As part of the blogging series I’m running in February, I want to continue talking about ways to promote your blog. If you missed it, you may want to first read the post I wrote about networking with other bloggers.
What not to do
First, let’s discuss what not to do:
- Don’t leave a comment on a blog post that reads “Hey everyone! Come visit my blog here: _____”Not only does this read as self-seeking, it’s likely to annoy the blogger who just wrote a post about her new lemon drop cookie recipe or how he traveled to Rome last summer. I generally delete such comments.
- Don’t ask for a button/link exchange. I personally don’t participate in such exchanges. I like to make sure any blog/site I share is a genuine recommendation for my readers. Usually one party stands to gain more from such an exchange. Please think twice before making such a request.
- Don’t email a bunch of bloggers and ask them to promote your site.Don’t appear desperate. Make a polite email introduction, if you’d like, but please don’t ask bloggers that don’t know you to post about the giveaway you intend to do when you reach 500 Facebook “likers” (unless of course, it’s a stellar prize like designer shoes for everyone).
In a word? Don’t SPAM. In my mind, SPAM is any comment or link intended for the sole purpose of driving traffic away from my site and onto yours. It’s selfish and incredibly tacky. Don’t do it. Remember, you don’t want to annoy the very people who have the ability to make a positive difference in the traffic of your blog!
Ideas for Growing Your Blog
Now let’s move onto some positive ideas I have for you!
- Leave great comments on other blogs. I recently shared how Sounds Fun Mom (AKA Maegen) has done a great job of leaving comments! If I were to guess, people should naturally be inclined to click over to her site because of the insights and helpful tips she shares here.
- Participate in link-ups. There are link-ups for all sorts of posts! Each week, I link up to Money Saving Mom and Deal Seeking Mom‘s Walgreens and Rite Aid posts. I still get lots of good traffic from these. And here’s a tip: when you submit a post for a link-up, try to link within your post naturally to at least one other post you’ve written. Try to nab the people that are coming to your site to see what else you’ve done.
- Offer to write a guest post for another blog. This was probably the biggest way I grew my site. A couple tips. First, don’t just send an email that says, “I would like to write a guest post for you. Can I do that? And if so, what should I write about?” Don’t create more work for the blogger. Instead, take the time to read their blog, get to know their audience, and then pitch them 2-3 specific post ideas you have. While you should not promote your site in the body of the post you’ve written, it’s standard practice to receive a 2-3 line bio about you following the post. For an example, you can read the post and bio I wrote for Savvy Blogging last year.
- Pay for advertising.If you really want a button or ad up on another blogger’s site? Consider paying for it. I’m currently paying for my button to be on two other blogs.
- Social media.Facebook is my number one source of traffic right now. It took some time and effort to grow it, but it was well worth it. My best advice for growing your Facebook page? Offer value to your readers. Don’t say, “hey, I really want to get to 600 likers by Monday! Share this page with everyone!” and then repeat that as an update a dozen more times before Monday. No offense, but why should anyone care? Instead, find ways of starting conversations and sharing links and tips that are HELPFUL. Remember, you are there to help them and not the other way around.
- Networking offline. I’ve experimented with this and I can say I have gotten some readers by networking offline. Don’t underestimate the power of taking the time to share your blog to one person at a time.
- Write compelling content. Don’t forget to post engaging, well thought-out content. Sometimes bloggers get big just because they’ve written something so good, so helpful, so witty, or so thought-provoking that others instantly want to share it. If writing isn’t your strong suit? Pony up and learn how to improve. This is your craft! If you want people to read your blog and engage, put in the effort. (And of course, if yours is a food or photography blog, your content may be more visual than anything. That’s fine. Just make sure it’s engaging!)
What’s next in this series? I’d like to spend some time on simple tips for “hooking” your readers.
Missed the last posts in this series? Wonder why I’m talking about blogging at all? Head here:
- Five questions you should ask before starting a blog
- Seven qualities of winning blogs
- Creating a mission statement and values for your blog
- Making inroads with other bloggers
Photo credit Michaela Kobyakov