Waiting for something with baited breath is not my strong suit.
Good thing I don't have to when it comes down to promoting my blog and any newly published posts.
And with this handy-dandy practical guide with a step-by-step “promotion in motion” plan, neither do you.
Promote Your Blog Post with Social Media
Social media is one of the easiest, yet perhaps, one of the most frustrating promotion channels.
It's easy because it takes but a few minutes for you to share your post with your friends/followers.
It's frustrating because you can't control the results.
Will your followers carry your new post to their followers?
Will anyone even notice?
Let me show you how I maximize my social media promotion efforts and turn social media into my #1 referral traffic source.
Promote Your Post on Twitter
Here are the necessary ingredients to successful Twitter promotion (in order of importance):
- Outstanding content (your top priority – goes without saying);
- Your overall online authority (if people know who you are, they are more likely to promote your content);
- Quality of your following (how targeted your followers are);
- Quantity of your following (the more targeted followers you have, the more shares you'll get).
If you are having hard time getting others to retweet your content, take a look at the four points above and figure out which one(s) need to be worked on.
My top ways to get more retweets:
Automatic RSS Feed Sharing
With a little bit of upfront leg work, this method of getting RTs can be put on complete autopilot.
It's all about twisting other bloggers' arms to get them to automatically feed your blog RSS to their Twitter accounts.
The logic behind it:
We all strive to provide our followers with top-notch content, both our own and others.
The easiest way to do it is to automatically retweet other bloggers' content by adding their RSS feed to your social media management platform of your choice, i.e.:
- MarketMeSuite (that's what I use)
If you don't currently use any social media management platform, no worries.
Here's another option for you: Twitterfeed.com.
It automatically shares your chosen RSS feeds on Twitter, as well as Facebook.
How to get others to add your RSS feed:
Find Twitter influencers who have a responsive following AND like to share content in your niche.
If you don't know how, read how I use Topsy.com in How to Create Traffic Magnets: Give Your Readers Bread and Games post.
You can “exchange” the favors, if you are more comfortable to do it that way.
You add theirs, they add yours.
3. Mention it in your blog posts.
Make it a call to action in your blog posts every once in a while.
Something like this:
If you love Traffic Generation Cafe and think these traffic ideas would be valuable to your followers, you should add our RSS feed to your social media sharing platform of choice!
And don't forget to add “via @AnaTrafficCafe” to your tweets so that I can come by and say thank you.
4. Mention it to your list.
Just follow the example above and ask your email subscribers to automatically share your stuff with their followers.
Triberr is a blogging network designed to increase your Twitter influence through leveraging other bloggers' Twitter accounts.
Let's say I have about 1,900 Twitter followers in my @AnaTrafficCafe Twitter account.
With Triberr, I can find like-minded bloggers who also produce excellent content in my niche and form an alliance with them – a “tribe” in Triberr terms.
They share my stuff (if they like it, it's not automatic) and I share theirs.
You can choose to create your own tribe or request to join others.
The main idea behind it is to find tribes with active members who write quality content and love to share each others' stuff.
That's how I am able to grow my reach from 1,900 Twitter followers to over 2M.
How to find tribes in your niche:
Once you create your free Triberr account, find the “Tribes” tab in the left sidebar.
When you click on it, you'll be taken to the “Browse Tribes” section where you can add different categories related to your niche.
Once you find the tribes you'd love to be a member of, I suggest you introduce yourself to the tribe founder and ask them to add you.
How to actually make Triberr work to promote your posts:
As I mentioned before, sharing on Triberr is not automatic.
Your tribe mates need to choose to share your content with their followers.
Increase your chances of being shared on Triberr by:
- creating eye-catching post titles;
- sharing their stuff (I suggest to log into Triberr once a day and share others' content; make it a habit; give and you shall receive);
- if you are a new-comer to the blogosphere, build relationships with your tribe mates; i.e. comment on their content, send them a personal note, etc.
JustRetweet.com is another Twitter sharing platform, but has a big distinction from Triberr: you don't need to form a tribe to get retweets.
This could be helpful to many bloggers who might have a hard time getting into an active niche-related tribe on Triberr.
How JustRetweet.com works:
- Sign in with your Twitter account.
- Earn credits by retweeting or liking the retweets from other members.
- When you have earned enough credits, then you can submit your own retweets into the system and have other members start retweeting YOUR content.
- You can also earn credits by following other members, referring new members, etc.
- JustRetweet doesn't do automatic sharing; everything you share is entirely up to you.
- The more you give, the more you receive.
ViralContentBuzz.com is a fairly new Twitter/Facebook sharing platform that works off earned credits, very much like JustRetweet does.
However, here's what sets ViralContentBuzz apart from other similar networks:
Our platform is called “Viral Content Buzz” which implies that we are looking to help push high-quality content that has a good potential to go viral. (FAQ)
All submissions to ViralContentBuzz are manually moderated, which ensures the quality of the submitted posts.
Another interesting thing about ViralContentBuzz is the fact that you won't see WHO submitted the post from the dashboard.
I think that's yet another way this site ensures that the QUALITY of submitted content takes the center stage; just the way it should be.
Thus, if you do create quality content, but are not known for it quite yet, ViralContentBuzz might be the perfect platform for you.
Additional comment from one of the founders, Gerald Weber:
“I would like to add that although right now we only support Twitter and Facebook sharing, we are going to be adding StumbleUpon, Google Plus and Pinterest in the very near future.”
Promote Your Post on Facebook
For one reason or another, it's a bit harder to get people to share your post on Facebook than it is on Twitter.
Here are some suggestions to help you to promote your new post on Facebook.
Replace Facebook “Like” button with “Share” button
To tell you the truth, it wasn't easy to find any evidence supporting my gut feeling that a Share button is better than a Like button.
The main obstacle was the fact that Facebook seemed to be very much like Google – in a constant state of menopause: unpredictable with widely-ranged mood swings.
I did finally find a couple of posts written recently enough to still be applicable and by people whose opinion I respect.
So for further reading on the subject, check out:
- Kristi Hines' Facebook Share vs. Facebook Like Button (at SEM-group.net)
- Ryan Hanley's Share Button vs Like Button For Best Facebook Exposure (at BasicBlogTips.com)
It basically comes down to how Facebook determines whether and how many of your Facebook friends/fans will actually see your updates.
Just in case it comes as a surprise to you, the number of your Facebook fans serves as great social proof, but that's about it.
Now you need to prove to Facebook that your updates are actually worthy to be seen.
In other words, you need to increase your EdgeRank.
What is EdgeRank?
Read What is EdgeRank?
What does it have to do with the Share button?
Here's everything you need to know:
As a general rule, it’s best to assume Edges that take the most time to accomplish tend to weigh more.
For engagement Edges we generally say Shares > Comments > Likes > Clicks.
For content type Edges we’ve seen Videos > Photos > Status Updates > Links.
Since Shares take more effort, it's assumed that the more Shares you get, the better EdgeRank your Facebook fan page will have, the more of your fans will actually see your updates.
When you see the number of “Shares” in my social sharing bar to the right of this post, the actual number includes shares, likes, and comments on the post on FB.
If you really want to know how users interact with your post (i.e. what kind of reactions each post gets), use this somewhat complicated command:
Replace the first bolded text with your URL and the second one with your post slug, and paste the entire thing into your browser.
You'll see something like this (this is how my 82 FB shares on my recent Empower Network bash parsed):
Yep, this is how I have fun…
Alright, enough about the buttons.
Use Twitter Tools Mentioned Above
I've already mentioned that both JustRetweet and ViralContentBuzz can be used to share your content on FB as well as Twitter.
Use CommentLuv Premium
If you have CommentLuv Premium installed on your blog, use Facebook to entice your commentators to give you a “Like” in order to get a choice of their latest posts.
I personally choose Facebook Like as the ONLY option for CommentLuv links.
The reason is I find it harder to get more Likes/Shares than Retweets.
Since I believe that Facebook might carry more weight with Google than Twitter does, I do strive to get those Likes up and CommentLuv Premium does an excellent job in helping me with that.
Of course, I also like to go with the flow and change things up a bit.
Learn more about my personal CommentLuv Premium settings here.
To stop admiring other bloggers' CommentLuv Premium and get your very own copy:
Promote on Other Social Media Networks
After I am done with blasting my newly published post on Twitter and Facebook, I turn to Google+ and Pinterest to add the cherry to the cake.
Yes, GooglePlus is still very much alive and kicking.
There's a lot of engagement going on there, and TGC consistently gets a fair amount of traffic from it.
A few pointers on maximizing your G+ promotion:
1. Add a description with a compelling call to action.
Posting your update without a comment is… well, a waste of a good opportunity.
Not only did SeachEngineLand include a short comment on their update, but they also mentioned +MajesticSEO AND included a hashtag.
These simple additions gained them more visibility on G+.
2. Know who to share with
This is my personal pet-peeve.
It seems like many bloggers are still clueless as to how to properly share their updates with the circles.
They end up overwhelming their circles with trivial updates and when something that's actually worth reading comes up (like your newly published post), their circles just ignore it.
Here's how to properly share your updates:
- Public: anything generic, as in “look at this awesome photo!” should be shared as “Public” only.
- Your circles/Extended circles:more important updates, like your newly published blog posts, should be shared with circles as well.
- Email your circles: my suggestion – DON'T do it. This is NOT your email list and you shouldn't treat it as such.
Despite the fact that interest in Pinterest for marketing purposes is cooling off (unless you are in a cute cat or bacon business, of course), I still like to share my posts on Pinterest.
And yes, I still drive a decent enough amount of traffic from it.
I usually pin the same post onto several different boards using the following three methods:
- Promote your blog post
…by pinning it directly from post (i.e. using the “Pin” button to the right).
When you do that, the image will link directly to your post.
As you can see, I also like to add another link to the post in the description.
Reason: when you repin your pin, it won't link to your post any longer (like you see at the top of the image).
Rather, it will link back to your Pinterest profile, like this:
That way your link will travel with the image no matter how many times it's repinned.
- Promote your Pinterest profile (and your blog)
…by repinning the post onto several other boards.
After I pinned the post directly to 2-3 relevant boards (be careful, you don't want your Pinterest followers to see the same image pinned to every board you have!), I'll repin it to a couple of other community boards.
If you have no idea what any of it means, take a look at my post about driving traffic from Pinterest.
This is a great way to brand your Pinterest profile, whereas pinning directly from your blog brands your blog itself.
- Create social proof (and promote your blog post)
…by repinning what other people shared from your blog.
Here's what you do:
1. See who has pinned your post(s) onto their Pinterest boards.
Go to: http://pinterest.com/source/YourWebsite.com/ (don't forget to replace the bolded part with your domain name).
You'll see everything that other people pinned from your blog, like this:
Huge THANK YOU to all who promote TGC!
Now let's say I take Carolyn Mohr‘s pin from one of my post.
I'll go ahead and repin it to my Zlistic community board and here's the result:
This way I still got all my links (I added the one in the description when repinning it – for good luck 😉 ), AND got proof that I wasn't the only person who liked Traffic Generation Café.
Note: It seems like no matter how many times an image gets pinned/repinned, it still links to the original source – your blog post in this case.
That's good news!
Promote Your Posts by Promoting Others
I could've mentioned this invaluable tip in any of the sections above – you should use it no matter where/how you are promoting your blog/newly published post.
Generously mention/link to other blogs in all your posts.
That's the biggest “not-so-secret” secret to successful blog promotion.
When you mention other blogs in your posts, you:
- Provide your readers with additional valuable resources;
- Show them that you are a giver;
- Build relationships with other bloggers without asking for anything in return;
- Increase your chances of being mentioned on other blogs.
In other words,
You end up promoting your own blog by promoting others.
And yes, I've got a few tips up my sleeves to help you maximize your “return on promotion”:
Don't go for the “big fish”
Sure you can link to the biggest blogs out there, but don't expect to be noticed by them.
You are not the only one vying for their attention.
Focus on blogs that provide epic content, yet are still small enough to actually pay attention to comments, emails, and social media mentions.
They are much more likely to return the favor.
ALWAYS let them know
Don't just assume that the other bloggers will somehow find out that you mentioned them in your post; TELL THEM.
There are three ways to do it:
- Via social media (include @TheirProfile in your status updates on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Pinterest).
- Via a comment on their blog (leave a meaningful comment on their post and say at the end “by the way, mentioned you here….”).
- Via email (use their contact form).
I've noticed that different bloggers prefer different communication channels.
Some closely monitor their social media, some are religious about responding to comments, some will only pay attention to a personal email.
Some won't respond no matter what you do.
Don't take it personally.
Always open outgoing links in a new window
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see many bloggers make: they forget to force all outgoing links to open in new tabs/windows, thus loosing their traffic to the blogs they mention.
Allow my daughter Emma to demonstrate:
(What's the point of having children if we can't use them to promote our businesses, right?
By the way, this is nothing; you should see how I “utilized” Emma on my internet marketing tools page.)
This one is very simple: when you add a link to your post, make sure to check the “Open link in a new window/tab” box.
Side note: make sure ALL your external links open in new windows, including any ads you might have in your sidebar, links to social media profiles, etc.
ALWAYS link to a post, not homepage
I can't believe I forgot to mention this – thanks to Danny Iny for reminding me in comments:
“One thing I’d add is that if you’re linking to someone, always link to a specific page or post, rather than the homepage – that way there’ll be a pingback to let them know.”
This is VERY important.
When you link to one's home page, they never get a pingback notifying them about the link.
That's why you want to make sure to link to a specific post; just like I did in every single mention in this post.
Thanks for the reminder, Danny!
Promote via Speedlinking Posts
Speedlinking, roundups, mashups – all roads lead to posts that curate the best content on the web.
“Best content” is, of course, in the eyes of the beholder, i.e. the publishing blogger.
The keys to promoting your content via roundups:
- Write stellar content (no one will mention it unless it's worth its salt);
- Build relationships with the publishing bloggers (don't just approach them with “how about mentioning my post?”);
- Only alert them to your best posts (don't be the boy/girl who cries wolf).
Here's a short list of blogs I know of that publish regular roundups:
1. Kristi Hines Kikolani.com
2. Anita Campbell SmallBizTrends.com
Best way to make SmallBizTrends roundups: be active at BizSugar.com.
3. Danny Iny FirePoleMarketing.com
4. Francisco Perez IBlogZone.com
5. Ryan Hanley RyanHanley.com
6. Nick Stewart NicksTrafficTricks.com
7. Laura Crest SEOCopywriting.com
If you know of others, let me know in the comments.
Other Ways to Promote Your Posts
A while ago, I published So You Published a New Post, Now What?, where I talked about all the steps I took to promote every new blog post.
With all the changes in the blogosphere and Googlesphere, I feel that a lot of that advice is now obsolete.
Sure you can bookmark your post with various social bookmarking sites like BlogEngage, BizSugar, Blokube.
However, without being an active member of those communities, your promotion effort turns into a useless bookmarking link that won't bring any traffic and definitely won't help your SEO.
The only other point that I believe is still very much relevant for promoting your blog posts is this one:
Comment on other blogs
Blog commenting won't, most likely, result in a huge surge of traffic to your post, but it WILL do the following:
- make your face recognizable throughout the blogosphere (make sure you use your real picture for gravatar!);
- build relationships, not just with the blogger, but with their readers as well;
- might bring a few visitors, especially when commenting on CommentLuv enabled blogs;
- will build links to your content (won't help you rank on the first page for a competitive keyword, but is good for SEO nonetheless.).
I, for one, always check out first-time commentators' blogs, as well as click on interesting titles in CommentLuv links.
Bottom line: every time you publish a post, make it a habit to comment on 5 blogs (I prefer CommentLuv blogs since you can leave your newly published post link via CL).
This little habit could lead to great things for your blog.
WARNING: You should always, always, always check what a commentator is linking to before approving comments.
This will prevent you from linking out to bad neighborhoods.
My habit of checking out the websites before linking to them served me well the other day: an innocent-looking link and a quality comment lead me to a porn site.
Email your list?
Sure you can email your list (I assume you already have one, right? If not, click here.) to tell them about your new blog posts.
However, why waste the precious trust you've built with your subscribers by emailing them about every piece of content you publish?
That's what RSS feed is for.
I'd reserve your emails for exclusive advice your subscribers can't find anywhere else.
If you do that consistently, you'll earn the right to let them know about your pillar content AND bring a good amount of traffic back to your blog.
If you'd like to see how I do my email marketing, feel free to join Traffic Generation Café email subscribers.
This is the bare minimum I do for every blog post I publish.
Looks like too much work?
I beg you pardon – writing this post was too much work; implementing the steps won't take that long.
Plus, what are your options?
Put several hours into crafting a post and then rely on a blog fairy to get it discovered?
Get to work!
Oh wait, before you go: if you found this post valuable and thought your readers/followers might benefit from it as well, share and link away!
Just use the buttons to the right and let the blog post promotion begin.