You've probably already figured out that writing a blog post is really only half the battle. It takes some additional effort (and creativity!) to actually get people to your blog so they can enjoy your content.
So, how do you do this? How do you promote your blog and get traffic to your website?
Until you have a large, active following for your blog, it can be disheartening checking your analytics and seeing how few people actually read your posts.
I mean, you know how great your posts are, and I know how great they are, but how can we let others in on the secret?
I've compiled this list of strategies (most of them FREE!) that will help you promote your blog and drive traffic to your website. Most of these shouldn't take you more than a few minutes, so setting aside 15 minutes each time you write a post to promote it as well will put in you good stead.
1. Promote it to your email list.
Depending on how often you email your subscribers, link to each blog post you write, or put together a compilation of your favorite posts from the week. Try including a few particularly titillating lines from your posts and include a ‘read more’ link to the full post.
2. Share it on your Facebook page.
I’m sure you’re doing this already, but I had to mention it. Make sure your blog images are the right size for Facebook so they’re displayed at maximum capacity (including photos greatly increases click through rates!) .
3. Comment on other blogs in your niche.
Become a fixture at the blogs of other well-known people in your niche. Leave intelligent comments, and contribute meaningfully to ongoing discussions. Remember: quality over quantity.
4. Guest post.
Offer to contribute a post to popular blogs in your niche. Remember to include a link back to your blog in your author bio, preferably along with the offer of a free guide, e-book or info-product!
5. Participate in forums in your niche.
Let me be clear: do NOT join other forums simply for the sake of promoting your blog. Participate in niche forums with the goal of helping others, sharing ideas, and people will naturally want to find out more about you.
6. Optimize for the search engines.
While SEO has changed as of late, it’s definitely not dead! Make sure your posts contain keywords that people may be looking for. Pay particular importance to including your keywords (and variations of your keywords) in your title, headings, as well as in your content.
7. Exchange posts with another blogger.
Propose a post exchange with another blogger in your niche. Try to choose someone with a similar audience size and demographic, and both of you will benefit from the cross promotion.
8. Write a magazine article.
Trust me when I say that trade publications are always looking for contributors! Submit a query to magazines in your industry and be sure to include your url in your author bio.
9. Pin to your own Pinterest board.
Create a board on Pinterest specifically for your blog posts. Make sure you use great images that add value and interest to your posts.
10. Pin to a Pinterest contributor board.
See if there’s a popular Pinterest board you can pin to as a contributor. This can help drive traffic to your blog as well as to your Pinterest boards.
11. Include a link on all your social media profiles.
I know, obvious, right? Make sure you include a live link on each and every social media profile you have, even on those sites you may not use regularly.
12. Share on Google+ for added SEO benefits.
If you’re not already using Google+, I’d encourage you to get started! Sharing your blog posts in your Google+ circles is not only great for driving referral traffic, but is also becoming increasingly important for SEO.
13. Submit your link to Reddit.
As one of the largest social bookmarking sites out there, submitting your posts to Reddit is definitely worth your while. Who knows when one of your posts will rise to the top of the approximately 70K links that are submitted each day!
14. Created a Slideshare based on a post.
Expand your audience by re-organizing your blog posts and making them into Slideshare presentations.
15. Try social ads.
Try your hand at Facebook ads, promoted posts, or sponsored tweets. This can not only drive traffic to your blog, but can increase your social media following.
16. Have obvious social share buttons.
How hard is it for your blog readers to share your content with their friends? Make sure your social share buttons are in a prominent location, and that you’re including all the major players: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn (at the least).
17. Create a top 10 list with badges.
This is an easy one that often yields great results. Write a post that lists a ‘top ten’ in your niche: it could be top ten bloggers, top ten businesses, etc. Have a simple badge or seal designed and award them to the winners (who often post the badge on their blog with a link back to your post).
18. Buy cheap banner ads on niche sites.
Oftentimes taking out a banner ad on a niche site will result in more relevant targeting and a greater ROI than buying expensive ads on larger, more generic sites.
19. Target the long tail.
When optimizing your blog posts for the search engines, be sure to pepper your content with longer, more specific phrases that people may be searching for. With Google’s move towards more natural-language search, blogs that rank well for long tail search queries will be miles ahead of the competition.
20. Hold a contest.
Hosting a contest on your blog is always a great way to not only generate some buzz, but to drive traffic to your site. Promote the contest to your email list, social media followers, and be sure to submit your contest to contest directories.
21. Become a contributor at a popular website.
If you’re already quite well known in your niche, apply to become a regular contributor to a well-known news or business magazine. This can be a great way to establish your reputation as a thought leader as well as to drive traffic to your blog.
22. Recycle old blog posts.
Don’t be afraid to re-promote older blog posts from time to time. Many of your subscribers or followers won’t remember your older content, or if they do, will appreciate the reminder.
23. Mention an influential person in a post.
If it’s relevant to a post you’re writing, include a reference to an influential person in your niche. Then be sure to @ mention them in a tweet or tag them in a Facebook post. Who knows: they may just share it with their followers too.
24. Create and submit regular press releases.
When you write a newsworthy blog post, or have something ‘newsy’ happening in your business, write a press release that links back to your blog.
25. Put your blog url on all your marketing materials.
Don’t forget about offline marketing! Make sure to include your blog url on all your marketing materials, both offline and online: your brochures, product pamphlets, business card, banners, etc.
And there you have it! Some easy ways to promote your blog and get traffic to your website.
I’d encourage you to set aside a few minutes each time you write a blog post to implement at least a couple of the strategies above. You’ll be amazed to see what you accomplish in a short amount of time when you’re intentional about promoting your blog!
What’s your best tip for promoting your blog? How much time do you set aside for promoting your blog? Share below!