You’ve probably racked your brain to come up with a blog topic (or narrowing down a list of possible topics) and spent a good amount of time writing, scratch that, rewriting your blog, and you’ve finally gotten your first entry posted. So you’ve got the answer, now where do you find the question?
The internet is full of people posting questions in hopes that some expert has got the cure for what ails them. There are a couple of methods you can use in order to connect with those individuals who are looking for answers to the question or issue that you have addressed in your blog. In this article, I am going to cover two potential methods of promoting your blog, and both involve the use of social networking sites. There are a number of these sites, and the first step is for you to set up a simple profile on the site that is most comfortable and relevant to your potential audience.
Some of the more popular sites are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter; as well as a variety of social ‘bookmarking’ sites like Pinterest, Digg, Stumbleupon; and Delicious. The social bookmarking sites allow you to communicate to your social network when you have located a website or blog that you find valuable, in effect a recommendation from you. Familiarize yourself with a few of these sites. They are all free of charge to users, so sign up and get comfortable with the functionality and content in order to determine if the site will be appropriate for promoting your blog.
The first method is a more passive approach. It involves you creating a post on various social networking sites with a link that readers can click that leads directly to your blog. The other method is a more active approach, and it involves using the search function to identify keywords that may be relevant to your blog.
Most social networking sites have now built in a ‘status’ field where you can update your connections with your latest activities. Using this passive approach, you simply update your status with an eye-catching, clever or creative post, followed by a link to your blog. Posting more frequently means that your post is more likely to be viewed on the status feed for each of your connections to see. Since these feeds are constantly scrolling with updated status messages from all of their connections, you need to make sure that you update your status rather frequently. This can be tricky since you don’t want to bore your audience with repetitive posts. You should come up with a new post each time, or have a variety of posts to choose from in advance.
This is a more engaging form of posting, because it requires you to actually pay attention to your audience, rather than blindly posting messages and hoping to catch someone’s attention. This method involves the use of the ‘search’ function of a social networking site. Re-read your blog entry and select a variety of relevant keywords that are either in the post itself, or are related to the content. Enter one keyword at a time in the search engine of the site, and it should pull up the status messages of people who have entered this keyword. You may have to experiment with a few words to ensure that you drill down to the most effective terms that bring up the most relevant postings.
If your blog is about bicycle tire maintenance, you might decide that ‘tire’ is a keyword. However, you may find that if you enter ‘tire’ in the search engine, you’ll pull up posts related to all types of automobiles. You’ll also find some coupons for auto mechanic and tire shops. A more effective search combines the words ‘bike’ and ‘tire’, and retrieves a variety of posts related to putting air in a bike tire, needing to purchase new bike tires, etc. Now that you’ve found a relevant posting, you can respond directly to that user with something simple like, “I just saw your post about flat tires – they are the worst! I wrote an article at ”yourblog”.com – check it out – it talks about ways to make your bike tires last longer!”
Now you’ve piqued the interest of your audience. They already had flat bike tires on their mind, and here you come with some very relevant information. They are likely to go read your blog posting because it is RELEVANT to their current situation. This is a much more effective method of blog promotion, although it does require a tiny bit more effort. It is also important to become familiar with the search function on the various networking sites, since each of them operates a little differently.
Combining these two methods will give you the most effective results with the greatest amount of exposure, and will ensure that your message reaches your audience whether they find you, or you find them.