Blogging: Promoting Your Work

There are many reasons why you may be writing a blog. It could be personal, your blog may simply be a hobby, or a way of expressing yourself and you may just blog for enjoyment. It could be that your blog started as a hobby, but has now turned into your livelihood, or at least another way to add to your monthly income. Or it may be that you have your own business, and your blog is an accompaniment to this, a way to promote and celebrate your business achievements and your product. Whatever the reason for your blog, in order to get your content, message or business out there, you need to effectively promote.

If you are blogging to promote a business or investment, then you may well decide to seek professional social media management for small businesses as this can ensure that your posts are reaching the right audience at the right time, and can carefully market your content. However, if your blog is a stand alone labour of love, you may not want to spend too much of your income on promoting your work. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do in order to promote your work that don’t cost too much money, and can be effective.

Here are some content marketing tips that anyone can use for their blog, no matter how big or small.

Twitter

For many, Twitter is the number one way to promote blog posts for a number of reasons. The first is that it is free, and you can tweet your posts as many times as you want to, as long as you change the wording so the post is not repetitive.

Tweets can reach a wide audience once you build up your following, but in the meantime, you can help them reach a bigger audience by tagging in companies and people that you blog about, they may well retweet you so you then reach their audience. You can also take part in promotional hours like ‘Brum Hour’ which takes place every Sunday evening between 8-9pm and is a way of sharing your story and a few key posts of the week. This sort of promotional hour is particularly good if you have a lifestyle blog because you promote a varied range of topic.

If you are using Twitter, don’t forget that Tweetdeck is great if you are going to be away for a few days as you can schedule tweets. There are also plugins that can recycle old posts, I find these are often retweeted once again by companies involved, and can introduce old content to a new audience.

Instagram

Instagram is a great way of promoting product reviews as you can use your great photography and build up a like minded audience. Make sure your blog link is included in your bio (although I do believe you can now add links to your insta posts.) Instagram is very popular with those who have a parenting blog, as it is, as it’s name suggests, an instant way of sharing those magic moments. Fashion bloggers also often favour Instagram, showing their shopping sprees through the new Instagram stories.

Facebook

It is still a good tool to have a Facebook page for your blog, it allows you to set up albums for extra photographs that you have not used on your blog, is a way to promote your posts in more detail than you can on Twitter, and also helps you reach the Facebook addicts that are not so keen on the other form of social media.

In addition, there are lots of Facebook groups that are perfect for bloggers to join in order to share and promote blog posts. These can range from specific groups for those who write a certain type of blog – i.e a page for those with a wedding blog, to general blog groups which encourage post sharing and can introduce your blog to other bloggers.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a really good way to share your blog posts that works very well if you have good photography. Choose a key image that illustrates what your blog post is all about, and then add information to entice the pinner to come and read the full article.

Pinterest is a taster for your blog, but with thousands of visitors pinning every single day, it is worthwhile to create some pin worthy images for your blog, and to make sure that your readers are able to pin your images too. This could win you a whole new audience of blog visitors, making your visibility on the internet so much clearer.

How do you promote your blog posts?

 

A new website design?

I’ve recently been considering re-designing my website, it has been over five years since it last had an update, and I am very attached to the pink lady on my site. I do regularly clean up my sidebar and ads, but changing the design itself is more of a challenge and a worry.

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I use a custom wordpress design that I have always loved – it’s fresh, frothy and pretty and generally suits my blog and me. I’ve never really got around to buying a bespoke design for my site, although I can definitely see the benefits of changing to a cleaner, more sophisticated design (my good friend Emily Jayne did this recently and it looks amazing). But the blog design, and web designs in general are important, and can make a difference in terms of traffic and audience. A good friend Adam, from Essex Web Designs, states very clearly why design and layout is important:-

“Your company website is your virtual shop front: the place where you can find new customers, communicate and engage with them, and in many instances, trade with them – anywhere in the world, at any time of day.”

So there are clearly good reasons for wanting a striking, clean and tidy web design, but I do worry that after 5 years my design is a recognisable feature of my blog, and that, by changing it and making it look different, regular visitors may think they are in the wrong place and click out of the site, or that they just might not like a new design?

One of my current fave websites, in terms of layout, is Vogue.com. Like the magazine itself, the design is both classic and modern, fashion forward, and with many imitators. Vogue makes great use of photography, and has that iconic logo that is instantly recognisable. It suits Vogue perfectly.

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I’m still thinking about what changes I want to make, but ultimately, your blog design should reflect you and your personality, whether that be stylish, elegant or slightly chaotic.

 

 

Building links with SEO and PR companies

One of the most important things you can establish as a blogger is good and positive links with SEO and PR companies. I read lots of great posts where bloggers show how they have built up their relationships with these types of companies in order to benefit their blog, and I thought it was about time I added my voice to the list.

I’ve been blogging for six years, and part of the reason I still have things to write about is that I have built up my links with both local and national PR and SEO companies which mean I still get the invites to events, the press releases that tell me of new products, and the opportunities to review. Even the most voracious of writers could suffer from writers block without a little help and ideas from creative agencies and PR/SEO companies. So, how do you make those links?

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  1. Get in Touch

Don’t feel embarrassed about getting in touch with PR and SEO agencies. Many have their email and contact details on their websites, so, if you believe that there could be a mutually beneficial relationship (i.e. they represent beauty companies and you write about beauty), then drop them an email telling them a little about yourself and your blog, and asking them to keep you in mind for events etc. Include things like DA, trust flow, social media reach and anything else that might catch the eye and make you stand out from the crowd. Later you will also need to be measuring the ROI on your SEO services venture to see if you have achieved anything through your hard work.

2. Start Local

It is a good idea to find out which agencies represent businesses in your area. I have worked closely with Rewired PR and Gung Ho, both of whom are Birmingham based, and this is very useful when it comes to arranging local restaurant and Theatre reviews. Many companies are based in London, but even here you can find companies that are specific to an area, like Essex Web Design Studio, who not only represent a range of different clients, but also offer web design in Chelmsford. The benefit of contacting local companies is that you could arrange to meet and discuss any projects in person, rather than everything being done through email.

3. Twitter

Twitter is a great way of getting onto a PR/SEO’s radar. Follow all the agencies you can find and then build up a relationship with them by chatting and helping with enquiries and polls, rather than just tweeting when they advertise an opportunity. You can also include the Twitter handles of PR companies in tweets if you know they work with a company that you have blogged about, this again helps you to make yourself known to agencies.

4. Make a Contact

Having a named person to contact is always a plus, so keep all those business cards you get given and you can then contact a person directly. PRs do tend to move to different companies on a regular basis, but if you have established a link, you will often find that your contact will not only stay in touch in a new role, but will often pass your details on to their replacement, hence maintaining your relationship.

Do you have any tips for developing links with PR and SEO agencies?