31DBBB Day 3: Promote a Blog Post

This is Day 3 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ other bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers. You can read more about it and still sign-up to participate here.

I’ve talked to a number of bloggers over the years who are frustrated that few people read their posts or comment on their blog.  After asking them what they write about, I usually ask them what they’ve done to promote their blog and connect with new readers.  Often, the response I get is just a blank stare.

There seems to be an “If you build it, they will come” mentality with some bloggers.  Some believe if you start a blog and write something every once in a while, readers will magically show up, engage, and become regular readers.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Successful bloggers, proactively reach out to people to build their audience.

Today’s lesson in the 31 Day’s ebook, gives some good suggestions for how to promote a blog post.  Here are some of the things I do on a regular basis to promote blog posts published here and my personal blog.

Twitter – Twitter and blogging are like peanut butter and chocolate, they’re a match made in heaven.  To use Twitter well, you need good content to tweet (aka blog articles).  And to blog well, you need channels to get the word out about new posts (aka Twitter).  I tweet every post I write.  And usually more than once.

Facebook – OurChurch.Com has a Facebook page, which we post our blog posts to.  I post a link to my personal blog posts on my personal Facebook profile.

Commenting on other blogs – I try to comment quite a bit on the blogs I read.  When doing this its important not to be spammy.  You genuinely want to contribute to the conversation.  But often times I can contribute to the conversation but posting a link to an article I’ve written on a related topic.  I don’t do this often, but you could Google the topic you’ve just blogged about as a way to find similar blog posts, and then post a meaningful comment with a link to your post.

Email distribution – Most of the people who register a username & password on OurChurch.Com check the option to be added to our blog email subscription list.  Once a week, we send a post out to that list.

Newsletter – Once a month we send a newsletter to all our web hosting clients.  One of the regular features in each month’s newsletter is an exerpt from a recent blog post.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking about today’s topic when I wrote the list post on this blog yesterday.  6 Things I Learned from Day 1 of #31DBBB is not likely to appeal to people outside of our group, and so I going to find another post to promote.

Discussion

  • What did you do to promote your list post from yesterday?
  • What ways of promoting blog posts have you found to be most successful?
  • What other innovative ways have you promoted your blog or posts, that weren’t listed in today’s lesson?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on their promotion ideas.
  • People continue to add comments to the Day 1 & Day 2 posts, check em out.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.  (You could win a $25 gift card!)
  • Ask & answer questions about blogging but unrelated to elevator pitches in the forums.

[image by sinaloa]

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

229 Responses to “31DBBB Day 3: Promote a Blog Post”

  1. I promote my blog posts via Twitter, Facebook personnal profile, Facebook fan page (for my business) and sometimes via email among other subject.

    The most successful has been via Facebook, by far. 20% of the total visits to my business blog comes from Twitter and Facebook.

    My URLs are also available on Linkedin, although I don't update my status regularly at this time.

    One of the most interesting response I get from my clients when talking about blog is their concern about spending too much time responding to comments left on their blog. If only that was the case!

    You may visit my day's post where I write some more about today's subject :http://lemondedenathalie.ca/2010/05/05/jour-3-com

  2. In addition to Facebook and Twitter (my main sources), I have had occasional success with Reddit and StumbleUpon.

    Reddit readers like to comment over on Reddit instead of on your own post, and seem to like posts that draw discussion and disagreement. Some will vote up, some will vote down. Your page will be seen on a topic page according to the votes it's getting.

    StumbleUpon viewers (I hesitate to call them readers) keep seeing random pages recommended for them, until something catches their eye. Imagery (photos and videos) are big there, along with short posts. If a viewer gives your page a thumbs-up, it will be shown to other viewers.

    Give each service a try to see what they're like, and to get a feel for what the folks there do. But you can't just promote your own links, or you may be banned, so regularly promote pages on other sites.

  3. I think I am doing most of that – but feel now I must just persist – that is a lesson in and of itself. Persist – don't give up – blog regularly – keep it short (<500 words), topical and open-ended – invite debate – never closed ended.

  4. Another thought: We're not just trying to get loads of random people to our blogs. As Andrew Jones aka Tall Skinny Kiwi writes here, it's not about racking up numbers — it's about getting the right readers, the ones the Lord wants you to connect with.

    So here's a suggestion: Pray for your blog, asking God to connect you with the right people.

  5. Another thought: We're not just trying to get loads of random people to our blogs. As Andrew Jones aka Tall Skinny Kiwi writes here, it's not about racking up numbers — it's about getting the right readers, the ones the Lord wants you to connect with.

    So here's a suggestion: Pray for your blog, asking God to connect you with the right people.

  6. I just changed my website, so that when you click on blog, it redirects to blogger.

    What are the pros/cons of this? Any feedback??
    <a href="http://www.speakinggraceonline.com” target=”_blank”>www.speakinggraceonline.com

  7. I just changed my website, so that when you click on blog, it redirects to blogger.

    What are the pros/cons of this? Any feedback??
    <a href="http://www.speakinggraceonline.com” target=”_blank”>www.speakinggraceonline.com

  8. I just changed my website, so that when you click on blog, it redirects to blogger.

    What are the pros/cons of this? Any feedback??
    http://www.speakinggraceonline.com

  9. Tweeted my blog entry from Tuesday. Curious to see if it generates any traction. http://jerryfultz.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/buildi

    Would really like to see RSS covered in detail in this project. So many blogs I try to subscribe to have broken RSS links, or misdirect somehow. RSS is the main way I view blog posts, and I'd be subscribing to more if I could get clean access to their subscription tool.

  10. Tweeted my blog entry from Tuesday. Curious to see if it generates any traction. http://jerryfultz.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/buildi

    Would really like to see RSS covered in detail in this project. So many blogs I try to subscribe to have broken RSS links, or misdirect somehow. RSS is the main way I view blog posts, and I'd be subscribing to more if I could get clean access to their subscription tool.

  11. I took rc2k's advice and signed up for twitter feed so that all my posts would publish straight to my facebook fan page. They were already posting to twitter. I am eager to see how it works out.

    Here is my post today:
    http://campfirecowboyministries.com/2010/05/how-t

    Thanks to everyone for dropping by and commenting. Yesterday was the biggest comment day I ever had.

  12. well since we are on the topic of promotion; I set us a Digg for my post that some you already know of and have commented at – thanks for that. Please help get a few more diggs by promoting it or even adding your own diggs: My Bucket List:http://digg.com/d31QJdP?t
    I have yet to see many referrals from Digg, so this will be a good opportunity to see if it can be useful.

    shot

    • Hmmm, Digg, definitely does not work for me – even if I use Twitter, facebook or direct requests. In this case I got 4 referrals from Digg but the Digg count remains on 1.
      This is the problem with promotion – everyone wants to be promoted but not willing to promote others.
      So here is my offer: Forget about my request. You tell me what you want me to promote and I will help you out.

  13. I posted this idea to someone the other day. I sometimes have a hard time finding pictures that are relevant to the subject I am posting about. I started using flickr and only searching in the Creative Commons. Most of the time, I can find awesome pictures. I usually send the person an email telling them thanks for letting me use their photo. I provide a link to the post and encourage them to send the link to friends so that they can see how God is using their talents.

    I have never had anyone ask me to take a picture off the blog. I always link the photo back to their flickr homepage and attribute it to them. It's turned out to be a win-win situation.

    Hope this helps.

    • I also primarily use Creative Commons searches on flickr for my images. I post a note on the photo page, but I hadn't thought of directly emailing the person. I especially like the way you point their talents back to God!

      I've had just one person ask me to remove a picture. I quickly found a suitable replacement on flickr.

    • These are good ideas! Thanks!

    • I also primarily use Creative Commons searches on flickr for my images. I post a note on the photo page, but I hadn't thought of directly emailing the person. I especially like the way you point their talents back to God!

      I've had just one person ask me to remove a picture. I quickly found a suitable replacement on flickr.

    • I also primarily use Creative Commons searches on flickr for my images. I post a note on the photo page, but I hadn't thought of directly emailing the person. I especially like the way you point their talents back to God!

      I've had just one person ask me to remove a picture. I quickly found a suitable replacement on flickr.

  14. Forhttp://www.theorganizedartist.blogspot.com I normally post to twitter and facebook. I have made sure to @ recognize any twitter users that I mention in my blog (PWilson, NancyLBeach, etc.) I like that through Google Analytics I can track how effective my Facebook and Twitter promos have been.

    One other tool I use is to send a short email to the people I feel will be most impacted by the post. For example, on a ministry team blog I post a weekly "preparing our hearts" post that I want each team member to read before Sunday. Once that post is up I go to my Planning Center people list and send a mass email to the team with a link to the post. I see a direct impact on the days that those emails go out on the number of visits to my blog. Many of these people don't seem to be aware that they can subscribe to receive emails of the blog posts but that is an upcoming post to them! :)

    I'd love to find out if any of you have found tools to educate non-blog readers to find user friendly access to your posts/blog?

  15. Forhttp://www.theorganizedartist.blogspot.com I normally post to twitter and facebook. I have made sure to @ recognize any twitter users that I mention in my blog (PWilson, NancyLBeach, etc.) I like that through Google Analytics I can track how effective my Facebook and Twitter promos have been.

    One other tool I use is to send a short email to the people I feel will be most impacted by the post. For example, on a ministry team blog I post a weekly "preparing our hearts" post that I want each team member to read before Sunday. Once that post is up I go to my Planning Center people list and send a mass email to the team with a link to the post. I see a direct impact on the days that those emails go out on the number of visits to my blog. Many of these people don't seem to be aware that they can subscribe to receive emails of the blog posts but that is an upcoming post to them! :)

    I'd love to find out if any of you have found tools to educate non-blog readers to find user friendly access to your posts/blog?

  16. Forhttp://www.theorganizedartist.blogspot.com I normally post to twitter and facebook. I have made sure to @ recognize any twitter users that I mention in my blog (PWilson, NancyLBeach, etc.) I like that through Google Analytics I can track how effective my Facebook and Twitter promos have been.

    One other tool I use is to send a short email to the people I feel will be most impacted by the post. For example, on a ministry team blog I post a weekly "preparing our hearts" post that I want each team member to read before Sunday. Once that post is up I go to my Planning Center people list and send a mass email to the team with a link to the post. I see a direct impact on the days that those emails go out on the number of visits to my blog. Many of these people don't seem to be aware that they can subscribe to receive emails of the blog posts but that is an upcoming post to them! :)

    I'd love to find out if any of you have found tools to educate non-blog readers to find user friendly access to your posts/blog?

  17. Here is my latest post about the power of encouragement--http://bit.ly/aY8m10
    Many of you were a huge source of encouragement to me yesterday by not only stopping by to read my post, but by taking the time to comment. Thank you so much. Paul, I am so glad you had this idea, not just because it will make me a better blogger, but because it has introduced me to many friends that I will follow long after our 31 day project is over!

    • You're welcome, Nolan. I'm glad you decided to participate. I've facilitated several group blogging projects over the last couple of years, and none of them even came even close to the level of interactivity that we're seeing so far with 31DBBB – people posting comments here, going to other bloggers blogs & posting comments, etc. It's totally blowing me away! I really I've had very little to do with it. You and other participants are serving one another in unbelievable ways.

    • You're welcome, Nolan. I'm glad you decided to participate. I've facilitated several group blogging projects over the last couple of years, and none of them even came even close to the level of interactivity that we're seeing so far with 31DBBB – people posting comments here, going to other bloggers blogs & posting comments, etc. It's totally blowing me away! I really I've had very little to do with it. You and other participants are serving one another in unbelievable ways.

  18. Wow!!! 120 comments on this string! Got your work cut out for you Paul.. I posted a blog about promoting my blog on my site. Not alot of deep insight but it is my basic opinion. http://guardraildamageahead.com/day-3-of-31-days-

  19. Up until recently I have not done much to promote my blog, although there has not been much to promote. I have added the listing to my email signature, linked it to my face book page and our church website. I have also occasionally tweeted a new entry.

    I cannot say any of these have been that successful… yet!

    Other than that I have a lot to learn and implement to gain the exposure for my writing that I would like.

  20. I only promote through Twitter at the moment. I am really bad about leaving comments on other blogs. I read their posts, but don't often comment. Kinda same with Twitter, I may see something that I could RT to help get out my profile, but I just keep on going. Today I am trying to figure out a Facebook page and eventually I'll do a LinkedIn page. I do have those accounts and use as my personal pages, but I'd rather not mix my blog with my personal life. I will promote my blog here and there in my personal life when I feel it's time.
    Today I am Tweeting about my list post from yesterday:http://knowyourstory.net/2010/05/04/day-4-of-my-o

  21. I realize that my blog is a small niche blog and not for everyone so my promotion is limited to my twitter feed and commenting on other blogs.

  22. There are a number of excellent ideas that I have already gleaned from the comments made so far. I normally use facebook, twitter, linkedin, network blogs and a number of other social networking tools. I also comment on other blogs and guest post every so often. The only thing that I did not seem to see covered in the comments or the lesson so far is using offline resources such as word of mouth, print magazines/articles, brochures and such. I use these as the opportunity comes my way and have seen some results.

  23. Like a few people have mentioned, I am new to blogging and so I have decided to promote it once I am comfortable at posting content regularly.

    I have actually been using Google Buzz quite frequently and feel like for gmail users this could be another great avenue to promote blog posts.
    Any thoughts on using Google Buzz? Anybody use it yet for promoting your blog posts?

  24. Hello everyone!
    1- To promote yesterdays baby dedication post I tweeted, and usedhttp://www.christianchirp.com a christian version of twitter. I also facebooked it and posted for a potenital tweet trade on Twitter Moms….
    2 Tweet swaps on twitter are most sucessful plus posting on their site links of relevance.
    3 I am still looking for innovative ways=) I DO like the blog loops like word filled wednesdays eachweek. We swap commnets well….

    Here is the post .
    http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/05/word-

    Thanks!

  25. Hello everyone!
    1- To promote yesterdays baby dedication post I tweeted, and usedhttp://www.christianchirp.com a christian version of twitter. I also facebooked it and posted for a potenital tweet trade on Twitter Moms….
    2 Tweet swaps on twitter are most sucessful plus posting on their site links of relevance.
    3 I am still looking for innovative ways=) I DO like the blog loops like word filled wednesdays eachweek. We swap commnets well….

    Here is the post .
    http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/05/word-

    Thanks!

  26. Hello everyone!
    1- To promote yesterdays baby dedication post I tweeted, and usedhttp://www.christianchirp.com a christian version of twitter. I also facebooked it and posted for a potenital tweet trade on Twitter Moms….
    2 Tweet swaps on twitter are most sucessful plus posting on their site links of relevance.
    3 I am still looking for innovative ways=) I DO like the blog loops like word filled wednesdays eachweek. We swap commnets well….

    Here is the post .
    http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/05/word-

    Thanks!

  27. I have always used Facebook and e-newsletters to promote my blog. They have both produced about the same number of responses. I have never promoted my blog by posting on someone else's blog. I guess it is worth a shot.

    I also made it to where my blogger is now found through my website. Has anyone else done this? Any pros or cons?
    http://www.speakinggraceonline.com

  28. My comments keep disappearing.

  29. Promotion is a problem for me, too. My blog entries post to Twitter automatically, and they usually post to Facebook. I also leave comments on other blogs, hoping they will come visit mine.

    I have just started adding blogs to my blogroll. I am hoping that as I add others, they will add me.

  30. What did you do to promote your list post from yesterday?
    I always post my articles to Facebook under both my personal account and my business account. I also post to Twitter at least once, Stumble Upon, Digg, Delicious, MySpace, Tumblr, and Reddit. I'm now posting it to several other blogs for links.

    What ways of promoting blog posts have you found to be most successful?
    Facebook and StumbleUpon have been the biggest referrers.

  31. What did you do to promote your list post from yesterday?
    I always post my articles to Facebook under both my personal account and my business account. I also post to Twitter at least once, Stumble Upon, Digg, Delicious, MySpace, Tumblr, and Reddit. I'm now posting it to several other blogs for links.

    What ways of promoting blog posts have you found to be most successful?
    Facebook and StumbleUpon have been the biggest referrers.

  32. Because I didn't think the original list post I wrote here on Christian Web Trends (6 Things I Learned on Day 1) would gain much traction outside of our group, I wrote another one I thought would be more fun to promote:

    25 Ways @BritneySpears @BarackObama @RickWarren Expose Terrorists who Caused #GulfOilSpill, Take Ur Blog Viral w #iPhone http://blog.ourchurch.com/2010/05/06/25-ways-brit

    It's fully of cheesy gimmicks to try to get others to click, read, and share it. I posted it to Facebook, tweeted about it twice each with @OurChurchDotCom and @PaulSteinbrueck. I emailed our blog subscribers. Bookmarked it on several social bookmarking sites. It hasn't taken off, though, at least not yet.

  33. Because I didn't think the original list post I wrote here on Christian Web Trends (6 Things I Learned on Day 1) would gain much traction outside of our group, I wrote another one I thought would be more fun to promote:

    25 Ways @BritneySpears @BarackObama @RickWarren Expose Terrorists who Caused #GulfOilSpill, Take Ur Blog Viral w #iPhone http://blog.ourchurch.com/2010/05/06/25-ways-brit

    It's fully of cheesy gimmicks to try to get others to click, read, and share it. I posted it to Facebook, tweeted about it twice each with @OurChurchDotCom and @PaulSteinbrueck. I emailed our blog subscribers. Bookmarked it on several social bookmarking sites. It hasn't taken off, though, at least not yet.

  34. Ok, I'm behind again. Today I set up a Twitter account and a little while ago I tweeted my list post.
    Other than having my RSS feed in a couple of places on my Inspirational Gift Gallery web site, I never promoted my blog posts before. I need to start doing that from now on.
    I have been promoting both my blog and my web site in my signature on articles I write and emails I send.
    I will have to sign up with Facebook and start commenting on other blogs too!

  35. I read some excellent posts and I think this is encouraging. However, I want people that are interested in Christian life that actually visit my bloghttp://www.christchosenambassadorsministry.com/ap
    Keep it up.

  36. I read some excellent posts and I think this is encouraging. However, I want people that are interested in Christian life that actually visit my bloghttp://www.christchosenambassadorsministry.com/ap
    Keep it up.

  37. Here's another method for creating traffic to your site I'd forgotten about (and confess I haven't read all the comments so may have missed)…

    - StumbleUpon.

    I've been reminded of it today because my daily unique page views have gone from 20'ish before the 31DBBB to mid 30's during the first 5 days to >130 today (and climbing) due to a twitter friend reviewing my page at StumbleUpon ….

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