Tech Toucan
Wondering how to promote your blog? If you're a blogger or content marketer wanting more website traffic then follow this step-by-step formula for promoting your latest blog post.

How To Promote Your Latest Blog Post Like A Boss

You’ve worked hard on your latest blog post.

You’ve followed all the advice of the experts, and invested blood, sweat and tears into producing a post of epic proportions.

Your article is, quite simply, the daddy.

This is the post that’s going to get so much traffic that Google Analytics itself will melt down.

You hit the “publish” button and then…

…nothing…

Talk about depressing.

Digital tumble weeds roll through town.

Content is king, eh?” you mutter to yourself.

Whatever happened to the dream of content marketing; the dream of producing awesome content that speaks for itself and draws in organic traffic like bees to a honeypot?

The truth is that creating awesome content is only part of the battle. Blog post promotion – that’s the strategy right now that is dividing the winners and the losers. It’s no longer enough to just publish – now you need to proactively get your content infront of the right people.

But how? What techniques really work?

In short, how do you promote your blog post like a boss?

Man, I’m so glad you asked (otherwise the following 12,000+ words and the last month of my life I spent writing them would have been a spectacular waste of time).

Wondering how to promote your blog? If you're a blogger or content marketer wanting more website traffic then follow this step-by-step formula for promoting your latest blog post.

Over the next few minutes you’re going to uncover 100+ websites and tools for promoting your blog, you’re going to uncover dozens of proven techniques and strategies, and 50+ carefully chosen supplementary guides, case studies and tutorials all designed to help you kick ass with your next blog post.

Here’s what’s coming up for you below…

Ready? Then grab a pen and paper and let’s commence a veritable buffet of blog post marketing ideas. Prepare to stuff yourself silly ladies and gentlemen…

It Starts With Awesome Content

awesome contentIf you just knocked out a post in 20 minutes and are now hoping to receive thousands of free visitors as a result you’re going to be sorely disappointed; and rightly so.

No, the steps you’re about to uncover work because each one forms another way for great content to spread. Therefore you’re going to need to put the time into actually creating the great content in the first place. No wonder that many of the most successful bloggers around report spending hours writing a single blog post.

Here’s the painful truth: be willing to invest the time into producing truly exceptional content or look for other ways to drive traffic to your site.

What is great content? That’s a great question. It’s content that is so good, so useful, so detailed, so full of value, that even your competitors are impressed. It’s the sort of content people want to share and to link to because it’s so darned good. Get it right and the promotional part because infinitely easier.

Speaking of which, assuming you’ve got a post so memorable that people will be talking about it and linking to it for months to come, how do we get promoting it? In no particular order, let’s get cracking…

Content Aggregators

content aggregators

There’s so much content being produced every day that sorting the wheat from the chaff can be a real struggle. It can be incredibly frustrating to wade through so much mediocre (or worse) content to find the few “gems”.

Fortunately this is where content aggregators can come to the rescue. These aggregators are best thought of as niche-specific social voting sites. Anyone can submit great content that they find, and other members vote this content up or down the rankings. Over time, the rubbish sinks to the bottom never to be seen again, while the “best” content – as voted for by real people – is given the visibility it deserves.

In other words these aggregators are a fantastic way to find high quality content, and I for one visit quite a number of them every day to get my “reading fix”. I’m also not alone. Due to the nature of these sites they often attract strong followings and can drive quite a bit of traffic to the content featured.

How To Promote Your Blog With Content Aggregators

Getting featured on content aggregators is normally a very simple process; you sign up for a free account and then can submit your latest post through a simple form. Be aware, however, that not all submissions perform the same. Posts that get “upvoted” will quickly rise to the top sending you plenty of traffic. Posts that fail to make the grade will quickly drop back down the rankings and may only send meagre traffic your way.

The trick – as with so many others featured here – is repeated experimentation. Try submitting your posts on different days, and at different times. Try including different tags or keywords, to see which combinations get you the best results.

In addition, in almost every case becoming part of the community on these content aggregators will benefit you. Take the time to get to know other people on these sites, submit a range of good quality content (not just your own) and participate in voting and discussion. Not only is this “cool” but when you submit your content you’ll have built up a degree of name recognition that should increase the upvotes your content receives.

There are all manner of content aggregators out there. Below you will find a list of the some of the top aggregators by niche. If you know of any missing sites please leave a comment at the end of this post so they can be added for everyone’s benefit…

Web Design

http://design-newz.com/
http://www.designfloat.com/
http://thewebblend.com/
http://www.dzone.com/links/index.html

Food

http://www.foodgawker.com
http://www.tastespotting.com
http://www.foodepix.com/
http://dessertstalking.com/
http://foodporndaily.com/
http://www.healthyaperture.com/
http://iwannanom.com/

Web/Marketing 

http://www.inbound.org
http://www.growthhackers.com
http://www.blokube.com
http://www.bizsugar.com
http://www.blogengage.com

Development & Design

https://news.layervault.com/
https://news.ycombinator.com/
http://www.good-tutorials.com/
http://www.webdesign-ne.ws/submit/
http://zabox.net/
http://thewebblend.com/
http://design-newz.com/submit/

Health

http://www.fizzniche.com/
http://www.healthwriterhub.com/submit-blog-post/

Personal Finance

http://www.pfbuzz.com
http://moneyindex.org/
http://www.rockstarfinance.com
http://www.pfblogs.org/add/

Culture

http://filmwatch.com/
http://www.n4g.com
http://www.11×2.com

Craft/DIY

http://craftgawker.com/
http://www.craftfoxes.com/
http://www.craftster.org/
http://www.craftcrave.net/
http://www.createhappycrafts.com/
http://stylegawker.com/
http://dwellinggawker.com/
http://weddinggawker.com/
http://www.favecrafts.com/
http://findandcraft.com/
http://www.instructables.com/index
http://www.looksisquare.com/
http://inspirationdiy.com/
http://www.hometalk.com/
http://makezine.com/craft/

Content Curation

content curation

Content curation is the process of gathering together other people’s content. Typically content is curated to create a “topical hub” of information. So, for example, someone might gather together all the best articles on Staffordshire Bull Terriers or surfing or trekking the Andes.

Not only does Google love these topical hubs of information, but for obvious reasons so do human readers. After all, the curator has dug through dozens of “OK” articles to select just the best of them. These curated pages therefore represent real value for visitors.

They also represent a perfect opportunity to promote your latest blog post. After all, if these curated articles and topical hubs are attracting search engine visitors and repeat readers, all looking for the latest, greatest content on a specific topic, getting your post listed here can drive some very high quality traffic to your site.

There are a number of content curation sites that are worth exploring. All of these allow you to set up a page on a specific subject and then add other people’s content to it in order to create a topical hub. Spend some time on these sites, exploring the options and finding those pages that stand the best chance of accepting your content. Then, next time you publish a post, zip on over and submit your new content to all the relevant curated pages you’ve found.

http://www.scoop.it
http://www.list.ly
http://bundlr.com/
https://www.spundge.com
http://www.closingcall.co/
https://news.layervault.com/
http://www.flipboard.com

How To Promote Your Blog On Content Curation Sites Like A Boss

Relevance Is King – It’s tempting to see the world of curated content as a huge opportunity for link building. It’s tempting to want to pay a freelancer to submit your link to any and all curated pages they can possibly find. After all, if you throw enough mud at the wall, at least some of it will stick. However this is the wrong call for a number of reasons; not least because of the ethics of spamming.

No, when it comes to content curation, just like many of the other blog post promotion techniques mentioned in this article, relevance is king. Part of your job is to carefully find and then assess these potential sources of traffic to ensure that you’re submitting your post to only the most relevant sources. Don’t submit your post about fishing to a fashion page. Don’t even submit an article about coarse fishing to a page about marine fishing. Remember: relevance is king.

Stand Near The Money Pipe – Submitting your content to curated pages can be a good source of backlinks for your site. However to avoid the risk of any future “Google hate” I believe the first thing you should be looking at are pages that receive traffic. The late, great Jim Rohn used to tell a story that if you want to get rich, you should stand near the money pipe. What he meant was you should go and work for wealthy people. Go and hang out with successful entrepreneurs and business people. Sooner or later some of that money might just flow your way.

And so it is with traffic. The links you can generate using this technique – or many of those mentioned here – will benefit your search engine traffic. However for best (long term) results I would caution you, wherever possible – to make your primary focus not about SEO. Instead, try to find the pages that have strong readerships and offer a high quality experience.

Track Your Results – Even paying close attention to relevance, not all your submissions will get approved. It’s simply a fact of life. However here’s the secret; keep tabs on exactly which pages are accepting your posts and which ones aren’t. Over time you’ll be able to tweak the list of curated pages that you submit to, ensuring that you only submit to those that have the greatest chance of publishing your post. In this way your submissions will become increasingly efficient over time.

Additional Reading

Mail Your List

email listWe content marketers and bloggers live and die by our mailing lists. Google and Facebook may change their algorithms, robbing you of hard-earned traffic at any time, but the list owner is suitably insulated. One email to that list brings traffic on demand.

No surprise then that building a list should be your number one priority as a blogger.

Then every time you publish a blog post you simply fire out an email to your list, letting them know about it and wait for the traffic to start arriving.

Of course this is all quite simple. The skill is in gathering that list to begin with.

How To Build Your Mailing List Like A Boss

To build a list you’re going to need three basic resources. Firstly, an autoresponder subscription that will let you gather the email addresses of your visitors. For this I personally use Aweber though there are plenty of other options like GetResponse and MailChimp.

Secondly you’ll want some kind of “bribe” – a freebie to give away to your subscribers in exchange for their email address.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, you’ll want a variety of opt-in forms. These forms are how your site visitors actually add their email address to your database. They’re the stripe ad at the top of your blog, they’re the widget in your sidebar, the feature box at the top of your blog and even – GASP! – the popup.

Even more importantly you’ll want to be constantly split testing these forms for maximum results. Keep creating, keep testing and keep improving. The higher your response rates the faster your list will grow.

Personally I use 4 services right now for my list building:

Hybrid Connect – Possibly the most feature-rich optin plugin on the market, allowing you to effortlessly create styish, attention grabbing opt in widgets, popups and landing pages.

Plugmatter Feature Box – The so-called “feature box” is the big, “in your face” optin form at the top of so many blogs these days. And they’re everywhere because they work. Some WordPress themes come with feature boxes built in. For the many that don’t, the Plugmatter plugin is the ideal solution.

Hellobar – The easiest way to create (and split test) those eye-catching stripe ads you’ll see at the top of so many websites.

Q2W3 Fixed Widget – This free plugin, used in combination with Hybrid Connect, is how I make my optin form in the sidebar follow you down the page.

Additional Reading

Social Media

social media Right now, this very instant, your ideal website visitors are out there – somewhere – sharing hilarious cat photos.

Whatever they’re looking at, they’re more than likely to be doing this on Facebook, Twitter and all those other social media sites. The trick, if there is one, is finding an ethical and genuine way to connect with them and let them know about your fantasmagorical blog post.

Facebook

If you have a Facebook page you’d be crazy not to post it to your page. That said, organic reach on Facebook is at it’s lowest level ever so this strategy is becoming less and less effective. These days only 5-10% of your fans may actually see a post that you share which is a dismal situation to be sure.

Bearing in mind how much time (and money) many of us spent building our Facebook audience this has all been a rather sad turn of events, meaning that in most cases the chances of receiving considerable organic traffic from Facebook is unlikely.

FacebookThat said, it would be wrong to assume that Facebook is dead. Instead, we just need to find other ways to leverage Facebook’s exceptional levels of traffic.

The way that Facebook is becoming ever more “pay to play” is leaving an unpalatable taste in many people’s mouths but done right Facebook can still be a source of high quality (and low cost) traffic.

Personally I’ve been getting good results recently using retargeting. In essence Facebook keeps a record of every Facebook user who visits my site (at my request). Bearing in mind that I get visitors from only white-hat marketing techniques, this means that the traffic I get is very targeted.

I can then pay to advertise to these same high-quality visitors on Facebook. Just as good (besides the quality of the traffic) is the fact that retargeting on Facebook can work out very cheap indeed, and is normally much more cost effective than advertising your post to any old user.

If you like the sound of that then check out Perfect Audience who not only make retargeting easy but will also give you a $100 advertising credit for free to test out the service. What have you got to lose with a deal like that?

Further Reading

Twitter

twitterAccording to the experts, tweets with images receive more interaction – both in terms of clicks and on retweets – than those without. Take some time, therefore, to create a suitable image that can be shared long with your article title and a link.

Note that tweets have a very short “life” – unlike a blog post you’ll normally receive the majority of your traffic within minutes of posting your latest article to Twitter. Timing your tweet to publish it at the optimum time – when more of your followers are active on Twitter than at other times – is therefore crucial to drive as much traffic from Twitter as possible.

For this I rely on the experts over at Buffer who not only make scheduling my posts super-easy but also make sharing an image in my tweets as simple as clicking their magical blue button!

I have plenty of tips on getting more Twitter followers here, here and here.

Further Reading

LinkedIn

LinkedinLinkedIn presents two different opportunities for traffic. Firstly, of course, you can add your own posts to your timeline so that they are visible to your network. However a second, even more powerful strategy, is to add them to relevant LinkedIn groups.

Your rate of success will vary of course based on a range of factors such as the niche you’re in, the number of group members and so on but it’s always worth a try. Also, before you go sharing your content check that this is acceptable on your chosen group.

Neil Patel is a huge fan of LinkedIn groups and claims they’re one of the most powerful techniques he uses; so much so that he’s actually bought up other LinkedIn groups so he can post his messages to them.

Further Reading

Google+

Google Plus

There are three ways to drive traffic from Google+ to your latest blog post.

Firstly, you can share the post on your personal profile. Assuming you’ve made connections with other bloggers and business owners in your niche then your contacts will all be exposed to your new post.

Secondly you can share the same post on your business page, so that everyone who is following your Google+ page (rather than your profile) also gets to see the post.

Thirdly, and most powerfully of all, you can share your post on related Google+ groups. Before publishing your next post it is therefore worth spending a little while investigating relevant Google+ groups. Look for those with a good number of members, reasonable engagement and where posting links is allowed.

Further Reading

Pinterest

Pinterest is my absolute favorite social media network for promoting my blog posts. The reason is that quite simply most of my blogs receive far more traffic – for far less work – from Pinterest than any other social media site. Building up your profile, and follower numbers, is also supremely easy (and enjoyable) so what’s not to like?

All you need to do is to make one or more related images for your post and then share this on Pinterest.

Just as with Twitter however for best results you’ll want to ensure you’re sharing your images at the optimum time, which is where Tailwind can come in. This truly awesome tool will not only schedule your images for publication at the ideal time but the analytics they provide also help you to tailor-make your Pinterest strategy over time based on what has worked best for you.

Further Reading

Tumblr

tumblr bloggingThe real benefit of Tumblr is it’s “reblog” feature. When one of your Tumblr subscribers likes one of your posts they can “reblog” it, where upon the post is added to their blog for all their readers to see. In turn, their readers can then reblog it if they so desire and so on, creating a viral sharing effect.

Of course if each of these reblogged posts has a link pointing back to your latest blog post there’s a good chance that you’ll end up driving some traffic, not to mention the potential benefit of all these additional links pointing to your site.

Of course, you don’t just want to republish your blog post over on Tumblr; this is the very essence of duplicate content.

Instead, what I tend to do is to share the unique blog title image that I created for Pinterest, together with a “Readers Digest” cut down version of the post, giving the most salient points, and then link back to my main post for the “full story”.

You’d be surprised how often these snappy little posts gets reblogged and how many people end up clicking the links to my site as a result.

Further Reading

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a bit of an enigma. Many posts – even good ones – seem to do very little. Others do very well indeed. There seems no pattern at all and I’ve had many submissions fall flat while others send literally thousands of visitors my way in a matter of hours.

While I’ve found StumbleUpon traffic to be pretty poor quality (and unengaged) some experts claim they can be useful for kick-starting a social sharing avalanche.

Further Reading

Reddit

social media

Referring to Reddit as a “social network” is perhaps not strictly accurate. However the way it is possible to target specific interest-centric “groups” (or so-called “sub-Reddits”) can make it very useful for accessing a large and targeted audience.

That said, overall Reddit users seem to dislike overt advertising and link drops and sharing your blog post here risks your account being banned. In other words you’ll need to take care. Select only the most appropriate, targeted sub-Reddits and before you share your blog post ensure that this is permitted; not all sub-Reddits allow self-promotion in this way.

To try and make your Reddit marketing rather more effective I’ve got two proven tips for you.

Firstly, there is an awesome list of sub-Reddits that allow you to submit your own content here. Search through it to find the most appropriate sub-Reddits for your needs.

Secondly, it can be handy to see where you competitors have been mentioned. Simply visit the following URL, replacing the end with each of your competitors in turn…

http://www.reddit.com/domain/YOUR-DOMAIN

If any of their posts have been shared on Reddit, keep a note. These are likely to be the best places to target with your content (assuming the feedback your competitors received was positive!).

Further Reading

How To Promote Your Blog Post On Social Media Like A Boss

Social media marketing is all well and good but it can be a long and painful process building up those followers, developing relationships and carefully analyzing your response rates in order to send messages that will appeal most to your audiences.

That’s not to say such activity is worthless; indeed it’s the way we should all be operating long term.

There are, however, a number of proven tips to get more social media traffic to your site with minimal effort. It is these “social media hacks” that I want to draw your attention to here, in order to help you get as much traffic from social media as possible with the minimum of fuss.

Social Exchanges

In the early days of starting a blog, social media marketing can seem like a fools errand. After all, only a handful of your Facebook fans will see your post when you share it. A similar number of your followers of Twitter will see any particular tweet. Pinterest, too, normally drives most shares in the first few minutes of pinning an image.

As a result one could argue that social media can be quite an inefficient way to promote your blog. After all, if you hustle your way to 1000 Facebook fans and 1000 Twitter followers, if you’re lucky perhaps 200 people (maximum) will likely see your update. Of these only a small percentage will actually click through to read your post. It all seems like such a waste.

Except of course it isn’t.

Social MediaThe real trick here is to leverage other people’s social media accounts, so that your one tweet or status update becomes dozens, even hundreds. And when you have a clan of people all sharing your updates with their followers suddenly traffic can take off like a rocket.

There are other upsides too; getting a lot of social shares in a short space of time can also help your content to stand out elsewhere.

Slideshare, for example, will heavily promote the top slidedecks on Twitter or Facebook so getting a lot of social shares can land you on their homepage. Zite, the content discover app, is largely controlled by the number and velocity of social shares a piece of content receives and can open your content up to a whole new audience.

I’ve had pieces of content receive dozens of shares in the first hour or two of publication suddenly appear in Zite, which has then resulted in an avalanche of extra shares and traffic thanks to the new audience I’m reaching.

Suddenly you’re not getting 10% of your paltry 500 Twitter followers noticing your tweet but tens of thousands of other people’s followers.

The trick is really figuring out how to go about this.

The answer is the so-called “social exchange” sites whereby you share other people’s content on your social media channels and in exchange they promote yours. In this way you’ll become part of an army of social media marketers all helping each other grow their online visibility.

Here are some social exchanges you might want to join:

Viral Content Buzz – Run by Ann Smarty, this is one of my absolute favorite social exchange sites. There are two reasons for this; firstly there is plenty of quality content being shared, which means it can be easy to find posts worth sharing with your followers. The last thing you want is to feel obliged to share poor quality or off-topic content just to build up “credits” to have your content shared later on.

The second thing that makes Viral Content Buzz such a good system is the number of social media sites that are supported. We’re not just talking Twitter and Facebook here. The system also supports Facebook Pages (not just profiles), StumbleUpon and Pinterest so means you can use this one site to drive traffic from a variety of social media properties.

Social Buzz Club – Largely similar to Viral Content Buzz, the team who run this site put on a wide range of high quality webinars and teaching events to help you get the most from your social media marketing. Well worth a subscription for this reason alone.

Triberr – If Twitter is your thing then Triberr can be an incredibly powerful tool. Sign up and join one or more niche-specific “tribes” of bloggers. There are tribes for all manner of niches – from food bloggers to health bloggers – and joining one immediately lets you run shoulders with experienced bloggers and content marketers in your niche.

I’m passionate about Triberr having been a member for years because it’s not only a great way to boost your traffic, but arguably it’s even more useful as a networking tool. Triberr lets you get to know other bloggers like yourself and these relationships can be both enjoyable and profitable.

To give you a perfect example, it is thanks to the relationship that I built up with blogging expert Sue Anne Dunlevie that she was recently generously enough to feature me in on her site (thanks again Sue – you rock!).

Just Retweet – Share other people’s content to earn credits. Then spend these credits having other people share your content. The content here is largely marketing-related so bloggers in other niches may struggle to gain traction here. Works with Twitter and Facebook.

Avenue Empire – Complete “missions” to win credits and boost your social authority. Works with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Click here to learn more.

CoPromote – Seemingly far less content here to share than in some of the other social exchange sites however the reach you can generate is monumental. I regularly have my content reach a six figure audience using this site. Works with Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Re-Sharing

Most bloggers appreciate the importance of social media as a promotional channel for their content. However what they don’t appreciate is that social media sharing shouldn’t be a “one hit” affair.

The fact is that only a percentage of your followers will see a status update. By the time the vast majority of your fans get online your tweet or Facebook post will be long gone. This is a real shame because your followers want to see your content, and you want traffic.

The lesson here is clear; don’t just post your piece of content once and then move on. Instead, share your content multiple times across your social media profiles to maximize the traffic you receive.

How often?

Fortunately the geniuses over at CoSchedule tested out this exact question and came up with a formula for the most effective sharing schedule.

social media timing

The problem with this process is remembering to do re-share your content on a regular basis. Frankly, I’ve got better things to be doing (and I guess you’ve got similar problems?) and trying to remember what post we should be sharing when, and on which platform, just isn’t an effective use of my time.

Fortunately there is a solution, in the form of CoSchedule. This awesome tool let’s you create and queue up social media posts to promote your content in advance. In this way you can put all your promotional tweets, Facebook updates and G+ posts into the calendar so that when you publish a post you know for certain that CoSchedule will be promoting your post automatically exactly when, where and how you tell it – without you needing to do anything.

Tweetable Content

You might have the obligatory social sharing Tweetable contentbuttons on every page of your blog but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re maximizing the number of shares your content receives. One strategy that a number of bloggers swear by is to include pre-written tweets within their content that can be automatically shared with their followers at the click of a button.

This is a simple-enough strategy to implement, though you’ll need to spend a tiny bit of extra time when formatting your post, so as to include these “click to tweet” messages.

Co-Schedule, which I mentioned earlier, includes this feature as standard. Alternatively there are a few plugins that will do the same job for you such as Click To Tweet.

Social Lockers

A social locker is a very simple concept; you offer some form of bonus or free gift in exchange for people sharing your post on social media. A good example of this is Matthew Woodward who has generated tens of thousands of social shares as a result.

Implementation is simple enough with the Social Locker plugin. Simply install the plugin, decide on the bonus you’re going to offer and add the code provided to your next blog post. Then watch social shares increase as your visitors willingly share your content in exchange for the gift.

Onpage SEO

sepIf you’ve spent some time investigating SEO as a way to drive traffic to your blog then you’ll know that SEO success involves two broad categories of work. One of those is the so-called “onpage” or “onsite” work, the other is link building.

Here’s the thing though; Google doesn’t really like us manually trying to build links to our content. Done wrong, it can even lead to a penalty. Frankly, old-school link building can also be pretty boring.

So here’s the good news; when you follow the steps outlined in this article you don’t need to do any link building.

Merely by promoting your blog posts according to the tips included here you’ll start to attract links naturallyjust as Google would like. Link building – as a process – becomes less important because so many of the other things you’re doing will be building backlinks to your content anyway.

As a result, assuming you choose to target a suitable keyword you barely need to worry about link building. For our purposes therefore SEO relates purely on the onsite factors.

How To Promote Your Blog Post With SEO

There have been a number of excellent guides written on the subject recently so I won’t try to reinvent the wheel however what I will say is how important it is to select the right keyword phrase to begin with. For this I like to use SEMRush.

SEMRush is different to other keyword tools because it shows you what your competition is already ranking for. Not only does it follow that there is a good chance that you yourself can rank for these phrases, but in addition you’ll likely uncover all manner of keywords you would otherwise have never considered.

Once you’ve selected the most appropriate keyword phrases try to create content based around these words. Broadly speaking try to include the target keyword phrase in the page title, blog post title and within the main content of your blog post – but only where it is natural to do so.

Remember: Google is getting smarter all the time and over-optimization is a very real risk these days. Instead, write content firstly for your visitors, merely including relevant keyword phrases where it is natural to do so.

Further Reading

Comment On Other Posts

blog commenting

Commenting on other blogs in your niche has two potential benefits. Firstly, it allows you to essentially place a link to your site on related content around the web where many potential readers may find them.

Imagine, for example, reading a blog post all about how to lose weight on the paleo diet, then in the comments section at the end you notice a comment from another paleo site; there’s a fair chance that you’ll at least click through and check it out, right?

But there’s another side benefit to commenting on other blogs that can be even more powerful; it helps you to get your message infront of specific bloggers. Bloggers who are likely creating content in your niche and who may well have a far greater reach than you. Gaining attention in this way can be very positive for the growth of your blog and can result in natural mentions, social shares and so on. They can even lead to guest post opportunities and more.

How To Promote Your Blog Post With Blog Commenting

My good friend Ryan Bidduph is an undisputed expert in promoting your blog through commenting so I strongly encourage you to take a look at his site for the full skinny. He’s also got an awesome ebook that gives all his secrets. If you’re serious about blog commenting for traffic I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Here are some of the most effective strategies that I personally use when promoting my latest blog post through blog commenting:

Get Gravatar – You know those pictures you see next to comments on blog posts or in forums? They’re typically known as “avatars”. A “gravatar” is in essence a “universal” avatar. Rather than you having to manually upload a picture of yourself to every blog you comment on, when you have a gravatar account every time you leave your email address in the comment section of a gravatar-enabled blog your picture will show up.

Having a picture is important. Firstly it stops you appearing like a spammer (spammers very rarely include a profile picture). Secondly, and just as importantly, allowing others to see your face helps them to build a connect with you. They start to be able to put a face to the name. Assuming you don’t have a face “only fit for radio” (like me) this is a good thing.

Add Value – If you’ve got a blog you’ve no doubt seen the “one liner” comments that get left. “Great post” they’ll say. “Nicely put” they’ll proclaim. Normally with at least one link to a spammy site. Don’t be that guy.

It’s better to leave fewer comments, but make each one better. Make them stand out by really adding to the conversation. That’s what gets you noticed – and gets people clicking through to your website.

Target Carefully – Not all blogs are created equal. Some have more traffic, some have more engagement, some are more closely related to yours and so on. Your goal is to try and find those other blogs where your readers are most likely to be hanging out. Those blogs with whom you have a lot in common. That’s where you should be commenting – because that’s where your target audience already is.

Subscribe To Comments – The beauty of blogging – and commenting – is the conversations that can be held.

Leaving a comment is part of that, but conversations are a two-way form of communication. In other words, if you leave truly memorable comments on other blogs there’s a fair chance that someone will respond to you. Maybe the blog owner, maybe another reader, but someone.

When you subscribe to the comments as you leave them, you’ll be alerted via email if and when someone responds to your comment. You can then return at your leisure to continue the conversation – and keep growing your authority.

Commentluv – While high quality blog commenting can be useful for promoting your blog in general, it can be rather harder (though not impossible) to use this technique to promote a specific blog post.

One strategy is to use Google to find – and then comment on – blog posts that are very closely related to your post. In your comment you can then consider dropping a link to a relevant resource. Done in a classy way – where you truly add value to the conversation – there is nothing wrong with that at all.

The alternative is to use Commentluv, a blog commenting system that allows you to add a link to a specific blog post, as opposed to just your blog’s homepage. Not all blogs are Commentluv enabled, but in most niches you’ll find at least a handful that are. In some there are literally thousands to choose from.

So spend some time not just locating the best blogs in your niche but also pay attention to those with a Commentluv commenting system. Leaving comments on such blogs can be particularly beneficial.

And how do you find these blogs? Easy. Either use the Commentluv blog search engine, one of the various lists of Commentluv-enabled blogs or search for them in Google using search queries such as:

[keyword] + “commentluv which will”

[keyword] + commentluv

Further Reading

Link Out

Link outIt wasn’t too many years ago that website owners hated linking out to other sites. The thought of losing a visitor to another site who offered you nothing in return was hard to bare. Infact, I still remember one well-known authority recommending that you only ever link to other sites using an affiliate link. No affiliate program = no link.

Of course we know differently these days. We know, for example, that Google seems to respond well to content that links out appropriately to high quality resources. This not only helps to boost the relevance of your page for related phrases but also adds value that your visitors will appreciate.

However there’s one more reason why linking out is cool; it’s also a great way to get on the radar of other bloggers that you’d love to get to know. After all, what better way to get someone’s attention than to both offer them a compliment and some additional traffic by linking from your site to theirs.

These mentions are known as “pingbacks” and, assuming the site owner in question has these turned on, they’ll receive a notification when you link to them. What you’ll find – particularly in more tech-savvy niches – is that these will get picked up on.

On the other hand less technical niches may not notice – or understand – what these pingbacks are. In this case it’s perfectly cool to drop the bloggers you linked to a quick email. Just politely let them know that you linked to them in your latest post and encouarge them to check it out. Plenty will, and a few might just promote it if they like what they see.

I love linking out, I truly do. It offers additional value for your readers and for the blog you link out to. Basically it’s just a really cool way to make the internet a better place and give credit where it’s due. And the fact that you might in turn be rewarded by Google, not to mention a variety of blog mentions, means it’s well worth the hassle.

How To Promote Your Blog By Linking Out Like A Boss

Relevant, High Quality Links – The first thing to appreciate when linking out is to think of your visitors. The goal of linking out is to help your readers continue their entertainment or education – to expand on the information contained in your article by helping them uncover related, complimentary articles on other sites.

In other words your focus should be on the benefits to your reader. This means only link out to the very best resources around and only link out when it is appropriate.

Target=_blank – When you’re linking out to another site with a contextual link within a blog post I would encourage you to open the article in a new window. Doing so means that your readers won’t lose their place when reading your article, and you won’t risk losing traffic if they don’t like what they read.

Zemanta – Possibly one of the handiest tools of all for creating truly useful, spam-free links to other content on the web is Zemanta. While Zemanta was originally launched as a plugin to help you add related images and links to authority sites like Wikipedia to your content, there is another rather less well-known way to use it.

In essence Zemanta will let you upload a list of all the blogs that you subscribe to. From here it will recommend related posts from the pool of blogs you provide it. In this way rather than having to rely on the standard recommendations made by Zemanta (some of which are, quite frankly, rather lacking in my opinion) you can instead have it pull only articles from a reservoir of sites that you have manually approved.

Further Reading

Blog Carnivals

Blog carnivals

The jury is still out on blog carnivals; some people have claimed that they led to Google penalties while others (like myself) believe they still offer value. After all, these are editorial links, chosen by the publishing blogger. They’re also on closely related, niche-specific blogs where genuine subscribers to those blogs may click through to your post. In other words, I think they offer value to everyone.

How To Promote Your Blog With Blog Carnivals

While blog carnivals aren’t as popular these days as they were some years ago, there are still a number of high quality carnivals out there. The trick is really locating them in the first place so that you know where to submit your posts.

Here I have two suggestions:

1) Use advanced search operators in Google to track down blog carnivals. Examples can include:

[keyword] + “blog carnival”

[keyword] + carnival

2) Use the limited number of blog carnival directories online. While these are thin on the ground, some of the best options at present are:

Whichever method you use, it’s important to check whether or not the carnival is actually still being published. After all, an awful lot of these carnivals are no longer being updated and there seems little point in taking the time to submit your latest blog post if there’s zero chance your submission will ever see the light of day.

Actually submitting to blog carnivals is simplicity itself. Firstly, ensure you’re submitting only to appropriate carnivals. After all, if your blog post is about cats yet you’re submitting it to an interior design carnival you’re unlikely to get accepted. Secondly, only submit your very best posts. Some of these carnivals get a lot of submissions so you need to offer up your very best content to stand the best chance of being accepted.

Finally, make sure you read the submission form carefully and follow the rules. If they want a description of your post, write one. If they want you to choose a suitable category, select one. There’s nothing that will slash your chances of success quite so much as ignoring the blog carnival rules because you’re in a hurry or you think you know best.

Roundups

roundupsIn niches where there is plenty of high quality content being offered up daily it is not uncommon to stumble across “roundup” posts. The goal of these posts is to highlight some of the high quality content that the specific blogger has found recently. In other words these are rather like blog carnivals, save for the fact that there typically is no submission process. Instead, most bloggers rely more on “luck” and hope that they get published in a roundup.

How To Submit To Roundups Like A Boss

Locating Blog Roundups – There is no real central directory that lists all the various link roundups being published. In all honesty, you’re going to have to put some serious work in initially, to track down as many as possible. Use Google to search for related phrases (such as [KEYWORD] + “blog roundup”).

Then, once you’ve gathered a list, check that the respective bloggers are still publishing roundups. The honest truth is that blog roundups take a surprising amount of time to produce so many bloggers knock them on the head after a while – or only publish them at random intervals. For best results, try to make use of only those that are still publishing roundups on a regular weekly or monthly basis.

Reap What You Sow – Once you’ve located a number of high quality blogs that regularly publish roundups, the next step is to keep an eye on them. Subscribe to the blogs you’ve found and follow them on social media. Start to build up a relationship by helping those blogs when you can. A great example of this is simply by sharing their posts with your social media followers.

A handy way to do this is to include the blogger’s Twitter handle at the end of the post. This serves two benefits. Firstly, it increases the chances of that person increasing their follower numbers. You’d be surprised how many people will click that Twitter handle to check out the person you just mentioned.

Secondly, and even more importantly, it alerts that person to the fact that you just shared their content. Over time, as you share their posts, you’ll build up a degree of “name recognition” that you’re a fan of their work and happily share it with your followers. In other words you’ve already sown some seeds. In the future, hopefully you can reap some benefits.

Schmuck Alert: Don’t aim to share every post that these bloggers publish and don’t expect anything in return. Not even a “thank you”. Share only the posts that you truly believe will be of use to your audience and that offer exceptional value. In other words don’t share just* o get on their radar – that’s kind of sleazy. Just be willing to share when they publish a post that your audience will enjoy.

Assessing Blog Roundups – Not all roundups are created equal. Many, for example, will have a specific theme or flavor. Sometimes these will differ month-by-month. Additionally, keep a close eye on what posts they are sharing and the categories so that you can get a fair idea of what the specific bloggers look for in a post.

Your goal here is to keep in mind the various roundups in your niche and “get your eye in” to what they want so that if and when you approach them, you can be reasonably certain that you’re approaching them with a post they’ll appreciate.

Outreach – The final step here involves reaching out to bloggers to let them know about your post. If you’ve followed all the previous steps you should be reasonably certain that the post you’re sharing will be of interest to them. You’ll also be able to mention (genuinely) that you enjoy their blog and regularly share their posts. Combine this with a truly memorable piece of content that is “right on the money” for their blog and you should stand a very good chance of getting published.

Further Reading

Interlinking

InterlinkingJust for a moment try imagining a world without search engines. A parallel universe where Google, Bing and Yahoo don’t exist. In a situation like this, people won’t find content in the search engines. Instead they’ll likely stumble across it when it is linked to from elsewhere on the web.

Indeed while many of the techniques outlined in this article are focused on ways to build truly relevant, high quality, traffic-sending links to your latest post, let’s also not underestimate links from your own blog posts. So long as this is done in a truly useful, classy way (so as to avoid any potential trouble from Google) these “internal links” as they’re known – that link from one blog post to another – not only make your site more useful and usable but can also give your site a slight boost in the search engines.

When I talk to bloggers about internal linking, many of them are already actively linking their newest posts back to relevant older posts. They’re often, for example, referencing and linking to posts that they published in the past. However what many bloggers aren’t doing is adding links from older posts back to their latest publication.

This is a real wasted opportunity. The fact is that these older posts are likely to hold a degree of authority in Google’s eyes. They’re probably ranking for a range of keywords and are receiving search engine traffic day in, day out as a result. They may even have a few inks pointing to them. By linking these posts to your newest content in a natural, organic manner you’l be able to drive some of these visitors – and some of this search engine authority – over to your newest content and “kick start” the results your new post generates.

The key is really to find where these links would be appropriate and then updating your existing posts to reflect this.

How To Interlink Your Posts Like A Boss

Contextual Links

Possibly the most powerful way to interlink your posts is to add contextual links from one post to another. Quite simply you locate existing posts that discuss the subject of your latest article and then add a link back. There are two ways to find these “opportunities”. Firstly you can use either Google or WordPress’ built-in search feature and search for relevant phrases.

So for the purposes of promoting this very article I might search for phrases on my blog such as “blog post promotion” or “promoting your blog” and suchlike. Once I’ve found these articles I will then assess whether or not a link to this post would be natural and useful to a human visitor and, if so, add one to the posts.

SEO Smart Links – This free WordPress plugin will take much of the effort out of this internal linking process for you. In essence you provide the plugin with a range of keyword phrases and the permalink of your new post, and the plugin then trawls your site, looking for these internal linking opportunities and automatically creates the links for you.

There are strengths and weaknesses to the use of a plugin for this technique. On the one hand it really speeds up the process, quickly creating all manner of useful internal links. On the other hand there is a risk that without manual reviews the plugin might create rather lower quality links than you might by hand.

Unoptimized Anchor Text – When linking internally one key factor to bear in mind is not to over-optimize your anchor text. In other words you don’t want to use a plugin like SEO Smart Links to create dozens of links back to your new post, all using the same anchor text. This might look rather unnatural to Google and could result in a rankings penalty as a result.

The take home point is this: whether you use a plugin or you manually create these do everything in your power to vary the text that is linked and make these internal links as natural and organic as possible.

Non-Contextual Links

While linking from key posts on your site can be very powerful to drive both traffic and authority, this is by no means the only way to create internal links. There are a range of other ways that one can promote a new post to existing readers and to make this new post the “focus” of your blog until a new piece of content is available.

For example you may opt to install a related links plugin. A popular example is popular Yet Another Related Posts plugin. Then there are “slideouts” that pop out when a reader gets to the end of the post they’re reading, recommending other articles on your site. Lastly, some bloggers opt to use focus bars at the top of their blogs to drive organic readers through to their latest post.

The simple fact of the matter is that everyone will have their own preferences as to which method(s) from this list they prefer. The long and short if it is not to ignore the traffic that is arriving at your site naturally every day yet not at your new post. Try investigating ways in which to gently direct them to your new post to give it an initial “boost” in readership and – we hope – shares as a result.

It should also be mentioned that Google is using factors like “time on site” and “bounce rate” as ranking signals, so the more you can engage readers and keep them on your site, the more Google will reward you with higher rankings.

Further Reading

Guest Posting

Guest postingGuest posting may have had a bad rap over the last few years after Matt Cutts publicly outed it, but I still believe it has a part to play. Perhaps the “good old days” of submitting as many posts to as many blogs as possible – irrespective of quality – is now over. However getting a good quality post published on a related, authoritative blog in your niche can be a perfect way to drive traffic – as well as links – to your blog.

Not only can publishing quality articles on quality sites help to increase brand recognition among your audience, but in addition of course it can also help you build links back to your new blog post.

How To Promote Your Blog With Guest Posting Like A Boss

More has probably been written on blog marketing using guest posting than about any other subject over the last few years. In reality, there really are very few secrets at all. The only real key is finding the very best blogs possible in your niche, and writing content that is so awesome that it is virtually guaranteed to get published.

There are all sorts of ways to find guest blogging opportunities. Simply consider the blogs you’ll be posting on as an extension your own. Aim to offer as much value (if not more) in your guest posts as you do on your own blog and, where it is entirely logical and natural, link back to posts from your own blog.

Further Reading

Outreach

oureachOver the years I’ve tested literally dozens of strategies for promoting my blog posts and manual outreach to related bloggers continues to be one of the most effective uses of my time.

The concept is simple enough; you’re going to find bloggers in your niche who you think would be interested in your post (and whose readers would also be interested) and let them know about it. If your post is truly a work of art there’s a good chance that these other bloggers will link to you or share your post on social media.

Get a mention off just one or two authorities in your niche and your site can suddenly receive hundreds, or even thousands, of new visitors. Even better, if an authority figure in your niche mentions a post of yours, there’s a good chance of “trickle down” – other bloggers in your niche seeing this recommendation and then resharing your post with their audience.

In such a way just a few mentions (on the right blogs/social media accounts) can lead to dozens of links and shares.

That’s all well and good in theory but how does it work in practise? Too many bloggers I know struggle with outreach, either getting nervous about contacting other bloggers or sending out hundreds of emails and getting zero responses. The fact is that outreach has to be done right if it is to work; otherwise you’re not just wasting your time, you’re also potentially “blacklisting” yourself for the future.

How To Promote Your Blog With Blogger Outreach Like A Boss

Who Are The Linkerati? – Rand Fishkin of Moz fame coined the phrase “linkerati” some years ago. In essence the linkerati are a group of bloggers and website owners that can and do link out to other sites – either by sharing curated content on social media or by linking out naturally and organically within their own posts.

In other words, not all sites are created equal. Some, in essence, are far more likely to link out than others. Equally, some sites are far more “beneficial” to get a link from. They have a larger audience, which means more click-through traffic on the link. They are an influencer who will probably motivate other people to share your post too. They have a higher authority, which can be beneficial for SEO.

What we’re looking to do is to outreach to those people in the perfect quadrant; those that regularly link out to other sites and that have a high level of authority. Doing so means that out outreach emails will have the highest response rates possible while every mention will have a significant, positive impact on the overall performance of your post.

But who are the linkerati? How do you find them? Here are some questions to ask yourself…

Who links to similar content?

No matter what you might think, the post you just wrote probably isn’t unique. It might have a unique spin or angle, but someone somewhere has at least touched on the subject before. Try doing a few Google searches for phrases related to the topic of your post and you’re unlikely to find Google showing zero results; almost certainly there are other blog posts and articles out there ranking for these exact keyword phrases right now.

What’s more, there’s a good chance that these posts are ranking for a reason; because they have some links pointing to them. Links from people chatting on forums, from social media profiles and – oh yes – from other sites.

These people that have already linked to a post like yours in the past are a perfect example of the linkerati. They’ve already shown they’re interested in the topic of your post and that they’re willing to help promote such a post.

Who shares similar content?

In a similar vein, there are a lot of bloggers who frankly won’t link out to other posts. It’s just not their style. However if these people have impressive social media followings and are happy to share content here then this too can send more traffic your way.

Who is the authority in your niche?

When you understand who the linkerati are you can rapidly super-charge your results. Here’s how to find them…

1) Locate Similar Posts

Start off by doing some searches in Google in order to find a list of related articles. While this is a case of “the more the merrier” you will likely start to stumble across the same posts time and again. A list of 5-10 will get you started.

2) Check Backlinks

Once you’ve got a list of related articles pop these one at a time into your favorite backlink checker. Personally I’m a fan of SEO Profiler at the moment though SEM Rush, Majestic and Open Site Explorer are all good quality alternatives. Spend some time analyzing the sites that link to these articles in order to locate high quality sites you could contact.

3) Check Social Shares

Use tools like Buzzsumo and Bit.ly to see who has previously shared similar posts on social media. You’ll quickly be able to generate a long list of potential influencers you can contact about your post.

Longer Term

This linkerati provides you with the very best chances of your outreach process being successful. However it is by no means the only option and over time you may want to consider expanding your search. Developing relationships with authorities in your niche and over time additional promotional opportunities may make themselves known.

Pro tip: create content with these people in mind to begin with – investigate what they’re sharing and why. See which blogs they’re commenting on and forums they’re a member of so you can get infront of them. Then create content specifically with them in mind – knowing before you even start work who this content is designed to appeal to.

Further Reading

Deep Linking Blog Directories

RssGenerally speaking directory submissions are considered relatively low quality links, especially now the Yahoo directory has been retired. However blog directories can still serve a very real benefit; a number of them will feature not just your overall blog theme but will also index individual posts as they’re published.

Whilst these directories are unlikely to send as much traffic your way as many of the other techniques mentioned here, they are a nice easy way to make it easier to find your blog posts. All you need to do is submit your blog the first time, and thereafter they will track your RSS feed, including new posts and they go live on your blog.

This means that there is a chance your posts will be picked up in searches on these sites, and furthermore that Google may note the new link pointing to your site.

Fortunately the process of getting listed in these blog directories is simplicity itself, and is a “one time only” deal; once your site is listed you really need do nothing else, helping to make this a hands-off way to promote your latest blog post.

How To Promote Your Blog Post With Blog Directories Like A Boss

There are four directories at present that seem worth the effort of submission, mainly because of the large volumes of traffic they benefit from, some of which may well click through to your blog.

AllTop

AllTop represents what I believe is the highest quality collection of manually-approved blogs anywhere online. Each site has been carefully checked for quality before being accepted so it is no surprise really just how popular the site is and why. Getting listed at AllTop is reasonably simple if you have a good quality blog. Simply sign up for an account and then fill in their simple submission form.

BlogCatalog

Blog Catalog has been around years and it too receives a large number of visitors each day. Sign up for a free account, add your blog and wait for approval.

Feedly

With the death of Google Reader, competitor Feedly has now taken the crown as the top RSS feed reader in the world. However what you might not know is that Feedly also maintains a directory of blogs to help users find new sites to subscribe to.

Even better, if you have a high quality blog you can actually request to be included in these lists which can, over time, lead to a whole host of new RSS subscribers for your blog. To be considered for a listing just fill in this form.

Amazon

Did you know that you can actually list your blog on the Amazon website, for Kindle readers to subscribe to? Over the years I’ve had varying degrees of success; some of the blogs I run have attracted a decent readership while others have failed to ever take off but as the submission process takes a matter of moments it seems worth the effort. To submit your blog for inclusion on Amazon’s Kindle store just visit this form.

Linky Parties

Linky partiesLinky parties originated in the “mommy blogger” niche but have been slowly expanding in other areas thanks to the power of the mom blogger community.

Typically a linky party is a regular event; many are held each week. Each party focuses on a specific topic (arts and crafts, personal finance etc.) and allows participants to submit relevant posts. The blog hosting the linky party then maintains a page listing all these recent blog posts, and participants and readers alike are encouraged to click through some of the links in order to explore the wealth of fresh, juicy content on offer.

Right now, you may be thinking that this sounds rather like a blog carnival, and you’d be right, but with a number of key differences. Firstly, the overall formatting is very different. Whilst blog carnivals typically publish just a list of posts, linky parties consist of a feature image for each post, making them far more visually appealing.

Secondly there is far less editorial control maintained; anyone can get involved in the linky party and submit a post and unless the post is seriously off-topic you’re virtually guaranteed to be approved.

Lastly, the links in linky parties are invariably no-follow. Depending on your perspective this may be seen as either good or bad. On the one hand you’ll derive no SEO benefits from linky parties but on the other hand you also won’t risk a penalty for over-optimized inbound links. The sole benefit of submitting your content to a linky party is therefore the hope that a number of participants will click through to your post.

Finding linky parties can be something of a challenge however fortunately there are a few handy sites that list linky parties like this one.

How To Submit Your Blog To Linky Parties

Relevancy Is King – Just like submitting your blog post to a blog carnival, relevancy is king. That is to say if your latest blog post is all about butternut squash recipes, don’t go submitting it to a linky party about social media. Take the time to find the linky parties that relate specifically to your niche and only submit to these specific parties.

Equally, it is worth mentioning that as linky parties have developed in the mommy blogger community, the typical topics covered are those that will be of interest to this audience. That mean there are lots of linky parties about parenting, crafts, cooking and home making. Generally what you won’t find here are less popular subjects with moms. Finding parties about martial arts, soccer or gadgets can be far more of a challenge.

Submit Early – In most cases when you submit your blog post to a linky party, your submission will be added onto the bottom of the page. When the submissions reach a certain point, new submissions will even roll off this page, being shown on a subsequent linky party page. What this means is that the sooner you submit your post after the party goes live, the higher up you’ll be. And the higher up you are, the more traffic you’ll normally receive.

Make sense? What this means is that it can be a smart idea, once you’ve gathered a list of relevant parties, is to subscribe to these blogs. Furthermore, make up a “publishing calendar” so you know exactly when these parties go live – not just the day but even the hour. As a result you will be perfectly placed to submit your latest post as soon as the party goes live.

While this is time consuming – and I have yet to find an automated solution – it does guarantee you the most traffic possible in my experience.

Quality Images – As the featured image of your post is such a key ingredient to a linky party submission it’s essential to choose this image wisely. This is especially so as most parties display rather small images. Take the time to select a highly attention-grabbing image to go alongside our post. Doing so will draw more eyes and, in doing so, more clicks too.

Further Reading

Native Media/Content Discovery Networks

native advertisingNative advertising is one of the few strategies mentioned here that costs money. However, increasingly content marketers are finding that investing a small sum of money upfront to advertise some truly memorable content can lead to long term growth in terms of readership, authority, traffic and subscribers.

While native advertising can relate to any kind of advertising, to all intents and purposes it tends to relate to the “related stories” that an increasing number of content sites are now featuring. These related stories are typically displayed at the end of a post and consist of an image and a headline, as shown in the following screen capture.

While you might be forgiven for thinking these links will take you to other articles on the same site, in many cases they won’t. Instead, these are actually paid adverts for content on other sites. As you might expect, due to their design and location, they can lead to some very targeted traffic, thanks to the fact that your blog post is being advertised at the end of a very similar post on another high traffic site.

Promoting your blog through native advertising is still really in it’s infancy. There are ever-more companies getting involved, and while many such networks limit themselves to larger corporate clients spending tens of thousands of dollars in advertising revenue each month, at least a few are suitable for smaller bloggers and content marketers who are looking for small-scale content promotion campaigns.

How To Promote Your Blog Post With Native Advertising

Due to the very nature of the developing native advertising market, things are changing all the time. However if you fancy giving native advertising a try, here are some of the better-known native advertising companies, many of whom will accept smaller bloggers and offer very reasonable minimum spends.

https://www.taboola.com/
http://mgid.com/
http://www.outbrain.com/
https://business.disqus.com/
https://www.onespot.com/
http://www.contentclick.co.uk/
http://www.content.ad
http://nster.com/
http://www.simplereach.com/
http://www.shareaholic.com/

Note that nRelate, of whom I was always a fan, closed down as of the end of 2014. This is a sad situation for a company with such a good product. I wanted to draw attention to this here though as so many existing articles about paid content marketing channels mention nRelate.

Further Reading

Social Listening

Social listeningAll around the internet people are talking about the subject of your blog post. Your audience is scattered across social media sites, discussion forums, Q and A sites and more. In all these places your potential blog readers are chatting, asking questions and getting to know one another.

For obvious reasons, these people are the perfect targets for your marketing. For one, they’re highly targeted; they’re investing their free time asking questions that your blog post answers. For another, they’re social-enough that connecting with these people can be enough for them to share future blog posts on all the sites they visit.

The question is where you find these conversations, so that you can get involved?

How To Use Social Listening To Promote Your Blog Post

There are an increasing number of tools that will help you undercover these conversations. Twitter, for example, will let you carry out searches for specific keyword phrases. Quora, too, has a search feature. However monitoring each site, one at a time is hardly the most efficient route, hence the reason for a number of monitoring tools.

Of these, I’m a hige fan of BuzzBundle.

Simply tell BuzzBundle what keyword phrases matter to you and the tool will scour the web, carefully looking for relevant conversations. Each of these is neatly displayed in your own “conversational stream”.

All you need to do is to go through these conversations one at a time, providing valuable advice and answers to those with questions. Where appropriate (and permitted) just drop a link to your new blog post as a source of further advice.

In this way, you’ll get your new content infront of people at the perfect time; exactly when they’ve made the effort to seek out an answer. Then in you swing, providing your knowledge and authority, before hitting them with a link to your site. It should come as no surprise that a fair proportion of the people you target will visit your site.

Furthermore, of course, these links to your new post will likely sit on these various sites for years to come, gently siphoning traffic (and authority) in your direction.

Further Reading

Repurpose Content

Repurposing contentJust because your latest blog post is a work of text-based genius doesn’t necessarily mean it has to stay like that. Repurposing your content into other formats can not only help it gain access to a whole new audience but in addition it can create opportunities to further promote and link to your blog post.

For example could you turn the key points of your post into a handy infographic or instructographic and share it, linking back to your post? Alternatively how about putting these points into a slide show, a PDF document, a video or a podcast? All of these different forms of content allow your message to spread to a new area of the Internet and provide opportunities to promote your blog post as the original source.

As an example, if you were creating a long, rambling article like this one, you could create a slideshow of the most important points. This could serve as a useful reference for your visitors, to help summarise all the points mentioned within the post.

However if you promote your post properly, and it starts to receive some decent traffic, you could also find the slide show that you embedded in your post also starts to attract attention on Slideshare and Scribd – and so drives traffic back to your site.

Further Reading

Conclusion

If you’ve read all the way to here then you’ve just read 12,148 words of blog building goodness. I’d like to compliment your patience and thank you for your time – hopefully you’ve learned at least a few things that can help you grow your blog traffic and promote your blog posts more effectively.

If you’ve got any questions – or suggestions – then please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and please take a moment to share this post. It’s taken the best part of 6 weeks to write – on and off – so any social media love or incoming links would be much appreciated! 🙂

Wondering how to promote your blog? If you're a blogger or content marketer wanting more website traffic then follow this step-by-step formula for promoting your latest blog post.

 

Richard Adams

I'm obsessed with blogging, social media and content marketing. If you want to take your blog to the next level then please follow me on Twitter.

24 comments

  • Wow! This is a massively helpful article, Richard! SO many good ideas and great tips for bloggers.

    Thanks so much for the shout out to me and my blog. It’s a pleasure to be connected with you on Triberr – that’s how this all started.

    Sharing this now,
    Sue

  • Hey Richard – truly amazing post here on content promotion. I know for a fact this took a long, long time. I shared it on Twitter and g+.

    I just forwarded the list of content aggregators to my foodie GF – thanks!

    If you ever decide to build out blogger outreach a bit more and decide to include some recommend tools, remember to think of us 🙂

    Cheers!

  • Hello, Richard

    It seems a very useful and comprehensive guide. I have not read the Complete article but headlines 🙂
    I will read it later as I have bookmarked it. Indeed a nice post. well explained.

  • Hi Richard

    This is epic! I’ve already been through it twice and will do again – there are loads of great resources included here. Thanks so much for adding mine 🙂

    I’ve shared this across my social media channels and will do so again next week.

    Cheers!

    Loz

  • Richard thanks SO much for the kind mention! This IS an eBook right here; it’s a soup to nuts manual for promoting your blog the right way. WELL DONE!

    Ryan

    • Thanks so much for your comments Ryan – you, more than anyone else, has shown what is possible with genuine, thoughtful commenting. Anyone who wants to learn more should invest in your Kindle books – having read them myself I know they’re a wealth of knowledge!

  • Richard

    Just two words to describe this post, simply amazing. By far one of the most detailed post I’ve seen on how to promote your blog.

    I was, well still am one of those bloggers, who gets maybe, five visitors a day if im lucky. Content isn’t the problem, just not knowing how to promote is the problem.

    Again for all the great information

    Jason

  • Richard Adams, thanks for this insightful post, this is really helpful. I am a beginner in this internet marketing industry but I am continuously learning new things. This post helped me a lot in collecting some immediate actionable ideas and I have also jotted down couple of points which I will explore and implement in coming weeks. Thanks once again for posting such a valuable post with us.

  • Wow Richard, this is awesome. Very comprehensive and nicely structured. thanks for mentioning my listbuilding tutorial. Appreciate that. I’ll be happy to tell everyone about this guide.

  • Hello Richard,

    THANKS FOR SHARING SUCH A LONG LASTING POST. WITH SO MANY USEFUL LINKS AND TIPS. I JUST ALOT FROM YOUR POST. HALF OF THE SERVICES I WASN’T EVEN FAMILIAR WITHWI NowNow iI can try and Increase my blog traffic.

    Thanks again

  • Excellent guide, Richard.
    Every blogger wants more traffic, right?

    I love blogging communities (like the one you mentioned in “content aggregators”). I use them to promote my content and to build relationships with people of my niche.

    Awesome tips, thanks for the share!

Hi I'm Richard and I've been building content-based sites since the year 2000.

In that time I've created and sold online businesses for five figure sums, attracted over a million visitors using SEO alone, won blogger awards and had my posts published in print.

Do you want to take your blog to the next level?

If so then follow me on Twitter by simply clicking the button below...


Tailwind