Tips for Getting Exposure for Your Blog
You’ve been convinced of the importance of having a blog, and have an understanding of how to write a blog post, but now you may be wondering if the time you invest in your blog will be worth it. Sure, your family and friends read your posts with enthusiasm, but how do you reach outside your circle to potential clients and business referrers?
Start With Your Content
The most effective means of gaining exposure for your blog is to produce high-quality content consistently to keep your readership and the search engines coming back to your blog. The importance of attracting the search engine crawlers cannot be overstated here. The crawlers will come back and index your content more and more frequently the more content (blog posts, in this case) you publish and the higher the perceived quality of that content. And since it’s not the search engines that ultimately hire you, you’ll want the same consistently high-quality content for your readers, as well. Two birds, one stone.
Give your posts strong, engaging titles. Two approaches seem to work well: the “tell reader exactly what she is about to read” approach (used on this very post) and the “grab reader’s attention with enticing, exciting headline” approach, popular on many article sites like Buzzfeed. People are generally busy, so the first approach may work better for professionally-focused writing. But depending on your target audience, the latter may get you more readers. “Are you the best of times or the worst of times? Take our quiz!” may grab more readers for you than a post titled “A Tale of Two Cities.” It depends on your goals and your demographic target.
Take the time to find or create a unique image for each blog post. You’ll be rewarded with more readers. According to a Skyword study, a blog post with an image is 94% more likely to be read than one without. Be careful to choose an image that is in the public domain, or purchase the rights to it. The best option may be to use one of your own photos or an image you’ve created, if you are lucky enough to have a talent for that.
Bonus Tip: Publish your post when it’s likely to be read by the greatest audience. Fast Company has created a helpful, easy-to-follow infographic that shows the best times to post on the major social channels.
Give Social Media What It Needs to Do Its Job
Social media is a powerfully effective tool for increasing the readership and impact of your blog. Include social share buttons at the start and/or end of each post to make it quick and easy for readers to do your marketing for you. See the end of this post for an example of this. These buttons can be added by whoever manages your website.
Use your own social media accounts to spread the word. Automatically push your blog posts to Facebook, Twitter and the rest via a free syndication service like Twitterfeed. As soon as you hit “publish” on your latest post, these services will pick up the post via your RSS feed and publish it to your social media accounts, without you having to do anything more.
Take the extra and important step of including a link to your blog within your profile on each social media outlet you use.
- Twitter — Put a link to your blog in the Bio section. If you have a website link you’d rather put there, then pin a tweet to the top of your timeline with a link to your blog as an alternative.
- Facebook — Put a link to your blog in the About section of your Business page or Personal page.
- Google+ — Put a link to your blog in the About section (in Links) of your profile.
- LinkedIn — Put a link to your blog in the Contact Info section.
Bonus Tip: Join LinkedIn groups for your industry and reach readers in numbers well beyond your direct connections. You can republish your best blog posts to these groups using LinkedIn’s Publish feature.
Ride Some Coattails with Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is the act of publishing an original, unique blog post on someone else’s blog. The strategy here is to find a popular, reputable blog with a readership you’d like to attract to your own blog, and then arrange with the owner to get your own post published there. Think of guest blogging as exponential client outreach. You can dazzle a whole new set of readers (potential new clients) with your expertise and knowledge around the subject at hand, in far greater numbers than at a local event.
Bonus Tip: Confirm with the blog owner that your byline on your guest post will link to your blog so readers can find and follow you there.
Grab the Low-Hanging Fruit
Make sure you include a link to your blog within your email signature file, on your business card, and on any marketing collateral you produce. If you are part of a firm, everyone in the firm should include the link to your firm’s blog in the signature file. Refer to a blog post you’ve written when confronted with a similar issue either online or out at a business event. Don’t be shy about sending links via email to business peers or potential clients who may have the issue you address in the post. You may find you’ve solved a pain point for them and gained new business.
Providing useful information in an engaging way, and then showing it to the world via social media, guest blogging and other means, will increase the reach and effectiveness of your blog beyond what one-to-one contact with your potential client base could. Implement just one of these tips with each post you write and watch your readership — and hopefully new client list — soar.