Written by Katie McKee.
You’ve painstakingly named your blog. You put in hours upon hours drafting original content, scouring the web for inventive ideas, and building a socially shareable site.
If you build it, they will come, right? In a web-dominated world, there are thousands of voices competing for your audience, and in some cases, even having the “best” content or being the leading resource on a subject may not be enough.
This is when marketing your blog is the most important aspect of increasing your readership and maintaining your audience.
WCA sat down with Natalie Andreas, a digital strategist and marketing consultant who has helped hundreds of companies thrive online, shared her best practices for marketing blogs—whether that be personal, professional, or for a client—with us in the Q&A below.
WCA: What’s the biggest misconception when it comes to marketing a blog?
Natalie: I would say the biggest misconception is that Facebook is the only way to go. I see a lot of over-promotion on Facebook, when really Facebook—especially for a personal blog—is rarely the right channel to promote. I think a lot of people miss important channels, like LinkedIn groups. That’s the number one place to promote content-heavy blog posts. Those people are probably really interested in PR, or whatever your topic is, whereas your friends from high school are not.
WCA: What hesitancies do you see within companies or individuals when promoting blogs?
Natalie: I think sometimes people are afraid to put money behind a blog post or they think that if it’s good, people will just read it. Well, that’s not true anymore because now social media channels have algorithms that prevent people from seeing content. Sometimes, you do need to be willing to put a few bucks behind a promoted post or use a content distribution system, like Outbrain, if you have a bigger budget. Outbrain is a company that you may have seen if you go on a big blog, like The Huffington Post. Those articles that appear on the side, for example, “Six things you didn’t know about…”, those are all being retargeted through a content management system like Outbrain. It can be expensive, but it’s worth it if your goal is to get one million visitors or more. You have to pay to play.
WCA: What are your top few tips for marketing your blog?
Natalie: Number one is cross promotion, which sounds really elementary but is so often overlooked. Blogs also need to be visual. You can do both by promoting a blog post on Instagram—maybe show behind the scenes pictures. When you put that photo on Instagram, link to the blog in the profile. I also think that a blog post should be re-promoted over time. A lot of times I see companies promote a great piece of content once, but then not pick it up again for another year. Good blog posts can be promoted three to four times per week across different channels, as long as you’re sure to change up the wording so that it looks like fresh content.