“If you build it, he will come.” –The Voice, Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams. As a baseball fan, I liked this movie about Ray Kinsella, an Iowa farmer and avid baseball fan, taking an incredible risk by plowing his profitable corn field in order to build a baseball diamond. As an entrepreneur, it also appealed to my risk-taking side as Ray put his financial future at stake in order to follow his dreams. Unfortunately, building a blog and establishing a loyal readership is not quite like Ray’s magical field of dreams.
If you build it, they will come… if you invite them. Did you dream of grabbing a domain name and waking up to a devoted following the next day? Not quite. But if you invite people who enjoy your content and keep them coming back for more, you may end up with your own field of dreams.
If you want people to read your blog (especially at first), you have to invite them. Sure, a few people may stumble through the back door via search engines (especially if you keep your SEO in mind), but not enough to fill the stands. Here’s a few ideas to get the party started:
- Share your blog posts to your business’s Facebook page or create one for your blog. Alternate between link, picture and text posts to see what generates higher engagement, traffic and sharing.
- Tweet your posts at different times and with different titles/messages to determine what pulls readers in or encourages them to share your content. Once you build up some interest, you could start a tweet chat around your blog’s topics.
- Create a Pinterest board specifically for your blog or blog posts in general. Engage pinners with thought-provoking questions and enticing images. Don’t forget to fill out the board description, so visitors know what to expect.
- Google may have admitted it created Google+ to track your online behavior, but Google+ authorship is still worth using the platform. Hey, it’s Google’s (digital) world, and we’re just living in it.
- Enhancing your posts with attention-grabbing photos? You should be. Try using Instagram to drive more traffic to your blog. (p.s. Always make sure to source photos responsibly and cite appropriately if they’re not your own.)
- LinkedIn is the leading professional networking site, so share your posts there if the content’s appropriate. Weekday mornings tend to work best; the platform clears out on evenings and weekends like a commuter school (besides pre-scheduled content posting).
- Be neighborly. Visit other blogs, like their posts (if you actually like them) and leave thoughtful comments. Most of the time, they’ll reciprocate. If you use WordPress, the Reader is a great way to find and stay up on your fellow bloggers.
- Share other blog posts on your social networks. It’s a great way to build relationships and, in turn, bring some attention to your blog. Always tag people when sharing their content so they know you’ve shared it.
“People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. People will most definitely come.” –Terence Mann, Field of Dreams
Get Social… Offline
- Mention your blog to friends, family and business associates (along with random strangers you meet and talk to at Starbucks). Word of mouth is such a powerful, and often forgotten, tool.
- Create business cards (or add your URL to your current one) so people have a physical reminder to check out your blog later.
- Attend events? Bring up your blog (when appropriate) at networking events, outings, conferences, tradeshows, etc. Business cards will come in handy in these environments.
- Add your blog to any communications you deem appropriate: email signature, invoices, flyers, social media profiles, etc. You’ll be surprised how many people actually notice the information in these areas.
- Throw a blog warming party! Either online or in person, have a fun event with door prizes, trivia, giveaways, goody bags, special guests, discussions about your blog topics, etc.
How do you promote your blog?
Enough from me, now I want to hear your ideas. How do you promote your blog? Any additions to my list? Any out-of-the-box methods that have worked for you? (I know someone’s dressed up in a chicken suit somewhere…)
While writing this, I kept trying to include ways to grow your readership. I guess that’s a post for another day. Any interest in that topic?
If you’re a fellow blogger, leave your URL in the comments. I’m always looking for interesting blogs to check out, and I’m sure you are too!