Getting traffic to your blog is always a daunting task. The internet is a vast metropolis filled with a myriad of tools and people that can help you, but it is difficult figuring out where to start. Here are eight tools I have found useful to try and attract attention to my blog.
1) Twitter Chats
The most important thing to keep in mind is that Twitter is a conversation. So don’t just blindly tweet out links to your blog with the hashtag #blog and hope that traffic will find you. Find people in your area of interest by taking place in Twitter chats. A service like tweetchat.com is a great way to find what conversations are taking place in real time. Join one of these discussions simply by using the relevant hashtag in your tweet. Think of these chats as a series of elevator pitches for your blog. If you come up with compelling points in 140 characters, people will want to hear what you have to say once you have more space to work with.
2) Social Media Influencers
We hear all the time how there are “influencers” out there who are just itching to tell everyone how great your blog is. The thing is, they aren’t. Asking for blind promotion is a great way to get your e-mails deleted. These “influencers” already have an audience that they cater to. If they don’t think that you will interest their audiences, your blog won’t matter to them. Find these “influencers” through sites like Kreg and Little Bird (currently in beta, to check out what they have to offer, sign in using the name “littlebird” and the password “toldme”), then engage them through social media or e-mail. Remember, these “influencers” are people just like you and me! Find some common ground and see where you can provide value to their readers.
3) Old Fashioned Local Marketing
Don’t forget that there are people in your neighborhood who can benefit from what you have to offer! Do you write a blog that has tips for businesses? Find small businesses in your area and interview the owners. They get free promotion and you get an interesting story. If you reach out to enough people, you will eventually gain a reputation as the go to blogger for those in your neighborhood looking to gain exposure. The internet is a wonderful tool, but don’t forget that you can build a base of readers right in your area by simply going out and experiencing the world around you!
4) Search Engine Optimization
SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimization” or as I like to call it “how to get free clicks.” You do not need to be a tech junkie to make sure your blog is optimized for search engines (check out this quick rundown on how title tags work). Simply go into the code on your blog and make sure that all of your title tags contain the keywords you are looking to target. Secondly, sprinkle description tags across your site with keywords other than the one used in your title tag. Be careful not to overdo it though, search engines will classify your blog as spam if you have too many description tags.
5) Make Your Posts a Two-Way Conversation
We all focus on developing an argument when we are writing a blog post whether it’s a simple list like this one or something more complex. Keep in mind that your readers are developing counter-arguments in their heads as they read your post. Give them incentive to express this counter-argument. This could be something as simple as ending an article with “what do you think?” or something more complex like “I believe X and if you can come up with 3 reasons I’m wrong, I will do Y.” This will inspire more spirited debate amongst your readers in your comment section, which will inevitably lead them to tell a friend with similar interests about your blog.
6) Write a Weekly Mailbag
Every marketing blog on the planet has beaten this point to death but it doesn’t make it any less true: your readers are your most effective marketers. Reward them for their loyalty by answering their questions in a way that also communicates your broader vision with your audience. Keep in mind, your readers aren’t passive consumers. They have thoughts that they want to communicate too. Mailbags are a great way to make them feel like they have a stake in your blog since you are literally making them a part of your blog. Mailbags also have a snowball effect, as one successful mailbag will lead to more e-mails for your next one. Happy readers beget more happy readers. This is just a fact.
InboxQ allows you to find a stream of questions being asked on Twitter and lets you answer them right from InboxQ’s website. This is a phenomenal resource. Someone takes to Twitter and cries to the heavens “someone help me!!” And there’s you, heroically flying down out of nowhere to deliver them the answer that will solve all their problems. You automatically become one of that person’s “go to” resources when they need help in your field of expertise. First impressions matter, and being able to solve a problem for someone on your first engagement is about as good as it gets.
8) The Pollis
(Full disclosure: I am the Founder of Pollis.com.) The Pollis is a social network built around free promotion for bloggers. We are just launching our first beta but our mission is to provide bloggers with the tools they need to promote themselves for free. A quick description of how the site works can be found here. The philosophy behind the site is that bloggers who provide quality content will receive higher marks from users, which leads to their blog appearing higher in our blog catalog, which means less clicks for someone to discover your blog. Simply put, we’re trying to leverage the power of social media to promote any blog whether you have a million hits a month or ten. It’s not a perfect model yet, but we hope to get where we need to be with the help of the blogosphere.
All these options are ways for you to directly land more eyeballs on to your blog, but ultimately, unless you are producing quality content on a consistent basis, none of these matter. The best way to ensure that you get repeat customers is to provide value in the content you produce.
Well, those are my 8 ideas; I’d love to hear what other methods you have found to be successful in promoting your blog in the comments below!
About the Author: Jacob Weindling is the Founder of Pollis.com.