Wednesday, 25 April 2018

11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post



During my last ten week course, Social Media for Writers and Bloggers at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College, I put a slide together for my students on how to promote a blog post, which gave me the idea to write a post on the subject. This post may be useful if you're new to blogging and social media or if you've been blogging for a while and you're looking for ways to get more page views.

Social media promotion is essential for driving traffic to blogs, especially early on when the blog is unlikely to come up in a Google search. Most of my page views are via Facebook (through groups or a post boosted on a page-see more below), Twitter; and Google searches-but both of my blogs have been around for a while now, so that's more likely to happen with time.

Firstly, write an engaging blog post, i.e., one that someone would want to read. With my neetswriter blog (on writing), I always try to make the post about the reader as well as myself, and the aim of my neetsmarketing posts, as you’ll know if you follow this blog is to provide useful information. Try to find a different angle on a subject that everyone blogs about and use a succinct title which will grab attention and entice-you can ask a question, or posts with numbers work well too.

Think about how you can encourage someone to click through to your blog rather than all the others being promoted on social media. There’s more info in this post, 9 Ways to Engage a Blog Audience, and there are links to other posts at the end (including to those explaining what to do when you are a guest or host on a blog).

Remember to word the promotion of your blog post differently, depending on the platform. When you have more space, you may want to go into more detail and some platforms or Facebook groups/online forums may be more chatty and informal than others.

1.Twitter:




When you publish a blog post, tweet the link immediately, using wording which encourages clicks through to your post, and ideally with a suitable graphic or photo from the post. Videos can be used too (more on graphics and videos below). And of course use hashtags. Research hashtags relating to the subject of your post, and there are blog sharing hashtags too. Find out more in my post, What are Hashtags, Why Use Them, and How?

Think about your audience, and set up tweets for other time zones apart from your own, where relevant.

Tweet at least once a day for a week (more on the first day), at different times using different wording and hashtags (you can vary photos and graphics), then every now and again after that. I save versions of my blog post tweets (as well as other promo tweets) so I can copy and paste them into Twitter or Tweetdeck when I need them.

If someone sets up a tweet linking to your post, do retweet it. This helps them and you. If the sharing buttons on your blog don't produce a tweet with your username, you can search for the title of the post to pick up who is tweeting about your blog, or better set up a column in Tweetdeck (or similar platform) with the url of the post.



2.Facebook:

Facebook profile:
Facebook profile




Post on your personal Facebook profile, although don’t expect to get much engagement here. It depends on the topic of the post and whether your Facebook friends are particularly interested in it as Facebook doesn't usually put posts with links high up in the News Feed. You'll probably get more engagement if you set the post up to be viewed by Public (rather than Friends). This also makes the post shareable which is important. Don't forget, if you usually post to Friends only, and you want to make links to blog posts Public, check the setting on your next post-as often Facebook assumes you want the same again.

Facebook profile: tagging Emma Darwin, Overcoming the Social Media Fear #amwriting
Sometimes blog links posted on Facebook profiles get hardly any engagement at all. However, with a popular post, this can change. My recent neetswriter post about the The Write Stuff gained more attention than usual on my profile-although still not much-because lots of my Facebook friends followed what happened on the day.

If you have a guest or are a guest and you tag the other person, this can make the post go further on a personal profile, especially if that person opts to add the post to their timeline.

Post from my neetsmarketing Facebook Page


Facebook page:

If you have a Facebook page, post the link to your blog there. It’s unusual to get much engagement on a Facebook page though unless you have a big following already (i.e., lots of Likes and regular engagement), or unless you pay to boost a post, or to create an ad via Ads Manager. I boost all of my blog posts on my Facebook pages. If you make a graphic for a Facebook post to boost, use the Text Overlay Tool (you are only allowed a small amount of text) as otherwise it won't work.

Facebook groups:

If you’re a member of any Facebook groups, post the link to your blog in the groups where you think members will be most interested-and always remember to check rules with Facebook groups which are usually at the top in a pinned post. Some groups don’t allow any promo, or only at certain times.

It’s not good form to post links in groups and run if you don’t interact or show interest in news from others the rest of the time. If there are common members in your groups, try to avoid posting in each group one after the other. Leave a bit of time between each posting (and you don't have to post in all groups you're a member of), otherwise when these common members log into Facebook, they'll see your post in several places all at once (especially if you're friends and they've liked your page as well). This can give the impression that you are a bit too present, which isn't always good on social media.

If someone shares your post to their profile or page (you can't always view where the post has been shared to, depending on privacy settings), do click through via [3 shares]:



and like or love the post and thank for sharing. It's always good to say thank you on social media when you can, and this adds to the engagement which is likely to take the post further (i.e., Facebook shows it higher up in the News Feed):





3.Instagram:

You have a few choices with Instagram: photo, graphic, screenshot, stories. You can use more than one option.

Links aren't clickable in Instagram, so it's common to put 'link in bio', and amend the link in your bio to a new blog post. The link in my bio is for my website which has tabs for my blogs, so I usually put 'link in bio, writing blog tab', or 'link in bio, social media blog tab'.

Don't forget to use hashtags. Find out more about hashtags and Instagram in the posts I've linked to at the end.

i) Use a photo from the post. I used to do this, but now use a graphic or screenshot instead. The reason for this is that I found myself re-posting photos I'd used already (as I often use my most popular Instagram photos in blog posts), and it wasn't obvious without looking at the text that I was linking to a blog post. It's still better than not posting on Instagram at all though.

ii) Create a graphic especially sized for Instagram using a photo from the post.

Instagram post for What's Your Writing Routine? (via neetswriter)



iii) Screenshot a part of the post on your phone/tablet so the text comes out at the right size-this can be the beginning of the post, or a part which you think sells the post.

Instagram: screenshot of opening to blog post, Staying Motivated When #amwriting a Novel

iv) Instagram Stories:

Instagram Stories take a while to put together at first, but are growing in popularity, and they are effective, as your profile appears at the top. Your story may not appear on the left (ideal place) initially, but once certain users engage with your stories, they're more likely to appear on the left when those users login to Instagram. You could use a few photos from your blog post to create an Instagram story, and add text and stickers etc too. There's a lot of useful info re Instagram Stories in this article via CNET, Everything You Need to Master Instagram Stories.

One of the students on my course, Social Media for Writers and Bloggers at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College, Alessandra Cervetti creates wonderful Instagram stories to promote her blog, and the rest of the time too. Her photos are also amazing. See more here @pennaaspillo.

Instagram profile for @pennaaspillo

4.Google +:

It’s worth sharing all of your content on Google + as it increases the likelihood of this content coming up in Google searches.

5.Online Forums:

If you’re a member of any forums (e.g., Yahoo etc) where there is the opportunity to promote your stuff, then it’s worth posting a link to your blog (if the rules of the forum allow it).

6.Photos and Graphics:

Usually my neetswriter blog posts include a bit about what I’ve been doing-e.g., going on spring walks, visiting art galleries and country houses; taking part in The Write Stuff at The London Book Fair, being interviewed on Brooklands Radio. I post photos as I go on Instagram and use them in blog posts; and if I have to choose between lots of photos, I pick the most popular ones. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that Instagram is a great testing ground for photos-to see what works and what doesn’t. If a photo really takes off use it to promote a blog post! A recent example is the photo of me holding a microphone, with the agents standing behind me, just before I pitched at The Write Stuff, The London Book Fair, which got 100+ likes on Instagram.

Instagram photo from The Write Stuff at The London Book Fair
Over the past few months, I’ve created graphics to go with my blog posts, and they work well. I create graphics in different sizes for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using Canva.com, but there are other apps you can use.

7.Other Social Media Platforms: 


Pinterest board for neetsmarketing posts
If you are on Pinterest and LinkedIn, it’s worth adding the link to your blog post on these platforms too if you have time. I'm seeing more authors post on LinkedIn, but still it’s nowhere near as busy as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for authors.

LinkedIn post for Sue Moorcroft on Using Facebook Live


I keep hearing that Reddit is the next big thing, so will be interested to see what happens. Find out more in this article via Social Media Today (20 April 2018), 'Reddit Now Has as Many Active Users as Twitter and Far Higher Engagement Rates', and note that Instagram is no.2 after Facebook on the list of major platforms in order of monthly active users. Also that Reddit is on a par with Twitter as no.3.

8.Newsletter

If you have a newsletter, include your recent blog posts in it somewhere.

9.Video:

If you’re brave enough, you could make a quick video about your blog post, and use the video to promote it on social media. Or you could make a video of something relating to the post. Videos get a lot of attention on social media.

Joanna Penn does this well. Here's an example, Comparisonitis Or "Everyone Else is Better Than Me" 

10. Sharing buttons:

I added 'proper' sharing buttons to my neetsmarketing website and blogs last year, and find them really effective. If a button shows that a post has been shared on Facebook 200+ times, it gives the post credibility and others are more likely to share. I use Shareaholic, but there are lots of options.

11.Link in bios:

Don’t forget to include the link to your blog in bios, where possible. If you only have one option-e.g., on Twitter, you may want to include the link to your website or latest Amazon buy link instead.

That’s it!-will update if I think of anything else. Now, I guess I should go and use some of these ways to go and promote this post...See what I've been up to below:

Me arriving at Brooklands Radio
My recent interview on Brooklands Radio:

Last Tuesday (17 April 2018), Jackie Mitchell interviewed me as part of the Just Women Show on Brooklands Radio. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed meeting the other guests, Petrina Johnson and Victoria Dorman.

L-R: Petrina Johnson, Victoria Dorman, me (Anita Chapman) with host, Jackie Mitchell at front
In the interview, I talk about my former commuting life, writing, my experience of being a finalist in The Write Stuff at The London Book Fair (from 3:20), my courses; and Jackie asked a few questions about social media. I have to say, it’s different answering questions on the spot compared to having chance to think about them, and there’s a lot more to say about social media than I said here! Anyway, the link is here, in case you’d like to listen:

Other posts:

9 Ways to Engage a Blog Audience
16 Ways for Writers to Use Instagram
19 Tips on How to be the Ideal Blog Guest
12 Tips on How to be the Ideal Blog Host
What are Hashtags, Why Use Them, and How?
Sue Moorcroft on Using Facebook Live (recent guest post)
What's Your #amwriting Journey? (neetswriter post about The Write Stuff)

My recent guest post, via Emma Darwin:
Overcoming the Social Media Fear

About me (Anita Chapman):


I'm a freelance social media manager with clients in the world of books. I run my own one day social media courses for writers in London and York (28 April, 19 May, 6 October 2018), and I'm a tutor at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College (Surrey), where I run Social Media for Writers and Bloggers courses  #neetsrhacc (next course starts 7 June 2018). Find out more with booking info via my website. You can follow me on Twitter @neetsmarketing, Instagram @neetswriter, and my neetsmarketing Facebook page is here.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for this, I've been blogging for years, but I'm quite shy, so find too much sharing difficult - odd for a blogger I know! I share on the day of posting, to Facebook (page and personal), Google+ and Twitter, but I've never thought to keep doing it at least once a day for a week! I worry that people would get fed of hearing from me! However, I have just retweeted yesterdays blog once more - go me!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Jacqueline! So glad that the post is helpful.

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    2. I'm the same, feel like I'm in everyone's face! But now, as a published author, I really need to up my game and this article has helped. Time for an overhaul methinks!

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    3. Thanks for reading, Louise, and best of luck!

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  2. It's a great post, Anita. I definitely don't blog enough! :-)

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    1. Thanks very much, Sue! Your blog posts are always fab.

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  3. Interesting post, Anita. Definitely gonna bookmark this.

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