How to Promote Your Blog Content: My Magical Advice
So you’ve got an amazing idea for a new blog post. You plan it, write it, format it, take the photos for it, proof read it, go through your pre-publish checklist and then it goes live. You share the link on Twitter, make sure it’s showing up on Bloglovin’, then sit back and wait for the pageviews to come rolling in.
Don’t you wish it was that easy?
In every public speaking workshop I do, one of the things I always tell the students is “build it and they will come” is a very outdated way of thinking. That used to work – now, it’s more like “build it, share it until you can’t share it anymore, and then they’ll come.”
So what do you do? How do you get your content out there in front of all the right people?
By promoting it.
Oh yeah. It just got real. But I know what you’re thinking (because everyone else thinks it too) – where should I promote it? And how?
That’s what this post is here to tell you (in over 2000 words, so get ready!) Today, we’re in a blogging world where there are endless possibilities when it comes to content promotion. You just need to find them. Here are all the answers you need, plus how to actually do it.
This might seem obvious to you, but for all you newbie bloggers out there, get your blog on Bloglovin’. That way, when a blog post is published on your blog, it’ll directly sync with this platform too. I love my Bloglovin’ feed for catching up with all my favourite blogs, and I bet most of you do too. Here are a few extra tips for making the most of it:
- Put your blog in the right category. I remember when I first started blogging, I put my blog in the “other” category, because I wasn't sure what direction I was heading in yet. But you’ve got to remember that your blog will develop as you will. So while you might be writing about beauty for now and think that 'Beauty' is the best category, you might want to re-evaluate if you start adding in lifestyle content. This also means that your content will be promoted to the people who are going to be most interested in it.
- Promote that you’re on Bloglovin’. Get a button to put in your sidebar and there’s no harm in sharing your link either. Self-promotion is part of the job description and Bloglovin’ is one of the best ways to do it.
There are so many different ways you can promote your blog content to your newsletter subscribers. Remember, people sign up to your newsletter to hear more from you. They want to see what value you can give them. I even know some people who sign up to newsletters, purely to receive someone’s blog content that way.
There are two main ways you can promote your content through your newsletter and I’ll tell you which one I prefer.
The first is to write your blog post directly into your newsletter. Or half of it and then link to the rest of your post online. This isn't my preferred method.
I believe newsletters are best utilised when they’re unique and original – not repurposed content. But there’s nothing wrong with having some of your links within your newsletter. You could base your newsletter on a blog post topic and start off with “Earlier this week I wrote about X on the blog, which inspired me to write about Y.” Or you could do a little round up at the end of your most recent posts. You could title this, “Recent posts”, “In case you missed it”, “Recently on the blog” or something similar.
The point here is that you’re giving your subscribers an opportunity and making it really easy for them to view your content. Jen does this really well.
This is a no-brainer, right?
As bloggers, we all know how beneficial social media is a promotional tool. But there are two things I see bloggers struggling with and that’s how to manage all your platforms, and not making your self-promotion seem “icky”.
However you feel about social media, there’s no denying it’s a fantastic tool we've got at our fingertips. Some people think you can just share the link to your latest blog post across all your channels and be done with it – actually, there’s a lot more to it than that!
Twitter is definitely one of the best promotional tools out there. But the problem I see is that some people either only tweet a link to their latest blog post once – or they do it far too much. The key is finding the right balance.
To start with, you definitely want to be sharing your latest blog post more than once. The average lifespan of a tweet is about 18 minutes, and if you’ve got a decent following on there, you want to make sure you’re giving everyone enough time to see what you’re sharing.
But you also don’t want to share your blog post in every other tweet. This will look too self-promotional and put people off. I find a balance of three times is enough. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. What’s even better is if you’ve got your optimal social media posting times. That way, you can pick three peak times when you know your audience is going to be online to see your tweets.
A good thing to do is make sure each tweet promoting the same blog post throughout the day is different. Take these as an example.
Notice how they’re promoting the same thing but all say something different? That’s what you want to achieve with your promotional tweets. Plus, including an image wherever you can will guarantee you more interaction.
What’s also worth mentioning is that you don’t just have to share your blog post on the day it goes live and be done with it. Here’s when else you want to be sharing it:
- The next day
- The next week
- A month later
- Two months later
- Three months later
I usually check back through my calendar to see what posts went live this time a month or two ago and tweet those to go out using “from the archives” or #ICYMI.
You can easily take care of all of this by using a scheduling tool, like Buffer which is my ultimate favourite. You can find a tutorial on how to use it here.
Takeaway: Take time each day to schedule your tweets. That way you can concentrate on the work that matters and let your scheduling tool work its magic.
Pinterest is becoming every bloggers best friend at the moment. Just this week I’ve seen so many posts about how to use Pinterest to help your blog. More and more people are becoming aware of the fact that it can help you have a big impact.
One of the best reasons you should be promoting each blog post to Pinterest is because a pin can go viral at any time. Even if it’s a blog post from a few months ago, it could still go viral, purely because of the long shelf-life each pin gets.
There are tools you can use to schedule your pins, but most of these are paid. So what I do is upload them manually and share them to each of my relevant boards throughout the day. It’s paying off – after Twitter, Pinterest is my second largest referrer.
Takeaway: Make sure you’ve got boards set up on Pinterest that are relevant to all the categories you blog about. If you’re purely a beauty blogger, you could have boards called, “Day Looks”, “Night Looks”, “Eye Make-up Inspiration” and so on. Plus you can set one up for your brand name too. The possibilities are endless, so go and have fun!
I’ll be honest – my Facebook page doesn’t get me half as near as much traffic as my other social platforms do. But there is something else with Facebook that can help you get results: Facebook groups.
I do see some results through promoting my blog content through my Facebook page, but I get bigger results through taking part in Facebook groups, so that’s where I spend most of my time on this platform. There are so many groups you can join for various industries so don’t worry about not being able to find one!
Most groups have daily promotional threads that you can take part in and a specific day each week where you’ll get to share your latest post. Make sure to visit other people’s too and that way the other members of the group are more likely to head over to your blog.
You can schedule your Facebook posts too, but a brilliant tip I got from a blogger called Fran is that Facebook will penalise you for anything that comes through scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, meaning your followers are less likely to see it. This year, I’ve been scheduling my posts directly through Facebook and noticed a BIG change.
Here’s something that surprised me: I’ve seen bloggers and online business owners say that they get a lot of their clients through Instagram. More people now use Instagram on a monthly basis than Twitter, so if you’re not using it to promote your content, well you should be!
Ideally, if you only upload a photo to Instagram once a day, you don’t want it to be promoting your blog post. That’s why it’s good to upload a mixture of images throughout the day. Plus, if you’re proud of your imagery, then why not share your pictures with your community?
I’ve upped my blog-photo-taking game purely for this reason. I wanted to get bigger results with Instagram and use it more purposefully, and I knew that the first thing I needed to work on was my photography. It’s made a huge difference.
Now, I upload 3 images a day – one as part of the #TheGramGang community, a random one from my day and one promoting my latest blog post.
Again, you’ve got the balance of it not being too “icky” for your audience. The beauty with Instagram is they might not even see it as promotion if they love your image!
Then for days you haven’t uploaded a blog post, you can do something like this:
Yep – believe it or not you can promote yourself on Snapchat too! I don’t do this often – just once a day. All you need to do is either an image of your blog post on your laptop or a quick video that scrolls through it. You might find you have a completely different audience on Snapchat, so it’s always worth doing some promotion on there. Plus, it’s even better for showing people behind-the-scenes of how you actually create your content!
These are essentially websites that you can upload your content to, and they’re seriously not utilised enough by bloggers. Some popular ones are Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon and Medium. I’ve used both StumbleUpon and Medium in the past and seen results through both of them. They’re definitely worth checking out if you haven’t done before.
I know you’ll have heard about guest posting before – there’s even a task on it in the Blogging Breakthrough eBook. A lot of bloggers talk about guest posting, but a lot of us are too scared to actually do it. But really, it can be the least-spammy way to promote yourself.
Let’s say you’re launching a new series on your blog and you want to build up awareness for it. A great way to do that is through guest posting. Find two or three bloggers who blog about similar topics, create some article ideas based on what your new series is going to be about and there you go. You’re giving out valuable information whilst showing your expertise, getting yourself out there in front of a new audience and sharing a direct link to your blog. Win win!
Tell people if you mentioned them
Do you usually mention other bloggers, brands or products in your posts? Have you done a round-up of your favourite blogs or local shops in your area? Then why not tell people you featured them!
There are two ways you can do this and I’ll talk you through both.
The first is simply mentioning them on social media. So earlier this week I did a round-up of Instagram accounts and featured 11 different people. When the post went live, I made sure to mention them all on social media with a link to the post, telling them I’d featured them. If they’re on social media a lot (like we are!) then they’ll get the notification and send you a note of thanks.
Another way you can do this is through email. So when I was putting together the 101 website series, I emailed every single website asking them for a quote to appear with their write up in the blog post. Then, when the post went live that they were featured in, I emailed them again with a link to the post and them for taking part. It worked – this series finished in September and people are still sharing it.
Don’t be afraid of interaction. Even if the blogger has 10K twitter followers. Remember, you’re providing a resource for your followers and if they've found it useful, then you’ve hit the nail on the head.
How do you go about promoting your blog content? What’s the biggest thing you can take away from this post?