Promoting a new blog doesn’t happen by chance. It takes a lot more than just sharing it on social media once and then hoping for the best. You need to have solid strategies that are tried, tested, and proven to have a lot of success.
With that in mind, here are 10 promotion tricks that have worked for countless successful online marketers. Just follow the steps listed below, implement the strategies one at a time, and you will get sustainable results in your business as well.
If You Build It, They’ll Come… NOT!
Remember that old saying that goes, `If you build it, they’ll come?’ Well, it’s true for anything but Internet business. Many aspiring online entrepreneurs dream of launching a brand-new blog, creating some awesome posts, getting recognized by Google, and then experiencing a flood of search traffic…
Unfortunately, the reality is very different.
SEO only gets you so far, and a lot of it depends on backlinks, social shares, and other types of social proof. These are things you don’t have when starting out. So if you build your blog and then sit back and hope that visitors will come, you may be waiting for a very long time. A better plan is to use the basic blog promotion strategies listed below to get a healthy flow of traffic to your website.
The Blog Promotion Equation: Outflow = Inflow
When it comes to basic blog promotion, keep in mind that your inflow equals your outflow. In other words, the more you promote your blog, the more traffic (and therefore income) you get. So think of it this way, anytime you want to get more traffic, or to generate more leads, make more sales, get more brand awareness, etc. the first thing you need to ask yourself is:
Don’t fall into the trap that many bloggers fall prey to, which is thinking that publishing more and more new content is all they need to get more traffic. Yes, Google wants to see you producing new content regularly, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the content you’ve already created.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that publishing new posts counts as outflow. It’s simply outPUT from the time you spent creating the blog post, but it is not outFLOW since nobody knows that you’ve published it. Simply hitting the publish button on your blog doesn’t do anything to bring people there.
So outflow, in this case, means that you need to promote your blog. You need to get out there and communicate with other people and let them know about your awesome blog.
So let’s get into the strategies.
1. Stop Tweaking Your Website
A lot of people tweak and tweak (and tweak and tweak) their blogs in an attempt to feel like they’re being productive or doing something meaningful. But that’s just a way of procrastinating and staying in their ‘safe zone’.
They tell themselves that the changes they are making to the design of the blog are going to lead to great benefits in the long term, but they’re just kidding themselves. If you’ve fallen into that trap before, do your best to resist the urge.
What does the design of your blog matter if no one ever gets to see it?
So, as much as you may justify those tiny, never-ending changes in your own head, keep in mind that they probably won’t move the needle much in terms of getting results from your blog promotion. So once your blog is in a functional state, leave it alone.
If there’s something that you think should be done to improve the design, make a note of it. But for now, leave the blog alone and focus only on promoting. You’ll be surprised at how, after about 30 to 90 days without tweaking your blog, you may decide that the design works perfectly the way it is after all!
You’re probably already familiar with the idea of creating pillar posts for your blog. These are high-quality, valuable posts that you create to be major staples of your blog. But, it’s important that you create your posts with your overall promotion strategy in mind.
When crafting pillar posts, you need to understand from the get-go that these aren’t standard blog posts that’ll soon be forgotten in the archives. Rather, these are major resource posts – flagship posts that you’ll spend a lot of time promoting to your audience.
Just as the pillars in a building hold it up, your pillar posts will be the foundation of your blog content and they will do most of the heavy lifting on your blog.
You need to decide on the topics of your pillar posts in a very strategic way.
Find the major topics within your niche, and take the time to research what other blogs are writing on the topic so you can create something even better. Use Buzzsumo or any other similar tool to find out what type of content is shared the most for your keyword. Look at the top results on Google search, then make a plan for creating something that’s better than all of them.
Keep in mind that you can also curate content as opposed to creating it yourself when putting together your pillar posts.
You can do this by combining any of your unique content with your valuable stuff from other bloggers in your niche. This can result in a resource post that is extremely useful to your ideal audience.
When curating content, you can use other people’s blog posts, infographics, YouTube videos, and more. Simply combine it all into one mega-post which contains all the best stuff you can find on the topic. Just remember, if you use content curation, don’t do it on every one of your pillar posts.
It’s vital that you bring your own game if you ever want to be viewed as an authority in your industry. For a
new blog, about 5 pillar posts should do. You can create more of them as time goes on, but for now, focus on promoting those five.
3. Don’t Do Ads
A lot of new bloggers come into this game thinking that they’re going to make a lot of money from ads. But here’s the thing, monetizing your blog using ads is one of the worst ways of making money online. Also, you may be waiting a year or two before you’re able to monetize, and frankly I believe that if you’re going to make money from your blog, sooner is better than later.
The simple truth is that placing banner ads on your website distracts your readers and serves to draw them away from your blog. You worked very hard to get traffic flowing to your blog, and when they finally land on your site, the first thing you do is send them away to someone else’s website?
How counterintuitive is that?
It’s certainly not worth the few dollars you might make, particularly when there are so many other effective means of monetizing the blog that you can use.
The best way to build leverage is by building two lists:
- The first is your email list
- The second is the retargeting pixeled list
As a marketer, you already know how important it is to build an email list. If you are just starting out, create at least one really effective lead magnet and put it up there so you can start building an email list immediately. You can also create content upgrades that are tightly relevant to your posts and then drop them as opt-ins within the pillar posts. This will help you start putting subscribers on to your list.
The second list, however includes retargeting. This is something that many blog owners either aren’t aware of or they simply forget about. Retargeting is a way of reaching out to anyone who visited your website in the past using paid ads.
It’s extremely easy (and very cheap) to do and your blog is the ideal asset to help you build a visitor base that you can target in this way. You won’t be spending any money on this right now, but you will be building assets that you can use later.
This is how remarketing works:
- A potential customer comes to your site
- They leave without opting in or making a purchase
- Later, when they are surfing the web, they start to see your ads on other sites
- Your ads recapture their interest and bring them back to your website
- Potential customers turn into happy, paying customers
So can you see why this list is vital?
At the very least, make sure that you set up your Facebook Advertising Pixel. Facebook has a very easy to follow step-by-step guides to help you with this. You’ll find the link at the bottom of this article.
Doing this will allow Facebook to start creating a custom audience based on all the web visitors that come to your blog. All this happens behind the scenes, so once you set it up, you can forget about it until later – when you need it.
When it comes to promoting your blog, the first thing you need to do is find people to talk to. After all, promotion is all about outgoing communication. However, when you’re first getting started, having no relationships with other bloggers and marketers, it may be a little daunting to find people to promote to.
But don’t worry, you’ll be able to find out who the big players and influences are in your niche, as well as how you can approach them to get the best results. The first thing you need to do is create a spreadsheet where you will record all the things in your niche as you’ll find them.
Listed below are some of the things that you need to look for:
- Competing Websites
- Communities and Groups
- Podcasts within Your Niche
- Products for Sale
- Major YouTube Channels
This is a lot more to this list, of course. However, the idea is for you to create – over time – a major reference file which includes all the competitors within your niche.
You need to know who these people are, what they talk about, and how you can contact them. You also want to find out what’s for sale, as well as how much it costs. You need to discover where your ideal audience is hanging out, which other blogs, forums, and social communities they are part of.
As you can see, there is a lot of information that is going into this spreadsheet file, and you will be adding new entries constantly over time.
If you’re just getting started, you probably don’t realize that your future audience is already there – somewhere. Those people already exist, they just don’t have any idea that YOUR blog does. So your job right now is to find out exactly where they are and then reach them.
Your research into your niche and the key players in it will help you do just that. This spreadsheet will be a major tool within your blog marketing arsenal.
5. Time for Some Outreach
This is the part that a lot of marketers dread. However, doing outreach really doesn’t have to be hard. By now you have a massive list of the main players within your niche. Keep in mind that the list doesn’t only have to contain the big players, but you also want to know a few smaller ones too.
You want to include all different sizes of players, from the huge A-players with the most eyeballs, to the mid-sized B-players, and even the lower-level players.
With your list in hand, it’s time to make yourself known.
Let’s begin the promotion!
Your first step is to contact some of the people on your list in whatever way you can. This phase is all about getting onto those people’s radars. Don’t email asking anyone for a link or for them to share your content on social media. Doing that will most likely guarantee that you’ll be ignored.
Keep in mind that the more popular the person or blog, the more emails like that they probably get. So if you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll probably just get deleted. What you want to do instead is to find out what that person wants and needs. If you don’t make it about what you want but rather what they want, then you stand a better chance of getting a positive response.
Take a look at the examples below:
- Does the blog have a podcast based on interviews? If so, they are always looking for new guests. Consider if you would make a good guest for that podcast. You could email them proposing the idea.
- Does the blog have a product for sale? If so, they might love a testimonial or case study. Is this something you might be able to create for them? If you do, they are likely to promote the heck out of you!
- Do any of their blog posts have broken links, or links to outdated articles? If so you could let them know and offer one of your awesome pillar posts as a great replacement.
- Are they asking questions (in their blog posts or social posts) about things that you feel you can help them with? If so, simply contact them and offer your assistance for free. Just be helpful and cool.
Do you get the idea?
There is a lot that you can do to get on people’s radars without annoying them by asking for things when you have no relationship with those people. You just need to be a little creative and don’t treat this as a bulk activity.
Contact individual people on a one-on-one basis and start to build relationships. Be a person, and treat them the same way. And there’s no need to feel awkward about this because you are helping them and they will appreciate you for it – and in time, they will want to reciprocate. Or not…
Sometimes you can be as helpful as possible and still not get a response. If you don’t get a reply, don’t be a pest and hammer them until they answer you, simply move on.
If you want to make your efforts even more effective, a better strategy would be to first build up some proof of yourself by connecting with some of the ‘C’ and ‘B’ players in your space before moving on to the ‘A’ players.
Contribute to other blogs, forums, groups, social media, etc. and over time, the repeated exposure will lead to people recognizing your name and you’ll eventually connect with them.
Can you see how this would work much better than cold-emailing people that don’t know you at all?
6. Be A Guest Expert
As previously stated, your future audience is already out there. They simply don’t know anything about you yet. They are watching, reading, or listening… to someone else, and all you need to figure out is how to get YOUR content in front of them.
- If there are lots of guest posts on a popular blog, try to be one of them.
- Give podcasting a try. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get interviews.
- Become an expert within influential communities in your niche. Simply answer people’s questions as well as you can and before long, you’ll become a big kahuna within that community and people will be coming to your blog for more information.
7. ‘Smart’ Commenting
Leaving comments on other people’s websites as a means of promoting your own website is not a new concept. However, a lot of marketers are still getting it wrong. They are out there leaving comments on other blogs as a way of building backlinks, but this is what leads to the spam mentality.
Although backlinks can be a byproduct of participating in forums, commenting on blogs and other social groups, it shouldn’t be the main reason why you do it. If you’re going to do it at all, make sure it’s to help position yourself as being an authority, as well as for you to learn the wants and needs of your market.
If the community you are commenting on belongs to a larger blog, brand, or influencer, then it’s also a great way for you to get on their radar – as long as you are truly providing value.
As a blog owner yourself, you will be shocked at the number of useless crappy comments you have to trash on your own site. As your blog grows, there will be a lot of people who say shallow nonsense just to leave a backlink to their own website. It’s ridiculous, and it’s something you should never do!
Here is what you should do instead:
- Only post comments on other blogs if you’ve got something legitimate to add.
- Leave your own name when commenting, not your business or brand name.
- Participate in influential social media communities as an authority who is there to simply help other people (not to drop links to your content).
- If commenting on a forum, just put your blog URL in your signature, and that’s it.
Participating in this way is just as much about learning new things as it is about anything else. You will be
able to learn a lot about the needs of your market through such interactions. You’ll then have the opportunity to take that information and use it to create better content for your blog that’s going to resonate with your ideal audience.
8. Acknowledge Other People
As a blog owner, it’s easy to forget that communication has to be a two-way flow. You continue talking and talking, imagining anonymous globs of people listening out there. However, it’s important to realize that in order to connect with other people and create real communication, you need to have a two-way flow.
This means that you need to get people talking back to you and when they do, you must always acknowledge them.
Many new bloggers often get discouraged when they don’t receive many (if any) blog comments. But really, there’s nothing to worry about, especially when you’re just getting started. All you need to do is to become an active part of the conversations wherever they happen to take place.
That may not be on your blog, and that’s okay.
Go to where the conversation is and join it there. Actively facilitate communication where ever you find it.
The easiest way to get people to talk to you is by posing questions then asking them to reply. Being a two-way street, communication means that you listen just as much as you talk. And whenever anyone talks to you, in whatever capacity, always acknowledge them.
This means replying to emails, replying to your comments, and so on. Of course, this might be easy when your blog is still small, but as it grows, it’ll become harder and harder to do. You may have to set up different systems to help you manage and scale it when the time comes. But since it’s the early days, take the time to make personal connections with each and everyone who interacts with you.
9. Monetize Your Blog
Traditionally, monetizing a blog required you to have an established traffic flow. However, things have changed and there are now many monetization methods that don’t rely on huge flows of traffic. Reactive monetization methods like banner ads, affiliate marketing, etc. depend on already having the traffic coming to your site, while they themselves don’t help to generate more traffic.
In fact, methods like those actually suck visitors away from your website. So instead, you want to use a proactive monetization method that can be set up even before you have established traffic. It will also help you generate more traffic to your blog.
What is this magical method of which I speak?
Offering your own products or services, of course.
You can sell stuff directly to people who land on your website (or at least offer it – it may not exist yet…) By setting up a basic funnel structure, you give your blog a potential for revenue. You’ll have the ability to get leads and make sales from day one.
For instance, you may have a funnel that looks like this:
Lead Magnets (FREE) > Targeted Front End Offer ($7) > Membership Site ($49/m) > High-End Offer ($997)
That’s not to say that your blog is going to start generating revenue from the first day.
You still have to get traffic in order to make that funnel work, but at least you’ve given your site the potential to generate revenue.
By now you must be wondering what the potential for generating revenue has to do with promoting your blog, am I right?
Well, let’s move on to the last promotion strategy, and all will be made clear.
10. Get Control with Paid Media
For instance, when you write articles on your blog, you have absolutely no control over how much traffic they’ll bring in (or when). Of course, there are things that you can do to give your posts the best chance of ranking high in the search engines, but here we are talking about a blog promotion strategy where you KNOW you’ll get traffic.
You have a predictable flow of traffic to work with whenever you choose.
I don’t know about you, but I think that is a great way to take all the guesswork out of blog promotion. Making use of paid media such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Promoted Tweets, YouTube Pre-roll Ads, etc. is something that most bloggers aren’t willing to do. However, it’s also the reason many bloggers never manage to get their blogs off the ground.
If you intend to experience online business success in the quickest way possible, it’s important to avoid such shortsightedness and be willing to flow a little money at your venture.
This doesn’t even have to cost you much (you can get started with just $1/day on Facebook), and the good news is as long as you do it right, you will be able to make your money back – and more, in no time at all.
The trick here is to start small and to take the time to understand one source of paid traffic instead of trying to use many at the same time. But I know what you’re thinking: how can you justify using paid ads when you’re not yet making any money from your blog?
Well, it’s simple.
Remember strategies 3 and 9?
- Your blog is set up for leverage (#3)
- Your blog has revenue potential (#9)
Now you can run paid traffic to your website, and although in the beginning, you may make less than you’re spending, at this point you’re not worried about making money. Your main aim is to use that predictable flow of traffic to test various elements of your funnel so you can really nail down the product/market fit.
When that is done, you will be able to acquire leads predictably, which will help you to make back all the ad costs. When this happens, you will be on the road to growing your business and blog in a predictable way.
So think about it: Is it worth spending six months to a year (or even two years) trying to rank your articles before you start making money?
Or does this strategy make more sense?
Yes, SEO is vital and you should also be working on that even while you’re running paid ads, but this is the best way for you to start getting real results in your business in the quickest time possible.
Just remember, don’t place a paid ad that simply points to your homepage. Visitors who land there will probably just scatter and you won’t get the conversions or ROI you desire. Instead, strategically bring visitors to the pages that are designed for converting people into leads.
Here are some ways you can go about doing that:
- Send people to blog posts that are written specifically to earn their email opt-ins
- Even if those people don’t opt-in, you can now re-target them with ads that point directly to your squeeze page
- Send visitors from ads directly to a squeeze page
- Send visitors to webinar invitations
Just remember that this is cold traffic. These people don’t know who you are, so don’t send visitors to any of your products to buy. Only ask for sale after you’ve introduced yourself, helped them, given them some value – then the time will be right.
For instance, after visitors opt into your email list and you’ve sent their lead magnets to their email, you could make an offer on the thank you page.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, promoting your blog doesn’t have to be hard. You just need a plan that you will work consistently. Follow these steps consistently and you are guaranteed to see spectacular results in your blog promotion efforts.