How to Promote Your Blog Without Feeling Like a Sleazeball

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Marketing Your Blog Without Feeling Like a SleazeballI’ve noticed that many of you hate to toot your own horn.

Marketing your blog, promoting your posts, and advertising ranks right up there with Congress, mowing the grass, and eating barley.

The problem is that you need readers – lot’s of them. Readers create pageviews for advertising. Readers retweet and follow you. Readers comment on your posts. Since only 1% of readers actively engage, you need a healthy pipeline of them to keep your blog moving forward.


You can’t get these readers by hoping for them. Friend, you gotta go out there and get them.

The Good News Is That You Don’t Have to Be a Jerk

There are two schools of thought in the online marketing world. On one side, you have the Internet marketing sharks that would sell ads on their mom’s butt to make a buck. They don’t mind screaming and hollering for traffic. On the other side, you have the Kumbaya idealists who believe good intentions make for the best marketing strategy.

Both ultimately fail.

Fortunately, there are options for those who want to aggressively grow their reader base without feeling like a sleazeball.

I’ve compiled a few proven winners:

Find New Audiences

Guest Posts

Writing and getting your posts published on other blogs attracts new readers to your blog. The advantage of guest blogging is that the host blog “vouches” for your credibility. Guest blogging has been the #1 source of new readers to Pushing Social by far.

Sharing Presentations

YouTube, Slideshare, and Scribd attract large audiences hungry for new information. People visit these sites to quickly search presentations for research and case studies. You can reach this audience by turning your popular posts into slide shows and uploading them to Slideshare or Scribd. Add keywords to the title and description, and you’ll get the SEO benefit from your new slideshow. Don’t forget to put your blog’s web address in the description to lead viewers back to your blog.


It’s shockingly easy to turn your posts into podcasts. All you need is a microphone, free audio recording software, and an iTunes account. Read your blog post into the microphone. Use the audio recording software to export your podcast, and then upload to iTunes.


Convert your post into a slideshow, hook up a microphone, and talk the reader through your content. Now you have your own video that you can upload to YouTube. YouTube’s massive audience will provide a steady stream of interested readers to your blog.

Tasteful Tweeting

For many blogs, Twitter is an excellent source of traffic. But make sure to observe these “anti-sleaze rules.”

Share First Promote Second

As a rule, share other people’s stuff before you promote your own. This shouldn’t be too difficult to do. After you’ve built up some goodwill, then feel free to drive traffic to your posts.

Tweet 23 Times a Day

Twitter users jump on at different times of day. I normally satisfy my Twitter addiction around lunch time. Schedule your promotional tweets to go out 2 or 3 times a day. My testing shows that early morning, lunch, and early evening works best for me. Run your own tests to find the sweet spot for your audience.

Tweet Old Posts

You can reignite interest in old posts by regularly tweeting them out.  WordPress users can automate this process by installing the Tweet Old Post plugin.

Thank Retweeters

Laura Click, my friend and guest poster extraordinaire, religiously thanks every single retweeter of her posts. Aside from being a classy thing to do, it’s also an unobtrusive way to keep her posts front and center throughout the day. Steal this technique – it works.


Add a Little Extra

Promote your post to your Facebook audience with a little commentary about the post. Stick around your wall to answer any questions, and thank people for likes.

Ask Questions

Complement your Facebook link with a few questions. Ask your audience to read your post and offer their opinions. Encourage someone to play the role of devil’s advocate.

Go Easy

It’s a rule of thumb that Facebook users hate blatant promotion, so keep your efforts to one (maybe 2) useful links a day.

Respectfully Knock on Doors

Ask Friends to Share

Notice I said friends, not influencers. Friends are people who you’ve cultivated a relationship with. You have a give, take, and share relationship.  If you are friends with an influencer, then ask them to share your post. Don’t get pushy or snippy. Simply ask and leave it at that.

Ask Your Readers to Share

It seems like the “Please RT” addition has fallen out of favor, but you should test to see if it will work for you. The old adage “it can’t hurt to ask” applies here. In addition, explicitly ask your readers to share your post from your blog post. 

Easy Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Get Religious about SEO

SEO isn’t optional for serious bloggers. Get educated. Create a ritual for search optimizing every post. This means thinking about how to “spoon feed” your posts to the search engines, writing cornerstone pages, and researching a list of keywords. I highly recommend using Copyblogger Media’s Scribe plugin. It makes picking keywords and optimizing your blog posts a snap.

Pay Attention to the Little Things

It’s amazing how little changes can dramatically improve your search rankings. For example, adding your keywords to your picture alt-tags and adding keyword-rich tags and meta keywords to each post are excellent first steps. I use the All-In-One SEO plugin to make sure that I have the little things covered.

Consider SEO a Long-Term Investment

Good SEO delivers free traffic with little to no effort on your part. SEO is one of the few techniques that deliver so much for so little. So make SEO a priority to collect the dividends for years to come. I recommend adding a few SEO blogs like Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Journal to your weekly reading list to keep SEO top-of-mind.

The Key to Non-Sleazy Promotion

It’s simple. Deliver valuable information at the right time to the right reader. Respect your reader’s time, and they’ll keep you in the “trusted authority” column. Sleazeballs interrupt, intrude, and shout. Folks like you and me would rather inform, recommend, and share.

How about you? How do you promote your blog without feeling like a sleazeball?


About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

21 thoughts on “How to Promote Your Blog Without Feeling Like a Sleazeball

  1. Annie

    I am an unemployed mother of three who just started this blog.
    I write from the heart and my friends tell me I do it very well. My goal is to keep adding to my blog (only 4 posts so far) and to ask people to subscribe to it and support us by donating just $5 a month. I don’t like ads because I feel that the general public is being brainwashed into thinking they need some idiotic product to enhance their lives when anything could be farther from the truth. My goal is to find upwards of 500 people across the world who will read my writing and donate just $5 a month to support us. Maybe that’s crazy but in this way I could be doing something I love and making a living by it. Your comments are appreciated.

  2. AmalieKaeseler

    This did help me a lot! Using social medias like twitter in more variated ways in an excellent idea. It is nice, compared to other articles that just speak of spaming links everywhere.

    Once again thank you for the delightful reading. : )


  3. jim

    Thanks for the tip Stanford I am always looking for new and better ways to promote my blog. Please keep them coming.

  4. Deborah

    I agree with you. I started writing a political blog in October, and while I’ve shamelessly self promoted to friends and family and used Facebook and Twitter to link every new post diligently, I’d like to increase my audience. I feel intimidated asking about guest blogging on political blogs because it seems like the well known blogs are written by well known journalists or politicians. I’m not even sure how to find or ask smaller bloggers to guest post on their blogs. Every time I look for blogging opportunities, people are interested in having me write about fashion because I’m a 23-year-old girl. While I’m interested in that, it’s not what I blog about and I do take the time to put the research into writing out incisive postings about politics. If anyone has any suggestions on guest blogging, I’d love to hear them. Thanks. =)

  5. Chris

    Really glad I ran across this article. I’d love to see you write some pointers on how to get started “guest blogging”. It just seems like an intimidating prospect to approach people who are already considered experts in a field and try to convince them that I can write something they haven’t already covered or could write better.

  6. CameronKozinski

    Great Post my wife has a blog she is trying to get going this should really help her.

  7. janesheeba

    @Stanford @BloggingBizMom I had a similar problem. Some of my timely announcements and deals were being retweeted. Will look into the filtering option. Thanks :).

  8. lauraclick

    Fantastic tips here, Stan. I think the blogosphere has been preaching the sharing mentality so much, that it has perhaps made people a little gun shy to promote too much. While you don’t want the pendulum to swing too far one way or the other, it’s really important to get out there and be willing to promote your stuff. Why write if no one’s going to read it? Be proud of your stuff and don’t be afraid to share it! Once you do, it tends to catch on and snow ball from there as people like to share stuff that others are talking about.

    Also, thanks for the kind shout out, Stan. I really appreciate it!

  9. Stanford

    You’re more than welcome Sally. Your first comments will come soon just keep pumping out useful info.

  10. Stanford

    @joebertino livefyre Now that some classy stuff right there. Honestly the first time any company took the time to thank me in my own “house” . Keep it up LiveFyre crew

  11. joebertino

    Hi there Stan! My name is Joe and I’m a member of the Livefyre community team. I enjoyed reading your post and I hope that one day Livefyre will end up on your list of non-sleazy tactics. I can speak for the rest of the livefyrecrew when I say that we’re looking forward to joining the Pushing Social community (especially if you’re willing to share a fishing adventure from time to time). If you ever have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me directly or just email our team at support [at] livefyre [dot] com. Cheers!

  12. SallyE

    Thkx Stan,

    This is just what the doctor ordered. I knew some of this, but, as usual, you’ve given me soooo much more. (I’m still waiting for my first real comment, so a little more promotion is obviously needed.)

  13. Stanford

    @BloggingBizMom Good point. The good news is that you can configure the Tweet Old Post to filter posts by time or category. It’s worth a look.

  14. Stanford

    @DianeSpaid Diane, I hear you. Guest blogging is not easy. However it is extremely effective. I started with smaller niche blogs to create a porfolio of my work. It made it easier for some of the larger blogs to accept my stuff once they had seen it under my name on the Web. I also spent considerable time researching topics that filled holes on the guest blog. Last I made my pitch as entertaining, eye-catching as possible.

  15. DianeSpaid

    All great advice but regarding guest posting, it is not quite as easy as simply asking for it. I have been ghost blogging for several clients for a couple of years now, developed the requisite relationships with blogs via comments and have not been asked nor have my requests to ghost blog been accepted. And before you say (could be your writing) I receive tremendous positive feedback on the writing but they already have a years worth of guest bloggers lined up or the request needs to be forwarded to the person in charge of that etc. As I understand the value in guest blogging I will keep trying but it’s not easy, folks!

  16. BloggingBizMom

    This is a great article- love the info.

    The only problem with the retweet plug in is sometimes it retweets things that are time sensitive, so often it’s too late for whatever deal I was talking about or whatever. Of course, there may be a way to omit certain post’s from retweeting…just something else to add to my List of things To Do!

    Have a great day!

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