The Ultimate Guide to Promoting a Blog Post

Ever felt like you’ve written the internet’s most epic post – it’s useful, well-written, entertaining… but only a handful of folk read it?

Yep, sometimes writing a great blog post just isn’t enough.

Ultimate Guide to Promoting Your Blog. This post outlines the foolproof 10-step process to getting your blog seen AND shared!

That’s when we pull out the big guns.

Well, this post outlines my big guns – all 10 of ’em! It’s a long one mind, so grab a caffeinated beverage and get comfy.

Download the free cheatsheet to refer back to:
Without further ado, here is my…

The Ultimate {Spam-Free} Guide to Promoting a Blog Post

1) Reformat

Time required: 2 hours

This is the most time consuming task, but trust me: it will pay off in the long run.

You can keep churning out blog posts, but ultimately if no one can find them, you are wasting your time!

Reformatting your text-based post into a visual, easy-to-swallow (and share) format will make your post discoverable (and even better: shareable) through external sites like Slideshare, Youtube and Pinterest.

Plus, through giving your post more imagery to support it, you can guarantee more shares on nearly all social platforms.

Option 1: Create a Slideshare presentation

This doesn’t need to be a complex task. You can create a Slideshare deck using Canva – it’s totally free and a pleasure to use.

You can also submit your Slideshare to:

*use Small PDF to convert the PDF file that Canva gives you into a PPT, so you can upload to Slideboom.

  • I’ve written a step-by-step guide to help you turn a blog post into a presentation using Canva. Check it out >>

Just to show you I practise what I preach…

Option 2: Create a ‘pinnable’ image (or better: an infographic)

By ‘pinnable’ I just mean portrait (taller than it is wide) as these are the images most likely to be seen and shared on Pinterest – a fantastic source of traffic.

It doesn’t need to give away all the gold from your post, it just needs to be clear and intriguing.

Infographics are an even better option. You can make even the dryest of statistics come alive with some simple, well-crafted graphics.

Online apps that let you create infographics for free:

  • Canva
  • Piktochart
  • Vennage
  • I’ve also written an in-depth guide to help you turn a blog post into an infographic in no time. Check it out >>

Option 3: Create a video

By simply recording yourself giving the outline of your post, and one gem of valuable advice or opinion, and adding a call-to-action at the end to read the full article, you have a whole new audience.

l recommend keeping it brief (2-3 mins) especially if you plan on sharing it on Facebook. Chalene Johnson has a great free training about getting started on Periscope.

BONUS: You’ll likely have oodles of great posts in your archives already – so why not give them the reformatting treatment too?

2) Share with your sources

Time required: 1 hour

Step 1: Over social media

If you’re linking to anyone else’s content in your post (and you totally should be – Google LAVES it!) be sure to make a note of their Twitter handle, or any other preferred social media handles.

Share your post on Twitter

See what I did there?

When you share your post on these networks, let the source know! They’ll be flattered and quite likely to share with their own followers.

Step 2: Over email

This takes a little more time than step 2, but the effort you put in is totally relative to what you get out.

Here’s an example email template you could try:

Subject: I featured your work

Hi [name],

I love the work you do on [site name]. In particular, I was blown away by [title of content you linked to] when I was researching my latest post.

Naturally, I had to mention you and link to the post. Just wanted to let you know and say thanks for the great resource!

If you get a chance, you can check it out here: [post URL].

I think you’ll love it!

I’d also really appreciate it if you shared it with your followers, if you think they’d enjoy it.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Bonus: (If you get a good response) offer to guest post on their blog about something related to the subject.

3) Schedule post

Time required: 1 hour

If you use a social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, you’re probably familiar with this task.

l find it quite tedious myself, so I make sure to batch the process (or, even better: outsource!)

I’d recommend devising at least 5 different ‘intros’ or quotes from the post, and ideally different images to match, so you don’t look like you’re repeating yourself.

Here’s the rough schedule I follow:

Bonus: Use relevant hashtags and the handles of anyone you linked to in your post (see task #2).

4) Set up alerts on your post subject

Time required: 15 mins

I commandeered this one from Neil Patel. When you set up alerts you can always keep up-to-date when a new piece of content related to yours shows up.

Step 1: Set up Google alerts

Receive weekly Google alerts of the keywords you want searched (not all will be very useful, but it’s worth setting up and checking.)

Step 2: Leave comments

If you find a post relevant to yours you can leave a comment linking to your post, and hopefully get some quality traffic. Buzzsumo is a great way of finding popular posts by topic.

Buzzsumo

Step 3: Set up Warble alerts

Warble searches Twitter for your hashtags and keywords, and emails you a daily digest of these.

You can then reply to the tweets (not just comments on the new blog post.)

Bonus: Go a step further and update your own content when you learn something new from the more recent posts – ensuring yours is still the best around.

5) Share on forums and aggregators

Time required: 1 hour*

It’s quite important with this task to put the work in first to be a reputable member – otherwise you just look like a spammer.

Some tips to avoid getting banned:

  1. A good rule of thumb is a 1:10 ratio of your blog content to other valuable comments.
  2. Post long, full answers – especially if you’re going to throw in a link to your own content
  3. Reply! Stay active on that thread so as not to appear a ‘hit and run’ spammer

Places to find forums in your niche to become an active member:

You can also google: “keyword” + forum

Inbound marketing

The upside is that it’s free, and you can establish some really great relationships over time with the communities.

You can also get a lot of content inspiration from forums, but that’s another post – wink wink.

*Do keep in mind the time required to maintain a solid presence on these forums. If you can, allow 15 minutes a day for a month or more to grow your authority before posting a link for the first time.

6) Share on groups

Time required: 30 mins*

Similar to #5: Sharing on forums, you need to be careful you don’t look spammy when posting links.

Often, these groups will welcome posts that share content, so you can make the most of them.

Facebook groups to promote yourself

Caitlin Bacher does a wonderful job on her Facebook group of inviting the members to share their wins.

If you aren’t sure, privately message the moderator of the group. They’ll likely appreciate the effort and allow you to share the post if it’s good quality.

Places to look for groups in your niche:

  • Facebook*
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Triberr

*Facebook Groups have been the most powerful for me; they’ve generated by far the most clicks, shares and comments. (Just make sure you don’t make these mistakes…)

Bonus: Get an invite to some Pinterest boards. It isn’t always clear cut, but it all comes down to being polite and asking the board owner.
If the answer is yes, then you have a group board with loads of new eyes on your content. Pingroupie is a good place to start finding group boards with big audiences.

Pingroupie

*Less time required than with task #5 but it’s worth allocating some time every week to show up and contribute to these groups.

7) Take advantage of the ‘free for all’ opportunities

Time required: 30 mins

By this I mean places that you can add your post to a whole host of other pre-published content (also known as syndication).

It’s not easy to make a splash with all the noise on these sites, but again, worth adding to – you never know what might catch fire!

Here are some popular options:

#1: Social bookmarking tools

#2: Linkies

Also known as ‘link parties’ ‘link ups’ and so on.. many popular niches have an authority blogger who hosts regular opportunities for other bloggers to add their latest posts.

Google:

‘[your niche]’ + link party
or
‘[your niche]’ + link up

You’ll usually see an ‘inLinkz link up’ on these types of posts – it’s super simple to add yours.

inLinkz link party

It’s great to share, but make sure you spend some time visiting and commenting on others!

#3: Syndication platforms

8) Comment on other blogs

Time required: 1 hour

Another one from Neil! Whilst commenting on the bigger blogs is great and very worthwhile, it’s also worth taking some time to contribute to the smaller fish in your pond.

This way, you can form relationships with the owner of the blog who will be more likely to reciprocate with a comment on your post.

Plus, you’re more likely to get noticed by their readers (as there’ll be less noise in the comment section than on bigger blogs.)

The criteria that Neil gives for choosing these blogs are:

  • it’s active, with at least one post a month
  • it has an average of fewer than 10 comments per post
  • it is run by one author (that you can connect with)
  • it features good content

So here’s what you do:

Step 1: Find 5 similar blogs on subject

You aren’t shooting for the biggest, most popular sites here, so try these two methods of finding blogs that reach the above criteria:

  • Google ‘niche’ + blog and skip to page 2-3 of the search results
  • Use Alltop (scroll to middle–bottom of the list for smaller blogs)

Alltop

Step 2: Leave a comment

You want this to be a lengthy, thoughtful comment on a recent (and ideally relevant to yours) blog post. Don’t link to your post at this stage; just be nice and provide value.

Step 3: Send them an email

Neil recommends going a step further and following up with an email, with an intriguing subject line like ‘A win-win situation for [blog name]?’

Then in a friendly email, offer to exchange comments on each other’s posts; to benefit each other’s blog. This is most likely to work on blogs that have around the same number of readers you have.

9) The ‘Vacuum Formula’

Time required: 2 hours

This is another more time consuming but ultimately ingenious idea from Brian of Videofruit.

The formula is simple:

Step 1: Find who is sharing similar posts

If you’ve done your research, you probably already know who these are.

If not, try the following:

Step 2: Make a list of their email addresses

Time for a sexy spreadsheet!

It’s not always easy to find an email address especially from a social media account – but this article is a huge help.

Step 3: Email them INDIVIDUALLY

I know it’s a pain – but trust me – it’s totally worth it when you see the response you get.

You can have a template, but customising each name and adding a little something extra shows you’re a real person – and a nice one.

This is the template Brian recommends:

Hi [NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME].

I follow you on Twitter and noticed that you [ACTION] one of my favourite articles [ARTICLETITLE.]

That is such a great post. And it’s a great blog.

I was hearing from my readers that they wanted something more in-depth about the topic so I went ahead and created this post: [URLOFDESTINATION]

If you have time I’d love for you to check it out.

Thanks!

Is you’ve written a great post and have taken the time to customise the email, you should at least get a friendly response – and many will be happy to share your post.

10) Email your own list

Time required: 30 mins

I believe doing this for each post is better than automatically emailing your list each time a post is published. You get the option to personalise it, and that can make a big difference.

You can either post it in full inside the email – but if it depends on the images you’re including I wouldn’t recommend it (most users won’t see them.)

Instead, write an introduction like:

Hey [NAME],

I just wanted to share with you the latest [YOUR BLOG] post. I’d love to know what you think.

[LINK TO POST]

[2 x paragraph post extract]

Click to continue reading

Thanks for reading!
[YOUR NAME]

You can finish with a call-to-action, either to something you want to promote or encourage your reader to forward to a friend.

Bonus: Use Noah Kagan’s strategy for seriously boosting the number of email opens you get.

Ultimate Guide to Promoting Your Blog-01

Promoting a Blog Post

Let’s wrap this up…

All in all, those tasks alone amount to about 14 hours of work.

If you’re going by Derek Halpern’s 80/20 split (of promoting your post to writing it) then I don’t think it’s an unrealistic amount of time to invest.

The beauty of it all is that the majority of these tasks can be outsourced. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork have unleashed a whole world of quality, affordable freelancers – it’s worth experimenting with if you haven’t already.

TLDR?

Grab you Post-Promoting cheat-sheet here!

Give it to me now!

Do you have a process to promoting your blog posts?

Share your tips in the comments below or send me a tweet @catrosedesign