Now that you have created and started on your WordPress blog, it’s time to also get started on its promotion!
Promotion!!! Why? This is the question that first comes up in the minds of bloggers or companies (yes even businesses have their own blogs), when somebody asks them to promote their blog. Their usual refrain is to say that they back themselves and their content to reach the desired target audience, and they don’t really think promotion is necessary.
But, IT IS NECESSARY. Yes, in an online world where a surfer’s attention span is bare minimum at best, you will be hard-pressed to capture the attention of your target audience. You would do well to remember that your target audience is fickle and what’s more, has lots of options to choose from as far as the blog of a particular niche is concerned. Say your blog is about SEO, and you believe it offers the latest and the very best of information about SEO and its various aspects, Google updates, the works; but guess what, there will be plenty of other guest blogs out there who will be doing the same thing. So, how do you ensure that it’s your blog that is able to grab eyeballs? Yes, you guessed it right; you do that by PROMOTING it.
So without beating about the bush, let me take you through 20 ways that will help you promote your WordPress blog.
1. Your content should be Fantastic
Yes, I know you are backing your content to the hilt, but is it really any good? You need to understand that there are plenty of people, some of them authority figures in their niche, who are tackling the same subject as you are. So, you need to take great pains to ensure that your content is interesting, is a problem solver and is engaging. More importantly, it must be what your target readers are looking for. By giving them something that they want, you are essentially taking the first step towards promoting your content.
2. Update your blog regularly
One blog post a month is not really going to cut it with your readers. You need to ensure that you are going to update your blog regularly through the week. By making regular posts, you are giving your readers something to come back to. Just imagine a scenario wherein a reader loves what you write, but finds that your posts are few and far between. This reader will stop coming to your blog, even though he/she has a good opinion about what you write. So, updating your blog is one of the more subtle ways of promoting it, although quite a number of people will tell you that it isn’t a part of marketing your blog at all.
3. Choose a Relevant Theme
Why do people spend a lot of time and effort searching for that perfect theme for their WordPress blog? It’s because the choice of the theme will make or mar their efforts. The right theme is the one that is relevant to the purpose of your blog, looks good and offers users a very nice user experience. This is also something that makes people come back to your blog, again and again. On the other hand, a theme that is not user friendly and looks very ordinary is a put off. Such blogs usually don’t work.
4. Identify and Market your USP
Your blog needs to have a unique selling proposition, which is its driving force. This is what separates the ordinary blog from something that is extraordinary. More often than not, what most bloggers do is that they leverage their personal credentials to define their USP, for e.g. somebody who is blogging on internet marketing, might have a decade worth of experience in the same, in this case the experience is the USP. It helps that person create a brand (yes treat your blog like a brand) that his readers will trust.
5. Give your Blog, Character
If you want people to relate to your blog, then you need to personalize it. Think of your blog as an extension of your own persona and write accordingly. Your blog is about your perceptions, ideas and opinions about a particular niche or subject. Exude confidence, pride, expertise, and a whole lot of other qualities with your blog. Your blog should come across as something that means business and believes in its posts, which essentially means that as a blog owner you identify with whatever is written on it.
6. Fixing Permalinks
If you are serious about blogging and promoting your blog, you need to get some idea about optimizing your blog and its content. The easiest optimization technique that can be used is by ensuring that the URLs of your blog posts have contextual keyword/s. For this to happen, you need to create your Permalinks accordingly. Don’t worry, it’s a pretty easy process and you can do it easily on your WordPress blog.
7. Showcase Credibility
This is of paramount importance. One of the better ways of ensuring that your blog exudes credibility is packing your content with facts and figures. Also make it a point to answer the comments that are posted on the blog. There are times when readers will have a contrary option to yours and will want to debate the points mentioned on a particular post. Don’t back away from replying to their comments. If you trust the veracity of the content posted on your blog, you must be willing to defend it. Over time, this creates a credible reputation for your blog.
Something else you should do and not forget is to provide your contact details. You must give users an option to get in touch with you. This breeds credibility as well.
8. Offer Variety
If you want your content to do all the talking for you, it’s important to use variety. Purely text oriented content kills readers interest after a period of time. So, try to mix and match your content by not just offering textual content but also offering videos, infographics, whitepapers and even PDF presentations on your blog. Variety, they say, is the spice of life, and nowhere is this truer than in your blog.
9. Facebook Profile
Yes, why not use the ever increasing potential of social media for your promotional efforts. Setup a Facebook page. Use your personal profile to market your blog. You need to give details about your blog and what it is all about to prospective readers and this becomes a breeze if you use your personal profile to market your blog. You can share the links to your blog posts through your Facebook profile.
10. Tweet… Tweet!!
Your blog needs the cute little blue birdie, so create that Twitter handle for your blog, and keep updating your handle, every time you make a blog post. You can even send out related tweets and interact with the followers of your blog, one-to-one. What you could do is that you can integrate your Facebook page with the profile you have created for Twitter. This will take away the need to make separate updates on both the social media platforms. An update done on one will reflect on the other.
11. On-Blog Twitter and Facebook Engagement
There are plenty of ways you can do this, but one of the better ways is by adding Facebook ‘Like’ and ‘Tweet’ buttons at the end of every page. So, if the visitor likes your post, they can click on the Like button and the link to your blog post will appear on their Facebook profile page. Not only will this help your blog post go viral, but search engines do consider the number of ‘likes’ in their search algorithm to rank your page. The Tweet this button performs along similar lines, and visitors, who press this button, will send out a Tweet with respect to your blog post. All in all, these are the kind of social sharing mechanisms that most bloggers are adopting as they are reaping rich dividends of the same.
12. Email Marketing
When it comes to online promotion, sometimes, it’s the tried and tested marketing methods that also need to be made a part of the marketing mix. Take for example the case of email marketing. With the advent of more innovative tools and techniques, not many give it the importance it earlier merited. But, if you want more and more users to adopt your blog, you need to distribute your content to prospective readers. This is where email marketing comes in handy. So, use it.
13. You won’t escape Keyword Research
Whatever, your online marketing techniques are, if there is one thing that you can’t escape is keyword research. You need to identify those keywords for which you want your blog to be ranked. You need to target only those keywords that are going to be used by your target readers to search for your blog. One of the best strategies in this regard is to target a mix of low volume and high volume keywords. There is very little chance of going wrong in this case, as you will be covering all your bases.
14. Blog Optimization
The great thing about the WordPress platform is that it offers you an SEO pack plugin that is easy to install and helps you optimize your blog, by optimizing your titles and description. So, use that to get started on your Homepage first, and try and optimize every important aspect on it, including the text, Title, Meta description etc, for your target keywords. Once that is done, you will also need to optimize your category pages in the same manner. Remember it is a unified SEO approach that will work for you, and not a piecemeal approach.
15. How about a Facebook Fan Page?
Yes, one of the better ways of using social media to promote your blog is to create a Facebook Fan page. What this means is that you need to create a landing page on Facebook that offers information about your blog, and what it is all about. By using this page, you can even post your blog articles, pictures and any other information related to your blog. It’s important not to confuse your fan page with your personal profile. They are two very different things. The latter helps you spread awareness about your blog, using your personal network, while the former helps you collect ‘fans’ who have subscribed to your Fan page; these fans actually want to know about any new updates and happenings on your blog.
16. Using YouTube Videos
This is something that requires a bit of creative effort from your side, but if you get it right, and are able to link YouTube videos to your WordPress blog site, there is no better way to promote your blog. Start off with a video that is really simple and which helps you get the hang of creating videos for your blog. As you go along, you can get a little more creative and do something that is really innovative.
17. Use Voting Sites
Another great promotional strategy is to use social news sites and discovery engines like Reddit, StumbleUpon, and BlogEngage, which accept posts and allow readers to vote for the content. This helps you generate a pretty good amount of backlinks to your blog and what’s more regular submission of your posts to these sites, does help improve blog traffic, as well.
18. Network within the Blogging Community
As a blogger, you are a part of the larger blogging community that interacts with each other on various discussion forums and other sites. What you need to do, is become an active member of this community and make constructive contributions in terms of your opinions, ideas, suggestions and anything and everything related to your niche and blogging in general. This will not only help you improve your reputation and the credibility of your blog, but it will also help you place a finger on the pulse of the latest trends, and use them in your blog.
19. Effective Communication
You might be wondering, why this is not right at the top of the ‘ways’ given for promoting your blog…. There are two reasons… first, these tips have not been given in their order of importance and second, communication is something that stays relevant through your blogging activity. The reason why I have mentioned this pointer at this junction is to drive home the point that at every stage of the blogging process, you need to communicate effectively. You need to make them feel that your blog is something that they cannot do without; and for this to happen effective communication is a must.
Here are just some of the elements of an effectively communicated message (blog content):
- Proper preparation of the message
- It must have clear purpose
- Keeping the User engaged at every step of the message
- You pour your heart into the message
- You must be passionate about your message
- It must be complete and correct
- It must help people make a decision (call to action centric)
- Most importantly, it must be considerate of the target readers’ views
Communicating effectively with your readers is the essence of a successful blog. You can promote it across every known channel, but if it doesn’t come across as honest, you won’t be able to market your blog successfully.
20. Patience is the key
I want to conclude the pointers by mentioning one important attribute that all bloggers must possess while promoting their blog and that is patience. You will do well to remember that your blog cannot go from zero to being a hero in double quick time. So, by being patient, you are giving yourself time to experience the fruits of your professional labor.
I am sure these 20 ways of blog promotion will prove to be immensely useful to you and will help your blog become popular in its niche. But, a word of caution – Promotion is all about learning and implementing new strategies and also reworking existing strategies to suit the need of the hour. So, keep monitoring your results with respect to each and every promotional strategy that you adopt, and keep making changes whenever your think they are needed. All the best!
Image © Ben Chams – Fotolia.com