If you build it, they will come.
In the perfect world of inbound marketing, that’s what happens when you start blogging.
(And of course when you turn your cornfield into a baseball diamond for iconic baseball legends of the past, as Ray Kinsella did in the 1989 sports classic, Field of Dreams.)
But, we live neither in a Hollywood drama nor a perfect world, so as you might have guessed, there’s more to the story of blogging than generating content on a frequent and regular basis. In fact, building a robust, engaged audience indicative of sales leads can take just as much time and effort as creating compelling content worthy of a blog post, if not more.
Before you become overwhelmed, understand that when you commit to properly marketing your blog post in cyberspace, the result will be well worth your time investment. Here are seven tips to get you started:
1) Follow other blogs
Effective blogging is a two-way street. Following other blogs your target audience finds compelling not only gives you an idea of what readers are interested in and talking about, but it also builds valuable relationships with other bloggers who can help leverage your content in the future.
2) Make a time commitment.
Now that you’re on the radar of other associated blogs, designate a set amount of time every week to read and thoughtfully respond to their posts. By building a visible presence where your target audience is already gathering, you’re expanding your blog into territories outside your own website’s reach.
Be sure to include your blog’s URL on all email and comment signatures so that readers can easily flow from your conversation to your blog.
3.) Respond to comments.
When readers comment on your blog, don’t let them feel like they’re speaking to a blank wall. Not to say you can or should respond to every comment, but for those that lend itself for further thoughtful conversation, don’t ignore the opportunity to make your readers feel valued. When they feel part of the conversation, they are more likely to share your content and return for more.
4.) Guest Blog.
As a guest blogger, you receive an automatic stamp of approval by a source its followers already trust, giving you not only valuable exposure to a new audience but also credibility for who you are and what you’re saying.
Likewise, invite other thought leaders and influentials to be a guest author on your blog. This provides a fresh perspective from your own content, and it will in the same way, bring new readers to your site and double your sharability.
5.) Be SEO Friendly.
Make it easy for readers to find you by optimizing your content for search engines. Consider what your audience would search for when looking for your content and sprinkle those keywords into your blog and headline.
Search engines also easily notice tags and links from trusted resources, but be careful not to overload keywords and links.
6.) Integrate with Social Media.
You’ve worked hard on your blog; so don’t be shy. Tell the world about it. Not only should you be teasing each post multiple times on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but make sure your blog’s website is easily accessible on each of your profiles.
7.) Distribute your content.
Set up RSS feeds, email newsletters and reminder alerts for your followers. Reminding your existing subscribers to read your content will encourage boost readership, and you’ll have a greater potential pool of readers to share your content to an outside audience.
Like Ray Kinsella forgoing his farming profits in hopes of reaching something larger than life, take a leap of faith and make your blog commitment worthwhile so you can reach whom you want to reach.
And when you do, they will come.
(To celebrate, watch Field of Dreams and think of this post.)
What have you done to attract readers to your blog? Let us know by leaving a comment.