The book starts by emphasising the importance of blogging, describing how to use both WordPress and Blogger. It then goes on to discuss other tools, such as Blog Talk Radio (for doing a radio show), YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and tracking tools. The Facebook section is quite detailed, with a lot of step-by-step instructions; the other sections are less so. But for a beginner’s guide, this does a good job of getting you started.
Your blog is one of the “Big Three” platforms for your on-line presence (the other two are your Web site and e-mail newsletter). I was just putting the finishing touches today on a webinar presentation I’m giving tomorrow about blogging, and one of the slides covers one of the most common questions people ask me: “How do I promote my blog?”
It’s a good question, because you can’t just publish a blog and hope it will promote itself (or that Google will discover it and magically push it to the top of its search results!)
So today I’ll give you 21 ways to promote your blog. I don’t have space to go into these in detail, but I hope they will give you enough ideas for your own blog (If you’re an eGurus member, you can ask me about any of these and I’d be happy to explain how you can apply it to your own blog).
- Add to your e-mail signature: Show your Web site address and your blog address.
- Link to it from your Web site: Some people will find your Web site before your blog, so include a prominent link to the blog on the Web site itself.
- Link to it from your newsletter: Direct people to your blog from time to time, perhaps to add their comments to your newsletter article.
- Tweet every blog post: You can automate this using TwitterFeed.com, so that every blog post is tweeted automatically.
- Tweet it again: Tweet your best blog posts again, on different dates and times, for people who missed it the first time.
- Add your posts to Facebook: TwitterFeed also does the same thing for Facebook.
- Show it automatically in on-line community profiles: Some on-line communities allow you to show your blog posts automatically on your profile page.
- Show it on your LinkedIn profile: You can configure LinkedIn to show your blog posts automatically.
- Add it to your business card: As with your e-mail signature, show your Web address and your blog address.
- Include it in handouts: Encourage your presentation attendees to visit your blog (and explain why, of course)
- Include it in your books and e-books: Promote your blog prominently in other material you publish.
- Add it to articles and “tip sheets”: Include your blog address prominently on these shorter publications as well.
- Give permission for people to reprint the tip sheets: This gets your blog address out to their networks as well.
- Mention it in presentations: An obvious choice for presenters, but many presenters only promote their Web site address!
- Participate in relevant on-line communities: Actively participate in on-line communities, and people will be more likely to check out your Web site and blog.
- Comment on other blogs: Find relevant blog posts on other people’s blogs, and add your comments.
- Write guest articles for other blogs: Find related blogs that complement yours (and reach the right market) and offer to write a guest article.
- Submit articles to article directories: Publish to places like EzineArticles.com and include your blog address at the bottom of each article.
- Mention it in a podcast: Mention your blog in your podcast (which is an audio newsletter), so listeners can follow your blog as well.
- Invite people to comment on it: For selected blog posts, find colleagues and clients who could have something to say, and e-mail them to ask them to add their comments.
- Write great content!: Finally, write high-quality content regularly, and you’ll find that people and Google alike will promote your blog for you.
Even if you can’t use all of these ideas yourself, I’m sure you can find some that are right for your blog.
My sister e-mailed me last week to show me the first blog post from my six-year-old nephew Riley:
Blogging really is one of the simplest and most effective ways to demonstrate your authority, keep in touch with followers, and prove you’re up-to-date in your area of expertise.
And if it’s easy enough for a six-year-old, what’s stopping you?
One of my colleagues recently asked me:
“I am getting into my blog. I need assistance in ways I can really “make this fly” as I am realising that it is a great way for me to put my IP into practical use for people. So, I’d like you to visit the blog and then help me find ways to drive people to it.”
I replied with a series of suggestions, which I’ll share here with some minor editing to preserve confidentiality:
- Every time you write a blog post, tweet it.
- Subscribe to other blogs about [your topic area] and comment on them whenever they mention your topic.
- Find and participate in on-line communities on these topic areas.
- Add the blog address (INSTEAD of your Web site address) to the bottom of your one-page “tip sheets”.
- Give these tip sheets away to selected colleagues for them to distribute.
- Link to it from your Web site.
- Make it appear automatically in your Facebook profile.
- Make it appear automatically in your Thought Leaders Central profile.
- Make it appear automatically on your First Step Community profile.
- Add a link to it in your LinkedIn profile.
- Start a group in Thought Leaders Central.
- Incorporate it into some interesting group activity for [a regular networking group he facilitates] (e.g. Print 10 blog posts and use them as starting points for … ???)
- Go back to recent clients and offer them something similar (probably online).
- Find/start a group about [your topic area] at SpeakerSite.com.
The point is, it’s not just one thing. It’s about being passionate about your area of expertise, and then you’ll naturally find ways to promote your blog.
Question from a client:
“I was listening to a teleseminar by an expert on Blogging. She’s recommending WordPress, downloaded and installed on your own web site. I currently have a blog through Blogger that has done nothing. Can I use WordPress? Or do you have another recommendation?”
Answer: If you get really, really serious about blogging, WordPress is definitely better than Blogger. But if you’re like most Internet users (including me), Blogger is more than adequate. And it’s also much easier to get started with Blogger – no special installation stuff required.
80% of the work in blogging is in publishing a regular, high-content, valuable blog that demonstrates your authority as an expert in the field. If you’re not yet doing that, I suggest you focus on that first.
And unless it’s easy for you to install a WordPress blog (i.e. you know somebody who can do it for you), I suggest you start with Blogger. If you do eventually decide to switch to WordPress, it has a feature to import everything from a Blogger blog anyway.
Blogging is an extremely versatile medium. Even as just a tool for sharing your thoughts and building your credibility with the world, there are many different things you could do. In this presentation, Rohit Bhargava lists 25 ways to publish information in a blog.
When you write your blog, link back regularly to relevant pages on your Web site. For example, when we post a blog entry about something that’s related to one of our products, we end the blog post with a link to that product’s sales page.
I’ve heard of people using blogs to post articles (e.g. from a google news search) and comment on them. How do you automate that?
I discuss this at length in my e-book about blogs. Here’s a quick summary: Install the Google Toolbar from toolbar.google.com, so that you get a “Blog This” button. Then sign up to Google News Alerts at news.google.com to get news stories e-mailed to you. Then when you find a story that you’d like to comment on, click the Blog This button and it adds it to your blog.
How do you make real money from writing and managing blogs? Most of what I’ve seen indicates they take a lot of time but I’m yet to be convinced of where the return on that significant investment comes from (I see a return, just not a big return so my question relates to how to leverage the return to make it more interesting for me to even get started!)
There’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that there are bloggers who make a significant income from their blogs.
The bad news is that you probably won’t be one of them. Why? Because it takes time, effort, knowledge and persistence. The really successful bloggers make that their business model. For most experts, this isn’t the right approach. A blog should complement your business, not be it!
That said, if you’re still interested, here’s more about making money from your blog …
A blog is a certain kind of Web site. So one way to answer this question is to first ask, “How do you make money from any Web site?”
Here are some of the answers you might get:
- Promote products and link to a shopping cart;
- Demonstrate your credibility so that people trust you and hence buy your stuff;
- Write articles (in this case, blog posts) that provide information and then link through to products that go into more detail;
- Sell advertising on your blog;
- Send the media to it as a show of your expertise, so that you get free publicity for your business.
This is only a small sample of ideas; there are many more. There’s a lot of hype about blogs, and some of it is justified. But I think it’s useful to remember that a blog is just a Web site, so approach it from that angle first, and then look deeper.