Archives for March 7, 2012

How to Market Your Blog For FREE

Marketing your blog is definitely necessary for it to grow. Paying money to do this isn’t always an option though. The tips below are 100% free other than time and are great for finding traffic and bringing it back to your blog. Be sure you’re happy with your blog’s look and content before spending too much time on these tasks though. Bringing in views to a website that is lacking in design or content is unlikely to create returning visitors and is more likely to stunt the growth of your blog.

1. Ensure your blog can grow by “Word of Mouth” marketing

By far my favorite way to market for multiple reasons. Word of Mouth marketing consists of very little effort on your part in the end. However, it involves a lot of your effort in the beginning. You may not be the one spreading the word, but you are the one that’s creating the content you are hoping will spread in the first place. Spend time on your posts and write ones that you feel are worthy of being shared, ReTweeted, posted in a links post, etc. I’ve started many posts only to erase them by the time they are done because I could never find the exact words to be 100% satisfied with it. While a clean design is needed to read your blog, your content is the key to it’s growth so invest your time and effort into it. People will see that effort and be much more likely to spread the word.

2. Include an option to share your posts on your blog

To go along with the first one, you MUST make it easy for people to share your posts. The easier the better because some people are unlikely to put forth much effort in sharing your work if you don’t make it accessible within a few clicks. If you notice at the bottom of all my posts, you’ll see a few buttons – Twitter, Pinterest, etc. These make it easy for your readers to quickly send it to the website they would like to share on which will hopefully in turn bring you more views. WordPress has MANY widgets that do this, but one of my favorites is Social Discussions. Blogger also has this option in the blog posts.

3. Make social media become your best friend

Social media is a great resource to share your work if you do it right. Grow your followers by interacting with them before you spam them with a bunch of links. In general, try to use the 80/20 rule: Interact and share someone else’s work 80% of the time while you share your own 20% of the time. This works for multiple reasons: you not only start to build relationships with other people, but you also engage your audience before promoting yourself. Learn the ins and outs of all of your chosen social media sites and then use them to your advantage. This could include scheduling updates for prime reading time, giveaways, finding a new audience, building relationships, etc.

4. Get your name out there on other blogs

Some of the most common ways are through guest posts, advertising (ad swaps and some blogs offer free advertising if we’re still looking at zero cost routes), and commenting on other blogs. The key with this approach is being incredibly tactful. Don’t leave pointless comments or write a sloppy guest post just to hopefully get views on your own blog. It won’t work. Comment because you have something worth saying and leave your name / blog link at the end for people to easily find you. Write a guest post that’s worthy of Word of Mouth Marketing and include your links at the end or the beginning. Similar to this, advertise on blogs that are similar in nature and would generate a good audience for your blog. Don’t just advertise on anything that’s free. It’s worth it to be picky when you’re deciding on where you want your audience to come from.

5. Sell yourself on ALL of your sites

Many of us have multiple websites, even if they are social media sites. This can include a shop, shop blog, personal blog, Twitter, HelloCotton, Bloglovin, Facebook, About.Me Page, and so on. Use all of your websites to promote yourself tactfully. Let people on Facebook know that you have a Twitter account. Tell people on Twitter that you have a Facebook giveaway going on. Share with your customers from your shop that you have a blog and vice-versa. If someone is following you in one place, they’re a great option to follow you in another. And sometimes it just takes letting them know that they can find you elsewhere. However, don’t overload people with the information – I promise that they don’t need to be reminded every day. 1 or 2 times a month is plenty. But you can also ensure that your links are prominent on all sites so they don’t need a reminder. This point is very important because some people are more likely to read and share things on different sites so you’re increasing your chances of your blog or work being mentioned/shared.

The How-To/5 Tips is a weekly series, dedicated to answering some of the most popular questions I’ve been asked through consulting and on my blog. Want tips on something similar in nature? Or maybe you want more personalized advice? Send me an email at afterninetofive@gmail.com.