As a teenager, you might consider a boy or girl once and they come to know that they do not even exist with me. Well, it can look bad when you create a new blog and nobody seems to be reading it. In fact, it could be worse because Google Analytics will confirm your suspicions without a hint of sympathy.
The problem is that with over a billion registered websites on the World Wide Web, the chances of someone stumbling upon your new blog are very remote. Even when they know about your blog, the number you get can be relatively small. In a good month, the School of Digital Photography receives four or five million visitors. But when you think about how many digital camera owners there are in the world, it is actually a relatively small percentage.
So how do we get all those people surfing the web to take a look at your blog? Well, here are four things you should try.
1. Write a guest post for another blog
Why did companies spend the good fortune airing their commercials during the Super Bowl half-time? Because it gives them access to millions of viewers. He did not create that audience. He used it to get his message across.
And you can do the same with guest blogging.
I wrote my first guest post back in 2002, before that guest posting was also a thing. Another blogger read one of my posts, and sent me an email asking if he could interview me on his blog. The email consisted of half a dozen questions, and he asked if I could answer each one in 400–500 words.
My initial reaction was not very positive. I was thinking, what? You want me to write two and a half thousand words of content for your blog?
But then I started thinking about it differently. It’s a lot of work but this man has been blogging for a year now, and has a good audience. Okay, let’s do it and see how it goes.
I put a lot of time and energy into that post, and wrote 3,500 words to answer their questions.
The day their site went live after the interview, my readership grew more than tenfold, and I immediately saw value in creating content for other sites and others.
Nowadays there are unmistakably more chances to do as such. Think about the best five different ways that your optimal perusers need to invest their energy (or the main five individuals with whom they need to invest their time). This could be their top five:
- The blog
- Facebook group / page
- Linkedin group
- Television program
- The books
- The authors
- Impressive (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.)
Now that you know where they hang and what they like to talk about, try making some guest content for them.
Of course, you cannot publish only one post on someone else’s blog. You will need to build a relationship with those bloggers, and then find out if they accept guest content. But most blogs will let you add a comment, and you can add some guest content.
I once wrote 400 words answering a question seen on another blog. This was practically a guest post in itself. But I know that 400 words will be read by not only the person who asked the question, but hundreds of others (at least probable).
Leaving a comment in a forum or Facebook group is another way to create guest content.
So when you work 50 or so, your ideal readers hang on, looking for opportunities to create guest content, whether it’s writing a guest post for a blog, being interviewed on a webcast, or Only accommodating in the remarks area.
2. Buildable Materials
If you have been blogging for some time, you will know what type of content can be shared. Just take a look at Google Analytics and see the content that is shared more often and drive fresh eyeballs to your site.
A lot of sharing material at the School of Digital Photography includes:
- Debate (people like to share their opinions to justify them)
- Research Survey (and Results)
- cheat sheets
- Posts with infographics
- Long post
- Beginner’s guide
- Posts written with a little humor.
BuzzSumo is a great resource for finding listener content. Enter a domain name (for your site or someone else’s), click the button, and it will tell you which content has been shared the most. It also shows you social networks how often each content was shared and how many times it was shared.
When you analyze your own blog, look for topics and topics that share a lot. Also pay attention to the format (list, Q&A, roundup), and the medium (video, podcast, infographic).
But as long as it’s good for sharing content, don’t go overboard that will try to share each piece of content you’ve created with a few people. Yes, it feels great to get a sudden spike in traffic. But keep in mind that people just have to get a platform to see your content. You still need to get those interested, connect and engage (which I will talk about in the next few weeks).
3. Rearrange your best content
One thing I have learned over the years is that if the content is shared too much in one form, there is a good chance that it will be shared again in some other form.
Back in 2002 I wrote a post for ProBlogger called Can You Really Make Money Blogging? [7 things I know about making money from blogging]. This post was really good, and appeared in my BuzzSumo report as my most shared content.
So I asked myself, where else can I share this content?
First of all, let me reproduce it in one thing which I have now given for some time at various conferences. Then I took the slides from that talk, rotated them a little so that they wouldn’t trust my voice, and put them on the slideshare. The slides (which are linked to the website) have received around 5,000 views.
I later converted the same slide into a video, added some music, and posted it on YouTube. (I may have posted this on Vimeo as well). The video (which is again linked to the website) was viewed about 6,000 times.
After posting the post to avoid having duplicate content, I put it on the medium, where it got 2,000 more views. And finally I used it in episode 32 of the Progogger Podcast, which has had over 20,000 downloads.
If you have found a piece of material that is doing well in one form, think of how you can reproduce it. As well as the forms I used, you can also:
- Create an infographic or a cheat sheet
- Give it to a newspaper or magazine
- Ask a podcaster to use it as the basis for an interview.
4. Search Engine Optimization
The last thing I want to talk about in this post is search engine optimization. And don’t just think about Google.
I once wrote a post at the School of Digital Photography about a Leica camera that I owned. The post was a disappointing failure, and hardly got any consideration. So I decided to reproduce it. Using the same material, I then stood in front of a video camera, recorded myself talking (and showing) about my Lyrica camera, and posted it to YouTube.
That video has now been viewed more than 60,000 times.
YouTube is also a search engine. And when people search YouTube for the name of that camera, my video comes out.
Another search engine that you may not think of is the App Store. Jarrod Robinson from PE Geek (a blog for physical education teachers) created an app that collects content from his blog and his podcasts, and also promotes his workshops and membership sites.
The app gets thousands of downloads every month. And every time he publishes a new blog post, everyone who downloads the app gets a push notification. The App Store has given him a new readership.
When you think of search engine optimization, think about where people will be searching for information. It can be Google, YouTube, iTunes, App Store, Google Play or a myriad of other places.
Now remember here, what we are talking about is the process of being oblivious to your readers, being cool towards your blog, your brand, and getting you engaged. This is what we are talking about today, getting the eyeball is only the first step.
So there you have it: four ways to get the word out about your blog. And next week I’ll tell you how to warm up your readers and win them the next step in converting fans: you’re interested in what you’re saying.
In the meantime, let’s know what you do to promote your blog. Do you write a guest post? Collapse, or reproduce your content? Tell us in the comments.