How can you increase the number of people seeing your content? By promoting it in multiple places on repeat! In this guest post by Ryan Robinson, you’ll learn 7 practical ways to promote your content and grow your audience.
You love creating content. You pour your heart and soul into it – you know your content is great.
Problem is, hardly anyone notices. You just can’t seem to figure out how to get traffic to your blog.
Promoting a blog doesn’t need to be complicated…you don’t need to feel like you’re shouting into a void. It’s also not about spamming or annoying people. There are lots of clever ways to promote your site so you can create a win-win situation for you and your audience.
We’re going to look at exactly how to promote your blog, focusing on tactics that will help grow and engage your audience. But first, let’s take a look at one fundamental thing you must get right.
The Importance of Quality Content
Before you start promoting your content, make sure it’s worth promoting.
However great your promotion is, it’s pointless if you have thin, derivative blog posts that look like walls of gray text, or long, tedious videos with terrible sound quality.
Take an honest look at the content you already have. Would you come to your site, as a first-time reader, and stick around? Hopefully, you would, but if some of your content falls short, now is a great opportunity to improve it.
You can improve the quality of your content by:
- Adding more depth and detail to posts that are too short or barely scratch the surface of a topic.
- Getting honest feedback from a blogging friend and making improvements based on their suggestions.
- Including extras in your content, like bonus tips, links to additional resources, or more examples.
- Adding more images to your written content: this can really help it to stand out.
- Making sure that you have a “call to action” at the end of each piece of content. For instance, you might end a post by prompting the reader to check out some of the other pieces you’ve written on the same topic.
- Checking for typos, grammatical errors, and clunky sentences in your posts. Use a tool like Grammarly to help you self-edit. You might also want to print out your posts and read them aloud – this is a great way to spot mistakes.
There’s so much great content out there that readers won’t stick around if yours seems badly structured or poorly written. Make sure you have great quality content in place first, then use these tactics to start promoting it.
1. Follow SEO Best Practices
Did you just groan inwardly when you saw “SEO”? You might feel that SEO (search engine optimization) is too technical for you, or is something that only works for big blogs. You might also worry that it means writing in some strange, artificial way for search engines, rather than crafting content that will appeal to real human beings.
The truth is SEO best practices make your content better for your readers, not just for search engines. Here are some of the most important things you can do for each piece of content:
- Understand what your audience wants. When you come up with blog post ideas, focus on things that people are already searching for. It’s important to use the language they would use to find that content, too. You can use the free tool Twinword Ideas to come up with “keywords” – these are the phrases that people type into Google when finding content like yours.
- Give your content a clear and meaningful title. Let’s say you’re writing a post about getting more Pinterest followers. You could title it “Pinterest Followers” – but that’s not very useful for readers or search engines. Instead, a title like “How to Get More Pinterest Followers: 22 Strategies That Actually Work in 2021” is likely to do much better. Make sure the title includes your keyword (remember, a keyword will normally be a phrase, not just a single word).
- Use your keyword throughout your content. You certainly don’t need to stuff it in all the time, but it’s a good idea to at least use it in the introduction and conclusion of your post.
Bonus Tip: Make sure your site loads quickly (use a free website speed tool to check). If you’re using a good-quality WordPress theme, your site will likely be fast. To make sure it stays that way, compress your images and keep your use of animated .gifs to a minimum.
Example: MeetEdgar’s post Link Trust is More Important Than Ever – How to Build Yours? ranks highly for the keyword “build link trust”:
2. Plan and Schedule Social Media Posts Ahead of Time
Many bloggers have a bit of a love/hate relationship with social media. It’s a wonderful tool for connecting with readers and fellow bloggers, for finding new ideas, and for growing your blog, but it can also be a huge distraction. You might go onto Facebook to post a link to the piece you’ve just published, only to spend the next half hour scrolling through friends’ updates.
Instead of popping onto social media throughout the day, plan and schedule your social media posts in advance. You may want to think about the best time of day for your audience, so you’re reaching as many people as possible. With advance scheduling, you can get your tweets or posts in front of them even if it’s the middle of the night in your time zone.
Bonus Tip: If you use Edgar, you never need to run out of social media content again. You can get fresh eyes on your older content by creating a library of evergreen updates that can be reshared at intervals without any extra work on your part. You can even use Edgar to create updates for you.
If you go to this MeetEdgar page and enter the URL for a piece of content on your site, Edgar will automatically choose key quotes from your post. Here are the first couple of quotes that Edgar came up with from the post 21 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid (and How to Fix Them):
3. Write Guest Posts for Other People’s Blogs
A powerful way to promote your blog is through guest blogging. As a guest blogger, you write guest posts for other people’s blogs. They are then published on their site, with a short bio that tells readers a little bit about you and your blog (and, crucially, includes a link back to your site).
Normally, you’ll want to guest post on sites that are larger and more established than yours. While some big sites don’t take guest posts, many are open to them. Just make sure you give them your very best content.
Guest blogging is highly effective because it:
- Brings you direct, highly targeted traffic from the blog you’re posting on. Readers who enjoy your post may well click on the link in your bio to see what else you’ve written. These people are already interested and engaged, so they’re likely to stick around, join your email list, and even buy from you.
- Provides you with a backlink to your site from another blog. This helps your site to rank more highly on Google. In Google’s eyes, each link to your site from someone else’s site is like a vote for your site. If the site linking to you is a well-established and reputable one, then this will be even more valuable.
- Helps you connect with other bloggers in your niche. It can be hard to get to know big-name bloggers when you’re starting out – providing them with a piece of valuable content for their blog is a great shortcut.
Tip: Some bloggers make the mistake of viewing guest posting purely as a way to get backlinks. They’ll write as many posts as possible for as many blogs as possible. Inevitably, they end up writing low-quality posts for blogs that are full of other people’s low-quality posts. Don’t go this route. Target blogs that you’d be proud to write for, and give them your very best content. Make sure you’re choosing blogs that your target audience or ideal clients are likely to be reading, too.
Example: Danny Iny from Mirasee famously got his big break by guest blogging. He writes about his experience in How to Get Traffic to Your Blog (How I Became the Freddy Krueger of Blogging).
4. Make a Guest Appearance on a Podcast
You don’t need a podcast of your own to appear as a guest on someone else’s. You also don’t need to wait for an invitation. Instead, reach out to the hosts of the podcasts in your niche that you personally enjoy.
Make sure you can offer them an interesting, on-topic idea. Depending on the podcast, this could mean telling your own story (making sure you have a particular angle that aligns with their focus) or sharing expert advice.
- What’s your particular expertise within your niche?
- What unusual experiences have you had?
- What content have you created that really resonated with people?
All of these could help you come up with a great topic to pitch.
Tip: You could also create your own podcast. This can be a great opportunity to reach out to the people you admire in your niche and to get them to answer all your most burning questions. At the same time, you’ll be helping out your listeners and your guests, as they’ll get access to one another.
Example: As well as running the Side Hustle Project podcast, I’ve appeared on lots of other people’s podcasts, including here on the Captivate Podcast, on Tropical MBA, Shane Barker, Everyone Hates Marketers and many more.
5. Answer Questions on Quora
Another powerful way to promote your blog is to use Quora, a questions and answers site where people can ask about any topic you can imagine. There are sure to be people asking questions in your niche.
High-quality, popular answers can appear in users’ front-page feeds on Quora. (Which questions and answers appear will depend on each individual user’s interests.) These answers will often get a huge amount of traffic – which you can turn into blog traffic.
It’s easy to do this. First, search on Quora for questions that are related to your niche. Then, create a meaningful, detailed answer to the question. Add a link to a relevant post on your blog to help readers find more information.
Quora can also be a great source of ideas and inspiration, as it lets you see exactly what real people in your niche are asking about or worrying about.
Tip: Tactics like this work best when you make them a regular routine. Get in the habit of answering three Quora questions each day. You could use this as a mental break from writing longer-form content. Over time, your best answers will continue to get lots of traffic, and you can slow down or even stop posting on Quora while still reaping the benefits.
Example: Josh Fechter used Quora extensively in 2017 and 2018 to build traffic. His Quora answers still get tens of thousands of views every month, even though he hasn’t posted any new ones since August 2019.
6. Make Several Pinterest Images for Each New Article
Pinterest can be a huge source of traffic for blogs. It’s especially important in niches like fashion, food, and travel.
To get the most from Pinterest, you’ll want to create several Pinterest images for each post: successful Pinterest bloggers recommend at least 10 unique images for each piece of content. This doesn’t need to take long. You can use Canva to create these: the basic version is free and it has lots of ready-made Pinterest templates to choose from.
Your images might be:
- A simple title image for your content, with a photo plus the title itself. You may also want to brand this with the name, logo, and/or URL of your blog.
- A key quote, fact, or takeaway from your content.
- Part of your content itself – e.g. part of an infographic.
Tip: Don’t forget that Pinterest is a community, just like any social media site. Set aside some time to be active there, connect with others in your niche, and re-pin other people’s content.
Example: I posted individual quotes on Pinterest taken from my piece 112 Motivational Quotes to Hustle You to Get More Done (and Succeed):
7. Create Free Downloadables to Grow Your Email List
Simply getting traffic to your site isn’t enough. If those visitors disappear and never return, they’re not really part of your audience. You need a way to engage them and stay in touch.
One of the best ways to do this is to offer your visitors something valuable in exchange for their email address. This has two huge benefits:
- It helps your visitor to achieve a goal or solve a problem – meaning they’ll be much more likely to turn to you in the future when they need help. (This could mean buying one of your products or hiring you to deliver a service.)
- It lets you capture their email address. This means you can stay in touch with them, offering more useful resources, and letting them know about your paid products or services (or about affiliate products that you promote).
Your freebie can be pretty much anything you can imagine. Try to come up with something that delivers a quick win. For instance, you might create a step-by-step guide that helps your visitor to accomplish a specific task.
Tip: You can create multiple free downloads to target different audience needs. For instance, if you blog about WordPress, you could have a free video and checklist on creating a website, plus a more advanced troubleshooting guide to solve common WordPress problems.
Example: ProBlogger offers their new readers (who tend to be blogging beginners) a free month of blog post ideas as a bonus for joining their email list:
Experiment With Different Promotional Methods … and Watch Your Blog Grow
Now you know exactly how to promote your blog.
Do one (or more) of the methods above sound like a good fit for you? Give it a try this week.
If you try something for a few weeks and it isn’t having any impact (or you hate it), then simply try something else. You don’t need to use all of the above tactics to succeed. Plenty of bloggers have seen great success focusing on just one of them.
Treat this as an experiment. Carry on trying new promotional ideas, keep the ones that work, and tweak them to make them even more effective. If you give something a fair trial and it doesn’t seem to work for your blog, simply use a different tactic instead.
If you’re not sure where to begin, a great place to start is by getting more strategic about your use of social media. Use Edgar to set up a series of social media posts (don’t forget your older content). You should soon see more visitors coming to your site, as well as more people sharing your content on their own social pages and profiles, and your audience will begin to grow.
Ryan Robinson is a full-time blogger, podcaster, and content marketing consultant that’s worked with Fortune 500 brands and top startups like LinkedIn, Google, Adobe, Intuit, CreativeLive, Zendesk, Oracle, and many more.