I wrote a blog post – what’s next?
You’ve written a blog post – great! It feels good doesn’t it? Now that it’s written and published, obviously people will be flocking to read it…?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not going to happen, unless you’re a worldwide celebrity or member of the blogging Illuminati. For us mere mortals, the work does not stop when that blog post is published. The world is not eagerly awaiting your latest words of wisdom. “If you build it, they won’t come” is the truth of the matter.
I’ve previously written about the benefits of blogging for your business, how to generate ideas and write consistently. It’s worth a reminder here that blogging is not about self-promotion. It’s about providing useful, relevant content that your target audience finds interesting – and cultivating that audience over weeks, months and even years.
Let’s look at a few ways to get your amazing blog post noticed and read by as many of your target clients as possible.
We are all influenced by others – by what we read, what we watch and listen to. You should develop your own style of writing, just as you have your own ways of speaking and interacting with family, friends and business colleagues.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not – obviously this applies in every aspect of business. People are quick to spot a fake!
Use simple language.
Write as if you’re speaking to a friend or colleague who doesn’t have your level of specialist knowledge – think about how you’d explain something them in simple terms.
Don’t try to baffle people with technical jargon or complex descriptions (unless you are writing solely for an audience in the same industry as you). Always make it conversational and invite feedback.
Promote other blogs and bloggers.
As I said at the start, blogging is not all about you. If you’ve read a great post recently, and it’s relevant to the topic you’re currently writing about, include a link to that blog.
Hyperlink it with relevant keywords and you’ve given yourself an SEO boost as well as helping the other blogger. Share other blogs on social media too, if the topic is relevant to your audience. I do this all the time.
I use Feedly, a free RSS aggregator tool, to compile lists of relevant blogs that I can easily scan and pick out interesting and relevant posts to share. It’s not all about you!
Share on social media.
This is an obvious one but many bloggers forget that sharing a post just once isn’t going to work. Once you’ve written and published a blog post, you need to share it multiple times for as long as it’s relevant to your audience – which may well be years!
Yes there’s work involved, but there are many tools that allow you to automate social media posts. Having said that, I don’t recommend automating everything, because it looks bad and will likely reduce the reach of your posts.
I find Buffer particularly useful – if you install its Chrome extension, it’s very easy to share a snippet of your blog post – simply highlight the text you want to share, right-click and choose “share selected text”.
Choose which social network to share on and you’re done!
Appropriate social networks will vary according to your business, but in general I’d recommend Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the best places to share.
In particular, Facebook groups are worth spending time researching and joining those where your target clients are likely to hang out. Be aware though that each group has its own rules – don’t share blog or website links if that contravenes the group’s rules.
Just think – if someone in a group asked a question and you happen to have a blog post that provides an answer – wouldn’t it be worthwhile replying to their question and linking to your blog post? They’re very likely to go and read the post – and with any luck, explore more of your website too. I’ve used this strategy myself many times – the majority of my clients find me via Facebook.
For many business bloggers, Pinterest is a must. You may think of Pinterest as a social network, but it’s primarily a search engine, and a very effective one. People use Pinterest for research and they are often on there with the intent to buy. I’ll come back to Pinterest later when I discuss images.
Repurpose your blog posts.
It would be silly not to mention this in an article about getting your blog posts noticed. What do we mean by repurposing?
A blog post is a piece of written content – generally 500 words or more in length. When you’ve written a piece of that length, it gives you many shorter snippets that you can use for:
- Facebook posts
- Instagram posts
- LinkedIn articles or posts
- Pinterest pins
You could also record a video of yourself talking about the content of your post – upload it to YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. Take a 60 second snippet and share to Instagram and your Stories on Facebook and Instagram – or Instagram TV if you’ve set that up (I haven’t as yet!)
Make a slideshare presentation based on your blog post, turn that into a pdf and offer it as a free download. The official term for this is a Content Upgrade. You’re giving people a way to keep the blog post for reference, without having to return to read the original every time. And of course when you offer the download in return for their email address, you go on to keep in touch with them regularly – ensuring you’re always in their mind when they need the sort of help you provide.
Add eye-catching images.
This is so important. Research has shown that the brain processes images up to 80,000 times faster than text. A block of text looks plain and uninteresting, but add a vibrant image or video, and we’re immediately drawn to the page.
Any old image you find on Google won’t do – unless you want a hefty fine. You need copyright free images, or even better, those you’ve created yourself.
We talked about Pinterest earlier – if you plan to use it, you’ll need to take the time to create additional images because it has very specific requirements – the optimum size is 600 x 900 pixels (portrait orientation). I make sure each of my blog posts has a “pinnable” image at the bottom – as well as a “featured” image at the top.
It’s often worth adding the title of your blog post on the image – and always make sure you use a keyworded alt tag (this helps with SEO as it shows up when the image doesn’t load for whatever reason)
And of course, don’ t forget your call to action at the end of each post. Tell people what you want them to do next…
Email your subscribers.
You do have an email list, don’t you? People who’ve opted in to hear from you regularly…
When you publish a new blog post, it makes sense to let these people know – send them an email with a brief precis of the post and a link to read it in full. Always invite them to reply or message you if they want further information or simply to offer feedback.
What do you do to promote your blog? What works best for you? What do you need help with?
Let me know in the comments.
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