So, you want to promote your blog? Here are some blog marketing tips on how to do so.
Have good content, posted regularly. It’s best if this has a narrow scope. Since I write mostly genre fiction – fantasy and sci-fi – I post things of interest to fans and fellow authors. Use a catchy title for your posts.
- Don’t be afraid to reblog. Be nice about it, though. Summarize the post you liked, adding a “to read more about this, visit…” link, with the original address. Mention the original blogger by name. They will be grateful, and your visitors will think of you as a portal that links to interesting information.
- In the same manner, encourage people to reblog your posts and link back to you, ideally using your post’s title. Google loves external links, and the title contains your keywords.
- Respond to comments on your blog and thank your readers for taking the time to comment.
- Follow other blogs and comment on their posts. Be real, be yourself. You should only be doing this if it appeals to you; not as a chore. Neil Gaiman says it best: “I’m not sure if any [of what I do online] is networking. I mean, if it is, I never did it to Network. I did it because it was fun, and because writing can be a very lonely profession. It’s fun to have people to talk to, fun to have people who talk to you, and great to have people who will answer your questions (even if they’re wrong). I also feel that it levels the playing field, which I like.”
- Publicize your posts across your social media platforms. I do this automatically; having connected my blog to my Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc accounts, every time I post something my followers are informed, leading them back to the blog.
You may wonder if the above is enough. Yes, if you are the patient kind, looking to develop a loyal fan base. This kind of growth, called organic growth, does not require that you pay anything for ads, but it is slow.
So, although content is king, there are still a couple of things you can do to speed things along. These have to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and deserve some in-depth analysis.
7. Search Engine Optimization
You want to choose a keyword or short keyphrase (“long-tail-keyword” in the jargon) and use that throughout your post, ideally starting with the very title. Make sure it’s repeated a few times (say 2-5) in your text, including in the first paragraph, and add it to the post tags (in some platforms, “SEO Title” or “Meta Description”).
Your keyword/keyphrase has to be something a prospective reader will type into Google when they are looking for just the kind of thing you have written about. The more competitive it is, the less likely your blog post will make it to the top ten or twenty on the SERPs (search engine results pages). The prevailing wisdom regarding SERPs is, if your page does not make it into the top 20, it will likely never be discovered via the search engines, because the vast majority of searchers stop browsing after the second page of results. In this case, your best way to be discovered and read is probably by regular old word of mouth.
Remember that all this is a long term plan for your blogs, aiming at appearing in searches that people make. The traffic you then get is free, and consistent, however it can take months to really take effect.
The above information was gleamed, in part, from a conversation on LinkedIn.