Want Your Blog Noticed? (Hint: It’s Not Just Content!)

23 Tips to Build Blog Awareness Beyond Great Content!

Do you want to grow the awareness of your blog to expand its reach and influence? While many bloggers won’t admit it publicly, most want other people to read their posts, to share them broadly, and to recognize them for the great content and effort they’ve put in to creating them.

Since creating great content by itself won’t necessarily grow your blog’s audience and influence, you must use every tool at your disposal to increase your blog’s awareness in the ever-expanding sea of blogs. Here are twenty-three, awareness expanding tips to help you.

  1. Develop your blog goals. It’s hard to achieve anything without well-defined objectives. Otherwise you’re continually chasing the next number or new idea. Actionable Marketing Tip: Answer the question “What do I want this blog to do or achieve?” The more specific you are the better.
  2. Pick your blog topic well. Select a blog niche or category that’s unique and fills a market need. You must be able to distinguish your blog from others covering your subject. Writing about the same things as everyone else won’t help build your awareness. Actionable Marketing Tip: Assess the competitive blog landscape to determine the gaps in the marketplace you can fill.
  3. Embrace your passion. Blogging is hard work that requires dedication. If you’re not excited about the topic, it’s a sure bet your audience won’t be either. Actionable Marketing Tip: Take time to look inward to see what motivates you then determine how to set it apart.
  4. Create a blog roadmap to achieve your objectives. Develop strategies to build your blog going forward including adding new technologies and features as you gain experience. Actionable Marketing Tip: Have well defined milestones that are attainable and go beyond basic blogging metrics such as the number of posts.
  5. Choose your blog’s moniker well. Your blog’s name or title and related tagline or slogan are critical to its long term success. Are you creating a new word such as ShoeMoney or ZenHabits? Actionable Marketing Tip: Test the name on a few people you know to see if they understand what you’re talking about. While not scientific, this activity at least gets you out of your head.
  6. Select a good address. It helps to be in the right neighborhood so your URL or blog’s address matters. You don’t want your visitors to have to trouble finding your blog. Actionable Marketing Tip: Check the URL to ensure people can spell it. Don’t use an abbreviation that only matters to employees and insiders. I’ve worked with companies where this was an issue.
  7. Start building on your own site. Make your blog self-hosted rather than using free options like WordPress.com, TypePad, Blogger or other shared platforms. The bottom line is that while it’s easy to start and free, it’s ultimately limiting, time consuming and expensive to move later. Therefore, save yourself a lot of hassles down the road.
  8. Integrate your blog’s brand into related content and activities. As a media entity, your blog deserves its own brand. If it’s a corporate brand, it should be adapted for the blog. Actionable Marketing Tip: Go one step further and be your brand. Think Mari Smith’s signature turquoise and Joe Pulizzi’s orange shirts.
  9. Dress your blog professionally. Get a professional blog design. This can put you into a different category when people view your blog. Actionable Marketing Tip: Show readers you mean business by dressing for the part with style.
  10. Add personality to your blog. Think in terms of a quirky perspective, or leave Easter eggs (unexpected surprises in tech talk.) Actionable Marketing Tip: Unlike other aspects of your marketing, have your blog let its real personality show through.
  11. Direct readers to related posts on your blog. Use a plugin (such as The Slide, a WordPress plugin) or individually select appropriate articles.
  12. Answer comments and actively engage on your blog. Comments aren’t a gimmie-gimmie one way street. If readers have taken time to communicate, show some respect and respond to them.
  13. Feed the search robots. Beyond writing great content, craft post URLs using real words including your keywords. Actionable Marketing Tip: Optimize your non-text content for appropriate keywords.
  14. Share the link love. To build your influence, link out to other blogs and resources. Show that you understand how the give and take blogging in terms of SEO. Actionable Marketing Tip: Reference your sources and don’t steal other people’s content.
  15. Encourage sharing of your content. To this end, place easy-to-use social sharing buttons at the top and bottom of your posts. Actionable Marketing Tip: Include a call-to-action to remind readers to share the post with their family and friends.
  16. Join a community of bloggers. Think: The Blogosphere Wants You! Instead of trying to create an audience from scratch, leverage an existing base of readers. The 12 Most blog is a great example of this. Actionable Marketing Tip: Reach out to a few friends who are bloggers with complementary blogs and suggest working together to cross promote each other.
  17. Toot your horn for other bloggers.  Use social media to promote other bloggers’ content. Actionable Marketing Tip: Sharing other people’s content is important aspect of social media. Remember to think in terms of one share about you to every ten about other people.
  18. Jump into the conversation on other people’s blogs. Offer meaty insights that are relevant to the blog post. This means you have to read the article before you respond. Actionable Marketing Tip: This is one place where “great blog” doesn’t cut it. You goal is to extend the conversation,
  19. Lend other bloggers a helping hand by writing guest posts. Spread your thoughts to other bloggers’ audiences. While you must write a post of unique content, it exposes you to other audiences. Actionable Marketing Tip: Make sure you’re given a short bio and a link back to your own blog.
  20. Think beyond the blog and engage on other social media networks. Broaden your influence by actively participating on a variety of platforms to know what’s going on. Actionable Marketing Tip: Join Twitter chats and test new social media formats.
  21. Meet other bloggers in real life. Don’t assume that the only way to grow your following is via the Internet. While this seems great for those introverts among us, nothing beats real-live face time. Actionable Marketing Tip: Schedule meetings and lunches outside of your office to form real life relationships.
  22. Persuade one person at a time. Don’t think of having to convert masses of people. Engage one person at a time. Use every interaction to broaden your circle. Actionable Marketing Tip: Don’t become the boring uncle no one ever wants to talk to.
  23. Enhance personal communications to promote your brand. Take advantage of the promotional opportunities you have. Actionable Marketing Tip: Include your blog’s URL in your Email signature file and on business cards.

Building your blog awareness takes a combination of strong promotion, a supportive community, and well optimized site for search in addition to great content. Additionally it takes time and patience to build a strong base of supporters and readers.

What other recommendations would you add to this list of ways to get your blog notice?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stickergiant/3773079346/

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  • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

    Great blog…

    Just kidding (see #18). Good stuff, Heidi. Very extensive list. Getting your blog noticed is a lot of work, I understand that first hand. Trying to find the time to do these things is a full time (and a half) job. 

    But you’re absolutely right. It’s more than great content. You have to interact with others. You have to share other bloggers’ work. You have to get involved in other communities. You have to give. And it’s shouldn’t be forced.

    Keep bringing the good stuff!

  • http://ericksoncreative.com/ SallyE

    Hi Heidi!
    You don’t seem to do anything in half measures. What an extensive and helpful list. I think Jon L. said it well with his point about the time all of this takes. It also doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It takes time for the results as well.

    One other suggestion/idea I noticed at Pushing Social this AM was Stanford’s challenge. He challenged his readers to get themselves 1000 new readers in 90 days, I think it was. It looks like Stan’s idea is to use this push to work at a goal of time, not just a result. What do you think of this idea?

  • Anonymous

    This is a nice article. Thank you very much for some great information.

  • Ozio Media

    The best blogs all have an obvious plan to them. Even if they are private blogs, the best ones have a clear idea of what they want to say and how they want to say it. Starting out with a clear plan for your blog is the best advice that you could possibly give to bloggers, new and old.

  • http://www.facebook.com/balljd Jim Ball

    Really liked this blog.  It’s so easy to think I have to blog everyday and just start writing.  I bookmarked this page to remind myself why I’m blogging.  Especially liked #22…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Helen-Boss/100002303824010 Helen Boss

    Great blog, Heidi!  I particularly liked #22 … the actionable tip that is!  Heaven forbid we become that!

  • Ashley Porter

    These are great tips for the new (and the expert) blogger…The community of bloggers is esp. important, once all the other factors are in place, for support and sharing of blog content

  • Dwill60513

    Good informative material… We need more “down to earth” bloggers out there today!

  • http://twitter.com/Childhood Kelly Loubet

    Here’s a tip you can add… Have your blog sponsor a local event. If you’re a parenting blogger… sponsor a mom’s night out. If you’re a food blogger… sponsor a wine tasting. Being an event sponsor isn’t super expensive and the exposure of your logo and URL on both printed and web materials can make a big impact on your new readership! xo

  • http://www.codex-soft.com/ Anton Zaleski

    The thing about social sharing buttons is a bit controversial, I’m afraid.  Not so many people are really ready to push buttons, especially when there’re tons of them at one particular place.

  • http://twitter.com/MTechMarketing MaroonTech Marketing

    =)

  • http://www.moonfiller.com/ Taran

    Love this article! Will absolutely put some of these practices into action. But, getting noticed is just the beginning!