Building a blog from scratch is hard work. More than 4 million blog posts are published online every day, and they’re all being published in hopes of reaching an audience.
When you’re on the road to becoming a blogger, the odds can seem stacked against you and your small publication. Whether you’re creating a personal blog featuring your own voice and experiences or you’re creating a blog promoting products or services, cultivating a loyal audience can feel like a daunting task. But publishing is only part of the battle: to build a successful blog, you also need a solid marketing and promotion strategy.
With an aggressive approach to promotion, you can increase your blog’s organic reach and steadily build traffic and engagement over time. Here’s a look at two different ways to approach this strategy.
When you launch a personal blog, your first step should be to leverage your existing relationships. Create social media accounts for your blog, and ask friends and family to follow and share. You should also start an email subscriber list that will allow you to send newsletters and other content periodically.
Email and social media are great examples of “earned” media that come at little to no cost for your blog. They reinforce an ongoing relationship with your audience, and they can be a great way to encourage organic traffic and engagement over time. As new people discover your blog, they can use email and social to stay connected.
You can also shift your blog topics to subjects that are relevant to your audience and make sure they are primed for search engine optimization (SEO). Conducting keyword research through a platform such as Google Trends can help you identify topics that will earn greater visibility for your blog, resulting in greater referral traffic from search engines.
When you’re attempting to sell products or services to an audience, SEO is an important place to start. You need to figure out which keywords and subjects are earning the most engagement among your audience, and you need to create content that gives your brand a presence in those search results. Look at competing brands and determine which keywords they’ve chosen to target. This can be a sign of where you should put your efforts.
For blogs targeting a B2B audience, you can do more than just set up social accounts — you can also become an active member of the communities where you’re trying to build an audience. Take advantage of LinkedIn Groups, for example, and answer questions, post opinions, and share content among a community that may be interested in your blog.
Meanwhile, seek out potential content partnerships with other blogs and brands where you share a similar audience but aren’t in direct competition. If you blog about endurance sports products, for example, see if you can swap content and exposure with a local organization that puts together endurance competitions. Social media and email are also effective promotional channels, but with products, you can take a more refined approach to promoting your blog to a relevant audience.
Whether you’re publishing a personal blog or a products and sales blog, you can always support your promotional efforts with tools built into your blogging platform. In addition to plugins that support various marketing efforts, WordPress.com offers promotional tools and solutions supporting social media, video marketing, site monetization, SEO, and a Google Analytics integration to help you monitor your performance over time.
In the early days of becoming a blogger, finding your audience can be hard. But, if you set a publishing and promotion strategy and stick with it over time, you’ll be in a strong position to gradually build your audience and encourage greater traffic and engagement.
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