Every business and nonprofit should have a blog. It’s hands down the single best way to drive traffic to your website. But you not only need to establish a blog and maintain it by regularly posting content related to your mission and expertise, you also need to promote each and every new blog post to attract as many online eyeballs as possible. That’s the step that stumps a lot of marketers.
Fear not, friends. In today’s post, we’ll provide you with a quick and easy recipe for promoting your blog posts so you can get the elusive traffic you seek and enhance the SEO power of your website.
Follow These Steps To Promote Your Posts
Alright, so you’ve just published your blog post. Now it’s time to let the world know. Remember, people won’t just find it on their own (there’s too much other STUFF on the Internet). That’s why you have to present your posts to them on a silver platter; a platter they simply cannot resist. Follow these five steps with every new blog post and you will see an uptick in your blog readership and website traffic:
#1 – Include Sharing Buttons in Your Posts
It’s an easy addition, and still many organizations don’t do it. What do we mean by sharing buttons? Scroll down the page a little to the end of this post. See those little buttons next to “Share This” that say things like “Email”, “Facebook”, “Twitter” and “More”? Those are buttons people can click to quickly share this post. They make sharing links simple—which encourages people to do it more.
Getting social sharing buttons to add to your site is fairly easy. Most social sharing sites provide code on their websites for you (or the person who manages your site) to grab and insert into your blog. You can also visit sites like AddToAny or ShareThis to get all-purpose social sharing buttons for your blog.
#2 – Spread the Word through Social Media
Any time you publish a new post, the first people you should tell are the people already interested in your brand—your social media followers. Post a link to your blog on your Facebook page letting people quickly know (in 3 lines or less) what your new post is about. Make sure to include an eye-catching image with your link. LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest also provide good places to tell your followers you have a new post up.
Than we get to Twitter. On Twitter, you can repeatedly post links to your new blog post. Don’t overdo it, but 3-5 times spread throughout the day is fine. Try tweeting the headline with a link, quotes from the post, or interesting facts and stats that are included in the new blog content. Even something as simple as “Read my new blog post about <insert topic>”. Tweet about your new post all week long.
#3 – Submit Links to News & Bookmarking Sites
Once you’ve hit your social media audience, it’s time to try to branch out. A great way to do that is through social bookmarking and news sites. These are online communities where people share links they find interesting.
Beware: you can’t just use these sites for self promotion; you have to become an active member of the community—submitting other links you find interesting besides your own, and liking/commenting on other people’s submissions. When you become an active member, these sites can help you reach a much wider audience.
Here are some examples of popular social news and bookmarking sites. You may have to play around on these sites a little to understand how they work, but it’s worth it. They also all require you to register an account before you can submit links:
#4 – Share Blog Posts in an E-Newsletter
Another great way to bring more viewers to your blog posts is through an e-newsletter. Send out a weekly or monthly e-newsletter with links to 3-4 of your latest blog posts, and short, compelling descriptions of the post content.
Have a noticeable place on your website and blog where people can sign up for your e-newsletter. Maybe even give them an incentive to do so (like a free white paper, download or other gift).
E-newsletters give you a chance to put your latest posts in people’s inboxes. Here are some popular online services you can use to create and send out e-newsletters. Please note, all of these email marketing services do have fees associated with them:
#5 – Continue to Promote Your Post for a Month
After you have taken the steps above—and even after you have published and started promoting other/newer posts—don’t stop promotin’. Continue to share occasional links to older blog posts on your social media pages—especially Twitter. Respond to all comments about your posts on social news and social bookmarking sites to keep the conversation going.
If you find new places where your blog post would be of interest to the audience (like LinkedIn Groups for example), share it. If you see a blog discussing the same topic, share it in the comments or send it to the blog owner. A good timeline to keep your posts on the top of the promotion chain is about a month. But always keep past posts in mind, and always keep an eye out for new ways to promote them.
Let People Know Your Blog Is In Business
Think of your blog like a physical store. Once you’re open for business, you need to let people know you’re there. They may stumble across it, but to really pull people in you need to spread the word. You need to let people know what you have to offer.
By promoting your posts, you are creating more entrances to your blog. Business doesn’t come on its own (at least not at first). Make an active effort to let people know where and what you are posting on your blog. It will take some time, but gradually your readership will increase in volume and gain consistency.
Need help managing and promoting your business or nonprofit blog? Contact eleventy today to find out how we can make your online marketing efforts more effective.