When blog mega-hub Huffington Post sold to AOL in 2012 for over $315 million, it became abundantly clear that there is very real money to be made in blogging. While it’s true that over 80% of bloggers don’t make more than $100 total from blogging, nearly 10% made enough in 2012 to pay their bills blogging around 4 to 6 hours per day. Add-ons like Google AdSense, custom search, affiliate programs, or even a donation box can all monetize a blog; however, the main key to a lucrative blog is that people see it, spend time on it and come back frequently. Traffic is king. If you’ve been wondering how to promote your blog, here are some ways:
Love your topic
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s foundational to success, and not every blogger pays to heed. Is your topic something you would enjoy blogging about even if you didn’t make a cent? If you want to create a blog with longevity, it should be. You can’t fake passion, and if you don’t genuinely love your topic, readers will pick up on it.
Any blog, no matter, whatever is the niche of that blog, will never lack in the content, neither in concept nor in the amount of content in it. If you are aware of the recent trend of SEO, then you must be clear about the quality of the content; today, “Content is king,” and SEO has become more than content-oriented. People like to read a post that teaches them something so, post content on your blog with the title “How to,” “Top list,” and other types of interesting posts.
Your content must contain information that your reader cannot get that information anywhere else. Your content post must be well structured, spelling and grammar mistakes-free, and for better results, the content must be very interesting from the starting to the end. Your writing should have consistent value, be creative, and be impactful. The more appealing and well-written your writing is, the more readers will want to return to your blog again and again. Other bloggers will want to link to you; advertisers will want to partner with you. The most popular and influential blogs are unique and offer a fresh perspective, insider information, or eclectic and/or humorous.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Without SEO, a website or blog is nothing; instead, it is just a blank paper with nothing written on it. SEO is one of the most important parts of blog promotion that ranges from the on-page SEO of keyword research to the off-page SEO of blog submission to different websites. On-page SEO is the initial step you need to follow before writing any post. Choose the right keywords to add attractive descriptions and take care of the other things like keyword density, heading tags distribution, etc. Off-page SEO includes the submission of your post to high-quality websites to get quality backlinks for your blog. There are several off-page SEO techniques such as Social bookmarking, Forum posting, article submission, etc. Always watch out for the quality, not on the quantity.
SEO helps your blog to rise high in the search engines for your topic. Start by identifying the top-searched keywords for your topic; the Google Analytics tool can help. Next, use your keywords and key phrases naturally throughout your blog, about two to three times per 500 words of content. Use them in your post titles, Metadata, and tags. You should link to a few high-quality, relevant sites or sources within your blog posts and link to some of your own posts. Embed relevant images, infographics, and YouTube videos in your posts, too — search engines love rich, multi-media pages.
Spread the word using social media. When registering on social media sites, use your blog name as your username to index your blog rapidly. Announce each new blog post via Facebook and Twitter. Make use of Digg, Furl, Del.icio.us, etc., to make it easy for readers to bookmark your blog. Encourage readers to comment and retweet your posts.
Social media have a variety of users, and it is the best place to get maximum exposure to your blog. After you finished with your killer post, just share it on your social profile, including your main Facebook fan page, tweet about it, and pin it on your board. If you have not built a strong community on your social media profiles, then your post will fall flat.
Get your content in front of more sets of eyes by submitting posts to blog communities such as Blogcarnival.com, NetworkedBlogs, and BlogCatalog. Google indexes the blogs in these communities, and you’ll likely start getting an influx of followers from these sites.
The more places your blog is listed, the better, and submitting your blog to directories can be very powerful. How to promote your blog in directories? Find your relevant category or categories within them and have your blog listed. Directories like Technorati, ChangeDetection, thatMLMbeat, and BlogTopList are great places to start.
Submit your blog’s RSS feed to quality feed directories like OctoFinder and FeedAdage. They will then keep track of your posts and index them. When users click on your titles within these sites, they’ll be redirected to your original posts, resulting in more traffic to your blog.
How to promote your blog from the inside out? Setting up a Google Sitemap on your blog is well worth the time and effort to help to get your blog fully indexed. The higher your blog pages place in search engine result pages, the more traffic you’re likely to receive.
Pinging lets search engines know you’ve published something new and can help you rise higher in the rankings. Ping everything you publish, from articles to press releases to videos and podcasts. Some of the top pinging sites include PingMyBlog.com, Pingomatic.com, Pingler.com, FeedPing.com, and AutoPinger.com.
Share your content with millions of readers by submitting new blog posts to social bookmarking sites. Digg.com, Mix.com, and Delicious.com are some examples, and OnlyWire.com allows you to submit blog posts to 50 social bookmarking sites at once. Be sure to use appropriate tags and keywords within your bookmarks.
It is the best method of driving free traffic towards your blog. Guest posting is the best way to gain maximum exposure to your blog after submitting your content to the other blog of the same niche. Most of the guest bloggers provide an author bio section at the end of the post where you can get a link on your blog or your social profile.
Add and optimize your social share buttons
One of the best ways to attract new readers is to have existing readers tweet, Facebook Like, LinkedIn share, or Digg your content – the list of social networks goes on and on. Make sure to position social share buttons at the top and bottom of your post — and use popular button designs that people recognize instantly. Share buttons are like impulse items at the grocery checkout counter – they have to be obvious and appealing.
Promote your blog offline
Many businesses struggle to attract readers because they haven’t spread the word to their customer base. Add a link to your blog to email signatures. Talk about your blog in sales presentations and collateral. Consider offering customers a small incentive to subscribe, such as a coffee mug or a $5 discount on their next order. If the content is good, customers will see your blog as another benefit of doing business with you.
Make sure your blog has an email subscription option
Almost every blog has an RSS subscription form, but the problem is that tons of people don’t know what RSS is or how to use a feed reader. That’s why it’s critical to have an email subscription option displayed prominently at the top or near the top of your sidebar.
Add captions to images
Since readers will hone in on your post’s image before they start reading, why not add a caption that conveys a key benefit of whatever you are writing about? A simple caption such as “Learn How to Save 25% on Your Printing Costs” will certainly persuade someone to read further. Without the caption, the reader may not take the time to figure out why he/she should read the post.
Craft headlines for persuasion and SEO
Your post’s title will be read even more often than an image caption. At the same time, your title has a lot of SEO (search engine optimization) power, so it should contain keywords whenever possible. You can find all sorts of headline writing tips online.
Don’t advertise for the sake of advertising
Ads can be a real turnoff. Ads clutter the blog and distract from the content, and put questions in people’s minds about the motives behind your blog. Unless ad revenue is central to your blog strategy, it’s best to stay away from advertising altogether.
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