Hey Tribe! I have an AWESOME guest post today from e-commerce guru Victoria Greene! To prove I’m not lazy (ok maybe that ship has sailed), I also added some additional “Pete’s Points.” If you enjoy the post, please drop us a comment and click through to Victoria’s site? See what she’s up to 🙂
You’ve done it!
You’ve written a lovely, well-researched blog post and you’ve proudly posted the link to your social networks. Yay!
Now all you have to do is wait for views to pour in.
*hit refresh on Google Analytics*
Wait, only two page views?! Thanks, mom.
Writing and publishing content is not sustainable for growing an audience (or a full-time income).
If the majority of your blog posts are being met with the internet equivalent of tumbleweed, you could be making some of the following mistakes with your blog marketing.
Mistake One: No Clear Blogging Goals
If you want others to take your blog seriously, you should too.
In order to streamline growth, income, etc, you have to define a direction (preferably up front)
What are your goals for you blog? Why are you doing this? Is monetizing it a priority? Where do you see yourself in 6 months? 1 year?
Put yourself in the position of someone who comes across your blog. What would they think? Would you read your own blog?
Building a cohesive blogging brand starts from knowing your goals.
(Pete’s Point: Couldn’t agree more. Well-defined goals help you stay focused in the everyday grind of blogging, and helps decision-making. Will this action help towards my goals? If no, then scrap it.)
Shortcut: Ask Yourself The Four W’s:
- Who are you blogging for?
- What do you write about?
- Where do you want your blog to be 5 years from now?
- Why should your readers care about what you have to say?
Once you have set clear blogging goals, make a plan.
Your marketing strategy will be part of that plan.
(Pete’s Point: Online marketer Noah Kagan defines this. Marketing = knowing exactly who your audience is, producing something for them, figure out where they hang out online, and put your something in front of them.)
Mistake Two: Expecting Overnight Success
You will need patience during the blog building process.
Your blog won’t shoot up the search results from day one.
Your audience will slowly increase over time, the more quality content you put out there and the more you market your material well. As you become more established in the community, the snowball effect will increase your fans and audience over time. This happens by:
- Learning more about your audience
- Making mistakes and learning from them
- Being noticed in the community
- Targeting your content to the right people, at the right time.
It’s a process all bloggers go through, so it’s important to not lose faith.
The biggest mistake people make is often the simplest one: giving up too soon.
Whenever you go through a ‘this is not working and I’m useless’ phase, focus on people who are already engaging with you.
Give back to your early audience; not only are they the loyal fans but they will motivate you and encourage you to keep going.
(Pete’s Point: YES.)
Mistake Three: Not managing your blog like a business.
(Pete’s Point: What’s that you say? You just enjoy writing and talking about XYZ? You’re not in it for the money? You don’t want to treat it like a business?
I GET IT. But you still care about growth, don’t you? You still want people to read your content, yes? TREAT IT LIKE A BUSINESS ANYWAYS.
It’s not just about revenues, it’s mindset for organization, productivity, and growth.
Heck, treat it like a non-profit if that sits better with you.)
Blogs are fun and creative, but if you really want to succeed, manage it like a business.
Everyone says this, but what does that actually mean?
Outsource marketing tasks
Outsourcing means using automation tools and freelance platforms to provide leverage. By outsourcing mundane tasks you will have more time doing what you do best: engaging with your readership.
(Pete’s Point: I had my Daily Blog Tip logo made on Fiverr for $5. I once had a guy on Upwork compile me a list of 100 people to cold email (folks in my niche based on a few parameters I gave him). Cost me $40 and I made $750 in revenue from people on his list.)
Marketing tools will help you automate your social media scheduling and test what works best with your audience (and they’re often free).
Use built-in analytics to discover what posts are performing well, and schedule in more of the same. Keep drip-feeding content into your social pipeline using smart tools like Buffer, TweetDeck, Hootsuite etc.
(Pete’s Point: I don’t know what ‘efficacy’ means, but I’m pretty sure we all need it.)
SEO is a necessary part of content ROI.
These days, it doesn’t take hours on hours of optimization to boost your blog’s reach and increase organic growth. All that’s needed are a few more minutes per post to make sure you’ve ticked off some technical and keyword essentials, and the results will show!
(Pete’s Point: Oh, and content quality content quality. Google KNOWS search intent dawgpound. She’s smart. Hence the 80/20 approach to SEO below)
Start by performing a content audit on your blog’s overall SEO health. Check your backlinks to see who is linking to your content (and why). Use keyword research to optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags, headings, and internal links.
Spending ten minutes optimizing all your posts on Yoast is time well spent, and it’s super easy. SEO plugins can also be synced and installed to any adjoining online storefront to help you automate and streamline your website management.
Mistake Four: Lack of Self-Promotion
To make the most of blogging, you need to rethink the ways you promote your posts.
Too many bloggers rely on a single channel like social media for all their promotional needs — and this can be dangerous. The more you diversify the larger an audience you can reach.
(Pete’s Point: I agree, despite the common ‘focus on ONE CHANNEL ahhhh’ advice. I think experimentation and diversity is needed (especially for beginners) in order to FIND where they connect with people the best. Even then, you’ll still utilize multiple channels. Email, social, direct, snail-mail, etc)
Some bloggers only think of re-sharing their old content when it comes to self promotion, and this can get monotonous and even turn-off some readers.
Instead, use smart promotion techniques:
- Recycle More, Recycle Better: On sites like Twitter, you can get away with posting your blog link over 10 times a day and not lose a single follower. However, on Instagram or Facebook, you would lose people forever if you did this. Learn how to schedule posts to a logical schedule that catches your main audience in all the different time zones (Buffer can be a great help here).
- Nurture An Email List – Email is the most effective way to build a list of regular readers. Newsletters can be used to pre-sell, up-sell, cross-sell, and SELL-sell (they’re also awesome for affiliate marketing). Just make sure you are tailoring your content to encourage interaction. Start segmenting your email list at the earliest possible opportunity. (ConvertKit has a few flaws, but definitely rocks when it comes to segmenting subs. So good).
- Contribute On LinkedIn – This network is regularly used by talent-spotters across all industries, so generate regular posts/updates for your network via LinkedIn Publisher. Further, search posts related to your most recent blog title and contribute to the comments section with your useful tips and advice.
- (Pete’s Point: I like this for just about every niche. One warning though: go light on the curse words and heavy on the “business” words. Or be a rebel)
- Use Open Source Content Sites – Quora, eHow, WikiHow, Yahoo Answers, these sites are visited by millions of viewers a day. Batch-write some useful evergreen content posts and start building up a valuable traffic source to your blog.
- (Pete’s Point: Quora can be amazing, but it’s also a tough cookie to crack. Here’s an excellent guide. Also, do we really want cookies to crack anyways?)
- Turn To Your Contacts – Change your email signature to include a link to your latest blog post. This is an easy and cost-free way to attract a few clicks. Also, you could look to the relationships you have fostered online and ask people to repost your link. Working and collaborating with other bloggers is a natural part of blogging, but it’s worth formalizing some of these relationships to ensure you are getting maximum value. Blog co-marketing is a huge untapped traffic source.
- (Pete’s Point: I LOVE the idea of linking to your latest blog post in your signature, as opposed to just your home page. I’m doing this right now)
- (Pete’s Point: Here’s the hustler’s version of direct email outreach to cold leads. Sounds fancy, takes a ton of work….but damn it’s effective. Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Formula. Proceed with caution.)
- Vlogging – Bloggers that vlog attract a larger following and you can also monetize your videos on YouTube to bring in some extra income. Content creators across all industries are using the platform to present serious and engaging conversations covering every topic imaginable.
- (Pete’s Point: PODCASTING PODCASTING PODCASTING PODCASTING. Seriously, it’s not that hard, and is fantastic secondary platform for reaching new people with blog content. Turns out, I put together a free course on how to get started on the quick and easy. You can find it here.)
Wrapping It Up…
There are many ways you can build your blog’s audience from the ground-up, but the key to success is to write good content and promote (easier said than done). Write good content, promote.
The journey to pro blogger isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.
- Start by making a list of blogging goals and create a master plan.
- Research how you can outsource and/or automate monotonous tasks so you can focus on engaging with readers.
- Run your blog like a business. Organize, plan, track, and optimize.
- Produce outstanding content. (Pete’s Point: Always)
- Do not be afraid to self-promote.
You will make mistakes, you will waste time, but if you keep at it, it will be worth it in the end.
What mistakes have you made in marketing your blog?
Share your thoughts in the comments 🙂
Victoria Greene is a freelance writer and blogger extraordinaire over at Victoriaecommerce.com. Here, she shares tips for money-hungry bloggers looking to make writing their new career. (Pete’s Point: yay! Show her some love and check out her own site/blog!)