HTWB blog cartoonYou’ve set up your new blog, you’ve loaded up some great posts, and you’ve started to publish. How do you let your readers, customers and prospects know about it and make them eager to read it regularly?

Here are some very basic ideas for promotion

Use your email list. If you do a newsletter to your list, make sure you tell recipients about your blog. Depending on the frequency of your posts and your email newsletters, you can even send out an email alert each time a new post goes live on your blog, containing a short “taster” paragraph to encourage readers to click through to your site to read the whole article. Encourage recipients to share the news about your blog posts with friends and colleagues.

Use your Facebook business page to post links to your most recent blog posts. Join relevant business groups on Facebook and share those links with them.** Register your blog on NetworkedBlogs to attract more traffic. Check out my Facebook page here to see how it can look.

Set up a business Twitter account if you haven’t already and tweet announcements of new blog posts.**

Join Pinterest, set up a business board, and share your blog posts there.**

If you’re particularly business-orientated, share your blog posts on LinkedIn, and join relevant groups on there to share your posts.**

You can also join and set up a Google Plus business account and promote your blog on there.**

With Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus you can also set up your own groups (called “communities” on Google Plus) where you can share your own material and also curate other articles etc. of interest to your audience. Have a look at my Google Plus community here.

Also consider using bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, etc.

**Don’t overdo the promotion of your blog posts in Social Media

Much as your blog posts may be relevant and of interest to readers on Facebook, Twitter, etc., they will become resentful if all you ever do is stuff your own content in their faces. Be sure to balance your blog post shares with other useful information that helps – not sells to – your audiences.

WordPress sites

small_2493066577It seems that vast majority of new bloggers are using WordPress sites now and it’s not surprising as they are so easy to use, and can be made to look very professional and polished.

As far as I understand it, you can get a WordPress site for free, but its URL will contain the word “wordpress” which is kind of a giveaway. It actually doesn’t cost very much to have a paid-for version and in this case you can use whatever URL is appropriate for it, including a “dot com” if you can own it.

There are also ways of adding a blog facility on to an existing website, or linking a WordPress blog facility to your main website. To arrange this you need to talk to whoever does your IT.

This site is WordPress and I find it very easy to use. It offers all the plug-ins and toy-toys you would expect and I’m told it’s very easy to add in all the useful tools you need to get started, for example:

Sign-up box for your newsletter
Share icons so readers can share your posts easily
Sidebar links
Search facility
Spam filter
Visits/read stats

…and so-on. I am NOT a WordPress expert so rather than waste your time on my own (probably faulty) interpretation of what you need for a basic start-up kit, please visit The Blogmistress (a.k.a. Babs Saul) who looks after this, amongst many other sites. There is plenty of very helpful, easy-to-understand information on her site and she is always available to help you further. Plus, she really does know what she’s talking about but won’t charge you silly money for it.

Other promotion

Guest blogging on other people’s blogs is always a good way to spread the word about your own. Your direct competitors may not be too keen to invite you to guest blog for them!! However you may find there are a number of sites whose business activities are allied to your own and for whom you could provide specialized expertise. So check them out, contact them and ask. Be sure when you submit your post that you’re given a short bio at the end with a link to your new blog.

small__503600331 (1)Getting guest bloggers for your blog. Provided that you let guest posters include a bio and a link to their own sites, they will benefit from the extra publicity they’ll get if they guest for you. If you’re just starting out, however, people might not be willing to spend the time given that your audience is going to be small to begin with. Instead you might like to try interviewing them – see this article and this article for tips on how to do that successfully. The interviewees are still likely to promote the post as they won’t have had to do much work for it!

Commenting on other people’s blog posts, provided your comments are useful and constructive, is another good way to spread you and your blog’s presence around. For more on that topic have a look at this article here.

Business cards and other printed material. If your blog is going to be your main online presence, be sure that its URL is clearly included on all your printed business stationery.

Your email sig file. Don’t forget to make the most of this small sales opportunity … include your blog’s URL in your signature file, along with your contact details.

Good luck and watch this space for more help with your blog writing!

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family (don’t forget the Holiday Season is coming soon)…

photo credit: Mike Licht, via photopin cc

photo credit: Wesley Fryer via photopin cc
photo credit: Peet de Rouw via photopin cc