When it comes to how to promote your website or blog, a lot of the information can be pretty overwhelming.
This post will give you three ways (plus a couple of bonuses) that, if you apply them, will drive more traffic to your blog posts and making the job of promoting your blog a lot easier.
Each of these methods is about bringing your value to the people who want and need it, with links back to your main site.
One more thing just before I delve into the methods:
What I’m about to show you really works and is responsible for bringing thousands of visitors to this site, however, the only way it will work for you is if you are consistent in your efforts. The temptation will be to take all of these techniques and try and do them all at once. The result will be a watered down version of the method, which will not yield the results you want.
Apply these methods in a ‘little and often’ approach, rather than an ‘all-in-one-go’ approach and you’ll find that the compound effect of your efforts over a week, month or year will be huge. Be consistent and you’ll be rewarded with all the visitors you need.
So, on with the nuts and bolts of how to promote your blog…
This simply means that you’re going to distribute your content to a variety of online sources where there is already a community for whom you can provide value.
By value I mean something that will really help them to succeed in whatever way they’re measuring success. For example, if you’re in the weight loss market, then you may be providing thorough guides on how to get a flatter stomach. There’s a big difference between someone who tells you what you need to do, and someone who actually shows you. Be someone who actually shows people, as you’ll provide far more value when you do.
Originally, content syndication meant submitting your blog posts as articles to places like EzineArticles, GoArticles and ArticlesBase.
This can still generate some visitors to your sites, but for the work involved, it isn’t worth spending the time on, when you could do the following things to promote your blog instead.
Firstly, submit your posts/articles to some of the top blogging communities, such as…
- Technorati.com – You can write original content for these guys and also add your site to their directory.
You can also search for niche specific communities by going to Google and typing in ‘Your Keywords Blog Community’ or ‘Blogging Community’, replacing ‘Your Keywords’ with the words that best describe your niche.
For example, I just searched for ‘Weight Loss Blogging Community’ and found BlogtoLose.com.
The key with all of these communities is to provide value for the community first before you start incessantly posting your blog posts. Comment on other people’s posts, share their work, maybe write a really good unique article for Technorati. Whatever you do, the more value you provide to the community, the more rewards you’ll get further down the line.
By all means, submit your articles to the traditional article directories as this will still provide you with backlinks and at least a small trickle of visitors. However, for larger amounts of visitors, promote your blog to the blogging communities listed above as well as those you find whilst searching within your niche on Google.
This is one of those things that you’ll hear a lot of bloggers talking about, but very few of them will do it regularly. I’m as guilty here as anyone, although I’ve recently started doing it more regularly and, low and behold, the visitor numbers are increasing.
Guest blogging simply means that you write as a guest author on someone else’s blog within your niche or market.
The more guest posts you write and have published, the more traffic you’ll get.
There are many benefits to guest blogging too, including:
- You get your post in front of a large audience who are already proven to be interested in what you’re writing about.
- You form relationships with top bloggers who are already established and who could be great partners for future products or joint ventures.
- The fact that you’re featured on a well-known blog with a ready-made community automatically gives your post more credence and authority.
- Readers who would otherwise have never heard of you will discover you and some will become regular readers.
- You get increased exposure to social media sharing via the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
To actually do guest blogging is simple but it requires you to work to get the results, which is why most bloggers shy away from it.
The posts you write need to be original and in most cases, must not have been published elsewhere (including on your own site). Again, it’s all about providing as much value (ideally actionable, practical material) as you possibly can.
Many people hold back on their knowledge when guest posting, thinking that they’ll somehow run out of either knowledge or topics to write on. You can capitalise on this by providing massive amounts of value, setting you apart and showing just what a caring, sharing expert you happen to be!
Again, to give you an example, I could have created a product on ‘how to promote your blog’ and made the content you’re reading right now into something you’d have to pay for. However, I’m giving it away on my blog for free, showing my substantial knowledge on the topic and giving you actionable information at the same time (providing value).
The only question that remains is…
‘Where can I guest post?‘
Well, I’m not sure who originated the saying ‘Go big or go home’, but that’s really what applies when it comes to guest posting to promote your blog.
Find the biggest blogs in your market or niche (using Google) and provide mega value for their readership. Here’s a quick checklist:
- Visit the blog you’re looking to write for and see if they accept guest posts. If it’s not clear, drop them a quick e-mail.
- See which of the guest posts they’ve published have been the most popular and get some ideas for areas you can expand on or in which you can teach people something significant.
- Write a fantastic piece that is specifically geared to that blog. Double-check it for accuracy, flow and of course, spelling.
- Send it directly to the owner of the blog, explaining that you’ve written it for them and that it’s original and unpublished elsewhere.
- Most blog owners will get back to you and a large percentage will publish the blog post.
- Help publicise the blog post by sharing it via social media and by promoting it to your mailing list (if you have one).
- If they reject the submission, no worries. You can either re-write it to publish it on your own site, or re-frame it and submit it to another big blog.
The traffic you can get from guest posting can be a pretty major part of your promotional strategy. If you want a definitive guide to doing it effectively for maximum, consistent traffic, then check out ViperChill’s excellent Guest Posting Guide.
If you really want to know how to promote your blog by engaging with your niche or market, then forum marketing may well be the answer…
You see, a large part of all of the methods we’ve looked at so far is that they go to where the traffic is, rather than waiting for it to come to you. This is crucial to your initial success, as waiting for people to find you doesn’t work. People need to know you’re there. The only way for them to find out is by you going to the places they hang out and showing them what you’ve got for them.
Think about it this way for a moment…
Imagine you open up a store that sells the solution to a lot of people’s major problem. However, the store is in a retail park on the outskirts of town with only a certain amount of people driving past each day. You, as the store owner, have a choice…
- Either you go out into the town, find people you can help and give them some samples of your product so they can try it and eventually come back for more.
- Or you can wait and see if they might find you by accident and hope to build a business that way.
When you look at it like that, it’s pretty obvious, right?
By visiting and commenting on forums in your niche or market, you’re going right into the middle of a group of people who are thoroughly interested in what you’re blogging about. For example, in the world of Internet Marketing, the Warrior Forumis a great resource. You can find your own equivalent just by searching for your niche and the word ‘forum’, just as we did for blogging communities.
I’d suggest you join just one or two forums maximum (I’m only a member of one in my market), then provide value for them just as you would any other community.
Note: Look for forums where you have the ability to have a signature in the area beneath your posts. This is a small promotional box where you can plug your blog or site. Just look around the forum before you join and see if any of the posts have a box like that at the bottom. Also, make sure that the forum is busy and vibrant (lots of threads and responses).
Now then, just before I go into some great methods for use on forums, remember that your focus should be on providing value rather than promoting yourself. Most self-promotional style posts will be removed from the forums as they’ll look and sound like adverts. Instead, use your forum signature to promote yourself. This signature follows you everywhere on the forum, so will appear beneath all the great content you’re going to provide.
Here are some great ways to add value to a forum in your market:
- Instead of writing a blog post and posting it to your site, why not post it to a related forum instead, with a link in the signature area that goes back to your blog?
- Comment on threads where you can provide help/support to the original poster (OP) and don’t hold back on your knowledge.
- Post videos or other interesting items that you find that are related to your market, and then start a conversation about them.
Remember, the only promotional space you’re really allowed is that promo box, so be sure to use it, while providing great ideas, tips, tools and/or reviews for the users of your chosen forum.
Do this (consistently) in a forum that’s related to your niche or market and you’ll start to get a following to your blog. Eventually, you’ll be able to post to your blog and get loads of readers and comments without needing to promote yourself much elsewhere, but until then, put some effort into showing off your blogging wares.
Just as a quick bonus, I wanted to include a couple of quick things you can do to give your blog a better chance of getting visitors from the search engines.
I could go into massive detail on this one, as it can get quite complicated… However, I’m going to keep things simple and brief here so that you can start applying this quickly.
Here are the steps to take:
- Go to the Google Keyword Tool and use it to search for phrases that people in your market are looking for. For an in-depth tutorial on this, watch this video on YouTube.
- Once you find a suitable phrase, write a post that helps people who are searching for that topic.
- Make sure that the title of the post includes the exact phrase you found using the Google Keyword Tool.
- Make sure that the post uses the phrase you found at least two or three times in the main body of the text.
- Also include the exact phrase you found in the keywords of the post. For this, make sure you have a plugin like Yoast SEO installed on your blog.
- Go to Fiverr.com and get a few people to bookmark your new post on lots of the social bookmarking sites. To search Fiverr for the exact people you need for this, click here (I’ve done the search work for you). Each person will only cost $5 and they can do as many as 100 social bookmarks for you.
- Keep an eye on the search engines by typing in your phrase and seeing if you come up on the first page of search engine results.
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So, there you have it! Three simple ways (plus a couple of bonuses) to promote your blog on the good ol’ interweb.
If you’ve enjoyed this post or if you have any feedback/ideas/questions, please leave a comment below and I’ll reply to you as soon as I can.