Discussion: Marketing Your Blog

Posted 12 April, 2013 by Amanda / 37 Comments

discussion

Yes! MARKETING.

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s great, Amanda, but I’m not interested in marketing my blog. I don’t want blogging to be a job. I just want to write my posts and do my own thing.”

And I’d say, “I get it. But how are people getting to your blog?”

Are you sharing links on social media? Participating in memes? Commenting on people’s posts? Trying to get people to visit your blog?

Then you’re already marketing your blog.

I’m defining marketing as getting people to your blog and interacting with you. How much you market is up to you.

No matter how much you market, though, you want to be effective. Right? Right. When it comes to marketing my blog, these are the principles I follow:

Content is king

Content is where it all begins. Write something that will knock people’s socks off. When you get them to your site, your content will help to keep them there. It may be your first opportunity to connect with someone. Use it wisely!

Sell yourself

Even though people are visiting your blog, they are really looking to connect with YOU. Understanding this will allow you to meet this need and connect with them. When you start connecting with people, they will naturally start to gravitate toward your blog.

This goes for places outside your blog. Sell yourself on social media, on other blogs, and through events. When you build a name for yourself, you build a name for your blog. Be open and interact with everyone.

Give people a reason for visiting

This is something I’ve recently been working on. Sharing links is a good start to getting people to your blog, but don’t fall into the entitlement trap like I did and assume that “New on the blog!” or “Today I review” is enough to sell people on clicking that link.

I’m going to be honest: I usually ignore those tweets. Why? They just never grab my interest. And then I realized that if I ignored those tweets from other people, they were probably doing the same to my tweets.

Think of visiting blogs in terms of a time investment. Just like you invested the time to write your posts, it takes time for people to read, digest, and respond. And because reading posts is an investment, people want to make sure that their time is used well. Don’t you?

Announcing that you’ve published a new post isn’t enough. Telling people why your new post is worth their time will make your marketing efforts more effective. Entice them. Make them feel like they’d be missing out if they don’t read your post. After all, if your content is already going to knock their socks off, they will be missing out.

How do you market your blog?

Filed under: Discussion,

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37 Responses to “Discussion: Marketing Your Blog”

  1. I am so HORRIBLE about marketing myself and/or my blog. So weird that I’m introverted even on the internet. *sigh* I have plans to play with it a bit more over the summer, learn some code and photoshop, learn how to make buttons and all those pretties that help distinguish memes, etc.

    Some great advice — now, I just need to follow it. :)

    • When it comes to my book blog, I tend not to do a lot of link sharing or actively trying to get people to my blog. I’m happy to just sit around and talk to people online. But I do tend to try out tactics and stuff with On a Book Bender before trying it with my business.

  2. I try so hard with marketing, but I mainly stick to Twitter and Facebook, and my activity there goes in waves. I try to remember to schedule posts, but it rarely happens. I cannot access either of those sites at work, so it kills my marketing efforts. *le sigh*

    I’ve read some stuff on blog post titles. I used to try catchy titles, but now with other bloggers reviewing, I want to make sure people know who reviewed the book right off the bat. Have a suggestion for something different?

  3. I love that you wrote this post! So much is what they say at blogger conferences and I think important for book bloggers to grasp. Even if you are interested in growing, it is good to know what not to do so you can at least avoid that.

    I love the roll that you have taken in the community and how well you do it :)

    • Thanks, Felicia! I’m really just pulling what I’ve learned about marketing in a business context and applying it to blogging. But I think it’s important to realize that if you want people to visit your blog (which, I think, the majority of bloggers do), you have to do some amount of marketing.

  4. Huh. I do exactly what you said in that last section – I literally just write “new post” with the link when I Tweet. In my defense, I usually only Tweet out my links once in the morning, and I’m not firing on all cylinders in the morning, so I lack any capacity for marketing cleverness. It’s an excuse, I know. I should take better advantage of social media, but it can be exhausting Amanda! I don’t know that my content necessarily wows anyone, but I do think I do pretty well on the interacting front, so at least I have that right? This is a great post, and I definitely have many things I can improve upon with the blog, so it’s good to have reminders to work on those things.

  5. I’ve been slacking on this since coming back. I still read other blogs and comments, but I don’t Tweet or Facebook or post my links anywhere really.

    Did Jenny say that she doesn’t think her content wows anyone?! She write the most beautiful reviews! I read reviews of hers for books I know I won’t read based on genre.

  6. I have been trying harder at the social media business. I only tweet new posts when they go live and you are right. I don’t seem to get much traffic from those tweets. I have to admit that I only have a Facebook page so that people who want to follow new posts that way can. I really need to interact on that platform more.

    Until recently I didn’t even realize that branding myself is something I should do. I’ve been blogging for almost three years and some days it feels like I’m just now figuring it out. :(

  7. I’ve definitely not been marketing my blog effectively recently, but I think it’s because I don’t really know how to do it in a way that works for me. I get exhausted and overwhelmed trying to tweet my posts in interesting ways and at prime times (even if I use a buffer app) and I worry that participating in too many memes decreases the value of the content I post…. I really need to start doing at least one meme a week again though, and hop to more blogs…. Thanks for the reminder!

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    • Instead of participating in a meme, you could probably set aside that time and comment on blogs–that way you don’t have the “this is a meme, so people are just commenting to comment” stigma behind your comments.

  8. Twitter’s my biggest referrer after subscribers but I don’t think I try very hard with my links. I spend more time on there chatting about stuff, sharing and rambling on about things in my head. So I think when I do post something of mine, people are more likely to click, because they know me. It does take a lot of time though and not everyone enjoys it. If you don’t enjoy it, it shows!

    • I think that’s probably the best way to do it. I’ve also noticed that in all the links I post on Twitter, the ones that don’t go to my site usually do better–and that when others link my posts, I get more clicks than if I link my posts. Twitter is, after all, a social networking site, not a promotion site. Chatting with people is definitely the way to go.

  9. I do need to work on my tweets and being better with my reader (which in turn leads me to comment because I’m actually very good at commenting). I’m just so used to the WoW blogosphere when somebody tweets a link to their post, people flock. New content to read, yay! But it doesn’t work here and I really need to work on that. I did, for a while. I’d tweet my link 3 or 4 times a day to get a good amount of visibility, but also not wanting to spam I’d make sure I varied the wording of the tweet. Now I leave it to Feedburner to auto-tweet. :/ I must be better, thanks for the kick up the bum!

    • I think all blogospheres are different; I know that the business blogosphere and the book blogging world are very separate, even though there are some obvious overlaps. Tweeting the same link daily is probably too much, but tweeting the same link a few times in a week might be better.

  10. I’m terrible about this, but you really opened my eyes that even if we’re not thinking that we’re marketing, we still are! When we post, we’re linking to our own blogs, and that’s marketing. DUH LOGAN.

    You bring up excellent thoughts about how I can better encourage visits and help them have a great experience. I’ll have to play around with my autotweet text! Great post.

    • I’m actually experimenting with getting rid of my autotweets (with my business) and scheduling tweets in advance instead. I don’t know that that would work as well with my book blog, since I post more frequently with it. But I’m experimenting.

  11. “And because reading posts is an investment, people want to make sure that their time is used well.” Exactly! I mostly market my blog on Twitter; I used to have all my posts directly updated on Facebook but I honestly think it just annoyed people so I turned that off. Since then I keep meaning to select a few posts that I’m especially proud of and post them on Facebook with a bit of info about the post but I keep forgetting. As for Twitter, I’m not great with the catchy titles. I try to jazz them up a bit so they’re not just generic ‘Review: Book Title by Author’ but my mind often goes blank. This is a great post – thanks for sharing! :-)

    ~Marie @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer

    • We tend to only see it as putting a lot of time into writing a post (and wanting a response) and forget that it requires an investment by the reader as well, I think. It’s something to keep in mind when marketing yourself. I usually try to ask “How can my post benefit others?” rather than “How can I get people to visit?” If I can say why my post will benefit you, you’re probably going to be more likely to click through. :)

      I don’t autopost on Facebook, but I do link my posts. Usually using the same kind of mentality that I’d use on Twitter. I think it works well.

  12. Thanks for this information. I have been blogging for a whopping, whole week now and I am learning that I have SO MUCH to learn! I really enjoyed reading the conversation here. Thanks for the tips.

  13. I truly love this post.
    My review blog gets some shares and feedbacks however, to entice visitors to books I review I am unsure how to get creative with the post titles. For instance: “A review of blah blah.” or “Blah Blah(a review)”.

    I want to keep it simple and let others know it is a review but what else can I do to make it interesting?

    Thanks so much!

    • Hey Erica! So I think there’s a definite difference between what you should title your post and what you share on social. For SEO value, keeping your post title simple—“Blah Blah (a review)”—works in your favor for people to find you through search engines. Search engines, like Google, can’t read cleverness, so you’re better off sticking with that. When you share your review on social, however, then I’d get clever—tease something, even. Use a short snippet from your review. Even something like, “Best [genre] novel I’ve read this month! [link to review]” could be enough to intrigue someone to click through. But if other people are sharing your posts, that’s great! I wouldn’t worry about getting creative.

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