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How I’d Promote My Blog If I Were Starting Out Again

How I'd Promote My Blog If I Were Starting Out Again

Photo by Lukasz Grudzien on Unsplash

Today I want to explore a ‘secret’ of growing the readership of a blog.

A few weeks ago I explored how to increase the number of subscribers on your blog through creating anticipation. The more people anticipate that they’ll get something of value from your blog in the future the more likely they are to want to come back and subscribe.

The problem is that you can create anticipation on your blog as much as you like without increasing your readership one iota if you don’t also do what I’m going to share with you today.

I touched on this ‘secret’ last November in a post titled Blog Promotion: Are You Preaching to the Converted? but let me summarize the mistake that I see many bloggers (big and small) running into when they’re promoting their blogs.

The Problem of Preaching to the Converted

The mistake that I think many of us make in our blog promotion is that we continue to promote our subscription methods to the same people – those who have already subscribed to it – our regular readers.

We’re preaching to the converted – or to use another analogy we’re mining the same patch of dirt over and over again.

Some Promotion to the Loyal is OK

Now I’m not arguing with this post that you shouldn’t talk about your subscription methods to regular readers or that they should never see your invitations to subscribe (promoting your methods of subscription prominently is an important technique in building RSS subscriber numbers) – however doing it to your regular readers will have a diminishing conversion rate the more you do it.

Perhaps the most public example of this was in the post that I linked to above where I observed that John Chow and Shoemoney’s competition to increase subscriber numbers seemed to largely pitched to their current readers – however I see daily examples of how many bloggers do this (and have done it myself).

Example One – I once followed a blogger who writes a post each week which promotes their subscription methods.
Example Two – I follow another blog that has an invitation to subscribe to it’s RSS feed actually in the footer of every post on that same RSS feed.

While I do encourage you to post about subscription methods (see point #2 here) – the more you do this the less impact it will have over time. In fact the more you do it the more you run the risk of annoying your regular readers (illustrated by the point that I no longer read the blog in example 1 above).

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s ok to preach to the converted a little (it does work) but your main efforts when it comes to promoting your blog should be happening OFF your blog.

If you really want to grow your blog’s subscriber count you need to find new potential readers to draw in.

Another Obvious Secret

Yes this is another obvious piece of knowledge – yet it’s something that many of us fail to understand and live out. We continue to dig in the same patch of dirt expecting our blogs to grow.

So How Do You Expose Your Blog to NEW Readers?

Ok – so the ‘secret’ is to keep your blog promotion efforts more OFF your blog on readers that you’re yet to connect with rather than those that area already loyal – but how do you do it?

I will say up front that as easy as the principle is in practice it’s a lot harder. Getting word out about your blog to new groups of readers is not easy – however unless you make a concerted effort to get yourself out there your subscriber count will remain slow (at best).

How I’d Promote My Blog If I Were Starting Out Again

I’m regularly asked how I’d promote my blog if I was starting out blogging again today and didn’t have the profile that I currently have. This week I want to answer that question with a series of posts – all of which are focused upon this topic of finding NEW readers.

I’m going to cover five areas that I’d focus upon as a new blogger attempting to give my blog a start. I hope you find them useful.

5 Ways to Promote Your Blog (the series):

  1. Guest Posting
  2. Networking
  3. Advertising
  4. Social Media
  5. Viral Content


If you’re serious about building an audience for your blog and want to supercharge your traffic ProBlogger’s Find Readers Course will give you the roadmap and guide you through 6 clear steps to find readers.

How I'd Promote My Blog If I Were Starting Out Again

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. new bloggers (without all those years of experience and technical know-how) can not even come close to replicating the theoretical results.

  2. Dude!

    Don’t get me wrong, cause I really love you BUT!!! You can’t do something like that to us!! You’re evilllll…. lol

    Just kidding ya, Darren.. I’m eagerly waiting for the follow-up posts! Keep up the fine work, dude.

    To CANI,

    The World’s First Teen
    Personal Development Video Blogger

  3. Opened my eyes a little…you’re right!I definetly have to put more effort in getting my blog known out there…

  4. Have you tried http://www.Qassia.com ? I’ve had some traffic by using them.

  5. funny comments about the cliff hanger.

    We did not read the last 2 words in the first sentence?

  6. Great post Darren, I can’t wait to see the follow up. I completely agree with your point of reaching new audiences. Not only will your blogs exposure increase but you won’t become bored of posting to the people endlessly (it’s always good to get new perspectives on your writing)

  7. I hate cliffhangers! LOL I can’t wait to see what’s next!
    I really needed this since I just started my new blog – thanks!


  8. abby Ives says: 03/12/2008 at 4:09 am

    I think I’m in the minority here. Darren, I read you regularly, and consider you right up there with the Bible, but while this might have been a good example, it seemed like more of a tease than anything else. I felt toyed with and disappointed. There was this big build up that ended in “stay tuned,” and I felt cheated. Perhaps that is the other side, or the down side of anticipation. If I didn’t find your stuff so good and if I wasn’t such a devout fan, I might have walked. I won’t of course, but if not handled carefully, some will.

  9. Great Job Darren. If this post doesn’t do a great job of creating anticipation I don’t know what will.

  10. I have found that the best way to get new readers is to comment on sites and make new friends. Just dropping a nice line or two about a post or an article on some sites is enough to get you a lot of unique visitors each day.

  11. Thank you Darren. I am so glad you’re covering this topic. I am on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

  12. Thanks for your work!!!
    I can’t wait! Are you going to write this post late in the evening tomorrow to keep us watching all day? :)

  13. OMG! You used the exact technique on us as you just spoke about in this post. Creating anticipation! Okay I’ll bite, I’m subscribing. This better be go though or I’ll unsubscribe just as quickly. :)

  14. As always Darren..your post are always helpful..^^..thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and expertise everytime..^^

  15. I’ve been implementing the anticipation factor method of inviting readers to subscribe to one of my blogs and I’ve proven it to be very effective. But now I’m experimenting on getting rid of the invite to subscribe to see how it will affect my subscribers’ growth. This is because I believe I’ve already caught the attention of those who “need” to subscribe to my blog but don’t know how to. Now I’m trying to capture those who would “want” to subscribe to my blog without being upfront in making them do it.

  16. You weren’t kidding about anticipation! I am just starting to learn about blogging using my new blog http://www.TommyBlog.com and I am sharing what I learn as I go. I guess I too will start adding anticipation to my blog. Thanks for the tip Darren!


  17. Well, you sure did achieve your goal of creating anticipation, lol. Now I look forward to you fulfilling that promise. That will be the next step right? Or are we going to just sit here and continue waiting for the ketchup to drop?

  18. Looking forward to the series!

    Since my latest project is just a few weeks old *all* my readers are new readers. :)

  19. I use a cookie to determine who has and has not already subscribed via RSS or email, and only show subscribe messages to those who do not have the cookie.

    If anyone is interested I would be happy to give them the PHP to use on their blog. Just visit and leave me a comment or email me asking for it.

  20. Thanks. Really good articles here. Going to put them into practice.


  21. Thanks for the tips! I do the anticipation thing, but I haven’t noticed if it has improved my stats. I still need to push the subscriptions.


  22. The series sounds extremely promising. However, as a blogger who has already put many of these strategies into practice for quite some time, and seen few results, I’m left to wonder what other missing “secret” ingredients exist.

    Ever consider taking a struggling, existing blog and trying to turn it around as a case study?

    Yup, I’m volunteering :-)


  23. I really hate mini-series. You always invest in the idea of them and then miss parts, then wind up not really getting it.

  24. Nice tip. Many bloggers forget about off blog promotion and just keep blogging and then wonder why their readerships do not increase.

  25. intersting info here, my site is new and am looking for new ways to promote it. will definitely take a lot of thee points into consideration…

  26. @Rob,

    I took a look at your blog. I have a resource that will help you. Drop me an email and I’ll send it to you free.

    (I didn’t see a contact form or email on your site)

    Email me here:

    aaron AT fulltiltblogging.com

  27. Nice post, thanks for sharing your 5 important ways on how to promote a blog.


  28. Fairly new to blogging. Your site has some of the best quality content in your field I have found so far. I only hope to write as well in my blog’s niche. Thanks for the inspiration.

  29. Comment on other blogs, it’s in my opinion, the best way to get readers to your blog, especially if the comment you leave has some value.

  30. This topic is exciting! Don’t we all want to learn this information?


  31. I feel a combination of things works beautifully in promoting a blog. I have also realised that Word Press is a better blogging platform than Blogger. Take my case. I have blogs on both the platforms, but have found that blogger doesn’t direct traffic to my site as much and as well as Word Press. And the difference is very significant. Almost 1:10 and sometimes, 1:100. So I suggest that one way of starting out well is to go with a popular platform that directs traffic to you.

  32. Great information. I enjoy reading about people that have done this before and done it successfully. If you are a new blogger and can’t figure out how to do it well by visiting ProBlogger.net there must be something else wrong.

  33. Very nice post!!

    I just stumbled upon the site Nachofoto.com few weeks ago
    I use Nachofoto to promote my food & celebrity blog

    1. http://celebritybodygossip.com/
    2. http://dietrecipesblog.com/

    Nachofoto is really simple to use.

    “Just submit image links from your site to Nachofoto and you are done.”

    I get lot of traffic from this site.

    Nachofoto also allows users to make free slideshows.The cool part about Nachofoto slideshows is that all images in the slideshow link back to the original website(from where that image was submitted to Nachofoto.com)

  34. A very informative post. A really good starting point for a new blogger but what I was wondering how does a blog site gets really weeded out to be so prominent amoung so many blog sites. The number of sites are staggering so how do you stand out? Perhaps taht could be the subject for a new post!?


  35. What do you think about social networks like Yovia? How beneficial can they be to people and are they really no strings attached free? http://yovia.com/join-the-network I joined their network and so far it seems totally legit.

  36. Thanks for the tips, I always enjoy great content from you, I know I hardly ever leave comments, but I thought I would this time…

    It’s kind of a struggle, because I find myself preaching to the converted always, and I’m always trying to find a better way (system) to go around that.

    I mean, basically, if you want to go all out, it might be better to make 2 separate blogs, 1 for prospects and one for regulars, but anyhow, it works out!!!

    Thanks, I always enjoy your thoughts!

    Adam B.

  37. The tips was so great i love it of How to promote my website and how to get website visitors it was great for us to know the information…

  38. Great tips.
    I’m need promote my blog about celebrity.

    I’m using :
    – Forum posting comment.
    – Blog comment.
    – Social bookmark
    – Social network as facebook, myspace, hi5
    – Article release

  39. Thank you, Darren, for the valuable information, I agree that self-promotion, advertising, and networking are valuable tools.

  40. such a good information really helpful to improve myblog

  41. very – very useful tips for me.
    I’m need promote my blog about search engine optimization.

    I’m using :
    – social media marketing
    – Blog comment.
    – Social bookmark
    – Social network as facebook, myspace, hi5
    – Article release

  42. Nice post and concept with the five stages – I guess this concept in it self is a way to keep people visiting your blog again looking for the subsequent step in this whole ‘promoting your blog’ walk!

    Keep the info coming and thanks again!

  43. Quite a enlightening post. I think following one step at a time will really help.

  44. Darren you have written in lay mans term which makes me love this blog more, you understand the newbies rather then just selling affiliate links which some probloggers do.

  45. Thanks for these tips and I started my cooking blog (www.thecookinghusband.com) with the idea of hey this is what I am cooking for dinner, check back tonight to see recipe and pictures.

  46. Hi Darren, thanks for these tips. I would also add posting to forums and adding your signature. It would be wise if the forums for which you will participate should be in the same niche as that of your blog so that you can also post a link just in case a particular discussion is related to one of your articles.

  47. Yes, I understand what your saying. When I make my blog posts, I will make sure that they go along with this. However; I always have funny and humorous stories I tell, so this will keep the present and future people who might subscribe to the blog.

  48. Hey Darren, just stumbled across this post and even though it’s a year old it is still very relevant. Don’t know how you pump out so much good content on a daily basis but I appreciate it!

  49. great post Darren, thanks for sharing…
    do you also have tips how to write blog posts like you do which flows while reading? :)

  50. Another good post. This is great info – and I love you link the hell out of your internal pages, makes browsing content so much easier. I’m learning a lot Darren. Thanks!

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