You’ve just completed an epic blog post on a trending topic in your niche that took hours to research and several days to write.
Like any authoritative industry expert, you’ve packed the post with high value content and actionable points that are certain to solve the problems of your readers and convert them into loyal customers.
You click the publish button and prepare yourself for streams of knowledge hungry readers, dozens of comments and hundreds of social shares.
But unfortunately, even after waiting patiently for days, you have only a couple of spam comments to show for all your hard work.
The good news, in a way, is that you’re not the only one facing this problem.
The internet is full of high quality small business blogs with zero reader engagement and negligible traffic.
The reason is simple – writing great content isn’t enough to attract readers.
You need to push your content continuously on multiple platforms in a variety of ways to attract regular readership and increase user engagement.
Just randomly sharing your content once or twice on Twitter and Facebook isn’t enough. You need to follow a comprehensive blog promotion strategy every time you post fresh content.
Today’s internet users have very short attention spans and even shorter memories. If your content is not in their face all the time, you’re likely to miss out on a significant portion of your potential blog traffic.
If you believe your content is good enough to help the readers then why wait for them to find you?
So it’s important that you stand out from the hundreds of blog posts your potential readers see every day, by creating excitement and a sense of anticipation with your blog content.
Here are a few ways you can attract more readers to your blog, prepare them for future posts and push your content aggressively once it goes online.
Even before it’s published, your content needs to be optimized for search engine traffic.
No matter what promotional strategy you adopted, you would still depend heavily on search engine traffic for a proportion of your website visitors.
So it’s important you follow all the fundamental search engine optimization (SEO) guidelines while creating the content for your blog.
The most effective way to do that, in my experience, is by using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. This free plugin will help you get all the basics of SEO in place every time you publish a new post.
It gives you SEO guidelines on the basis of your target keywords and helps you create optimized post titles, content, meta descriptions and URLs.
While using this plugin doesn’t automatically guarantee you an immediate spot on the first page of Google, it does give your content a strong foundation and makes it much easier for search engines to find you based on your target keywords.
Another good alternative with a simpler toolset is the All In One SEO plugin. I recommend both.
Like it or not, Google+ is here to stay. So it’s vital that you make use of this platform – for more than one reason.
Not only does Google+ enjoy a huge member base, that is very different from other social networks, but it can also have an impact on your search engine rankings.
But you need to do more than just sharing every post on your Google+ profile. Google+ has a number of features that you can use to your advantage and attract huge streams of traffic.
– Share your latest content on your Google+ profile with a high quality image. Images usually drive much higher click through rates as compared to simple text posts.
– Create your company page on Google+ and post content over there as well.
– Always use relevant hashtags with all your Google+ posts.
– Always add a brief description and a call to action when you post a link.
– Share your content in relevant Google+ communities. These communities can drive HUGE traffic to your blog so don’t underestimate their value.
– Use Google+ sharing tools like Friends+Me, Chrome Do Share and a few others to spread your content to relevant users. Here’s a detailed post on using these tools
Twitter is probably the most important social media platform for promoting blog posts. It has millions of users, some of them extremely influential, from all types of businesses who actively share content with their followers.
It offers you a huge opportunity to attract relevant readers and make your posts go viral.
Here are a few ways you can do that.
– Tweet immediately every time you create a new post. You can use plugins like WordTwit to do that automatically.
– Use relevant hashtags (not more than 3).
– Always use images with Tweets – they convert much better.
– Mention niche influencers in your Tweets and ask for RTs
– Tweet every post multiple times in different time zones using different variations of your post title. BufferApp is the perfect tool to do this.
– Submit your Tweet on JustRetweet.com to get a quick and natural 30-40 RTs.
– Use plugins like Evergreen Post Tweeter to regularly Tweet old posts from your blog. This can bring significant traffic from older content.
Google+ and Twitter have their own advantages, but Facebook is still one of the most effective sources of traffic generation for bloggers. But just like other social media websites, simply sharing your posts isn’t enough.
Here are a few smart ways to drive traffic from Facebook:
– Start a Facebook page for your business and share every post on it.
– Make sure every post has a high quality image with it.
– Add a 1-2 line description and a call to action with every link.
– Use hashtags with every post, but don’t overdo it (not more than 3)
– Join Facebook groups related to your business and share every post with them as well.
– Share every post multiple times with a gap of 2-3 days and use different images every time.
The objective of a business blog is to build customer loyalty and there’s no better platform than LinkedIn to help you do that.
Here are a few ways to make effective use of LinkedIn:
– Create a comprehensive company profile on LinkedIn and connect your blog to it.
– Share every new post on your personal profile and ask your employees/team members to do the same.
– Just like other social networks, make sure your posts have high quality images.
– Use short descriptions and call to actions with every link.
– Join relevant industry groups on LinkedIn, become a part of the discussions over there and share your content where relevant.
Pinterest is growing exponentially, both in terms of influence and the number of members, and just cannot be ignored.
So set up your account, create boards to match the categories on your site – and get pinning.
There are dozens of social bookmarking websites, but three of them stand out because of the volume of traffic they can drive to your blog.
But you need to be careful not to overuse them:
– Share the original links (no link shortners) of your latest posts on Digg.
– Add a description with every link.
– Don’t only Digg your own posts all the time. Share other content as well.
– Digg multiple posts every time you use Digg.
– Submit original links to your posts on Reddit.
– Select relevant subreddits.
– For maximum impact, submit to subreddits over 20,000 readers.
– Infographics, images, drawings, videos and questions usually get more shares on Reddit (Click here to learn more about it)
– Submit the links of your latest posts along with a catchy description.
– Share the content of other authors as well.
– Connect and engage with other users to get maximum benefit from this platform.
Apart from these bookmarking websites, there are several highly effective content curation platforms as well that can help you get more traffic.
Scoop.it can get you hundreds of quick visitors if you use this platform intelligently:
– Search for the scoops relevant to your business.
– Sort them by the number of subscribers.
– Submit your post to 15-20 top scoops.
You should also submit your post to the following blogging communities and content curation websites.
All of them can get you quick traffic:
Despite all the different social media websites and traffic channels, email lists are still the most important and reliable source of returning traffic. So you should focus all the time on building your email list and use it to update your subscribers about every new post.
But emailing alone, without a strategy, will not be as effective. So here are two ways you can maximize the traffic from your mailing list.
Send your subscribers an email whenever you publish a new post. But instead of doing it manually, you can use AWeber blog broadcasts to automate the whole process.
Make sure you change the RSS feed URL to the URL of your blog’s RSS feed. Also update the text and custom fields according to your blog.
You can use Loz's example below to set your custom options:
Apart from updating your subscribers about the latest posts, use your emails to create a sense of anticipation for your future posts as well.
You can create a short email like this:
This simple email, or anything similar, can significantly improve the open rates and click through rates of your blog post emails.
A great way to attract quick and easy traffic is by creating a summary of the key points of your blog post, converting it into a PowerPoint or PDF presentation and sharing it on Slideshare.
Whichever presentation format you select, make sure you include links to the complete post on the first and the last slides. Use Adobe Acrobat PDF Editor Pro to ensure your links are embedded after you upload your PDF slideshare. This resource will show you how.
Also use backlinks to other relevant posts on your blog within the content of the presentation. Make sure that the title of your presentation is same as the original post.
In my experience, Slideshare can consistently send you large volumes of traffic, not only because of the sheer number of visits it gets but also because Google indexes it much more quickly and usually shows it higher in search results.
Almost every blogging niche on the internet has a few blogs that hold weekly/monthly industry round ups.
Submitting your post to these round ups can bring quick traffic and new readers.
You can find such round ups with a simple Google search,[your niche] + blog round up [your niche] + link party [your niche] + best posts of the week/month [your niche] + weekly industry round up
You can use other variations of these search queries as well. Submitting your post to even 4-5 link round ups can bring significant traffic to your blog.
When you write a high value post that includes references to other websites, companies or bloggers, it’s always a good idea to let them know about it and ask them to share it with their audiences.
Just make sure the post is relevant to their audience and will hold value for them.
You can do this by simply emailing the relevant person a ‘head's up' about it with a link to your post, or reach out to them through their most active social networking profile.
Loz does it regularly for this blog and usually gets a positive response to 30% of his emails.
Aggressive marketing is the key to getting more readers and subscribers to your blog. Each of the methods I’ve mentioned in this post is extremely effective if used regularly and as a part of a broader marketing strategy.
If you stick to these methods long enough, you’ll soon start seeing a higher number of returning visitors to your blog and a significant increase in your email subscriber list that will eventually lead to more loyal readers and customers.
So, how aggressively do you promote your content? I’d love to know about any marketing methods that I missed out in this post.