Good as blogs are at attracting organic search visitors to your website, sometimes even if you have the best content in the world, you need to do a certain amount of traditional “pump priming” to get people to notice your blog. Before you do that just make sure that it is being picked up the search engines. You can check by simply inserting the title of your latest post into Google and/or into a Google blog search and checking that your post is somewhere in the search results. Assuming that your blog has been picked up, how about trying some free promotion?
Perhaps the best way to do this is through your contact list of prospects and existing customers and followers on Twitter and Facebook. The good thing about a blog is that it is easy to set up such that as soon as you create a new post, it can be advertised as a link in your Twitter or Facebook accounts. Of course, that pre-supposes that you have a good list of followers and fans. But that is for another post.
The next most obvious way to promote your blog is in any hard copy promotional materials like leaflets or brochures. And don’t forget a link at the bottom of your company e-mails. Remember to explain what is in it for the customer if they were to read and perhaps even subscribe to your blog. If that doesn’t work, what about a traditional press release?
Self-generated blog press release
Not all the posts you write will be blockbusters, but if you have just created a particularly good post (with a great headline) that you feel will be worth some additional specific promotion, then it is worth considering a press release. The idea is that you create a cut down version of your blog (perhaps even just bullet points, but ideally with some form of drama in the post and controversy in the title), and then have it circulated to other bloggers and journalists that operate in your target market. Your hope is that they “pick it up” and re-circulate your post to their contacts.
In the recent past, this option would have only been open to those with deep pockets, using traditional PR companies, but as with as with all things on-line, you can now get free services (like: www.briefingwire.com) as well as good value paid services (like: http://uk.prweb.com/ ). You do tend to get what you pay for including for example, improved analytics, but nevertheless, creating a press release around your blog post can introduce prospects that would otherwise never have found your blog. This is especially useful in the early days as you are trying to find and build your community.
Be aware that many of these services are very US focused and that is why it may be worth paying a little extra to ensure targeting to your industry and to the UK (or wherever you may trade).
If your original post is good enough, then you might just begin something truly viral and the sky is your limit! For most of us though, it demonstrates the lengths you might need to consider to get noticed in this crowded world – even with a good social media network.