We’ve hit the most exciting part of running a blog – it’s time to start blogging. As you create your first batches of content, it becomes time for you to figure out exactly how you’re going to get people to read it. If you’re like most bloggers, you probably have a friend or two who is interested in what you’re writing. While that’s fine for some, I truly believe that you can expand your readership to greater heights. That’s why we’re going to go ahead and talk about marketing your blog. Below is my BASIC guide to spinning up your inbound marketing plan as your start blogging.
When we talk about inbound marketing for your blog, we’re really talking about getting eyes on your site. Everything else on this list can help you to bring in visitors, but this is the part of the plan that keeps people coming back every time. We’ve talked a lot about how to put together your website, but this is what separates a blog from an advertisement – you have to have great content to keep moving forward. We’re going to talk a great deal about how to keep content evergreen, but just remember that you always have to keep your eye on this part of the equation.
Always Use RSS
If you’ve worked to create great content, your visitors are going to want to come back again. Unfortunately, most visitors will forget about a new website if they are not given the tools to make sure that they come back again. In today’s age of easy smartphone access, the best thing that you can give a reader is the ability to be reminded of the existence of new content. Setting up an RSS feed is relatively easy (WordPress, as always, has tutorials available), but it makes it easier for followers to remember that your website exists. Think of RSS as a simple way to keep your regular readers updated.
Social Media Matters
Social media is a huge deal. If you’re like most people, you have at least one social media account. And if you’ve got one account, I’d even wager that you’re a fan of a blog, business or website. The ability to connect your blog to social media is important not only because it helps readers feel like they are participating, but because it helps you turn each sharing visitor into an advertisement for your site. It is very easy to add the ability to share your blog on social media platforms (we’ve already discussed plug-ins for just that purpose), and preparing yourself for that aspect of your marketing plan is a great way to get ahead of the game.
Search engine optimization is something that you are going to hear quite a bit about when it comes to attracting readers to your blog. While the term might sound scary, it’s really quite simple – it is the process of making your blog attractive to readers and webcrawlers so that it ranks higher on a user’s search. Today’s SEO is all about the things we’ve talked about so far – great content, usability and solid formatting. We’ll go in-depth about SEO later, but it’s important to consider what you’re going to do to attract new visitors to your blog. Start thinking about keywords early on, as well as the relationships that you can form to better position your blog.
Communicate with Readers
Communication is key to any strategy for marketing your blog. When you start the process of bringing visitors to your site, you want to make sure that you have a way to stay in contact with them. Something as simple as a comments section on your blog can help you to engage loyal visitors and bring in new readers, all with relatively little work on your part. Other forms of communication, like setting up a usable email address for the site or creating a newsletter, can help you with your overall numbers. These basic structures can help you to stay in contact with established readers while still helping you to build a search engine profile that attracts new visitors.
Those BASIC steps towards creating an inbound marketing plan are just that – the basics. We’re going to spend quite a bit of time tearing those steps down and learning how each one works to create a blog that will really stand out from the crowd. There’s a lot of work yet to be done, but that’s fine – blogging is more than worth the effort when you do it right. If you’ve got any tips or tricks for starting your blog or putting it on the path for success, I’d love to hear from you – after all, one of the most important ways to keep a blog successful is to keep learning.
What do you think about the BASIC plan for marketing your blog? Let us know by leaving a comment below.