Increasing Blog Readership – 8 Unusual Ways to Promote Your Blog


You want to increase your blog readership, right? These eight tips for promoting your blog are unusual and effective! The more readers you have, the more you’ll enjoy blogging and writing…and the more money you’ll make as a blogger.

If ProBlogger Darren Rowse was starting out in blogging right now, he said he’d use these five strategies together (not just one or two of them): guest posting, networking, advertising, social media, and viral content.

The takeaway? Successfully promoting your blog requires a combination of efforts — not just one or two web writing strategies. For more blog building and web writing tips, click on Rowse’s ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, which he wrote with Chris Garrett (it’s “two thumbs up” material, fellow bloggers). And, read on for my eight unusual tips for promoting your blog…





Increasing Blog Readership – 8 Different Ways to Promote Your Blog

1. Figure out your reasons for promoting your blog. If you want to earn money from your blog, then you might want to focus primarily on search engine optimization tactics. Why? Because if an internet surfer has a specific problem (“How do I self-publish my book?”), and if your blog post (“5 Ways to Self-Publish Your Books”) is optimized for search engines, then readers who find your article might be more likely to click the “self-publish your book” ads on your blog. If your goal is to network with other writers/bloggers and improve your writing skills, then you might promote your blog on social media sites like Twitter or StumbleUpon. To promote your blog effectively, think about your long-term goals.

2. Don’t force “unnatural” ways to increase your blog readership. I’ve tried adding to discussion forums and commenting on other writers’ blogs for the sole purpose of promoting my own blog – and it doesn’t work. It’s not natural for me. To increase your readership, implement strategies that are part of the natural course of your day. For instance, I check Facebook every day to see how my friends and family are; I also upload a blog post to Facebook every time I log in. The more natural your blog promotion is, the more successful it’ll be.

3. Experiment with blog networks, such as Yahoo Shine. My favorite blog network for women is Yahoo Shine. Bloggers can post part or all of their articles there; I usually post my newest articles twice a week. Most of the traffic stays on Shine, but some readers do click over to my blog – it depends on how well I write my Shine post!

4. Try new affiliate programs. I’ve just been accepted into the BlogHer advertising program (yay!), and I think they highlight their affiliates’ blogs regularly. It’s all new to me – I’ll keep you posted – but suffice to say that some affiliate advertising programs do promote their affiliates’ blogs.

5. Pay to advertise your blog. I haven’t tried this tip for promoting any of my blogs, but I’ve heard it can be effective. You pay a few cents (or even one penny) per click when readers find you on big sites such as Facebook, Google AdWords, etc. You could also consider advertising on small but popular blogs in your niche.

6. Write for a big online magazine. It’s difficult to do, but this is a great way to make your blog more popular! When the MSN Health editors include my blog links at the end of the articles I write for them, I definitely get more traffic. A more stable stream of readers comes from my Feature Writer profile on Suite101 – which is a great reason to write for them! For more info, read 10 Reasons to Write for Suite101.

7. Be search engine friendly, with strong content. This is by far my favorite way of promoting my Quips and Tips blogs! I want to help writers (and bloggers) find the answers they need, so I need to make sure my blog posts are optimized for search engines. If you’re curious about keywords and key phrases, read SEO Tips for Web Writers and Bloggers.

8. Spend an hour a week trying different ways to promote your blog. I’ve tried blog carnivals (with so-so success, but it depends on which blog carnival you try), StumbleUpon (high traffic, no ad revenue because readers seem to be hopping all over the place), FaceBook (good for sharing your posts with friends), and Twitter (pretty good for sharing posts, but I find it similar to StumbleUpon. Read Twitter Benefits for Freelance Writers for more info).

What have I missed, fellow scribes – and did you learn anything new? If you have any questions or thoughts on these tips for promoting your blog, please share below…


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35 thoughts on “Increasing Blog Readership – 8 Unusual Ways to Promote Your Blog

  • Kim

    I have had some success promoting my blog with google AdWords. After purchasing some printed materials on Vistaprint, I received a $100 coupon in the mail for free advertising with google AdWords. So far, I have not spent any money for the advertising and when the $100 runs out, it is completely up to me whether I want to pay for more. Adwords puts out detailed reports that show me what key words people searched which ultimately resulted in a hit on my blog. Just a tip…

  • Forum Buddy

    Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly.
    We should join a discussion forums with a chat room, because we need information. The best benefits about using a forum or chat room is that you can talk about any problem you have and ask any questions you might have in your mind.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Abbie,

    I totally agree; advertising on forums makes me uncomfortable, too. And I can’t tell if it actually works to increase my blog readers, because I don’t spend enough time doing it!

    The best way to promote your blog is to find things you enjoy doing, and focus on those. For instance, I love writing and have grown to see search engine optimization as part of the challenge of writing well! And, search engine optimization is my favorite way to promote my blog 🙂

    Laurie

  • Abbie

    Hi,

    I haven’t try experimenting blog networks and I would give advertisements a try. I find advertising on forums make me uncomfortable and doesn’t increase my blog readers. Thanks for mentioning and advising, good information you have here!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Prerna,

    Thanks for mentioning Twittermoms…I’ve never heard of it! I’m glad it helps you promote your blog. And yes, try Yahoo Shine. When it works, it’s a beautiful thing.

    And yes, even old blog posts contain relevant writing tips — and old writing books contain relevant writing and editing advice! 🙂

    All good things,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..Stop Harassment at Work – 9 Tips for Dealing With More-Than-Difficult Coworkers =-.

  • Prerna

    Hi Laurie.. Thanks for these tips.. I had not heard of Shine at all.. Will give it a shot..These days I find quite a bit of traffic from Twittermoms.. It works on the same model.. post all or part of the blog post and if you get featured, traffic boost as well:-)
    Thanks for sharing these.. I know its an old post but the tips are timeless..
    .-= Prerna´s last blog post ..Book Review: Friendship for Grown Ups by Lisa Whelchel =-.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Yes, Shirley, Yahoo Shine does help with promoting your blog! But, like with all effective ways to increase your readership, you need to be consistent and patient. It takes time to build a popular blog.

    Japinder, I totally hear your conundrum. I, too, don’t want to promote myself too much…I’d rather people found my blog on their own, and keep returning because they love my writing quips and tips! 🙂

    All good things,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How to Find Online Writing Markets and Write for the Web =-.

  • Japinder

    Hi Laurie….it was a useful arti (once again :))…..I specially nodded at the point about ‘natural promotion strategies’. Just two days ago, I had done twitter search for the keywords of my latest blogpost and had then tweeted a hi and my url to the ppl who came in the search result. I did that for about 10 ppl and then could do no more, coz had started feeling like a spammer.

    Currently, I post the urls of my daily blog posts on twitter, facebook and orkut. But then again, I’ve found that using the ‘Notes’ feature of Facebook is more helpful than simply updating one’s status with the blog url. However, I feel that sending url notes daily to all my frnds wud be too intrusive and so do it only about twice a week.

    THat’s my conundrum. I want to publicise my blog but do not want to look like a crass self-marketeer.

  • Alexandra

    Thanks for these tips on promoting your blog. I’m like the other reader who commented about not having a blog yet, but planning to someday 🙂

  • Blackie

    Hi,

    I can’t believe bloggers are still using spam as ways to promote their blog! I get dozens of spam comments a week (sometimes dozens a day), and none of them actually get posted because I have the Akismet plugin.

    But it astounds me that some bloggers still spew out those comments, thinking it helps their blog.

    Disgusted,
    Blackie

  • Laurie PK

    Thanks for your feedback, Cynthia! I try to post a link to Facebook every day…but sometimes I think once a day might be too much.
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..7 Tips for Writing for Trade Magazines =-.

  • Cynthia

    I don’t have a blog, but alot of my friends on Facebook do. Some of them post their new blog links to Facebook, and I often click to their blog. This to me is a good way to promote your blog.

  • Laurie PK

    Thanks for being here, George, and for being so encouraging! You’re a star. If I ever write a book about blogging or online writing, you’ll be in it 🙂

    I’d love to hear how the blog promotion tips work for you, and hope you keep me posted!

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..7 Tips for Writing for Publication =-.

  • Tumblemoose

    Wow Laurie, Your comment numbers are shooting through the roof. You must be doing something right!

    Thanks for the promotion tips. Some I’ve tried and others – not so much.

    Time to shake things up a bit.

    George
    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog post ..Book ‘em, Dano – Ten fully arrest-able query gaffs =-.

  • Ashley

    Your tips are quite helpful. I agree with you that the content of a post is much more important than anything. It is better to write about the things which reader are curious to know about. Short content, but also informative. Thanks!

  • Laurie PK

    And Tel — I know what you mean about not knowing which blog to update when you have more than one. I’ve created a blog schedule, which keeps me organized and productive. I’m glad your last comment didn’t have any “links without clothes” 🙂 but this one, too, went to the Spam folder. I suspect your next one will be okay.

    Trevy — thanks for your comment, and good luck with Shine!

    By the way, you’ll always have a special place in my heart. I took over the Body Image topic at BellaOnline after you left it — that was my first online writing gig. I was shocked to see you at Suite101! Where are you going next, and will I follow?!

    Karen — thanks for the news release tip. I haven’t done that yet, but maybe…this is why people hire public relations specialists, to take care of the promotion aspect! Hmmm….wish I could afford it…

    Thanks for being here!

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..6 Life Lessons From Maria Shriver =-.

  • Karen Stephenson

    Good information Laurie!

    Another suggestion is the old-fashioned way. In many communities there are small print media newspapers/magazines that, when space permits, loves to promote local people. So… write a news release about yourself and the accomplishments you have made and e-mail it or dare I say, the old-fashioned way (that still exists ! 🙂 ) ..fax it!

    Not only does this get into “print” but many of these papers have online versions too and will provide a link and as we know…back linking is important for those of us who have our own web sites!

    It certainly won’t be generating tens of thousands of hits, but, the back linking is a bonus and …. if you someone is impressed with something you wrote they will pass it on!

    Karen

  • Trevy

    Hi, Laurie!

    I had never heard of Shine until I read your article, but definitely going to investigate. Hopefully, if it’s as described, there are many sexy cosmo girls out there looking for recipes.

    Trevy
    .-= Trevy´s last blog post ..Cold Cucumber Soup Recipe =-.

  • Laurie PK

    Thanks for the tip about the email signature, Tel — that’s one of my favorite ways to promote my blogs!

    By the way, your comment ended up in my Spam Comments, which I only recently started checking. You were spammed out because you included a “naked” link (your blog’s url) underneath your name. I think including links under your name in comments isn’t such a good idea….but, your name is linked to your blog so readers can click to your blog that way.

    Thanks for commenting, Tel, Chris, Suzanne, and Elizabeth….so nice to see you here!

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..6 Life Lessons From Maria Shriver =-.

  • Elizabeth Harrington

    Since I’m relatively new to blogging, it’s great information for me. Yahoo Shine sounds promising. Thanks for these tips!

    Fellow Suite101er,

    Elizabeth

  • Suzanne

    Hi Laurie,

    I found this post to be very informative. I’m new to this online writing stuff, so I’m very happy I found your site. I’ll be checking in often, and I’ll definitely be looking into Yahoo Shine!

    Regards,
    Suzanne
    .-= Suzanne´s last blog post ..Massachusetts Considers a Bill Banning Devocalization Procedures on Dogs =-.

  • Chris Eirschele

    #2 – Figuring out what comes natural in blog promotion was important, I think. It goes hand in hand with taking a block of time to do some actual promoting (#8).

  • Laurie PK

    Hi Gini,

    Did you check out Yahoo Shine? I find it to be like Cosmo magazine, very glitz and glam and lots of sex appeal. Some of my articles get lots of comments there, while others aren’t even noticed. Sometimes the comments are downright mean! Still, it can be an effective way to promote your blog — you just need to experiment with different types of posts. So time consuming, this blogging thing. It’s a full-time job!

    Regarding Digg and StumbleUpon — yes, it’s definitely better if others suggest your blog posts. You can get banned at StumbeUpon if you “stumble” your own stuff too much, I think.

    Surender Sharma — welcome to Quips & Tips! You’d mentioned Google Wonder Wheel. What’s that?

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..6 Life Lessons From Maria Shriver =-.

  • Surender Sharma

    Thanks for this blog promotion tip.
    But you can write more tips here using Google Wonder Wheel for next blog post topic ideas.
    .-= Surender Sharma´s last blog post ..Indian Independence day Dreamhost web hosting offer =-.

  • Gini Grey

    Thanks for writing this Laurie. I’m doing a few of these but would like to find out more about Yahoo Shine so I’ll check it out.

    I’ve heard that places like stumble upon, digg etc. work best if others suggest your blog articles for these places – what’s your take on this?

    Gini
    .-= Gini Grey´s last blog post ..Faith =-.