You probably read hundreds of articles teaching you how to promote your blog, but very few provided useful, actionable tips. Well, this article is different from all the rest. I will show you precisely how to find new opportunities to promote your blog on authoritative websites, using the right tools and strategies.
For example purposes, I will use a health blog to showcase the algorithm behind finding opportunities to promote a blog. You can later apply the same method for any other blog.
Let’s get started!
No, wait. Before you even start thinking about promoting your blog, you need to create high quality articles. I am talking about the content people just can’t stop reading and sharing.
Write articles that get shared
However, writing a specific number of words should never be your goal, as you might end up writing useless fluff. Try to maintain focus on providing value to your readers and answering their questions, and everything will be fine.
Tip: Providing real-life examples of people that have successfully applied the methods you teach in your articles adds great value to your words.
To find hot topic ideas, you can start by checking out the most popular Q&A platforms: Quora.com and Yahoo Answers. You will be able to understand what are the users’ concerns and problems and come up with the solutions.
For a health blog for example, let’s see what topics you can find on Yahoo Answers when searching for “health”. You’ll need to select “newest” and browse through the questions.
So here’s the first interesting question. Maryanne has some weight related problems, and she asks for help.
If you don’t already have an article where you can refer Maryanne to, it means you have just found your first blog topic idea. In this case, a detailed guide about “How to lose weight as a young adult” would be the perfect fit.
After having written your article, you can also go back to Yahoo Answers, and leave a reply, along with reference to your article. Keep in mind that Q&A can be a very good source of traffic, if your answer gets the most votes.
However, it is vital that you personalize all your answers before posting and avoid being spammy. Here are two examples of how you should NOT do this:
Both these answers were left only for the purpose of building backlinks and since no human will ever click them and they are nofollow, these links will not lead to website traffic nor have any SEO value. So, why bother?
Instead, you should write a genuine answer that really helps. Your answer must be authentic, correct, and must be directly responsive to the question.
Here is an example of how a correct answer would have been:
Promote your blog on authoritative websites
To promote your blog, you will have to write guest posts on already established websites in your niche. Before you jump to conclusions, let me say that the tips I am about to share are not like the regular guest posting tutorials you see everywhere on the web. I will show you how to build relationships that lead to high quality guest posts.
To start, you will need to compile a list with the authoritative websites and blogs in your niche. But don’t just look for websites that have a “write for us” page. You should not be reluctant to go for the big brands.
Here’s how to find them:
- Search for your main keywords on Google and select only the best websites.
- Make a search on Google for “Top 100 Health Blogs” and “Top 100 Health Websites”. Bloggers usually create these lists for all categories.
- Search the Technorati Blog Directory. There are thousands of blogs listed here for almost any categories you can think of. By default, the blogs are listed by authority.
- Check the AllTop directory and search for websites related to your blog.
Using these four techniques, you should be able to create a list with the best 100 websites in your niche.
The easy and spammy way would be to send the same email template to all the websites on your list, and request to write a guest post. But that would be sloppy, and it will get you nowhere. Most likely your emails will be ignored, and you will end up losing a lot of time.
Here’s an example of a wrong approach:
I get these emails every day, and I always ignore them.
To successfully pitch your articles to important websites, you will first need to build a relationship with their blog editors. For example, let’s see how to find the editors of Greatist.com and WebMD.com.
To look for the editors of a blog, you can use FollowerWonk. Go to “Search Twitter bios” and search for “Websitename + editor”. In this case, I will search for “Greatist editor” and “WebMD editor”.
I have found four editors on Greatist. Let’s see what I can find for WebMD.
So I have at least 10 editors for WebMD.
Now, I will create a Twitter list and name it “Editors”. It will help me follow the most active and relevant editors so I can engage with them later.
Go to Twitter, and click on “Lists”.
Click on “Create lists” and add a name and description for your list. Also, having no point in sharing this list with your audience, you can make your list private.
Follow the editors you would like to approach and add them to your new list.
Check their activity on Twitter and when they share new articles, try to engage with them. Leave comments, ask questions or just post your feedback. This way, they will get to know you, and it’s more likely that they will accept you as a guest contributor.
If you don’t use Twitter, you can try using Google Plus or LinkedIn.
Now it’s time to send your pitch, making sure you touch on these essential points:
- Use a friendly greeting message, and always use the editor’s name.
- Always introduce yourself and write about your experience.
- Link to the best articles you wrote before.
- NEVER ask for a link.
- Be polite and keep your message short.
- Personalize your email message for each editor. Don’t make it look like a template.
- In your email footer, add a link to your Twitter or Google plus account.
To complete the outreach process, after sending your email request, also send a follow up message on social media. This usually makes a difference.
Find the best forums
Forums might be old fashioned, but they continue to have a huge traffic potential for websites as lots of people are still using them.
To find the best forums, you need to use the following footprints on Google:
- Your keyword + “forum”
- Your keyword + “Powered by Vbulletin”
- Your keyword + “powered by Typepad”
- Best “your keyword” forums
Once you compiled your list of forums, you need to refine it and select only those with active users.
Use these forums just like the Q&A platforms. Create an account, add a signature with a link to your website and try to be useful to the community in order to build a reputation.
Join social media communities
Social Media is the best place to drive traffic from to your newly created articles. Let me show you how to use Google Plus and Facebook communities to promote your blog.
Google Plus communities
Go to your G+ account, and click on “communities”:
Use the search box on the right to look for communities. Enter your targeted keyword and look for relevant communities to your blog.
Before you start posting in a community, spend some time to understand what people are sharing, what gets the most interaction and what you should post.
Some communities will accept every request to join, while others are moderated, each user being reviewed before getting accepted. You can join multiple communities.
Go to Facebook and search for your keyword on the search box.
From the suggestions drop-down, choose “See more”
Select the communities that are the most active, and learn what people enjoy reading.
Check competitors’ strategy
The easiest way to find opportunities to promote your blog is to steal from your competitors’ strategies. For this, you need to check their backlinks and identify all their promotion tactics.
Imagining that you have no time to waste, I will show you how to search for your competitors’ backlinks with very little effort.
It will take a few minutes to gather all the information. After that, every time a competitor gets new backlinks, you will receive an email similar to this:
It looks like Greatist has a link from HuffingtonPost. I could use the method described at the beginning of the article to build a relationship with the editors of the HuffingtonPost, and get the same link for my health blog.
These are the methods I use most frequently and which I can guarantee you to work, regardless of your niche. Repeat all these strategies and you will find endless opportunities to promote your blog or website.
Here’s a short summary:
- Use Q&A platforms
- Write for authoritative websites
- Join and build a reputation on forums
- Use Google Plus communities and Facebook groups
- Check competitors’ strategy and replicate
What techniques are you using? I would love to read your comments.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.