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Welcome to the second to last installment of Uninspired’s anniversary series! Today we’re learning about where to promote your blog post.
Before we get into how to promote your blog post, let me be all misty-eyed and talk about my purpose and all that.
I started Uninspired to help twenty-somethings be the best versions of themselves. Adulting is hard, but I’ve got tricks up my sleeve to make it easier for you. That’s why we talk about easy and nutritious recipes (so you don’t starve when you’re off that meal plan), making and saving money (so someday you’ll be able to move out), and dating (because, well, that’s freakin’ hard).
Can you guess which of those I get the most questions about?
I’m guessing you guessed it. It’s making and saving money. So, for Uninspired’s birthday, I put together a GIGANTIC, five-part guide to using blogging for some extra money. So far, you should’ve created a site that’s compatible with your goals, made it pretty and written your first blog post, optimizing it for SEO. Now we’re gonna talk about another way to promote your blog post– spreading it all over the web.
Here’s the outline of the series, complete with links:
- WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
- Web Hosting
- Plugins and Widgets
- What is SEO?
- Anatomy of an SEO-Friendly Post
- High Quality Photos
Promote Your Blog Post– YOU ARE HERE
- Social Media
- Pinterest (not social media!)
- Link Building
- Approaching Brands
- Media Kits
- Networks to Join
If you don’t have enough time to read all this right now, that’s cool! You’ve got a lot on your plate. Just drop your email address below, and I’ll send you a gorgeous e-book with all the same information so you can save it and read it on your own time.
Uninspired’s Blogaversary Part IV:
Promote Your Blog Post
I’ll say it flat out– my friends and family give exactly 0 fucks about Uninspired. They’re stuck on how they have one of those friends who takes lots of food pics and has a ~personal brand.~ So I’ll be the first to tell you promotion is hard, especially without a circle who understands/cares what you’re doing. That means you really need to find other bloggers to exchange ideas with. For one thing, you’ll have someone who doesn’t see this hobby as basic or nerdy. Second, blogging friends are great accountability partners, and it’s just plain friendship! No one’s in a spot to pass that up.
Now we can talk about where to promote your blog post. I’ll start with social media sites, then non-social media, and then other blogs. Enjoy!
The most important advice I can give you about how to promote your blog post on social media is this: do not engage in like for like, follow for follow, etc. I can’t stress that enough. It’s an easy way to gain followers/likes, but they’re not real.
Example: the big scary man who runs Death To Ponies and Unicorns just liked your Facebook page, Ponies and Unicorns Unlimited hoping you’d like his back. But he’s not going to read your content, and you won’t read his. He has no reason to click your affiliate links and vice versa. You guys have nothing to offer each other.
Plus, everyone can see through the thin veil of like-for-like. When you have a million followers but only six likes on your last ten pieces of actual content, it’s clear. And that one real viewer who genuinely enjoyed your stuff will probably end up thinking you don’t care about your audience. So please, earn your numbers. You’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll actually make a difference for your readers and yourself.
Another tip about how to promote your blog post on any social media– there are scheduling sites that allow you to set up your content ahead of time. This allows you to keep life flowing smoothly and still get posts out at high-traffic times. I use Hootsuite for this, but another popular one is Buffer. They both have free versions.
Now let’s talk specific sites.
On Facebook, I do not suggest that your promote your blog post on your personal page. How annoying is that girl that sells protein powder or purses on her Facebook? Don’t be her. Instead, start a business page. Invite your personal friends to like it, so you know you’re only sharing your content with the friends who support your business.
A few ways to win Facebook– Only ask friends in your target audience for likes. College bloggers– don’t invite Aunt Marge, even if she’ll like every post. If Facebook sees Gen X, that’s who they’ll suggest your page to. Gen X isn’t wondering how to survive a frat party, so you’ll miss out on well-deserved traffic.
The Facebook algorithm is just general nonsense. The more likes you get, the more they’ll show your posts. But obviously, you won’t get likes if they’re not showing your post. So, it’s frustrating, but don’t be discouraged. When the likes do start rollin’ in, you’ll know they’re real and you’ll be happier because you worked so hard for ’em.
More Facebook tips– Share content 1-2 times per day. Make it a nice mixture of yours and other people’s. Engage HEAVILY in blogging Facebook groups. There are a TON of FB groups to promote your blog post, ask questions, gain followers, and more.
Here are some great FB groups you can ask to join:
Boost Your Blog– run by Helene Sula, one of my favorite bloggers. Her group is HUGE and has daily threads highly focused on real engagement rather than like-for-like.
Bloggers Share & Engage– this one doesn’t have threads, you can post anything anytime!
Make Your Blog Beautiful– Sometimes blogger/admins get super busy and forget to post their threads, but this group has never once missed a day!
Girl Blogging Sharebears– a really close-knit group of silly, creative ladies.
Blogging Babes and Business Bosses– This group has Motivate Me Monday, where we talk about goals for the week. It’s great for accountability!
Bloggers Supporting Bloggers– These threads have hundreds of comments! It’s easy to get lost, but it’s also hundreds of opportunities to get noticed!
I’ll be honest, people are in a fast-paced frame of mind on Twitter. They want short sentences, gifs, and memes, not a 1,000 word blog post (which is ideal, as we learned in part III). So tweets leading to long reads don’t get clicked much.
BUT– I get more engagement in general on Twitter than any other site. I have the most followers and conversations, and I feel generally closer with people. Use Twitter to build relationships. Be nice to people. Send love to their blogs and they’ll send it back.
I use Tweepi to find relevant people to follow. You get recommendations based on your audience’s hashtags and similar accounts. For example, one of the accounts I said was like mine was Common White Girl– she has a lot of twenty-something followers. Some of the hashtags I’ve put in recently were #finalsweek #avocadotoast and #freshmanatlife. I also have unfollow recommendations based on who hasn’t followed me back, doesn’t tweet often, etc.
I don’t have Instagram for my blog for a few reasons. First, branding is like, 98% of Instagram. Now that I have a nice camera and Creative Cloud, I might think about it, but I’ve got my hands a little full with my other social medias. It’s a good idea to give your all to a couple sites, not do a shitty job juggling them all.
It also really bugs me that I can’t put a link in a caption. The photo becomes irrelevant as soon as you change the link in your bio. And Instagram is run by Facebook, so they have another ridiculous algorithm. It seems like a lot of work for little reward in my opinion. But, a lot of bloggers seem to love Instagram, so if that’s where you want to promote your blog post, here’s a link to Helene Sula’s library of Instagram growth posts. She loves Instaram, and knows it super well.
Between all these different ways bloggers throw information at your face all the time, there had to be a way to just get the content straight from all the blogs you love, right to one common feed. That’s Bloglovin. Connect your site, and your posts will automatically go there! You can also get a cute little Bloglovin widget for your blog, which readers can just click to follow you!
So, what’s the difference between your email list and all these other ways to shove information down people’s throats??
You own your email list. If Zuckerberg got arrested tomorrow for selling our personal information and Facebook tanked, you’d lose all your likes. But you’d have your email list. Your email list is the only promotional tool you have that isn’t at the mercy of someone else’s algorithm. So really, really use that. You can promote your blog post on it, notify readers of sales, freebies, and more! Remember– these people signed up for your list because they wanted to hear from you. So don’t disappoint! Give them your best stuff. Reward them for being your most loyal readers.
How do you get people to join your email list, you ask? You give them a freebie!
I gotta say, I’m tired of bloggers saying you’ll get people to join your email list with a checklist or worksheet. No one’s gonna cough up their email address for a checklist of ten things you should do before bed. These are your best customers! The ones willing to give you their email address because they like what you have to say so much! Do right by them. Don’t give them a cheesy checklist. Don’t ask them to join just to be notified when you want to promote your blog post. You can do better. Give them something for free that they would gladly pay for.
In he past I’ve given my readers a recipe e-book full of like, twenty recipes that are easy, impressive looking, and nutritious. Most of these recipes aren’t on the blog, so it’s A TON of super exclusive information. Plus, even the ones that are on the blog can be printed and stored in one pretty booklet.
I could make you sign up to get a checklist with what I’m about to say next, but I won’t cause I like ya. So, to pick your freebie, you have to ask yourself these questions: what problem can I solve for my readers? What could I give them that would really show off the value of my site? Below are some popular ideas.
- E-books– Canva has great templates
- E-mail course– give readers information on how to do something over 5-7 days
- Webinar- use Google Hangouts or ClickMeetin
- A Toolkit page on your blog that’s password protected; readers get the password by signing up
- A Content Upgrade– offer a better version of something. My offering to give you a more convenient e-book version of this mini-series when you sign-up for my email list is a content upgrade.
Now that you have these readers hooked with your freebie, you can use your email list to promote your blog post, remind them of sales at your affiliate sites, and more. Get your mailing list going for free at Mailerlite. A lot of people will tell you to go for ConvertKit or Mailchimp. I tried both– Convertkit isn’t free and Mailchip is harder to understand. Go Mailerlite for sure!
Stuff from Reddit goes viral constantly. Memes start here. Your blog can get famous here.
There’s also a blogging subreddit, or basically a little community, where you can give and get blogging advice, and promote your blog post. You can find that here!
Reddit can also provide inspiration for posts! What’s trending? What are people reading about and talking about?
Sumo has provided me with a social share button for Flipboard for forever, and I had no idea what it was until very recently. Turns out, it has the power to drive a lot of traffic! It’s a news site that gathers articles from all over the web, and shows you ones you’ll like based on preferences you set. If you’re a blogger, you can add your own content so it’ll show up in people’s feeds.
Okay, this is a big one. Again, Pinterest is not social media. Pinterest is actually a search engine. So, how do you make the most of it to promote your blog post? Well, first you need a good, pinnable image. So, head to Canva.
Canva has pre-set sizes for ideal photos on lots of sites. They have a size for Pinterest (735 x 1102), but if you want to stand out, you actually have to go bigger. Use the “infographic,” size which is 800 x 2000. Now, choose a branded photo, and add text. When you’re finished designing and making it pretty, download it as a .jpg. Pinterest only accepts .jpg files. Then, add it to your blog post wherever you deem fit.
Now, how do you use this image to promote your blog post?! Well, if you got Sumo, which I recommend a thousand percent, you should have social share buttons on the side of our blog post. When you click the Pinterest one, all the images in your post will pop up, including that one you made. Pin it to the board you should have for your own blog posts, and any relevant group boards you’re a part of.
What’s a group board, you ask?!
Well, first let me explain boards. Each board is like a bulletin board where you’d “pin” something you like. You have different boards for different categories of things- recipes, DIY projects, home decor, outfit inspo, etc. Only you can pin to your own boards, unless you make them group boards. Then, anyone you invite can add pins. These are great for bloggers because you can show your posts to many different audiences, without having to gather all those followers yourself. I have a little over 600 followers, but I get a half a million views per month thanks to group boards. If a group board is accepting new members, instructions for joining will be in the description. Here are some that I’m a part of:
- Blog to Freedom Promo
- GIRL BOSS Bloggers
- Lifestyle Bloggers Keeping It Real
- Bloggers Supporting Each Other
- The Best of Lifestyle and Blogging
Since you can’t use Hootsuite or Buffer for Pinterest, there’s another scheduling tool you can use to schedule your pins. Tailwind saves you a ton of time and energy by queueing up all your pins, and posting them at the highest traffic times. They also have a section called Tribes, where you can share your content with other bloggers.
Now, how do you incorporate your branding on Pinterest? And how can you increase your chances of getting noticed?
Some people go aaaall out with their branding on Pinterest, only including pins in their boards that match their colors. I can’t be bothered with that, but I do brand in the sense that all my pins are interesting to twenty-somethings. For example, money saving plans, style inspiration, dating tips, mental health, and general adulting tips (like, how to jump start a car, etc.).
I also have branded board covers. Your board cover is the pin that sticks to the front of your board all the time, which you can set by clicking on the edit button that comes up when you roll your mouse over a board. Having board covers helps your page look neater and more cohesive. More branded.
As far as getting noticed, there are a few ways to make sure you pop up in search results. For one thing, don’t name your boards anything clever. Name them what they are, because that’s what people search for. You can add creative text in your board covers like I did if you want! Like Google, Pinterest doesn’t see what’s in the pictures, just how you describe them.
You can also make money via Pinterest!
I’ll talk about this again next week in more detail, but you can literally make money right on Pinterest. You won’t have to rely on a reader’s commitment to go through Pinterest and then your blog and then the affiliate site– you can snag ’em right at the first step! Elise McDowell can teach you exactly how to do it with her e-book called “Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours.” I didn’t make my first sale in 24 hours, but when I did make a sale a few days later, I got three in a row, which more than covered my investment in the book. Give it a shot!
Other Blogs (Link Building)
The last way to promote your blog post is via other blogs in a process called link building. Basically, link building is getting your blog’s link on as many other sites as possible. The more highly-ranked the site, the better it is for your ranking. Here are two tried-and-true ways to build high-quality links:
- Guest Posting- ask to write posts on other people’s blogs! But first, check their domain authority. If theirs is lower than yours, it’s probably not worth it to write for them. You can check DA here.
- Comment on other blogs- genuinely! If you haven’t noticed, I’m big on that. Google is smart. It knows if you’re just posting your own blog link on a million blogs a day. Post thoughtful comments, maybe leave your blog link if it seems appropriate or maybe even helpful
Whew! Teaching you to promote your blog post has been a mouthful. What do you still have questions about?
Let me know in the comments, or you can email me at email@example.com. Happy blogging!