I read somewhere the other day that the secret to running a successful business blog should be 20% content production and 80% blog promotion and in truth, it really isn’t far off the mark.
Let’s face it – you’ve probably spent a great deal of time crafting the perfect blog that will appeal to your target audience. After all, it’s informative, it’s insightful and it’s…well….probably the best thing since sliced bread.
The last thing you want therefore is for no one to see it, particularly as you’ve poured your heart and sole into it. Yet what many new businesses bloggers do next after they’ve written it is to do nothing.
Instead they’ll post it onto their website citing a job well done and move onto the next task. A few days later they’ll go back to it and are usually disappointed when they see that they have no comments, no subscribers, and zero views!
Despite this, what many new business bloggers fail to understand is that writing the post is the (relatively) easy part. The hard part is promoting the heck out of it, but that’s exactly what you need to do.
So just how do you do that?
Here’s a guide to blog promotion for beginners and the steps you need to take.
As a freelance writer I get to read a lot of business blogs in my particular niche and I’m still amazed at the number of posts that don’t have any form of social sharing icons attached to them. Let’s face it if a reader has to head on over to Twitter, hand write a tweet with a post headline and embed a link back to your post, they’re probably not going to do it. Why? Because people are lazy and quite frankly life’s too short!
Instead it’s so much easier to have a social share button right there on your site that readers can instantly share at the click of a button. There are plenty available most of which are free. The most popular are:
Simply pick one and install it. It takes seconds and will tell readers right from the start that you really want them to share your post.
Unfortunately unless you’re a seasoned blogger with thousands of loyal readers you might want to think twice about writing whatever you feel like and desperately trying to get people to read it.
Instead blog promotion for beginners should involve a bit of reverse-engineering. Try tailoring posts around questions or queries that your target audience are already searching for.
For example – we write a lot within the dental niche and one of the main questions that crops up time and time again is “Is tooth whitening painful?” . As a result a regular client asked if we could write a detailed post based around the subject and needless to say that particular post has generated a decent amount of interest for our client.
So how do you do it?
Firstly begin with a strong headline and a keyword that will make your post easily found. Then look to fill it out with insightful and meaningful content that answers a particular question or addresses a particular problem. This way you stand a better chance of those important people in your niche (you know – the ones with large social media followings) picking it up and taking an interest in it.
Top tip – How about even naming those important people in your post. This way, it gives them even more incentive to share it with others.
Finally you might want to end with a summary or question enticing people to comment.
This brings me nicely onto…
The time that your blog really starts to get traction is when you commit to reaching out and building relationships. Start by seeking out others within your industry and commenting on their posts. Look to share their posts to your social media outlet and even offer to guest post for them. It may seem like a lot of ‘back scratching’ but the point is that business is built on two factors – relationships and trust.
By building business relationships you’ll get to know others in your industry. They will over time begin to trust that what you have to say is worth sharing and suddenly – you have an outlet for your blog promotion. This really is the key to blog promotion for beginners.
Like it or loathe it, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc are here to stay. The trouble is that there are a multitude of platforms out there, so which should you use? Twitter is one of the most important platforms for sharing new content so this is always a good place to start. It’s easy to set up and you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Here’s a great article on how to set up and become active on Twitter so that you can hit the ground running.
The key is to build up a profile and start getting socially active. Look to follow others in your industry and start spreading the word (tweeting).
Try to engage in conversation with others and look to promote or re-tweet other content which you think your followers may find useful. Obviously you should also be promoting your own content but it needs to be done occasionally and not all the time otherwise (A) it can be perceived as spammy and (B) it’s the quickest way to get people to un-follow you.
Intersperse self-promotion with other useful data, information, or articles that others may find interesting. You’ll soon know if you’re on the right lines because pretty quickly you’ll have people liking or re-tweeting your comments as well as following you. When you get into it, social media really is fun.
So you’ve written your blog and you’ve shared it it on Twitter, Facebook etc. What now?
Well most successful blogs are advertised for days and weeks after they’ve been written. By using a social media scheduler like Hootsuite you can schedule, centralise, and control all of your posts on one platform. It also means that you can programme tweets or posts to circulate at various intervals throughout the day and night so you don’t have to be up all night going social media stir-crazy.
Big tip – When recirculating tweets such as your latest blog post, you don’t really want to keep on posting the same blog title and the URL. Instead look to vary what you say. Maybe ask a question which your post answers and the next time – how about quoting a snappy line from your post with a link to your blog. Variety is the spice of life and if you look back on your most recent posts and it reads like a series of sales ads, then you’re doing it wrong.
It may seem that blog promotion for beginners is daunting and indeed takes a lot of time and effort, but once you get into the swing of it and make it part of your daily work routine, you’ll get quicker at it. Besides if you do it well you will start to see a spike in the number of blog views and the number of comments, and eventually your subscriber list will grow.
If you’re looking to start a small business blog but don’t have the time then you can always outsource your business blog writing and your blog promotion, leaving you to concentrate on other more familiar aspects of your business. Contact dale@competawriters to find out more or visit our website for further details