So my friend Ted made me blush when he asked me for my tips and recommendations on marketing a blog. Instead of just answering him in Facebook messenger, I’m going to make a blog post out of it.
Its About Your Reader, Not You
This one I admit I have problems with on this blog. You should talk to your reader, not just lecture them about yourself.
Find problems in your industry. Create a story. Talk about your journey of what you are building and engage the audience. This is very hard to do, but if you get your angle right – the readers and subscribers will come. I prefer to be honest and transparent – as the internet makes the BS meter really sensitive and people will see through your made up image.
If you’re only 1 dude in your parent’s basement – it may be scary to come out on your blog and say that. But at the same time, don’t put on the image that you have a 20 person operation. Maybe that would work in the 90’s and 2000’s – but nowadays the internet is too advanced.
Share openly about news in your industry, and try to have your own voice and angle.
Be Consistent With Your Publishing
Maybe you won’t say this is marketing – but it is! Having a schedule where every Wednesday night you release a new blog / podcast / video is very helpful to “train” your readers to come back.
If it is randomly posted and various content – they may appreciate the blog post you shred, but now have a reason to come back.
You can be really clever and call this something – like “wild wednesday” or something more relevant to your niche using industry keywords combined with the day of the week.
Start Collecting Emails
I think this is the first step to taking your blog from “people find it and read it once” to – getting regular readers. By having opt-ins (lead magnets) where readers can get a tool (spreadsheet, document, blueprint) in exchange for their email – you are building your email list – but also getting those who are targeted to your list to subscribe.
Getting emails and getting targeted emails is a totally different thing. Don’t go the route of pulling your friend’s emails into a mail chimp without their permission. You want people to opt-in and want your emails.
If you’re as crazy as I am – I even remove people from my email list who don’t open my emails for a month (using automations).
But the first step in getting repeat readers is getting their email (or somehow subscribed to you for future updates on your content).
So if you are following the first step, which is being consistent with your content, and at the same time collecting emails (subscribers) to this regular content, you will create habits in your readership and building a brand.
Being Creative About Social Media
Sure, we should be sharing our content on social media. But we can’t overdo it with posting too regularly or it may lose its affect. There are so many ways you can do this, but I have found the best way is to create a schedule – just a basic one.
For example I’m having our social media team make a schedule like:
Mondays= other blogs / articles good content to share – this way we are not just fully self promoting our own content.
Tuesdays = podcast day – this is when we release our podcast so it is a good chance to get it “while its hot”
Wednesdays = a promotion or sale of one of your products or services.
Thursdays = a blog post you recently published
Friday = motivational quote, something fun and interactive. Its the end of the week, may as well give people a break.
I normally take weekends off, traffic is lower and you can give your feed a bit of rest. You can adopt some of this – but the main idea is it comes from Gary Vee’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” – with the idea being – give free value, give free value, give free value, ASK for something. That way, you are not just asking for money – or just doing free work. Like a 3 to 1 ratio if you do the ratio there.
The whole thing about marketing though, is there isn’t a magic formula like in math or programming. You need to adjust this schedule and strategy based on your business and your audience.
Guest Posting On Other Sites, Getting Others To Post On Your Site
So the trick, well, the formula of the internet is to have “links” everywhere. And I’m not saying it in the “SEO” form of link building – but more natural.
I’m calling it association! I’m so glad I took Dan Andrew’s advise in 2013 DCBKK and started a podcast. By getting guests on the show, you are creating content, and at the same time associating yourself with others in your target industry.
The idea is – having others “guest post” either by interviewing, or writing articles, or doing videos – “links” the industry together and gets you on the “inside”.
So while there have been articles I have read that guest posting is “dead” – there will always be a need for other blogs to invite other “guests” to be in their content – either in the form of interviews, sharing articles, making video promotions together. So the more creative you are about getting in front of your target audience by being on other blogs / podcasts / videos / events the better you position yourself.
Sure, we are talking about online marketing – but attending offline events is a great way to build a brand. Hopefully you have an easy to remember website URL that you can verbally say as you meet people – or a QR code for your wechat account tattooed on your forehead (kidding, kind of!) – “physical” events are still effective.
Leverage it as much as you can. Make it content for your blog. Take photos, write up a summary of the event – do videos. Followup after the event, ask people you met to come on your blog as a guest blogger, podcast guest, etc.
The cool word people use is O2O – online to offline – but really this has been around since the internet started. Get involved in your industry, attend industry events, local meetups, and grind. Getting your brand known in the industry will take time – but if you are CONSISTENT and PATIENT (much harder to say than to do) – you will shine and be remembered.
To Summarize – Be The Expert
So, this is a first “marketing blog post” I have made in a while. Hope it is helpful – want to keep it practical.
The main idea is
* Focused and consistent – be a source of information for your industry. A regular place people can go to get the latest news
* Build up email subscribers (any form of subscribers) – depending if you are on Wechat or the rest of the world – you want to still get people to subscribe to future articles you post. That is normally in email, but in Wechat that is subscribers to your official account.
* Be social – don’t just push people to read and buy your own stuff, be creative and share other people’s content and fun/engaging semi-relevant content you have.
* Guest Exchanges – do joint content, be on other people’s blogs, get others on your blog. “Link” into your industry.
* Leverage Offline – still, get out of your office and meet people in real life. Learn some things, and also create content from it.
There is a ton more to use here but this should be a good framework to building a long lasting blog on your business.