The vast majority of new blogs aren’t blessed with a captive audience just waiting to hang on their every word. After all, there are millions of websites to visit, and most people already have their favorites. Breaking through those old habits and earning new visitors takes work. You have to build an audience, and that starts with promoting your blog.
In some ways, promoting your new blog is the the same as promoting a business. When it comes to blogging, however, you don’t need to spend a lot of money hiring advertising agencies to design expensive marketing campaigns. You need to reach potential readers and customers where they are – and they’re already online. Here are 11 ways you should start promoting your blog…and they are all free!
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11 Free Ways to Promote Your Blog
The best way to start promoting any new business is to create new relationships and leverage those you already have. Here are a few ways to do that with your blog.
1) Tell Your Friends and Family
If you want to give your blog a boost, you have to let people know that you’re out there. Of course, you can’t do it alone. Who better to help you promote your blog than your friends and family? Although you may not be into the idea at first, most of the world is going to be too busy to notice that you’ve started a blog until you’ve given them a reason to read.
On the other hand, your friends and family will probably think it’s really cool. They may even want to help by sharing your work with their friends and family. Some of your friends are going to check out your new blog simply for the curiosity factor. And once they do, you’ve already started building an audience for free.
2) Include a Link to Your Blog in Your Email Signature
One of the easiest ways to promote your blog for free is to include a link to it in your email signature. This simple step is an easy way to put your blog in front of every single person you email. At this point in the game, creating awareness is practically as important as getting visitors. Even if they don’t actually click the link, you’ve put your brand in front of their eyes. Better yet, they might look you up or recommend your blog to a friend.
3) Hang Out With Other Bloggers
No matter your niche, bloggers tend to hang out together online. There are countless forums, social media groups, and even professional conferences that cater to bloggers. Some of these groups are intended for social purposes while others are meant to help bloggers solve problems and learn their craft.
Regardless, find these groups and join them. Become an active member, and get to know other bloggers – especially those within your niche. Of course, this is a great way to meet new friends. It’s also a good way to get those new friends to mention your blog to their own readers, generally through a link.
4) Comment on Other Blogs
In the same way that joining groups or forums can help you build relationships, leaving comments on other blogs can also help build relationships with other bloggers and their readers. Drop by some of your favorite blogs and leave a thoughtful comment on a regular basis. In addition to responding to those comments, many bloggers will end up checking out your website and leaving a comment as well. Additionally, your comments may entice other readers to stop by your blog for a quick peek.
5) Write Guest Posts
Once you’ve developed a relationship with other bloggers in your niche, ask them if can write a guest post on their blog. Many websites allow other bloggers to write a post for their blog, occasionally. No, you almost certainly won’t get paid for it; but, it is a win-win for everybody. They get a piece of great content and you’ll get at least one link to your blog.
6) Ask Others to Share
Don’t forget to ask other people to share your work. This is one of the most effective ways to promote your blog for free. Just like in other forms of marketing, word of mouth is often the most effective form of advertising. People are far more likely to buy a product or service based on the recommendation of a friend they trust. Plus, people always want to look cool by recommending something helpful, interesting, or entertaining to their friends. So, give them a reason to look cool by creating great content and asking them to share it.
Leveraging relationships to promote your blog is only one tactic. Another way to build and leverage relationships is through social media. By building a social media presence, you’ll have an audience ready to hear what you have to say.
Twitter is a great tool to promote your blog for free. When used effectively, it can create a huge amount of brand awareness and drive traffic to your blog. If you aren’t on there already, you need to create a free account. Use it to promote your own blog posts, promote other blogs, and build a great relationship with your readers.
Seriously, do you know anybody who still doesn’t have a Facebook account? According to Statistica, there are almost 1.6 billion active Facebook users as of the fourth quarter in 2015. That is insane…and you can tap into that audience for free (sort of). If you don’t want to, you never have to pay a dime to promote your posts on Facebook. (Of course, you can always pay to reach more people through Facebook Ads.) Simply, use the site as a way to promote your blog to your own followers. You can also join any number of Facebook groups…or start your own. Again, ask you friends and family to follow your page and share your posts.
Using Pinterest can be an excellent free tool to promote your blog. If you aren’t familiar with Pinterest, it’s a social media website that is based around images. The prettier your pictures, the more traction you’ll gain. Pinterest is an especially valuable tool if you are promoting products, crafts, or design work of any kind. Just create some boards and start loading your images onto your Pinterest account. With great images, you can start building a following immediately…and it’s free!
Instagram is another image based social media website that some bloggers are able to leverage for free promotion. Unlike Pinterest, the images placed on Instagram are not connected to a particular URL. Thus, it’s better used as a brand awareness and relationship building tool. While it is a little more difficult to master, many bloggers have successfully used Instagram to build their brand and drive traffic to their website.
11) Video Websites
Free social media video websites like YouTube and Periscope are also great ways to promote your blog for free. By creating useful and entertaining video content, you may be able to reach a different audience than you would through the written word alone. YouTube videos are generally a more polished production while Periscope videos are live streaming events. Either of these could help generate a buzz around your brand and drive traffic to your website.
These are just a few of the ways you can use to promote your blog for free. When deciding which avenues are best for your blog, particularly when it comes to social media, try choosing just a few and doing them extremely well. More isn’t always better!
Always remember that content is still king. You can promote the heck out of your blog, but if you aren’t giving your readers something that they want, you won’t gain any traction. Take care of your content first, then find ways to get them through your virtual door!