Blogging for income, like any other business requires marketing and promotion. If people on the web aren’t aware of your blog, they won’t visit it. The internet is full of various ways of promoting and marketing your blog and finding the best option is often very difficult and time consuming. This article will overview the top strategies I’ve used effectively and highlight the importance of keeping up with latest trends. So, if you’re interested in bringing more visitors to your blog, keep reading.
Promoting your blog
Next in line to creating awesome and epic content is marketing and promoting your blog. There are a number of ways to do this and the list seems to grow daily if not hourly. As a result of the constantly changing internet, one of your critical tasks as a blogger is keeping an eye out for new an emerging opportunities and getting engaged in them early. Also critical is making sure these promotion opportunities are win/win scenarios for you and your readers, meaning find ways to promote your blog and content that benefit both you and the audience your promoting/marketing too.
How do you do this? The best way is to find promotion opportunities that can drive large amounts of traffic and participate in them by adding value to others. Generally this is done, as usual, by providing awesome content that people need. But with social media, content alone isn’t enough. You’ll have to put on your marketing hat. Description text and images now play key roles in getting visitors to click through to your content.
On average, I try to spend at least an hour a day promoting my blog through social media and interacting in various communities I’m a member of. That works out to be about 25% of my overall blogging time.
Pay-per Click Advertising
Many promotion options are free, but some of the more effective ones will cost you money. One of the key ways to make people aware of your blog and drive traffic to to it is through advertising services such as Google Adwords. Advertising on services like Adwords is commonly referred to as PPC advertising, or Pay per click.
PPC advertising can drive a huge amount of traffic to your blog, and generate significant income for you, especially when the ads refer visitors to articles with affiliate links or products you’ve developed. The trick is picking the right product and wording the ad correctly. Frankly, I am not a PPC expert, and my attempts at it have only been marginally successful, but in all fairness I didn’t stick with it eiher. PPC advertising can be very expensive and often requires a large amount of money up front in order to get a decent return via product conversions. Unfortunately it requires money I just don’t have. I’m a frugal blogger.
Google Search Optimization
Google Search engine optimization is the my number one marketing focus. While one might argue this really isn’t marketing or promotion, I think it is.
SEO is all about getting your articles seen my people on the web. Optimizing your blog articles for keywords can draw very large amounts of traffic to your blog. Visitors from Google search often click on ads resulting in income for you as well. The majority of the traffic on my blogs, generally 70 – 80%, comes from Google and my main income source here on Side Income Blogging comes from search engine visitors.
Every single article I write is search engine optimized. Don’t be mislead though, I don’t write for search engines.
My approach is to write my article first for my readers, then go back and tweak the article to include popular Google search keywords. I still keep the article readable and focus providing value to you, the reader. You can read more on the details of how I do in optimizing your articles for SEO.
Content Marketing / Guest Posting
Content marketing is a somewhat over used term these days, but to me it’s really just a fancy name for guest posting. Guest posting is where you write an article for another blog. Guest posting is a great way to gain exposure both to another blogs readers and to the blog owner. I’ve written a number of guest posts over the years, and have always been pleased with the amount of traffic and new readers I received as a result. Just be sure to approach the blog you wish to guest post on in the right way and don’t make these mistakes.
Over the past 3-4 years, social media has exploded. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Pinterest can drive huge waves of traffic to your blog. The key to being successful with social media is to be active and provide value. Too many new bloggers make the mistake of just publishing their latest articles on their social media feed and expecting results. Trust me, this doesn’t work. By using this strategy, you effectively make your social media feed an RSS Feed. You have to do more.
Don’t think of social media as a way of promoting your blog, think of it as a way to interact, share and learn from others with similar interests as you. Share information, let people get to know you personally, and share articles from other sites that you found useful. Every time you share something on social media, ask yourself: Will the people that follow me find what I’m about to share valuable? If the answer is no, don’t share it.
Also important to your success in social media is the use of images. Everyone of your social media posts should have an image. Images get more likes and shares than any other content on social media.
Speaking of images…Pinterest. Social media changes almost everyday, and requires you to keep a pulse on the changes and new developments. For example, Pinterest is quickly becoming a very significant social media player and changing the way people find and access the internet. If you’re interested in getting on Pinterest (hint, you should be), I recently shared some Pinterest tips I’d recommend you read over.
Beware though, getting active in social media can be a real time suck. You have to find a balance of spending enough time there to be considered active, but not spending so much time you don’t get any writing done on your blog. This is something I’m still struggling with and still try to find the right balance. Finding more time to blog is something I often struggle with as a whole already.
Forums and online communities
This is another area that can really drive traffic to your blog, but again requires a great deal of time. Forum visitors are also very sticky, meaning they generally stay on your blog and often subscribe and come back. To be successful though, you have to enter communities with the primary intent of being genuinely interested in helping out the forum or community. If you go in with a primary interest in promoting your blog, members will see right through you and you’ll find yourself removed. Yes, unfortunately I made this mistake.
I actually recommend not even sharing your blog or website right away, unless you are asked or encouraged to do so. Join the community, be active and share topics that establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Then as you build credibility, begin to share your blog link in your forum signature or profile. Later, where applicable maybe even share a link to an article you’ve written, but do so sparingly. Many online community members don’t take well to bloggers self promoting and will consider it spam.
I recommend picking a small handful of communities that you’ll focus on and stick with them. Less is definitely more in this case. Google+ recently announced Google Communities and a number of sharp folks recognized the opportunity and created communities for just about any topic you can imagine. I found a bunch that I wanted to join, but decided to keep the list small and joined: Blog Tips, Blogging and Christian Bloggers. I would encourage you to head over and find a few communities in your niche, join them and get active. I’ve already met some great folks.
Traditional marketing and promotion concepts apply as well, including:
- Creating and distributing business cards – I keep a set in my wallet for both my blog and my development/design business
- Word of mouth – Tell people about your blog and invite them to check it out.
- Put your blog name and link in your email signature so it’s included in every email you send out.
- Conferences – Attend and be active at conferences in your niche. Better yet, sign up to be a speaker and give a presentation.
Be creative and think of ways you can share your blog with others. Use online and offline tools and techniques to get your blog’s name out there.
How have you promoted your blog? Do you have any social media tips for newer bloggers? Add value, add a comment.
Photo credit: angela n.