Are you trying to increase your readership? Lately, I’ve written a great deal about the value of networking. However, in order to network, and network effectively, you need to know how. As a teacher, if I want someone with extensive knowledge to extend my instruction, I call in a guest speaker. Today, I have invited a guest blogger.
Enter Lysa Wilds from Welcome to My Circus! I call Lysa the absolute queen of blog promotion.
Promoting Your Blog Posts!
by: Lysa Wilds from Welcome to My Circus
Ciao! I’m Lysa from over at Welcome to My Circus and Janice has asked me to write a guest post for her over here at Reflections about blog promotion… More specifically, she asked me to write about how I promote my blog and my blog posts. First, I want to say thank you to Janice for asking me to be a guest on Reflections and for having me here today. Now for my thoughts, tips, and advice on promoting your blog and its posts: I’ve decided the best way for me to share with all of you how I promote my blog and my blog posts was to walk you through my process starting with the moment I finish writing and I schedule each blog post. You see I do the same thing with each and every one of my blog posts and have made it part of my writing process. I schedule every post I write to be published, whether it’s an hour later or a week later, because it gives me the time I need to schedule the social media promotions as well. The truth be told, if I were to put off the social media promotions until later it would more than likely NEVER get done. That’s not entirely true, it would get done just not to the level in which it gets done now, and that is, in part, how I have increased my traffic. Scheduling them also gives me time to think about what I’m going to say and which image would be best for that particular social media post, both of those make all the difference in the world. On the average I schedule anywhere from 30-50 social media promotion posts per scheduled blog post. And, as a matter of fact, promoting my blog posts begins while I’m designing each one of them.
I create images for ALL of my posts and more than one of them is KEY for many reasons. Also important to mention is that BIG images are what you want in ALL of your posts. I start with the “headline” image that provides a “teaser” or just the headline itself. It helps to draw attention to your post not only on your site but in your social media posts as well. Google will also pick up on your images for search results as well, which is always a plus.
How many images I have in each post depends on how long or how short my post is as well as what the message is that I’m trying to communicate within the post. I tend to use an image for every three to four paragraphs as it breaks up the text as well so that it does not look like a huge wall of boring text. Each one of those images has something to do with what I have just written above it or what I’m going to write below it. I use images with pictures, quotes, teasers, and the topic at hand as a general rule of thumb. Usually, at least one of each is inserted per post. They are later used as part of my promotion for that the post to entice people to click on the links to see or read more and it works for me every time. Once the post is designed, I spell check, preview, adjust anything that doesn’t look right, and then I schedule the post. Immediately after it has been scheduled I use the plugin, Co-Schedule, to set-up and schedule 80% of my social media promotions. Scheduling the majority of my promotions is the BEST way to guarantee, for lack of a better word, exposure for each and every post I publish and it saves precious time. For me it’s at least an hour, probably even more, EVERY day which is always a bonus right?!?!
I shoot for these posts to go live three times a day for three days for each blog post after it is published, as well as the day of publishing. I use my analytics to determine what times are best for each form of social media. That in itself is an entire blog post right there but Facebook Insights shows you the times you received the most traffic and it varies each day of the week. For each social media platform, there are ways of finding out the same or similar information as well.
When I schedule the social media posts I choose the image post option and then write something unique for that specific post so that it does not look like spam to the social media platforms and it generates an interest to want to read more about the blog post itself. Then, I schedule the day and time it will be posted to each form of social media. These posts are then set to publish on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I get the majority of my traffic from Facebook, Twitter, and Google+… Just saying!
The day the post goes live I head over to Google+ and create an image post in which I either use one of the images I have created within the blog post or I create new promotion images before heading over there. Again, it depends on what the blog post is about and what message I am trying to communicate. Also, I try, I’m getting better at it, to promote posts daily on Google+. There is a lot of traffic to be found there if you are consistent about it. Unfortunately I haven’t found a plugin or a program I have loved to schedule my posts on Google+. If you know of one or use one that you LOVE please tell me about it in the comments below.
I have two series over at Welcome to My Circus, My Blonde Problems and The Sideshow along with a blog party I created with its co-host called Party Under the Big Top. Two of the reasons I created them were to promote my blog and to increase my blog traffic. So when promoting each of these, along with blog posts that I want to draw a lot of attention to, I begin a day ahead of their publishing dates not only on Google+ but all of the other platforms as well. In each of these types of posts your goal is to build up anticipation and remind or alert people to what you are publishing the next day. It is a MUST to create excitement and/or a buzz about that specific blog post with each social media post. Otherwise you are just wasting your time and the space you used on that social media platform.
The key to promoting on social media is not only the use of a unique sentence or blurb and the use of images but promoting within groups you belong to on each platform as well. It all goes back to Networking as any type of marketing goes hand in hand with networking. If you do not think of or see blog promotion as marketing well, that is your first problem and probably why you are trying to learn more about the subject.
Promoting is marketing and not everyone is as fortunate as I am with a background in the professional field. I highly recommend learning some marketing basics, Ten Essential Marketing Tips for Everyone, is a good place to start. Taking the time to learn a little about marketing will make all the difference in the world! Oh, another plugin that has helped in the promotion department has been Click to Tweet. If you aren’t familiar with it, it creates an actual Tweet that your readers click, right in the middle of your blog post, to share on their Twitter feed. I like to create a few of them within each blog post. Use a quote from your post that will generate curiosity or just say something like stop by or check out, then [enter your headline] on [enter the name of your blog]. It’s important to know that you need to insert your @TwitterHandle and the short link for that particular post as well. Both are rather important to include!
One last thing I’d like to mention here is the importance of blog parties, linky parties, blog hops, link-ups, or whatever you personally call them. It is one of the BEST ways I know to promote your blog and individual blog posts. That being said, you have to put the time and the effort into them though. Just linking up to one or to several of them is not going to do much good at all. You need to read and comment on posts that have been linked up as well and NOT just those of the hosts and co-hosts either. I’m talking about the fellow party goers, bloggers just like you. Like I said before, networking and promoting go hand in hand.
The more exposure you create by commenting on other blog posts the better. We all read what others have said before us in the comment section of a blog post. If you don’t you are truly an exception in the blogging world let alone the human race because we are ALL nosey/curious by nature and want to know what others said, think, or feel. I have, on several occasions, checked out the blogs that were associated with a specific comment because they said something that appealed to me and have had others do the same with my blog. The more interaction you have with fellow bloggers the more you will build your own personal blogging community. Another blog post as well but having a blogging community is yet another BIG part of promoting, networking, and well to be quite frank the success or the failure of your blog! If you want to increase your blog traffic you need to interact with fellow bloggers and the more you do that the more they will interact with you. More times than not they will also share your blog posts if you are sharing theirs and we all know that word of mouth is one of the best ways to sell anything. And yes, your end goal with all of this is to sell your blog and yourself… If you want to be successful that is! 😉
If promoting your blog and your blog post(s) sounds like A LOT of work and A LOT of time you are absolutely right… It is A LOT of time-consuming work! That being said though, nothing comes easy in life and your dedication, time, and hard work will pay off in the end.
When I began my blogging journey I had heard that you should spend more time promoting than writing and I didn’t pay much attention to that it at all. Once I started doing exactly that my traffic more than doubled! And, it has stayed consistent ever since! Not to mention, the traffic continues to gradually increase week after week.
What takes up MOST of my time when it comes to promoting? The networking end of it all without a doubt! But, it is also the MOST rewarding part of blogging for me as well. You just might be surprised at how rewarding it truly is… That is, if you haven’t already figured it out for yourself! Thanks for stopping by my guest post today and I’d LOVE to connect with you on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Bloglovin’ too! Hope to see you on one or all of them! 😀 Is there something I did not mention or something that you would like me to provide more information on? Which of the above do you already use to promote your blog and your posts? Let me know by leaving a comment below, as I love hearing from those who read my posts.
There you have it! Lysa has written us thorough instructions that have resulted in success for growing her blog. If you follow them, you can experience similar results.
I will add that Lysa is as attentive to her readers as she is knowledgeable. So, run, don’t walk, over to Welcome to My Circus to read more of Lysa’s writing.
Readers, if you feel others can benefit from Lysa’s great advice, please share.
If you have questions for Lysa, please put them in the Comments section. What social media do you use to promote? Which do you find the most successful? We look forward to your views.