So, you’ve worked long and hard on a new blog post. You’ve gone outside of your comfort zone, bared your soul, written like a person possessed as you’ve poured your passion into every word. You’ve silenced or at least ignored those pesky gremlins inside your head that tell you that you can’t write or that you don’t have anything to say that other people will want to hear.
As you post the blog to your website, you feel lighter with a sense of accomplishment. You did it, you created an article (or even hired an expert to write it for you) that your customers will love.
You sit back, satisfied with a job well done, and open Google Analytics expecting your real-time data to go through the roof. But nothing happens… your amazing article sits unnoticed and unread as virtual tumbleweed rolls silently through your website.
Oh no, your gremlins squawk, it was rubbish after all. Who are you to think you could write something other people want to read? Blogging might work for other people but you’re obviously no good at it.
It’s an all too common scenario but unless you’ve ripped off someone else’s article, made tonnes of typos or stuffed your copy so full of keywords that Google has banished it from SERPs, I can safely say that your gremlins, mind monkeys or inner critics (whatever you choose to call them) are wrong. Completely and utterly.
You can write the best copy in the world but if you don’t tell anyone it’s there, how can you expect your audience to find it? It isn’t enough to post and hope for a random discovery that will lead to viral acclaim. Writing an article is only half the story, you have to lead people to it.
Getting your amazing content found
What I’ve discovered through personal experience is that it takes a healthy sprinkling of hard work and a huge dollop of consistency to create a successful blog that attracts readers week in and week out, especially when your blog is in its infancy.
Here are my pointers for letting people know that your blog exists:
Make your content shareable
There are several ways of doing this. For a start, you need to create content that people will want to share and talk about on social media. This means making the content unique and original, and ensuring that it appeals to your ideal customers. I would also suggest making the copy easy to scan by using:
- a clear heading
- a variety of sentence and paragraph lengths
- bullet points
- bold text to draw the eye
- relevant images
You can also help to make your articles shareable by providing social media sharing options. I love the Flare plugin that puts the social media icons at the top of each article and floating down the left hand side of the page as it encourages people to spread the word.
If you have a WordPress website, another idea is to use a plugin like Inline Tweet Sharer so that you can highlight key points from your copy – points that show your knowledge and start a conversation – and people can Tweet important stats, quotes and ideas with a link to your supporting article.
Share a new blog article on your social media platforms
Every time you write a new blog, let your audience know by shouting about it on social media. Why not try the following?
- Post a link to your blog on your Facebook business page and your personal profile
- If you’re in a Facebook group where people will be interested in the blog, then tell them about it too (if you don’t run the group you might need to check with the group admin that it’s OK to share – as a courtesy)
- Tweet about your new blog
- Post a link on Google+
- Create a Pinterest board specifically for your blog articles and pin your latest offering there
- Post a link on your LinkedIn profile
- If you’re in industry-related LinkedIn groups, you could also feature your article in those
- Feature your latest article in your regular e-newsletter so that everyone on your mailing list gets a chance to read it
You don’t have to post one just link to your article. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter especially are fast moving and your link may not be visible in newsfeeds for long. Promote your blog several times a week – you can try using different sound bites and snippets from the article to promote it in your status or in a Tweet.
I also love the Evergreen Post Tweeter, which enables you to schedule and automatically Tweet out links to old blog posts. I often find that I get a flurry of activity on my website around a blog article from last year that’s just reappeared on Twitter courtesy of this plugin.
Create allies who share the same audience
I’ll be honest, when I think of the word ‘networking’, it sends me into paroxysms of fear. I always thought it was something I couldn’t do because I’m too shy, too introverted, too reserved (it’s those gremlins talking again) but what I’ve discovered is that I’m actually pretty good at creating meaningful relationships with other business owners, which is essentially what networking is.
I don’t tend to operate with an agenda, other than to listen, learn and provide support when I can. I find online networking groups especially good for this as I can fit them around my schedule.
One way to let people know that your blog exists is to connect with businesses that share a similar audience to you and that would be happy to share your content. It’s easy to think of your competitors as ‘the enemy’ but that isn’t always the case (although some industries are more closed to collaboration than others). You may find that your blog brings a new perspective or additional knowledge that another business knows its audience will find useful. Tap into opportunities to guest blog or to team up with similar businesses to offer a collection of freebies and sign-up incentives, or simply to share one another’s articles to your audiences.
Refer back to your data
In my experience, there will be times when you lose your blogging mojo. Suddenly, you’ll have no clue what to write about or you’ll listen to those pesky gremlins criticising your latest offering.
When this happens (and even when things are powering on all cylinders), it’s a good idea to go back to all the data you have at your disposal.
- Look at your Google Analytics data – Which blog articles have attracted the most visitors? What are they about? Is there a common theme? Could you address the same topic but from a different angle?
- If you use a social sharing plugin like Flare, a quick glance will tell you which articles have attracted the most shares and where. Could you update a successful article from the past or go deeper into the topic?
- Keep an eye on your Facebook insights on your business page – you’ll find some incredibly powerful data at your fingertips about all of your posts, including links to your blog
- Pop over to Pinterest and view the analytics – Which articles are being repinned? What kind of boards are they being repinned on? Are there related topics that people are pinning alongside your article?
Go organic with your SEO
I’ve written a few articles in the past about getting to grips with the basics of SEO (see SEO 101: Five basics of search engine optimisation or Seven quick & easy SEO boosting steps you can take today).
It’s worth taking a few minutes to think about SEO for your blog article as, if you get that right, you will have a much greater chance of your blog articles showing up in popular search results.
When you write your article, think about the core topic and what words people might use to search for it in Google.
- Is your content unique?
- Is it relevant to your audience and will they find it informative?
- Does your main heading reflect the topic?
- Have you given it an H1 tag?
- Have you broken up the copy with subheadings?
- If so, have you given them H2 tags?
- Have you written an title tag and meta description for your blog that should appear on search engine results pages and entice people to read?
- Do your images reflect the content of the blog?
- Do your images have alt tags?
- Have you featured links to source material that you’ve mentioned in your article?
- If you have related blog articles, have you linked to them to help your readers?
Again, if you have a WordPress website, you might like to try the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin as the traffic light system helps you see what you can do to better optimise each blog article from an SEO perspective.
If you have a blog, have you tried any of these ideas? Perhaps something different works well for you? If so, I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences in the Comments below or over on my Facebook page.