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31DBBB Day 3: Promote a Blog Post

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This is Day 3 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ other bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers. You can read more about it and still sign-up to participate here.

I’ve talked to a number of bloggers over the years who are frustrated that few people read their posts or comment on their blog.  After asking them what they write about, I usually ask them what they’ve done to promote their blog and connect with new readers.  Often, the response I get is just a blank stare.

There seems to be an “If you build it, they will come” mentality with some bloggers.  Some believe if you start a blog and write something every once in a while, readers will magically show up, engage, and become regular readers.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Successful bloggers, proactively reach out to people to build their audience.

Today’s lesson in the 31 Day’s ebook, gives some good suggestions for how to promote a blog post.  Here are some of the things I do on a regular basis to promote blog posts published here and my personal blog.

Twitter – Twitter and blogging are like peanut butter and chocolate, they’re a match made in heaven.  To use Twitter well, you need good content to tweet (aka blog articles).  And to blog well, you need channels to get the word out about new posts (aka Twitter).  I tweet every post I write.  And usually more than once.

Facebook – OurChurch.Com has a Facebook page, which we post our blog posts to.  I post a link to my personal blog posts on my personal Facebook profile.

Commenting on other blogs – I try to comment quite a bit on the blogs I read.  When doing this its important not to be spammy.  You genuinely want to contribute to the conversation.  But often times I can contribute to the conversation but posting a link to an article I’ve written on a related topic.  I don’t do this often, but you could Google the topic you’ve just blogged about as a way to find similar blog posts, and then post a meaningful comment with a link to your post.

Email distribution – Most of the people who register a username & password on OurChurch.Com check the option to be added to our blog email subscription list.  Once a week, we send a post out to that list.

Newsletter – Once a month we send a newsletter to all our web hosting clients.  One of the regular features in each month’s newsletter is an exerpt from a recent blog post.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking about today’s topic when I wrote the list post on this blog yesterday.  6 Things I Learned from Day 1 of #31DBBB is not likely to appeal to people outside of our group, and so I going to find another post to promote.

Discussion

  • What did you do to promote your list post from yesterday?
  • What ways of promoting blog posts have you found to be most successful?
  • What other innovative ways have you promoted your blog or posts, that weren’t listed in today’s lesson?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on their promotion ideas.
  • People continue to add comments to the Day 1 & Day 2 posts, check em out.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.  (You could win a $25 gift card!)
  • Ask & answer questions about blogging but unrelated to elevator pitches in the forums.
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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

    229 Comments

    • I have decided to promote my blog post from yesterday (list post) on Twitter, Facebook, Digg and StumbleUpon. I found one blog that wrote about something similar to mine, and so I also left a comment at that post with a link to my post.

      I also wrote a follow up post to yesterday's list post.

      I have always been using Twitter and Facebook to promote my posts automatically through TwitterFeed, so that was no new addition.

    • Not sure what to do about this today, as I have been tweeting and posting to facebook about the 31dbbb since we started. But I will continue to comment and keep on keepin' on.
      B

    • To be honest the only things I don't do are: submit to professional news outlets and newsletter updates as I don't have a newsletter though I have toyed with the idea.

      Like I said above, I'm hoping today will be the day that someone gives me an "Ah ha" moment in terms of turning visits into comments.

      • I'm with you on this. It's been a long time since I've had a zero traffic day on my blog, but it's rare that I get comments. Somehow, a blog has to turn into a community, and I'm not sure how that happens, other than by making sure I take the time to respond to people who do comment.

        • It's tough though because we have to somehow get those visitors to talk.

          I find it strange because I'm labelled as a 'normal' type blog visitor as I have one of my own, am relatively intelligent and mind my p's and q's – yet why do I comment and others don't?

        • It's tough though because we have to somehow get those visitors to talk.

          I find it strange because I'm labelled as a 'normal' type blog visitor as I have one of my own, am relatively intelligent and mind my p's and q's – yet why do I comment and others don't?

    • Good morning! This was a harder post to write and a much bigger time commitment than my listicle because as beachdaze, Stuart and Coenraad have already hinted, it's strange that blog promotion got its own standalone day. So I wrote a post about my own blog promotion techniques, which are not extensive, but they fit my personality.

      the better blogging promo:http://j.mp/cQDYJu

    • Good morning! This was a harder post to write and a much bigger time commitment than my listicle because as beachdaze, Stuart and Coenraad have already hinted, it's strange that blog promotion got its own standalone day. So I wrote a post about my own blog promotion techniques, which are not extensive, but they fit my personality.

      the better blogging promo:http://j.mp/cQDYJu

      • Nice post – I'm going into hiding so that teacher can't find me today.

        But I think your approach is emminently sensible and the way to keep going. It's interesting that you don't see any real traffic increase from Twitter as whenever I tweet I get quite a surge – even if I'm RTing an earlier tweet.

        • I think the difference is I'm tweeting into the nebula while you could be tweeting into a circle of friends and/or like-minded people. My followers don't come from any one common place, and that might affect how my blog posts are received. Dunno. Maybe at the end of 31DBBB, I'll have a better idea.

        • I think the difference is I'm tweeting into the nebula while you could be tweeting into a circle of friends and/or like-minded people. My followers don't come from any one common place, and that might affect how my blog posts are received. Dunno. Maybe at the end of 31DBBB, I'll have a better idea.

          • The thing I find with twitter is that like minded doesn't happen much.

            In my early twitter days I set out to purposely follow certain types of folks (eg security, anti-virus stuff, etc) or companies I had an interest in. Others came from twitter directories or seeing a RT of their item by someone I followed already and so on.

            Only about 10%, if that, of the folks I follow are likely to have teh same interests as myself and that like you say could be an issue. But then I didn't want like minded, I wanted to learn from others.

          • The thing I find with twitter is that like minded doesn't happen much.

            In my early twitter days I set out to purposely follow certain types of folks (eg security, anti-virus stuff, etc) or companies I had an interest in. Others came from twitter directories or seeing a RT of their item by someone I followed already and so on.

            Only about 10%, if that, of the folks I follow are likely to have teh same interests as myself and that like you say could be an issue. But then I didn't want like minded, I wanted to learn from others.

      • Erica, FYI, I tried twice to get to your post and got this error:

        Internal Server Error
        The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

        Please contact the server administrator, support@supportwebsite.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

        More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

        • That stupid error. Sometimes WordPress and GoDaddy hate each other and take it out on me by locking me and everyone else out of my blog. Thanks for letting me know. Argh.

    • Sometimes the difference in promoting a post is not in where you promote it by how.

      This morning (yes, I know a day late) I posted my list post on LiveIntentionally.org. It's titled "5 Myths about Shattered Dreams" This is what I tweeted this morning:

      5 Myths About Shattered Dreams (Inspired by @PWilson's new book Plan B) –http://bit.ly/9jAyKb

      I had 2 reasons for doing this. First, a lot of my followers know who Pete Wilson is and have either heard about or read his new book Plan B. Referencing them may pique their interest. Second, by including @PWilson in the tweet, the tweet showed up in Pete's "mentioned' list. If I'm lucky maybe Pete will read my post and either comment on it or retweet it. We'll see.

      Also, when I wrote the post, I lined to the book review I posted 2 days ago.

      • I totally agree with you on this Paul! I've been observing lately (I know that LL Barkat likes it when I do stuff like this) how other top Social Media gurus promote their posts. Often it takes similar form to what you just talked about.

        I also think too that because Twitter (and FB) is more of a stream of information (and not a destination, like I know that you've seen me write about for churchcrunch.com) it sometimes helps to tweet more than once, especially if you use different ways of tweeting.

        Sometimes I retweet my important posts by reporting that something is a 'trending post' on my site, or by mentioning interesting search terms that are bringing people to my site (and to a particular post). When I do these things, I always see an immediate spike in visits related to that content.

      • Thanks for talking about Paul. I really like how you start with questions, make reference and give the link to what you posted on Monday, and made the myths as a list. I have found myself believing these myths.

      • Great post! Too many people get caught up the negative effects of a decision, but when they made that decision it was the greatest thing ever..

    • Sometimes the difference in promoting a post is not in where you promote it by how.

      This morning (yes, I know a day late) I posted my list post on LiveIntentionally.org. It's titled "5 Myths about Shattered Dreams" This is what I tweeted this morning:

      5 Myths About Shattered Dreams (Inspired by @PWilson's new book Plan B) –http://bit.ly/9jAyKb

      I had 2 reasons for doing this. First, a lot of my followers know who Pete Wilson is and have either heard about or read his new book Plan B. Referencing them may pique their interest. Second, by including @PWilson in the tweet, the tweet showed up in Pete's "mentioned' list. If I'm lucky maybe Pete will read my post and either comment on it or retweet it. We'll see.

      Also, when I wrote the post, I lined to the book review I posted 2 days ago.

    • Since I am new to this blogging thing I have very few followers yet. I have plugged the blog at Facebook with not much response yet (maybe I don't have enough friends, boo hoo!).
      I guess I don't understand the Twitter thing. Probably because I have not signed up and started using it yet. But most of my (non-internet) friends don't twitter either. Can someone explain to me what it really does?
      I have found that by posting good comments on others' blogs I can generate traffic to mine–not just by the blogger but also by some who read the comments. My list post from yesterday promoted several other blogs, http://junctionforjesus.blogspot.com/
      maybe someday I will write something others will want to promote as well.

    • This one was really tough for me, mostly because I'm the guy who doesn't like self promoting. I'm in Marketing and used to pushing other people's stuff but not my own…it just seems kind of disingenuous.
      Anyways on Wednesdays of every week I write a special post/newsletter to the Youth I work with and since I always post that teaching on my blog, i just reformatted it a bit to direct them to my blog instead of packaging everything into a newsletter. Only problem was that it made it difficult to link to other posts. Anyways here it is 🙂 http://justapen.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/waiting-

    • This one was really tough for me, mostly because I'm the guy who doesn't like self promoting. I'm in Marketing and used to pushing other people's stuff but not my own…it just seems kind of disingenuous.
      Anyways on Wednesdays of every week I write a special post/newsletter to the Youth I work with and since I always post that teaching on my blog, i just reformatted it a bit to direct them to my blog instead of packaging everything into a newsletter. Only problem was that it made it difficult to link to other posts. Anyways here it is 🙂 http://justapen.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/waiting-

      • Love the stick figures!

        I think you make a great point that "waiting" doesn't mean sitting on your butt moping around just hoping that God will do something.

        Waiting involved being active, which seems like an oxymoronic thing to say, but it's true.

        My wife and I "waited" for God to give us kids for 12 years.. But we had to be "active" in order to get those kids! And active we were. In 4 years now we will have 3 kids! But we waited for His timing and were active in the process..

        Too many people think waiting for God to do something means they have to remain passive. While it's exactly the opposite.