My last few blogs have been about all things blog related, covering everything from why your business needs a blog and how to get started to what makes a great blog article and how to keep generating fresh content ideas.
I hope these articles have inspired you and demonstrated the many benefits of blogging in terms of reaching potential and existing customers, building your authority and SEO.
Of course, blogging doesn’t stop the moment you hit ‘publish’ on a new article. Many people make this mistake but, in reality, there’s still work to do. You need to let your audience know that you’ve created new content and where they can find it.
In today’s blog, we’re going to look at:
- How to promote your blog
- How to get your blog indexed by Google
- Getting as much mileage as possible out of your existing content
How to promote your blog
The editorial calendar for your blog should ideally include a checklist of when and where to publicise a new article to ensure that it’s seen by as many people as possible. Different approaches will work for different audiences. Here are some to try:
1. Post your new blog article to your Facebook page
When you write a new blog article, post a link, short intro and call to action to your Facebook business page. You could even include a sign-up to your newsletter, reminding people that, by joining your mailing list, they need never miss an article again.
It’s perfectly OK to link to your new blog a couple of times a week on Facebook, as well as posting links to old articles that people may have missed. Try pulling out key points from the blog and using those as statuses for the week so that you can generate some interest and conversation around the topic.
By using Facebook’s scheduling tool (or a third party social media campaign tool like Missinglettr), you can spread content over weeks and months without having to be in front of Facebook every day.
2. Share your article in Facebook groups
If you’re an active member of any Facebook groups that include your target customers, you may also want to post a link to your blog in those. Some Facebook groups have strict rules about when promotional posts can be shared (e.g. Social Sunday) so it’s important to make a note of this and adhere to the rules to avoid falling foul of the Group’s admin.
I recommend checking out the Facebook groups where you’re most active and adding their promo days to your editorial calendar.
3. Do a Facebook Live
Facebook Live has sky-rocketed in popularity over the last few years. At the time of writing (October 2020), Facebook Live videos produce six times as many interactions as traditional videos and attract ten times more comments. People will also spend three times longer watching Facebook Lives than they will pre-recorded videos.
It can be effective to hop on to a Facebook Live and tell people about your latest blog article, pulling out the key points and talking a bit more about them. This gives your audience the opportunity to get to know you and to see you share your expertise in a live, authentic and unscripted manner.
4. Tell your friends and family about your latest content via your personal social media profiles
How much do your friends and family know about what you do? While it might not be appropriate to share all of your content on your personal social media profiles, an occasional share can help to remind your loved ones about your business.
You never know – they might have people in their wider networks who would love your products and services. An occasional shout out to your blog could be enough to prompt some referrals.
5. Tweet about your blog
There are several ways that you can use Twitter to promote a new blog article. Once the blog goes live, you can let people know by tweeting a link. To make full use of the limited characters (currently 280 max.), use a link shortening service such as bitly.com to create a condensed, bespoke URL for your new article.
Throughout the week, you can schedule soundbites (including some with images) from your blog with the shortened URL so that as many people see it as possible. Try several different soundbites and images, so that people who might not be interested in one have their curiosity sparked by another.
You could, for example, write 12 unique Tweets that you publish over the first 12 days after a new blog goes live and then you could recycle one per month for the next 12 months to keep promoting that same blog. You would then repeat this model each time a new article is published.
If you have a WordPress website, Click to Tweet and Better Click to Tweet are both fantastic plugins. Within your blog, these create feature boxes of tweets you’ve pre-written that pull out key points from the article. As the name would suggest, people simply click to tweet – these boxes look appealing, stand out when skim reading, and do the work of writing the tweet for your readers.
While we’re on the topic of Twitter, try adding targeted hashtags to any tweets you write about your blog. That way, you can search for people who are using the same hashtag and your blog will come up if they search for the hashtag too. This can be a quick route to creating a conversation about your blog.
6. Pin your blog to Pinterest
In the past, I’ve blogged about using Pinterest even if you don’t have an obviously ‘pinnable’ business. A fresh blog article is the perfect example of content that you can add to Pinterest, even if you don’t sell products. Simply create a board for your blog and pin every new article you write to this board.
To encourage people to pin your blog to their own Pinterest boards, make sure that you have Rich Pins enabled.
7. Post a link to your article to LinkedIn
Every time you write a blog article, you can also post a link to it as your LinkedIn status and in any relevant LinkedIn groups to which you belong.
One of the benefits of this approach is that it directs traffic from LinkedIn to your website. According to Social Media Examiner, the best times to post on LinkedIn are 8-10am and 4-6pm.
Alternatively, you can publish articles directly to LinkedIn as a way to grow your audience on the platform. This is a form of content syndication, which I’ll be touching on a bit more below. For the inside scoop on all things content syndication-related though, be sure to read my in-depth Web Content Syndication Guide.
8. Promote your blog on Instagram
Approximately one billion users are active on Instagram every single month, with the average user spending 28 minutes on the platform per day. These are just two of many reasons why you need to include Instagram in your blog marketing.
Some simple ways to grow your Instagram following and promote your blog are to:
- Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook business page (click here to find out how)
- Link to your Instagram from all of your other social media accounts
- Add the URL for your latest blog post to your Instagram bio
- Screen capture your latest blog and then edit the image with your branding (a free tool like Canva can help you to do this)
- Add a description and relevant hashtags (up to 30) to your blog post screen captures – the description can be up to 2,200 characters but it’s the first 155 that display in the news feed, so try to communicate the essence of your post in those opening words
- Alternatively, create a branded text-based image that tells people a new blog is live – here’s an example of a post I shared on Instagram when I published the story behind my business (note that URLs in the comments won’t be live links but you can add a link to your latest blog in your bio, as mentioned above)
- Create multiple posts about your latest blog and share them as an Instagram Story
9. Feature the article in your newsletter
One of the most important things you can do for your business is to build a mailing list of ‘warm’ leads, i.e. people who have expressed an interest in hearing more about your products or services.
Experts say it takes between seven and 27 ‘touches’ with a business before people become customers. If you send out a regular e-newsletter – whether weekly, fortnightly, monthly or even quarterly – this is an ongoing reason to touch base with your mailing list and remind them of what you have to offer.
A good way to add value to your newsletter is to include your blog articles. You might want to feature the opening paragraphs or a teaser about the article in your newsletter with a link through to your website where they can read the article in full. This is a helpful strategy to drive repeat, high-quality traffic back to your website.
Alternatively, you can include an entire article in your newsletter (although this might not be as appropriate for longer guides).
10. Send out emails to announce your new content
Instead of featuring your articles in a newsletter, you can also send out a dedicated email to your mailing list each time you publish new content.
You can keep your email simple – something like:
I just wanted to share the latest post on the SEO+ blog.
You could then provide some insights into the content or ask questions that might hook the reader’s interest. For example:
Are you struggling to come up with fresh content ideas for your blog? Do you need help planning your blog content so you always know what to publish and when?
Read this post to discover blog topics your audience will love to read, map out 12 months of content TODAY and publish consistently on time. You can do this!
The aim with this kind of email is to highlight what the audience will get out of reading the blog. How will they benefit? How will their life look better in some way? Tell them.
I’ve noticed recently that a lot of businesses are switching to plain text emails, having sent highly visual HTML-enhanced emails in the past. This tends to lead to better click-through rates.
Don’t forget that your email marketing software should show you who has and hasn’t opened emails about your blog. You could always send a second email to non-openers later in the week – using a new subject line, for example – to try to reach them.
11. Add a link to your latest article in all your social media bios
Above, I’ve already suggested adding a link to your latest article in your Instagram bio but you can take the same approach to all of your social media bios. Each time you publish a new blog, simply change the URL in your bio.
12. Include a link to your latest blog in your email signature
Your email signature is also a fantastic place to promote your latest blog. It can act as a gentle reminder to existing and new contacts about your content.
13. Answer questions on Quora and Reddit
You could also look at contributing to industry-specific forums and sharing your latest blogs on relevant threads (as long as this reflects the forum’s rules).
A top tip for finding forums relating to your field is to type “intitle:forum” + <your keyword> into Google like this:
14. Add your blog to social bookmarking sites
Some people like to find blogs to read through social bookmarking sites such as:
- Mix (StumbleUpon was a popular bookmarking site that has now moved to Mix)
- We Heart It
Each site has different submission requirements but it’s worth exploring whether your audience might be using these sites.
15. Promote it on a podcast
Whether you record and publish your own or you can secure a guest spot on someone else’s, podcasts can provide a fantastic platform to talk about a new blog article.
As with guest blogging, talking about your blog as a podcast guest can help you to reach a new audience with an interest in your products or services.
How to get your blog indexed by Google
As well as taking the above steps to promote your blog, you will want as many people as possible to find it through organic internet searches.
Before a blog can show up in organic searches, you need a search engine to add it to its ‘index’ (i.e. list of content). This is what we mean by indexing.
Essentially, search engines like Google use search ‘spiders’ or ‘web crawlers’, a type of bot that goes through websites looking for content that it can catalogue and potentially share with searchers.
Once the content has been indexed, Google uses its algorithms to decide if, when and where to list it in response to a relevant search.
The quicker a new blog article is indexed, the quicker you can get it seen in organic searches.
So your next job is to let Google know that your new blog exists.
To do this, you will need to do one of two things:
- Get your entire website/blog indexed for the first time
- Let Google know that a new URL has been added to your existing and previously indexed site
How do you know if your site has been indexed already?
The easiest way to check whether Google has already indexed your site is to type site:yourdomain.com into the search bar to see what results come up. Here’s what happens when I check my own site:
This currently brings up 222 search results, all web pages from the SEO+ website. If I didn’t know already, this would be proof that Google has indexed my site.
If a website hasn’t been indexed, Google will display a screen saying that your search did not match any documents.
Verify your site in Google Search Console
If your blog/website is new and hasn’t been indexed before, you’ll need to verify your site in Google Search Console before you do anything else.
Submit a XML Site Map
Once your website has been verified, you’ll be able to submit a site map to Google Search Console. A site map is literally a web page that lists all of the pages/URLs that can be found on your website.
Every time Google crawls your site, it will cross check its list of your URLs against those on your site map and index any that it doesn’t already have.
If you don’t have a WordPress site, Google offers advice about the different site map formats and general guidelines for building and submitting a site map.
Once you’ve generated a site map:
- Click on Sitemapsunder the Index heading in the main Google Search Console menu to the left of the screen.
- Under Add a new sitemap, enter the URL for your sitemap.
- Click Submit.
Fetch as Google
If Google is already aware of your website and has indexed all of your previous content and you follow the promotional techniques I have suggested throughout this article, you may find that the search engine quickly spots and indexes your new blog article.
It’s worth monitoring the situation though as it can take weeks or even months for new content to be crawled. Generally speaking, the more regularly you post fresh content, the more frequently Google will begin to index your site.
If you want to speed up the process and not leave anything to chance, you can manually prompt Google to index a new URL.
To do this, head back into Google Search Console and click the URL Inspection option in the left-hand menu.
This will bring up a search bar at the top of the page where you can enter the URL for your new blog article.
Google will then return any data it has on the URL, including whether it has been indexed. If it hasn’t, you can click on the Request indexing option to get Google to index the new page. Although the search engine won’t commit to a specific timeframe, people often see URLs that were manually submitted via Google Search Console appearing in Google searches within 24 hours.
Remember to have Google crawl or re-index a page every time you update it.
How to get as much mileage as possible out of your existing content
I don’t want to end this blog without talking about how you can make the most of your existing content. This is something that so many bloggers overlook.
While it’s essential to create fresh content, I would urge you to keep revisiting the content you already have because this will help you to make the most of your blogging/marketing budget.
Remember, you will hopefully be bringing new customers to your business all the time. These people may have missed some of your most popular content. In fact, thanks to social media algorithms, even your most loyal customers may not see everything you publish. This is why it’s OK to keep promoting old blogs, as well as new ones.
So, how can you make the most of your old content?
First, check out my article: 39 ways to get more mileage out of your existing content
1. Refresh and update your content
Things change and blogs can go out of date surprisingly quickly. It’s worth carrying out a content audit at least once a year to check what you might need to refresh, rewrite or even delete.
If a topic needs updating, edit the blog and post a revised version to the same URL. You can add a note to the article saying when it was first published and when it was updated. If you’ve since written other content that relates to an existing blog, you can add in internal links to the new content to help tie related topics together (you’ll notice that I’ve done that throughout this article).
2. Links work both ways
Equally, if you write a new blog article that’s related to a topic you’ve blogged about in the past, you should include links to the older, related content in the article. This will help your website visitors read further into and around the topic and is a great way of adding value, keeping them on the site and bringing them to blogs they may not have discovered yet.
3. Share links to your old blogs on social media
Post links to past blogs on your social media pages, profiles and groups so that new fans and followers who might have missed them in the past see them.
4. Add social sharing buttons to your blog
To give your blog articles mileage for a long time to come, I recommend adding social share options. On WordPress, you can do this with plugins such as Social Warfare. Access to social share buttons encourages readers to share content they’ve enjoyed with their own networks.
5. Syndicate your content
So, there you have it. Hopefully, you are now armed with ideas for promoting your blog and getting as much mileage out of your content as possible.
All the benefits of blogging without the extra workload and pressure
If you find blogging regularly too time-consuming, difficult or scary, we can help you.
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