It is important to have a blog post promotion strategy simply because without one your hardly produced content will not reach its full potential.
Promoting your new blog posts in any valid way you can is not something optional but is necessary for your web site’s success. Every time you publish new content, it’s a great opportunity to reach out and inform your existing audience but also gain new readers, followers or customers.
A mistake that many people make is that they publish new content and expect that it will be magically promoted on facebook or twitter and gain attraction or thousands of visitors on its own. This may be true for established web sites with a huge readership but for smaller web sites or blogs it’s your duty to go out and spread the word about your new blog post.
What you will read below is complementary to my existing post how to increase web site traffic – where I explained the most important web site promotion strategies you need to use. In this post I outline the 11 most popular ways to promote new content but I also emphasise how not to promote your posts if you want to stay out of trouble and minimize your risks of getting penalties from Google, Facebook or other search engines.
10+1 ways to promote your new blog posts
- Add your new post on your web site’s Facebook page. This will get the message out to your fans. In order for this method to have a return i.e. traffic from facebook or likes to your new blog post you need to have A LOT of facebook fans (likes) on your business page. (I will be discussing this in a new post and once published I will update this part as well)
- Share with your facebook friends (using your personal facebook account) the facebook post you have already posted above. In other words go to your personal timeline and like and share the post directly from your business page.
- Repeat the same process with your Google+ business page and Google+ personal page i.e. Share the new post on your google+ business page and then share that post with your personal google+ circles.
- Tweet about your new post. You can do different tests to find out which is the best time to tweet in order to have the best possible return. Actually you need to do the same with facebook and google+ and find out the particular timeframe that you have most of your fans/followers online. The easiest ways to do this is post or tweet in the morning, afternoon or night for a week and identify which time period gives you more likes, tweets, +1 etc.
- Try to avoid automated posts on facebook or twitter. Instead of posting automatically on facebook or twitter do the postings manually and follow up any comments.
- Use a catchy description with your social media postings. Sometimes the title is not enough to get readers attention so try to be creative but to the point (avoid long sentences or paragraphs).
- Pin to your pinterest boards. Assuming that you always have an image associated with your posts (if you don’t it’s time to start using images for your most important posts – at least), pin that to your pinterest board.
- Add to stumbleupon. Stumbleupon was online before facebook, google+ and twitter and it’s a great way to get traffic to your web site and spread the word about your new content. I like stumbleupon because it’s very easy to use; it works and gives you the opportunity to discover really cool web sites and blogs on the web you otherwise wouldn’t know about.
- Email newsletter. Many web sites allow users to register to their newsletters but they never actually send a newsletter out. If you have an email newsletter configured make sure that your new posts are emailed to your subscribers.
- RSS feed. RSS is still one of the most effective ways to promote your web site and content. People who subscribe to your feed do it for one particular reason i.e. to get your updates so they are more likely to interact (share on their social media channels) with your posts as well.
- Notification from your mobile native apps. This is one of my favourite methods. If you have a native mobile app (android, iPhone, Windows phone etc) for your web site, every time you publish a new post your users will be notified in their mobiles. It is a great way to promote your new post and get direct visits to your web site. Read my previous post mobile web site vs native app for more information (including a real case study with numbers).
LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit and other bookmarking sites
If you have read other articles on how to promote your blog posts you will see mentions to linkedin, digg, reddit and other bookmarking sites. I don’t use these anymore (I did in the past) so I can’t say if they provide any traffic or not but you can try them out if you have some spare time.
How NOT to promote your blog posts
The 11 methods explained above are in my opinion the best ways to promote your blog posts without losing too much time. While doing my research to write this article I came across a number of other suggestions that should be avoided if you want to minimize the risks of getting a penalty by Google or Facebook.
- Adding your blog post link in the comments section of other blogs: I personally don’t approve comments that have links because in the majority of cases their purpose is not to provide a useful comment but to get a link from my web site. As I matter of fact I consider such technique spamming and I doubt if it worth’s your time.
- Re-write the same post and submit as a guest post: This was a trick of the past. Re-writing the same post and publishing it on some other site for the sole purpose of getting a link back is a very bad idea. Guest posting is a valid way to build links if you do it the right way.
- Join a blogging community and inform each other for new posts: Very bad idea as well. You should stay away from methods that involve exchanging links with other bloggers.
- Adding your posts link as comments in facebook pages: Again, I consider this as spamming and if you do it consistently you will get banned or punished by facebook.
- Syndicating your content: There some web sites like alltop.com, selfgrowth.com that group related RSS feeds from several web sites creating information portals. While this is a good way to get traffic to your site because these sites have many visitors it is not the best way to promote your new blog posts. The reason is that these sites have high Google trust and Google will index your blog post on those sites faster than on your site. As a result when you search for a title or a phrase from your post (using “ “) you will find out that Google will index the page on those sites and not yours. This is not always the case, there are exceptions to this rule but better avoid publishing your new blog posts, instead you can syndicate your older posts (that are already indexed on your site).
Certainly the above list is not 100% complete but is more than enough if you want to make efficient use of your time. Blog post promotion can be a time consuming process and you have to balance the effort vs return before deciding which methods to use.