Everyone knows that the internet is a social place. One of the benefits of blogging is that it allows you to tap into that larger conversation with information about your brand. Don’t just type into the void. Make sure you’re engaging and interacting with your readers.
Promoting with Social Media
If you have an active twitter or facebook account (and you should), utilize those platforms to promote your blog. There should be a link to your blog in the profile of each of your social media accounts and think about sharing new blog entries as they’re published. When you link to your posts, include a short summary on why they might be of interest to your followers. Make it personal and interesting. Think of each promotion as an opportunity to hook readers.
Generally it’s best to share new posts as they’re published, but occasionally an old blog post might relate to a current topic or event. Go ahead and promote it, but be sure to explain why.
Keep in mind that facebook users are more likely to click on links with photos, so it’s best to promote with photographs as well as text.
Amplification through Shared Content
The best case scenario is to get your post retweeted or shared, thus increasing your social reach. Personalizing your blog links helps with this goal, as well as taking time out to share content that other social media users generate. The web is a conversational place and if you share outside content, other people will be more likely to share yours.
Make sure that you have “share” buttons at the top and bottom of each blog post. Visitors are more likely to share blog entries to their social networks than product or portfolio pages. Give them the opportunity!
Comments can be a useful way to keep the conversation going beyond the blog post. Reader comments also provide additional, unique content that will help your blog’s search visibility. It’s considered good web etiquette to respond to questions and interact with visitors in the comment section of your blog posts. Use your blog’s comments to prove you’re actively interested in what readers have to say. If visitors comment frequently, consider visiting their blogs or websites and leaving a comment or review. If you do comment on other blogs, make sure your input is useful and leave a link to your own blog when allowable.
However, if you’re going to include comments on your blog, take time to moderate for spam. Nothing annoys readers and discourages participation more than a stream of robot-generated nonsense.
Using CTAs (Call to Actions)
Decide what action you wish your readers to take while reading your blog and make sure that there’s a clear path on each page for them to follow. Do you want them to submit a contact form after reading a how-to? Make sure there’s a clear link or button leading to that contact form. Do you want them to continue on to another post in a blog series? Feature that second post on the first and use descriptive text. If you want more readers to comment, make sure the comments on your blog are visible and easy to access. Your goal is to keep visitors moving through your website and interacting with your content. Don’t forget to guide them.