Flog your blog – Part 2 of 2
Building a healthy blog following requires a marketing plan. The marketing plan for any blog consists of three basic components. You need to find ways to 1) consistently expose new people to your content, 2) provide the means for readers to keep returning and 3) make it easy for readers to share your columns with their colleagues.
Here’re some following building ideas that can be used by new bloggers as well as more experienced bloggers. Organized into six categories, here are fifteen additional recommendations to expand your blog’s audience. (Here are the first twelve tactics to build your blog following.)
Leverage social media platforms.
- Create related videos. Videos can be interviews you use in your posts and/or create when attending trade shows. Since YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google, this is an area that you shouldn’t overlook. It’s critical to attach relevant tags to your video to help search optimization.
- Expand your reach with slide sharing sites. Upload your presentations to get broader reach. Include a blog link with the presentation description, put you branding and a copyright notice on each slide and put your contact information on the last slide.
- Create a Flickr group. With a paid version of Flickr, you can include a page about your organization and/or business providing another forum for social media interaction. Link to your blog here. Photographs have the great advantage of being easy to snap and share. You can allow others to post their photographs covering topics related to your blog. This is particular useful when you are posting something with a visual or human interest element such as crafts or meetings attendees.
- Buy social media advertising. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIN offer advertising that’s cost effective and useful for acquiring new readers. Set yourself a budget and test its effectiveness.
Be an expert–Answer questions.
- Participate on Q&A sites. Answer questions posed by other members of the site to build your authority. Think broadly about topics based on your blog’s area of expertise. Among the popular options are Q&A chat rooms provided by LinkedIn and Yahoo Answers.
- Use LinkedIn Groups. This is especially useful for business-oriented blogs. By participating and sharing information within different LinkedIn groups, you create a reason to include links to your posts where relevant. Also, creating and curating a group can expand your reach and authority.
Show your PR prowess.
- Use HARO to find journalists and/or bloggers looking for input in areas you cover on your blog. If they select you as a resource, they may mention and/or link to your blog. [Here are four suggestions for using HARO.]
- Place a social media press release to extend your reach. Since press releases get read as news in today’s media world, use an engaging hook to draw in prospective readers. Here are 5 suggestions for creating press releases. Please note that many press release services charge fees for distribution.
- Join relevant Twitter Chats. These informal gatherings give participants the opportunity to share their blogs names during their introduction. Also, there may be opportunities during the chat to spotlight relevant posts on your blog.
- Participate in online forums. By being active online, you broaden awareness and relationships. Your goal is to establish yourself as an authority and include a link to your blog in your profile and signature file. This doesn’t mean sharing blog posts directly. Play within the forum’s guidelines for self-promotion. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by over sharing your blog. This can result in you either get banded from the list or turning people off. Remember, no one likes listening to someone who’s constantly saying “look at me, look at me, look at me!”
Get out and meet people face-to-face
- Promote your blog on your business cards. While this sounds obvious, it’s an old fashioned way to keep your name and related business contact information available and top of mind.
- Get out and meet people. Attend on topic live events to build real world relationships. Promote your blog on your nametag. Some examples of specialty events are WordCamp, which attracts WordPress developers and She’s Geeky, a technology unconference targeted at women.
- Join or start a Meetup. Meetup is a great social media platform which allows you coordinate offline meetings, whether your topic’s search engine marketing or scrapbooking. For a small fee, you can create a group. In addition to sending out notices, it allows members to comment on events and related ideas. It’s another place to which to link your blog, build authority and meet people.
Create value for your niche.
- Write and distribute e-books. Create a short e-book on a topic of interest to your audience. Provide additional value that’s evergreen and continues to attract an audience over time.
- Organize people around an idea or a cause. Get yourself a platform. One way to do it is to help people think in an organized way about a topic of interest to them. One great example of this is National Novel Writing Month.
Building a blog following takes time and hard work. All of the top bloggers have been doing this for years. If your in t for the long haul, you have to put together a realistic marketing plan to achieve a strong audience and continuously execute on tactics to get there.
Please share your recommendations for helping readers expand their blog reach in the comments section of this post.
For more information regarding how to build your blog:
Photo credit: MSVG via Flickr