Want To Build Your Blog Audience? Think Outside The Blog!
If you’re like most bloggers, you’re always looking for new ways to expand your blog readership. I know I am. Think beyond your blog.
Try new methods of attracting new readers that you haven’t tried before. Your goal is to make your blog popular. Here are seventeen tips to help you get started.
- Give your blog posts a staring role in your email marketing. Highlight your blog posts and encourage readers to read more on your blog. If you’re trying to build your blog email list, make sure you include other additional information, not just a rehash of your blog. One way to do this is to curate related content from other sources.
- Strut your writing on other blogs. Write targeted guest blog posts and articles to entice the readers of other blogs by providing other blogs with your best (yes, you read that correctly) content. In addition to getting new readers to taste-test your content, you will get a link back to your blog, helping your search optimization.
- Exchange email lists with a related blog or media entity. This doesn’t mean that you literally give them your list since that would in essence be spam. Rather, have them feature a post on your own blog in a special emailing to their list with an introduction as to why the article is worth their readers’ time. This extends the idea of guest posting. The difference is that your article may not be published on their blog (and hence you wouldn’t receive a backlink.) The benefit is that you reach new readers and are endorsed by the other’s blog. Don’t be surprised if the blog would like a reciprocal arrangement or a fee.
- Offer second rights to your blog posts to other blogs and/or media sites. This means that they can publish your article in its entirety (or with minor changes) on their site after it’s been on your blog for a given period of time. To be clear, this doesn’t mean they can copy or scrape your content without your authority. The key here is that you give them permission to reprint your material. For example, many of the bloggers on Business to Community do this.
- Advertise on social media and other blogs. These targeted venues are often less expensive to use. It’s helpful to have an incentive, such as an ebook, to entice prospects to register for your blog’s emailings. If your budget is limited, offer to exchange advertising on a related but not competitive blog.
- Make another blog an offer they can’t refuse. Give away an ebook created from your blog posts to entice prospective readers. Ask other blogs to give it away. This is a win-win since they get additional content to offer their readers and you get links back to your blog and a blurb about you.
- Get your name in print. Don’t overlook PR as a means to get noticed. Become a resource for the media and ask them to mention and link to your blog. Help-A-Reporter Out (aka HARO) is a great free resource for doing this. Scan their thrice daily emailings for inquiries where you can offer your expert opinion.
- Put out a press release. In today’s media world, social media press releases can be a cost effective way to get your name out there. Be creative in developing a hook that will get others to notice, read and write about you. Among the options are releasing an ebook or research attract attention. Make sure you include relevant links back to your blog. (Before you dive into PR, here’s some helpful tips.)
- Highlight your blog on your business cards. Since most people keep business cards, why not make yours work double duty for you. Want them to stand out? Make them stand out. For example, Peter Shankman uses poker chips, Jay Baer’s card is a bottle opener, and Ric Dragon has circular cards.
- Use your email signature file to market your blog. Include a link to your blog in your email signature file. If you’ve created an ebook, add another link for that as well.
- Get your content in the spotlight. Present your content at a meeting, event or conference. In addition to borrowing someone else’s audience, you can get your bio in the program, online and offline. Promote your blog instead of your company.
- Publish your presentations. While many speakers post their presentation on a slide-sharing site, you can do more. Don’t underestimate maximizing the resources of the organization sponsoring the talk or conference. Depending on where you present and the level of confidential information, get the organization to distribute your presentation to their broader audience. Make sure that your presentation has a slide with a description and links to your blog and email newsletter.
- Take advantage of association and alumni listings. Every organization has internal communications and websites. Add a link and description of your blog to each one. Where appropriate, offer an post, either second rights or a new one for publication on their website, blog, enewsletter or magazine.
- Create handouts to give out in your retail establishment. Expand how you use your content to engage prospects and customers. Make sure that your handouts have a call-to-action to get people to your blog and related emailing.
- Go old school and have a paper signup near your register. Just include a blurb about how you’ll use their email address and make sure that you give registered customers the opportunity to opt out.
- Get your customer service communications supporting your blogging efforts. This works well for businesses where the blog provides additional product related information. Include a blurb about your blog post and a link to the column in your customers service emails. The benefit is that these emailings are requested and expected by the customer so that they get through the spam filter and get read.
- Highlight your blog posts in your post-purchase email confirmation. Promote prospective readers when they’re most interested in finding out about how to use your products. Want to sweeten the deal? Add a special promotion for registering for your blog emailing.
When building your blog audience, make every interaction a chance to add another reader. While it’s great to get access to large audiences, often the better opportunities are with more targeted readers who are similar to your target market. Therefore think through every opportunity to ensure you’ve made it as effective as possible.
Do you have any other recommendation for expanding your audience using opportunities outside of your actual blog?
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