If a blog falls in the forest and nobody hears it, what good does it do in terms of marketing? None at all, of course!
“Before you create any more ‘great content,’ figure out how you are going to market it first.” – Joe Pulizzi and New Barrett authors of Get Content Get Customers
You think, you write, you agonize over your keywords and finally one day you publish a blog.
You may think you have accomplished something in terms of content marketing and attracting new customers to your business, books, products or services but not necessarily.
Trouble is, if you then do not market your blog the likelihood of anybody reading your blog – unless you are Justin Bieber or Donald Trump – is slim to none.
Writing your blog is just the first step to creating a worldwide audience.
Here are 11 simple steps you can take to get people to read your blog:
1.Spread your blog to your social media channels through a dashboard like Hootsuite.
“Content is fire, social media is gasoline,” says Jay Baer. For about $10 a month, you can get a basic subscription to Hootsuite. This social media dashboard allows you to schedule your social media content. Write 8 to 10 different 140-character headlines with the same link to the blog you just wrote. Attach a photo or series of photos to these social media messages. Send the messages out on an ongoing basis to let people know you have just published.
2. Set up a Jetpack plugin on your WordPress site.
When you hit the Publish button, your blog gets immediately spread to all your social media channels. This saves you time so that you do not have to post your blog manually on all your social media sites.
3. Share your blog throughout all your relevant Facebook groups.
Do a search on Facebook of all your relevant keywords and join groups. Once you have published, go through the list of all your Facebook groups and share the link to your blog on all the Facebook groups where you think your fellow group members would benefit from your message.
4. Post your blog on your Google+ communities.
Go through your list of Google+ communities and share the link. Remember that Google is the largest search engine in the world and the more buzz you can create in Google+ the more likely your blog will show up higher in the search engines.
5. Post the full blog on LinkedIn.
Many people are not aware that you can add blog posts to your LinkedIn profile. In addition to being able to publish your blog on LinkedIn through your Jetpack plugin on your WordPress site, you can also copy and paste your blog in full onto LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn has 467 million members – probably way more than read your blog on your website every month – you are more likely to have your blog read on LinkedIn and even to show up later on the search engines there at a later date than your actual website.
6. If you are a published author, set up a Goodreads author profile and publish your blog there in full.
One of the many benefits of being a published author is that you can set up a Goodreads author account. Not only can you then market your books for free, you can also market your blog. While you can set up an RSS feed that publishes your blog automatically from your website, I generally publish directly because that way I can add photographs that increase reader attention. Goodreads has 55 million members – once again probably more people than those who go directly to your website.
7. Create a one to three-minute video on Youtube relevant to the subject matter you’re writing about and embed the video in a blog post.
Because Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google, you will want to harness the power of video to attract readers. Either before or after you write your message, use your smart phone or a video recording service such as Zoom.us to create a short video that will further illustrate what you’re talking about in your blog. Once you publish your video to Youtube, embed the video in your blog.
8. Include social media share buttons on your website, so your raving fans can share your content to their social media channels.
Make it easy for people to share your great blogs by including these buttons in easy-to-see locations on your website.
9. Use the Pinterest button on your website to pin your blog to your Pinterest account.
Because Pinterest has 100 million active users, you can attract readers to your blog by pinning your content to relevant boards on your Pinterest site.
10. Create an email newsletter with links to your blogs.
On your website create a place for people to sign up for your newsletter. This allows you to collect the email addresses of your raving fans. Send out a newsletter to your fans on a monthly basis that includes links to your blogs. Don’t give your fans the whole blog – include great art and the first few lines with a link so that they have to go to your actual website to read the full article. That way you draw people in to read not just the blog itself but to your website where they can find out more about your products, books and services.
11. Cross blog with people in your field.
Create win-win relationships with people in your field by cross blogging. I publish one article for every article of mine that gets published on a friend’s website. Be sure to change your article – don’t just copy and paste it. Include a different headline, a new first paragraph or make other small changes so that the search engines count the article on your friend’s website as new content. Be sure to ask your friend to include links back to your website, so people who read your content will be drawn back to your website. Return the favor when you publish your friend’s article.
Remember that writing your blog is just the first step.
Marketing your blog will make all the difference in the world to draw readers to your website and paying customers to your business, products, books and services.
Putting all this together takes time and is part of creating a successful social media strategy.