One mistake I see a lot of bloggers make is not promoting the website. Many believe that simply writing content will be all that is needed to attract an audience. In reality, readers won’t visit if they don’t know it’s there.
Below are a number of ways you can promote the website to attract a wider range of readers. I can’t say exactly which will be the best for you as it will depend on your own strategies and content.
Submitting the Sitemap
The fist thing everyone should do when creating a website of any kind is submit the sitemap. This file essentially tells search engines where to look for content on your blog. Without it, the site will take much longer to be indexed in search results.
This means your posts will not exist in directories like Google and Bing.
Yoast SEO and Jetpack have the ability to create this file for you. Afterwards, you copy the link of the blog’s sitemap and submit it to engines like Google and Bing.
This is a very easy and free process. It’s not a bad idea to have a Google account set up in the first place. You’ll get access to tools like Analytics, Adsense to make money and various other tools. In my opinion, it’s worth the effort to explore Google’s potential to help you.
If you use Yoast to build this file, you’ll need to turn on “Advanced Settings Pages” from the Features tab within Yoast SEO.
Promoting with Social Media
As I said in the previous chapter, social media is a great platform to attract readers. It’s free to create a profile, it reaches thousands of potential visitors and lays the groundwork for improving your online reputation.
But doesn’t updating all of your social profiles take time? Yes, which is why I suggest using automated tools for sharing. For example, the “Publicize” feature in Jetpack will share your new blog posts with certain social sites as soon as you hit the Publish button.
Another good and free tool to use is Buffer. Although you can only add a few social profiles in the free version, it’s still a great way to massively share your new blog posts. You can also set updates on a schedule if you want to share something on certain days.
If you’re looking to invest a bit of money, SproutSocial has a lot of tools that will help optimize the sharing experience. This is perhaps best for small businesses and larger, though. The minimum price for SproutSocial may be a bit steep for those who just want to share their daily experiences in a blog.
Here are a few of the more popular social media sites and how you can use them.
Facebook is the number one social site in the world. But not everyone takes advantage of what can be done from this popular platform. For instance, you can create a page specifically for your blog.
Why is this important? Because it keeps your personal life and comments separated from your website. In essence, your blog will have its own social presence. This is vital for professionalism and keeping others out of your personal comments. No one needs to know if it’s your cousin’s birthday today.
To create this new page, you simply click the small down arrow on the right of your top tool bar and click, “Create Page.” From the next screen, you have a variety of options of what you can choose depending on what you’re creating.
Once you create your page, you can switch from your personal profile to your blog with just a click of the mouse in Facebook.
When you want to share blog posts on Twitter, it’s probably better to have a separate account. Like using Facebook Pages, this keeps your personal views away from your professional content.
Twitter has a decent method of tracking the performance of your “tweets.” The analytics tool will show the most popular post for the month, engagement rates, most popular media post and the most influential follower of the account. This is useful information when developing a strategy for posting times and content.
Twitter’s power lies in its ability to use hashtags and mentions. Although other platforms adopted this technology, Twitter is perhaps the best at utilizing it. This means you can join your post with current conversations and even call specific people out in a post.
LinkedIn isn’t currently as popular as other social sites, but it’s been gaining quite a bit of steam as of late. Think of LinkedIn as a kind of Facebook for professionals. Its target is more centered around career and professional networking.
This doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time for bloggers, though. In fact, you never know when you might attract someone who’s interested in your message. Perhaps you’ll find the golden goose and a business owner winds up buying your blog from you. It’s a bit uncommon, but selling sites is known to happen.
The thing you should take from LinkedIn is that it helps solidify yourself as a professional in your field. Even if you’re blogging about something you’re learning for the first time, it can still reach a wide audience.
Google+ is not the most popular of social sites in this list. However, a lot of people will still use the social site. It’s one of Facebook’s direct competitors. One of the reasons why I put it on this list is because of how much it has changed over the years.
Google+ uses much of the same functionality of Facebook and Twitter such as hashtag use. Most businesses will simply use it as a way to promote the company in local search results. Either way, it’s worth the effort to take a few minutes and create a Google+ account.
Since it’s free, it helps spread the influence of your blog. And like Facebook, Google+ also offers separate pages for blogs.
Pinterest is an image-sharing platform which many use to market their blogs. It’s a quick and easy way to share the graphics of your site and perhaps attract new visitors. This is especially beneficial if you create your own header images for blog posts.
One of the perks to sharing on Pinterest is the system’s ability to credit the original post. So when you add an image to the social hub and others start sharing it, you’ll still have a link aiming back at your profile.
Images you share will also have a link back to the blog post. It’s kind of like sharing on Twitter but aimed specifically at those who are more visual.
Currently, there are approximately 150 million Pinterest users worldwide. This isn’t a lot when compared to sites like Facebook. However, it’s a climbing platform as more people join every year. Because the site is free and doesn’t take a lot to maintain, it’s a great addition to promoting your blog.
Visual content is the most effective when it comes to grabbing people’s attention. This includes images and video. YouTube is often a platform that helps bloggers gain a bit of readership. The downside is that you have to put effort into making video content.
YouTube gives you the ability to add links back to your site in the video description as well as its new “card” system. This means viewers can click on those elements to view the blog.
Creating videos is a great way to show off products you want to sell from your site. Think of it like putting a commercial for something you provide on YouTube. For freelancers, this could be a great way to attract potential clients. Keep in mind that YouTube is one of the most visited websites in the world by a very wide variety of people, including consumers and employers.
Commenting on Other Sites
One method a lot of bloggers use to gain a bit of traffic is by simply commenting on other sites. Many forums and blogs allow visitors to register using their website URL as a backlink. If anyone is curious about who you are in the comment section, they have the ability to visit your blog.
The best way to do this is by commenting on sites that are relevant to your own. For instance, you would comment on a dieting site if your blog is about health and fitness. Otherwise, the link doesn’t really make much sense to the topic you are commenting on. Also, website owners may simply delete the link portion of the comment as it could impact SEO.
Add a valuable insight to the forum or website. It makes you look more professional and may inspire people to click your link to view the blog.
Newsletters and Emails
Sending emails and newsletters is still one of the most effective ways to promote a website. It costs very little money if any, and has a high engagement rate if you create them well enough.
The best way to have quality recipients is by giving people the option to sign up. No one likes spam, and giving readers the option to become a part of the list greatly increases the odds of interaction.
WordPress has a wide variety of newsletter and email plugins available. Some are even completely automated where they take the most recent content of your site and send snippets to registered users. This is a great time saver and may help create a strong following and loyal visitor base.
Using Daily Post at WordPress.com
A very effective way to get more readership is by joining others at the Daily Post on WordPress.com. You’ll need a free account registration, but the perks are well worth the effort.
In this group, other bloggers on the system have a greater chance of reading your content. This is especially true if you participate in the word of the day. This is when the Daily Post developers send out a word and bloggers use it in their posts on a daily basis. They provide you with a link to add to the post, which is a pingback to their directory.
In other words, your post is available to read as soon as you hit “Publish” as long as that link is within your content.
This group does have some restrictions such as not using it to promote sales and other types of content. However, it does put your blog post in front of an active community. It’s possible for new bloggers to start receiving 10 or more visitors every time a word is published.
Although it doesn’t provide an immense amount of traffic, it doesn’t take much to participate and is a good way to get the ball rolling for your blog.
Blog Submission Sites
Blog submission sites are usually a hit or miss when it comes to promoting. While some may be worth the time, others simply don’t help at all. The hardest part is finding those that are beneficial. Unfortunately, this is often more of a trial-and-error method.
Some submission sites like Blogarama have potential to drive traffic to your site. In once such case, I’ve seen this particular platform increase traffic by just over three percent. That’s not really a lot, but it’s better than nothing at all.
The downside to using blog submission platforms is that you need to place their code and graphics on your website. At first, this sounds like a fair trade. That is, until you realize that some of these sites slow your blog. This is often because pulling images from a third-party is slower than reading it directly from your own.
However, a well-developed blog post from you put in front of people who use blog submission sites may drive quite a bit of traffic. At any rate, these systems are available for you to consider. Just keep an eye on your analytics to see if any of them are actually referring traffic to your pages.
Congratulations, You’re Now Branding!
These are only a few ways you can promote a blog. Unfortunately, I can’t say with absolute certainty which will work best for you. Topic, style, niche and more will all play a role in how any of these methods work. The best thing to do is try as many as you can to find the best ones for your site. Because most of these are free, it doesn’t cost anything but time to try them out.
In the next step, I’ll go over how to monetize your blog. This is how your site can make money 24-hours per day, even while you sleep. There are a lot of possibilities, each with excellent potential for income.