Saturday, 1 September 2012

Proven Ways and Tips of Promoting Your Blog

The objective of every blog is growth, and the maximization of traffic. You might be producing some of the best, well-researched, compelling and well-written content out there, but what’s the use when no one’s coming on your blog to read it?

It is therefore important to take time to promote your blog. Traffic is one of the most important things to a blog, and getting as much traffic as possible is essential. In order to do so, it is extremely important to take time out to promote your blog.

Here are 5 proven ‘Google-safe’ ways of promoting your blog, maximizing exposure, and building valuable backlinks while driving in massive amounts of referral and search engine traffic.

1. Social Media

Social media websites are an outstanding opportunity to promote your blog as well as its content and its posts. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest not only receive millions of visitors on a daily basis, they are also responsible for generating a massive amount of referral traffic as well.

For instance Facebook now has close to a billion registered, active users (955 million to be precise)! That is a massive number, and if you think about it, provides you with a fantastic opportunity to market your blog and your posts as well. What could be better than potentially having close to a billion people (or one-seventh of the world’s population) read your content!

Newer social media networks like Pinterest aren’t doing half bad either. In fact the likes of Pinterest are now generating more referral traffic than Google, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Bing! Pinterest’s traffic is continually on the rise, providing SEOs, bloggers and marketers with a great opportunity to promote their blog.

Make sure that you have a presence on all major social media networks – this is usually as simple as creating a profile. Use automation tools like HootSuite to send out updates on all your networks at once, however refrain from using these only for blog promotion; sharing your links will only make you look like a spammer, and will discourage people from following your updates.

2. Commenting on Blogs

We spoke about using blog commenting for SEO, and as a method to promote your blog and generate traffic in extensive detail in my last post.

Essentially, what you want to do is choose a high-PR, authority blog to comment on, that is relevant to your niche. So for instance if you blog on internet marketing, choose a list of IM blogs to comment on. If your blog is on technology, sports or anything else, choose a blog that is relevant or similar to its content.

Make sure that you fill out all fields (especially the URL field) before posting your comment.

Blog commenting can have a profound effect on your SEO – it provides you with a high-PR backlink to your blog (which might be do-follow, which means it will be indexed by search engine bots), and can provide your blog with a massive amount of exposure and traffic. If the blog you posted your comment on gets a decent amount of visitor, chances are that your post is likely to be seen and clicked on by a large number of people.

Comments should always be constructive, relevant, interesting, and related to the subject matter of the post and the blog in general.

3. Guest Blogging

I like to think of guest blogging as win-win for everyone involved: it’s win for you because you stand the chance to come across as an authority on a matter, and earn a couple of backlinks back to your blog off a high-PR source. Its win for the blog owner because he gets fresh content for his website.

Guest blogging involves more work on your part, since you have to create a well-written, interesting, unique, factually-and-grammatically-correct post for another blog. You have to take time out to write a great post, however it might seem like wastage of time, since you could be spending the same time creating content for your own blog instead. However it is important to know that guest blogging can (a) give you a nice boost in page visits, (b) help improve your blog’s PR significantly, (c) exposure to your brand and any of its products or services to a large number of people, (d) network with, and build relationship with other bloggers and authority figures in your niche, (e) be seen as an authority in your niche, and (f) allow you to build a dedicated, loyal base of readers and subscribers.

Make sure that you speak with the blog owner to know if he has any specifics you need to adhere to when writing your post. Write a precise, to-the-point, interesting and an engaging post (quality > quantity). Once the post is up, respond to any all comments and queries.

4. Linking to Other Blogs

Blogs often use a trackback or pingback feature. Essentially, what this does is give you a backlink to your blog whenever you link to one of their post on their blog. Say, for instance, you put up a blog post and link to another blog post from another blog, a part of your post along with the link to your post will also appear in the comments section of the post you linked to.

So linking to other blogs and earning a trackback/linkback can turn out to be a great way of driving more traffic to your blog (maybe even from a high-PR source but that depends on the blog you link to), get exposure, and perhaps most importantly in this case, get the attention of an authority blogger in your niche.

If you link to someone consistently, chances are that they might even return the favour at some point by linking back to you. Which of course means exposure for, and a freebacklink to your blog!

5. Contests

Doing contests is a tremendous way of getting the word out about your blog, and can be a pretty effective promotional tool.

Start off with determining the goal, aim or purpose of this contest is – get more Facebook likes, build an email list, get RSS subscribers or sell a plugin. The content goals will ultimately determine the prize and the rules of the contest.

Choose the reward/prize carefully. It needs to be something that is relevant and something that people would actually want to win, depending on your niche. For instance you could give a free signed copy of your uber-famout eBook, or a Wordpress plugin pack worth $300. If you have a budget, you might need to purchase the prize that you’ll be giving away, however if your blog gets a lot of visitors, it might be easier (and better) for you to get someone to sponsor the prize. Look around for sponsors and try getting in touch with them, most of them would probably be very interested in the publicity that they’ll be able to get using your blog.

And finally, make it easy for people to participate in your contest, and spread the word! A contest is useless if people don’t know about it.

For instance, one of the ways to enter the contest could be to ‘like’ and ‘share’ a post/update/blog URL on Facebook. This way, not only will you be getting a large number of people to like you and hear about you by spreading the word (promoting your blog in the process), you will also be making it super easy for them to participate.

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