Fun fact: The longest word in the English language has 189,819 letters. It’s a type of protein, abbreviated “tinin.” It would take approximately three hours to say out loud.
Here’s another one: It’s illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland because they’re prone to loneliness. Just look how happy these guys are to be munching on grass together:
Your blog probably has nothing to do with words that are entirely too long or Swiss guinea-pig law. But if it did, you’d hope that someone querying Google about such things would end up reading one of your posts and not a competitor’s.
Cue blog promotion.
Its purpose is to generate buzz around your content to give it a more competitive presence on the web, and it can be split into broad parts:
- Promotion on search engines through paid and organic SEO.
- Promotion in all the other places people go on the web – social media, email, online industry magazines, etc.
Both aspects of blog promotion are extremely important because they help make your content searchable on Google, discoverable on social media and shareable among your target audience.
To help you in this all-important endeavor, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective ways to jump-start your blog promotion efforts.
Let the quest begin.
Part 1: Content creation
The stuff you do (or do not do) during this part of the journey will affect your blog promotion efforts down the road.
1. Create high-quality content
High-quality content is just easier to promote. It’s that simple.
So what is a high-quality blog post? One that does all of the following:
- Answers specific questions that your target audience is asking.
- Satisfies searcher intent for your chosen keywords.
- Links to credible studies and news sources to support claims.
- Displays a true understanding of a subject.
- Covers a subject in a level of depth that the target persona will find meaningful.
- Presents information in a scannable, easy-to-read format.
2. Conduct research to identify high-performing posts
Use Google Search Console to determine the most popular pages on your own blog and on competitors’ blogs.
We also recommend Buzzsumo (bearing in mind it’s not free). Buzzsumo lets you pinpoint the top-shared content on multiple social media channels for a given keyword or query. Simply key in a domain name (your own or a competitor’s) to figure out which posts have performed the best.
3. Know your audience
Blog posts are an investment of your time and your effort. And like any other investment, you need to know your market if you hope to see ROI. How old are they? What industries are they in? Are they regional? Are they primarily small businesses? Etc.
Pro tip: Link up with sales to get a better sense of your audience and their pain points. Sales and marketing alignment is the most powerful, cost-effective blog ideation tool. Use it to ideate and create topics that will be easier to promote later on.
4. Leverage content mapping resources
Before you begin writing, use content mapping tools like SEMrush’s content templates or MarketMuse’s content briefs to ensure you’re covering a given topic with enough depth to perform well on search engines. These tools also identify subjects and secondary keywords that will help you create rich content that satisfies searcher intent for your keywords.
By the way, this isn’t a prerequisite to blog promotion. It is blog promotion. Organic SEO is, in essence, how you promote your content on search engines to rank closer to the first page. Shirk this step if you want to fail.
5. Include share buttons on each post
Those three social icons on the bottom right of this picture make it super easy for our readers to share our content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Just by including them in each of your blog posts, you’re creating an opportunity for readers to share your content (i.e., promote it to their own networks).
How do you include them? Plugins. We use WordPress, and there are a bevy of different plugins that allow you to embed “click-to-share” buttons for a variety of social channels. Some of these share-button plugins include:
- Jetpack (free version).
- Easy Social Share Buttons.
- Social Warfare (free version).
- WP Social Sharing (free version).
- Sassy Social Share (free version).
6. Prioritize on-page SEO
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages (e.g., blog posts) to perform better in search rankings.
So in other words, do all the things that we mentioned in tips 1 through 4. Also make sure that you’re using topically relevant meta tags and meta descriptions (more on that here). And if you really want to get into the weeds of SEO, check this out.
7. Make your blog easy to find on your website
Include a link to you blog on your homepage, and for crying out loud, make it easy to find. Here’s a photo of our home page:
Notice the “blog” link at the top right? Do that. You’d be amazed at how many companies skip this very simple step.
8. Give your content a shareable structure
It’s generally good practice to include different types of media in your blog posts (videos, images, GIFs, pull quotes, etc.). Doing so can also create shareable elements within the post itself. This embedded content has share value in its own right.
You can also encourage sharing of specific passages of your blog content with ClicktoTweet. This free tool makes it easy for readers to highlight text and then Tweet it out with a click.
Pro tip 2: Including a custom or stock image with your blog post makes it that much more enticing when you share it on social media channels.
9. Make sure your content is indexed
Not indexing blog posts is a fairly common mistake that undercuts your SEO efforts.
Some content management systems (namely WordPress) automatically index your pages. Nevertheless, even WordPress encourages users to expedite indexing of new pages by connecting their site to Google’s Search Console.
Remember: Blog promotion isn’t just what you do after a blog has already been posted. You begin promoting your blog before you even start writing it. Make your blog easy to find for people and for search engines alike, and make your content promotable to get a good head start on your promotional efforts.
Part 2: Blog promotion
This is the part where we talk about promotion in the more traditional sense of the word.
10. Build a base of followers on relevant social media channels
How do you get people to follow you on social media? Start by following company pages on Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter users, etc. Reshare other people’s interesting content. And if you already have your own content, share that as well.
Oh, and here’s some good news for B2B social media users:
Follow, curate, share and you will begin to build a base of followers to share your blog content with.
11. Facebook (Unpaid)
Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users, meaning it is the most-used social media platform in the world.
As of this year, Facebook prioritizes people over businesses. It’s still an incredibly valuable tool for businesses, but the focus on people further emphasizes the importance of starting conversations with prospects, customers, industry peers, etc. So basically, be social. Tag other businesses or people in your posts. Find creative ways to encourage commenting and sharing.
A few other useful tips to help you promote your blog on Facebook:
- Use trending hashtags in your posts where they make sense.
- Pin your latest blog post to the top of your page so that it won’t be pushed down your feed; this boosts potential impressions (number of users who see the link to that post).
- Post something new every day to stay on the radar. Curate content on days where you have no blog posts of your own to promote.
12. Facebook (Paid)
Leverage paid advertising campaigns to promote blog posts that you believe have the greatest value to your target audience. This is especially useful if you only just started posting on your blog and need an injection of traffic.
Track the success of the paid campaign by attaching a custom UTM code to the shared URL. This will tell you how many users have discovered your blog post through the paid campaign.
Twitter is a powerful blog promotion tool when used correctly. For example, the day your post goes live, you can tease it with little snippets of copy that you share at different times throughout the day. You can also comment on recent developments or other’s tweets with relevant passages to your latest blog post – or an older post for that matter.
On a related note, here’s some hashtag 101:
- Use consistent, easy-to-remember hashtags for your brand.
- Use a hashtag tracker to see if someone else is using a hashtag and the context of that use.
- Keep an eye out for opportunities to include popular hashtags in your blog-promotion Tweets (e.g., a hashtag tied to a particular industry event).
LinkedIn is an invaluable blog promotion tool, especially for B2B blogs. You can either share a link with your network to your latest blog posts, or post that content in the form of a LinkedIn Pulse article. Either method is a great way to promote your blog posts and get more eyes on your content.
Pro tip 3: Long-form content (1,000 to 3,000 words) does especially well on LinkedIn in terms of shares, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Put this channel front and center when you promote your especially in-depth blog posts.
Instagram lets you promote your beautiful, insightful blog words with compelling imagery. Whether it’s a custom graphic to accompany the blog post, an informative chart, original photography of a customer use case or industry event, or something else, you can post a teaser image on Instagram to alert your followers about the new blog post.
16. Reddit, Quora and other online communities
Answer questions with your blog posts. For example, you can create custom feeds on Quora that show queries pertinent to your business’s subject matter. Check these feeds once or twice a day for questions that your blog content addresses, and share it. (Make sure you actually sound like a real human when you do, and that you provide a paragraph of context, otherwise you’ll just come off as being spammy).
17. Build out email lists
Email marketing has greater ROI than any other content marketing channel. The first thing you need to promote your blogs via email is an actual list of contacts. Here’s how to build that list:
- Include an email signup to receive information and tips on your homepage, landing pages and of course, your blog.
- Network at industry events.
- Offer gated content in a resource center section of your website; users can download a white paper, eBook or original research in exchange for an email address.
- Embed scroll-triggered popup boxes that promote special offers or access to exclusive content in exchange for an email address.
18. Launch posts via email
Send out an email to your hard-earned list of contacts every time you publish a new blog post.
We also recommend A/B testing your email subject lines to figure out what types of headers lead to the highest open rates. Email marketing will require some trial and error to get the greatest returns.
Studies vary in terms of when to send out your emails. But the closest thing there is to a consensus based on our scouring of the web is that Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. are the best times to send out emails.
19. Create a newsletter
Build a newsletter that features your latest blog content and send it out every week, every other week or once a month – depending on how often you post to your blog. Blog promotion newsletters are more disarming than other promotional emails. They typically don’t ask anything of the reader, other than to consider looking at some free, ungated insights and information from your company. So yes, we like newsletters, and from our experience, recipients appreciate them, too.
20. Develop email drip campaigns
Email drip campaigns simultaneously achieve two goals:
- They use your existing content to lead prospects deeper into the sales funnel.
- They promote your content, and this includes blog posts.
In other words, email drips are in a symbiotic relationship. Email promotes your blog; the blog gives your emails substance.
Pro tip 4: Keep an eye out for opportunities to repurpose old blog posts for new email campaigns.
21. Guest blogging
Sometimes the best way to promote your blog posts is to post content on a different blog. Google rewards your web content every time a credible source links back to it. If your company’s CEO publishes in a reputable industry blog, he or she creates a backlink opportunity to your own blog or website. This is great for SEO, which means it’s good for your blog and for your business as a whole.
22. Embrace influencer marketing
Influencers are people who have a substantial following that overlaps with your audience, and they can help promote your blog in several ways:
- Share your blog content on social media; this vastly expands the reach of your content.
- Write about your products or services on their own blogs or other web properties (aka, blogger outreach).
- Provide a quote or comment that you can use to support a claim made in one of your blog posts.
Some businesses will pay social media influencers to post about products or services. That’s fine, just make sure you’re above board about these campaigns to avoid a snafu with the FTC (more on that, here).
23. Content syndication
Content syndication is the opposite of content curation. In the former, you find content on the web to share on your blog or social networks. The latter is the act of trying to publish your blog content on another website or blog. This helps build backlinks for your blog posts, which boosts their search engine rankings.
24. Re-share old blog content
By now, it should be clear that blog promotion is hardly a one-and-done exercise. It’s an ongoing effort that requires a diverse range of techniques.
With that in mind, your blog content can and should be re-shared from time to time. For example, you can use a recent news story that illustrates a point you made in a previous blog as a pretense to retweet that old post.
25. Link internally in your new posts
Another great way to the promote blog content and reduce overall website bounce rates is to link to previous posts when the opportunity arises. You can hyperlink in the actual text where relevant. Alternatively, you can have a “suggested reading” sidebar, like the one you see to the right of this text.
26. Include your blog link in social media and email signatures
One of the simplest ways to get readers to spend more time on your blog? Link to it directly in your social media pages and email signature.
Part 3: Measuring success
Finally, we provide a few simple tactics to measure the success of your blog promotion efforts.
27. Track the right metrics
- Overall blog traffic: How many people are getting to your blog posts?
- Bounce rate: How are they spending their time on your blog and are they getting what they need?
- Keyword performance: What are Google Search Console and Google Analytics telling you about your blog rankings for your chosen keywords?
- Backlinks: Are other people linking to your blog posts?
- Conversions: Are you generating more leads since you launched your promotional efforts?
28. Measure success on social media and email
- Impressions: How many eyes are on your social media posts and emails?
- Click-through rate: What is the percentage of those impressions that led to clicks?
- Engagements: How many reshares (e.g., number of retweets) have you had? Are there comments on social posts pertaining to your blog content? Have your email outreach efforts prompted the desired action from the recipients?
29. Don’t get too hung up on click-through rate for paid promotions
Remember we mentioned UTM codes earlier in this post? Well, we’re going to reiterate: Attach them to custom URLs used for paid advertising. Often, what you’ll find is that the returns are more immediate for paid campaigns in terms of CTR.
Pro tip 5: With that in mind, more clicks does not necessarily equate to ROI on your blog. It’s crucial that you also track the metrics referenced in tip 27. Because while CTR tells you people are clicking, it won’t necessarily tell you if the right people are clicking. That requires some deeper inspection on your part.
TL;DR: CTR is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to gauging paid campaign success.
Because you made it all the way to No. 30, and that’s impressive.
30. Optimize old blog content, repeat
Last but not least, sometimes the best way to promote a blog is to re-optimize it after it’s been live for some time. For example, you can manually analyze statistics in Search Console to figure out your top performing blog posts. From there, re-run those blogs through content depth tools such as MarketMuse or SEMrush to figure out topic gaps you may want to cover in your re-optimized posts. Use this information to revise the post to be more in-line with the top performers.
Do this maybe once every six months to a year to keep your blog content razor sharp.