Having a blog is one thing; getting people to read it is entirely something else. If you write useful and relevant content, you’re off to a great start. Now you just have to get people to find your blog and share it.
1. Make It Easy to Share
People like sharing useful information. They don’t, however, like having to work to do so. Make it easy for people to click one button to share a blog post with their social networks.
There are dozens of share widgets, but some of the most user-friendly and visually appealing include:
The key is to keep the most commonly used sharing tools visible, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, Email and Digg. There are many other sites readers can share through, but if they’re less popular, they don’t have to be visible.
2. Do Your Own Sharing
Self promotion of your blog means you will need to share each and every post with your own networks. There are tools to help you do this automatically, which saves you the time and effort of manually Tweeting a post every time you write one.
Twitterfeed is great because you can set up your blog’s RSS feed to automatically post to Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn has an internal feature where you can display the last few blog posts on your profile.
Even social bookmarking sites like Digg have ways you can automatically feed your RSS into the submission process. Taking an hour or two to set all of this up can save you a lot of time later, and it will expand the number of people you reach with your blog posts.
3. Add Posts to Email Newsletter
Every time you send out a company newsletter (which should be once a month) be sure to include a list of recent blog posts. Link to each. I like to include a regular sidebar item with my newest posts.
You can track how many people clicked on these links through your email marketing platform.
4. Add to Your Email Signature
Another great way to encourage people to click to your blog is to include a link to it in your email signature. This can be a general link to the title of your blog, or if you’re more ambitious, you can constantly update your signature with your most recent post.
5. Leave Comments on Other Blogs
You can also participate in conversations on other blogs and leave the link to a related post on your own blog. A word of caution on this: many times people will link to their own blogs in an attempt to get more traffic, only the links aren’t relevant and are therefore considered spam.
Be sure the topic you’re commenting on is relevant and that the post you want to direct other readers to is one that will add to the conversation.
6. Guest Post on Other Blogs
Writing posts for other blogs on similar topics is a great way to introduce your brand and your blog to other readers. Look for blogs that cover the same or parallel topics and email the blog owner to see if he accepts guest posts. Normally you are permitted a bio section where you can link to your own site or blog. Keep the posts informative and not promotional in nature.
7. Use Great Keywords
In your blog posts, you want to use keywords that people are searching for. For example, if you blog about organic food, use a resource like Wordtracker’s Keyword Tool to find out what keywords people are searching.
A quick search shows these as the most searched keyword phrases:
- Organic food
- Organic food coupons
- Benefits of organic food
- Organic food retailers
By incorporating these keywords into your blog posts, you’ll increase your chance of being found in search engines when people are looking for sites with these phrases. Just remember to use the keywords naturally; don’t force them.
8. Get Internal and External Links
Google pays attention to what sites link to your own. Provide useful content and others will link to it without asking. You can also ask others to link to your site.
Additionally, link from one page of your blog to another. These are called internal links. Google rates you higher in search engine results when you have lots of relevant and valuable links from other sites as well as internal links. The higher you rank on search engines, the more people can find your content.
9. Join Blog Directory Sites
These are getting fewer and further between, but there are still good blog directories like BlogCatalog around where you can submit your blog. If yours is selected, your content will appear with content from other blogs in a digest form that allows visitors to click around on posts as they like.
10. Have Patience
Getting 10,000 monthly visitors to your blog won’t happen overnight. It takes time for people to find your content, share it and keep coming back for great posts. Build your strategy over time and incorporate all the tips here to steadily see more visitors to your blog.