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How to Start Promoting Your Blog

So, you've decided to take a bold first step into the wide world of website management, and start a blog. It might be an online journal, a place to publish your short stories, a front page for your business or a place to document your exercise progress. Whatever the case may be, you've got the site up and running and now it's time to start promoting.

It's a daunting task, I know. I've been promoting my work online for years but I still haven't managed to completely silence that little voice in my head telling me that I'm just bothering people. More to the point, it can be hard to figure out how to promote your blog in such a way that you start to build up a reputation. Bearing that in mind, I've put together a list of all the things you can do to give yourself the best chance to really hit the ground running.

Identify Your Target Audience

Regardless of whether or not you're selling anything through your blog, you'll still need to know who it will appeal to the most if you want posts to circulate. You also need to know where those people hang out online. If you're running a blog for your artwork, you might want to consider making a Tumblr page for it first, or a Pinterest one, especially if it's something like sculpting or papercraft. If it's a journalistic site, Twitter will be your best friend, as you can tag the pertinent subjects and people to maximize the chances of interested parties seeing the post. 

Research Keywords and SEO

Of course, knowing who would want to read your posts is of little use unless you increase the chances of anyone seeing them. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is absolutely vital for this. It's essentially just a case of knowing which key words you should use in posts to make sure they appear more frequently in search results. Spend some time really figuring out which keywords are the most effective within your domain, and do some general research on SEO itself as well, we can help get you started with that.

Encourage Reader Engagement

When you start posting, it's going to take you a while before your viewing figures start to properly climb, unless you're very lucky. It's important to be patient, but it's also important to make sure that when you do start to see a healthy reader-base, they have more to do on your site than just scroll deftly through posts. That's why, even from the outset, you should try and post things which encourage user engagement. Polls and calls for open discussion are good, since they allow readers to actually extend the post through their own involvement. Try asking readers to relate stories from their own experience that are similar to what you talk about in the post, for example. Asking your readers how you could improve the blog itself is also a great way to build up a reader community.

Share Responsibly

Sharing can feel like a drag, you likely see a fair few people on your personal social media pages that do nothing but share links from one blog or another. It can look very hollow and self-interested, but it needn't be. If you're only sharing among your friends, your blog will only ever exist within that bubble, but if you take a broader approach, you can far more effectively promote your blog without feeling like you're being a bugbear. 

With Facebook, for example, it's far better to look for, and join, groups which are principally based around the subject of your blog, or a related one. The people in those groups tend to be actually looking for new material, making them far more likely to pick up what you're putting down. More importantly though, with Facebook but also with every other platform - create a dedicated profile and use that as your primary sharing source. A share coming from that immediately looks more credible than one from a personal account.

Communicate with Other Bloggers

This is perhaps the most important thing. Blogging is a community, and treating it as such is a surefire way to get better results. This doesn't mean just looking at the top rating posts of the day, jumping on the comment section and saying something like 'Hey, nice post! Check out my page...', that's about as subtle as walking into a nightclub wearing a t-shirt that says '100% Single' on the front. If you take the time to explore similar pages to your own and make a real effort to open up a dialogue with the blogger in question, you'll find you can help each other out. 

Guest posts, advice and collaborative work can massively extend the audience your reaching out to, especially if you're working with bloggers who already have an established reader base. There are also things like blogger awards. The way these work is that someone who wins will then have to nominate a further 5 or 10 blogs to carry on the chain. It's a great way of gaining new contacts within the blogging community.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info: TheSMFGroup.com
How to Start Promoting Your Blog Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, October 23, 2015 Rating: 5

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