Here’s the truth: blogging is now more influential than social media.
According to the latest findings of Technorati Media in its 2013 Digital Influence Report, potential customers looking for information online actually listen to blogs more than they believe Facebook likes or number of Twitter followers.
But for anyone to listen to you, you need to stand out in the first place. There are over 181 million blogs all over the world. How do you make yourself heard amidst all this noise?
Here are 8 things that you can do to promote your awesome blog post, even after it has been published:
1. Start marketing BEFORE you write your post.
The best way to promote your blog post is to ensure that your post’s topic is easy to promote in the first place. As Tim Ferriss wrote in The 4-hour Workweek:
“Creating demand is hard. Filling demand is easier. Don’t create a product, then seek someone to sell it to. Find a market – define your customers – then find or develop a product for them.”
In this case, your blog post is your product. Figure out whom your target readers are, then do research before you write. What topics are important to them? What are their problems, pains, needs and goals? You have to know the answers to these questions before you start writing anything.
You can then brainstorm blog topics based on the knowledge you acquire from your research. Write something that addresses a pain point for your readers and your blog post will be able to market itself.
2. Leave comments on other blogs.
Look through the blogosphere for people who have written about your topic within the past month. Ideally, search for blogs that have a bigger audience than yours. Look for posts that either completely agree with your article or contradict it. Read through the post and the comments first, and then enter the discussion.
Here’s the important part: leave a relevant comment, almost like a short excerpt of your blog post, then at the end of your comment link to your article. For instance, you could say:
“I completely agree that investing more time on your site’s copywriting is better than spending time on the design. I even cite found a few studies supporting this: [link to your blog post].”
It would also be a good idea to refer or respond to another comment in the discussion, so that your input will be more natural. You don’t want to just drop a link to your blog post and leave.
3. Pre-launch your post.
If you can, build anticipation and start spreading the word even BEFORE your post is published. This is called a pre-launch. This marketing strategy is also used for products, blogs, apps, and even movies.
A well planned pre-launch gives a heads up to your audience. But more than that, it creates buzz, raises anticipation, and feeds on the suspense.
An example of a good pre-launch message with a compelling teaser goes like this: “In a couple of hours we’ll be posting about the real reason why no one reads your business blog – and what you can do about it. Hint: it has nothing to do with SEO. Stay tuned.”
So where do you post this pre-launch message? Use your social media channels such as your Facebook Page or Twitter profile.
Better yet, plan your posts ahead so that you can add a teaser at the end of each post to build anticipation for the next post.
4. Ask other bloggers to comment on your post.
Another way to get more people to read your post is to directly encourage other bloggers to read it and leave comments.
Choose 5 to 10 bloggers who have already written relevant posts on the topic. It’s best if they have a bigger audience than you do.
Then, send them an email inviting them to read your post and leave a comment. Here’s an example of an email you can send:
I’ve been following [Their Blog] for a while now, and I remembered that your post on [topic]: [link to their relevant blog post here].
I recently wrote a new post that supports the points you made, and you can check it out here: [link to your post]. I found a lot of resources and studies supporting your points, many of which you didn’t mention in your article.
I’d appreciate it if you leave a comment or give me your feedback.
Bloggers create community by commenting on each others posts. As long as you add something more to the conversation—a unique perspective, additional points that were missed in the previous posts— other bloggers should be able to welcome your request.
5. Engage the influencers.
Kissmetrics recently posted a comprehensive guide on how to conduct influence marketing for businesses. You can do the same thing to market your blog post.
Twitter is a good place to find the influencers in your target audience. You can use social media search tools such as FollowerWonk and Klout for this. With these tools you can find online personalities that people listen to when they talk. Once you have successfully engaged the influencers, you have also harnessed their many followers.
When searching, pick those who have a high tendency to retweet, especially on the topic you’re writing about. Look through their stream, find a previous tweet on the topic of your post, and mention them as you share your post. (Ex. “@user, this answers your question last week about getting traffic to a brand new blog.”)
6. Use social sharing buttons, but use them properly.
Make it easy for your readers to share your content in the first place by installing social sharing buttons on your website. Avoid clutter by using only the major social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and maybe LinkedIn. You can use plugins like ShareThis or get the official buttons straight from the social networking services.
At the end of your blog post, ask your readers to share to their social networks: “Don’t forget to share by clicking the Tweet button!”
7. Guest post to a popular blog in your topic niche.
Find blogs to pitch your ideas to, and email them your request. This requires some research, and a well-written, convincing email pitch. Freelance Switch has useful tips about pitching a guest post. Make sure to link to the blog post you’re promoting within the body of your guest post. Make the guest post short but relevant.
Does guest blogging work? Here’s someone who has been checking the stats, and according to her, yes, it does.
8. Don’t overlook the alternatives.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not the only social networks out there. There are hundreds of other less mainstream social networking sites that you could use to market your blog post.
There’s Reddit, StumbleUpon, Quora, Yelp, or HackerNews. Remember though that these sites cater to quite specific demographics. There are sites for book lovers, for business networking and professionals, for hobbies and interests.
Find out which of these sites your target market frequents, and promote your blog post on these sites.
If you want your posts to be read by a larger audience, you have to keep on marketing and promoting it. Good writing alone is only half of the work. The follow through is just as important. Implementing these tips for marketing your blog post after it has been published will help you get your message out there.