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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

    • 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-

    • Twitter and Facebook are the big ones for me. I love that twitter allows you to have a link to your blog on your profile page, making it even easier to find what people are writing. There are people I enjoy following, but 140 characters can only tell you so much.
      Staying with Twitter, I would use Twitter directories like WeFollow.com and Twellow.com to find other tweeps that have the same interests as you. This can be a great way to increase your followers on Twitter which can also lead to more blog readers.
      On Facebook I use networked blogs as a way of getting my blog post out. Unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of success with this so far, but I think that is primarily because I have had blog identity crisis. In the past my blog has been a mix of too many different things, now it is more focused on a single topic.

    • hmmm, this one is a bit of a frustration for me.
      First because I try almost every avenue – tantamount to firing a shotgun,
      and second because everyone ducks when I fire; even my close friends.

      The power in promotion lies not in the channel you use to promote but in the other people inside the channel who choose whether to further your promotion or not. For Example Twitter – one tweet does a little to promote your blog but if friends participate then wow – your reach is extended 100 fold.

      But there is a downside: I submitted my post yesterday to StumbleUpon, I got 194 referrals them them; not a single comment and almost 100% of them pure visits with no further pageviews – hence huge Bounce.

      Otherwise, my strategy is to use Digg, Buzz and twitter most times, StumbleUpon, Readit sometimes. Then I have setup a FaceBook Page for my bloghttps://www.facebook.com/pages/SynapticLight/18211

      • I'm with you on the desire to create QUALITY traffic. I hate generating hits for the sake of generating hits. I'd prefer to have fewer people who spend more time interacting on the site.

      • You expressed everything I feel. I can tweet until my fingers fall off, but I don't want to spam my small group of followers with hourly tweets about a new blog posting. And so far, the retweeting has been minimal to non existent. Same for Facebook… I post it, friends will like it but beyond that, nada.

        I will check out StumbleUpon, and I know I need to comment more on other blogs, but my reading time is limited (we have a 2 month old, 4 year old, a foreign exchange soccer coach, an assortment of pets, and full time jobs) so by the time I can get around to visiting blogs, I fall asleep. <hangs head in shame>

      • You expressed everything I feel. I can tweet until my fingers fall off, but I don't want to spam my small group of followers with hourly tweets about a new blog posting. And so far, the retweeting has been minimal to non existent. Same for Facebook… I post it, friends will like it but beyond that, nada.

        I will check out StumbleUpon, and I know I need to comment more on other blogs, but my reading time is limited (we have a 2 month old, 4 year old, a foreign exchange soccer coach, an assortment of pets, and full time jobs) so by the time I can get around to visiting blogs, I fall asleep. <hangs head in shame>

        • I find that, when you submit to StumbleUpon, that you need to add a review if you want to get lots of hits.

          I have a 2.7 year old and a 0.05 year old, I know how you feel.

        • That's nothing to be ashamed of. I have a lot of trouble getting free time as well. I have a 10 year old and an 8 year old, my wife works full time and I serve as a youth pastor. (And we have a house full of pet) This blogging thing is not a full time job for me and it may never be. I love doing ministry. So I just do what I can when I can and learn as much as I can and then let God do the rest. Each of us have to find our own rhythm.

          If you take each day like we are doing and experiment with something small and keep make forward progress, eventually it will pay off. Consistency is what pays in the long run.

        • That's nothing to be ashamed of. I have a lot of trouble getting free time as well. I have a 10 year old and an 8 year old, my wife works full time and I serve as a youth pastor. (And we have a house full of pet) This blogging thing is not a full time job for me and it may never be. I love doing ministry. So I just do what I can when I can and learn as much as I can and then let God do the rest. Each of us have to find our own rhythm.

          If you take each day like we are doing and experiment with something small and keep make forward progress, eventually it will pay off. Consistency is what pays in the long run.

    • hmmm, this one is a bit of a frustration for me.
      First because I try almost every avenue – tantamount to firing a shotgun,
      and second because everyone ducks when I fire; even my close friends.

      The power in promotion lies not in the channel you use to promote but in the other people inside the channel who choose whether to further your promotion or not. For Example Twitter – one tweet does a little to promote your blog but if friends participate then wow – your reach is extended 100 fold.

      But there is a downside: I submitted my post yesterday to StumbleUpon, I got 194 referrals them them; not a single comment and almost 100% of them pure visits with no further pageviews – hence huge Bounce.

      Otherwise, my strategy is to use Digg, Buzz and twitter most times, StumbleUpon, Readit sometimes. Then I have setup a FaceBook Page for my bloghttps://www.facebook.com/pages/SynapticLight/18211

    • hmmm, this one is a bit of a frustration for me.
      First because I try almost every avenue – tantamount to firing a shotgun,
      and second because everyone ducks when I fire; even my close friends.

      The power in promotion lies not in the channel you use to promote but in the other people inside the channel who choose whether to further your promotion or not. For Example Twitter – one tweet does a little to promote your blog but if friends participate then wow – your reach is extended 100 fold.

      But there is a downside: I submitted my post yesterday to StumbleUpon, I got 194 referrals them them; not a single comment and almost 100% of them pure visits with no further pageviews – hence huge Bounce.

      Otherwise, my strategy is to use Digg, Buzz and twitter most times, StumbleUpon, Readit sometimes. Then I have setup a FaceBook Page for my bloghttps://www.facebook.com/pages/SynapticLight/18211