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13 Ways to Promote Your Next Blog Post

Posted By Darren Rowse 16th of September 2008 Blog Promotion, Featured Posts 0 Comments

Blog-Promotion-1You’re slaved over your post – crafting titles, opening lines, adding depth, designing the post to be eye catching and more – you select the perfect time for your post to go live and hit ‘publish’!

It’s over – another post ‘released’ into the wild – there’s nothing more you can do except sit back, see how people like it and start on your next post…. or is there?

Instead of seeing the moment of publishing a post as the end point in the posting cycle of a post – I see it as the birthing moment of a post. The work has only just begun and what you do in the minutes and hours after it goes live can exponentially increase the effectiveness of the post!

Original Image by Elephi Pelephi

Today I want to talk about promoting your blog posts.

A lot is written about promoting and marketing blogs (as a whole) but I’ve found looking at ‘promotion’ on a more micro level (at a post by post level) can be a highly effective strategy.

Having hit publish on your post – don’t just leave it to chance that your post will be read by people. Giving it a few strategic ‘nudges’ can increase the exposure it gets exponentially.

Let me describe a few post promotion activities that I engage in.

note: I don’t use all of these techniques on every post but instead see them as a variety of tools that sit in my blog promotion toolbox and pull out different ones on different posts depending how suitable they are.

13 Ways to Promote Your Next Blog Post

1. Pitching Other Bloggers

One of the most effective ways of getting the word out about a new post is to let other bloggers know about it. There isn’t much more powerful a way to find new readers than another blogger recommending something you’ve written to people who trust them.

Getting other bloggers to link to your posts is not always easy though – particularly in the early days of a blog or if you don’t have some sort of profile or pre-existing relationship with the bloggers that you’re pitching. However it isn’t impossible. Here are a few tips on how to pitch your posts to other blogs:

  • Relevancy is key – don’t pitch stories to other bloggers that have little or no relevance to their blog. You’ll just be wasting their time and yours.
  • Only pitch your best posts – you will have a much higher success rate at getting a link if you only do it with your best stuff. I would only ever do this with around 1-2% of my posts.
  • Give them an angle – don’t just shoot the link over – tell the blogger what the story is about and why it might be relevant to their blog. Save them a little work by showing how the post might be interesting to their readers.
  • Keep it brief – if the blogger wants lots of details about your post they’ll click the link. Be to the point, communicate what you need to say and then let the blogger get on with their day.
  • Be polite – don’t assume you’ll get the link or insist that they link to you – make the suggestion and let the blogger decide if it’s relevant for them.
  • Be personal – use their name, their blog’s name and show you are not just spamming thousands of blogs with your email.

Read more tips like these on pitching other bloggers at 13 Tips on Asking other Bloggers for Links.

2. Social Messaging

An increasingly large source of traffic for my own blogs over the last year has been Twitter and other social messaging sites (like Friendfeed and Plurk). I use a mixture of automated tools and personalized tools to drive this traffic. On twitter I use TwitterFeed to tweet items from my blog’s RSS feed.

I find that this works best if your blogs feed is not the only thing that you’re putting up on Twitter. Add your own personal tweets, link to other people’s content, ask readers questions etc – the more you mix it up the more effective your own automated tweets will be accepted and clicked upon by your followers.

Don’t be afraid to use social messaging to promote posts that have good discussion on them also. I find that 12-24 hours after my post goes live can be a good time to shoot out another tweet if there’s a particularly hot conversation going on (in fact this can drive even more traffic than the first TwitterFeed automated tweet as it alerts your followers to a conversation rather than just content).

3. Social Bookmarking

This is something that I only do on selected posts – those that I think could do well on bookmarking sites like Digg or StumbleUpon.

I won’t go into great depth on this topic in this post as I recently wrote on how to get to the front page of Digg and have posted other tips at Using Social Media Sites to Grow Your Blog’s Traffic.

4. Internal Links

A great deal of blog promotion tips focus upon how to promote your blog on other people’s blogs and sites – but a great way to promote your blog post is to do it on your own blog.

One thing that I try to do with my best posts after I publish them is to think about where I could promote it on my own blog.

While it is at the top of my blog’s front page (the primary place to promote it) if you think hard you’re bound to find a few other posts in your archives that you could link to this new post. Find places where you’ve covered similar topics before and add your link as a ‘related reading’ link or even add a link to your new post within the content of an old post.

You might also want to add your new post to previously written ‘sneeze pages‘ or your sidebar if it’s a key post. Every link you add on your own blog to your new post potentially sends your current readers to your new post but also helps your blog with Search Engine Optimization (internal links count too).

5. Newsletters

If you have a newsletter list on your blog and you’ve written what you consider to be a key blog post – include a link to it in your next newsletter. Doing this will drive traffic but also signal to your readers that it’s a pillar post that you feel deserves their attention.

As with each of the points above – only do this with your best and most relevant posts. If you do it with every post reader will become desensitized to your recommended reading.

6. Other Blogs Comments Sections and Forums

NOTE: tread carefully with this one and only do it occasionally and in a way that adds value.

If you’ve got a post that you think relates strongly to something that another blogger has written about or that is the topic of discussion on a forum – leave a link to your own post.

The key to pulling this off without being labled a spammer is to leave a genuinely useful comment on the blog or forum. The comment itself should add value, be right on topic and contribute to the conversation. Then if you include a link introduce it with a ‘I’ve written more about this at….’ type comment rather than just a spammy call to action.

The other option is to email the other blogger first and ask if they’d mind if you leave the link. You might even find that the blogger will add the link to the post itself (don’t assume this).

7. Email Signatures

If you use a service like Feedburner they have a little widget that you can add to your email signature that highlights your latest blog posts. I’m not sure how effective that this is at driving traffic but the principle is a good one.

I know of a couple of bloggers who do the same thing by hand – they pick one or two of their latest key posts and add links to them as ‘featured posts’ in their email signatures. Many of us have links to our blog’s main URL in our email signatures but it strikes me that a link to a recent individual post could actually be more effective as it sends people to your very best content – food for thought.

8. Followup Posts

If you’ve just written a post that you feel is important a great technique to give it a second round of attention is to write a second post extending the first in some way.

This technique is very powerful at adding a sense of momentum to your blog.

‘Treat every post as an introduction to your next’. Here’s an image that describes this process taken from How to Keep Momentum Going by Building on Previous Posts.

Extend-The-Life-Of-An-Idea

Also check out how I use Mind Mapping to extend posts and do followups like this.

9. Advertise Your Post

This one won’t be for everyone and is definitely only for those special posts that you write that you particularly want to drive traffic to – but why not put a little budget aside to promote a post with some advertising.

Key posts that have a high ‘usefulness factor’ to potential readers are a great way to find new loyal readers to a blog. Rather than advertising the front page of your blog a high quality post can actually be the perfect landing page for an advertisement.

There are a variety of ways to advertise a blog but one of my favorites is on StumbleUpon where you can actually start an organic rush of traffic to a good blog post with a relatively small budget. Learn more on how to do it at Run a StumbleUpon Advertising Campaign for your Blog.

4 More Ways to Promote Key Blog Posts

The list could go on – here are a few more quick tips on how to promote individual blog posts:

  • 10. Write a Press Release – some press release services don’t cost anything (or much) and they can be surprisingly effective with a little luck.
  • 11. Pitch Mainstream Media – some posts will have mainstream media appeal. Shoot a paper, magazine, TV or Radio station an email – you might get lucky.
  • 12. Article Marketing – while I’ve never done article marketing I know a few bloggers who swear by writing articles for ‘free article sites’ as a way to promote themselves. While they often include links back to their main blog in these articles I think there’s some strong arguments for doing it to individual posts.
  • 13. Add a Comments Competition – if you want to increase reader interaction on a particular post run a comments competition where you give one commenter a prize. To increase the ‘quality’ and not just ‘quantity’ of comments offer a prize for the ‘best’ comment rather than a random comment.

How do You Promote Blog Posts?

I’ve covered 12 ways to promote an individual blog post above. What would you add?

How have you done it? What success have you had?

Keep in mind I’m not asking about how you promote your blog in a general sense – but how do you drive traffic to individual blog posts?

Read the Full Series

This post is part of a series on how to craft blog posts. It will be all the more powerful if taken in context of the full series which looks at 10 points in the posting process to pause and put extra effort. Start reading this series here.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • This kind of post is exactly why Problogger is becoming one of my favorite sites (not to mention I’ve gotten some freelance work from one or two of the job postings).

    Some of these tips I just kinda figured out on my own, but even so it’s nice to have the depth of discussion and the reasonoing behind them.

    Thanks for helping all of us bloggers do a little better job.

  • Thank you, Darren, for these tips.

    Very useful for a newbie blogger like me (day 3). My first few posts riffed off other blogs, and I used “trackback” without really knowing what I am doing. Would that be acceptable to promote my blog?

  • Hi Darren, thanks so much for this. I am a new blogger and the information here, and in this entire series, is going to be sooooooo helpful. BUT I have to say I’m also worried about you — specifically your sleeping patterns (yes, following you on Twitter!). I think you’re working too hard. (Actually, I think the whole blogging/techie world is working too hard — maybe a tad addicted????)

    Forgive the imposition – I give in far too often to my interfering busybody tendencies. Though I’m sure your other half/Mom/Dad might agree with me???

    The work you do is so, so great for us — but do make sure you are also taking care of yourself!

    And many, many thanks to you again!

    Orna

  • In my opinion the best way to attract traffic is to write the content that your visitors interested. We can do a survey to find out what topics they are interested!”Fresh content” with quality information will attract repeat visitors and also new visitors from the “word of mouth”.

    To Your Success
    Bryan Hee

  • Very useful set of tip, Darren! I’ve been using using social networks a lot to drive in traffic to my blog. I will definitely be utilizing these other tips.

  • Excellent Darren excellent because of this I postponed publishing my next post and there is many things to consider before that. thanks for you. keep rocking every day

  • I got a question for you in regards to how to setup your posts so that they flow into each other.

    Are these like physically posted in this order – for instance, you want to wrote in your blog that will be split into 5 blog posts. Would you start with 1, then 2, then 3, or would you write 1, write about some other topic, then maybe a week later come back and post number 2?

    Or do you simply create this series by proper internal linking?

  • seo

    Social Bookmarking i think is the best source to promote the next article!

  • I am a bit shy on offering my posts to other bloggers, since my confident on this field is not sufficient:)), I usually visit other blogs or do blog walking activity to read their stories and drop comments, they usually pay me visits and at this phase they meet my posts – read them – and (usually) link to them.

    But it’s not happening all the times, as you mentioned on the post “relevancy is the key”, whereas not all the posts I publish daily have relevancy with their theme.

    Therefore the solution for my case is making clown blogs and put my just released post links to them. What do you think Darren?

  • Great post! The first tip in particular should be required reading for anyone who is even thinking about starting up his or her own blog. What so many beginning bloggers fail to realize is that connectivity is the key to success in this business. That first tip offers tons of ways on how to do just that!

  • I usually use number 4 to promote other post. Off course, relevancy is the key to link the post to the other one. I also make a special place for most commented post and recent post that would attract readers to read.

  • Excellent post, I can’t wait to try some of these out.

  • Nice one.This kind of post is exactly why Problogger is becoming one of my favorite sites.I’ve been using social networks a lot to drive in traffic to my blog.
    http://www.yishanteashop.com/

  • Excellent and informative post. I experimented with ads on Stumbleupon – the result was incredible.

    Regards
    Kevin

  • Hello All,

    I just remembered that I have a facebook connection to some local media folks because we went to the same college. Think I will try sending them a P.R. Thanks for that good idea. Mike Logan

  • I think the first part is really hard.. if i try to contact you or i mention your post in my post, I am 99% sure that You never listen to me cause you are Big Established Blogger and i am a Newbie..Isn’t Darren…See you won’t reply me here is comments…I know this…

  • Very good information.. going to be using some of this strategies. I have to write a post about this things… very cool information.

  • Thanks for the review! Promotion is such a big part of online business that is can easily consume your entire day. When I first started my business, I thought I would just be writing and emailing clients! Ha! Within 6 weeks I was researching marketing at the local library!

  • I combine blogging/pr/social media.

    Here’s a good case study:

    http://alanweinkrantz.typepad.com/alan_weinkrantz_and_compa/2008/09/dsl-reportselec.html

  • My last post is about Design Wiki project http://design-wiki.com/ I launched recently. And sometimes the only way to heard is to post a blog comment.

    Design Wiki is is a new project based on highly popular idea of open content encyclopedia trying to collect and fine tune all kind of information related to graphic design, web design and digital media.

  • It’s a great tips, I want to try it, I hope my blog can famous like your blog.

  • This topic really help me, cause I just new in writting a blog.

    Still a lot of thing to be learn. It true when u write a new post but noboday read it… sometime no visitor at all….

    Anyway thanks Darren.

    Hope this week can finish read you book “Pro Blogger”

  • I’m overwhelmed! I’m a writer, well-published in “the real world” and I never am at a loss for words, but when it comes to marketing and promoting my “cyber writing”, I am simply clueless. I have created four blogs that I enjoy writing in at least weekly if not several times a week, and I get nice emails if someone ever happens across it, but….Ack! This is a tough new world for an “old timer” like me to break into. *sigh* Thanks for the tips…I wish I could get the cyber-awareness part of my brain to understand it all. *sound of gears whirring and slowly stripping*

  • fantastic post and some even better tips!!! must start using these!!! keep up the great work!

  • Thank you for the exhaustive list of tips. I will be sure to consider using some of these tips. There is just so much noise to rise over.

  • That’s a great list of points there, and they are straight to the point. I tend to do a lot of article marketing, as you mentioned others have had great success. So far i haven’t, but over time, i’m hoping that’ll it’ll pickup.

    Thanks for the twelve points. John

  • Social messaging is probably the best way to get your blog out there. I would leave Digg social network alone, since they are saturated and the big coporate leaders have taken over! I would probably comment on other people’s blogs and get into the social networking thing. It might be saturated, but that is good because more people will see your message!

  • I 110% agree with Mathew but it also tells us that blogging is not just a fun. It requires time and special attention. Thanks!

    Mudassir
    http://www.socialmediaplex.com

  • Something I have found to use is yahoo answers. Ofcourse this requires answering questions with some detail to avoid looking to much like spam, but it gets me just as much traffic as digg with less than half the time I spend on digg.

  • Wow.. Really awesome one.. It will be interesting for new bloggers like me :)

  • These have been incredibly helpful, Darren, having just started a new blog I’m going to do my best to try these out and report back on my own findings.

    Thank-you!

    Jonathan

  • These are great tips; thanks!

  • I have to say this that this site has really given me some useful information.

    I will definitely use all these methods to promote my blog.

    Keep up the good work!!

  • Another useful info, I would say that my best promotion is social bookmarking and forum posting and I think I got it right. Thanks for sharing some other techniques.

  • Darren,

    It was great meeting with you at the MArket Leverage dinner at Envy Steakhouse.

    It was an exciting time for a new blogger to meet the people I have been reading about for three months.

    Our financial situation is reaching critical mass, with December 2008 a nexus in hard decisions to sell home and cars.

    I volunteered my videographt services to BlogWorld Expo, in hopes of an opportunity to obtain some direction and focus for my on-line business efforts.

    With the agressive shooting schedules over the three days, it was not possible to meet with anyone in depth, so I did not try to intrude on your space in order to help myself, at the expense of others.

    Can you recommend a method to quickly generate some income?

    Our credit cards are nearly maxed out and this precludes any PPC /PPA funds.

    Respectfully,

    Nicholas – ‘the video guy’ at BlogWorld Expo 2008

  • Great tips here Darren.

    I get alot of traffic from SU and that may be because of the type of blog I have.

    I must give friendfeed a try. People keep going on and on about it.

  • Great Post Darren. Tips shared are very useful :-)

  • Thanks for the great ideas. Very helpful for my new website!

  • Thanks for the tips Darren. I’ve been regularly checking back for more tips on promoting my blog.

  • Darren great tips. look forward to hearing more.

  • Great tips Darren. My blog is very young (just launched on 9/25), and these tips will most certainly come in handy. I’ve always been a fan of promoting posts within your own blog by linking to them as a related post, or even within the content. I think that internal links can do a lot not only to promote individual posts, but to increase the duration of time that visitors spend on your blog.

    Jeff

    http://www.2lincolns.com

  • As always Darren, your post rocks!

    I would however love to see a post or even better a series covering the different types of article, ie list posts, how to posts, video posts and how best to promote these seperately

    It would be useful to find out which promotion tactics you use.

    thanks

  • Powerful comments can be a good option to promote your posts. However, the comments need to be well structured and complementary to the post.

    Good post Darren…

  • Thanks so much for this advice Darren. I’ve been looking for ways to promote a new blog post I wrote and this series has really hit home. It’s on a relatively new website, but luckily I’ve been in the blog game for a while, so I’ve utilized some of the things you’ve listed above to promote the posts on this blog. I’ve been lucky to get some nice visitor numbers for a new site, too because of this.

    I’m going to try some of the other tips you’ve listed like pitching to other bloggers (something I’ve never really done) and I’ve been toying with the idea for a comment competition for a while now. I think I’ll be doing that soon, too!

    To promote my site, I make sure the SEO (meta tags, title) are SE-friendly. I get a lot of traffic from Google. I also try to make my posts relevant and use social networking a lot to get my story out there. I’ve seen success with Stumble Upon, Facebook and even digg.

  • I think you bring up some great points. I’ve found overall, that StumbleUpon drive the most traffic long term. Even for posts where I’ve gotten close to the front page of Digg, traffic dies almost as quickly as it spiked. Stumble traffic is much more consistent over time.

    Great job, keep up the good work! I really like the blog layout, aesthetic components, colors, etc.

  • I had read somewhere that twitter was not as good for promoting your blog as it used to be, do you think this is true?

  • I haven’t had much luck with social sites and some of them are confusing, even for a computer geek with no time. However I think I will check out twitter because the majority rules..
    I am concentrating on organic traffic because I really don’t know how to get it any other way.
    I have got some traffic from articles and youtube, but nothing to write home about!
    I sent my first newsletter out last month and my traffic trebbled.. Now it is going down again so I am rushing to do another one.

  • Tuk

    Excellent post! A friend of mine recommended your blog and now Im addicted. I just subscribe and I will keep reading to see how I can improve my own. Keep up the good work!

  • This is great information.
    -sufu

    http://www.creditandbankdeals.com

  • excellent information. I have to congratulate you for your blog and most important for the service that you are providing to webmasters in general. I already knew some of the methods you talk about in your article but there are other very interesting that I will try write away.
    Meanwhile, I’ve bookmarked you blog :) and I hope that someday I can have so many visitors at http://www.Lookaz.com as you have here