Starting a new website can be daunting, especially when it comes to promoting your site. It can be difficult to determine which marketing techniques are worthwhile, and which are not. In this post, I’ll discuss blog marketing for beginners, and lay out the absolutely essential first steps you should take if you’re new to blog marketing.
I want to note that I view these 3 steps as essential because they are a sound process you can use to lay the groundwork for all future marketing efforts. One mistake I see many beginners make is to view marketing as a series of one-off efforts, rather than a holistic, long-term approach.
So, before you begin promoting your blog across a wide series of channels, make sure you have implemented the following key techniques.
Essential Blog Marketing for Beginners: 3 Steps
Step 1: Build Out Your Content
It may seem obvious, but this first step is the most often overlooked for new marketers. Many newbies separate the idea of producing content for their blog from the concept of driving targeted traffic to their blog, when in fact the two are inextricably linked.
In today’s world content marketing, the act of marketing yourself by producing consistent, high quality original material, is the number 1 way to get your blog off the ground. While simply posting new content on your website isn’t always the fastest way to get new clicks, it is one of the most long-lasting.
I encourage new bloggers to have a minimum of 20-30 posts on their site before they begin to market it. This initial bout of posts will help give you credibility and provide more material for your first readers to browse. You can read about more content marketing tips here.
Step 2: Create Social Profiles
Most of your early traffic will come from social media. Your blog needs time to start ranking in the search engines, so it’s important to have shareable content from day 1. Leverage your existing social networks, but you’ll also want to consider creating pages and/or accounts specifically for your new business.
Depending on your target market, I would use the following networks:
Choose the network according to your blog topic. For example, if you have a blog on wedding planning, Pinterest is a clear choice, whereas if your blog caters to a business service, you’ll have more luck with a professional network like LinkedIn.
If you’re just starting out, you may not want to create profiles on all of the networks at once. If your time is limited, it can often be better to promote consistently and thoroughly via 1 or 2 networks, rather than haphazardly attempt to incorporate a large number of profiles.
Step 3: Join Relevant Communities
The final key aspect to understand about blog marketing is that blogging is really a conversation. You should follow other bloggers in your space, join other social groups via your preferred social media network, and genuinely listen to the conversations going on around you.
Users respond to authenticity, and they can tell if you’re writing a post just to get them to your site, or if your are honestly interested in answering their questions and providing value back to the community. As you get noticed on communities outside of your blog, readers will naturally click through to read more about what you have to say on your site.
In addition to communities you would eventually like to promote your site to, consider joining networks you can learn from. You’ll find there are a number of free affiliate training options out there with great community support, and sharing your content on those networks is a great way to get feedback and exposure from an early stage.
Remember, marketing a new blog is a time-consuming task. It’s important to look at any and all actions you take as small steps towards a long-term goal. If you set yourself up correctly, your marketing efforts should eventually start to generate consistent, scalable traffic for your business.