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5 Ways To Effectively Market Your Blog

Posted on June 18 by in Tips & Tricks | 40 comments

5 Ways To Effectively Market Your Blog

In order to get noticed on the web you need quality dynamic content. The best way to keep users coming to your website is to blog. If you’ve just launched your website blogging can seem like a chore if you don’t have the greatest following. There are a number of ways to get the following you have always strived for. Below we will discuss 5 Ways to Effectively Market Your Blog and take it to the next level.

Write

write

Image by Bloom Design / shutterstock.com

A blog is rendered useless if content is not updated regularly. Think of a blog as a journal or log for ideas or thoughts dealing with specific topics. Your blog can be about a wide variety of topics or it can be about niche topics like web design for example. Usually choosing a niche topic to blog about renders the best yield on user interactions. Once you have narrowed down a few key topics to write about the next step is to write.

Writing even when no one is watching is useful for your blog. By this I mean you should never take too much time away from contributing to your blog. If you do this, any users that follow your blog will likely cease doing so. People want to read the most up to date news and information as it effects them directly.

If you have an entry from quite some time ago you can always go back and revisit the post offering some updates on what you have learned or changes that have been made in say technology since then. A good example in our case could be if the blog post was about using an older version of WordPress’s media manager. With the latest release of WordPress, (3.9.1 at the time of writing) adding new media to a post is as simple as dragging and dropping images, audio, or video right into your browser. WordPress will take the media and recognize what it is and allow you take make edits on the fly. Super powerful!

Writing also provides countless benefits to you. The more you write, the better you become. Over time your posts will be easier to read for your users which is something in itself that will keep them coming back for more.

Tips and Tricks For Compelling Writing

  1. Know your audience
    • If you have built a following based on the niche you are targeting then you are already off to a great start. Make sure to target these niche users consistently as they will likely routinely use your blog as a resource for themselves and others which we will discuss more on shortly.
  2. Love What You are Writing About
    • If you are not passionate about what you are writing about it will show right through the words you are typing. Most readers can spot this almost instantly and not take a chance on reading the post.
  3. Link to Other Posts On Your Blog
    • A good way to keep users on your blog is to offer related posts or posts that associate with the topic you are writing about; a simple click away. This could be a link within another article or a related posts section of the website that is always present based on what post your users are reading.
  4. Format Headings and Paragraphs
    • Dividing up your post is a great way to make it more readable. Using key headings in an outline type of format makes the content easy to read quickly. This is important for a couple of reasons. Users are interested in digesting the content quickly and it will also make the content so much easier to read. Aim for shorter paragraphs that are segmented inside each section.

Social Media is Your Best Friend

social-media-plugins

Image by marekuliasz / shutterstock.com

It goes without saying that social media is your best friend as a blogger. Being able to share your posts with the world in one click has made the web incredibly powerful. Not only can YOU share your posts but if other users enjoy your articles they will be intrigued to share it as well. The hope is that this cycle gains recognition and more and more people share. This in return builds your blog’s following almost instantly!

If you’re on WordPress there are a few plugins which have sharing down to a science! We have another post written by Kevin Muldoon on the site offering the best Social Media plugins available. Be sure to check it out! These plugins can and will make it easy to share your posts with the world.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are perfect places to share your views with others. There are tons of outlets, use the ones that you think would target your audience the best and forgot the others.

There is such a thing as too many social buttons/links on a site. If you are unsure how to figure out which outlets your users utilize you should try a few A/B testings using a plugin Kevin has mentioned in the article linked above. After a few weeks see which outlets users are using the most and go with those.

Comment, Comment, Comment

comment

Image by cmgirl / shutterstock.com

A good habit to get in the hang of is replying to any comments left on your blog. Interacting with your users makes their experience much more personable which will allow you to gain their attention and loyalty in the long run. What’s more is from comments sometimes users will help linking or suggesting ideas or points you may have failed to mention in your post. This in return could be added to the post as a revision offering even more value to the end user.

Comments work both ways. You not only want to reply to comments on your own site but also comment on other blog posts by different authors. A good way to gain notoriety is this very act. Sometimes it’s ok to solicit (link) your own site within the comment but the best way to do this is to make the link relevant to the other authors article. I wouldn’t suggest simply just including your websites domain as that could be flagged for spam from the author. You want to win people over, not scare them off!

Some comments are dramatic. In all reality it’s best to avoid being over-dramatic when commenting on any website. For instance if the information provided in the blog post is incorrect, kindly offer suggestions or relative proof to your findings rather than insulting the author for the public to see. It’s common courtesy.

Advertise and Use Analytics

Advertising is a very prominent feature seen on larger blogs. Usually these ads are built using third-party services that the blog owners are compensated for. These ads are usually within a sidebar or before and after individual posts on a blog and almost always in the users line of sight. Blog owners can make money based on the amount of impressions and clicks each ad receives from active users. If your blog has seen some success and your user base is growing then it might be a great time to get into Advertising as an added push. Even before your blog is developing hype, advertising can benefit you. Set aside a budget and try a few runs. You’ll be surprised at the impressions you get after doing so. Popular outlets to advertise through are:

Google Adwords

Google AdWords is probably the most well known way to advertise online. Using keywords, your target markets, and supplied user data through analytics you can create ads that are viewable by users that would likely visit your site. This method is typically a pay-per-click scenario which charges you based on how many clicks you receive. You can set a daily budget which limits to how much you want to contribute. This is good for any blog owner or business on a budget or for those who don’t care so much about budget.

google-adwords

BuySellAds

BuySellAds is a site similar to Google AdWords. Users can signup and once approved, be given code to add to their blogs. This code can be optimized for nearly any ad size available through their amazing interface. These ads are also generated and handled all through Buysellads so there’s little work on your end to be done. This allows the ads presented to look more compelling and branded than a typical Google Ad. There is a small catch to Buysellads and that is there is a pre-approval process. Usually sites with a good following are accepted. This is something to consider as your blog grows and is a great way to make passive income.

buy-sell-ads

Twitter Ads

Twitter is huge. A great way to harness their services is to advertise directly. Similar to Google AdWords, Twitter Ads allow you to choose a target audience, make your tweets rise to the top of your users’ timelines, and also allows you to set a budget. Starting a Twitter ad campaign can lead to more follows, reach new potential customers, and measure all of the analytics in real time.

twitter-ads

Facebook Ads

Facebook is also Huge. If your blog is in need of some marketing I highly suggest this approach. By advertising on Facebook you will create a dedicated page for your blog, connect with your blogs follows with properly placed ads, engage your followers by keeping the page updated, and encourage feedback from your users all at the same time. Once again similar to Google AdWords and Twitter Ads users can select a target market, define their budget, and customize their ads.

facebook-ads

Google+ Ads

Google Plus now offers +Post Ads to markets across the world. Again you can define a budget, get users to add themselves to your circles, allow for integrated sharing, and much more.

GooglePlusAds

Analytics

Analytics are a great way to do some testing on your blog as it gains popularity. By adding a small block of code to your website you can view tons of data coming from your users like:

  • Location
  • Language
  • Demographic
  • What type of Browser they Use
  • If they are a new user or a repeat user
  • and much more..

By using analytics, you can structure your blog to be most valuable to users that visit your site the most. Using the powerful interface you can also perform tests to see how well your site is showing up in Google or Bing search results.

Google Analytics

Is one of the top analytic tools on the internet. You can use it for any website you build for free. If your site is new you’ll just need to create an account if you don’t already have one, supply some information, and upload some code supplied to each page you want to track on your website. There are a number of WordPress plugins that help with this service. Do a search in the plugins section of your WordPress dashboard. Choose a plugin that is lightweight. You’ll likely need to enter your analytics id, something like UA-XXXXXXX-X

google-analytics-home-page

Bing Webmaster Tools

Microsoft has been pushing Bing hard over the past view years. Bing another great search engine also allows for analytics similar to Google Analytics. You can setup a site in a much similar fashion as google with an interface that allow you to dial down exactly who is visiting your website and their habits while doing so.

bing-web-master-tools

Don’t Forget About SEO

In order to drive traffic to your blog you need to have it optimized to show in search results be it Google or Bing. If you’re already on WordPress then congratulations you’re that must closer to having a great platform for good SEO. If not you’ll need to be handy with a code editor as you’ll be adding information to each page of your website manually.

I think some of the best plugins available for WordPress are any dealing with SEO. These plugins work hand and hand with your blog to deliver the most accurately configured posts to Google and Bing’s search engines. A popular plugin I’ll use for example is the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin.

yoast-test-post

This plugin adds new fields below the post content field when adding a new post in WordPress. Their realtime optimization reviews the content you have entered to see just how well it will likely perform inside search engines. You’ll need to write your post and then add the titles, meta information, and keywords for that specific post accordingly.

Plugins like the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin make the process of SEO nearly impossible to mess up. This tool and others like it are a great step at increasing your blog’s market share.

Conclusion

Marketing your blog can take just as much work if not more than actually contributing to your blog. Keeping what we have talked about in mind as well as utilizing some of the amazing tools available can give your blog that extra boost. Gaining a following takes time so don’t think using these tips will change things over night but in time you’ll notice a difference. The key things to remember from a blogger’s perspective is to stay active by writing, contribute to other blogs by commenting/replying, and optimize your website to deliver your content the best way it can.

Article thumbnail image by PureSolution / shutterstock.com

40 Comments

  1. Andy,

    I agree that the importance of good, regularly updated content can not be over-stated. I find quite often that people I work with want to give up on blogging because they expect immediate gratification and are shocked to find out it doesn’t work that way. The ones who do stick with it though have great results, and I can state from personal experience that the more I do it the better I get and the easier it becomes.

    You also touched on social advertising. At first I was skeptical of social ads, especially Facebook. However, I have found that if done right you can reach a lot of people with just a small budget. Whats better is that you can cherry pick your demographic to target people you think are interested in what you offer. Facebook ads for me have produced very high ROI for myself and my clients and have had better results than Google Ad Words for the most part.

    Thank you Andy for another thought provoking post.

    Adam

    • Adam,

      Glad to hear some of my suggestions worked for you. Definitely nice to see all the hard work you’ve done pay off right?

  2. Excelent article.

  3. I agree with advertising on social networks. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have much more users than ever before and if you know how to take advantage of those sites, you’ll get amazing results.

    • Brent,

      You are definitely right. The social media platforms we are all familiar with are growing at rapid rates. It’s where a lot of people look for the latest information that can sometimes be updated in just seconds. Thanks for your comment.

  4. That’s true! Marketing is such a huge part of blogging. I could spend half my day just commenting on other personal finance blogs -let alone doing all the other forms of marketing. What I’ve definitely found out is a blog succeeds if people know about it…

    A bad blog with good promotion will always be more successful than a good blog with bad promotion.

  5. Hi, great post. I’d like to suggest some topic, it’s about that plugin seo by yoast, i installed it in the past because i heard great comments but it has so many options and settings and weird words that i choose something simplier. But i really would like to learn to use it if is as great as everybody say.

    • Hi Juan,

      I’ll take this into consideration. Maybe in the future you can see a post about how to go about using the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin.

  6. About how many daily unique visitors would one consider a successful blog? My blog is yet to be monetized and receives about 300 unique visits per day. It is a very technical blog, but every post is an evergreen and has consistent traffic for the last 5 years without modification.

    Is it even worth the effort?

    • Mike you will make some money with Google adwords with that traffic. Not loads of money but it will probably pay for your hosting costs.

    • Mike,

      I think the effort is worth it if you’re willing to commit. The end result can always lead to more and more visitors thus making your blog truly successful. I don’t think there’s a specific number that makes your blog successful but rather the community that develops based on the content and information you provide. As that content spreads so will your blog’s name. Keep at it!

      Thanks

  7. Anyone else spot the irony of Andy recommending replying to comments on you posts, and yet…

    :-)

  8. Very effective ideas. :) These cost both money and serious work . I will be still giving a try.

  9. Nice article, very useful tips for bloggers, Thanks Andy.

  10. Hi Andy

    Loved your article. I am a bit new to the blogging world…so got lot of tips. One important lesson I learned ‘always moderate the comments posted on your blog’ otherwise you will end up with links and comments which makes no sense at all.

    • Satej, very true! There are some plugins to help with that if you don’t want to do this manually. One being the Askimet plugin that ships with WordPress.

  11. Adding fresh relevant useful content and that too on a regular basis is the best strategy to attract human traffic as well as google. And then you can use Social media to market your articles effectively. However, we cannot forget the good old email marketing, even though is often frowned upon.

    • Ah yes email marketing is also another way to promote your blog. I wouldn’t say it’s frowned upon. Many people still use emails to get their information by subscribing to blogs or websites for regular updates. Thanks for sharing

  12. Well done. This covers the relevant points that any good blogger should cover however, your article is NOT just for bloggers. Most SMB’s (small & medium business) need to do this to survive and continue to grow their businesses with these online marketing tools and tips.

    Even the bricks and mortars have to pay attention here. It is time intensive and many don’t factor that in the process though.

    That’s were an agency like SMBsocial comes into play. …(selfish plug) They often work with many different vendors….and developers like Elegant Theme’s (return plug) to arrive at a common modal for clients that either don’t have the time to do all the things they should, or they have the time but don’t want to have to learn and stay abreast of all the changes to stay up to date.

    Example: In the last 60 days, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn changed their profiles. This means your branding for those sites will need to be updated too. Change happens all the time in this social realm. Agencies stay up to date and on top of this because it’s their job. This way they keep their clients social properties up to date while also covering the remaining excellent points covered in this post.

    This way business owner’s can work on growing their business and selling their products and services which is after-all their areas of expertise.

    • Good points Tom. I definitely agree that what I’ve mentioned goes for any website and not just blogs. Updating content, branding, and media regularly is crucial.

  13. Great overview of Marketing Andy
    There was a time when good content plus SEO and links were enough but now Social Media is a must have string to your bow.

    I’ve just added the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin.to my Divi theme site and I push out to social media using the Buffer app for Chrome – saves so much time.

    One thing that I don’t do as much as I used to is comment on other blogs.
    I only comment on a few blogs.

    • Thanks for sharing Keith. Commenting seems like it wouldn’t return much value but over time the more you comment the more people value what you have to say. This in return usually is a great marketing approach.

  14. Thanks Andy!, we agree with advertising on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. We are getting good result from them.

    Contents and Marketing both are important for successful of a blog.

  15. Nice article and inspiring as i plan on committing to write interesting articles and develop an audience with my blog page. I have never really been active with blogging. I recently built my first wordpress site and want to take advantage of the blog capabilities. I am totally new to wp and blogging, so i have a lot to learn. But i can definitely see the benefits as long as a blogger has valueable information. Perfect example is stumbling across your page and i can’t even remember how i landed here.

  16. This article is quite timely, as I’m fairly new to blogging. However, I use Blogger. Unfortunately, the interface doesn’t seem to be that user-friendly, and doesn’t seem to offer as many benefits as WordPress. Would you recommend I switch over to WordPress?

    • Yes I would definetely switch as soon as possible. Blogger’s user agreements are draconian as well.

    • Jonella,

      I say use whatever you are comfortable with. I would only recommend WordPress as opposed to Blogger because I have more experience with it. Thanks!

  17. Are you using the premium version of Yoast or the freebie version?

  18. Thank you so much for all this information, though in my opinion Google+ is the least effective way to market your blog in comparison to Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

  19. Please check the spelling of RIGHT, The more you RIGHT the better you become. It should be write.

    “Writing also provides countless benefits to you. The more you right the better you become. Over time your posts will be easier to read for your users which is something in itself that will keep them coming back for more.”

    • Good catch, fixed it :)

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