How to promote your blog when you are pretty much “invisible”, like I am? I’ll share some thoughts that caused several “aha!” moments when it comes to this topic.
If your strategy for generating traffic is copy blog post link and paste it on dozens of platforms, then this might be interesting read for you. There are some action items you could apply already. This post is inspired by Harry Dry's advices from his article how he grew subscribers. I’ve just applied them from someone else. But I find them valuable. And want to recommend them to people who are starting their blog journeys. Consider it as my observations on the topic.
People are busy
“People are busy. Don’t redirect them. Wow them.”
-- Harry Dry on his story how his email list hit 19k subs
I used to drop links on several platforms, hoping people will come. But people are busy. Myself included. I can’t expect them to be different. Yeah, for sure it will bring some traffic, it’s better than nothing, but that fire will burn out very quickly. Like when you light up a single match. It’s burning, and you feel the heat, and it’s nice, but soon after that it’s all gone.
Instead of just dropping a link on Reddit, Twitter, IndieHackers, try with the different approach. Post a complete (or bigger part) of your content there, with some direct CTA. It can be call to share your tweet or to subscribe to your email list. You need to ask yourself – what do you want to achieve with the content you’ve just shared.
If I haven’t convinced you already, here’s another try. People usually go to some platform with a thoughts to spend some time there. And they will stay there for some time because they’ve mentally prepared, they’ve already allocated some time to spend there. Think about yourself, when you decide to “check what’s up on twitter”. You’ve most likely found some free time, and want to swipe tweets on your mobile. You end up on a twitter thread, and you read it whole, even if it was long, but you haven’t left Twitter platform.
If it was just a link, you would probably swipe further. Am I right? But if you’re interested enough in the content while reading a thread, now you may click on the link. And this is valuable traffic. I made this mistake by sharing a story that I find valuable just as a pure link on several platforms. That story is about my blog being used as a lecture material at the university. But that's another story.
Action item: Post your blog CONTENT on those platforms instead of dropping links there!
You make reading decisions on the fly
So does your audience. How many times you’ve skipped some article because you had thought it will take you too much time? Even for those things you might have been interested in?
Would it help if it says it’s 3 mins read?
Screenshot from MarketingExamples newsletter This is a very powerful argument, and it can persuade me to continue reading. Probably some of my audience too. Especially if I open it as a newsletter. People are busy when checking emails, but this one can make a difference and make them stop for a moment or two.
Action item: Add this info to the beginning of the newsletter if you’re posting whole content in it.
Be a value giver in a community
Is your main reason for writing blogposts to give value to other people or to get traffic? If you’re truly generating value, then you have plenty of it to offer to the community you’re in. You need to build a reputation, step by step, to be recognised as a value giver. It’s not something that happens over night. That’s why you can’t just create a Reddit or Quora account and drop a link there. You’ll be ignored, or even banned. People don’t like “strangers”. Why would they believe you?
Be aware of your energy. You can’t build reputation of value giver everywhere. And, having in mind that every community have different rule, accept that you can’t be awesome everywhere.
Action item: Focus on two communities where you are a member. Become more active and engage with other members. After you feel the pulse of those two, you can spread to another two.
Deliver your blog in different shapes
Again, think about different behaviors in different communities. Facebook users have short attention span. They won’t stop and read your blog post. Yeah, there is this Show more… but no one is clicking on it. They’ve already moved to another picture of their friends or pages they follow.
You can catch their attention with branded visuals. It doesn’t have to be professional. But it has to be visual.
What I’m saying, it’s easiest way to copy paste links, but it won’t get traction. You need to spend some time in re-shaping your blog. If it’s interesting enough, they will come.
Gentlemen, you had my curiosity, now you have my attention.
-- Calvin Candie – Movie quote from Django Unchained
Action item: Prepare a visual template including your site url and twitter handle so you have it ready when sharing on such communities.
Collecting a catch from one big fishing net is easier than collecting from several smaller ones
Imagine you’re a fisherman. You catch fish every day. It’s something you do for a living, and it’s something you need to perform over and over again. It can be time consuming, you admit.
Now some comparison between setup with one fishing net in a rich area and several fishing nets in radius of 2km
At the end of the day, it’s easier to see immediately a total fish you have catch, if you have only one net. It can be very time consuming to walk to every net and checking the catch. You’re not even sure if it is worth checking all of them. But again, it’s time consuming, you’re a hard worker, and have a lot of other things to do.
It’s kind of similar with the nets where you are catching your visitors. It can be Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, VKontakte, Pinterest. And those plugins for sharing content come preconfigured out of the box so you have like 12 different ways to share an article. That’s what I’m talking about. See which one catch the most fish and focus on it. Also it can be where you’re comfortable the most.
One share on 50 platforms gets ignored. 50 retweets turn into 500.
-- Harry from Marketing Examples
Action item: Reduce options to share your blog article. Maybe you don’t need Linkedin or Reddit share?
This blog post is a result of a similar twitter thread I wrote. However, I felt the need to extend it a little bit.
This is the thread I’m talking about
Action item: If you liked this, consider following me on twitter. Thanks for reading.