People always ask how and where to promote your blog, and a lot of the time I spend my time researching into the best ways to engage with an audience. I find all these kinds of statistics really interesting and I would love to learn sooo much more about social media than I already do, I just think its cool. Once I know a lot more about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) I'm definitely going to write a post on it, I love reading posts about the technical side of blogging and I'd love to share my tips with you.
Today I'm talking all about self-promotion, love it or hate it as a blogger its something you kind of have to do. Sometimes you can spend hours on a post but if you don't promote it in the right way you aren't going to drive traffic to it. I thought I would share a few places you can promote your blog, these seem to work for me so hopefully they will for you as well!
1. MAKING SURE YOU UTILISE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Using your social media in the correct way is one of the best ways to get yourself out there, and of course make friends! I find Twitter is the easiest platform to reach out to other bloggers and potential readers as I find it the site where people engage the most. Its sometimes easier to say less (hence the 140 characters), than to over do it - and I think thats why it works so well.
At the moment, the most popular hashtags are the likes of #bbloggers, #lbloggers and #fbloggers. I still use these all the time but I do think sometimes using less popular hashtags will get you more engagement over the popular ones. This is purely because there are a lot of tweets to sift through and sometimes people just don't have the time. I like to use #BloggingGals and #SocialBloggers as they definitely have much more of a 'community feeling' about them.
Making use of retweet accounts is always a really good way to promote your posts. I like to use @FemaleBloggerRT , @UKBlog_RT, @BBlogRT, @BloggerBees, @LbloggersChat, and @blogginggals. If you don't know anything about these accounts, they basically retweet your tweets that mention them. Therefore if you tweet about one of your blog posts and include them, they'll retweet your tweet and thousands of other bloggers will see them. I'm sure you know about these accounts, but if not its worth a try, I've spoken to so many more bloggers through doing this.
Also, don't forget Twitter blogger chats. My favourite is the 'LbloggersChat' which takes place every Wednesday and Sunday 7pm-8pm (UK time). These chats are the best way to make friends and engage with other bloggers, find new blogs to read and gain traffic for your site.
I have my own Facebook page here, and one of my new years resolutions is to make sure I actually use it. I'm so bad with remembering to share my blog posts on my Facebook page so its kind of a bit dead. I'm definitely going to be using it a lot more this year so if you would like to visit and like that would be great (...see, all about the self-promotion).
Other ways to use Facebook to promote your blog is through joining groups, I'm a member of about four different ones. I used to be joined to around twelve but I just got way too many notifications and I wasn't using them properly, now at least with less I can engage with the comments on other bloggers' and my own posts. I even have my own Facebook group which bloggers can join which I can happily say now has just over 500 members! You can join here and its totally free as long as you have a Facebook account.
Some regions have their own Facebook groups as well, I'm a member of the Yorkshire Bloggers group which you can join here (as long as you're from or live in Yorkshire of course!). However this group is for sharing events in the area rather than your blog, but if you attend an event of course you're going to make lots of new friends and you'll also find loads of new readers for your blog. I attended the 'Blog Yorkshire' event in Leeds in July 2014 (you can read all about it here) and I also attended an event held by The Body Shop in Leeds the following November. Blogger events are always so much fun, you get to meet brands and enter loads of different competitions - I'm really hoping to go to more next year!
Like the Facebook groups, Google Plus has loads of different blogger communities you can join and share your posts in. The only annoying thing is that every time you post in a community it will post it to your profile as well, so if you're sharing the same post in different several different communities all at once then you're going to have loads of posts come up on your profile.
I rarely use my Instagram for my blog and I wish I did but firstly I don't find people engage as much on Instagram and secondly I struggle between keeping my account personal and making it about my blog. Ideally I would have two separate accounts, a personal account and one for my blog, but because I have already built up a following I never really made a separate account. This is the case for Twitter too, I often worry I'm Tweeting about my blog too much as my friends follow me as well as my readers but then at the end of the day my blog is important to me and anyone who doesn't want to read my tweets about my blog can simply unfollow me...even if they are my friend! Okay, I'm babbling now and I need to stop (I think I'll talk more about this in another post).
I'll definitely have to start using Instagram for my blog a lot more, however it is difficult when I'm at uni because the lighting isn't very 'Instagrammable'.
Everything is always about captions. Think of it like a news story, the headline has to be the most capturing part of the story. If you write a Tweet, try starting with a question - this is one way to get people to read what you want to say. Make sure the title is always relatable, as people will only read posts if it relates to their lives.
2. SENDING EMAILS TO BRANDS AND BLOGGERS
This is something I've only recently starting doing, but emailing brands or bloggers who feature in your posts is such a good way of letting people hear what you have to say. Not every brand is going to read your post, let alone reply. But, when they do its such a good feeling. I've had Boots tweet me a few times which really means SO much to me as I've grown up shopping there and its a brand I've always loved.
When I've written a product review or included a brand in my post, I find their email address and send them a short emailing just introducing myself with a link to the post. Like I said, not everyone gets back to you but its worth the try because you would be surprised at how much brands interact with bloggers.
I include brands in my Tweets as well and its really lovely to see when they engage back - even a simple favourite (or now 'like') is heartwarming.
3. WRITE MORE BLOG POSTS
4. LEAVE COMMENTS ON OTHER BLOGS
Now, I do not mean copy and paste a spam message around that is not the way to increase traffic to your site. If you loved and enjoyed someone's blog post and feel like you have something relatable to say then definitely do and you'll soon make new friendships with other bloggers.
5. INTERVIEW OTHER BLOGGERS
This is not something I've done yet, however I'm going to be doing this a lot this year! Interviewing other bloggers is a great way to get to know other people who love doing the same thing as you, making new friends and sharing each others blogs to each others readers.
If you're interested in being interviewed on my blog tweet me @katherinerosie_ or email me at email@example.com
Hopefully this will give some of you new ideas on ways to promote your blog, and remember theres nothing wrong with self promotion!