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Marketing Your Blog
Bloggers write a blog because they either want to gain readers or earn money from their blog. There are no exceptions to this rule. The hard facts are that if you aren’t marketing your blog, you can’t accomplish either of these goals.
Why is Marketing Your Blog Important?
I’m going to throw a couple statistics at you, so don’t fall asleep on me, okay? 😉 I want you to fully understand the importance of marketing your blog.
According to Statista.com, there are 30 million US bloggers on the internet today. Statista projects that by the year 2020 that there will be 31.7 million bloggers.
What does that mean for your blog? With the astounding number of bloggers out there, how will your readers find you if you don’t let them know you are there? Marketing is your answer.
Your Blog is a Business – Treat it Like One!
You may not realize it, but if you are blogging for profit, you are operating a business. Therefore, you need to think of it as a business and market it like one. The good news is that there are many free resources to help you with marketing your blog.
You are likely familiar with some of these tools and resources already. However, you may not realize the potential power each of these tools have to offer. Social media and email are powerful and practical resources that can generate traffic and sales beyond your wildest expectations.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at the most popular social media marketing platforms and how they can help grow your blog. We will also look at email lists and subscribers, which are equally asimportant to marketing your blog. I will explain how you can use those powerful resources to drive traffic to your blog.
Marketing Your Blog on Social Media
This is a very important part of marketing your blog, if it’s new. The truth is that although you use SEO to optimize your website for search engines, such as Google, most of your traffic will come from social media. This is especially true for new blogs.
Obstacle.co has a really useful article on the topic with a section specifically on what to do once you publish your new post. It’s not surprising that social media marketing is at the top of this short list.
The following are the social media platforms that are critical for all bloggers who wish to succeed in the blogging world.
If you don’t have a Pinterest account for your business, get one now. It is a platform that is a combination of search engine and social media, so it is a powerhouse for bloggers. A new blogger can gain a following fast by optimizing their boards for searches and sharing posts in group boards.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of Pinterest users are female millennials and about half of them are parents. This audience spends more money online and is a very powerful demographic. They also tend to be more visual, so create graphics that are eye catching and informative.
When you sign up for Pinterest, it is important to let potential readers know who you are and what you are all about. Keep keywords for your niche and topics in mind when you write your profile. This will help Pinterest to locate your profile when users search for pinners with the keywords you specify.
Boards are the categories within your Pinterest profile that organize your content. When you create a board, you want to include keywords and other important information in the description of your boards. This helps your readers and followers find the pins they are most interested in quickly.
The most amazing part of Pinterest for a blogger are group boards. These boards allow bloggers to support one another and share relevant content. This allows you to pin your blog posts to large boards with thousands of followers, all of whom could potentially click on your pin and save it to their boards.
Group boards with high repin rates are the best boards to join. In order to search for boards that you may join, search for your niche with “group” or “group board” behind the niche. To join a board, follow the instructions in the board description.
Facebook is one of the oldest and most successful social media platforms out there. It continues to grow from year-to-year and also has the most users. This makes it another excellent marketing tool for bloggers.
It is a great way for a blogger to reach very diverse audience. Men and women of all races and most nationalities use this platform. This broad audience makes it a great way for you to begin marketing your blog, regardless of your niche or target audience.
Your personal profile should reflect that you are a blogger and specify your niche. This will help readers, bloggers, and clients find you quickly. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to have a public profile. You can keep a private profile and simply use a public page to promote your blog.
This allows a certain amount of privacy that other platforms don’t offer. Also keep in mind that people who read blogs tend to want to know more about your personal life. You need to be willing to share a portion of your life with them to earn their trust.
You can create a page for yourself and each blog that you operate. This is a great way to keep a distinction between various blogs and businesses you operate and your personal profile. You can promote your page by asking friends and family to share it and even offer freebies or contests to promote sharing.
If you sell products, this is a great way to spread awareness of your blog and advertise your products and services.
Facebook Groups are another amazing resource you can use to get a lot of shares quickly and easily. You have to submit a request a to a group board and once approved by the admin, read the ! I keep a spreadsheet of each group I belong to and what the rules are so that I can share my posts without violating the board rules.
This helps me to stay compliant and get the most out of these groups. Just remember to return the favor and share other bloggers’ posts. Be polite, don’t criticize, and improve your reputation by participating in the group.
Instagram is a very visual platform that offers photo filters and video options . Your pictures are the headlines, but you can use this platform to tell your story, adding a personal touch. It is quickly becoming an excellent marketing tool for bloggers whose audience is composed primarily of millennials.
When you post to Instagram, use hashtags and keywords in the text portion of your post. This will help your audience find your posts and leads to more follows.
Twitter is another mature social media platform used primarily by millennials. It is not as powerful for bloggers as Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram, but it has its place. People who follow you can quickly retweet your posts. It is also a fast way of marketing your blog thanks to the character limits on each tweet and social media publishing sites, like Hootsuite.
Optimize your profile and remember to use hashtags in your profile and tweets for better search results. Use keywords in your description and use a maximum of two hashtags on each tweet in order to not appear too promotional.
If you are offering a service, LinkedIn, is a must-have social media platform. It is not beneficial for every single blogger, but if you are “for hire” for anything, it is a goldmine. Most of the people on this platform are professionals working your basic 9-to-5. Optimize your profile for searches and share your blog posts on LinkedIn.
A powerful tool for marketing your blog is email marketing. If you are not using this tool, you need to start ASAP. Personally, I use MailerLite for my email service, and I couldn’t be happier.
Prior to MailerLite I was using another popular service and it worked for me, for a while. That was until I wanted to use automation. Even though my email list was very small, the service wanted to charge me for every email I automated.
For me, that meant that when I created a free email course, it would cost me money every single email that was sent to my new subscriber. MailerLite offers the same great service as many of the other email services, but automation is included for free on smaller accounts.
This is great for new bloggers who want to increase their email list without spending a fortune to get started. Once you have over 1,000 subscribers, you can upgrade. By that time, you should be earning enough income from your blog to support their reasonable prices.
Why You Need an Email List
Your blog needs an email list of subscribers so that you can start marketing your blog to your existing fan base! When you promote your blog on social media, the reader may have never heard of you. Your email subscribers are already your fans! They WANT to hear from you and read to what you have written.
These people are your followers, so you don’t need to earn their loyalty like you do with a new reader. You simply need to value this loyalty and provide them with a good reason to keep reading.
Exclusive content, updates, free downloads, personal insights into the blogger’s life, or a behind-the-scenes look at the writing process are great things to share with existing followers. When marketing your blog, you have to plan a little something extra for loyal fans to provide incentive to keep coming back for more.
How to Build an Email List
Include a form, or several, on your website. I have one that pops up when you visit my website, another at the end of each post, and one in my home menu. Multiple forms give your readers fast ways to sign up for emails without having to search high-and-low.
If signing up isn’t convenient, most readers won’t go to the trouble of searching for a signup form. Make it easy for them.
Utilize Lead Magnets
I will go into more details about lead magnets in a future post. For now, I will keep it brief. You can create and provide your readers with free downloads and resources in exchange for their email address. These freebies are known as lead magnets.
Lead magnets include a wide array of freebies. The most important part of the lead magnet is to make sure that these downloads offer your readers value. Freebies can include checklists, calendars, cheat sheets, e-books, email courses, and printables.
Send the Post to Bloggers You Cite
If you link to another blogger’s work in a blog post, cite them as a source via a hyperlink, or reference them in anyway, send a link of your post to them via their website or social media. This way, the blogger can read the post and share it with his or her audience, if they enjoy it.
This will also help you to build a relationship between yourself and other bloggers. Networking and building relationships with others in your field is a great way to find support and build your reputation. An added bonus is that this can also lead to guest posts. Guest posts will gain exposure (traffic) for your blog and you may also be paid opportunities.
Comment on Other Bloggers’ Blog Posts
A way to gain exposure for your website is to post comments on other bloggers’ blog posts. This boosts their blog’s SEO and you can reference your own blog, which helps you. Make sure that you read the posts and make valid, supportive comments.
Don’t shamelessly promote your blog on another blogger’s website! This is a networking opportunity. You’re out there to make acquaintances and improve your reputation. When you use another person’s blog as a promotional opportunity for yourself, it is tacky, rude, and inconsiderate. If in doubt, don’t promote your own blog in comments.
Reply to Comments on Your Own Blog Posts
Whenever possible, read the comments on your posts and reply back to the readers’ responses. Readers may comment about anything. If they need additional information, be helpful and provide them with sources or other pages in your blog. If they complement you, say thank you.
Polite and courteous communications on your blog make other people want to interact with you. It also provides you with an opportunity to build a reputation within the blogging community.
Do You Have Other Suggestions?
What works for you? If you are a blogger and have other suggestions not listed in this post, please share that information in the comments! We can all learn from other blogger’s experiences and would appreciate any additional suggestions.
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Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful week!