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9 Things to Do To Make Sure Your Next Blog Post is Read by More than Your Mom

mom-blog.jpgTwo days back I explored the myth that all you need to do is write great content on a blog for it to get readers and introduced the idea of ‘seeding’ content rather than ‘forcing’ it upon readers.

Today I want to take the ‘seeding’ idea a step further and give a few examples of ways that you can do it – and in the process hopefully grow your readership beyond your immediate family (not that there’s anything wrong with Mom reading your blog).

I should say that while this post contains 9 ways to promote a blog post – that I rarely use all of them at once. Keep in mind that the idea of ‘seeding’ is not about forcing things but rather it is about getting things going and then letting something organic happen. You might need to put a little more effort into things somewhere along the way to keep momentum going (like ‘watering the garden’ helps a seed to grow) but the idea isn’t for force things.

So without further ado – let me share a few of the techniques that I use to ‘seed’ content:

1. Tweet it

I find that one of the most effective ways to get a link to a new blog post ‘out there’ is simply to tweet it. Tweeting a link is quick and easy to do – and if you do it well it can be quite effective at both driving direct traffic to a blog post but also in starting other little viral events on other sites.

The effectiveness of this does depend a little on the size of your follower group – but other factors you can have a little more control over include:

  • timing your tweets to be during peak times when lots of people are on Twitter.
  • doing a followup tweet to your original one (I only do this on important posts and usually try to change the wording so as not to annoy people too much)
  • the wording of your tweet (give people a reason to click it)
  • making your tweet ‘ReTweetable’ by not making it too long (I keep these seeding tweets to under 120 characters to leave room for people to retweet them).

I find that when something does well on Twitter (and not every post will) that it can often trigger a secondary event on a site like Delicious. This in turn can trigger blogs to link to my posts or other social bookmarking sites to pick up links.

2. Facebook Status Updates (and other social media)

This is of course similar to Tweeting a link. I’ve not had as much success with Facebook as a promotional tool for my blogs but know of a few bloggers in different niches who find it to be more effective. Whether it sends loads of traffic or not it can be helpful in an overall strategy.

Similarly I sometimes also use other social media sites like LinkedIn’s status update if I feel that the content I’m promoting is better suited to other audiences. Again – it depends partly upon the size of your network on these sites but even a small but relevant network on these sites can trigger other bloggers to link up or secondary organic submissions on other social sites by those in your network. You never know what impact sharing a link in these sites can have until you do it.

3. Pitch it to another Blogger

Is the post you’re promoting relevant to the audience of another blog?

This is a question I’m always asking myself as I’m writing blog posts. As I write I jot down the names of other bloggers that have an audience that might find what I’m writing helpful. This means that when it comes time to promote the blog post I have a ready made list of people to shoot out an email to to let them know about my post.

I don’t send these emails out often, nor do I send them out to the same group of bloggers repeatedly – but if I genuinely think my post is of high quality and that the blogger will find it relevant I will.

Check out these suggestions on how to pitch other bloggers for some more tips on how to do this effectively.

4. Pitch it to another Twitter User

This is similar to pitching another blogger but can have a great impact as well. In fact I recently had a link from a blogger who both posted on his blog and tweeted the link and the Tweet converted much better for me in terms of traffic.

The key once again is to make sure that the link is relevant to the Tweeter and the type of thing that you’ve seen them sharing on twitter with others.

5. Share a Link in a ‘Signature’

Many bloggers have links to the front page of their blogs in both email signatures and forum signatures – but what about directing people to an individual post? There are a variety of tools out there that highlight latest posts (feedburner has one) and they make a lot of sense to me because you’re sending people to standalone articles that you’ve written rather than a sometimes confusing front page of a blog.

6. Bookmark it

This is one that I don’t tend to do myself these days but I know many bloggers who do so I’ll include it. It entails submitting your post to a site like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Delicious etc.

I don’t tend to do this any more as I find many of these sites have algorithms that penalize a site if it’s submitted by the same person over and over. What I do instead is occasionally shoot a link to another user of these sites in the hope that they’ll submit it for me. Having said this – I also find that as your traffic grows the submissions become more and more organic from regular readers so there’s less need for me personally to be involved in these types of ‘seedings’ in social bookmarkting sites.

7. Guest Posts

Another method that I’ve seen a number of bloggers using with real effect lately is to link to your important blog post in a guest post on someone else’s blog.

Most people who guest post on another blog tend to link back to the front page of their blog in the byline. This is a good general link to get but if you have an important post that you’ve written that relates to the guest post you’re writing you should find a way to incorporate a link to that post – either as the byline link or if the blogger allows it – within the blog post itself.

8. Give readers an easy way to share it

Hopefully with some of the above techniques you’ve got a few readers over to your blog – now you want them to share it with others.

There are many ways to make your blog post ‘sharable’. I tend to use a combination of templated techniques as well as a few custom ones that I add to posts once on posts that I think will do well on social media sites.

  • Templated techniques – there are many ways to build social media buttons into your blog. There are heaps of tools and plugins that will do this for you. The key in my experience is not to have too many buttons/options but to choose just a few that relate well to your audience.
  • Custom techniques – if I notice that one of my posts is starting to do well on Twitter or Digg or some other social media site I generally will either add an extra button to a post or add a text link pointing people to where they can tweet or digg the post. I find that these more obvious little additions to a post can often tip it over the edge to a viral traffic event.

9. Newsletters

This is a way that I often ‘tip’ posts that are doing OK over the edge into a viral traffic event. It usually works like this:

A – I write a post that I think MIGHT do well as a viral post

B – I time the publishing of that post for a Thursday morning – an update goes out via RSS to my subscribers

C – I use some of the above techniques to get the post seeded (Twitter, Facebook etc)

D – I wait until the post is submitted to Digg and then add a Digg button to the post (or some other social bookmarking site)

E – I then send out a newsletter to my list including a prominent link to the post

What I find is that without the last step (sending a newsletter) the post can do quite well – but when I send the newsletter I quite often see a ‘tipping point’ with the post and it’ll go viral on multiple social media sites at once on the back of the extra traffic that I’ve been able to send to the traffic via the newsletter.

2 Final Words of Advice

Let me finish with two words that I think are key to much of the above – persistence and relationships.

1. Persistence – There’s a real need for persistence in seeding content. Much of what I’ve described above are things that I’ve been doing for years and they’ve only become more effective the longer that I’ve done them.

My experience of finding readers is that it is all about momentum. In the early days to find just a handful of readers can be a real challenge – the above methods may not bring thousands of people through the door – however the 10 than they do bring in on your first day could lead to 100 next month which could lead to the thousands in the coming year.

You may get lucky and your seed may grow into something big in the early days of your blog – but even small results can grow slowly into big things over time. Each reader that you bring into your loyal readership is important because they have a network of their own that they could help spread word of your blog to.

2. Relationships – The other key to much of the above is to be as relational as possible. Much of the above relies upon people sharing your posts with others once you alert them to the existence of your posts. So put aside regular time to grow your network, to build a presence on sites like Twitter, to build trust and influence on other sites outside of your blog – this networking can pay off in a big way over the long term. Just do keep these other social networking sites in perspective – they’re not the main game themselves but should be used to build up your home base.

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. ToDaMax says:

    I personally prefer not to use facebook as a way to promote my blog. Since the topics of my posts are not relevant to all my friends, I would sound like spamming for some …

  2. Free Rein says:

    Informative read. For ultimate online exposure all online marketing avenues need to be utilised and combined.

  3. chandan saud says:

    I try to post frequently on my blog, so that my reader can get some new things on my blog. After make a new post I ping my blog and also social bookmark my post.

  4. Rahul says:

    I think all this will boost traffic of your blog instantly.

  5. These tips are very useful for me. I am now developing my blog about home business and I hope to apply them.

  6. dave says:

    I have found that twitter is not a great way to get readers. I used it for a while and got some interest but overall it is not very effective.

    Ask yourself how many times you click on a link in a tweet. For me it is almost never.

    The other problem is that tweets can quickly disappear. If your followers are following more than a few other twitters then your tweet will quickly scroll off the bottom of the home screen.

    On the plus side Twitter is free and tools such as “shareit” can make it almost automatic. Just don’t expect a flood of new readers from twitter.

  7. Ben says:

    Hi there, This is lively blog. Just read that above article and it has inspired me alot. Keep up the good work. We look forward from learning from you the people who are already experienced.

    cheers

  8. Thanks for the great tips. Having become a passionate and successful organic gardener in the last two years, I like the analogy of seeding your blog posts in order to grow traffic to them that turns viral.

  9. Bora Paris says:

    “Tweet it” is on the top if or may be when you have established relationship with tweeters as YOU do.
    Not annoy people too much is great concept and most important in establishing such relationship.
    “Know your customer” is everlasting wisdom.
    Thanks for informative article, Darren

  10. krissy knox says:

    Darren, thanks for sharing these excellent techniques. I loved that you ended the post with “be as relational as possible.” It’s about both techniques and relationships.

    krissy knox :)
    follow me on twitter:
    http://twitter.com/iamkrissy

  11. Ronblogger says:

    twitter and facebook can help a lot, but you give more than that.

  12. Great post Darren, very nice advise to keep relationships with other bloggers.Keep up with the good posts.

    Regards,
    Vishal Sanjay
    http://www.dumblittleblogger.blogspot.com

  13. Dig Bands says:

    Great tips. these all tips are very important to boost traffic.

  14. profit lance says:

    Funny the headling!

    Anyway, the post at least for me was very helpful… I own a blog with a high bounce rate, I think this should cut it down!

    Thank you

  15. Toni says:

    Yeah, really enjoyed this. Have saved it to my pd (professional/personal development) file to refer back to time and again. Am inspired again to make use of my Twitter account – I just don’t seem to always remember the use it has!

  16. The Consumer says:

    This is perhaps the most helpful tip on building readership I’ve read. Seeding can be the most frustrating step, because you may not see any significant result for your work for a long time sometimes.

  17. #6 is disappointing… every morning I submit my latest post to a few of these sites, didn’t realize I might be getting penalized for it.

  18. Excellent post. In my posts I make it extremely easy for my readers to retweet by having the one click option. I also tweet my posts as well as ping.fm it.

    There is much that can be done that takes only a few minutes but gives a great ROI of time.

    I do what I can to retweet blog postings by others that are of great benefit like this post.

  19. Vance Sova says:

    Hi Darren,

    I found your blog through Yaro Starak.

    As a beginner blogger I truly appreciate your post about 9 things to do to make sure that more people besides my mom read my blog.

    I have not done any of them yet and now I feel compelled to do them.

    I will also read your previous post where you started the subject.

    Thank you for writing such helpful asrticles.

    Vance

  20. Eric says:

    Great stuff. I have already done some of this with “Mixi” the japanese social networking site as well as Myspace and Facebook.
    The results have been a big surprise despite the blogs infancy.

  21. dannicash says:

    I like the way you express about blogging. However before being a blogger, one should learn how to optimize it. one shoul know what the niche marketing strategy is, because this thing is going help the blog in the SEO aspects in the search engines

  22. msn nickleri says:

    every morning I submit my latest post to a few of these sites

  23. Aithne says:

    Just wanted to say I always enjoy your information and I’ve learned so much from your posts.

    BTW, absolutely loved your image for this post. Now I just need to find one like that portraying my son. ;o) As a romance author he refuses to read my blog because it’s too scary to read the sexy scenes mom writes. LOL!

    Have a beautiful day. ;o)

    ~ Aithne
    Paranormal Romance Author
    (& eternally grateful for all your help ;o)

  24. Page Wright says:

    I have never fully acknowledged the power and perhaps point of twitter until now. I have been using this in the same way I would update my status on facebook. I will have to start using it to comment on posts!

  25. kendra smith says:

    There are plenty of good tips on how to leave a good blog here. There are alot of things here to learn for blogging so when you write your next blog you may have a good idea how you want to write your blog. great job

  26. Filmmaking says:

    Very good stuff. I am just starting out an information/blogging site on filmmaking and love your tips. thanks.

  27. Hey Darren,

    I really enjoyed this post. I wasn’t aware of so many ways of promoting my Blog. I’m going to implement to get my Blog read more.

    Thanks,

    Tony

  28. Jessical says:

    Good information. This information really helps unfortunately my blog was hosted domain parking site like a blog features that have not all this tools in it.

  29. Linda says:

    I’ve had better results from Facebook. I find readers tend to browse longer when they come via this source.

  30. I think this should have been “10 Things to do to make sure your next blog post is read by more than your Mom” with the very top point being to write a post that people will WANT to read.

    But then that probably goes without saying :)

  31. Peter says:

    New to blogging and this is the information I have been looking for. Great tips and I look forward to trying them out and seeing the results.

  32. xoxot says:

    This is great! I have been looking for a way to use social networking to promote my blog. Thanks, keep up the good work.

  33. socialmediafox says:

    Nice post and great tips. I really liked the pic you choosed.

    Here is link of interest to all readers of this post http://kamalhotra.blogspot.com/2009/10/retweet-or-rt-on-twitter.html

  34. Flippa Chick says:

    I recently started linking to individual posts as well as mentioning them in my newsletter and the response couldn’t be better.

    There are, however, are few options on your list that I haven’t explored yet.

  35. Lena Khalid says:

    Awesome article though I am sure that my mom did not read my blog. LOL !

  36. Once again, you demonstrate why you understand the power of blogging for business perhaps better than anyone else and why most biz owners are wasting time blogging to themselves or their family/friends!

  37. Teen Blogger says:

    haha great tips,

    I’m pretty sure no one is happy if only your mom reads your blog posts LOL!

    I’ve heard guest posing is a good way to promote your blog. So will be doing soon.

  38. Donna says:

    Thanks A bunch! Well done! Very good points in this article.

  39. Without Dash says:

    Darren,

    I would like to ask if you do this seeding for every post that you write, or only the ones that need extra attention, or the ones that are worth doing it.
    Not every post in a blog is so great that seeding will work, while other posts need just a teeny tiny little push. (Somehow I can’t always predict its poularity though.)

  40. Darren,

    You know, there are so many articles floating around about how to obtain a larger audience with your blog, but this list stands out. Definitely not just a rehash of everything else that’s out there. And I agree that it’s important to keep in mind that too much of any of this can seem spammy and get annoying. I have already begun using steps 2 and 4 and am noticing a difference. Thanks so much!

    http://simonmainwaring.com/blog

  41. zamir says:

    First of all let me compliment you on having a funny and super interesting blog title that definitely would have brought lots of smiles to many bloggers faces here.Regarding this topic i would like to share with bloggers 10 simple tips to bring lots of blog visitors.

    A) Social networking is an excellent way to increase your web presense and your blog popularity.When you post or send a message to your online friends, always include a link back to your blog.Some of the best social networking sites are Facebook,twitter,myspace etc

    B) Find some popular blogs online with topics that are relevant to your blog post and leave comments and posts that contain details of your blog and link back to your website.

    C) Post articles that are relevant to your blog on websites like ezinearticles and always include a link back to your blog.

    D) Visit forums that are related to your blog and submit posts that contain your blog detail and link that lead back to your blog.

    E) Once you create your blog you should submit it to as many directories as you can, such as Google and Yahoo, so that it is included on their search engine sites.

    F) Always use relevant primary and secondary keywords in your blogs so that when people use a search engine, then your blog links are included in the results like if you are writing a blog about “get paid to read emails websites” then always try to use the relevant words “get paid to read” frequently in your post to create a good keyword strength and make sure that the primary keywords are also used in the title as this is what the search engines search.

    Folks for further tips please visit
    http://makemoneyonline-zamir.blogspot.com

  42. Cosmin says:

    The newsletter technique looks interesting, although I can only imagine how much it would cost to send only one post to a big audience… is it really worth it?

    I mean, just one post… Or do you include more stuff in that newsletter?

  43. Nitesh patel says:

    yes i follow 2 of them but from now i will try to implemet each one of them . this is nice list of to do after posting…

  44. sasha grey says:

    very solid suggestions. sometimes the simple things can have a huge impact.

  45. toner says:

    What a unique post here! Thanks for sharing such nice article and for the advice too. I like this site very much. I enjoyed this blog.

  46. I really like these ideas! I have also found that YouTube has been a big source of traffic for me lately.

  47. hochio says:

    Thanks for the tips.

  48. First of all I would like to thank you for all the content you’ve been delivering over the years, Darren. I’ve been a silent reader since 2006 or 2007 and always thought about starting blogging, particulary because of your site and finally did it 5 days ago. Your blog helped me in such many ways to have an easier start. But still I know there’s still a plenty of hard work to do for me.

    With ym new blog I created a new Twitter account and this account has practically no followers, should I considering Tweeting it from both my accounts? The other I have has at least 450 followers, so it MAY have a greater audience, but otherwise it isn’t linked to it directly.
    So what are my options here?

    Thanks anyways for your good work.

  49. Nerdy Joseph says:

    Darren what a great article. You always have such great advice. I appreciate what you said about persistence, it really make such a difference just sticking to it and working hard. Thanks

  50. Suraj78 says:

    Thanks for advice, I hope that will work for me, Once again Thanks! take care ^_^