[caption id="attachment_3680" align="aligncenter" width="509"] man using laptop working on plan to increase website traffic[/caption]
Maintaining a blog can be a beneficial thing for your business. It allows you to show your expertise, offer some free advice to your customers and, sometimes, have a little fun.
As a marketing tool, it is often the cherry on top of your message—if you use it correctly, that is. It can show the inside of your business and relay your own personality.
If your audience can find it.
Most blogging sites have a small amount of self-promotion built into them: log in to blogger, for example, and you’ll find a ‘recent blogs of note’ tab at the bottom of your home screen. However, to really promote your blog and build up your audience, you’ll need to do most of the work yourself. Here are some tips:
Using blog posts as Facebook updates is a great way to promote both.
When you first publish your post, you have the option to share it right then on social media. Referring back to it often is easy to do: pick a quote or two, a favorite line, and post that in a status update with a link to your blog. Or pose a question that your blog answers. You can use a third party site like hootsuite to schedule posts in advance and save time. If you do that, however, upload a different picture each time to provide some variety.
Use photos or infographics
Engaging visual content is still the most widely shared across all social media channels—even text-reliant sites like Twitter. Often a short sentence, followed by the link to your blog above a compelling image will be very effective.
Share it on Twitter
Twitter allows you to stretch your creativity when sharing blog posts. You only have 140 characters, remember, so you probably won’t want to use your full headline and link. A quick phrase followed by the link will usually do the trick, as long as the words are engaging enough. “How” and “why” are good action words: people will follow a link if they’re interested in the answer. Also, you can attach a hashtag and use it to search for engagement later. Shorten your blog link through bitly, and you can track the number of hits it receives.
Post it on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a vastly under-used resource for business owners. Don’t look at it as a way to find a new job or connect with other job seekers. Use it as a way to share your knowledge with other industry professionals—or ask questions to get a conversation going. It’s easy: all you have to do is upload a header image and add your title. Then copy and paste the link to the blog post.
Make the headlines
Attention-grabbing headlines are the surest way to get your audience to open and read your blog. Ask questions, use statistics. Numbers are very effective—particularly if they can speak to the brevity of the post. “Five ways to share your blog” is a lot less intimidating than “101 ways to share your blog post.” Let’s face it: who has that kind of time?
Those are some of our ideas. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!