Increase Readership and Promote Your Blog for Next to Nothing

Blogging about Blogging: A How-To Guide to Setting Up Your Own:
Part 2 of 3

Just like any other product or service in your business, your blog needs promotion, too. You can use a combination of free profile-raising practices and paid advertising to get the job done.

Increase Readership and Promote Your Blog for Next to NothingExperts agree that most of the growth of your blog should be organic. That is, your blog grows by networking, exchanging links to other blogs, participating in blog forums, or by just commenting on blogs that are similar to yours. This capitalizes on the very nature of blogs as a medium in, and of, the World Wide Web. However, we have also discovered a few other basic techniques to increase readership and advertise your blog, while keeping your budget in check:

Distribute to friends, family and colleagues

Consider using an e-mail marketing service such as Constant Contact. Easily upload your contact list from your address book, choose a template, click send, and your contacts will know your blog is posted in real time. A limited service is available free, and there is a bonus opt-out feature that guarantees that contacts who don’t want to hear from you, never will.

Utilize public bookmarking sites and search engines

It almost sounds like a foreign language: Digg, Reddit, Fark, Diigo, Delicious, and Technorati. These sites, also called user-generated media search engines, index your blog along with others of similar content. When you join one of these sites, be very careful in choosing the keywords to describe your blog. Internet readers don’t want to waste time sifting through unusable material. Make sure that you register your blog with Google, Yahoo, etc., so that when someone is searching for information about your products or services, your blog will be there with expert answers!

Use social media sites

When you post your blog, post a link on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Accounts are free and easy to set up. Social media sites are a great way to increase readership and produce that organic growth that is so important in blogging.

Advertise every time you e-mailAdvertise every time you e-mail

Consider how many times you e-mail each day, and how many times those e-mails are forwarded. You have a HUGE opportunity to promote your blog by adding a link as part of your signature line. Ten minutes of work will produce serious dividends.

Become a part of the blogging community

Keep blogs with a similar content as yours in a favorites folder. At least once a week, comment on relevant postings. Make sure you include a link to your blog in your comment signature. You’ll stay abreast of new topics, become more connected with other bloggers and acquire THEIR readers as you’re own.

Consider paying for ads

Stumble Upon, AdWords by Google and social media site ads are relatively inexpensive, and can be targeted to your exact readership. With rates starting at a penny per click, you can directly appeal to readers who have a proven interest in your content. Make sure that the site displaying your ad, the ad itself, and the landing page (the place that your readers go when they click on your ad) are all relevant to your blog.

Through organic growth, marketing e-mail services and maybe some paid advertising you can steadily increase your readership, while keeping your budget in check.

Next week: We’ll show you how to write to keep your readers attention!

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