Now that you have a blog, your next priority is to grow it. Here’s a very detailed guide to help you build up your blog through content creation, optimization, promotion, and collaboration with other bloggers. With these actionable steps and strategies, you’ll learn how to show up on search results and on social media, get more people to your blog, and create a dedicated base of readers.
Create and update
The single best thing you can do to grow your blog is to simply grow your content. That doesn’t just mean writing more blog posts, but also writing better and writing consistently. You want to create content that your readers will find valuable and meaningful, something better than your competition, and you want to do that on a regular and committed basis.
But don’t just focus on creating new content – you also need to continuously update and maintain your existing blog posts as doing so results to higher search rankings, more traffic, and better conversions.
Let’s go over some tips to help you build up your content the right way.
1. Create valuable content
It’s not enough to write more blog posts, you have to write blog posts that matter. If you want other people to find and grow fond of your blog, then you can’t just write for yourself – you have to write for them, too. That means your blog should offer value to other people, either through information, instruction, entertainment, or otherwise.
Your content should be answering people’s questions, providing solutions, addressing pain points, teaching new knowledge, offering insights, giving advice, keeping them entertained, or making them inspired. Your posts should leave visitors fulfilled, satisfied, richer for the experience of having read what you had to write.
Whether you’re putting together new kitchen recipes, guides on how to travel solo, tips and tricks on motherhood, or lists of must-read detective fiction novels, you want your audience to know that your blog is useful and interesting, that it is the place they should come back to every time they need help.
Remember, to get people to spend valuable time on your blog, you have to offer them something valuable in return, something worth their precious time and attention.
2. Create content around the right keywords
When people search for something on the Internet, they usually don’t type in a whole sentence, paragraph, or chapter. They type in (or speak) a word or two or a short phrase. Those are called keywords. They’re the main terms or phrases that represent people’s search queries. For example, when you’re interested in creating your own blog, you usually type in the keywords ‘how to start a blog’ on Google.
As a blogger, it’s your goal to match your content with what people are searching for. You want to write for these searchers; you want to tell the answers to the questions they’re asking. That means building your content around the right keywords. If you can provide the closest, most relevant, and most helpful answer to a certain query, you win the top spot in Google’s search results – that means you’ll get most of the traffic (and profit).
Your keyword strategy begins by finding the right keywords to write about. That involves doing research to find out what people are typing in the search bar. It also involves finding out what search queries in your niche are popular. Google Trends can help you with that.
Next, you have to target long and specific keywords – called long-tail keywords – rather than short and vague ones. Think of ‘how to start a blog’ rather than just ‘blog’, or ‘best phones for photography under $500’ rather than just ‘phones’. Long-tail keywords essentially signal that the user has already something specific in mind, they know what they want, and if it’s a product, then they’re close to buying it. Target long-tail keywords, and its going to be you who makes that sale (and that profit).
Then you have to make sure your keywords are found all over your article – in the title, URL, headings or subheadings, content proper, etc. But don’t just stuff in keywords –make sure they fit your content logically and naturally. Plus, keyword stuffing is bad, for users, for search engines, and for you. Remember, you’re writing about keywords, not writing in keywords.
Finally, know that you don’t have to write a separate article for every keyword – you can write about multiple related keywords in one long, helpful, detailed, and definitive article. For instance, if you’re writing about ‘best phones for photography under $500’, you could turn it into a larger article on the best phones for photography at every price range (under $500, under $1,000, etc.).
3. Create better content than your competitors
It’s not enough that you’re writing unique and useful blog posts. Every other blogger out there is doing that (or at least trying to). To stand out from the crowd, you need to go the extra mile and create content that’s better – much, much better – than the competition.
So make your posts longer, more comprehensive, and better researched. Use simpler language to make your articles easier to read and understand, and a more organized structure (headings, subheadings, sections, bullet points, etc.) to make them easier to follow.
Have a catchier headline, more captivating intro, and more compelling storytelling. Include other content types that your competitors aren’t using (or using much of), like high quality images, infographics, animations, videos, etc. Keep your content regularly updated, and make them more shareable through social share buttons.
Ultimately, to outrank the competition, your content should offer more value than anyone else’s. You shouldn’t just be able to answer more questions – your answers should be better, your information more thorough, and your insights more in-depth.
4. Create consistently
As a rule of thumb, the more frequently you publish new posts, the easier it is to rank higher on search engines and build organic traffic.
But how often you should be posting new content depends on several factors. For one, if you’re working alone or with others: a one-person blogging team might struggle to create consistently, while a staff of writers can easily churn out content after content. Another is the nature of your posts: long, in-depth, and well researched articles take more time to create.
In general, however, most experts agree that blogging two to four times per week provides the highest results in both traffic and conversions. So aim to be consistent with that. But remember, quality beats quantity – always. Don’t blog just to reach your target number of outputs per week. If you do, then the quality of your posts might also suffer, and you might yourself suffer from burnout.
5. Update old content
Your work doesn’t end after you hit the publish button. You still have to do a lot of support and maintenance work after that.
You need to review and update your old posts to reflect newer, more accurate, or more relevant information. You need to link them to and from more recent entries, regularly check on their SEO, give them a new format or layout, add images or videos, and ensure everything is up to quality standards.
Updating old content is important – you get higher search rankings, more traffic, and better conversions. In fact, did you know that updating an old blog post the right way can result to as much as a 70% increase in organic traffic? And a 362% traffic increase isn’t at all impossible!
6. Use an editorial calendar
To help you create and commit to an effective content strategy, you need an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar, simply put, is a schedule or timeline of the tasks you need to do on your blog. It’s mostly about what blog posts are you going to write, when are you writing them, and when do you plan on publishing them. But it’s also about tasks other than content creation, like when are you updating old posts, sharing your content on social media, responding to comments, applying to affiliate programs, pitching to potential sponsors, etc.
Using an editorial calendar gives you plenty of benefits, such as:
- Strategic planning. An editorial calendar shows you the big picture – it shows you where you need to go (short-term and long-term blogging goals), how to get there (content type, topic, audience, etc.), and when you should get there (schedule or timeline).
- Effective time management. An editorial calendar allows you to budget your time efficiently, ensuring that blogging tasks that matter more receive priority. Also, the definite deadlines make clear what you’re expected to deliver and when.
- Organization. A systematic approach to blogging provides structure and clarity. You know what, when, where, how, and why things will happen. You can control your time and resources. You can remove distractions and focus on the tasks that matter.
- Eliminate writer’s block. Since you have content ideas prepared beforehand, and have planned what to write and when, you avoid the frustration and failure of a creative slowdown. You also avoid wasting valuable time.
- Diversified content. Because you can plan out your content ahead of time, you can guarantee that your posts aren’t all the same boring types. You can mix and match different types of content, identify both topics you aren’t covering or are covering too much, inject new ideas, and ensure every blog post is fresh and interesting.
- Relevance. An editorial calendar helps make sure that you’re publishing the right content at the right time, that you can prepare for seasonal events as well as keep up with current goings-on.
- Increased traffic. The more posts you have, and the more often you publish, the more traffic you can attract. An editorial calendar helps you be consistent with your publishing cadence, and keep you on track to accumulating meaningful content.
- More profit. Ultimately, posting useful and relevant content at a timely and consistent schedule means more traffic, more successful conversions, and thus more money.
For your editorial calendar, you can use something as simple as a regular calendar, a bit more advanced like a spreadsheet, or something altogether digitally bespoke like a project management tool (Trello, ProofHub, etc.).
But whatever tool you decide to use, your editorial calendar should have a clear and definite timeline or schedule. You want to establish how long your content plan is (year, quarter, month, etc.), what your blogging goals are, how often you’ll be writing and publishing, and what content you need to write (type, topic, keyword, audience, etc.) and when, among other things. And don’t forget to plan for other blogging tasks other than content creation.
Note that these are just a few of the tips and tactics you can do to grow your blog, content-wise. There are plenty more, but these are simply some of the most important and most pressing. You should know that these tips don’t work separately, but in tandem. You need to apply them all for the best results. And don’t be frustrated if they don’t work immediately. Remember, great things take time. Blogging is no exception.
There are plenty of sources you can get traffic to your blog from. But far and away the best source is still Google (and search engines in general). Free search engine traffic (as opposed to paid search ads), otherwise known as organic traffic, remains the largest source of traffic out of all channels. In fact, did you know that 53% of all site traffic comes from organic search alone?
Organic traffic isn’t just the largest, it’s also long-lasting and consistent. And did I mention it’s free?
Knowing all that, it’s important to make sure that Google (and other search engines) knows that your blog exists. And not just that. You also want Google to think that what you have to offer is the best possible there is. You want Google to promote your blog, to show your blog posts on page one, at the top search results, at the number one spot if possible. Because the first position on Google’s page one alone already gets 32% of all clicks.
And that’s where SEO comes in. As mentioned earlier, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving your blog, page, or post so you can rank higher in organic search results.
Now, SEO is a difficult thing to master. It can be overwhelming, especially to beginners. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert on SEO to reap some of its benefits. In fact, there’s plenty of quick tips and actionable steps you can do to ensure that your blog has the SEO basics covered. Here are the best ones:
1. Install a good SEO plugin
One of the easiest and savviest things you can do, SEO-wise, is to install an SEO plugin on your blog. A good SEO plugin helps you optimize your content, keywords, and readability, and over all improves your site’s rankings on search engines.
As it stands, Yoast SEO (the one you got) is the most popular and most recommended WordPress SEO plugin out there – and for good reason, too. It comes with tons of features to optimize your website, including built-in content analysis and sitemap management. Most of what Yoast SEO does is automated, but it still requires plenty of input and decisions from you.
2. Make your site mobile-friendly
As of the latest figures, mobile devices now account for nearly 55% of all web traffic worldwide. While desktop devices remain important, particularly in the US (where total web traffic is 50% desktop and 46% mobile), mobile web traffic is only expected to grow in the future.
Google knows this, and that’s why it has updated its algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly sites. In fact, mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of your site’s content for indexing and ranking.
And now that you know this, you in turn need to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. For starters, you need to ensure that your site is responsive, which means it will automatically adapt to the size of the screen used, especially on mobile devices. Keep your web design simple and functional. Make your fonts and buttons large enough. Compress images and huge files. And avoid ads and popups that block your content.
3. Improve site speed
Everyone hates slow websites and pages that load too long. That includes Google (and other search engines). In fact, page speed is a ranking factor in Google searches.
To improve your blog’s speed, you need to choose the right web hosting provider (like Bluehost), use CDN (content delivery network, like the one Bluehost provides), pick a fast and lightweight theme, compress and optimize images, minimize plugins and widgets, and reduce the number of ads displayed (if you do have ads), among others.
Remember, 47% of users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
4. Create a sitemap
A sitemap (or XML sitemap, with XML meaning extensible markup language) is simply a list of all the pages (including posts) on your website. It’s meant for search engines, not people. It’s there to help Google (and other search engines) find and index all of your site’s content and understand your website structure (what pages link to what, etc.) for easier navigation.
While a sitemap is a must-have for huge websites with lots and lots of pages, it’s also beneficial for small beginner blogs. It helps Google find your newly created pages and posts quickly and allow visitors to find your blog in the search results.
Fortunately, you don’t have to create a sitemap on your own. Yoast SEO does it for automatically. Simply click SEO on the lefthand menu on your WordPress dashboard, then FEATURES, and you can see that the toggle for your XML sitemap is turned on by default. If you want to take a look at your own blog’s sitemap, click the question mark icon, then click SEE THE XML SITEMAP (Note: all the links you’ll see on your sitemap are clickable).
5. Link a lot
One of the most effective things you can do to improve your blog’s SEO is to build links, and to build a lot of it. You want links within your blog, from your blog, and especially, to your blog.
Links within your blog are known as internal links. You’re basically linking related pages and posts within your own site. Internal links connect your content and help Google understand the structure of your blog. The more links a page or post of yours gets, the more important it seems to Google, and the more chance it ranks higher.
External links, or outbound links, on the other hand, are links from your blog to other websites or online resources. These links are used when you quote information from pertinent websites, refer to related online materials for further reading, and credit your sources, among others. Linking to high quality and relevant sources helps build trust and authority, and helps Google understand your blog better and how to rank you.
Finally, backlinks, otherwise known as inbound links, are links directing towards your blog from other websites. Every backlink is like a vote of confidence – it shows you that your content is valuable and worth referring to. The more backlinks you get from relevant, trusted, and authoritative websites, the more important you seem to Google, and the better your chance at ranking higher.
6. Follow a simple and logical URL structure
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator), also known as a web address, is a reference to the location of a specific website, page, or file on the Internet. It’s the link on your browser’s address bar when you visit a website or a webpage.
For best SEO, you want to choose a simple and logical URL structure for your own blog. That just means your URLs should be understood by people. To help you do that, you want to:
- Use lowercase letters. Most URLs on the Internet are in lowercase form (as opposed to mixed or uppercase). It’s what people have come to expect and it’s easier to read. And keep all your URLs standardized in that form.
Not recommended: https://www.eXAmPle.com/SamPLe-pAGe
- Use readable words rather than long id numbers. You want your URLs to be simple, intelligible, and descriptive.
Not recommended: https://www.example.com/ index.php?id_sezione=360&sid=3a5ebc944f41daa6f849f730f1
- Separate keywords with punctation. This helps users and search engines identify concepts in your URL easier.
Not recommended: https://www.example.com/samplepage
- Use hyphens (-), not underscores (_). It’s difficult to see underscores when the URL is published as a bare link (there’s a line underneath links, remember?).
Not recommended: https://www.example.com/sample_page
- Consider removing dates. Future-proof your URLs. Past dates on URLs, especially on evergreen content, make them look obsolete and irrelevant.
Not recommended: https://www.example.com/sample-page-2020
You can check your blog’s default URL structure by going to the lefthand menu on your WordPress dashboard, hovering or clicking over SETTINGS, then PERMALINKS, which opens a panel where you can customize your URL settings. Note: you can change your URL structure only if your blog is newly created from scratch. But if your blog has been around for a while with lots of posts, absolutely do not change anything – it can ruin your site!
You can, however, change your pages’ and posts’ URL by going to that specific page or post and editing the URL SLUG.
7. Use the right keywords
While keywords aren’t as important as they were before to SEO, they still do matter. So you still want to pay them close attention.
That means it’s still important to carefully research for the right keywords and build relevant and engaging content around them. It’s still essential to prioritize long-tail keywords over short-tail keywords. And it still matters that your keywords appear in your post titles, URLs, headings, subheadings, meta descriptions, alt texts, etc.
But keyword stuffing should be avoided at all costs. There’s no value in cramming keywords to your article to the point that it becomes altogether unintelligible. It won’t improve your SEO. You’ll only be creating a negative user experience. And you’ll even be penalized by Google.
Instead, your goal should be to write naturally, and your keywords (or synonyms) should fit in logically and organically with your content.
The bottom line: yes, keywords still matter to SEO, but don’t get hung up on them. Focus instead on creating helpful and meaningful content that provide real value to people – now that’s much better for SEO.
8. Use the meta description tag
The meta description tag is a brief summary or snippet of a page or post in your blog. It’s the short text displayed beneath the title of an article or post in the search results. It’s meant to help people decide whether to click on your article or not. If it contains helpful information relevant to their query, it sells the click, and the more clicks you get, the better your ranking.
But if you haven’t prepared a meta description tag for your page or post, then Google will simply come up with its own – and sometimes, it’s a hit or miss. At times, the snippet it displays from your article is helpful to people, and at times, it’s not. So it’s always better to have your own meta description just in case.
You can craft your meta description tag for each of your page or post through Yoast SEO. Just open the editing interface for a particular page or post, find the Yoast SEO panel at the bottom, and input your meta description where it says so.
When crafting a meta description, keep it short and sweet – you can write as long as you like, but Google only displays a max of 160 characters. So make sure your meta description is concise, clickworthy, and contains your keywords in a natural and non-spammy way.
9. Don’t forget your alt text
Alt text, a contraction of alternative text, is just a written description of an image on a webpage. It appears in place of an image when that image fails to load on your reader’s screen.
Alt text is meant for people who can’t see the images on your blog, including those who use screen readers or have low-bandwidth connections. It’s also used by Google (and other search engines) to understand what the subject matter of your images are, and to better index and rank your blog.
So if you want to rank higher on search engines and gain more traffic, don’t forget to optimize your images with alt text. When choosing alt text, focus on creating helpful and information-rich descriptions that use keywords appropriately and naturally. Avoid stuffing your alt text with keywords – it results to negative user experience and to your site being seen as spam.
10. Optimize for people first
Although SEO is concerned with fine-tuning your website so it gets found by search engines, its ultimate goal is to connect people with content that’s helpful, engaging, and valuable. And that should be your goal, too. So yes, by all means, learn SEO. Master it. Apply it to your blog. But don’t forget that still the best way to bring people to your blog is create content that matters – to you, to search engines, and most of all, to other people.
Remember, these are just a few basic tips to help you make your blog SEO-friendly, to help it be seen and win in search engine results. As already mentioned, SEO is difficult. It takes a lot of time to learn it, and even longer to master it. And even then, you still have to contend with the fact that SEO is always changing even as search engines continually update their ranking factors, reconfigure their algorithms, etc.
Still, it is in your best interest to understand – and eventually master – SEO, as doing so will reward you with a large, long-lasting, and free traffic to your blog.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to write great content and hope people will find you. And even if you improved your blog for SEO, well, it takes a while before search engines will notice you. Yes, crafting and committing to a good SEO strategy can bring large, long-lasting, and free traffic to your blog. But it also takes about 6 months on average before you see an increase in traffic, while the full results are visible only after 12 to 24 months.
However, you can’t just sit idly by and wait for things to happen. Good things come to those who wait, sure, but better things come to those who go out and get them. So while waiting for your SEO strategy to yield results, you should be proactive and be out there promoting and endorsing your blog.
Promotion is just as important as creating and optimizing your content – if not more so. In fact, many marketers swear by the simple formula of spending 10% of your time writing a blog post, and the remaining 90% promoting it. So here are some of the very best channels you can use to get the word out about your blog – for free.
Email promotion is a tried-and-true-formula for endorsing your blog effectively and for free. Old-fashioned, maybe, but it’s worked before, it still works now, and it will likely work just as well in the future. Hence, why it’s been a favorite of bloggers ever since. Here are some reasons why you should love email marketing, too:
- Widespread. There are over 4 billion email users worldwide and over 7 billion email accounts. Over 3 million emails are sent every second. And 95% of people check their email every day.
- Effective. You’re 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet. Email is 40x more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook or Twitter. And email subscribers are 3x more likely to share your content on social media than visitors from other sources.
- High ROI. The average return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is $42 for every dollar spent.
- Profitable. About 4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something, compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media.
- Personalized. Delivering personalized emails that are relevant, interesting, and useful straight to your subscribers’ inbox can make them feel special and help build meaningful connections.
- Easy. Email marketing is simple and uncomplicated. Plus, opt-in plugins and email marketing platforms do most of the work for you.
- You own your list. Your list of email subscribers is your earned traffic. Google, Facebook, or any other platform can’t take it away from you. You can get traction and build traffic with your own email list even if you’re not getting any love from Google, even if search engines or social media decide to change everything.
How email promotion works is simple. It begins with you convincing your visitors to sign up on your email list. Offer them something worthwhile in exchange for their email address – apart from interesting and valuable content, of course – like free ebooks, online courses, stock photos, or anything related to your topic that your readers will find useful.
Once you have a list of emails, you can then send your subscribers promotional material – say an update about a new post or product, or even better, a newsletter or blog digest containing a roundup of your best posts for the month, quarter, or year, etc.
Beyond that, here are some more tips to help you succeed in email marketing:
- Install a WordPress opt-in plugin. Build your email list with a good opt-in plugin, which provides users with a sign-up form or page (pop-ups, sidebar opt-ins, in-post opt-ins, etc.) where they can opt to subscribe to more of your content, delivered straight to their email inbox. Note that you can’t send emails to people without their permission; you can only send to those who sign up and actually want to receive your content. You can use plugins like OptinMonster, Sumo, MailPoet, Holler Box, etc.
- Offer something worthwhile in exchange for emails. People will only part with their email if you offer them something valuable in return. Good, useful content is foremost among that. You can also offer freebies like ebooks, courses, webinars, cheat sheets, templates, discounts, etc.
- Join an email marketing platform. This is the software that allows you to create and send well-designed emails (like newsletters or blog digests) to your subscribers, and see important stats like open rates (what percent of your subscribers are opening your emails), click-through rates (what percent of them are clicking your links), etc. You have to set up an account with an email marketing platform and then connect it with your WordPress email opt-in plugin. Many email marketing platforms are free, but you need to upgrade to a paid premium account after a while to access more and better tools. The most popular include MailChimp, Moosend, HubSpot, SendInBlue, etc.
- Pick a sending schedule. Choose how often do you want send emails to your subscribers. Will it be weekly, monthly, etc.? Consider how often you’re publishing new content. Plus, you should know that sending too frequently might annoy your subscribers and lead them to unsubscribe, while sending seldomly might make them forget and lose interest.
- Send only your best content. Sending irrelevant or badly written or designed emails will make your subscribers think you’re spamming them. So make sure you’re only sending them the best content. Write clickworthy titles, subjects, and emails. Design your newsletters beautifully. And make sure your content is fresh and interesting.
- Call-to-action (CTA). Include a clear and attention-grabbing CTA on every email so your subscribers know what action you want them to take (buy a product, get the discount, read the article, share on social, etc.)
- Personalize. Did you know that personalizing emails, like addressing your subscribers by their first name, tend to deliver 6x higher transaction rates? Your subscribers’ first and last names are part of the sign-up form provided by your email opt-in plugin, and you can adjust the settings of your email newsletters (like using first names) on your chosen email marketing platform.
- Optimize for mobile. About 63% of emails are opened on mobile devices, so your emails should be mobile-friendly.
- Option to unsubscribe. Your subscribers have the right to unsubscribe to your content if they no longer want it. Show and tell them exactly how to do it (buttons, links, steps, etc.). And when they do unsubscribe, make sure you respect their choice.
- Measure engagement. See how your emails are doing by monitoring important stats like open and click-through rates. Track what email designs, titles, subjects, etc. work best for your users and what doesn’t, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
2. Social media
Social media sites are some of the most effective platforms to promote your blog on. With vast and diverse audiences, unlimited global reach, and easy to use tools to communicate and engage, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest could catapult your blog from obscurity to worldwide fame. And best of all, social media is free.
That said, not all social networking sites are built the same. Not all of them are compatible with your blog. While it’s perfectly understandable that you want to establish a presence on all social media sites, the fact is that each one of them requires valuable time and effort, things you’ll be constantly short of, especially when you’re juggling your schedule between content creation, site maintenance, promotion, and a host of other tasks.
The best thing you can do is to pick one or two of the most appropriate social media platforms and excel in those. So take a look at the some of the most popular and relevant social media sites and see where your blog is best suited.
- Facebook. The biggest social network worldwide, with roughly 2.91 billion monthly active users as per the latest data. Males account for 56.5% of global ad audience (those reached by ads), and females 43.5% (data reports only male and female). Meanwhile, over 31% of total ad audience are aged 25 to 34, the largest age group, followed by users aged 18 to 24, which account for 23% of total ad audience. India has the most Facebook users (reached by ads), at least 349 million, while the US comes in second at 194 million. Note that total number of users vs. total number of users reached by ads are different.
Best ways to promote your blog on Facebook are by creating a Facebook Page where you can share your blog posts, or by forming a Facebook Group where you can build a community for people who care about your blog, its niche, or other related topics. Add prominent images to your posts for more engagement. Plus, share juicy snippets, quotable quotes, interesting stats, etc. from your articles apart from just linking your posts wholesale.
- Instagram. With almost 1.5 billion monthly active users, it’s the fourth most-used social media platform. Females make up 48.4% of total ad audience, while males constitute 51.4%. The largest age group are users 25 to 34 years old, which account for 32% of total ad audience, while users aged 18 to 24 are at second at 30%. India (201 million) and the US (157 million) have the two greatest number of users (reached by ads) worldwide.
Instagram is all about the visuals (mostly). So promote your blog using only the best images and videos to capture your audience’s attention. Utilize Instagram Stories to share your blog content and don’t forget to include your Instagram handle with your blog or blog post URL posted there. And captions shouldn’t be an afterthought – write short but compelling and relatable descriptions that users will be emotionally invested in and that will drive them to your blog.
- Twitter. There are around 436.4 million users on Twitter worldwide. Of its total ad audience, 29.6% are female and 70.4% are male. The biggest age group on Twitter are users 18 to 24 years old, making up 28% of total ad audience, while the second biggest are users aged 25 to 34, or 24% of total ad audience. The US has the largest number of active Twitter users (reached by ads) at 77.8 million, while Japan ranks second at 58.2 million.
It’s Twitter, so when promoting your blog posts, your tweets should be short and sweet. Write something brief but provocative, or include an intriguing quote or statistic from your article. Add something visual – featured image, GIF, or video – for greater engagement. Retweet if your blog content gets tweeted by others. And remember to include your blog link on your bio.
- Pinterest. See the next section.
- LinkedIn. With 790.4 million users, it’s one of the largest social media platforms worldwide. Females constitute 43.4% of total ad audience, while males 56.6%. Members aged 25 to 34 account for the largest share of total global users, a whopping 61%, while users 18 to 24 years old make up the second largest, at 21%. The US (180 million) ranks first with the highest number of members (reached by ads), followed by India (81 million).
LinkedIn is a business-oriented site used by companies and professionals, so it’s not for all blogs. You can share your blog entries or write articles directly on the site (that link back to your blog). Take note – posts with images, especially larger images, get 2x higher engagement, while a video post is 20x more likely to be shared by members. Don’t forget to check your publication section and featured section on your profile – it’s there you can list and link your blog posts and encourage people to read them.
- TikTok. Global monthly active users number 1 billion, making it one of the world’s largest and most active social media platforms. Total ad audience is 56.1% female and 43.9% male. Users aged 18 to 24 make up nearly half of total ad audience at 44%, while those aged 25 to 34 account for more than a third, at 32%. The US has the most users (reached by ads) at 120.8 million, and Indonesia (87.5 million) has the second most.
Love it or hate it, TikTok is here to stay, and it’s growing really fast. It’s also an effective platform for promoting your blog. Create super short but interesting and entertaining videos about your blog posts, but mix it up with other non-blog content, especially viral/trending ones. Go for a Business Account instead of a personal one so you can access more analytics tools. And don’t forget to link your blog to your bio.
All social media platforms come with their own features, nuances, and caveats, and you should tailor your blog promotion strategy according to the platform you’re using. But there’s also plenty of things you can do that work for all platforms, namely:
- Create social share buttons. Make it easier and automatic for your audience to share your blog content with just a click or two. FYI, social share buttons are the little icons for each social platform which you can add to your blog or blog post for one-click sharing to social media. They sometimes come with your blog theme, or you can add them via a plugin like Smash Balloon, Shared Counts, Revive Social, Social Warfare, etc.
- Don’t forget to link. Make it easier for your audience to go directly to your blog or blog post by linking. Your links should be visible at all times. If possible, all your images or posts should be clickable links. And all your social profiles should have your blog links.
- Stick to a schedule. Find the optimal hours to post your content, as well as the optimal frequency of posting, and be consistent with those. Again, different social media platforms have different optimal timings, so plan accordingly.
- Stay in tune with the latest. When it comes to social media, jumping on the bandwagon is a good thing. Take advantage of trends, hacks, challenges, and other viral social media stuff, and use them to promote your blog.
- Maximize hashtags. Almost all social media platforms use hashtags. They allow your content to be easily discovered, engaged with, and promoted. For maximum effect, keep your hashtags simple, relevant, and not too many. Use trending hashtags whenever appropriate. And don’t forget to create your own unique hashtag/s for brand awareness.
- Optimize for mobile. The latest stats show that 91% or about nine in 10 people use mobile devices to access social media. This means your content for both social media and on your blog should be mobile-friendly.
- Track your Google Analytics. Keep an eye on your metrics. See what social media platform or campaign work best in sending your traffic and maximize your efforts there. Track where you’re performing bad and adjust your strategy.
Alright, so these are just a few tips you can use to promote your blog on some of the biggest and most used social media sites. If you’re a savvy social media user, then you can definitely add more to the list, so use all that social media knowledge and know-how to get the word out on your blog in the most effective and efficient way.
Out of all social media platforms, Pinterest deserves a section of its own, simply because it’s not like quite the others. Pinterest is a visual social site, just like Instagram. But it’s also a visual search engine (or a visual discovery engine, as it calls itself), just like Google Images. So really, Pinterest is a mix between a social network and a search engine.
Now you probably already know how Pinterest works. It allows you to collect or pin images and graphics from across the Web – they are called Pins – and curate them into your boards (think of them like pinboards in real life). You can create a board for every topic you want – vegan food, antigravity yoga, farmhouse decor, positive affirmations, etc. And you can also create your own Pins and upload them directly to your Pinterest account.
But what you probably don’t know is that Pinterest is quite the perfect platform to promote your blog. Here are some reasons why:
- Large and active. Pinterest has 444 million monthly active users, making it one of the biggest and most used social media platforms worldwide. In the US, Pinterest is the fourth most popular social media site, where it has the highest number of users among all countries.
- Positive. About 91%of people believe Pinterest is a positive place. Indeed, in one survey, 90% of respondents called Pinterest an ’online oasis’.
- Inspiring. Pinterest is a place to discover new ideas. Nine in 10 Pinners use the platform for purchase inspiration. About 85% say they use it to plan new projects. Around 98% say they try new things based on what they see on the site. And 77% of Pinners have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest.
- Lucrative. More than 47% of time spent on Pinterest is spent shopping. About 66% of Pinners are actively searching for products and services to buy based on what they on Pinterest. A whopping 85% of users have purchased a product inspired by Pinterest content. Also, Pinners spend 80% more in retail than consumers who don’t use Pinterest. And shoppers on Pinterest have 85% bigger baskets than shoppers on other platforms, and they spend twice as much per month.
- Effective. Bloggers have been using Pinterest to drive massive amounts of traffic and conversions to their blogs for years. After all, Pinners are 3x more likely to click to your blog or website to learn more about your product, service, or article than on any other social media platform. And Pinterest Pins have the longest average lifespan – about three months – compared to posts on Facebook (5-6 hours), Instagram (48 hours), or Twitter (15-20 minutes). In fact, your Pins could still be sending you traffic a year, or two, or even three after publishing it!
Promoting your blog on Pinterest is very straightforward. You simply create a Pin for your blog post, upload it on Pinterest, and when other users find your Pin, they can click it to go to your article. Or you can pin images from your blog post directly to your Pinterest boards. Here are some more useful tips to help you succeed in Pinterest:
- Set up a free business account. You get access to analytics so you can track and measure your Pinterest strategy, plus have the ability to open a Shop or run ads.
- Claim your website. You will receive the analytics for all Pins from your site, regardless if you or others did the pinning, and let people know where they can find more of your content.
- Create vertical and visually stunning Pins. Make sure your Pins are beautiful and can really attract eyes and attention. And make sure they have a 2:3 image aspect ratio – that means long images rather than square or wide.
- Write big and standout titles/text overlays. Your Pins should contain large and easily readable titles or text overlays that state the headline of your article, what action you want users to take, additional info, etc.
- Add your brand. Include your blog name or logo on every Pin you design, so people will know who or where to go to for similar content. Also, so your Pins won’t be stolen. Include your brand in a conspicuous yet tasteful way.
- Add ‘pinnable’ images to your blog posts. Make it easy for your readers to share your articles on Pinterest with beautiful, bespoke Pins.
- Add a Pinterest plugin to your website. Use a WordPress plugin to make it easy and instant for readers to share all your images on Pinterest with just a click or two.
- Create multiple Pins for the same article. Craft a variety of beautiful Pins for each of your blog entry to see what specific design, layout, or color works well for users.
- Pin during optimal times, and consistently. Bloggers and marketers say that the best days to pin are Fridays and Saturdays, and the best hours from 2 to 4 AM and 8 to 11 PM (Note that majority of Pinners live in the West – US, Canada, Western Europe, Brazil, Mexico, etc., so use the appropriate time zone). However, you can also pin multiple times a day every day. Timing is important, but consistency more so. Whatever schedule you choose, be consistent with it.
- Plan ahead. Pinners plan for seasonal events way ahead of time, and so should you. In fact, on Pinterest, Christmas planning starts as early as April!
- Optimize descriptions, everything. Pinterest is also a search engine, so optimize your Pin titles and descriptions, hashtags, board names and descriptions, as well as your profile name and description, with the right keywords.
- Track analytics. See how your individual Pins are performing, what design or title or pinning schedule works, and calibrate your Pinterest strategy accordingly.
These are just a few tips to help you maximize your Pinterest strategy. You’ll discover more on your own when you use Pinterest. But the best thing you can do is to stay on top of changes. Pinterest makes updates every now and then, some very minor, but others very big, so keep an eye out for those. Know what new things to look out for and know what current strategies still work and what do not anymore.
Note that these are but a few of the ways you can promote your blog effectively and for free. There are plenty more things you can do to get the word out on your blog, from something as simple as telling your mom, your friends, and your cat about your blog; going old-fashioned and sending out business cards with your blog name and link on it; to joining online forums like Quora and promoting your blog there in a natural and non-spammy way.
With all this talk of rankings and outdoing other bloggers, it can be easy to think that blogging is simply about competition. It’s not. It’s also about cooperation and networking.
Bloggers need other bloggers, and bloggers help fellow bloggers. It’s been that way ever since. Otherwise, the blogging community wouldn’t have been as successful, and the blogging story wouldn’t have been as colorful.
When bloggers work together, something creative happens, and there’s plenty of growth and profit for all to be realized. Here are some of the most common ways you can collaborate with other bloggers and grow your blog at the same time.
Networking with your fellow bloggers begins with something as simple as leaving a comment on their blog. Most bloggers enable comments on their website. It’s for visitors to share their thoughts and start conversations. And it’s also a good place to promote your blog.
When commenting, you want to do so with much tact and taste. You don’t want to simply leave a bare link to your blog and nothing else – it looks spammy that way and will be removed in an instant, or will not even be posted in the first place.
Instead, you want to contribute a sincere and well-thought-out comment suitable to the topic of the article, and then link your blog naturally. Your comment should be genuine – say an affirmation, a suggestion, or even a question directed at the author – and you linking to your blog should come off as logical and relevant.
Don’t worry. Many bloggers are familiar with this, as they themselves do it or have done it. Most will allow you to include links to your site, either via your name (as a commenter) or within your comment proper. Such links are often no-follow links, which means that they don’t contribute to SEO, but they still direct to your site nonetheless. When other people happen to read your comment, they can click on your link and go to your website, earning you visitors.
In return, it’s also a good idea to turn on comments on your blog, and allow fellow bloggers who have something genuine to say link to their respective blogs.
Another way you can connect with other bloggers is through links. As previously mentioned, it’s a good idea to link to other blogs and websites when you’re writing your own articles, whether it’s for citation, recommendation, etc. It’s not only a show of goodwill, it also helps with SEO. Plus, when you’re a big blog and you’re linking to smaller blogs, it really helps them out. A lot.
But even more important is to get your blog linked to from other blogs and websites, especially the big, popular, and authoritative ones. Remember inbound links? Well, when you’re a small blog and a big blog links to you, it’s a huge thing. It could help you out immensely. So you want to reach out to those big blogs and ask them to link to you. Of course, give them a valid reason to link to your blog – say you just created a post that includes them, etc.
And links aren’t just confined on your websites. Share the links of your fellow bloggers on your social media accounts, too. Tag them. Give them mentions. Give them shoutouts. Then reach out to other bloggers so they would do the same for your blog (again, give them a reason to).
3. Guest posts
This is basically just you writing articles for other blogs, usually for those that get far more traffic and attention, in exchange for them giving you a link to your blog or website. The idea is that you’re helping them build their content library for free with an interesting, relevant, and useful article, and they in turn are helping you gain traction by linking to your blog, promoting your article, and making people aware of your name and blog.
To find blogs that accept guest posts, you’ll have to do a lot of reaching out. Begin by looking up the big, popular, and profitable blogs and websites that dominate your niche and list down their email addresses. Once you have your list of emails, send them a message pitching your proposal for a guest post. Convince them that you have something worthwhile for them, an engaging, informative, and original article that ties in well with their content.
Now many of them won’t respond, unfortunately, especially if you’re just a tiny blogger. But some will do. So for those who give you positive replies, continue communicating with them until you reach a deal and you finally get to publish your guest post.
You could also go to the blogs or websites of potential partners and look for the button, page, or link that says ‘Write for Us’ or any variation of it. That’s usually a cue for guest posts or even freelance blogging work.
In return, when you yourself have found success in blogging, don’t forget those who follow after you. Don’t be afraid to accept guest posts from other people, especially if they’re offering genuinely interesting and useful content. Give them a chance at least, and don’t ignore their emails. Remember, guest bloggings is a win for both parties – you get a free article to add to your content library, and your guests will get some traffic to build their blog.
Remember, what you read are just some of the most common and effective ways you can grow your blog. You’ll be discovering even more creative ways to build up your content, traffic, and conversions as you go along. After all, growing your blog is meant for the long-term. It’s what you’ll be doing for as long as you choose to blog. The key is consistency. Don’t give up hope when things don’t work out fast. Be patient. Eventually everything will pay off – and I mean that literally, as you’ll soon find out in the next stage of your blogging journey.