In this guide, I’ll show you how to promote your blog and get traffic.
Figuring out how to make a blog is easy when compared to actually getting people’s attention, promoting your content and increasing your blog traffic.
Here’s what you need to know to promote your content and drive traffic in 2019.
- “Blog and pray” does not work
- 30 places to promote your blog content
- Recycle your content in different formats for different platforms
- Go to niche forums and communities
- Answer questions on Quora and Q&A sites
- Reach out to influencers
- Send your new blog post to your true fans
- How to promote your blog on social media
- Link to your new post from your old posts
- Don’t panic if people ignore you and if you don’t hear any feedback
“Blog and pray” does not work
You cannot just publish content and expect people to find you. It doesn’t work like that.
Beginners think that simply building a blog means that visitors will come automatically. The reality is the other way around.
Without you taking action using blog promotion tactics, your content will most probably go unnoticed no matter how good it is.
You need to have a marketing strategy ready for things to do after you publish a new piece of content in order to drive awareness and traffic to it.
You can publish the best content in the world but not many will find you. You will have to do some marketing in order to help get your content discovered.
Think of your blog as your main asset while all the social media platforms are free advertising opportunities for your blog.
Make it a habit to spend at least 50% of your time promoting your content.
This will ensure that you market your blog effectively and successfully boost blog traffic.
Here’s the list of things I do and all the places I go to in order to promote my blog content.
30 places to promote your blog content
Learn how to leverage already popular sites in your field to increase traffic to your blog content.
Syndicating your content to larger, established sites with broader reader bases works in your favor in several ways. You get your message in front of a large audience that is interested in what you’re doing.
This will lead to an increase in the brand awareness and your authority. It might give you some clicks and visits to your site, some subscribers to your mailing list or some followers on your social media.
The biggest long-term benefit of getting mentioned on bigger site is that you’re building the authority and links to your domain name.
This will result in your content ranking higher for a wider range of long tail keywords which will introduce you to new people some of which will decide to join your mailing list too.
The idea with content syndication is to go to big sites that are popular with your target audience, publish excellent content as a contributor, and use it to attract new visitors to your blog.
Many sites host articles from a variety of writers.
Write a targeted article that’s useful and attracting to that particular kind of audience (some sites even allow you to repost your existing content).
Include a link (or two) to content that’s already published on your blog to make it easier for readers to click over and visit you
Most popular syndicators looking for writers
- Indie Hackers – Contribute
- LinkedIn Publishing Network – How to submit your post
- Business2Community – Become a contributor
- Business Insider – How to contribute
- BuzzFeed – Submit your community post
- Entrepreneur.com – Become a contributor
- Fast Company – Guidelines for submitting contributed articles
- Forbes – Submitting an article
- Harvard Business Review – Contributor guidelines
- Huffington Post – Submit your pitch
- Inc. Magazine – Contributing to Inc
- Mashable – Submit news
- Moz – YouMoz community guidelines
- New York Times – How to submit an op-ed article
- SocialMediaToday – How to post
- TechCrunch – Submit your post
- ReadWrite – Contributor guidelines
- SitePoint – Write for us
- Social Media Examiner – Write for us
- Jeff Bullas – Guidelines
Medium is worth exploring for syndication
Medium.com is another great opportunity to syndicate your content.
You are free to republish content that you’ve already posted somewhere else too.
If you’re importing a story you’ve already published somewhere else, make sure to use the Medium Import feature. Imported stories automatically apply a canonical URL which references the original source URL.
This basically consolidates the duplicate articles and makes sure your original article gets the search engine benefits.
Medium has a large reach with 90 million visitors per month but is also a very noisy platform with 20,000 new articles published daily so you may find getting organic views difficult. There’s a solution for that.
Medium hosts many different publications which allow you to syndicate your content.
Some of them have very large audiences which means that your syndicated post gets sent to their subscribers and is shown on their home page too.
This is a quicker and more efficient way of getting attention on Medium compared to starting to build your Medium audience from scratch.
Find a publication relevant to what you’re doing, review their submission guidelines and submit your content.
Most popular Medium publications welcoming submissions
Here are the most popular Medium publications that welcome content submissions (subscriber numbers as of July 2018):
- The Mission with almost 500,000 subscribers. Here are the submission guidelines
- freeCodeCamp has almost 500,000 subscribers. Here’s how to post there
- Hacker Noon has more than 300,000 subscribers. Here’s how to submit your posts
- The Startup with more than 300,000 subscribers. Here’s how to submit your story
- Better Humans with more than 200,000 subscribers. Here’s how to write for them
- Think Growth with almost 200,000 subscribers. Here’s how to contribute
- UX Planet with 150,000 subscribers. Here’s how to publish
- Muzli with more than 100,000 subscribers. Here’s how to publish
- The Writing Cooperative with more than 100,000 subscribers. These are the submission requirements
- P.S. I Love You with 100,000 subscribers. There are the submission guidelines
Here’s a good Medium leaderboard if you’re looking for an easy way to find even more publications.
Find additional syndication and guest posting opportunities
Use Google to find other opportunities more relevant to your field. Search for:
- Your keyword + Become a contributor
- Your keyword + Write for us
- Your keyword + Guest post guidelines
- Your keyword + inurl:guest-post
- Your keyword + inurl:contribute
Recycle your content in different formats for different platforms
Don’t just only use the same channels that everyone else uses. Find the right channels to focus your marketing effort on instead. Places where your target audience is.
Some people like to read. Some prefer to learn by watching. Others learn best by listening. You can accommodate them all and expand your audience at the same time without the need to come up with more new content ideas.
Enable right stories to find right readers, in the right places at the right times.
Reuse and recycle your content in different formats on different platforms. Repackage and republish content to give unseen content a second chance.
Here’s how it works for BuzzFeed:
A seven-step web recipe for slow-cooker chicken becomes a 46-second Facebook video, and then a 15-second Instagram clip with the instructions written as a comment, and finally a Pinterest post with two images and a link back to the Facebook video. And if it’s going on Snapchat, it needs to be shot in portrait mode as well. It’s all the exact same recipe, but “we put it on Facebook, and we put it on YouTube, and we put it on AOL and Yahoo, and all of a sudden it’s 15 different MP4 files.”
Take, for example, the series about short-girl problems: It began with an article on the website that attracted more than 8 million views, titled “30 Awkward Moments Every Short Girl Understands”; it then became a scripted YouTube video (“10 Problems Only Short Girls Understand”); and ultimately it inspired a cartoon titled Trans Girl Problems that appeared on Facebook.
Video and YouTube are big for BuzzFeed so here’s my guide on how to make a vlog if you need any help.
You can also record your content as a podcast and release it on the different podcast platforms.
Podcasts are the perfect entertainment for the daily commute, workout, while cooking, cleaning the house or doing other chores. They are very diverse, highly personalized and have a high level of intimacy. People love them.
The latest iPhone or Samsung devices can record high-quality audio which is more than enough for a new podcaster. Try it out and see how it feels.
Releasing a podcast allows you to promote your content and expand your reach using platforms such as:
- Apple Podcasts app (or iTunes on laptop) is one of the most popular destinations for podcast listeners. Submit your podcast RSS feed URL here.
- Stitcher is one of the most popular podcasting apps for mobile phones. Submit your podcast here.
- Pocket Casts is another one. Submit your podcast here.
- TuneIn is another popular app. You can add your podcast by contacting them manually here.
- Alternatively use a platform such as Anchor as they automatically get your podcast on Pocket Casts, Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music with one click.
I hope this helps you understand the value of reusing your content in different formats.
These are the simple but effective tactics you can use to reuse your old content by giving it a fresh look and a new format that you then can spread on new platforms such as YouTube videos or Slideshare presentations:
Go to niche forums and communities
Your target audience is somewhere looking for an expert to help them with their questions and problems. Depending on the niche you are in there will be several communities and forums that allow you to submit content.
Follow this process to engage with niche communities without being a spammer:
- Search for the specific communities relevant to your topic. Google is your best friend here.
- Find those that look to be the most popular and the most active.
- Are real people actually having real conversations within the community?
- Or is it full of random people posting links to their sites and no engagement?
- Actively sharing your content doesn’t mean that you send spam. You don’t just join and post your content. You will be ignored and banned.
- Spend some time learning the guidelines and the way to approach each individual community.
- Participate, create value, share interesting information, help people out, solve their issues and be a part of the wider community.
- Be an authority and you will be noticed. As you begin building trust and relationships with people in the group, you can start sharing your relevant content too.
Think of it as informing an audience rather than a push of a marketing message that they don’t want.
You know what people want and you give excellent and informative answers to their questions in your content. You help them solve their pain points.
Discover forums dedicated to your topic
How do you discover relevant communities such as forums dedicated to your topic? Do a Google search using this format including quotes:
- “Your topic” inurl:forum
Go to Facebook Groups
Go to Facebook groups too. Almost a billion of people use Facebook Groups every month and they’re highly engaging properties. Find the relevant groups to your work and start adding value.
Share it on relevant Telegram, Discord and Slack communities
Telegram, Discord and Slack are chat platforms and very popular places to host a community. Use Google to find those relevant to your niche topic, join and interact:
- Telegram channels + your topic
- Discord groups + your topic
- Slack communities + your topic
Share it with relevant Reddit communities
Some of the articles I publish fit well in certain subreddits on Reddit.
Reddit has the potential to drive thousands of visitors to you so it is definitely worth exploring if you have a relevant article to submit and you can find a relevant and popular subreddit.
An alternative to finding great subreddits is to look up your competitor by visiting this URL https://old.reddit.com/domain/tesla.com/top/?sort=top&t=all and changing the bold part with their domain name.
It you see identify which subreddits are interested in that type of content.
Search for popular hashtags and related Twitter chats
I search Twitter for Twitter chats, keywords, phrases relevant to my content and my target audience. I then follow, interact with, and help the real people who talk about and ask questions about my topics.
I used to spend hours on this every day in the early days. It’s a great real-time way of getting visitors and spreading the word about your content. It helps you establish your name in the field.
Here are some great hashtag research sources:
Search for, join and engage in the relevant LinkedIn groups.
Share the article on Tumblr
I keep an active Tumblr account with the main objective being for it to be a traffic driver. I post any new article on Tumblr adding the relevant tags.
Share the image to your Pinterest boards
I submit the post image to the relevant Pinterest boards. I make sure to include a headline in all the images that I put on my blog and that was mostly thanks to the increasing importance of Pinterest as a traffic driver.
It makes the images look better.
Answer questions on Quora and Q&A sites
Quora, Yahoo Answers, Stack Overflow and other Q&A sites are great sources of referral traffic. If you’ve researched before writing your post, you’ve probably found questions people had and answered them in your content.
Now you can go directly to the different Q&A sites, look for people asking similar questions and help them out while at the same time indirectly promoting your content.
Answer questions the best that you can directly on the Q&A site, help people solve their problems and then link people back to your blog if they want to learn even more by reading the full post.
How do you find questions to answer?
- Simply use the search box on the individual platform to surface relevant questions
- Search for the relevant keywords on Google and find Quora and other Q&A threads that rank well and answer them. These threads are ranking high which means that they do get some organic traffic
Reach out to influencers
This one is another one that’s difficult to do and may result in you being ignored by the majority of people who you reach out to, but it’s a necessary thing to do and something that can bring you major results.
This is another tactic that will take some time and experimentation for you to find the actual message that resonates.
Journalists, bloggers and other influencers already have built their audiences and have access to platforms that can extend the reach of your messages too.
Identify and get in touch with influencers who have the attention of an engaged audience relevant to your field. These could be bloggers, journalist, Facebook group admins, forum moderators and social media power users.
If you can reach out to them with interesting messages and build relationships with them your message may be shared further. This is also where your great content can help you get attention.
- Journalists are looking for things to write about
- Influencers are looking for content to share
- Bloggers are looking for companies to work with
One tweet from an influencer recommending your content can result in a cascade of traffic and shares coming your way.
This does take longer time than the other advice in this post, but it’s a robust strategy.
I send personal tweets and emails to certain influencers that I think the post might be interesting to in hope of getting them to share it with their networks.
Here are some ways to reach out to more people:
- Reach out to anyone that you have mentioned in your blog post and tell them about it.
- Contact bloggers who have linked to similar content published by competing sites. Chances are that they might like to update their post with a better and more up-to-date resource.
- Reach out to journalists that are writing relevant stories using tools such as Haro and SourceBottle.
- Find popular content and people who have shared it. Reach out to them telling them about your post. You’ll be surprised at how many groups there are with the only purpose of sharing the best content they can find. If you reach out with content that their audience will love, you stand a good chance getting that share.
- Go beyond simple tweets. Connect with them, partner with them and build a mutually beneficial relationship. Do a co-marketing venture such as a webinar where everyone wins.
Don’t spam, don’t beg for shares, let the quality (and usefulness and relevancy) of content speak for itself.
Comment on other blog posts
Comment on the most recent posts on relevant blogs that have good traffic numbers. Commenting on posts is a simple tactic that can be very useful when building a connection to another content creator.
Proper commenting etiquette is all about respect. When you’re on someone’s blog, you’re on their “property.”
Just as you would treat someone’s home with respect in life, you should treat someone’s blog with respect in the virtual world when you leave a comment.
Find blogs related to your content using Google or social media. Subscribe, follow them and explore their content. Show up regularly. Feedback on their content. Contribute with your opinion.
Don’t just comment for the sake of it. Most comment areas list their comments from first to last. You must comment on the post soon after it has been published.
If you do that you will expose your comment to thousands of people who are going to read the post. The earlier you are, the more people will see your comment.
Send your new blog post to your true fans
- Be it your email list
- Facebook Messenger subscribers
- The browser push notification subscribers
Send a message to the people who have given you permission to contact them. These are your true fans and could be the first wave of visitors that help you share your new content to even more people.
How to promote your blog on social media
Most content creators focus on this part when doing the marketing. They share their posts on their own channel and believe that their work is done.
Out of all the different ideas in this post, sharing to your own channel probably is the least effective one.
Most own channels have very low organic reach, very little engagement and almost no clicks. When starting out you will have no audience. Some general tips to get more traction with your social media marketing:
- Follow relevant people first. That’s still the best way to get attention. Look at people following big personalities in your field and follow those people. Look at people who have shared similar content in the past and follow them.
- Include relevant hashtags when posting your content. This is a good way for you to extend your reach.
- Do use a social media tool such as Buffer that allows you to post to multiple profiles at the same time in order to make social media marketing more efficient.
Don’t just share once. Repeat the push multiple times
Break up your main content into smaller, social media friendly posts. Then share and link all these social posts back to your main post.
Aim to repeat the promotional push on the social platforms several times over the few weeks after publishing your post.
Sharing more than once brings many more clicks as most followers don’t see the first post. Only a small percentage of your total audience actually sees what you publish in social media.
It’s a loss of opportunity if you just promote your latest article for a day or two, and then focus on writing a new article.
Nobody is bothered by you posting multiple times and your clicks will increase, so it’s hard to argue against this.
You don’t necessarily just need to publish the title every time. Add some variety and mix it up if you wish not to be repetitive and boring on your social media profiles. Do several variations such as this:
- Post headline + link
- Post introduction + link
- Choose a particular quote from the post + link
- Share a big takeaway or a lesson learned from the post + link
- Focus on a different detail and different aspect of the post + link
- Ask a relevant question about the post topic + link
- Post a media from the article + link
- Reword and rephrase one of the earlier messages + link
- Change up the media + link
- Tag a person you highlighted in the post including a relevant quote + link
Add social sharing buttons
Word of mouth and social media play a significant role in the viral spreadability of your content. Your true fans love your content.
You should empower them and encourage them to help you spread the word for you.
Make sure there’s nice space for social sharing buttons when you’re looking to design a blog.
Include social share buttons on all your content. Highlight most important points or quotes and ask people click to tweet.
I use and recommend the Social Warfare plugin (this is an affiliate link but the plugin is free and everything you need is in the free version).
Tweet the post
I tweet out the headline and the link to my Twitter followers to make them aware of the new post. Many times I also include an image as that seems to get more attention.
Post it on your Facebook page
Share your posts on your Facebook page. I find that displaying the image on my Facebook page instead of the link thumbnail works best in terms of reaching and engaging the highest number of people.
Post it on LinkedIn
I publish the link to the post on my LinkedIn profile.
Share it using Instagram stories
Post an Instagram story referencing your blog post adding the link too. Check out my guide on how to start a blog on Instagram for details on best marketing practices.
Use social media paid advertising (if you have a budget)
All traffic has a price really. None of it is truly free. Promoting your blog costs you time, money or both. As time is a limited source, paid marketing can help you scale and get there faster.
It’s increasingly difficult to get organic reach and clicks on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Investing a bit of money in strategically important platforms and posts can give you a great boost and get your content in front of a larger audience.
The majority of platforms mentioned in this post also accept paid advertising in order for you to boost your content to a larger audience.
Finding the right channel for you and getting a bit of marketing budget can work wonders for you.
Paid marketing is not the most sustainable growth model for bloggers in the long term. It can bring you fast growth and it can be made more efficient with optimization but finding a balance between organic and paid growth is what will bring you a health and sustainable growth.
And remember paid marketing is not the same as buying fake followers or getting fake account with no real audience to share your content. You don’t want to waste your budget and want to get some return on investment.
Two budget-friendly places I recommend you start with:
- Twitter Promote Mode: For $99 per month Twitter will amplify your tweets and help you reach a wider audience.
- Quuu Promote (affiliate link): It’s like your blog promotion service. For $35 per post your article can be shared by hundreds of social media users.
Link to your new post from your old posts
I try to link to my new post where it’s relevant in the popular posts from my archives. In that way, I try to lead some of my visitors to explore more of my newer content too.
This internal linking also helps with your SEO and will get the newly published post to rank faster and higher.
How do you find relevant posts in your archives to link back from? Google is your friend yet again. You can search for your posts that feature relevant text but don’t link to the new post like this:
site:yourdomainname.com -site:yourdomainname.com/your-new-post/ intext:”keyword of your new post”
Don’t panic if people ignore you and if you don’t hear any feedback
This is something you need to get used to. It’s one of those things that’s very difficult to learn to understand and live with. You have put a lot of time and effort into something be it a product or a blog post.
You release it into the wild but get no feedback whatsoever. No email replies, no comments and responses. You might see a few likes here and there only. Or a comment from your mom.
It’s important to understand the nature of the web and social media. It’s full of lurkers. The Internet is a great place for people to join a community and passively observe.
There’s no obligation to respond or interact. 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% contribute a little, and 1% account for almost all the action.
You almost certainly have more people paying attention to you than what you see in your engagement numbers so do beware of that and keep pushing your project.
Find some alternative metrics to keep an eye on in order to follow your progress:
- Visitors to your site
- Time spent on site
- Pages viewed per visit
- Subscribers to your email list
- Open rates on your email list
- …and obviously revenue.
These can tell you a better story.
There you have it. That’s how to promote your blog to attract people to check out your content.
Working on this blog promotion strategy will put you on the road towards getting 500 or even more loyal visitors.