Here’s the “secret” to attracting more readers to your blog. Ready for it?
Promote your blog posts.
I am not being a smart ass and unfortunately I’m not stating the obvious either. Most bloggers either under-promote their blog posts or refuse to tell their readers that they have something new to say. Most of these folks will point to a sacred social media rule that says you shouldn’t promote your work and if you do, conduct your promotion discreetly.
Imagine me looking you straight in the eye and saying -- bologna.
If you are writing great articles that solve tough problems then your audience will want to hear about your posts. They don’t give a “rats butt" about social media etiquette, they want their problems solved. They depend on you to break through the clutter and direct their attention to your blog.
I know that you are serious about your topic. You work hard to write posts that matter. Don’t let the social media priesthood guilt you into whispering about your work. The only people who matter are your audience. Let them dictate your strategy.
Of course, there are some misguided jerks who will promote their blog posts 100 times daily on Twitter and Facebook. These same jerks spend 100% of their time bragging about their blog rather than passing along great content. These folks are held up as the poster children for social media bad behavior. Here’s my advice, don’t be a jerk. Ok?
How I Promote My Posts
I hate theory so I’m going to tell you how I promote my blog posts. I do this everyday and have seen my pageviews and traffic almost over the last 6 months. I plan on doing a webinar about this soon but here are a few pointers you can use today.
People jump on Twitter at various times a day. I make sure that I promote my posts when my audience is most likely to see it. I use a tool called Timely to analyze my past tweets and tell me when my readers are on twitter. It works great.
I schedule my tweets for those times and change the tweet's headline for each time slot.
I also use hashtags for at least one of my promotion tweets. Including a hashtag expands the number of people who will see the tweet and attracts more readers. I only use one hashtag and make sure that my tweet is relevant to the audience.
I haven’t been a big Facebook user until last month. For 2012 I’m all-in and it’s fascinating to meet a whole new group of readers. On Facebook, I share my post with a teaser to catch my audience's attention. I’m also adding a quick :30 second intro video along with my posts. I’ll be testing this all year. I’ll keep you posted.
Overall, Facebook has gone from contributing 1 or 2 visits a month to being my 3rd top traffic driver. Facebook works. Try it for yourself.
Triberr rocks folks.
Dino and team have transformed Triberr into a legitimate content aggregator for busy people. I’ve carefully selected my tribe mates and happily share their posts with my twitter audience. I’ve installed the Triberr WordPress plugin that automatically uploads my latest posts to my Tribe. It’s easy and it works, one tribe member drove over 17,000+ visits to one post. Not bad.
I’ve ignored LinkedIn up until now because I didn’t see a direct benefit from promoting there. It seemed that the space was already clogged with other social media types and I didn’t want to add to the noise.
However, I learned that LinkedIn “shares” count toward getting your posts featured in LinkedIn Today, a targeted news blog customized by topic. That means that if today posts get a ton of shares, people interested in social media will see this post when they login to their LinkedIn account. This caught my attention, and I’ve been playing catch-up with LinkedIn ever since.
I recommend adding the LinkedIn social share button to your blog posts. I use Buffer’s newly acquired Digg Digg plugin to add new share buttons. LinkedIn is already installed just install the plugin and activate it.
Gosh, I love email. I’ve set-up my Aweber account to automatically publish my entire blog post to people who’ve signed up for updates. I ONLY send blog updates to this list. I send the entire blog posts because these folks want to read the post in their inbox without needing to go the site. I respect that, it’s a great timesaver.
Aweber and Mailchimp offer the RSS to Email feature with their services. If you don’t offer blog updates via email then do it today. I’m serious, make it happen today.
I always give a quick shout out to my Google+ peeps. Although I’m not seeing a ton of traffic from this platform, I’m betting that it will grow in the next year. I’m on the record for saying that Google + is a paper tiger. I’m wrong. Google is serious about weaving Google+ into our online experience. I’m getting on board. By the way, Chris Brogan’s book Google+ for Business helped me see the light here. It’s got some good stuff in there so it’s worth picking up a copy.
All together, I spend about 15 minutes promoting each blog post. Each of my posts usually get around 2,000 pageviews. So the “ROI” is worth it. The key is promoting consistency and testing new methods.
How do you promote your blog posts?