or encouragement of the progress, growth, or acceptance of something; furtherance.
ol·o·gy – A branch of learning.
Blog Pro·mo·tion·ol·o·gy – The study of the furtherance of website content.
How To Promote Your Blog 101 is intended for individuals interested in achieving the maximum reach for their blog and business, and is therefore applicable to both casual bloggers and business blogs that are part of an overarching Content Marketing strategy… and everything in between.
How To Promote Your Blog 101 Learning Objectives: This course is designed to meet the objectives of the Blogging Brute blogging requirement:
“As content marketing comes to play an increasingly important role in contemporary business strategy, it is essential for all educated bloggers to have a fundamental understanding of the art and science behind blog promotion. All blogging students should be familiar with multiple blog promotion disciplines and the role that blogging plays within content marketing. Such familiarity may be gained through acquisition of knowledge of a discipline’s basic vocabulary, chief techniques, and fundamental principles; exposure to a discipline’s experimental techniques; and the ability to analyze activity with scientific dimensions.”
You should be able to explain the Four Big Ideas behind proper blog promotion
- Preparation: Making sure that your blog, and each individual article, is ideally suited to be promoted and shared.
- Social Media: Understanding the principles behind social networking and how that applies to blog promotion, as well as the tools and platforms involved.
- Email: Developing an engaged subscriber community who remains interested in reading your latest articles.
- Monitoring & Optimization: Paying attention to the long-term performance of individual articles and looking for opportunities to improve and leverage that performance.
You should also be proficient in the following scientific blog promotion practices:
- Blog Post Optimization
- Hashtag Utilization
- Analytics Interpretation
Once you have mastered How To Promote Your Blog 101, you will be ready to proceed to more advanced topics and workshops.
How To Promote Your Blog 101 – Prerequisites
It’s one thing to talk about sharing your post to Facebook or Twitter, it’s another thing to talk about what makes that share ideal, and what might encourage other people to share your posts. To me, that means that there’s some groundwork that needs to be done to optimize your blog overall for sharing.
01. XML Sitemap
I mentioned this in my original post, and it continues to be true today. Your blog must have an XML Sitemap that automatically updates and pings Google and Bing when there’s new content. It’s critical that search engines spider and index your new content as soon as possible to help drive organic traffic.
02. RSS Feed
RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a way that others can see that you’ve published new content. Chances are, your site already offers an RSS Feed for your blog posts, but are you offering your readers an easy way to find it?
Typically, that just means using an RSS Feed icon someplace, perhaps near your social media profile icons, so that if someone’s interested, they can subscribe to your feed.
But there’s another great benefit to using and offering an RSS Feed to your readers that’s actually becoming more popular than subscribers. And that’s social sharing and curating.
With tools like Agorapulse and so on, businesses and bloggers can now find great blogs and sources of information and plug in their RSS Feeds to see the latest posts. They may pull the posts into a stream for sharing consideration, or if they really like your posts, they may set it up to automatically tweet out your latest posts.
I’ve been fortunate to have a couple dozen wonderful bloggers set up my RSS Feed in their twitterfeed so it gets shared automatically. And in a moment, we’re going to talk about an even better utilization of RSS. So make sure it’s on and accessible!
03. Rich Pins & Twitter Cards
If you’ve ever shared a link to Facebook or Google+, you’re familiar with the link preview that appears, automatically pulling the linked article’s title and description, and even an image if there is one.
Rich Pins and Twitter Cards are similar.
With Rich Pins enabled, any time one of your blog posts is pinned to Pinterest, the title of your site and a description of the post is displayed along with the image. Like this:
To use Rich Pins you will need to activate some Meta Tags for each of your posts and get your site verified by Pinterest. Here are detailed instructions.
Similarly, with Twitter Cards enabled, your tweets will gain a link preview just like Facebook shares. The card appears anytime someone clicks to expand a tweet, so it’s not visible in the stream. But when viewed, Twitter users gain additional information about your content, well beyond what you can include within the normal 140 characters.
You will need to enable Twitter-specific meta tags and get your site verified there as well.
I think it’s well worth the time to enable Twitter Cards, though most will find that attaching an image to a tweet results in higher visibility and engagement than just tweeting a link and relying on the Twitter Card.
04. Great Image
This is a rule. You cannot break or bend it. Every blog post MUST have a great image associated with it. Certainly, “great” is a relative term, but the idea here is that you have an image above or very near the top of your blog post that helps communicate what your blog post is about. It should be an interesting, related, thoughtful image. And it should have text, at least the title of the post. Ideally, the styling of the image and some of the content of the image will be consistent and branded.
Look at this blog post’s image as an example.
I have a very specific style that I’ve developed over the years for my blog post images that incorporates my blog colors, fonts and graphics. I always use a screenshot or compelling background image for the graphic, with a colored overlay filter and text that describes what the post is about. My images are branded and informative. Are they the best blog images out there? No, but I’m OK with that. I use these as an example because I am not a graphic designer, so if I can create images like this using Canva, so can you. For examples of incredible branding and imagery, check out Manly Pinterest Tips or Dustin W. Stout or Rebekah Radice.
05. Social Sharing Icons
If you don’t yet have a good-looking and high-performing set of social icons on your blog posts, stop what you’re doing and add a set immediately.
Social sharing icons don’t just make it easier for your readers to share your content, they encourage it. The existence of the icons is a reminder and a prompt to spread your post to their audience, which is essentially crowdsourced blog promotion.
But wait, there’s more.
If you include top-notch social sharing icons with share counts, those share counts serve as social proof. When someone sees a brand-new post that already has a bunch of shares, that helps verify in their mind that the content is good and deserves to be further shared.
Now, there’s some debate over which social platforms you should include. Many publishers only have Twitter and Facebook icons. Some marketers will say it’s good to only have two choices, but that those choices should be limited to the two platforms that best fit your target audience. While others prefer more choices. That’s something you should test extensively yourself.
Personally, due to my topics and audience, I prefer to offer all of the major social networks plus an “other” option that lists many, many other networks.
Depending on the platform of your blog, you may have built-in social sharing options, or you may need to add a third-party widget. My original blog was on Drupal so I used Shareaholic. I liked the great configuration options they have, including the ability to have multiple social sharing icon locations. I have sharing icons above my content, below my content, and floating to the left. And all of the buttons are customizable to match my blog’s style and colors.
If you’re on WordPress, like Blogging Brute, my top recommendation is the Social Warfare Plugin [affiliate link]. It’s inexpensive to add and has a gorgeous set of icon choices. And most importantly, the plugin supports current best practices with regard to social sharing, like the social proof I just mentioned, or advanced features like dedicated images for platforms like Pinterest.
06. Multiple Images
Speaking of images and Pinterest, another area where you can improve the sharing and promotion of your blog and blog posts is to use multiple images per blog post. Generally, you’d have just one “branded” primary image for the blog that appears at the top, but throughout the blog copy, you might include screenshots, quote graphics, memes, graphs, diagrams, and so on.
When you include additional images, not only do they help to break up the text and explain your points, those are also very specific items that can be shared individually. You can pin a blog post a bunch of times if you have different images to pin each time, and so can your audience.
Infographic snippet by MDG Advertising
Pinning additional images is fun, but what works extremely well for Twitter is to share quotes. The quotes may be famous quotes related to your topic, or perhaps quotes from you personally! What sets both apart from your regular text, and is a subtle indicator to share, is to actually format them differently.
“In quoting others, we cite ourselves.” ― Julio Cortázar
By putting the quote on a new line and adding some basic formatting, it stands out. If it’s a powerful quote, some of your readers might choose to highlight it and share it to social media.
08. Click To Tweet Quotes
To take that idea to the next level, make those quotes clickable and tweetable. Using Click To Tweet, you can add a link on or after any quote or bit of text so that, when clicked, the reader has a new Tweet window opened, pre-populated with that text for a tweet, along with a link to the post.
It doesn’t take long to add a Click To Tweet link to a post – you just need to make sure that your quoted text is about 110 characters or less, to allow room for a shortened link back to your post itself. For a more detailed explanation of how to create tweetable links, click here.
Depending on the length and topic of your blog post, you should probably limit yourself to no more than two Click To Tweets per post. By the third or fourth one, generally, the actual usage of the links drops dramatically.
09. Mobile Friendly
Shifting gears for a moment, let’s talk about a topic that, at the moment, may seem inappropriate coming from me. And that is mobile friendliness.
This needs to be an important decision. You need to evaluate where your traffic is coming from, and whether it’s likely that your target audience might be consuming content like yours on mobile devices.
Presenting your content in a way that’s easily readable no matter what device your readers are using is a requirement for encouraging readers to stick with you, sign up for your mailing list, and of course, be willing to share your content further.
10. Easily Readable and Scannable
Along those same lines, there are things you can do to the content itself to make easier to read and scan, like using short paragraphs of just one to two sentences, bullet points, and so on.
Make sure that your blog theme uses a highly readable font, and avoid overusing bold or colors. While a dark grey font on a light grey background might seem contemporary, it’s actually a strain to read, and it’s important that your readers are focused on the points you’re trying to make.
When it comes to making content ‘scannable’ – that refers to allowing a reader to quickly sift through your articles and glean what they’re about. Some people are looking for a particular piece of information, while others want to get the gist of your post before taking the time to read in more depth.
You should employ section Headings to break up your article into logical pieces. Typically, that means using a Heading 2 (H2) or Heading 3 (H3) style on a title for each section, as I’ve done within this article.
And for longer articles like this one, it’s a great idea to employ a Table of Contents (ToC) that tells the reader up front the topics you’re going to be talking about. If you know how to insert HTML anchors and link the Table of Contents items, that’s good, but not a requirement.
While many of my articles will develop as I write them, it’s not uncommon to start with an outline of points or topics to discuss, and that outline is usually what needs to be used as section heads and perhaps a ToC.
Weaving these techniques into your writing will make it far easier for your readers to digest what you’re talking about and appreciate it. And all of that will lead to further sharing and promoting of your work.
11. Provides Real Value and Information
Of course, none of that matters if your articles aren’t providing real information and value. The more you’re able to pinpoint specific problems and challenges that your readers face, and help them to overcome those problems, the more popular and trafficked your blog posts will be.
But here’s the thing. Many will just say that to have a great blog you need to write great content. And while that’s true, this idea of “great content” and what it takes to create it is often left vague.
You can write articles that are profound but I think most of us might find it challenging to be asked to create something profound on command, right? And frankly, it’s far harder to establish an audience using this kind of content. Ted Rubin and Seth Godin can publish incredible and motivational pieces, but they have established audience.
You can write articles that are personal, and of course that’s where blogging got its start – as a kind of personal journal published online. But here again, it’s going to be hard to build up that audience unless you already have an established audience offline.
Or, you can write articles that are practical – posts that provide information and insights that people can actually use. This is clearly my preferred style of blogging.
When you answer people’s questions or teach them about something they didn’t know about before, they’re appreciative. When I told people about Facebook Authorship, something they hadn’t even heard of, let alone understand, they loved it! It’s been my most popular post and topic this year. (Incidentally, if you haven’t yet, take ten minutes to set up Facebook Authorship for your site. It, too, will help with branding and blog promotion.)
My point is, while it might be fun sometimes to try to be motivational, or to share some personal stories, you may find that those posts are far less popular, and therefore shared less, than your helpful and informational posts.
12. Start Collecting Email Addresses Today
We’re going to talk more about why this is so important later on, but suffice to say, you need to make sure that every visitor that every comes to your site has the option to sign up for your email list. The more compelling you can make that offer, the better.
What works incredibly well for blogs is to create a great piece of content (like a PDF Checklist, perhaps?) that compliments an article or post, and then offer that download for free in exchange for an email address.
Other options include eBooks, email courses, private communities, access to a knowledge base, templates and other digital resources. The key is to be creative, and offer something that is very valuable and which tells you something about the person downloading it.
How To Promote Your Blog 101 – Lab Equipment Needed
There are quite a few tools that I’ve already mentioned, and others that I’ll be talking about momentarily. While you may not need those tools specifically to get the job done, it’s worth taking a moment to introduce them and review what they do, what some alternatives might be, and so on.
If you’re already comfortable with your Blog Promotion Toolbox, feel free to skip on down to “How To Promote Blog Posts Like Mike Allton” for the play-by-play.
AgoraPulse is an excellent social media management tool which will empower you to remain active on multiple social channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn. If you haven’t already, please consider using my affiliate link to sign up for a Free 15-Day Trial of AgoraPulse, after which it’s just $39 per month.
The benefit behind Tailwind [affiliate link] is that as your blog content accumulates, you’ll have more and more posts that are evergreen and can be shared over and over to Pinterest. You can then pin those posts to multiple boards, over time.
AgoraPulse also offers the ability to set up queues to schedule content for the other networks.
As a self-professed non-designer, Canva is my #1 choice for graphic creation. You can use a free account, or consider a Canva for Work account if you want to make use of saved styling, templates, and other features. For each blog image that you create, you can download it for free, and use a variety of templates and graphical elements. Some elements and stock photography are a one-time $1 fee to use, making it extremely affordable to create professional-looking images.
PicMonkey and of course PhotoShop are great alternatives.
04. Email Marketing
I use Wishpond and like recommending it, particularly for new bloggers. In addition to excellent email capability, Wishpond also offers complete solutions for pop-ups, landing pages, and other promotional campaigns,
05. Video Repurposing
If you want to leverage YouTube and other platforms that support video, a great technique is to use a tool to automatically convert your blog posts into video! Content Samurai is an excellent choice for this purpose.
06. Social Media Planner
A big part of your blog promotion is going to be social media marketing and, if you’re going to leverage more than one channel, and share more than one post, you’re going to need a plan.
The Social Media Planner is the perfect resource to help you sort out what you’re going to share to all of your channels and make sure that your blog promotion fits into a larger social media marketing plan.
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s talk about what happens each time you publish a new blog post.
How To Promote Blog Posts Like Mike Allton
Let me just be clear for a moment: I do not consider myself the best or greatest blogger. I have titled this section “Like Mike Allton” just to make it clear, this is how I promote my blog posts. If you want to skip down to the full How To Promote Blog Posts Checklist, feel free! This is just my list and my explanation for where/why for each technique.
This is what I do for virtually every new blog post.
Immediately Upon Publishing
00. Clear Cache, Run Cron, Debug
This is section 00 because it may not apply to you. As mentioned, my old blog platform was Drupal. I have it tweaked to run at a very high performance level, and part of that means storing content and settings in server memory (cache) for faster loading. When I publish a new blog post, it’s always a good idea to “Clear Cache” to force the site and server to refresh everything and ensure the most up to date content and images are being displayed.
Earlier I mentioned the importance of using an XML Sitemap. Within my site, my sitemap will automatically update and notify Google when there is new or changed content, but that only happens on a periodic basis. When I have a new blog post, I like to let Google know right away, and so I force that update by running a Cron Job.
And perhaps due to my caching, or perhaps something else, whenever I have a new blog post, Facebook struggles a bit to display the correct image and article information within shares (link previews). But that’s easily fixed by going to the Facebook Debug tool, pasting in the URL for my new blog post, and scraping it a few times until the display is perfect.
I do these three things before sharing the article out.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the sharing!
01. Share to Pinterest
Pinterest is my first destination. Due to the format of the Pinterest stream, tall, profile images stand out best. If I think there will be sufficient interest from my Pinterest audience in a topic I’ve written about, I’ll take a little extra time to create a taller graphic just for pinning. Now that Canva for Work has added the ability to resize my blog graphics, this is becoming far easier.
If I have an image just for Pinterest, I’ll go to www.pinterest.com and add the image there manually, typing in a description, selecting a board, and then editing it after pinning to paste in the blog URL.
If not, I’ll use the Pinterest button on the blog itself to pin the blog image. (If you’re using Social Warfare, you can upload and specify a Pinterest-specific image to the actual blog post, which means that both you and anyone else who chooses to pin the blog post will be able to pin the larger image. Alas, Shareaholic has no such option yet.)
02. Share to Google+, personal profile
Google+ used to be my most important profile, but clearly that’s no longer the case. From now until the network closes down in 2019, I will continue to share posts there, but with little expectation.
03. Share to Twitter, personal profile
Next, I share my first tweet of the new post. I usually tweet the post title here, the default when using one of the social sharing buttons, and will include the 2 – 3 hashtags I’ve selected for this post.
Since I’m using Twitter Cards, my expanded tweets include my blog image and description. However, it’s still important to share an image with some of your tweets, particularly for new content. So either with the first tweet or with one of the successive tweets, I’ll make sure I’m including some images. More on that in a moment.
If there’s someone prominently mentioned or featured in the post, I may @mention them here.
04. Share to Facebook, personal profile
While I tend to use Facebook for personal connections and interests, I do have a number of great friends who are peers and colleagues.
I use the Facebook button in the social sharing icons. I then add a meaningful commentary or introduction. Generally, this isn’t just a copy and paste of the opening text from the blog post. Rather, it’s a thoughtful explanation and teaser for the post that gets people interested in it and talking about it. Sometimes, these commentaries result in ‘mini-blog posts’ themselves. It can be just a couple sentences to several paragraphs.
If I have quoted or referred to anyone within the post, I will usually mention them here.
I double-check that the Who Should See This field is set to Public. Remember that whenever you share a post or link to Facebook, you can limit the visibility. However, whatever you choose then becomes your default visibility for the next post… until you choose something different. It’s a nice way to make sure that your personal posts are somewhat restricted, but it’s also an easy way to accidentally lose out on some audience, so check it before sharing.
Hit Share Link.
05. Share to Facebook Groups
Depending on the topic of the post, there may be any number of Facebook Groups appropriate to share it to.
Now, I only share posts to Groups that I’m a member of, and only if A) the post topic relates to the Group topic, and B) sharing links is permisable by the Group.
You can use the Facebook share icon to choose a Group to share to, but here’s an easier method:
- Open Facebook.com
- Look for Groups in your left sidebar and click on More to bring up a full list.
- Right-click the name of a Group you want to share to and open in a new tab.
- Use your pre-written introduction or something more appropriate for Facebook Groups.
- Add the full URL for your blog post at the end.
- Copy the new introduction and the URL.
- Click on Share to post your update.
You can now close that tab, open the next Group in a new tab, and paste in your update. I am a member of a bunch of blogging and blog promotion Groups, so there are usually a dozen or more places I can share a new post.
06. Share to LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups
The default selection when sharing to LinkedIn is a public update to your personal profile. I’ll typically add my pre-written commentary, without the title and hashtags. However, LinkedIn does limit status updates to 600 characters, so you may have to trim your intro a bit.
Next, go to the Groups section and enter one or more Groups in which you are a member. Just as with Facebook, you will need to make sure that you’re sharing content appropriate for each Group, and that the Group accepts linked posts. And, as with Facebook, you may want to tweak your introduction to be even more customized for LinkedIn and focused on starting a discussion.
PRO TIP: Review your LinkedIn Group membership routinely. If you are not sharing content to a group and are not participating in discussions, you should consider leaving that group and replacing it one that has more value to you.
I often ask a question or start a little debate, offering my linked article as more information on my own position. As with any social share, it’s important to be offering value, and to be participating in a way that’s appropriate for the venue.
In addition to Blogging, SEO and Social Media topical Groups, I also belong to local St. Louis groups for networking opportunities.
07. Use Agorapulse to Share to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, company profiles
Personally, I have “Mike Allton” profiles on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Twitter, but I also have branded accounts for my other blog, The Social Media Hat. But because I’m focused more on my personal brand, particularly on Facebook, my company profiles are mostly for sharing and broadcasting new and evergreen content.
I will usually use Agorapulse to queue simple shares of the new blog post to my company profiles.
I will also use Tailwind at this point to pin my new post to multiple boards, as well as share with my Tailwind Tribes.
08. Share to Reddit, Digg, Google Bookmarks, and Others
Remember earlier when I mentioned the Other button within the social sharing icons? This is where that comes into play. Within the Other button you will find dozens and dozens of other social networks and social bookmarking sites.
Bloggers should take the time to explore all of these options. While these will almost certainly represent third tier networks, there may be a few that you can share to regularly and get a nice residual amount of traffic coming in.
Personally, I continue to share new posts to Reddit, Digg, and Google Bookmarks. The traffic has never been great, but it takes just a few seconds to click Other, select Reddit, and complete the share.
This is a section that you should expect to change over time. Some services will stop allowing links to be shared, or just go away, while new ones will pop up. I used to share to StumbleUpon, Delicious, Orkut, Bebo, Posterous, Quora, MySpace, Viadeo and more, but have phased them all out over time for one reason or another.
09. Share to Scoop.it
Scoop.it is first and foremost a tool for curating content. But, when you create a Scoop.it topic and begin to save content to it, if you do a good job you’ll gain followers. So I make it a point to share all my new posts to my Content Marketing topic.
For that, I have the Scoop.it bookmarklet installed so it’s a click of a button to save my post. And, like other social networks, there’s a place to add your pre-written commentary.
While saving to Scoop.it, you can also choose to share to other social networks. While I don’t need that for my new blog posts, I do take advantage of the options when curating blog posts from Content Marketing Institute, Copyblogger, Problogger and others.
10. Share to BizSugar
BizSugar is what I might call a Content Aggregator site, and there are many out there like it. BizSugar specifically is focused on Content Marketing, allowing members to share their latest posts and articles.
BizSugar has a small but avid number of content consumers and continues to generate small amounts of traffic. Just as with the third tier networks above, it’s worthwhile to spend 30 seconds adding your content to BizSugar if the topics match.
11. Create an Empire Avenue Mission for Engagement
Empire Avenue, if you haven’t used it, is a gamified social network. Members represent themselves as businesses and invest in other members. Share values go up in response to those investments, as well as a member’s social media connectivity.
One fun aspect of Empire Avenue is the missions, where you can task other members to go do something for you. While it’s not intended to be used to artificially inflate social signals, it is a great way to get a few more eyeballs on your content.
I will typically run a mission that asks members to check out my latest blog post. What they do from there is up to them, but many will leave comments and share to social networks, further promoting the content.
You can refer to my guide on running Empire Avenue missions if you’re interested in exploring this promotional method.
12. Utilize Viral Content Bee
Viral Content Bee is a “Reciprocal Sharing” network. Members earn points by retweeting other member’s tweets, and use those points to promote their own tweets.
I use their bookmarklet to automatically pull in my new blog post information. I typically offer 100-250 points and budget for 25-100 shares. This generates a nice amount of tweets and mentions, and a moderate amount of traffic.
13. Utilize Triberr
While it may be listed far down the promotional ladder, Triberr is really one of my most powerful blog promotion techniques.
And this is where my RSS Feed comes into play again.
With each new blog post, Triberr uses my RSS Feed to import it and share it in the feeds of my tribemates. You can join as many tribes as you want, and each tribe is focused on a particular topic so you’ll be joining tribes of similar bloggers.
That means every time I publish a new blog post, it is potentially shared by hundreds of other bloggers who all have audiences interested in the same kinds of articles.
Once my new post is live I log into Triberr and make sure that it has been imported. I also take that opportunity to find and share posts from my tribemates that my audience might be interested in.
For more information, read, “Super-charge your Blog Reach as a Triberr Power User.“
14. Ping the Blog
WordPress sites come with a utility that can automatically ping certain networks and directories when you have a new post. It’s similar to the XML Sitemap for Google in that it submits the latest URL.
But Drupal has no such utility so I started to use an iOS app called Blog Pingy. It pings 27 networks, but the most important ones are Yahoo and Technorati. This results, again, in very small amounts of traffic, but more links and visibility for your blog.
15. Share to Instagram
If your Instagram profile and audience favors the kind of content you’re creating on your blog, definitely take the time to create a square image for that network. You can transform your blog image into a square image within Canva, and then use Agorapulse to publish and schedule it out (make sure you’ve upgraded your Instagram profile to a business profile).
Your Instagram image caption should provide the same detailed and compelling description of the post, 20-30 relevant hashtags, and a call to action to tap the link in your Bio. Remember that you only have one link on Instagram – in your Bio. So make it to your blog home page or edit it to use a new article URL each time.
A nice option at this point is to the toggle the Flickr share option and post your Instagram graphic to your Flickr account. Ana Hoffman details the potential benefits of Flickr here.
16. Schedule Additional Tweets
Finally, it’s important to share that new blog post multiple times to Twitter and perhaps Pinterest.
My favorite technique is to highlight quotes or questions or good statements within the post and right mouse click. I can then select Share with Agorapulse because I have the Agorapulse browser extension installed. I can choose one of my Twitter profiles and queue multiple tweets the first and second days.
17. Schedule Additional Pins
At this point, I will use the Tailwind browser extension to call up a display of all images that can be found on the page – some of them are great for Pinterest and are associated with that content, while others might not be. Click any that you want to pin and now you can schedule them out.
The beauty of Tailwind is that for every pinnable image you can:
- share that pin with any Tailwind Tribes that you’re a member of,
- schedule multiple pins to however many of your boards make sense,
- schedule pins to any group boards that you’re a member of,
- and add the pin to any SmartLoops you’ve set up for recurring pins.
With Tailwind fired up, you can generate a tremendous amount of Pinterest activity, and this will result in longterm referral traffic to your content.
18. Schedule Future Shares
As I just mentioned, Agorapulse can be used to schedule additional tweets of your post, spreading those tweets out over the course of a day or a few days. Agorapulse can also be used to set up additional shares to other social profiles.
Personally, I use Agorapulse mostly for making sure that all of my social profiles have at least one evergreen article from my archive shared out each day. It’s therefore a great idea to continue to populate that by adding new content to my Agorapulse queue.
Now, this does take some sense of how many posts are in your queue, and whether the content you’re adding will still be relevant by the time it rolls around. You see, if you’re sharing 1 post per day to your Facebook Page and have 30 posts in your queue, your new content won’t be shared again for a month, as it will automatically go to the “end of the line” and be shared on Day 31 (unless you choose to “Queue Next” instead of last when setting it up initially).
If it’s evergreen content, or at least, you know it will still be relevant, that’s great. But if it’s “breaking news” that will likely have wained in interest in a month’s time, I’d skip this step. If it’s important enough to share again, use Agorapulse’s scheduling utility to actually pick a specific date and time. You can even have different schedules and frequencies of sharing set up for different profiles, and select how many times a post gets re-queued per network.
Later That Day or The Next Day
01. Email to Subscribers
While this may be one of the final steps in promoting a new blog post, it’s actually one of the most important! It just happens to be near the end of my personal timeline.
21% of all business bloggers send posts through a newsletter to their subscriber base at least weekly: 39% of best practitioners do this weekly. (Curata)
Your subscribers should have been building up over time. As each new post and article is published, more and more people should be finding you via social or search, and be interested enough in what you’re writing about to want to sign up to your email list.
Which means, of course, you’re building an audience of readers that want you to let them know when you’ve written something new.
Because I tend to publish 2 or more articles a week between The Social Media Hat, Blogging Brute, and other publications, I prefer to send an email newsletter approximately every week, containing images, summaries and links to everything I’ve written since the last time I sent an email.
Within Wishpond, I’ve taken the time to customize the appearance of my emails to closely resemble my website so that there’s consistent branding and style. Each time I’m ready to send a new message, I…
- Start a new Campaign
- Select my List
- Use my saved template
I also try to include an introduction that typically is a short blog post of it’s own… some information of interest or value which makes my newsletter unique and special for my subscribers.
So every time I publish a new post, I think about when my last email campaign was and what I’ve published since then, and begin thinking about when that next email campaign will be.
I used to automate the delivery of my latest content by using MailChimp’s RSS feed feature. However, you’re really limited to a single RSS feed, which means that if you’re publishing to multiple places like I am, you’d have to pick one. And of course with that level of automation you have no option to include any custom content.
You’ve likely heard about “Backlinks” which is in reference to other sites linking to your content. You may have also read about “Deep Links” which is when you link to other articles and content within your site in a blog post, giving readers an opportunity to go ‘deeper’ into your archives.
But have you ever heard of “Forwardlinking”? I’m guessing not.
It’s essentially the reverse of Deep Linking. When you have a new blog post, it’s likely to be on a topic that you’ve touched on in the past, in other blog posts. You may have even created some of those deep links to those posts within the content of the new post.
But in this step, what you’re going to do is go back and edit those old posts and insert links to the new posts. You might simply link some text that is on topic to the new post, or perhaps add a new sentence at the end of the old post that says, “For more information on this topic, please read…” with a linked title of your new blog post.
This is particularly true if, as in the case of this article, you’re publishing a new post that’s an update of an old post. Make sure there’s a link there… perhaps right at the top… so that visitors can head over to the new content.
Weeks, Sometimes Months, Later
Only time will tell how much interest there really is in a particular blog post. We all see an initial bump in traffic due to all of the promotional activity above, but the real measure of the success of a blog post depends on:
- How much more interest was there in this post initially as compared to your other posts?
- Have you noticed ranking and referral traffic from Google / Organic in your Google Analytics?
- Are there additional spikes in referral traffic due to other people sharing the post to social media?
You can determine all of this by logging into Google Analytics and navigating to Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages in the left side menu. This will call up a list of your site’s content that has received traffic during the given timeframe. You can edit the timeframe in the upper right corner (be sure to select a date range that starts with the date you published this blog post). Next, find this blog post’s URL in the reported list of content and select it. You’ll now see total traffic to this post since it was published.
If you add a Secondary Dimension of Source / Medium (by clicking on Secondary Dimension -> Acquisition -> Source / Medium as shown above), you will be able to see where that blog post’s traffic is coming from. You can check one or more boxes next to referral sources (up to 6 total) and click on Plot Rows to update the chart to include the pattern from those sources.
This is how you can determine if you’re starting to see more traffic from Google or other sources.
If you are, you can:
- Update & Optimize the post to further improve Google ranking and traffic.
- Schedule more social media shares, particularly to the networks where there is consistent interest.
- Keep the post in mind when writing new blog posts and look for opportunities to link back to it.
This is something to keep a close eye on. Sometimes content that wasn’t a big deal to you ends up ranking very well, and these posts present terrific opportunities to leverage traffic into leads or sales.
How To Promote Blog Posts Using Other Techniques and Platforms
While the above destination platforms and techniques are what I’ve found to work for me, those aren’t your only options! Depending on your industry, style and/or audience, you might have far more success than I do or did on other networks.
For instance, Quora is a vibrant community of users and a platform where many have found success promoting their content and the answers they’re providing. Perhaps my topics weren’t a good fit, or perhaps I just wasn’t using the platform in the best way (very likely!) – whatever the reason, it didn’t work for me, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try.
I will also be candid about the fact that I’m in St. Louis, U.S.A. and am therefore immersed in what some might call US-centric social networks. But the fact is, there are many social networks more popular in other countries and regions which you can and should consider, particularly if that’s where you’ll be able to reach your target audience.
Here are an assortment of additional options to consider:
- Blog Engage
Check out your regional social networks. You can also take a look at the “Other” button on most social sharing tools to see a long list of networks and platforms, some of which might be of interest to you.
If you know in advance that you’re going to publish a blog post the following day, you can tease it out to social media. Create a post that says just enough about what’s coming. People may comment or even sign up for updates. Then, when you publish the post, leave a final comment with a link on the teaser post.
Along the same lines, why not try taking advantage of the growing live video audiences and announce your new blog post on Facebook Live? Certainly it would need to be an important post or perhaps a newsjacking topic to be of interest. But you could talk about the topic, why you wrote it, and answer questions. Of course, being sure to tell people where to go to read the full post.
And don’t forget, one of the most powerful techniques for promoting a blog post is to provide a link to someone who is searching for exactly that information, at that exact time. This might be in:
- Comments from readers on your other blog posts
- Comments from readers on other people’s blog posts (but be careful with this one, as not everyone appreciates other authors dropping links in comments)
- Social Media discussions
- Emails and Phone calls with readers and prospects
These are common instances where I’ll see people talking about a topic and asking questions, and I’ve already written an article answering that question. In fact, one of the great ways to come up with new blog post ideas is to listen to these conversations and answer the questions in your articles. The questions will continue to come up, and you’ll be able to share a link to your blog post over and over. And each time, making a very positive impression.
How To Promote Blog Posts Using Paid Blog Promotion
Virtually all of the above promotional techniques were free, or very inexpensive. But one option to consider is Paid Promotion. This includes:
Social Media Advertising
- Facebook – Promoted Posts
- Twitter – Promoted Tweets
- LinkedIn – Sponsored Post
- Pinterest – Promoted Pins
- YouTube – Instream Ads
And as the networks develop, additional opportunities like advertising within Messenger or Stories are becoming more enticing as well.
- Newsletter Sponsorship
Of course this is far from a complete list, but if you’re interested in spending some money to get your content in front of a wider audience, this will get you started. In nearly every case, you will be working within the Pay-Per-Click model which means your content will be introduced to X people and you will pay X every time someone is interested enough to click through to the full article.
How much you’re able to leverage this option for blog promotion will depend largely on your budget and target audience.
One paid promotion option that I’ve been exploring recently with great success is called Quuu. The Quuu platform allows you to submit an article to a specific category (i.e. Social Media) and make it available for interested platform users to share to their networks. For them, it’s an easy way to find and curate relevant content. For you, it’s an easy way to get that content in front of an interested influencer and their audience. Submissions range in price depending on the category of choice, and can expect to get hundreds of shares and clicks. Give Quuu a try here.
How To Promote Blog Posts Using Influencer Marketing
One blog promotional technique that was never considered in my original post, and which you likely won’t see too often in other “How To Promote A Blog” articles either is “Influencer Marketing.”
Influencer Marketing refers to the deliberate identification of and engagement with influencers – experts with an audience – in your niche and industry. It is done with the idea that, if you engage with these influencers, they’ll be interested in engaging with you in return. That might be a conversation on a blog post or Google+ share, or it might be sharing and re-sharing of each other’s content.
But here’s the thing. If you go out and comment on blog posts or retweet a bunch of tweets simply in the home that some influencer will take note and reciprocate, you’re doing it wrong. There’s nothing wrong with those activities in and of themselves, and in fact, they’re a necessary beginning. But it’s the motive and goal that needs to be changed.
Rather than just trying to gain the attention of an influencer in the hope that they’ll grace you with a tweet, why not make the relationship the goal?
So in the short term, successful influencer marketing will lead to additional blog post shares and re-shares. But in the long term, be open to the opportunities that relationship building will bring. That might be collaboration, referrals, partnerships or, even better, friendship.
How To Promote Blog Posts Using Repurposing
One general technique with many options and platforms is the idea of repurposing a blog post.
Essentially, you take that initial written blog post and use it somewhere else, often turning it into a completely different medium, like audio or video.
I’ll be honest, this is not an area that I use extensively. The exception is when I start with a Live Video. That’s a video broadcast where you and potentially others can talk about a particular topic in a live setting. I hosted a very popular series once called “SiteSell Presents” that featured 4 topics and 12 amazing guests like Guy Kawasaki. Each was later repurposed in a variety of ways.
Each time you do a Live Video, it exists as video post that anyone can watch later, as well as giving you a video that you can download. From that, you can create a blog post, audio podcast, video snippets, quote graphics, and follow-up blog posts.
If you’re starting with a blog post, perhaps on a topic that has demonstrated extensive interest, you have a lot of options:
- Create a presentation and share to SlideShare
- Create a video and upload to YouTube, Facebook, Vine or Instagram
- Create an infograph and share to Visual.ly
- Create an audio recording and share to Soundcloud or iTunes
- Create a PDF Article from your blog post and share to article directories or use as a email list incentive
- Create a Webinar based on your article
Here’s a great example from my friend Stephanie Liu on how to turn a bit of video or even just audio into an Audiogram:
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other ways that creative bloggers have found to repurpose their content in other forms and for other audiences. If that’s you, feel free to leave some ideas in the Comments below!
How To Promote Blog Posts Using Syndication
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention syndication and its potential when it comes to promoting a blog post. When done right, it has the potential to greatly increase the number of people who read your content and learn about you or your brand.
But it’s not without risks.
The idea is that once you’ve published a blog post on your own site, at some point, that entire blog post will be republished on a different site. That other site has an audience of its own, so your content gets in front of different people – often more people than your own blog.
The problem is twofold.
First, the syndicated posts are not housed within your own site, and therefore lack the ability to directly warn you ad views or other sidebar benefits. Any ad revenue generated goes to the syndication site.
Second, and most importantly, it’s possible for syndicated content to rank higher than original content within search results. Sometimes completely replacing the original result.
That’s what happened to me, and my search engine traffic was pathetic until I stopped syndicating. However, it’s still a powerful promotional method, and there are ways to ensure that your original content is recognized by Google.
Now, there are a couple different ways that you can syndicate your content: Automatic and Manual.
Automatic is when a site like SocialMediaToday.com or Business2Community.com take your RSS feed and republish your new posts shortly after they’re available.
If you can be assured that the priority of your own original post is retained, automatic syndication to sites like those is fantastic.
Manual, on the other hand means that you or someone else (with permission) decides to reprint one of your articles.
One of the most common examples I see is when a blogger takes one of their existing articles and reprints it on Facebook Notes or LinkedIn or Medium (as I’ve done from time to time).
While I won’t go into depth here about the pros and cons, or methods for such reprints, I will issue caution. Generally, such platforms are better used as outposts where you routinely publish unique content, rather than reprinting content your audience likely read already.
And with that, we’ve covered all of the currently available blog promotion techniques.
That’s been a lot to take in. Rest assured that learning and implementing all of these techniques will take longer than the actual day-to-day promotion. As I mentioned in the beginning, I really do spend just 30 minutes on average to promote a single post.
Of course, that requires an easy way for you remember and work through each of these techniques.
How To Promote Your Blog Checklist
What I’ve done for you is put together a PDF Checklist that combines all of the above techniques into a streamlined checklist. There’ll be a section for items to check off once (laying the groundwork), and the rest are for each individual blog post, as well as the complete guide you just read!
Free How To Promote Your Blog eBook PLUS Checklist!
Rest assured, I don’t spam my lists. I will simply be sending you more great articles on how to improve your blogging and social media. About one email per week. And if you’re not interested in the content I share in the future, you can always unsubscribe.
Just as with the original post, I will continue to keep this Blog Promotion checklist updated with the latest techniques.