Top 9 Tips To Market Your Blog
Today we’re hosting another killer guest post by Al, from SafeAuto, who is sharing his valuable experience on blog marketing. Take it on Al!
So you’ve decided to blog. Congratulations! Your words will reach millions of readers in all corners of the globe; each paragraph immortal both in the arrays of the Internet and the souls of kindred spirits throughout the generations. Hey, it could happen, but only if you successfully market your online creative outlet. Here are some tips to do it right.
- Learn from others. There’s a blog for everything. You may think that your concept for a blog called “What I Found in My Navel Today” is original, but considering the vast and growing number of bloggers in the universe, you’re probably more like the 417th person to come up with that idea. Visit those blogs. Read through every post and every comment. What are each blog’s strengths, and what do they lack? Have more marketing fodder when you find a gap and fill it, rather than competing with others.
- Blog what you know. It is much easier to honestly market quality product than it is to sell snake oil. Can you provide specific technical information, in-depth journalistic analysis, or recipes that guarantee guests will beg for thirds? Blogging your opinions is fine, but make your opinions the garnish and make your expertise the entrée. For dessert…
- Include conversation-starters. If you are going to blog, you have to allow comments. The back and forth between you and your readers is what makes a blog exciting and keeps people coming back. In every blog post, include a question, a poll, or a challenge–something to encourage (incite?) readers to comment.
- Link to other sites.The marketing benefits of including links are twofold:
- Site owners and other bloggers appreciate it when people link to their sites; it has become a point of blog etiquette to return the favor, exposing more blogs to wider audiences.
- Sites that are linked to more often appear higher in search engine results. As other sites link back to you, you move up in search engine rankings.
- Use social media. Whenever you post a new blog entry, brag about it on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc. Not only will your alma mater’s step singer club and your grandma see the link, so will total strangers from all over the world. Make sure that you select the option to share with the public, where available. Make sure that when you post on Facebook that you post on your personal page and your brand page. Don’t have a brand page? Set one up.
- Use social media one-on-one. If your latest post links to another blog/site or mentions someone, let that person know via social media. If you blogged about the new Yahoo! CEO, tweet about your post to @marissamayer and include a link to your post.
- Use keywords. Popular blogging tools like WordPress and Blogger allow you to create a description of your blog and to assign keywords to individual blog posts. Always use of both of these options, as search engines use these words and phrases (in addition to the text of the posts and comments) to place your blog in search results. Use terms that apply to both your blog’s theme and to each post’s subject; if you post a review of the latest Avengers-related film, and that post shows up on page one of a Google search for “auto insurance quotes” and on page 47 for “Avengers,” check your keywords and text. While you’re at it, add a bunch of links to Avengers-related sites.
- Use images. Everyone likes pictures when they read, no matter how many pretentions they make toward literary snobdom. Include at least one image for every blog post; these show up on many social media platform blurbs, making your links more attractive. Always adhere to copyright laws and/or image owners’ usage rights requirements–especially requests for links, which only help everyone involved. If you have image editing skills (even if it’s just applying a favorite photo filter), consider giving every image a consistent look that readers will eventually associate with your blog.
- Be a team player. You don’t get the glory if you just sit on the bench, and you don’t get love from your teammates if you don’t support them on the field. Successfully marketing a blog takes work outside of the time you spend writing posts. If you’re going to grow your audience, you need to work hard on making sure that every post is optimized for good search engine results, and that you’ve made every effort possible to link to other blogs. When you support others, they will support you in return. You don’t even have to ask them–you’re all on the same team.
About the author:
Al Natanagara is a writer, journalist, and blogger whose career includes stints with ZDNet, CNet, CBS, LexisNexis, and law enforcement.