Content is key to blogging success. If your blog is lacking original content, then your marketing efforts will be futile. This is essential to know before exploring the vast number of strategies that will attract readers to your blog, and – most importantly – have them keep coming back
Use social media to the fullest
It’s extremely rare that you’ll find someone today who is not on either Facebook or Twitter. Many people visit these social media sites daily, often to check on their favorite interests in addition to friends. Facebook is an extremely useful social media tool for attracting and retaining blog readers, as creating a Facebook page for your blog/business can increase your visibility significantly. Updating this Facebook page whenever you post something to your blog is very helpful, even if hyperlinks will only show up on a portion of your followers’ walls. A text-only post to your Facebook wall will reach more readers, so asking a relevant question regarding an already-published blog post is a surefire way to engage readers, and encourage them to check up on your blog.
Make following your blog easily and accessible
Yes, social media is a great outlet to promote your blog, but it won’t do any good if visitors can’t find your Facebook page or Twitter profile. Posting a link or – even better – a Facebook badge or Twitter badge to your blog’s sidebar or header will encourage readers to follow you on social media, increasing the chances that you’ll gain longtime readers.
Having a link to your blog’s RSS feed is useful, as well.
Keep SEO in mind
It’s important to keep SEO (search engine optimization) in mind when writing your posts, but don’t write your posts around SEO. Keyword stuffing, a big no-no, is painfully obvious to readers, and they’ll lose respect for your content if they realize you’re so desperate for visitors that it’s affecting your content detrimentally. Keep your keyword density (the number of times your targeted keyword appears in your post) at less than 5%, preferably. Any more than 5%, and your blog post may read like an advertisement instead of a genuine and passionate article.
One way to find the best keywords for your site is to use SEO tools. It’s important to view your page as the Google searches view you so you understand what you need to work on.
Write guest posts for free
Chances are, other blogs aren’t going to pay you for guest posts. But what they will often do is offer you to place a link to your site within the article somewhere. When guest blogging for a well-ranked and topically relevant site, these embedded links may elevate your blog in search engine results. There are also many advantages to guest blogging on other sites.
Comment on other blogs
Make quality comments on other blogs, but never link to your blog directly within a post unless it’s extremely relevant. If you post your URL for no apparent reason on another blog’s comments, your comment will likely be removed. Instead, many blogs offer the option to include a URL in addition to your name and e-mail. If you make an interesting post, readers on that blog may click on that link, suspecting more quality thoughts will be on your own blog.
Set up your e-mail signature
All e-mail services have the option of setting your own personalized signature. Including a link in your signature to your blog, as well as distinguishing yourself as the Founder/Editor of the blog, will drive some readers to your blog. Even if the impact is minimal, it may lead to partnerships and longtime readers in the future.
Host a contest, and maximize its social media potential
Many companies within your blog’s niche love to have their products mentioned. To do this, they offer many topically relevant blogs the opportunity to host contests, where visitors can enter to win a product or free entry to an event. If a company doesn’t reach out to you, feel free to reach out to them, proposing an interesting opportunity that is mutually beneficial.
When you set up the contest, it is recommended to have readers enter via Facebook or Twitter. And more importantly, increase your number of social media followers.
Again, none of these strategies will matter if your blog lacks insightful, original content. So make sure that you post quality content on a consistent basis. If that’s accomplished, the strategies above will be a great help in marketing your blog online.