OpenSourceVarsity

More ways to promote your blog posts

It is a measure of how vast are the opportunities and ways to promote your blog posts, that with one breath I say, Wow, Ivan, that’s a whole lot of promoting you are suggesting, and with the next breath I say, But don’t forget about this, and this, and this and that. 

The whole lot of promoting that Ivan was suggesting in his recent post, includes the following promotional venues and tactics:

  • FaceBook page
  • Twitter page
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Google Plus
  • Tech Forums
  • Friend Circle
  • Carefully chosen blog directories
  • Engage with commenters

Yes, that’s a lot. Your own pattern might be different with respect to the places you submit to (Pinterest or Tsu, rather than Google Plus or LinkedIn, for example), and you might have more or less destinations than Ivan does.

The don’t-forget-about-these I was referring to in the next breath were the following.

Cultivate a following in social media

It’s not just enough to post to your page on Facebook or Twitter or wherever. If you don’t have many followers or you don’t engage with them, they are unlikely to share your blog post and expand your reach. Cultivating a following is work, which is why few people can build huge followings everywhere. Ivan placed Facebook first on his list, but he did not even mention Pinterest or StumbleUpon.

He has his priorities. I post to Facebook and Pinterest, but I really do not cultivate a following at either of them. However, I do work hard on Twitter, Google Plus and Tsu, and the results of that effort shows. You should “be” everywhere, but you should be (hyper) active in just a few places.

Cross-post in social media

This is a nifty idea (Can I say nifty, or is that too outdated?), and just a little bit counter-intuitive. Instead of submitting your blog post URL directly in social media, submit instead the related URL from another social media site. Sound confusing? An example will help.

Let’s say you have just published a blog post on The Seven Most Embarrassing Questions Asked by Monarchs. Let’s suppose further that you submit the link to Pinterest. Now you have a blog post and a Pinterest entry linking to the blog post. Next, you open up Facebook and share the URL for the Pinterest entry, instead of sharing the direct link to your blog post.

But, David, why would I be crazy enough to do that? Why divert traffic to Pinterest that I should be directing to my blog? And the answer is to cultivate a bigger following in social media.

In the example above, if you do it a few time, you should find that some of your Facebook friends follow you to Pinterest and add you there. Your Pinterest following will grow. When your Facebook friend Larry becomes your Pinterest friend, too, you extend your reach, because if Larry shares both your Facebook items and your Pinterest items, he is sharing with a different crowd on each platform.

Join some sharing communities

There are formal sharing communities, such as Viral Content Buzz and Triberr that can really extend your reach.

They work quite simply. In the case of Viral Content Buzz (and numerous others), you earn credits when you share other people’s posts, and you pay credits when they share yours. You pick what you want to share and where, so it’s not just circle-jerking.

Viral Content Buzz is sometimes one of my biggest referrers to my blog posts, particularly because it is fellow bloggers mostly who are there.

Triberr works on the honor system. You pick what you want to share; nobody is keeping track. But as Ivan mentioned when it comes to sharing other people’s posts, the more you give others, the more they will give you. It’s online karma.

You can also set up your own private, informal sharing community in a Facebook group or a Skype group chat. Many years ago, when I had several clients in the personal finance niche, I set up a small sharing group on Skype, specifically so the personal finance bloggers could provide some mutual support for each other. The group was composed of a few people doing the very thing Ivan says he is now doing – asking for support by email. The Skype group reduced the emailing workload, and because we each added a couple people, increased our reach. That group is still in play today.

Create a compelling image

One of the best things you can do to promote your blog is to take 15 minutes to create a compelling image with a message on it. Pinterest is all about images. Google Plus took its stand against Facebook by making itself more image-friendly, thereby attracting many photographers. Tsu has upped the ante by showing full images, not truncated like Facebook and Google Plus do

Do images help promote your blog? I estimate that a post will get at least five times as many likes or plusses with a compelling image as it gets with no image, and probably at least as many click-throughs to the post itself. I don’t have numbers, sorry; I have never wanted to submit my post without a compelling image, because I would purposefully be losing traffic and shares.

But I have done some experimentation with:

  1. Posting the URL and letting Facebook, Google Plus and Tsu pull the image from the page
  2. Loading the pic first from my hard drive, then adding the URL in the text of the submission to Facebook, Google Plus and Tsu

Here are the results of my experimentation (and this is the first time I share them anywhere, with anyone).

On Google Plus, I get waaaay more engagement and plusses from loading the full pic directly. Quite frankly, people vote for the pic. I have not noticed a difference in click-throughs, so no advantage in traffic, but huge advantage in social signals.

On Facebook, less of a difference, but in fairness, I have not cultivated an audience on FaceBook (as mentioned before) so you might get more interesting results than I did if you were to play with this concept.

On Tsu, no difference; they show the whole pic either way.

So my strategy is to upload the photo first on Google Plus and Facebook (just in case) and just add the link to Tsu.

I could go on all day, as I am sure Ivan could have. I have now added to his list of ways to promote your blog posts, and now there is an opportunity for someone else to come up after me and say, But don’t forget about this, and this, and this and that.

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