Go Fish Digital is excited to share a post from guest author Sergey Aliokhin, a Marketing Manager at Ahrefs. Sergey has many great tips and tools on how to increase your blogs promotional efforts. We hope that you enjoy the read!
I’m sure every blogger, professional or otherwise, has asked themselves: “what’s the best way to promote my content?”
It’s a fair and important question to consider; there are a ton of different strategies that you could use to promote your content and a million different sites to display it on, but how can you possibly know which one will provide the most reach and content engagement?
I’ve got great news – I’ve done the hard work for you in an attempt to answer this question. Through this guide, I’ll show you seven of the best strategies to promote your blog effectively.
1. Facebook Ads
A lot of people have a negative connotation of Facebook ads because they believe that they aren’t worth the money spent. Here at Ahrefs, we’ve actually found that the opposite is true. Each click we get costs us an average of $0.30, meaning that we get around 100+ clicks for just $30. So, for our purposes, Facebook ads are a great money-saving tool that can be used to promote content.
But, if you don’t have the money or don’t want to spend it on content promotion, then you’ll have to pay with your time, which could lead to a much bigger spend.
For example, you could choose a free way to promote your blog, such as using Quora, where you will have to take a few steps:
- Search for relevant threads and try to pitch your posts
- Respond with high-quality answers to the questions
- Add links within your answers
This may sound pretty easy, but in the long run, it could be, in fact, counterproductive.
Consider how many hours it would take to post 10 comprehensive answers on Quora. Taking the above steps into account, it would you take about 2 hours of your time. Now, think about how much you would typically earn for 2 hours of work. Is that amount of money lost worth the time you spent trying to promote your content?
Let’s look at it in a different way. If you skim through Upwork, you will see differing hourly rates of freelancers:
In this example, we can see that this freelancer makes $50/hr. If they go through the same steps we detailed above, they’ll spend $100 worth of time developing and posting answers on Quora.
My question to you is: “how many clicks will this person get with the help of these 10 (free) published Quora answers?”
Nobody knows for sure. It could be 10, maybe 100, or even no clicks at all. But, regardless, this person would still be out of $100 when they could have only spent $30 on Facebook ads, guaranteeing them at least 100 clicks.
Ultimately, how you choose to spend your money and time is up to you. When investing your money on content promotion, you have to decide whether you’d rather spend your time or money. My advice is to think twice before you make that decision in order to determine which will yield the best value to you and your content.
2. Don’t Forget About Your Audience!
It’s not uncommon for bloggers to send out a notification to their audience once they publish a blog post. And while this can seem like a great strategy, have you ever asked yourself: “what happens when you share your content with your existing audience via email and social channels?”
The simple answer is that you will end up bringing the same people back to your website over and over again.
Here’s how it looks:
You may think that your existing audience helps you to gain initial traction by sharing your content across social channels, but this isn’t necessarily true.
First of all, when you launch an email campaign, you can’t expect to reach everyone in your existing audience initially. It would be great if you reached even 30% of them.
Also, the people that you do reach will likely not read your posts from A to Z and they are even less likely to tweet or share it with their friends, which severely stunts your ability to reach new people.
To maximize your chances of gaining new audience members and improving traffic, you need to use outreach methods.
To best present this idea, I’ll show you some of the numbers and statistics that we collect at Ahrefs.
We have more than 53K users on our email list and we notify each of these users every time we release an update. We track metrics such as clicks and open rate to see how well each email campaign performs. For example, here is one of our best performing campaigns:
53K recipients got this email and of that number, 16.9% opened the email and 5.2% clicked through it, while most of our emails have a click-through rate of 3-4%.
You should keep track of all email campaigns so that you’re able to analyze similar components in those that have been successful. This way you’re able to improve upon your overall email campaign.
Your followers on Twitter
Ahrefs has around 31.1K followers on Twitter. However, we only get an average of 400 engagements per tweet. This is only 1.3% of our followers on Twitter that we are actually engaging with regularly. Check it out:
This tells us that we won’t get enough traffic just by tweeting our articles once. One tactic we use to get around this is sharing our content multiple times with differing taglines, therefore attracting the widest variety of consumers. Here’s an example:
3. Produce Content That Is Worth Sharing
I’m sure that you’ve seen or heard the statement “content is king,” and that’s for a good reason. One of the most critical aspects of a blog is whether its content is share-worthy. Many key benefits coincide with having valuable content:
- It impresses your readers and gives them valuable information
- It makes your target audience spend hours on your blog and come back again
- It makes people share a word about your blog everywhere
For instance, these users recommended Ahrefs blog on Reddit without any influence from us:
We didn’t have to do anything to make people speak about our blog and suggest it across different forums. The main reason that this is able to happen naturally is because of the quality content that we create on the Ahrefs blog. People read it and like it, so in turn, they suggest our blog to others.
Creating high-quality and share-worthy content will pave the road for your blog’s success, but remember, you have to put in a lot of time and effort to make it valuable.
4. Traffic from Google
There is a pervasive phenomenon in the blogging world that happens when you publish a new blog post and it initially brings you a lot of traffic but that traffic quickly fades away. These fluctuations are called the “spike of hope” and the “flatline of nope.”
This can be a frustrating cycle that begins like this:
- You spread your newly published content to your target audience via emails and social shares
- Your audience shares it further with other people
- You spend your money on Facebook ads to reach out to the new users
Afterward, it ends up like this:
- Your audience and other peers have already seen your content
- You don’t have any money left to run more Facebook ads
I’m not saying that nobody will ever read your posts. If your content continuously ranks highly on Google, you will always have readers. What I am saying, however, is that you need to create content that will not immediately die out.
If you’re wondering how to create this kind of content, it’s simple:
- Discover topics that spark the interest of your target audience
- Write better material
- Get links from other highly-reputable websites
I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s an important practice to implement when you’re trying to drive and sustain traffic to your blog. Like we said before, you have to put in a lot of time and effort to make your content valuable.
5. Deal with Relevant Audience
Unfortunately, for those who have just recently launched a blog, it can be especially challenging to promote your content, and here’s why:
- You probably don’t have a large budget that you could spend on Facebook ads
- You don’t have an existing audience
- You won’t get traffic without getting links from other websites
The good news is that you can create high-quality and share-worthy content that will give you a great boost in your initial promotional efforts. But, you’ll still have to put in a ton of effort to build your audience over time. To help expedite that process, you should show your content to a wide variety of people in your industry. The best way to do that is outreach.
Before you launch your outreach campaign, however, you need to ask yourself: “why would anyone even care about what I want to send them?”
If you have already found the answer to this question, then your outreach strategy is more likely to be successful. But for the rest of us, I think it would be helpful to share a couple of strong approaches that will lead to a more successful outreach campaign.
Everyone likes to be praised. However, those gurus in your niche that get praised on a daily basis won’t think twice about another mention of them. The best way to increase your chances of getting a reply is to build connections with a representative in a “big fish” division of your audience. That way, when they see your name, they’ll recognize it, which makes it much more likely for them to reply and for you to get a lot more engagement on your piece.
Introduce a Breakthrough Post
What would compel an expert to share your post on social channels without having been asked to do it?
It’s simple – your content is worth being shared. In other words, try to create a notable piece of work and others will notice it without any extra effort on your part.
In regards to content promotion via outreach, you should focus on showing others the material without directly asking them to share it. We follow this same strategy at Ahrefs; we never ask people to share our writings but instead to share a personal opinion about a given piece of content:
As you can see, we aren’t asking them to share the post or link to it, instead, we are interested in what the person thinks about our research.
Unfortunately, I must admit that even our efforts with outreach don’t guarantee us a high level of shares, but that’s for another post entirely.
6. More Activity in Relevant Communities
Communities are wonderful places that allow people to discuss any topic with like-minded people. But, even more so, communities are a place where people argue over those same topics. When these disputes arise, a great way to bring in a strong counter-argument is to include a concrete piece of content that could help prove your point and resolve the debate.
Unfortunately, that’s where things can get tricky when you want to share your blog post. A lot of communities restrict users from posting self-promotional material within the threads:
These guidelines give you a clear idea of what is not allowable in the group, but this doesn’t mean you cannot still be an active member. It gives you an opportunity to link to other relevant sources of information. Here’s an example:
Here, you can see that, even though Matt Post didn’t link to his content, he helped resolve an issue someone was having, making him look like an expert people can turn to in the future. It’s important to employ this same strategy often in your own communities to position yourself in the same way.
If you’re wondering where you can find the right communities to join, here are some pieces of advice:
- Facebook. There are millions of communities on Facebook, so a simple search will point you in the right direction
- Reddit. Finding relevant subreddits is equally straightforward – a simple search will do
- Forums. Google can offer you different forums related to your niche, just type “your_niche forum” and you’ll find what you need
7. Content Repurposing
If your content is failing to gain the traffic you had hoped for the first time, then you may want to consider repurposing your content.
Content repurposing is a great way to breathe new life to a topic that had been covered on your blog before. Here is a personal example of how we’ve done it. We have a blog post that covers a few ways of finding anyone’s email address, and we decided to repurpose this topic into the video on our Youtube channel, which got over 11K views.
In addition to these tactics, my colleague created an infographic to display the same information:
We have repurposed this same topic twice – into a video and infographic – but there are many other ways that this could be done, such as creating a powerpoint presentation or participation in a podcast.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you repurpose your content, but it’s important for you to do so in order to get the most traction on a single topic as you can.
To Wrap Up
All of the information that I have given you thus far can be summarized into the following phrase:
“Concentrate on producing high-quality work and don’t be aggressive about promotion.”
Although you aren’t able to force people to promote and engage with your content, you do have the ability to write an epic post that will compel the audience to share it with their peers. And with these 7 pieces of advice, you can do all that and more, which will help you on your way to successfully promoting your blog.
If you have other ideas that would be helpful here, please feel free to share them in the comments!
Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at Ahrefs. Apart from working at Ahrefs, he likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings. Don’t hesitate to contact him.