(Photo courtesy of The Next Web)
By Kristin Phillips (@KLAPhillips)
Many bloggers find that creating compelling blog content isnt always a field of dreams; just because you build it, doesnt mean readers will come.
Popular, well-read blogs dont happen overnight. Most of the time blogs with large viewership are cultivated over time, but it doesnt mean you have to sit back and wait for followers. Rather than a post-and-pray strategy, use social media to get the word out that valuable content is waiting for readers and subscribers.
By helping readers understand they will get something of value from your blog the more likely they will want to come back and subscribe. To optimize your blogging efforts, consider the following Dos and Donts:
Dont promote your site until you have at least a months worth of posts. While its tempting to broadcast an invitation to come check out your blog, youll risk turning readers off if they come to visit and “no one is home.
Do seek invitations to guest blog on someone elses blog or invite guest bloggers to post at your site. At Pixels and Pills, weve invited other industry thought leaders to share their vision with our readers, bringing different perspectives while helping our readers discover other industry luminaries. When looking for places to guest post, find blogs that have the readership you want. That doesnt necessarily mean a large number of followers, but people who will have interest in topics you write about. Guest blogging not only increases your exposure, but its also a great way to network with other like-minded individuals.
Dont create content for the sake of promoting content. In our knowledge-based society, content is king; it needs to be high quality, informative and useful to readers. While it may be tempting to just get something posted, putting up a weak post and promoting it may attract a few eyeballs, but it wont do anything to secure subscribers or repeat visitors.
Do comment on other blogs that are relevant to your industry and if its appropriate, include a link to your blog or put it in your signature line.
Do make content shareable. Services such as sexy bookmarks or add to any allow people to easily forward your posts to their network. While it may not result in a huge uptick in viewers, it allows others to promote your blog and can increase visibility.
Dont overlook the power of personality. Interview smart, interesting people and share their knowledge with your readers.
Do network with others either on scheduled tweet chats or at industry meet ups. By being really active, you can increase your exposure to potential readers.
Do participate in blog carnivals. Blog carnivals are compilations of blog posts with a similar theme or topic and can expose your blog to a wider audience. For example, ChronicBabe, The Blog Chronicle of Mental Health, and the Cancer Research Blog Carnival each highlight different areas of health care-related topics and feature a variety of prolific writers.
Do have answers to questions, whether thats on LinkedIn Answers or Quora. By being an active participant on these social networks, you can demonstrate your knowledge and direct people back to your blog.
Dont overlook using Facebook and Twitter to complement your blogging. Use hashtags in tweets, but dont overdo it. Hashtags help keep information organized so be sure the ones you use are relevant to the content and make it easier not more difficult for people to find the information you are sharing. Also, general networking rules apply here too: send @replies to people who are talking about issues you cover on your blog to extend your thought leadership.
Do send links to your content but do more than simply announce your new blog post. Tease or preview content in addition to including a link. Also, vary your promotion and tweet links at multiple times during the day. In addition to navigating time zones, people pop onto Twitter at different points during the day. Increasing your tweet frequency will ensure maximum exposure.
Do use multimedia such as video to complement your blog efforts and publish video content on YouTube. Help viewers make the connection by promoting your blog address at the top of your video descriptions.
Whether youre new to blogging or have been blogging for years, promoting your blog keeps your site relevant and ensures new subscribers can find your content.