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Promote a Blog Post [Day 3 - 31DBBB]

Yesterday’s task in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge was to write a ‘list post’ on your blog. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to write that up and publish it by now.

Today we’re going to take that post and attempt to drive some readers to it.

Today’s Teaching on Promoting Blog Posts:

Blog Promotion is something that most bloggers have tried to do in many ways – however one mistake that I see a lot of bloggers making in their attempts to find new readers is that they only ever promote their blog as a whole. Their promotion is all about driving traffic to their blogs home page URL.

While there’s nothing wrong with this – I personally have had A LOT more success in promoting individual posts than my blogs front page. That’s what we are going to do today.

Having hit publish on your post yesterday – don’t just leave it to chance that your post will be read by people. Be more proactive than that and spend a little time today giving it some ‘nudges’ to help it on its way.

I know quite a few have already done some of this by leaving a link on our previous post promoting your link (some of your are reporting quite good traffic from doing it) but lets go a step further and find some ways to promote your post in other networks outside of ProBlogger.

11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post

note: please be careful in using these techniques. Don’t use them all with every post you write. Choose your best posts and promote them selectively and in ways that are useful to other people.

1. Pitching Other Bloggers - asking another blogger to consider linking to your post. note: there’s a real art to this – read more on how to do it at 11 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Being Linked to By a Blogger.

2. Social Messaging – what social networks like Twitter and Facebook are you a part of? Attempt to leverage these to promote your post. The key is not to incessantly spam your followers and friends with your link – but use your network to ‘seed’ the link and let your followers spread word of it for you (this won’t happen every time but as your network grows it can become more and more powerful).

3. Social Bookmarking - promoting selective links on a site like Digg or StumbleUpon can lead to amazing results. Further reading on this topic at How to Get to the Front Page of Digg and Using Social Media Sites to Grow Your Blog’s Traffic.

4. Internal Links – don’t just promote your post on other people’s sites – think about where you can link to it from within your own site. Perhaps you’ve written on the topic before and can add a link for further reading, perhaps adding a section in your sidebar for ‘latest posts’ could work. Internal linking won’t drive heaps of new traffic but it can help with SEO and increase page views.

5. Newsletters - if you have an email newsletter list – shoot out an email to your list about your latest post.

6. Other Blogs Comments Sections and Forums – leaving helpful and insightful comments on forums or other blogs can be great at driving traffic if your comment is genuine, relevant and sensitive to the discussion. Leaving a link is sometimes also appropriate if highly relevant.

7. Email Signatures – Adding links to your blog to your outgoing emails is fairly common place – but whatever including links to recent posts instead of just your blog’s front page URL.

8. Followup Posts – write a new post on your blog that picks up where your last one left off. This builds momentum and if you inter-link the posts drives more page views.

9. Advertise Your Post – for posts that you’re particularly proud of and that are well received by readers you might even consider a mini ad campaign with a small budget using a service like AdWords or StumbleUpon advertising. Further Reading on this at Run a StumbleUpon advertising campaign on your blog.

10. Pitch Mainstream Media – occasionally posts will be relevant to mainstream media. You want to really pick a highly interesting post for this – it’s not something for every day.

11. Article Marketing – I wouldn’t recommend submitting exactly the same article you’ve posted on your blog to article marketing sites (this can get you into trouble with Google penalties for duplicate content) but I know of a few bloggers who rewrite their key articles for article marketing.

Of course there are many other ways to promote posts. Feel free to tell us how you do it in comments below.

Please note: don’t do all of the above things for every single post on your blog. I personally tend to pick 1-2 posts a week to give a push and let others grow organically.

Today’s Task – Promote a Post:

Take a little time to look at yesterdays post and ask yourself where it might be appropriate to promote it. If you look at the post and don’t think that it is really worthy of promotion anywhere – feel free to choose another relevant post to do it with. If you don’t have one – spend some time today writing something that you feel IS link worthy and then try promoting that.

For most of you I’d start with point #1 above – pitching to other bloggers. Choose another blog with highly related content to your post and politely submit it as a suggested link to that blog. Again – check out 11 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Being Linked to By a Blogger for tips that will help increase the likelihood of it being successful.

Feeling Timid?

I know that many new bloggers often feel quite timid and wary of promoting themselves. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. I have felt that myself many times and have at times not put my work forward where perhaps I should have. However – the times that I have been willing to push myself out of my comfort zone have often paid off.

While I’ve had a few times in my blogging life where I’ve had lucky breaks that result in traffic – most of the times traffic has arrived at my blogs in numbers have been a direct result of me doing some promotional work. Don’t just leave it to chance – put yourself out there and see what comes as a result.

Once you’ve done it – I’d love to hear how you went about promoting your post and what the result was in comments below. Lets learn together how to get this task right!

Update: There are lots of folks talking about this over at the forum, you should check it out! Day 3 – Promote a Post

Want More?

This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.

Join over 14,000 other bloggers and Get your Copy Today.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Gina says:

    Before this 31-day blogger project, I was already promoting my posts on facebook and twitter which have led to some traffic – not a lot, but some. I’d expect more from “friends”. Subscribers have generated the most traffic. I do thank people and reach out to them when they subscribe or comment. Depending on the post topic, I’ve asked people to retweet or pass the message along.

    I’ve recently started making a big effort to seek out similar blogs and comment, comment, comment. I find it enjoyable, and I’m getting some traffic from this activity too.

    Thanks again…great stuff!

  2. ArdeasNest says:

    Not quite ready to go overboard, yet, but I am definately looking into Digg, etc. I am also going to work on a list to other postings of other bloggers (with their permission) which wll hopefully bring more traffic.

  3. Reeta Luthra says:

    I’ve spent a good while promoting yesterdays list post http://paradoxofreality.com/blog/2009/04/15/7-ways-role-models-influence-your-success/ on various social networks.

    It’s been a slog and I really appreciate all the tips people are leaving in these comments that’ll help make the process more efficient.

  4. Glen Feechan says:

    As an extension to point #5, I find Aweber’s blog broadcast facility is a great way of doing this automatically. You can set it to email links to the latest posts on your blog at whatever intervals you choose. Mine is set to go out on a Wednesday and a Friday, and I regularly get around a third of my ezine database clicking to read the posts.

  5. Joel Brown says:

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks for actually putting this out there and reminding us that it is something that we need to do. Even though i have written posts covering some of these things myself before, the actual process of getting in and doing these things is something that it is quite easy to forget.

    I put it to the test with my post i created for yesterdays task and already within only a matter for 5 or 6 hours it is in the top 20 most viewed pages for my site. This really will help to build site visitors i think.

    Thank you for the post.

  6. Points 2, 3 and 4 works well for me. I use twitter and stumbleupon mainly to promote by post and again having a latest post section in my side bar has also helped me drive traffic.

    Thanks Darren for putting up this post. Looking forward for Day 4 :)

    I am trying to take each post of yours here seriously and follow them even though I am doing this very slow.

    Cheers
    Krish
    http://www.bloggertalkz.com

  7. Dane says:

    Irony: it can take far longer to promote a post than it did to create it in the first place!

    Meanwhile, I did today’s challenge — feel free to digg it!

    http://digg.com/business_finance/3_Sources_of_Inspiration_for_the_Highly_Productive_Person

  8. Paula G says:

    I like your idea of noticing other people’s comments and giving them a Stumble, a Digg, or a Tweet if you like what you read. I try to do this daily.

    Another way I have found to build link relationships is to link to other bloggers in the first place. And, my podcast has been great for that. For instance I recently interviewed Lauren & Emira, authors of The Boss of You http://tinyurl.com/cfmoue and have asked them to let their readers know about it as well. Everyone likes to let their audience know about good content on the net that is about them.

    Also just changed my email sig to promote a blog post. I haven’t done that before but will experiment. Now that I have my free report at the tippy top of my blog I feel better about it b/c people who go there will see that call to action & potentially join my community that way.

  9. Conrad says:

    Hi Darren,

    I’ve got the habit of promoting every post right after posting it, and I actually finished doing that a few minutes before receiving today’s 31DBBB email.

    You made me realise that I might be spamming Twitter a little bit as I had automatic tweets set up to advertise my blog a couple times a day. But I removed it while reading this post of yours!

    I’m going to look into more ways of promoting tonight and read the posts that you’re linked to in this post.

    Thanks again for this course!
    Conrad

  10. anna says:

    Self promotion. Right. Here.

  11. This goes live on the 20th:
    http://www.arkanimals.com/2009/04/20/ten-stupid-mistakes-pet-owners-make/

    Ten Stupid Mistakes Pet Owners Make:
    I promote every post on Twitter and Facebook. My best posts get bookmarked at several social media sites and submitted to a blog carnival.

  12. mannequin says:

    ggrr. I did it. I promoted the post on Twitter and FaceBook.
    I have issues with this one, I feel like such a ho , selling myself. Oh my. We’ll see what happens if anything.

  13. Nic says:

    I’m loving this program so far.
    I usually use social networking sites like Twitter to inform my followers of new posts on my blog.

  14. Debbie_L says:

    Hi Guys,

    I promoted my blog post on Digg, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Twitter, Delicious and Technorati. I use Onlywire.com. You can set up all you social bookmarking sites, and when you want to promote a blog post, it will post to all your sites.

    I promoted http://www.invisibleheartstrings.com/7-answers-on-using-art-to-manifest-anything/

  15. Veronica says:

    Thanks! I did facebook, digg, and delicious with my post. I know I’m going to have to study this a little more but wanted to get at least some portion of this done today.

  16. At a recent conference some people asked me to blog about something I’d mentioned. I posted it about an hour ago and mentioned the link on my Facebook Wall. It’s information not appropriate for the blog linked to Facebook. I just got a response in my inbox and will go read it now. That was fast!

  17. Tara Seale says:

    I promoted my list on Twitter and the English Companion Ning at http://englishcompanion.ning.com/. I also posted my top ten list at this website: http://www.toptentopten.com/
    and it provided me a way to link my blog.

    I think I accomplished Day 3.

  18. RunningWolf says:

    I did a post about World of Warcraft:
    http://rwrant.co.za/2009/04/07/3-most-annoying-mobs-in-world-of-warcraft/

    I promote all my posts on Digg, Twitter, Delicious, Google Bookmarks, Facebook, Myspace. (This is standard procedure) If I use a video clip from Youtube, I usually submit the clip to Digg as well and share it with all my friends.

    I live in a country where Internet users are still clueless on what Web 2.0 and Social Bookmarking is. Most people watch a clip on Youtube over and over and never Stumble / Digg / Twitter / Facebook link the clip (which is sad)

  19. Shevonne says:

    I’m very into FriendFeed and Twitter and are constantly promoting the wonderful blogs that I read. They usually get RT from my followers and friends, so I am already doing this. =D

    I also comment on other blogs. Not for promotion, but cause I find them interesting. However, when I check my stats, many of my readers come from those sites.

  20. Tara Seale says:

    I promoted my blog, and I even listed it with the Top Ten Top Ten: http://www.toptentopten.com/

  21. Biz says:

    Well now, that was kinda fun! I promoted my list post on Twitter, and also in our forums by visiting different people I had developed relationships with over the last year. I spent about a half hour connecting with people and I more than doubled my unique hits for the day.

    Geesh, how simple was that???

  22. Pat says:

    As my website is still in the early stages of development I did not want to promote it too much.

    However in the spirit of the challenge I joined digg (something I’ve been meaning to do but never quite got around to it) and posted the article there :-)

    http://www.patbweddingphotography.com/68/8-hot-tips-for-your-summer-wedding/

  23. Molly says:

    Darren,
    First, thank you so much for this challenge. Since I haven’t yet got my website set up and I’m converting my current blog to a music gigs links only site, I’ve had difficulty staying focused on the challenges so far. So, because I want not only to succeed, but to help others, I’m going to set up my website and new blog that reflect my real passion of online research then go back to day 1 of the challenge and start over.
    My situation started me thinking and I have a suggestion for you. Why not have an ‘annual challenge’? Same process, every year. In addition, those who’ve completed the first challenge could continue their education through ‘advanced challenges’ or something of that nature. I can see ‘meetups’, collaborations, forums, etc.. in the future of 31BBB.

  24. Yea I’m also one of those “scared” bloggers. Well not so much scared as a bit overwhelmed. I’m really new to this whole social media internet thing and I’m learning slowly but surely. This is a great site. Thank you for all the info.

    Thedialecticeclectic.blogspot.com

  25. Thank you so much for the ideas on how to promote your blog! I am one of those that only ever promoted the “whole” blog so this has definitely been a learning experience for me! Now I know of at least one way to use Twitter! lol

    http://phoenixthebloggingmama.blogspot.com/2009/04/breast-cancer-3-day.html

  26. Jan Foselli says:

    Great post and challenge. I just posted yesterday’s challenge on my Facebook page. I also put the same blog in our local newspapers on-line paper as well.

    I’m very focused on my local market, so I’m not quite sure how to reach them with my blog. However, there are alot of posts on here to read, so maybe I’ll find some helpful hints!

    Thanks!

  27. Thanks for this lesson as a result I have begun a series of notes on facebook called ‘A Poem a day in the month of May’ seeing as my blog is mainly about the poetry I write.

    Check out the link here:

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=101418515861&ref=nf

  28. James says:

    Darren,
    Thanks again for the great tips! One question that came up in my mind when doing this part of the course was what you thought of the ethics of using Social bookmarking tools versus manual submission? Is it a grey area, a necessary evil for new blogs?, or a non-issue? Thanks again for the course!

  29. Albert says:

    Darren,
    Thanks for the course.
    I have used facebook to promote my ‘Samurai Today’ and saw a bit of traffic, but my “friends” on Facebook are not really my target. I’m looking into twitter but again it is a case of getting known first.. Chicken or the egg scenario.
    I used the post Ronin and Business today (http://samuraitoday.blogspot.com/2009/04/ronin-and-business-today.html) and have seen an increase in traffic with a reasonable bounce rate.
    I look forward to the rest of the course :)

  30. Jeannette says:

    I see that I’m not the only one who is shy about getting herself out there! whew, what a relief. I feel a bit shameless, but I emailed a group I belong to about a relevant topic I’d just posted on, and included a link to my post. I eased the pain a little by saying my post had links they might like to check out.

    Thanks for the challenge!

  31. After reading a few of the other comments it’s nice to know others are nervous about approaching bloggers to link to their posts as well. I also took heart from the comments on the problems of social media promotion if your profile is quite new and if your blog is new with few posts and comments as mine is.

    I guess you have to start somewhere though so I promoted my post – http://bestben10toys.co.uk/blog/toy-tips/unwanted-toys-16-ideas-for-what-to-do-with-them/ – to Twitter, Stumble, Delicious, Digg and Reddit where I’ve been trying to develop a profile by submitting other people’s posts for a month or so now.

    I then did an internal link from my main site featuring a link and excerpt for the blog post on the home page. I then tried a bit of article marketing with it and plucked up the courage to e-mail a forum that has related articles asking if they would be intererested in it. On this e-mail I included a link to my latest blog post so hopefully I’ve made a good stab at some of the promotion suggestions.

    I’m going onto the Day 4 challenge tomorrow so will try to link to my article in a comment section there if I find a suitable post from a blog in my niche.

    I found a post from my niche of “toys” in the comments above (http://auntlindasblog.com) and have Stumbled it to help it on it’s way. If anyone else is from my niche please let me know and I’ll try to help promote your post too.

  32. Tom says:

    Over the last months I found that some people who follow my blog link to it from their own. Usually to those pieces which I value the most myself.

  33. Aaron says:

    Fantastic Darren. This and the last post. EXCELLENT – really useful. Here’s my list – http://funnynotts.blogspot.com/2009/05/top-10-fun-things-to-do-in-nottingham.html

  34. Heather R says:

    I’ve already been using the Networked Blogs app in Facebook for getting traffic from friends / family to my personal blog.

    I’m using Twitter and LinkedIn for driving traffic to my public blog (Unleashed Abundance). I use one of the 3 website spots on my LinkedIn profile to point to my blog, as well as use the WordPress app in LinkedIn to let people scan through the first few lines of each post before going to the blog itself. Once on the blog, I use the Twitter widget to let people see what I’m tweeting and Follow Me on Twitter. In Twitter, I post tinyurl’s to my blogposts and have my profile URL set to point to my LinkedIn profile. Then back again in LinkedIn I use my status updates to alert folks in my network when I’ve published a new blog post and direct them to view my profile to read more.

    It’s all one big freakin’ circle of life!

  35. The post I was promoting is:

    http://guruzaz.com/2009/03/30/six-steps-to-use-astrology-to-improve-your-personality-and-relationships/

    So I did a search for the top astrology blogs and found a few. I emailed three of them and made it clear they were doing me the favor by reading my post to see if it was appropriate to put on their site. I offered to promote either their site or a post from their site on http://www.GuruZaz.com – my blog.

    I had one immediate reply from the busiest blog which shows how finely tuned her system is – thank you Elsa: http://www.astrodispatch.com/2009/05/16/six-steps-to-use-astrology-to-improve-your-personality-and-relationships-by-swami-zazvatananda/

  36. Thank you this great post! I get nervous about asking people for stuff, but I got brave and did it! I also promoted on Twitter and Facebook. It’s proved to be somewhat successful so far!

    Here’s my post I promoted:
    http://mytwoseasons.com/2009/06/02/7-calm-and-quiet-activities-for-little-ones/

  37. I’ve been promoting this article: http://lollujo.com/2009/06/10-weight-loss-tips-for-beginners.html for the last couple of days.

    I’ve signed up with Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious, and that article was my first Digg. I’m also in the process of starting a StumbleUpon ad campaign.

    As usual, I promoted the article on Twitter and Facebook, but I’ve also joined Plurk as well, and promoted it on there.

    As it’s still early days, I don’t have any results yet, but fingers crossed it’ll drive some traffic to my site.

    Kevin

  38. I’ve been promoting this article: http://lollujo.com/2009/06/10-weight-loss-tips-for-beginners.html for the last couple of days.

    I’ve signed up with Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious, and that article was my first Digg. I’m also in the process of starting a StumbleUpon ad campaign.

    As usual, I promoted the article on Twitter and Facebook, but I’ve also joined Plurk as well, and promoted it on there.

    It’s also been added to my email signature, and I’m going to try and put some internal links on my site.

    As it’s still early days, I don’t have any results yet, but fingers crossed it’ll drive some traffic to my site.

    Kevin

  39. owen says:

    My post:
    http://francetales.com/2009/06/06/five-free-or-low-cost-ways-to-amuse-yourself-in-toulouse-in-june/

    I Stumbled it, though I didn’t send it directly to my friends, kinds time consuming on SU, unless they have changed or someone has a tool for sending one post to all your friends.

    I Dugg it but again didn’t send it to all my Digg Friends.

    I added it to my Delicious favorites.

    I went to Blog Catalog and went to a few forums and post it and promoted it.

    Funny thing happened. I haven’t yet gotten much traffic for the post but I have gotten a few visitors and comments on other posts, that I know are a direct result of my promotion, Blog Catalog user names etc.

    I put it on my FB profile and Twittered it.

    Since it also included a concert for a friends band I wrote on her wall on FB with the link, which she thanked me for promoting her concert.

    Her band has a page on FB and I put it on their wall.

    I did a little bit of a lot of things. I would like to develop a strategy though so it doesn’t take so much time.

  40. Ferry Prima says:

    I think the best way to promote is by commenting on others blog. Beside the promotion, we can also build a nice relation with other blogger and I think it really helpful :)

  41. Darren,

    Very good points. I’ve been doing quite a few of your points now and will add some that you hit on. It makes you more relevant from referral links as well if you aren’t always promoting your home page but say permalinks instead. Powerful way to grow your traffic organically. Now if i could just figure how to show my latest blog post dynamically in my email signature via feedburner, i’d be set!

  42. Phinisee says:

    michael jackson dead at age 50 from cardiac arest http://www.michaeljacksonupdates.com

  43. ED Hardy says:

    here is an blog i always dedicate to: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/
    hope guys will like it….