In last week’s blog, we looked at why blogging and content creation are good for business, from creating fresh content for Google to index and ranking for specific keywords to, most importantly, adding value for your customers and giving them new reasons to regularly visit your website.
Unfortunately, it isn’t a case of ‘write it and they will come’ – writing a blog is just the beginning of tapping into these many benefits. The next step is to promote your blog. But when and how should you do this?
Give these ideas a try:
- Post your new blog article to Facebook
When you write a new blog article, we’d recommend posting 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 on your blog that people may have missed. Try pulling out key points from your 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, you can spread content throughout the week without having to be in front of Facebook every day.
If you’re in any Facebook groups that include your target customers, you may also want to post a link to your blog. Some Facebook groups have strict rules about promotional posts so, if there’s a specific day of the week that you can promote your own content, make sure that you adhere to this to avoid annoying the Group’s admin.
- 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 140 characters, use a link shortening service such as bitly.com to create a short, bespoke URL for your new article.
Throughout the week, you can schedule soundbites from your blog with the shortened URL so that as many people as possible see it. Try several different soundbites, so that people who might not be interested in one have their curiosity sparked by another.
If you have a WordPress website, there’s a great plugin called Inline Tweet Sharer that lets you turn text from your blog into tweetable quotes. People can simply click on the anchor text as they’re reading to quote from your blog on their Twitter profile.
Click to Tweet and Better Click to Tweet are both fantastic plugins too. These create feature boxes within your blog of tweets you’ve pre-written that pull out soundbites 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 a hashtag 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.
- Pin your blog to Pinterest
At the beginning of the year, we 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.
- Post 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. If you want to write for LinkedIn Pulse, you should write fresh, unique content that hasn’t been featured on your website.
- Promote your blog on Google+
Make it part of your blogging routine to post a link to new articles on your Google+ profile. You could also share the link in any relevant Google+ communities of which you’re a part.
- 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 a regular 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.
With email marketing services such as Mailchimp and Madmimi, you can even send e-newsletters for free (depending on the size of your mailing list).
- Host a Google hangout
If you’ve written a blog article that’s generating a lot of interest or is of particular value to your customers, you might want to host a Google hangout where people can talk to you in more depth about the topic.
- Answer questions on Quora and Reddit
- Add social sharing buttons to your blog
To give your blog articles mileage for a long time to come, we’d recommend adding social share options. On WordPress, you can do this with plugins such as GetSocial or Flare. Access to social share buttons encourages readers to share content they’ve enjoyed to their social network.
- Revive your old content
The great thing about blogs is that they don’t just have mileage for a week or two (unless they’re written in response to a current event). Remember to re-use your old content regularly. Post links to past blogs on your social media pages so that new fans and followers who might have missed them in the past see them. If a topic needs updating, you could edit the blog and post a revised version.
- Link to related articles on your website
If you write a new blog article that’s related to a topic you’ve blogged about in the past, you should include a link to the 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.
In next week’s blog, we’ll be taking a look at techniques you can use to generate ideas for your fresh content. In the meantime, where do you promote your blog if you have one? What has been the best method of getting it seen that you’ve found?
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