Even now, blogging is still a profitable way to grow your online business.
While digital marketing has evolved in the last two decades, writing blogs remains one of the best ways to convert prospects into paying customers. A blog website can earn you a direct income from ads, product sales, or affiliates. Or you use it to leverage your brand and develop an authority in your niche.
But it all boils down to how many people actually read and share your posts. There's nothing worse than toiling for days to create a 5,000-word authoritative blog article that no one reads.
The most successful online businesses and bloggers know that promoting your content is as essential as writing it. In the following paragraphs, we will teach you how to market your blog effectively.
A 3-Tier Approach
How to market your blog effectively is a multi-pronged approach that starts from writing the posts and then formatting them, optimizing for search engines and social sharing. And there are countless technical details in between.
For simplicity, we will divide this blog marketing guide into three steps, with an in-depth breakdown of each sub-step. The steps are:
- Preparing the blog for promotion
- Promoting the blog
- Tracking and analyzing results
1. Preparing the Blog for Promotion
Before you can shoot your content masterpiece into the blogosphere, you need to fine-tune it to boost chances of success. Here's how you go about it.
Optimize Your Blog
To start, no one will read your content if a) they can't find it and b) they don't have an excellent on-page experience. You have to ensure that your content is primed for search engines (e.g., Google, Bing, and Yahoo) and humans.
But keywords and metas come later. You have to start with technical SEO. This blends technical requirements as well as user experience. Let's break this down further:
Crawlers and Spiders
Search engines (Google in particular) ‘crawl' every web page to learn what it's about. This way, the search engine indexes web pages and makes them findable in search results. Indexing and crawling are done via a Robots.txt file. You can have a developer make these for you, or you can use an SEO plug-in.
Internal and External Linking
What happens when some lands on your website or blog article? Can she find her way around easily? Does she know what to do next?
This is where links come into play. They help readers navigate the website, take the next step (sign-up, visit a product page, or make a purchase).
Internal links are other blogs and pages on your site that readers can click for more information. Likewise, external links send users to authority content, research material, Amazon product pages, etc.
Other Types of Links
As the name implies, redirect links are changes in URLs or domains that direct readers to a new web page or site. For instance, you can use redirect links to transfer customers to a new website. Once again, you can use plug-ins for redirects or create them manually.
Dead links are bad for SEO and readership. For example, you may link to an authority website or a news article in your blog to make it valuable for readers. But that link (or the entire site) can disappear or undergo a URL change since you first published it. So, before you post your blog and start sharing it, make sure there are no broken links in the content.
Of course, optimization is more than just crawlers and links. Loading speed is also essential. Google and your readers love websites that load fast. They won't give you as much as an extra millisecond if you can't provide relevant content instantly.
Likewise, security is also a significant factor in our post-Snowden world. Even the most popular blogging platform, WordPress, is prone to hacking if you're not careful. Lack of security can get your online business blog penalized by Google.
You can take care of these factors by choosing the right hosting platform. Take your time to find and invest in a secure and reliable hosting platform.
Planning and Research
It's one thing to publish personal musings. But if you want to grow your online business through blogging, you need to be focused.
Creating random content and posting it all over the place with no end in sight may work once in your lifetime. But a more effective way of marketing your blog is to tailor it to your audience. This step includes four categories:
Your niche is the kind of online business you run. Is it e-commerce, dating services, or a marketing agency? Whatever your niche, you have to revolve your content creation and distribution around it.
The same applies if your blog is your online business. But in this case, you have to find a niche that people are interested in. An excellent way to see if people are interested in your topic is to look it up on Google Trends.
And while you're at it, find up to 4-5 categories that support your niche. This gives you creative freedom without going off-topic.
Before you create content, you should have a clear answer for the following points: who are my readers? What are their pain points? What solutions are they looking for?
It becomes easier to create readable and shareable content when you know who's reading you. So, create a ‘persona' or ‘avatar' of your ideal customer. This will also help you choose the relevant vocabulary and tone for your blog.
Your audience doesn't want to engage with bots. In other words, your content should make them feel as if they in conversation with a human.
Think about the biggest corporations in the world, Coke, Amazon, or Apple. Yet, their branding resonates with the audience due to their unique voice(s) despite their size. And this is what you want to achieve with your content.
To find the voice of your brand and ensure that it aligns with your vision and company values.
Not all content is the same. Even within the blogging format, you can have how-to articles, listicles, infographics, and video. The most shareable content on the web almost always includes some visuals. And everyone loves Top 10 posts.
Before we move on, planning and research also include keyword research. Keywords are search terms and queries that your target audience is using to find content online. Using the most relevant keywords in your niche, you can make your content relevant for your readers.
You need to take into account search intent. This determines what people are actually searching for when they type specific keywords into a search bar. Search intent can be navigational and informational or transactional and commercial.
A mistake a lot of people make is using keywords that are similar to larger brands. This results in traffic heading their way instead of yours. You need to consider search intent as well.
All you have to do is use Google to search for some keywords. This will give you the relevant data regarding which keywords are being rewarded by Google. This will also allow you to find out which keywords are relevant to your blog. Now, you can use these keywords and ensure that traffic is diverted towards your blog in as a natural way as possible.
You can search for keywords just by typing in your topic in the search bar and looking at the suggestions, titles of the websites that show up in the results, and ‘Related searches' at the bottom of the page. You can also use Keyword Planner.
This is just scratching the surface.
How readable is your blog? Does it contain dense chunks of information with no visuals and subheadings?
Formatting makes your content digestible. In a world of ever-decreasing attention spans, people only scan through articles instead of deep reading. So if you want to make your blog popular, make it presentable.
Create a Catchy Headline
This cannot be stressed enough. Create a title for your blog that is catchy, relevant, and optimized. And try to keep it as short as possible, preferably less than 65 characters. A longer title may not appear fully on a smartphone, where most people will access your content.
Be Smart With Content-Length
The general rule of thumb is that longer posts rank higher and get more social shares than short ones. But word count isn't a deal-breaker unless you're delivering value and if you think you have covered the topic exhaustively.
Check out your competitor blogs as well as blogs that rank high on your target keyword. Thus, their average word count is where you should be. Most SEO tools help you in this regard.
This is a long blog post, and if you are still reading, thank the subheads. The more titles your blog has, the better the readability.
While you're at it, sprinkle a healthy dose of bullets on the page, as we have done.
And keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Ideally, keep your sentences less than two lines and paragraphs less than four. That way, your content won't overwhelm your readers no matter how long and technical.
Once you have found your primary and secondary keywords, start optimizing your blog page. Use keywords in the body copy (around 1-2% of the blog length), but a common mistake most new bloggers make is not optimizing on-page elements:
- Title of the post
- URL of the page
- Meta description
- Images, infographics, and videos (captions and alt text)
All these elements should include your target keywords. You should even save the images you download from the internet or upload them on your device with a keyword as the file name.
Outsourcing your SEO to a company like Human Proof Designs is another approach you can take if you don't have the required SEO knowledge or if you don't have time to handle it yourself.
2. Promoting the Blog
The key aspect of how to market your blog effectively, is promotion. Blogging is both art and science, and there are several approaches for promoting your content. The methods described here can be used collectively or one at a time to see what works best for you.
There is no blog marketing without social media. So before you post your blog links on Facebook, you should enable social sharing on the blog itself.
Blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger have social sharing buttons that you can add to the page. These will enable readers to share the content. You don't have to use every social networking button, though, only those where your audience hangs out.
You can also add click to Tweet widgets on a highlighted quote within the text which readers can share on their Twitter handles directly from the blog.
With social media, it is all about engagement and reciprocity. You just can't show up when you have published a blog post and expect people to respond. Instead, maintain an active presence on your social channels and post consistently. And while you're at it, like, comment, and share other people's content as well. Remember, it's all about reciprocity.
Of course, this can be overwhelming when you also have an online business to manage. You can use social media marketing tools. We have reviewed two of the best ones below.
Coming back to the engagement aspect of social media marketing, you should become an active member of Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and Quota. The engagement will also help you generate new ideas for your content.
Despite the prevalence of social media, email remains an effective platform to market your blog. Conversely, blogging is one of the best ways to create a mailing list.
Here's a number: 4,200%. That's the ROI of email marketing done effectively. Far better than pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
The first step is to build a mailing list. For this, you need to have a sign-up form or button on your blog, along with a call-to-action (CTA) in your blog. You can even consider setting up a popup to prompt readers to provide their email addresses whenever they land on your page.
You also need to have a good email marketing platform, preferably one that integrates with WordPress. Mail Chimp and Sendinblue are some viable options.
Once you have a substantial list of subscribers, they will automatically receive any new content you publish. You can opt to have the entire blog post in their inbox or just a preview. You can even post a customized message along with the blog preview prompting people to visit the page and share it with friends.
Along with automated email marketing, feel free to manually email your blogs to your colleagues, family, friends, and other professionals in your network that may find your topic relevant.
Guest blogging is a great way to benefit from popular bloggers' and influencers' traffic in your niche. You can also consider interviewing a top blogger in your industry and drive their traffic back to your blog. This depends on give and take, and it takes a while to develop relations in your blogging networking.
The methods mentioned to market your blog effectively are free of cost and only require your time and technical skills.
However, you can also use paid methods to drive traffic to your blog. These include Facebook ads and PPC ads. The best marketing is a combination of free (organic) and paid marketing.
You can also use content discovery platforms like Taboola and Outbrain. This is known as ‘Native Advertising,' where your articles will appear on popular websites at the side or bottom of the page under ‘You May Like' or ‘Recommended For You.'
3. Tracking and Analyzing Results
In this final step, you have to keep track of how well your blog is performing traffic-wise. It is the only way to know how effectively you marketed your blog. There are several ways to measure results.
For starters, you need to use Google Analytics and other related tools. For example, you can use UTM tracking URLs in Google Campaign to create a tracking link for each website and platform where you post your blog.
Also, in Google Analytics, you can see ‘Channels' in the ‘Acquisition' to see where your visitors are coming from. That way, you'll know which channels are performing the best and leverage these in your future. For example, you may see channels like ‘Organic Search,' which is traffic that comes directly from search engines, or ‘Direct,' which refers to readers who directly type the URL on their browsers. Other traffic channels include:
- Paid Search
Along with Google Analytics, you can also use tools like Facebook Page Manager and Ads Manager to see how well your blog performs on social sites.
How Do I Promote My New Blog Post?
There are many ways to promote new blog posts. We recommend building an active social media page(s) and/or email list where you constantly publish new articles to target audiences already hungry for your content.
Where Can I Promote My Blog for Free?
You can promote your blog for free on social media, your mailing list, LinkedIn and Quora, and email your contacts. You can also add sections of your blog and links in your YouTube video descriptions.
How do I Get My Blog Noticed by Google?
To get your blog noticed by Google, you have to add a Robot.txt file for search engine crawlers. Moreover, you have to add relevant and optimized meta details to let the search engine know what the page is about. The blog also needs to include the correct formatting and relevant keywords to be noticed by Google.
How to Promote Your Blog on Social Media?
You can promote your blog on social media by creating pages and groups revolving around your online business. You can also run paid ads to market your content on social networking websites.
Recommendations for Promoting Your Digital Product on Social Media
Social Pilot is a comprehensive tool to promote your content on social media. It enables you to publish posts on your company profile and also track results.
- Great user-interface
- Easy to use
- Content recycling
- Supports all social sites and groups
Cannot add multiple accounts
Hootsuite is an excellent tool for those getting started with blogging. With an option to add up to ten social media accounts, it is a great marketing tool if your company requires multiple profiles to handle online marketing.
- Great value for the money
- Steep learning curve
- You can create our social reporting dashboard with preset metric widgets
- You can post across multiple lists simultaneously and track results
- You can't post videos to GMB listings
- You can post videos on Instagram, but only through the mobile app
- Metrics like FB response time are missing
There you have it – the best ways for how to market your blog effectively.
We suggest you start with one tactic and see how it works for you. Then incorporate other techniques in the mix. This way, you’ll know which one works best, and you can focus on that one.
Of course, you don’t have to stick with one strategy; incorporating all the ways mentioned above will ensure that your blog is adequately marketed and in front of the right audience.
Ultimately, it's about the value you provide to your readers. Don't get so preoccupied with the promotional aspects that you neglect quality content creation. Remember, content is king. So never compromise on the quality of relevant information you’re providing to your audience.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand the best ways to effectively market your blog. Now, it’s up to you.