By Lisa Wozniak
If you are a small business owner, you know how hard it can be to devote the time and energy to researching and writing an engaging blog article for your customer base, only to listen to the sound of crickets after it’s posted. You look at your stats from the blogs you’re posting and the cricket theory is confirmed. Is anyone even reading this thing you wonder? Well if you merely write your blog and post it to your blog site, then chances are the answer to that question is a resounding No. You need to market your blog to make sure it is being seen and read. So, we’ve put together 8 ways to market your blog at little to no cost. Try a few of them or try all of them and watch the difference in your engagement stats.
Before you begin on this journey however, I have to stress the importance of doing the research on your content. Make sure that when you set out to write your blog post that you are writing directly to the demographic of your business. The content should be relatable and industry specific. It needs to include graphics and/or video to capture the attention of your readers. While a blog will help define you as an expert in your field remember that your blog is not an instruction manual or medical journal. Take the time to engage your readers with interesting content, video and/or pictures.
That said let’s look at some strategies for getting your blogs seen and read.
1. SEO – Writing a blog that is SEO rich in content can be a strong marketing tactic to getting your blog picked up by many in a search engine query. You can do this by doing a keyword search in google for the topic you’re writing about. If you choose over populated words you will quickly get lost in the search. The key is to be very specific. This will be the ammunition you need to get your blog to stand out from the rest and gather more clicks. I like to use the example of a modern day Geppetto. If Geppetto where to optimize his blogs with an SEO keyword like “toys”, he would quickly get lost in the shuffle of all the big box toy retailers like Toys R Us, Matel, FAO Schwartz, etc. But if Geppetto is smart, he’ll use an SEO keyword like “wooden toys” “handmade toys”, “wooden puppets”, “antique toys” etc. and the flood gates would open. If you stop and think about what you yourself type into a search engine when you do a search, you’ll see you’re often being very specific about what you are looking for. Your customers do the same thing.
2. Post a link to your blog article on all of your social media platforms. Like most small business owners, it’s probably taken you awhile to build a captive following on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. This is a really great avenue to draw them in and confirm that you are in fact an expert in your field. It’s as simple as posting the link to your article in your social media post with a quick line about the benefits they’ll receive by reading it.
3. Share buttons on your blog page – If you don’t already have these plug-ins installed on your blog page, you’ll definitely want to look into this. There are several companies that do this. For example Sumo Me has several of these kinds of web sharing tools that are available. When you post a new blog on your website and your readers come to read it, share buttons to social media sites will appear along the side allowing your readers to share your blog on their social media sites. This is a great opportunity to increase the exposure that your blog receives.
4. Recycle blog posts periodically – Once you’ve written a blog post, it doesn’t have to fall into the archives never to be seen again. Pull some of those blogs that you’ve written a while ago and recirculate them on social media. If you’ve added share buttons, you can watch your engagement soar as new people begin to read your content!
5. Post and email sign up on your blog site – There’s nothing better than growing a fan base right from your blog site. By simply adding a sign up form to your blog page, people can sign up to receive and alert when you’ve posted a new blog article. People who have liked your articles in the past will never forget to check when they receive an email as part of your email marketing campaign. Additionally, you now have a captive audience for an email marketing campaign for your business and you’ll be target marketing to those who already love you. This can be done with a simple contact form plug-in like Sumo Me or MailChimp
6. Create Links in your blog that prompt your Opt-In page – Some savvy bloggers are now putting a text within the actual blog article that is hyperlinked right to their opt-in page to gather emails. Once gathered they can begin to email them when new blog posts are created. For example if I were writing a blog post about Digital Marketing Tools and I hyperlinked a few of the words, it would take you directly to my opt-in page and allow you to sign up on my email list.
7. Run ads for your blog – This is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to bring attention to your blog. You can accomplish this through several social media platforms to give you maximum exposure.
8. Google Adwords – If you’re interested in getting the widest reach possible for your blog, you can begin a Google Adwords campaign for your blog fairly inexpensively and you’ll be reaching a much broader audience. So, make sure that your blogs are SEO rich to attract your ideal customer.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed these 8 ways to market your blog at little to no cost. Growing your blog audience is a strong step toward getting the most out of your small business website. We’d love to hear some of the different techniques you use to market your blog!