One reason many businesses give up on blogging is the feeling that nobody is reading it. All that effort to write great content which then sits in cyberspace along with millions of other ignored blog pages.
Building a readership for your blog takes time and persistence but you can help by making sure (1) you write articles which people want to read and (2) you promote every blog post.
For more about creating interesting content check out “Is your blog boring“?. Today I want to talk about promoting your blog.
Use Social Media
Share the link to your blog post on all your social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Using a tool like Hootsuite saves time, but beware of posting everywhere at the same time – it’s a good idea to stagger your updates. The same caveat goes for using an app like Networked Blogs (this article explains why).
It’s OK to tweet a blog post more than once, but don’t overdo it. 3-4 tweets at different times over a few days is best. That way you’ll be seen by more people without boring everyone. And you can tweet old blog posts from time to time too – especially if you have one that’s relevant to a current news story or discussion.
If you’ve included good pictures in your article, don’t forget to “Pin” them on Pinterest.
Optimise for Search
While quirky, catchy article titles will get you more attention on social media, they won’t get you found on search engines.
Titles which contain relevant keywords should bring you a steady flow of new visitors over a long period.
If you can combine the two you are onto a winner. Sometimes you may have to choose one or the other. But do take time to craft your blog titles – it’s as important as the actual content.
I’ve seen it suggested that you should publish your articles initially with an eye catching headline and then change it to something more SEO friendly after a couple of weeks once the social media buzz has died down. However, you also need to do some behind the scenes technical tweaking to ensure any links to the original title (and URL) are redirected to the new page – something I suspect only the most dedicated small business blogger will want to do.
With this article, I’ve gone for the (slightly) quirky – “Is your blog lonely?” – rather than “How to promote your business blog”. The latter would certainly be a more searched for phrase, but I want to grab attention and get people thinking. However, I have used an SEO plugin to set the title tag to the more search friendly version.
Use your email marketing
Don’t forget your best fans when promoting your blog – the people who have signed up to receive your emails.
For many businesses, their blog articles are the main component of their email newsletters. It’s better to put a taster paragraph in the newsletter rather than the whole article – after all, you want people to go to your site too. Even if you just put a box with links to your latest articles, be sure to let your subscribers know about them. And if people are not clicking through to the full article, maybe you need to think about whether your subject is appealing to your core audience?
It takes time to build a readership for your blog but if you persist then you should see your website visitors grow. Keep checking your Google analytics – you want see steady increases in visits from both organic search and social media.
Look at which articles get the best results. Social media shares will give short term spikes (I got a big spike this week when someone influential shared my last blog post on Facebook) while looking for your most popular landing pages from Google search will give an indication of the articles which bring long term, sustainable traffic.