Now that you know how to blog and you have your own blog chances are that you are having under 50 daily visitors or even lesser. So the next challenge is to build an audience for your blog. But this does not mean that you will never get 100K visitors per month. You will just have to find out ways to promote your blog. There are sure and certain ways to do this provided you know what you are doing. There will be roadblocks, there will be dead ends, there will be times when you will think of quitting and you will feel that you can go on no further. It is your perseverance that will mater at those times. The only difference between a successful person and a failure is perseverance. If you follow your dreams with conviction and have a good game plan then success is just a matter of time.
Therefore I am outlining the things that worked for me and worked for many other professional and successful bloggers across the globe.
1.The basic principles
There are some basic principles of success that has remained the same since time immemorial. Following these basic principles should be your first step in promoting your blog. Though these steps might not promote your blog directly to your audience but they are evergreen methods and will SURELY bring results in the long run.
a) Consistency : Write regularly. If you publish regularly search engines will love your blog and rank you higher. Organic traffic will just be a side effect J. By regularly I do not mean daily. Of course more is always better and if you can publish twice a day it’s even better. But this does not mean that if you publish one post in two days you do not stand a chance. It does not work that way. Though there is not rule of the thumb for publishing frequency but still try to post at least twice every week.
b) Tenacity : You have to stick to it. Writing good content is not an easy job and writing great content everyday is not child’s play. You will have writer’s block at times and you will have to overcome them. Look for inspirations everywhere. Both online and offline. Things will seem difficult in the beginning and ideas will not flow in easily but slowly with time you will learn how to think objectively.
c) Say no to ads : What am I telling you? No to ads? Isn’t that why you are building your blog in the first place? Well ads might sound very tempting at the beginning but without having at least 20 to 30 articles ready in your site ads will not bring you any revenue. So build up at least 20 to 30 solid posts that people will love to read and then go for ads.
d) Write a great headline : A lot of research has been done on how to write explosive headlines. A headline is the only tool you will get to make your visitors read the whole post. So if your headline is not arousing curiosity then it is not worth its salt.
2.Controversial blog posts
Some posts trigger response and interest in human beings. It is natural instinct. When you hit upon a long established and axiomatic fact with a statement which negates it, responses are bound to come and your post will almost certainly go viral. Many experiments have been performed by bloggers, marketers and advertisers across the globe on this. Almost all of them were found to be successful.
One successful controversial advertising campaign was launched by JBS men’s underwear. JBS figured out that men are not attracted to naked men putting on an underwear in an advertising campaign. They are generally repelled by that image. So they used a naked girl in underwear. Their catchline being “Men don’t want to look at naked men”. It was an instant hit and all men who saw that ad started to talk about JBS underwear and asked others to watch it. You can well imagine the result of the campaign. Take a look at the ad below :
3.Talk about influencers in your niche
Rather than writing about abstract topics, you can write a post about top influencers in your niche. For example if you have a blog about graphic design then you can write about top 5 graphic designers of your time.
It will be easy for you to write because you are working in the same niche yet you might grab the attention of those gurus in your niche and they might lend you a courtesy link from their high PR blog. This will get you a ton of traffic instantly.
They might as well share the link to your post in their facebook profile and even tweet about it. Imagine the effect it would have on your blog. You will almost instantly get famous.
4.Write Guest Posts
Just like talking about influencers in your niche can bring great result, guest posting too can have an immense impact on your blog traffic. Target blogs that have a good amount of traffic. But before targeting very big names remember to have at least 50 to 60 odd posts in your own blog.
This is because big names are generally reluctant to accept guest posts from new kids on the blog. So approaching moderately successful blogs will get you a better success rate. In this way you can build up your guest post portfolio and then when you approach big names armed with links to your guest blogging portfolio chances of being turned down by them will be minimal.
Blogs generally offer a few dofollow links to guest posters. Use them creatively. You always do not need to put the link to your homepage. Rather build specific landing pages related to your post subject and squeeze in traffic to your site through those intelligently built landing pages. This will reduce your bounce rates considerably as the traffic coming in through this link would be targeted specifically to your topic of interest.
5.Invite Guest Posts
In your blog keep a prominent link asking for guest authors. You might be wondering how will this benefit you? Well guest bloggers will definitely share this post on their blogs, facebook pages or tweet about it. The benefit is that you get backlinks for free. On the other hand your blog gets introduced to a whole new set of people in the guest blogger’s circle. They might like the other posts in your blog and share it on their social circle and you might end up going viral like this.
6.Interview successful people in your niche
Every niche under the sun has its share of successful people. Your job would be to locate them, get familiar with them, and convince them to get interviewed by you. The benefit of writing about a popular personality is that these personalities will share this interview with their contacts who in turn will come to know about your blog.
Only people of importance get interviewed. So if you can get yourself interviewed by some other blog then people will start thinking that you are an authority in your niche and start following you and your blog. The interview could be a normal question and answer writeup or a podcase or a video recording of a skype video call. Audio and video interviews are less stressful to be followed by readers and hence more and more bloggers are inclined to do podcast or video interviews these days.
8.Co-author an ebook
These days almost all bloggers are looking to co-author ebooks to bring in traffic to their sites. These ebooks are either sold or given away free in lieu of sign ups for newsletters. People gladly sign up when they get an incentive like this. You can approach some good names in your niche and offer them to be a co-author for an ebook. Give some great and original ideas in your pitch email and your mail will almost certainly be responded to. Most of these books are mostly compilations of great tips and tricks, suggestions and advices. Make it a point to do a great layout for the book so that it looks professional.
Add some good illustrations to it as well. Embed links to your blog within the content of the book and sound authoritative. You will be amazed how much sign ups you will get for this ebook incentive and how much traffic it will drive from the links embedded in the content of this book. It will keep you giving returns for a pretty long time. If you want to sell that book on some affiliate programme then it can even generate some residual income for you.
9.Leverage online forums
Forums are a great place to build backlinks. For leveraging forums you will have to first identify good online forums in your niche. So what defines a good forum. You will have to find out forums that have a lot of quality traffic and are tightly moderated for spammy posts. After you find a few you will have to start following the discussions and posting on them. Some good forums don’t let users post signature links for the very first day. You will have to participate in a certain number of discussions before you can post links and have a link to your blog in the signature.
So start posting good comments and obey the forum rules laid down by the admin. In no time you will be able to post links and have a link in your signature. Then start posting on popular discussion threads. Start adding value to the threads by your comments. You will be noticed by the members of the forum in no time and they will start following your links to your blog. In this way you can also have a great relationship with some members of the forum who will become your loyal blog readers.
10.Announce a Blog Contest
Human beings of every age like giveaways. So organize a contest and give away a good price for liking something about your blog on facebook or getting maximum number of likes for a post in someone’s profile. Be creative with it. Blog contests are a great promotional tool to spread the word about your blog. Also post about the contest on contest websites on the internet.
11.Include your Blog link in your Email Signature
Your target should be to promote your blog via every possible channel. So putting a link to your blog in your email signature could be a great way of promoting your blog. You could also incorporate your blog link in your business card, letterheads and other offline places.
12.Comment on other blogs in your niche
Commenting on other blogs does something very important and beneficial to you and your blog. First it helps in your link building effort. Links from good blogs helps to increase your search engine visibility. It builds your reputation. Secondly if your comments are full of good insights then you begin to get known in that interest circle. Your comments will attract responses and people finding your comment valuable will definitely visit your blog to check it out.
13.Link to other blogs from your posts
If you found a good blog post related to what you are writing about then there is no harm in linking to it. First of all it can add value to your post. If the blog you are linking to has the trackback feature enabled in their blogging software then they will know immediately that you have linked to them and you will automatically get a link back to your blog from them. This could very well be the beginning of a new relationship with the blogger you have linked to.
14.Respond to comments and emails
There are many bloggers who are not in a habit of responding to comments on their posts. I wonder why? There is no excuse for this. Answering a comment with a personalized response makes the reader feel important and makes him or her loyal to your blog. They may instantly sign up for your newsletter : who knows!
Also make it a point to respond to genuine (not the spammy ones of course) emails that are sent to you. Say someone asks you to write a guest post for their blog. Even if you are too busy to comply there is no harm in saying ‘sorry’ politely. You might need their help next month. Responding to communication builds relationships and personal contacts. Who knows where an opportunity might emerge from!
15.Have an opt-in box and start building an email list
In my own experience I have found that depending on search engines always is disastrous. Suppose an update like the penguin or the panda is released by google and you suddenly go down in SERP. All your revenue and readership vanishes overnight. So from the very first day of your blogging career start building your own email list and fan following. There is no excuse for waiting till you build more traffic. Some people will always sign up.
An email list also boosts your confidence. Even if there are only 10 registered members in your opt in list still it will boost your confidence. You will feel that these 10 people thought that you can add value to their lives and they find your advises worthy.
16.Leverage the Social Media
Create a page for your blog in facebook. Whenever you write a new post remember to share it on your personal profile and your blog’s page on facebook. This will increase the number of hits and your fan following. Create a twitter account and tweet your posts with relevant hashtags.
Use linkedin groups judiciously and target its content delivery system. Join groups relevant to your blog and share your post links with the group. You can even put interesting images in flickr and put a link back to your website. Also share your post links in sites like Delicious.com, Digg.com, StumbleUpon.com etc.
If you regularly apply these techniques then you will definitely see a rise in traffic and more subscribers to your email list. You will develop your blog into a busy one in about 3 to 4 months’ time. These promotional techniques will surely work provided you regularly churn out interesting and informative posts that helps people.
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