Congratulations! You’ve done it: you’ve got your blog up and running. You’ve written posts that address real questions your audience has, have an airtight process in place for writing and revising, and know how to connect your blog posts to your writing work.
All this is great…but how do you get people to read it?
Promoting a blog isn’t just about posting regularly on social media, although that helps. However, even the most consistent social media schedule isn’t going to be enough to gain a solid readership.
People have short attention spans, and the Internet offers no shortage of distractions. Plus, there are a lot of other writers out there with great blogs vying for people’s attention.
With that in mind, how do you make your voice heard so you can not only stand out from the crowd, but show readers why your message matters to them?
The fact is, each reader who lands on one of your blog posts represents someone who could buy your book, sign up as a client, or just gain some inspiration from your journey as a writer…
…which makes the blog promotion process particularly important.
Here are a few tried and true techniques for getting your blog out there and gaining more readers.
Create Compelling Visuals for Social Media
I’m going to try to say this nicely: if the extent of your social media promotion for your blog is posting a link on Facebook, you’re doing it wrong.
People remember images. Better yet, they remember moving images. If you can do one of those—preferably both— and do them well, you’ll be on your way to making your work unforgettable.
So, what makes a compelling visual? First of all, good visual content is consistent. That means that if you haven’t created brand rules for your blog, you need to do that now.
At the minimum, you need to identify the colors for your brand, as well as a primary and secondary font. Having a logo—especially if your blog is part of a larger venture, such as a business or your own books—also helps readers recognize your unique content.
Then—and this is a crucial point—you need to make sure that all the visuals you create follow these brand rules. Congruency is key. Imagine going to Starbucks and seeing the Dunkin logo on the sign. You’d be totally confused, and that part of you who is loyal, dye-in-the-wool Starbucks customer might even feel betrayed.
So, create a brand, and then use it as the basis for your Instagram posts and stories. Don’t get intimidated by this, by the way—you don’t have to be a Photoshop whiz. All you really need is a pro Canva account. It’s inexpensive and a worthwhile way to design quality visual content for your blog promotion.
Do Keyword Research
Search engine optimization is a big, scary word that makes many people think of technical expertise, strategy, and all kinds of things you probably feel like you don’t have experience with. But never fear—you can do basic search engine marketing without creating a single metatag.
Search engine marketing is where bloggers research the phrases and words people are searching for online and then incorporate that same language into their own promotional content. This doesn’t mean dropping these search terms everywhere in your blog—the goal is to put them in organically, so they naturally occur in the post without being repetitive or standing out.
Here are a few easy and totally free tools for doing basic keyword research:
· Answerthepublic.com is a site that draws from search engines to show you the top questions people are asking on a given topic. You input the topic you want to write about and then the site spits out what people are searching for. Similar to the topic wheel, it helps you to better understand where your audience’s interests fall within your subject matter.
· The best search terms to include in your blog are always the most specific ones. Search for your topic on Google, then scroll to the Related Searches section at the bottom of the page. Pick a set of search terms that fit the direction you want to take your post. On the next page of search results, scroll back down and choose another set of keywords. Stop this process when you reach keywords that you think would fit your post best.
· Ubersuggest is a free website from marketing guru Neil Patel that allows you to input your topic and see the most frequently searched keywords.
Remember: the goal is not to overload your post with these keywords. Include them in ways that feel natural within the writing.
Build an Email List
Building a list of subscribers is key to promoting your blog among your most loyal readers. List building ensures that people will get a reminder from week to week to read your posts, leading to more engagement with your blog.
Plus, once people sign up to receive your posts, you are legally able to market additional content to them via email. If you’re an author, you don’t have to wait until you have a new blog post—you can send updates about your book, where they can buy it, and information about any special author events you have planned.
Email marketing is easy and affordable. Mailchimp, Active Campaign, and Hubspot all offer plans ranging in cost from free to relatively inexpensive. Many blog platforms, including Wordpress and Wix, also offer tools for setting up blog subscriptions for readers.
Ultimately, a mailing list helps you build a stronger relationship with readers, and that’s what makes them care about the information you are putting out there.
Want more tools for creating a great blog? I have a brand-new free resource to help you do it.
The Blog Toolkit for Writers contains worksheets, templates, and tools to help you outline your posts, plan your content, and organize your ideas so you can write better posts and get more readers.