This post contains affiliate links
It isn’t enough to write a gem of a blog post, hit publish, then go out for a night on the town. I mean, if you still want to go out for a night on the town, fine, but don’t expect a massive amount of traffic to show up in your stats when you get home.
When I first started my blog 2 years ago, I never thought of it as my business. I looked at it more as a hobby. That was a critical mistake that I had to correct right away. My blog earns me income, so it’s my business. Treating my blog like a business is much different than treating it like a hobby.
Today, I’m going to give you 10 critical tips you must do to successfully market your blog correctly. This post is for both new and seasoned bloggers. Are you following these tips? If not, what’s holding you back?
1. Know Your Audience
When you first started blogging, I hope you immediately identified your blogging niche. If you didn’t, it’s time to pick to whom you are writing, and cater all of your blog posts to that particular audience.
I started off as a pure dad blog. All of my original posts had something to do with parenting. As I discovered there wasn’t much of a niche for dad blogs, I switched to helping others blog successfully and to writing product reviews.
All posts I write for Go Ask Your Daddy today have my blogging audience in mind. Knowing who you are writing to is the first step in crafting the perfect post that will attract a lot of attention and send a lot of traffic your way.
2. Don’t be boring, be truthful
There are millions of blogs out there, and many of them spin out the same content over and over again. Don’t be like them. You can write about similar topics, but put different spins on them. Definitely do not copy other content for your own site! Not only is this plagiarism, but it’s not your true voice.
Write with honesty. Sometimes that means pissing people off with the truth, but that’s okay. Be true to yourself and don’t cover everything in ribbons and bows. Your readers will appreciate the honest truth even if it’s bad news.
3. Make the most of social media
Since the explosion of social media, there are more and more opportunities to promote your content than just email and your website. The one important thing I advise my readers to pay attention to is to make sure to follow each social media account’s rules. For example, if you are promoting affiliate links on Facebook, you have to indicate that the link is branded content. Promoting products on Facebook is a good way to get your account suspended.
Establish a solid social media promotion plan. Know when and how often you are going to share posts every day. A great free tool I use is Hootsuite. Although there is a paid version, the free version is sufficient for me to schedule multiple posts in advance.
4. Promoting affiliate products? Don’t overdo it.
The temptation is going to be there to throw dozens of banner ads and affiliate links all over your blog. Resist, my friend! Too many ads will discredit you as a serious blogger and a subject matter expert in your niche. Only promote products you believe in and actually use, and link to those products in your post. I only put a few affiliate banners in my sidebar because too many makes it too cluttered.
Once you’ve made a few sales through your affiliate links, you’re going to want to promote them even more, but it’s important to plan ahead before you do so. Promoting everything under the sun is not a plan – it’s almost the equivalent to spam.
5. Use specific keywords
Bloggers who bring in a lot of traffic didn’t bring in that level of traffic overnight. They did serious research on which keywords worked best and implemented strategies. When using keywords, try to be as specific as possible. For example, if I’m promoting a pickup truck, it would be better to talk about red Ford pickup trucks. The more specifics you include with your keywords the more search traffic can find you. I’ve actually read that search engines can push generic keywords to the bottom of results so that the better, more specific results can show up first. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
6. Allow guest posts? Be smart about it.
One thing I don’t do much of any more is allow guest posts on my site. This was a personal decision I made because I realized the guest poster was only about spreading THEIR content and not my own. I like to keep my voice on my blog and let my personality shine. If I’m allowing every guest post under the sun to appear on my site, I lose my voice and personality.
If you do allow guest posts on your site, create specific ground rules and make sure you abide by them. Make sure you proofread for errors and read over the content for accuracy. If the post doesn’t match your niche, just say no. You have the power to control the content, so don’t just allow anything to come through.
7. Make an About Me page that shines
Your “About Me” page is like your resume. It needs to be about your readers’ needs more so than about you as a person. While you can talk about who you are and where you are from, do it in a way that lets your readers know you understand where they are coming from and can help solve their problem.
8. Write how you talk
So many bloggers think they need to change how they write to be more impressive and authoritative in their niche. This is simply not true. Write how you talk. Let your voice carry over into your writing so that those who follow you and read your content know without a doubt who you are and what you are about.
Although you need to spell check and speak professionally, don’t remove your personality from any piece you are writing. Let your personality shine, because that’s why your readers are following you. If you don’t use big words when you are talking, don’t use them when you are writing, unless you absolutely need to.
9. Utilize your mailing list
You more than likely have a place where your readers can subscribe to your mailing list, but if you aren’t actually sending emails to them on a regular basis, what’s the point?
Just like you need a social media strategy in place, you also need a email marketing strategy. I’m not talking about only emailing when you are trying to promote a product (but this is a good idea if done right!), but ask questions in emails that drive responses. You hopefully have calls to action on your blog posts. Do the same for your emails.
10. You need Pinterest in your life
Okay, you may be sick and tired of me talking about Pinterest, but here I go again. Remember Jan Brady when she said, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha?” Well, “Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest!”
Pinterest is one of the top sources of traffic to my blog. It didn’t happen that way overnight, though. I created group boards that would drive a lot of interest, and then purchased Tailwind to help automate sharing my pins. I share 80 pins per day automatically across 24 boards! There is no way I could have shared that many manually.
Your turn now!
Do these make sense to you? Do you use any or all of these tips today? If you use any I haven’t listed, what are they? I’d love to give you credit and add them to the list in the future. Let me know in the comments below!