Blogging Wizard

Blogging Tips That Work

How To Market Your Blog The Write Way And Get Results

In the following post you’re going to get a crash course in the how to market your blog effectively. Whether you’re just starting a blog or you’ve been blogging a while you’ll find this valuable.

You can either market your blog the wrong way, or the write way – a lot of people end up marketing their blog the wrong way because they just don’t know how, and I totally understand why, I did the same thing when I first started.

The truth is, that there is a process that you can go through that will help you get results and ultimately become successful but you need to stop and take a step back from the situation and realise that there are things that you might not be doing as well as you could be doing them.

It’s easy to stop and think that this blogging thing isn’t working and there’s just no way to get traffic to your blog or even make any money from your blog.

I’ve been there, thought the same thing and come to a shocking realization.

Nothing is impossible

There is always another way to get traffic, a new tactic to help you get more shares, a new idea for a great piece of content for you to create.

If you feel defeated, then it’s not time to retreat, it’s time to regroup, then pick up your sword and shield again and head back out to the battlefield.

Are you ready to start getting real results?

Let’s do it!

Know where you’re going

I speak to all too many people that try hard, put a lot of effort into their blog but still don’t have a goal in mind or any sort of targets.

The problem is that if you don’t know where you’re going it’s VERY difficult to get there.

If you take a look at the success of people who planned things out and set goals of where they wanted to be in maybe 1, 2 or even 5 years’ time and compare their success to those that just “went with the flow” you would notice a HUGE difference.

The truth is planning and setting goals really works. Once you start planning your brain will subconsciously work out ways to help you get where you want to be, it won’t guarantee success but it will get you a damn sight closer to where you want to be.

So if you bring this back to your blog, what this translates to is what you want visitors to do, what the end goal is for them.

This could be buying a product, signing up to a mailing list or purchasing a product through an affiliate link for example.

So think about your visitors, who are they? What are they interested in? What problems can you solve for them?

Write great content

Content is what blogging is all about and it will be your most powerful marketing tool but what’s important to remember is that there is a strong correlation between the quality of content and success.

Sure, there is more to this content marketing thing than just clicking publish, but you have to build on a solid foundation otherwise your content just won’t go anywhere.

So before you start to expect links and shares you need to ask yourself – does my content deserve links, shares and traffic?

If the answer is no, don’t worry because I’m going to help you out with that right now.

I think about it like this: when I read a post, what would I want it to be?

I’ve distilled this down into a framework that I like to call ‘TADUIE’:

  • Timely (or Evergreen)
  • Actionable
  • Detailed
  • Unique
  • Influencers
  • Engaging

In addition there are some questions that we need to ask ourselves:

  • Is the title compelling?
  • Is the content compelling?
  • Will your post solve a problem your audience has?
  • Does the post add value?
  • Do you have a unique angle?
  • Are there market influencers you can mention in a positive way?
  • Does the post encourage engagement?
  • Have you checked any facts in the post?
  • Does your post include rich media content (video or images)?
  • Does this post deserve to be shared and linked to?

We could go on for hours and come up with more questions but these questions along with the ‘TADUIE’ framework will make the world of difference.

The ‘Influencers’ part is a huge one, if you mention influencers and let them know about it, whether it be via email, mentions on Twitter or tagging in a post on Google+; the results are groundbreaking. Think of it as an ethical bribe to encourage influencers to spread the word of your content through links and shares – most importantly, this works and gets results.

On a side note: I’d recommend you check out Jon Morrow’s post about power words – this will help you become a better writer.

Types of content

There is so much more than you can do instead of just a straight forward blog post and by varying the types of content you publish you will provide a much better experience for your readers.

Here are a few examples of different types of blog posts you can try:

  • eBooks
  • List posts
  • How to posts
  • Industry roundups
  • Case studies
  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Ultimate guides
  • Industry predictions
  • Infographics
  • Video tutorials

Your content doesn’t just have to exist as static blog posts, you could also think about re-purposing your content and allowing your users to download it by offering it as an incentive to join your mailing list or by using a social content locking plugin like WP Sharely. Here are a few ideas:

  • Images
  • Templates
  • eBooks
  • Podcasts
  • Newsletters

You can also think about the different file formats that you can use to use in your mailing list, here are a few examples:

  • Google docs
  • Word
  • Excel/CSV
  • Powerpoint
  • PDF
  • Kindle

You would be surprised how quickly you can put an awesome template together in something like Google docs and it’s something that I will be doing much more in future.

On a side note: if there are any blogging related templates that you would like to see me create, feel free to drop me an email: adam[at]bloggingwizard.com and I’ll see what I can do for you!

Putting great content in front of your target audience

When I started my first blog I had no audience, no traffic and nobody sharing my content – so I put a plan into action and that plan was to map out the influencers in my market and tap into their existing audience base to grow my own.

It turned out to be even easier than I thought because when you help people out by sharing their content and linking to them, good things happen to you.

The worst way to start off is to publish blog posts with the expectation that people should just share your content, read your site and link out to you – it just doesn’t work that way.

Its givers gain.

So start off by sharing other people’s content, linking out to them and most importantly – tell them about it!

Sometimes when you link to people and tell them about it, they’ll share your content or even link to it themselves.

Then you’re instantly exposed to their established audience.

Awesome right?

There’s a few more steps that you can add to this mix too…

Contributing to other blogs

In most niches there are a number of blogs that are usually open to contributions, so when you have built up the content on your blog and have some really great content you should approach the people behind these blogs and ask if you can contribute.

This will instantly get your name out and can be very powerful if you contribute to the right sites.

In most cases you’ll also get a link to your blog and some referral traffic too but that’s not the main reason you should do this, even though a lot of people just contribute to other blogs just to get a link.

You should do this because it makes you more visible and it gets your face out there.

The more you contribute, the more content you write (providing it’s all great content) and the more successful you and your blog will be.

Online communities

There are an insane amount of online communities that you can take part in, these include the likes of forums but there’s also some great communities on social media sites, e.g:

  • Google+ Communities
  • Facebook Groups
  • LinkedIn Groups

I have to admit that I never really took much notice of LinkedIn groups until one of my readers shared a blog post there and sent me over 1300+ visits.

I had LinkedIn groups on my list to get involved in more, but it’s one of those things that I just never had time for – as you’d imagine, I’ve bumped this up my list.

Tapping Into Social Communities

Don’t forget about social media communities, they’re easy to contribute to and are a great way to connect with like-minded people.

Just don’t abuse them and fire links into them, if you’re going to use them to promote your content then think about it and try and develop a discussion around the topic of your blog post.

Asking questions will get you better results, won’t hurt your reputation and would take you only a few minutes longer than dropping in a link.

Get social

For some people, social media can be a difficult nut to crack, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be difficult and I’ll show you how to make it easy:

What social networks should you focus on?

Lately I’ve become a big fan of Google+ and there are some great reasons why:

There’s also a high correlation between Google+1’s and higher search rankings along with how helpful Google Authorship means that Google+ is something that you need to focus on.

And not to mention where Google +1’s came in this year’s SearchMetrics study:

Search Engine Ranking Factors 2013

Source – SearchMetrics Ranking Factors – Ranking Correlation 2013 Study.

So from this it seems Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are going to be the main ones and while they do correlate to higher search rankings they’re also all very good at referring traffic. Note that correlation doesn’t equal causation and Matt Cutts has stated social signals don’t impact rankings, but don’t count it out for the future.

LinkedIn is another big player too, but can often be a more difficult site to get traction with, but when you do get results they will be great.

While thinking about the potential traffic referrals is important to think about you also need to think about where your audience hangs out online, I can’t give you the answer because it depends on exactly who you are targeting.

I generally don’t like stereotypes but sometimes in marketing they are a necessity – chances are you’ll find that Google+ is home to the more tech savvy and LinkedIn is more focussed on business for example but that’s not to say that there’s no cross over, because there is.

So think about your audience demographics, their interests and where they hang out online and focus your efforts there but don’t leave other sites out completely because it’s worth keeping a balance here and investing some of your time in all of the major social networks but just investing a bit more time in the one that’s getting you the most results.

When I first started Blogging Wizard I focused too much on certain social networks and pretty much left out particular social networks entirely (apart from the occasional update), one of them being Facebook and while I detest Facebook I do wish I’d built up a stronger presence there.

A few other things to remember:

  • Niche social bookmarking – you shouldn’t just focus on mainstream social network sites, because more often than not you can actually get some great results by using niche social bookmarking sites such as Inbound.org, BizSugar and Blokube – there are a lot more than this and they exist in a lot of different niche’s but don’t forget about them because the results you’ll get from these sites can be great.
  • Make it easy for people to share your content and find your social media profiles – don’t you just hate it when you try to share a great piece of content but it’s way more difficult than it should be? Or what about when you want to follow someone on Twitter or Google+ but they make it extremely difficult? This doesn’t help anyone, so make your content easily sharable and make your profiles accessible. If you’re using WordPress then check out my post on social sharing plugins here.
  • Triberr is awesome and if you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I talk about it a lot, the reason I talk about it so much is because it can be instrumental in putting your blog on the map.
  • Make things easy on yourself – juggling a bunch of different social media accounts can be time consuming, so invest some time into finding a great social media management tool and you will find that time consuming tasks take less time and you can focus more time on other things. One of the tools that I use is Social Oomph, it does so much that while being a pro user for months now I still feel like I’m only scratching the surface.
  • Tag people and companies you mention in social media updates – I always recommend that you tell people if you mention them in a blog post and it’s important that you let them know on social media too, a great way of doing this is tagging them in posts on Google+ or Twitter. Make sure you check out Kapil’s post on raising eyebrows with perfectly constructed Google+ posts here.

Yes, email marketing still works

I see more and more people saying that email marketing is dead and I admit that it’s not as good as it once was, but it still works.

You may think there’s no point in putting a mailing list sign up form on your blog when you first start, but when you think about how over 70% of people that visit your site will never return, it’s actually really important to start now.

So start off with the right foot forward:

1. Pick an auto responder/mailing list service

There are a bunch of good mailing list providers on the market, AWeber and GetResponse are usually firm favorites, but before you choose, read this post to find out how they compare.

Once you have picked an auto responder service then get yourself a welcome message setup and if you have some time, plan out an auto responder series.

2. Add an opt-in form to your blog

If you’re using WordPress then this is easy because there are a lot of different mailing list plugins that you can use.

Right now I’m using Hybrid Connect which is easy to use, comes with a lot of templates, allows you to split test your opt-in forms and add them in a number of different areas on your blog. Before you do anything, read my review of Hybrid Connect here.

3. Create a compelling offer

There are loads of blogs, including marketing blogs that don’t offer a very compelling offer – it usually ends up being something like ‘sign up for updates, it’s free’.

If you haven’t put together something you can offer your readers in exchange for signing up then you should make sure you’re at least offering blog updates so that you will at least be capturing some email addresses.

Downloadable PDF’s are usually the most popular type of content to giveaway but you could also try some form of template or even a bundle of PDF reports or eBook’s along with some templates.

That’s what Crazy Egg do and I found that offer compelling, so I signed up:

Crazy Egg Opt-in

Note: The book you get (written by Kathryn Aragon) is awesome by the way.

4. Split test and become a winner

Split testing is powerful and you’d be surprised just how much changing something minor on an opt-in form can seriously improve your conversions.

A great example is how Neil Patel removed one form field and improved his conversions by 26% on NeilPatel.com.

Most mailing list plugins have this feature built in, even mailing list services such as GetResponse and Aweber have the ability to do this too so it’s not very time consuming.

Most importantly you need to keep track of the changes that you’re making, only test between very small changes and ensure that you send a good amount of traffic through to the opt-in – the more the better.

Summary

You have now got a lot of different things to think about and to help you market your blog the write way, but above all else, remember:

It’s easy to be disheartened when you have put your heart and soul into a blog that just isn’t getting results but you haven’t failed – you have just found out how not to market your blog.

Like Thomas Edison said; “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

Now it’s time to make things work and even if that doesn’t get the results that you want, you’re still learning, you’re still progressing and that’s the important thing.

There are times when I’ve tried things that haven’t worked out, in fact it’s happened a lot, but I’d rather make the mistake and learn from it, that way I know that I can make sure it doesn’t happen again and I can use that mistake to help me succeed with the next idea.

Nothing is out of reach.

What difficulties have you faced with marketing your blog and how have you overcome them?

I’d love to hear more in the comments below.

Photo credit: ntr23 via photopin cc

About Adam Connell

Adam is the founder of Blogging Wizard. Previously managed a marketing agency. Adam now helps others to become more successful online. Get more from Adam on Google+.

Want more actionable advice to grow your blog? Sign up and get free access to my exclusive blogging toolkit.
  • http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/ Ryan Biddulph

    Epic post Adam! Really writing good, compelling and problem solving content along with using images or video can help you market your blog effectively.

    Join as many tribes as possible to reach out to folks. Great note about aggressively promoting others; this is one of the better ways to get promoted in return and expand your presence online.

    Thanks!

    Ryan

  • Chris Haught

    Very good points, agree about the communities!

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Chris, thanks for checking this out and taking the time to comment!

  • Kathryn Aragon

    Thanks for the mention, Adam! I’m especially glad to hear your liked the ebook I wrote for Crazy Egg. BTW, that’s a side to content marketing that few people mention–the rush it is to have people like your stuff and the connections you can build because of it. Keep up the great work!

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Kathryn, no problem at all, I just had to give you credit for the great work you to with the Crazy Egg blog!

      You’ve hit the nail on the head there :)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • ‘TC’ Teresa Clark

    Hey Adam,

    This is an excellent article! I definitely agree with you that there is a strong correlation between quality content and success. Here is something that I do to create quality content!

    I produce content material that comes from the people that know the most about why a person buys, the customer. Consumers are an essential resource when creating content to help enhance your business’s success. Not only will they discuss stories about their experience with you, they will also have unique antidotes which will help boost the morale and performance of your organization.

    Thanks again for posting,

    T.C.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hey Teresa,

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the article :)

      I really appreciate you sharing your approach to content and I can definitely see how powerful utilizing consumers can be – how exactly do you approach that? Is it more of a crowd sourcing type approach or do you base your content around things like feedback and discussions between consumers?

      Thanks,
      Adam

  • http://writtent.com/ Viktoriya Semyrodenko

    Thank you for all the useful information, Adam! I would also like to stress the importance of including visual content in addition to other types of blog posts

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Viktoriya, no problem at all!

      You’re spot on – visuals make a huge difference.

  • http://www.adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    You’ve done it again Adam, really great post and awesome information here. You always deliver such excellent advice.

    One thing you mentioned is that it’s much easier then people think to just comment on posts, share it with your followers and then actually mention those people in something you write. I mean it’s really easy when their content rocks and who the heck doesn’t appreciate that right! The connections you can end up making is priceless and in reality you want to share their awesome stuff anyway. Just think of people sharing yours.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this altogether and again, really great job.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful week and thanks again.

    ~Adrienne

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Adrienne, it’s great to see you back again :)

      Thanks for the kind words, really glad you have enjoyed the post!

      That’s it exactly – connections are what it’s all about and I think a lot of people under-estimate how powerful they can be.

      Having a great week over here, hope you are too!

      Adam

  • http://netmarketsuccess.com/ Silviu

    Hello Mr. Connell,

    AWWWOW!!! This is not a post. This is an ebook or a mini-course. It is impossible to analyze everything and make an evaluation in just one comment. I will return to your site and make more and more comments (if you do not mind) but for the moment I want to say only two things:

    1. Yes, the main reason you market your blog the wrong way is … you don’t know how to do it. I hope this guide will help me correct some mistakes and give me new ideas to try.

    2. “Nothing is impossible!” How beautiful. Well fitted for a wizard like you, a blogging wizard.

    Interesting site. I will return as I want to know more about you and what you are doing here. And now, let’s try to share it on Twitter and LinkedIn.

    Have a wonderful day

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Silviu, thanks for a great comment and I’m really glad that you’ll be able to use this post to help your marketing.

      I really appreciate your kind words and hope to see you back soon.

  • http://www.socialsinergy.com/ Adam Dukes

    Excellent post on how to market a blog. After 3 year of blogging, I finally learned how important promotion was in July. My traffic has increased big time by spending a lot more time on promoting.

    Just getting into guest posting and syndication. I need to be more active in Google+ groups as I continue to hear great things about them.

    Love Hybrid Connect as well. I need to learn how to make the side bar opt in stay static like you have as I am sure that helps with opt ins.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Adam!

      It’s great to hear that you’ve been reaping the rewards of promotion. Time really makes a difference doesn’t it!

      Google+ groups are great, definitely with investing time in.

      Speaking of guest posting, drop me an email if you’re up for contributing here!

      Hybrid Connect is so versatile – the sticky opt-in thing is a paid plugin, but I’ve found a free version you could try: http://wordpress.org/plugins/q2w3-fixed-widget/.

      I’ve not tested it but it does seem very similar to what I’m currently using.

      Thanks!

      • http://www.socialsinergy.com/ Adam Dukes

        Thanks for the tip on the WP plugin, checking it out now. Also, I will shoot you over an email about guest posting and I do appreciate it.

        • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

          No problem Adam, cool – speak soon!

  • http://www.homenotion.com/blog Elizabeth McGee

    Hey Adam, This is like a mini course which makes it worth printing out and studying. There’s a ton of useful information here.

    You’ve covered a lot but you have some awesome social ideas here as well, particularly with sharing good content. I completely agree that if you find good content don’t simply share it, tell the author how much you appreciate it and also link to it. It starts with reaching out to others first.

    Thanks for the time and effort put into this. Love it!

    Blessings,
    Liz

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hey Liz,

      Thanks so much for a great comment!

      You’ve given me a great idea here, I do have a tendency to cram in as much as I can into blog posts – do you think this type of content would work well being fleshed out into a course?

      You’ve hit the nail on the head there – we’ve got to make the first move and the rest will fall into place.

      You’re most welcome, I’m really glad you found this valuable!

      All the best,
      Adam

  • http://www.koalarevolution.com Jake

    Hey Adam, just found your blog on klinkk. Tis post really helped me for a quick crash course. Nice to have these tips all in one place. I am trying to blog about stuff in the news and put a comic spin on it. Obviously being news based it might not have longevity. Any tips on how to market that?

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hey Jake,

      Glad you’ve found the post helpful.

      Longevity is always going to be an issue since the content isn’t evergreen. There’s not a great way to deal with that.

      But, the other thing to be aware of is that if you don’t get posts out when a story first breaks then you could struggle for posts to gain any traction.

      The comic spin can work well but the magic really happens with the headline.

      A good example of a site to look at would be Upworthy – they cover some news style content but it never feels like that and the titles are never written like that.

      This slide deck should help you: http://www.slideshare.net/Upworthy/upworthy-10-ways-to-win-the-internets