You write for your blog every day for months, but you are not seeing the traffic you would like. You know you can advertise for your blog to gain traffic, but you don’t have the money to do that, so how do you get your blog name out there so people will read what you write?
There are many ways you can connect with other bloggers and readers and get noticed, even for free! If you do some research on your own you will find blogs that list “99 Ways to Promote Your Blog For Free” and they list Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, this blog directory, that blog directory, and so on. Some of my tips could be split up into 5+ tips if I wanted, but I am not looking for numbers here, just to help you!
Use social media. We talked last week about how social media can get your content noticed by readers and other bloggers. Make sure you take advantage of these valuable resources.
Write guest posts. One of the best ways to get more people to read your posts is to write posts for other sites. Some blogs will even say that you need to write more for other blogs than your own blog in the beginning. Usually, when you write a guest post, you are able to put a link in your bio back to your blog, meaning that if someone reads your post and likes it, they click your link to see more. Make sure though that you are writing great posts and posting them on relevant sites. If you are a parenting blog, you don’t want to post on a technology blog. You can stretch it a little, for example you can write on food blogs if you are talking about feeding kids, or craft blogs if you are talking about crafts to do with kids. Also, if you wouldn’t post it on your blog, don’t send it as a guest post.
Allow guest posts on your blog. Guest posting works for both the writer and the blog owner. You don’t have to write the content and your readers get to read content from someone new. If you have a badge, you can allow those that have posted on your site, to display the badge on their site. You guest blogger will also (hopefully) promote the post to their readers, attracting them to your blog to read the post.
Link Swaps. Speaking of badges, some blogs (mine included) will participate in link swaps. What this is, if you look toward the top of my page in the sidebar, there is a place that says “check out these great blogs”. My badge is posted on their site and I display their badge on my site. My only suggestion with this is to make sure that the site you are linking to is relevant and not spammy. As with everything else, check the link!
Comment on other blogs. Have you ever commented on other blogs? Have you noticed that most blogs have a place for you to add your URL, make sure you do it. You can even make the link specific if you have written a post related to the post you are commenting on. Believe it or not, a lot of people get traffic this way.
Comment on blogs with “commentluv” enabled. I have this feature on my blog, it allows you to leave a link to your most recent blog post (or choose from the last 10, depending on your subscription and the blog owner’s preference). It is also great for finding other great content! I almost always read the post linked at the bottom of posts.
Join forums. Join forums that are related to your blog topic and include your blog URL in your signature. My favorite forum is from TopMommyBlogs. This is geared towards parenting bloggers, but has a great forum if you fall into this category. If you have questions, want to do reviews or giveaways (or host them), and so much more. Their forum is called “the lounge”, but it is a great resource.
Join directories. Again, I love TopMommyBlogs for this, but there are a lot of them. I like TopMommyBlogs because you get votes for everyone who clicks on a banner from your site (see the sidebar or bottom of any post), then blogs are listed in order of popularity. You can get one vote per person per 24 hour period. PicketFenceBlogs is another great site that you earn vote for clicks. There are other directories, if you have joined any, leave them in the comments and I will check them out and maybe add them here.
Join syndication sites. These can be great, if you have the time to deal with them. I just don’t have a lot of time to post my posts on each site. Mom Bloggers Club and BlogHer are great sites for this, but the issue is for your content to show up on the site, you have to “write” a post again. This can be time consuming and it feels like you are trying to run more blogs. Working full time from home and having a one-year-old just don’t make this very easy. Basically, what you can do with these sites is re-post your blog posts from your blog onto these sites to get more readers, but you have to participate and comment on other posts. Again, it’s like running another blog for each of these sites.
Make pinnable images. Even if you don’t want to join pinterest, if you make pinnable images, others can pin them for you.
Make your posts shareable. I have been to so many blogs that do not have the icons to share posts easily. Without these it’s hard to share a post I love with my readers and friends. Make sure you have a plugin to allow sharing.
Link to other blogs. Some blogs allow pingbacks or trackbacks when you link to their blog. This adds a link to your post after their post, letting them and their readers know you wrote about them or referenced them in your post. Bloggers love this (at least I do), and may even return the favor and link to you in one of their posts.
Share your link in your email signature. How many emails do you send a day? If you include a link to your blog in your email signature, some people may click on it just to see what it’s all about. You may not get a lot of interaction this way, but you never know!
Post consistently and regularly. The best way to get traffic is if your readers know when you are going to be posting new stuff. I am not saying you have to write everyday (though you should in the beginning until you start getting a following), but you need to write on a regular basis. If you post every Monday, then consistently post every Monday. If you post 3 days this week then you don’t post at all for a week and then post 2 days a week, and so on, your readers will not know when to come looking for new posts.
Allow readers to sign-up for email updates. The best way to get readers to return to your site is to allow them to sign up for email updates if they want. I offer my readers to sign up for weekly emails, which I send out on Friday. I don’t spam them, and I don’t say that I will send them one email a week then send them 5. This is also better than them getting an email every time I post something, I find this annoying. I send out an email every Friday with quick summaries of every post from the week, with links to them in the newsletter.
There you have it, 15 great and effective ways to promote your blog for free. Try them and see how they work for you, and come back and let me know.
How do you promote your blog? Do you use any tricks I didn’t list?
Make sure you check out the introduction to the series to see what other great tips and tricks I have shared!