So you’ve just created a new blog. It’s an exciting feeling isn’t it? To me, a new blog looks like opportunity. You have the ability to reach people like humans have never had before. With just a few keystrokes, you can make your thoughts and feelings heard by the world. The hard part is making sure that the world is listening. You need to be better, faster, smarter, and louder than the next guy if you’re going to stand out in the crowd, and we have some digital marketing tips to help your new blog raise its voice.
The design of your blog is one of the most important factors. If your blog is slapped together, it’s like going out in public wearing dirty, mustard-stained pajamas. Sure, they’re comfy. Yeah, they smell like mustard (which is a plus in my book) but people aren’t going to want to interact with you. In fact (and this is from personal experience) they’ll even cross the street to avoid you.
Make sure your blog is well designed. That doesn’t mean it needs flashy graphics. Minimalism is a perfectly valid design choice. Just, whatever you do, make sure it looks visually appealing for your audience.
Speaking of design, here are a few simple design features you want to be sure to include for promotion:
There are a million plugins that do this on pretty much any platform, find the one that works best for you. If you’re creating great content, people are going to want to share it. The problem is that people are lazy, so you need to make it as simple as possible to share…we’re talking one click simple. Try the addthis or flare plugins if you’re on WordPress, those are a couple of our favorites.
Have bright icons that link to your blogs page on all of the relevant social networks. Your blog does have pages on all of the relevant social networks…right?
A blogroll is a list of links to other blogs in your social network. This needs to be done tactfully. Reach out to just a few, as in five or less, other blogs that are highly relevant to your blog and exchange a link on blogrolls. If this is done well then it’s mutually beneficial and great for readers who are interested in that content. The key here is discretion. Link to bad blogs and you’ll get penalized. Link to too many blogs and you’ll get penalized. A blogroll is an intimate thing, and you want to curate yours carefully.
Do people still use RSS feeds? They sure do! Make sure you have a feed set up and in an easy to find place, linked from your homepage with the traditional icon. If you build it, they will follow.
Social media should be a no brainer at this point, but people still resist it. The reality is, if you have a blog, you should make your blog a social media account on all of the relevant platforms. It helps alert people to new posts, spread posts they love, and increases your personality as an author and public figure. Make no mistake about it, all of the best blogs are very active on social media.
This is the most important one. The first thing to do is make sure you have those social icons on your blog’s homepage linking to your Facebook page. On your blog’s Facebook page, you have the opportunity to expand your personality. Share posts, of course, but also engage fans and share funny pictures and articles that are relevant to your niche. Pay attention to the robust Facebook analytics and learn what times and what content get the best reception, and then tailor your posts accordingly. One viral hit on Facebook can boost your blog readership dramatically.
Twitter is more work than Facebook, but it can pay off more too. Tweet out new posts, but do more engaging than ever. Follow other people who are popular in your niche and try to strike up conversations. Also, use relevant hashtags to try and get your blog-related posts noticed by the right people. Finally, don’t be afraid to jump on whatever is trending if you have that perfect quip.
Make sure every blog post has a great image and then pin those images to Pinterest. For most blogs, that will be enough. If you have a blog that would appeal to the Pinterest crowd, like one about crafts or cooking, it’s definitely worth your time to cook up some custom graphics containing snippets of your best project or recipe.
LinkedIn is similar to Pinterest in that it’s very much about your niche. What crafts and cooking are to Pinterest, business is to LinkedIn. If you write about anything even tangentially related to business or marketing, you should share those posts to LinkedIn. You get bonus points if you can find a relevant group, join it, and share your content there as well.
Just because you have a written blog doesn’t mean you can’t include other mediums. The most successful blogs in the world all have branched out as they’ve grown, and that’s something you can emulate right away.
Videos are a great addition to your content, as they humanize you like nothing else. When people read your writing, they get a certain image in their mind, but videos show them a much more real version of yourself. If your uncomfortable being in front of the camera, you can always recruit a friend and just speak over footage. What your videos are about will depend on your niche, but there is always video content to be found.
Like videos, podcasts are a way to build your voice and your personal brand. The best podcasts have more than one person, so get a cohost or take callers. You can talk about the same things you write about, only in the podcast format, it’s more of a dialogue. For the best results, grab the person that you always laugh with the most. Humor comes through strong in the podcast format and most of the highly rated podcasts are funny.
The common advice used to be that you should syndicate your blog to any reputable place that will take it, but what Google considers to be reputable is always changing, so you need to be extremely conservative. Only syndicate places that are high-quality with good PageRank and always make sure you make your original post on your blog canonical. To syndicate socially, here are a couple of the best places:
Reddit is the single biggest driver of traffic, but it needs to be used sparingly. If you post every blog you write on Reddit, you’ll get banned and your blog will be viewed as spam. Only post sporadically, on an account that also posts a lot of other material, and make sure you’re posting to a relevant Subreddit. If you do it right, you can double your traffic overnight with a single successful Reddit post. Just be sure to provide value to the Reddit community.
Stumbleupon is different than Reddit. You should add everything you write to Stumbleupon as soon as it’s published. If it’s good, people will share and upvote it and it will quickly garner thousands of posts. If it’s bad, or more likely boring, it won’t get upvoted and it will just disappear, but you won’t be penalized for taking the chance. The more content you can add to Stumbleupon, the better your chances of success.