I’ve noticed that many artists have blogs. I’ve also noticed that many artists don’t treat their blogs as promotional business tools. Even though blogging has lost some of its traction, it is still one of the most effective ways to drive traffic for free. That’s because good blog content can drive traffic from search engines, social shares, and referrals from other websites.
I recently read a study about the impact of blogging, and while it is tailored for “businesses”, we as artists are doing ourselves a disservice if we don’t start viewing ourselves as businesses and take advantage of the information that is available out there to make our businesses thrive. A study done by Hubspot found the importance and impact of blogging on your business.
“As expected, we found that the more blog posts companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their website. Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 - 4 monthly posts.”
More than that, blogging helps you build your brand, establish expertise, answer questions, and encourage customer loyalty. Not only does blogging help you drive more traffic, but it can help you improve conversion as well. In case you are aware - “conversion” is the term for turning traffic into money.
Of course, blogging effectively isn’t as easy as just writing a post and waiting for the sales to start rolling in. You need to know how to promote your blog. Fortunately, promoting your blog is a lot easier than promoting a product. And since your blog indirectly promotes your brand, it will still lead to sales.
You can even use the Shopify Buy Button to sell products right on your blog!
It Starts With Quality
The first and most important part of getting traffic to your blog is to have great content. Free content is everywhere. It’s not enough to just publish a blog post. It needs to be awesome. There are three ways to stand out.
- Cover something completely new.
- Do a better job covering your topic than anyone else.
- Cover an existing topic in a new way.
If your blog post doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, you're going to have a tough time promoting it.
The first option is the most difficult to do. In most cases, the topic you want to write about has already been covered. But if you’re in a new industry, or you have an opportunity to be the first to write about something, go for it!
The second and the third options are where most good blog posts land. Doing a better job than everyone else can mean going more in-depth, or it can mean simplifying the topic. Do whatever is going to provide value for readers.
Another way you can make a topic better is to cover it in a new way. This could be writing from a different perspective, using more visuals, providing a new opinion, or connecting the dots in a unique way.
Before you do anything, find out what you’re up against. Use a tool like Buzzsumo to find the most popular content on a topic and read it. Search your keyword in Google and read the stuff that’s ranking on the first page. This will give you give a clear idea what content is already performing well.
Promotion starts with your content ideas. Before you write anything, think about how you’re going to make it great.
14 Strategies to Promote Your Blog
Once you’ve got great content, it’s time to promote it. There are many strategies to promote your blog. The following fifteen are easy and effective. You can stick to one, or try all of them.
1. Share on Social Media
Every time you publish a new blog post, make sure you share it on social media—whether on your personal or business accounts. If you don’t already have a community on social media, it’s time to start growing one. Don’t just share your content once. You can continue sharing it in the future, whether it’s every few weeks or every few months.
2. Build an Email List
I’ve written about the growing importance of this promotional tool, so hopefully, you’re already building an email list on your website. If you only send emails to your list encouraging subscribers to buy something, they will eventually unsubscribe. Instead, keep adding value between sales pitches by sending them helpful or interesting blog posts. Not only will this get potential customers back to your website, but these people may also share your content on social media, expanding your reach.
3. Do Outreach
If you don’t have a social media community or an email list built up already, try tapping into someone else’s audience. You may be able to get other bloggers, business owners, and influencers to share your content on social media or with their email list. Just ask.
Create a list of people who might be interested in your content, or whose audiences might be interested in your content and get in touch. What’s the worst thing that will happen? They’ll say no? Who cares. They could also say yes.
Currently, I'm exploring Ninja Outreach for this component. It can help you build a list of influencers, contacts, or content providers in a heartbeat...and that only scratches the surface of what their service can provide. I'll be honest. I'm just diving into it and learning the ropes of how to use this service effectively. Check out their free trial and see if it something that would be useful for you. Know this. I was able to pad out my contacts & influencers list for my KickStarter campaigns dramatically with just a few simple searches. Very powerful!
4. Create Link Bait
Sometimes, you can work outreach right into your content by featuring other bloggers and business owners. This type of content is called link bait because it attracts links by flattering the egos of those included. This increases the odds that they’ll share your content or link to it on their website. You can do this by writing about them, linking to their website, or even asking them to contribute to your content. The best part is, by including outside experts, you can make your content even better for your readers. If the person you’re including doesn’t know you’re writing about them, make sure to let know, either by emailing them or mentioning them on social media.
5. Guest Post on Other Blogs
There’s another way you can tap into someone else’s audience. Publish a blog post right on their blog. Guest posting is a great way to get your name out there and drive traffic back to your own blog. The trick is to make sure you’re targeting the right community. Write a blog post that is both relevant to the audience and relevant to your business. Make sure to include a link or two back to your website.
6. Comment on Other Blogs
You can also use blog commenting to build relationships with other bloggers, and get in front of their audience. When you leave insightful or helpful blog comments, not only will the author notice, but other readers might notice too. And there’s a good chance they’ll click on the link to check out your website. If it’s relevant, you can even leave a link back to your blog right in your comment.
7. Participate in Forums
Another place you can go offsite to promote your blog is forums. There are many forums where people congregate to talk about specific topics. Similar to blog commenting, by participating in the conversions and adding value, you can draw attention to yourself and your blog. Other participants may follow your profile link, or if it’s helpful, you can link directly to a blog post in one of your forum posts.
8. Answer Questions on Quora
Quora is a place to ask and answer questions. There are threads on pretty much everything, and you can use include links in your answers. Search quora for topics related to your blog post. When possible, answer questions and include a link back to your blog post for more in-depth advice. Many of these threads will get viewed for months or years to come.
9. Run a Contest
Running a contest is a great way to promote your blog. There are many ways you can collect entries including blog comments, social shares, and email list signups. All will either drive traffic now or build your community so you can drive traffic later. The key is to make sure your prize is exciting enough that people will take the time to enter, but only exciting to your target audience. Don’t give away cash for example. Instead, give away your product, or something related to it.
10. Post on Reddit
There is a huge community on Reddit that loves to spend time on the Internet. Find subreddits related to your business or blog post topic and start participating. When you have a new blog post to promote, share it in a relevant subreddit. The key to success here is to make sure you’re starting an interesting or helpful discussion, not just dropping a link.
11. Be Active in Facebook Groups
Facebooks Groups are another excellent place to promote content. You’re likely a member of some Facebook groups related to your industry already, but if you’re not, do a quick search and find some to join. Not only will reading what people are saying give you a good idea of what to write about, but you’ll have an eager audience when you’re ready to share your completed work. In most cases, posting a quality blog post is fine but be mindful of the group’s rules.
12. Submit to Content Curators
There are many websites that focus on curating content on a specific topic. Most use a system of upvotes and downvotes to decide what’s most popular. If there are sites like this in your industry, don’t forget to share your content there. Some sites, like Digg, will curate content in any niche, while others, like Web Designer News, only share content from one niche.
13. Answer HARO Queries
Getting media mentions is another great way to promote your blog. Use a tool like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to get quote requests from journalists straight to your inbox. Whenever you see a request you can help out with, send a thoughtful reply. If your response is used in the article, it will typically include a link back to your blog for people who want to read more.
14. Syndicate Your Blog
While guest posting requires you to write completely new content, you can also publish your existing content on other websites. This is called content syndication. You can look for industry-specific websites that will syndicate your blog, but there are also more general websites that everyone can use such as LinkedIn or Medium. Make sure to include several links back to your blog and encourage readers to click through for more great content.
Writing great blog posts takes time. After all the hard work you put in, make sure your work gets read. There are many ways to promote your blog, and they’re not limited to what’s included in this post. Tell me how you promote your blog in the comments!