A Beginners Guide – How to Promote Your Blog

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When you start a new blog the most important task is to promote your blog and yet many people fail in doing that. A good blog promotion strategy is to spend 80% time in promotion and 20% time in content creation.

When you start a blog you might have heard that content is the king and if your content is great you will get the visitor for search engines and your blog will take off like anything. Welcome to the SEO world where many thing does not depend solely on content.

Yes if your content is great you will get visitors from search engine but not before they start trusting you, and they will not trust you at the start of your blog. You need to prove that you are trust worthy and you will do that by promoting your blog.

When bloggers create a blog, they usually get stuck with many non-required activities. These activities takes a lot of time with not so much gain and take away an opportunity to promote a blog.

Before starting how to promote I want to point out some activities which every new blogger should avoid doing.

Things which should be avoided

1. Design Changes

Yes design is really important and has to be done but not right away. You need the traffic first on your blog. Many new blogger stuck in design changes, updating siderbar many times a day, changing colors, tweaking header to check which is looking better.

Time UsageImage Credit: renjith krishnan

You should work on the design at the start and once you have it complete at one level, than leave it at that. Don’t make frequent changes, leave it as it is for few months and work on promoting the blog.

2. Checking Visitor Stats

Every new blogger gets obsessed with visitor stats, you install many stats plugins like Google Analytics, Jetpack etc. You want to have a look how many times you are checking stats in a day.

I bet many new blogger would be checking stats multiple times a day and to tell you truth a new blog will have 20-30 visitor a day. Yes you will be happy to see that a new person has visited your blog but if you spend that time promoting your blog, you can get many more people to visit your blog.

Don’t forget that if you check once in a day or once in a week, numbers will remain same. There is no gain in checking it multiple times a day.

3. Checking if Site is working correctly

This is another time wasting activity. Make a list how many time you visit your blog to make sure everything is running fine there. Once you have created a blog and hosted it, don’t worry things will run fine.

There is no way an hosted blog is going to go down or any bad thing going to happen. Yes, there are hacking, server down and some other issue can happen but it can’t happen as frequent as multiple time a day. Once in day is a good frequency to visit your blog and other time you should be on other blogs to promote your blog.

Once you have stopped doing these activities, you can start promoting your blog. Let me tell you from my experience that a new blog can get a good amount of traffic if you promote it correctly. I usually receive 60% traffic from promotion activities, 20% from SEO and rest from some other traffic source. So you can see promotion is one of the main activities to get traffic for a new blog.

Ways to promote your blog

Here are the promotion techniques which I use for my blogs.

1. Commenting

This is very simple yet effective technique to generate traffic for your blog, but this has to be done carefully. Only activity require is to visit other blogs, read the articles and leave thoughtful comments.

Why I said you need to be careful is, you don’t want your comments to be marked spam. These days many blogs use common spam reduction plugins and if your comments got marked as spam at one blog it can be treated as spam on other blogs also.

Also you want to leave a thoughtful and meaningful comment as it will be the prime thing which will bring traffic to your blog. Don’t post thanks, great post kind of comments as they don’t add anything to the other blog and does not give anything to you also. You will find that most traffic will come through by the thoughtful comments left by you.

Now you may want to do this with little strategy, If you publish a post you may want to generate some backlinks for it and a good way to find the related posts on other blog and do add some comments there to get the relevant backlinks. I use Market Samurai which can find the relevant content where you can add comments for promotion.

Other good way is to find Commentluv enable blogs as they provide extra backlink and many blog will give you a keyword based link. Commentluv Premium plugin gives you some extra option and its a handy tool for blog commenting.

2. Guest Post

This is a great way to generate traffic and backlinks for your blog. The only issue you will face is not every blog except guest post, but there are enough blogs where you can go and do the guest post.

This is one of the most used and misused technique. If you decide to guest post you will look for good traffic blogs to post so that you can get some traffic back to your blog but people end up sending stuff which they don’t consider for their site.

If you don’t think the post can be used on your blog than it can’t be used on other blog. It works in other way, If there is a post which you really want to be on your blog, give it away.

Guest post comes with many benefits, if other blog allows you can get backlinks within the contents. But it needs to be highly relevant to the contents otherwise its better to get the links in author byline.

3. Forum Marketing

This is one of the great way to generate backlinks and traffic but does requires some effort. You can join successful forums in your niche and start interacting with members. Most of the forums allow adding a link to your blog in your signatures (do check the rules first) which can generate good amount of backlinks for your blogs.

Also if you start helping people in those forums, you will see a good amount of traffic coming to your blog also. If you are not sure about which forum you should participate, Market Samurai can help finding the forums for you.

The basic thing is that you should work in forums to help people, other things will come automatically.

4. Network with Bloggers

This is another way to gain some authority in your niche. Meet the established bloggers in your niche, give an generous appreciation to the work they have done, share your point of view with them. With the time you will see that you will start getting the returns of your work.

It can be a tough task as you need to make sure that they will take notice of you, one way is commenting on their blogs or there are bloggers networks like Blog Engage to help you in this task. You can participate at Blog Engage and get to know other bloggers, it requires a one time fees of $30 to join a very active community. There are some other free networks like Blokube or BizSugar.

5. Article Directories

There are many article directories where you can submit the articles. This is a good way to generate backlinks and get some traffic. This was one of the best method to promote a blog earlier but now with Google punishing for duplicate contents, it has lost its charm.

Still has certain benefits and can give some exposure to the blog.

6. Promote your blog with Social Networking

Social Networking is one of the main ways a blog can gain traffic. It can be little time consuming in starting to create an network on social platform but you can take social networks one at a time.

Social media concept to promote a blog

© arrow - Fotolia.com

You need to start promoting your blog from the beginning, in the start you may not see much gain but you will reap the benefit later on.

There are many social networks these days, you can create a fan page at Facebook, Twitter, Digg and Stumbleupon account for your blog. Just creating account is not enough, you need to involve and gain some friends, create an network there. Take it step by step and you will be able to work it out.

7. YAHOO ANSWERS

This can be a good way to generate some traffic, you can join the yahoo group and start giving answers in your niche. This has a long term gain as Yahoo Answers allow to add a link to your blog and you will see people will come from the answers you have provided there.

You can have an hour or 2-3 hours a week dedicated to this activity. Just browse through yahoo answers in your allocated time and start adding your answers.

8. COMPETITION AND GIVEAWAY

This can be a good way to gain some exposure though it requires some initial investment. You can get away with the investment if you can find some sponsors for your competitions or Giveaway, but it is really tough at the start of the blog.

Competition and Giveaway can be an huge traffic generator if promoted correctly. Yes you heard it right, you need to promote it also, you need to let the world know that you are running a competition and giveaway.

Also you need to make sure that the prize which you are offering is of any use for you later on, the page for the competition or giveaway will be there after that so you might want to offer an affiliate product or something which can be utilized later on.

9. SPONSORSHIP

This is another good method to generate some traffic, at the start of the blog its hard to get traffic for your competition and giveaway events. So an easy way is to sponsor another competition or giveaway.

I know sponsorship sounds like a big word but you can sponsor events with as little as $25, just look for other blogs in your niche and see what events are running there which you can sponsor. Sponsorship can give you some traffic and backlinks for your blog.

These are the way you can promote your blogs, try these blog promotion methods and share how it works out for you.

About Sanjeev Mohindra

Welcome to MakeWebWorld! I am Sanjeev, a blogger and Technical Consultant in Software Industry. This blog will provide help and tutorials for creating your web space, Wordpress tutorials, social media management, video marketing or SEO tips. You can connect with me or subscribe to MakeWebWorld free tips.

Comments

  1. says

    You have almost covered many ways to build a beginner blog. I would like to say that guest posting should be preferred to blog commenting as guest posting will give valuable readers, backlinks as well as traffic too. Submitting videos of the blog content to popular video sites and submitting docs to document sharing sites also helps to promote blog. Thanks for the posts. Have a Nice Day

    • says

      Thanks Asim, Video Marketing is turning a big factor in blog marketing. YouTube and other video sharing site can generate a good amount of traffic if done correctly.

  2. Nikita Mishra says

    I never tried the yahoo answer thing. I’ll try it out. It seems a good trick. And guest posting is also a good way to generate good amount of traffic. The points you mentioned are very important for every blogger. Thanks for this valuable article!

    • says

      Thanks for checking it out. Yes, Guest Posting is a great way to generate good amount of traffic…I also had a good amount of success with it.

  3. says

    if guest posting just provides a backlink then why dont people just comment on other blogs doesent that provide backlink as well ( if they have comment luv) ?

    • says

      Guest Posting can do many other things, it can bring you a lot more traffic than commenting. Also links in content is much more valuable then the links in comment section..

  4. says

    Actually your 1st and 2nd point seems very true for every new blogger because we are very curious to know how many visitor see our article, how they react on article.Did they like our theme or our article etc…
    But when time goes and your blog having 1 year or more you check status within weeks because you already have a idea how many visitor get this week or month.So this article is very helpful for newbies because they did all these steps

    • says

      Ya, Most of the new bloggers does spend lot of time in checking the stats and trying to create reactions on their sites…with time we do get better on this…

      • says

        I disagree with you. It is nothing new but definitely not a standard. Most blogs use no video. That is why you can create good video content and rank better than most blogs without it. Also, your user time shoots way up with video. Plus you can use these external sites to drive traffic back to your blog.

        • says

          Ya, I agree…it does add a lot to your site but for me it is an essential part of blogging, which has to be done…
          On the second thought I understand that many sites does not use video’s where they should be and we can defiantly gain upper hand with it..

  5. says

    Great post! You’re absolutely right. In the beginning people spend a lot of time on little design elements or tweeking content, because they want to get things perfect. But you need to make sure you get some visitors first. This is truely the best peace of advice for beginners.

  6. says

    Simply, the post has benefits in its own. You really inspired me how to blog perfectly. Blog promotion helped me a lot. I follow your instructions from presently to gain my aim. Thanks for sharing this. :)

  7. says

    Wow Sanjeev, Great Work , that was really helpful for beginner.
    Guest post and Yaho answer is the best way to get people attention , Even Commenting can also bring people attention.

    • says

      Hi Vishnu, I put Guest posting on top of my list as it gives quality backlinks and good exposure for your blog. Yahoo answers, commenting and forum posting can also bring good attention…

  8. says

    Killer promotion tips …

    Truly said that changing the design frequently will distract the loyal readers as everytime they need to adjust to a new design.

    • says

      Yes and it is a distraction for webmasters also. They waste lot of time in changing design where that time can be utilized to create content or blog promotion.

  9. says

    Awesome article! I will definitely be trying some of these tips. I seem to be hearing about market samurai more and more but have yet to try it out. Do you think it is worth the money?

  10. garry says

    thnx for these valuable tips can u tell something more about article directories ?

  11. says

    Hey Sanjeev,

    As of now I’m focusing on SEO my content, commenting, utilizing the power of social media.
    These 3 methods made my blog from nonexistence to around Alexa traffic 1mill in 4 months or so.

    great share, excellent tips!

    Keep ‘em coming!

    akos

    • says

      Hi Akos, Social media and commenting is really a great way to promote your content. I would suggest to try guest posting also, it can be one of the most powerful way to promote your content.

  12. says

    Very useful advice for newcomers. I know I have wasted a lot of time playing with themes, site layouts, etc but I guess that’s all part of the learning curve. The words of an old pop song “the more I find out the less I know” seems fitting since with online marketing there is always something more to learn. When I look at stuff I did 6 months ago I’m thinking “boy if I’d known then what I know now” and I guess in 5-10 years I will look back on today’s efforts with the same thoughts.

    There’s a wealth of useful information on your site so I will be spending time here learning.

  13. says

    It is very easy to promote blogs, yet can be very time consuming in a way. Since there are lots of strategies available, many people can surely maximize the benefit of each technique that they will choose.

  14. Blogging Tipster says

    Hi Sanjeev, design is very important for blog promotion as readers tend to be very judgemental on blog design. But as you rightly said, its important not to get stuck only with blog design, especially for newbie bloggers.

    • Sanjeev says

      Yes, I have seen many bloggers including me, getting obsessed with the blog design. It is important to certain limit after that it becomes overhead.

  15. says

    Howdy Sanjeev,

    It hurts to be guilty of your “don’t dos” – but you are absolutely right – it’s not productive to be obsessively tweaking the header and checking stats.

    When I interviewed Danny Iny he said the one big change he would have made in his last (incredibly productive) year would be this: spend less time creating content for his own site, and more time promoting.


    Michael

    • says

      I also prefer 80/20 rule. 20% content creation 80% promotion. Though I will not be able to follow it strictly but tries to do a good promotion with each post. In the start it is easy to get traffic from other activities rather than SEO as it takes its own time.
      Hey, Danny is a great guy, the way he come up with that book is awasome. I am reading it right now.

  16. says

    I did a post on a similar topic awhile ago because I can easily get obsessed with design changes, checking stats and checking email. I’d much rather tinker with a graphics change on my site than find blogs to comment on, write guest posts or the other things that help me promote, they’re just not as much fun, consequently I waste time on them :-(

    The truth is though, promotion is key to success on the web and if it’s hard for you, then make a daily or weekly schedule that you can stick to.

    I’m currently reading the book ‘Zen to Done’ and it’s been a lifesaver for helping me focus on getting those kinds of tasks done each and every day.

    Nice Post, Liz :-)

    • says

      Hi Liz, I also did that in start and always wondered why I don’t have enough time in hand. Once I stopped doing changes and looking for small modifications, I realize that how much time I was wasting. Thanks for Stopping by.

  17. Rishi says

    Nice post Sanjeev!

    I agree with you, but especially about the things a blogger should avoid when starting up. I (unwisely) spent months (and thousands of dollars of time) perfecting my website’s design when I should have been guest posting, commenting, etc.

    Way to keep new bloggers out of trouble!

    • says

      I am also guilty of doing the same, but we learn from our mistakes..:), Yes, at the start main focus should be engaging with new people, promoting the blog, guest posting, commenting etc rather than doing this things.

  18. says

    Good article. I’ve had a lot of success with guest posting. It is by far the highest converting traffic you can get. The key is to land on the first page of a blog.

  19. Rick Castro says

    I haven’t try guest posting. Though, I’ve read several times that it really works. How can I guest post here?

  20. Venkat says

    Good aggregation of all points. Getting listed into search engines if the take off point for any blog. Till then the points that you mentioned are absolutely important to follow.

    Never tried guests posts. Need to know more about them. Btw, observed that you’re using many paid plugins. Would love to know which one helps you the most of all. My guess is comment luv.

    How much does market samurai cost?

    • says

      Extra traffic is always good, even if you are getting organic traffic.

      I do use lot of plugin, I would say CommentLuv Premium is one of the best. I also like Seopressor for the starters, good for starting a blog with SEO in mind.

      Market Samurai, I think the price is $149, but trick is not to buy it upfront. Download the trial version from here and you will have next 7 days to get it for $97. This is a great tool for keyword research and traking compitition or your own site.

    • says

      Thanks Ankit for checking it out, I like to try many methods to promote and generate traffic, and these are some of them. Hope this will help.

  21. says

    Definitely one to bookmark. I’m guilty of checking to see my blog traffic each day. My blog is about 2 months old and already a PR 2, so I’m proud of that. However, I need to take your advice and stop checking. Sometimes this can be really depressing as well as time consuming.

    • says

      Yes, checking stats can be time consuming and depressing some time, I check once in a week and the main aim is to see what keywords are generating traffic so I can optimize them more and where I am loosing people so I can tie up those places. I never worry about number of visits kind of stats as they will grow with the time.

  22. Demi says

    Thanks for sharing this great article. I know how great it is to got a guide like this because it can be very hard to promote your own blog. I had to do it to many times so I also know how it works now but the first few times were quite difficult. Great work!

    • says

      First few times is always difficult, there is a lot which can be done and I am also not using every method till now. Using some and trying to setup some of them. Thanks for liking the post.

  23. says

    I don’t necessarily agree with the part that you should worry about design in the beginning. Yes you shouldn’t spend lot of time on it, but initially you can do some slight things like adding a logo, a good header image etc so that your visitors have something to remember instantly.

    • says

      Hi Nishadha, Thanks for reading this and that’s exactly I want to point out from the article. Give it a initial thought and set it up. Once done don’t try to go and change every little thing, it will setup with time.

      Many times bloggers are guilty to get busy with design and other changes and leave the main work like writing and promoting their content.

  24. says

    Hi Sanjeez,
    Great post, with a lot of ideas I have never implemented.
    I have never tried the forum approach. Although I do belong to forums,
    just never used Yahoo answer. I have heard it is a great source for traffic, just to
    time consuming for me.

    I like the idea of a competition. I will check into this strategy.

    Using other networks is a powerful technique and I have had great results. I will
    look into blogengage

    I totally agree to many people get caught up in the traffic and numbers, rather then the quality of traffic. I would rather have I customer purchase a product then have a million visitors that never purchase anything.

    Thanks for the great article,
    Jeff

    • says

      Yes, Quality of traffic is really important.

      Blogengage is really a good place to meet with other blogger and connect with them, it is something similar to Blokube.

  25. says

    Hey Sanjeev,
    Nice to meet you for the first time.
    Great tips about blog promotion. Agree, we should dedicate time for content creation but also for promotion and connecting with our prospects+ other bloggers.
    Your post is big but it stands up as a pillar piece of content. This thing with writing only short posts is not an absolute truth. Mixing up short and long articles would be better.
    From these strategies I mostly use Blog Commenting, guest posting , and social networking. In time I will move on to others.
    The point is to focus on something and master it:)

    Thanks for sharing,
    Radu

    • says

      Hi Radu, Nice to meet you. Yes one thing at a time is a key. Once a thing is setup we can move to the next.

      For the long articles I also do try to mix it up, though this one stands out of them, Long article can serve it as a pillar content and other can be build around it. It can actually give more than one article for the blog.

  26. says

    Hi Sanjeev,

    This fantastic content really show that you have taken the time to research this post. Thanks for the efforts.

    It’s good to make sure that the blog contents you post on the web are promoted. I particularly sue facebook alot , as well as content sharing/syndication sites like blokube, blogengage, bloginteract etc. They are targeted audience for bloggers and good traffic comes from there.

    Thanks for sharing

    Tosin

    • says

      Thanks Tosin for stopping by, I also do use content sharing sites and its a good traffic gain. I am not much into social sites much till now but I am trying to expand as there we can get a targeted audience.

  27. Sarah Russell says

    Great summary of what’s really important for bloggers! The one thing I’d change slightly though is the assertion that you shouldn’t spend time making sure your site is working correctly.

    I say that because I’ve had some goofy traffic spikes lately that took down my blog (which is hosted on a reseller account where I set the disk space/bandwidth limits). I also do come across the occasional broken link that results from changes made to my site.

    Granted, both of these things are easy fixes (I know have a site monitoring program running to let me know if my site goes down and a WordPress plugin to check for broken links) and a new blogger shouldn’t spend too much time making sure his site is running correctly. However, it definitely still needs to be a concern that people are aware of!

    • says

      Yes and you are right, these things can be automatize. Also I have found that after some time you daily spend some time on the blog to reply comments or publish articles which is a good time to do these activity. Just going to blog to check it is there is a waste of time.

  28. says

    Thanks Sanjeev this is a fantastic list of tips for not only a newbie but anyone who has a blog and wants to generate more traffic.

    It can be difficult to do all your methods at one time, there is only so much time. For me I find if I try a couple of methods out at one time, that way I can also test what’s working and what’s not. I mainly focus on social media to drive traffic but am trying other methods too – I love your competition contest idea so will definitely be looking into that.

    Thanks for sharing lots of great tips:)

    • says

      Thanks Lilach, I agree doing everything together is not possible, step by step is a way to go. I always set one method at a time as once it is setup it takes less time and than I start working on another method.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  29. says

    Hello Sanjeev,

    I had a good laugh at those first three points! I recognised myself doing those exact things in the first few months – very time consuming and not contributing to the success of your blog. Really good ideas here, some for me to implement, thanks!

    • says

      Hi Rachael, I have also guilty of doing these at the start and I always wondered why I am not getting enough time to work on other activities. Once i stopped doing these, there are enough time to promote my blogs.

  30. says

    Sanjeev, I disagree with Catarina, at least in part. You don’t need a separate post of each tip… you just need to cut this post into two parts… makes people have to come back to get the second part, which builds a bit of mystery. You have about 1700 words here — try to shoot for 1,000 or less, in each post.

    Personally, I love stats and numbers so I do spend some time checking them out. And it can get distracting. But most of the other bloggers I know — those who actually aren’t in the geek category — are actually more likely to completely ignore their stats. In fact, one of my clients has been paying $$$ for paid search placement that has only netted her about 5 visits a month. Once we looked at her google analytics stats, it was obvious the majority of her traffic was of the free variety.

    You have to balance promotion with everything else you do for your business. And pay attention to the stats so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

    • says

      I haven’t tried the series posts yet, will look for it.

      Stats are good and I also do checks my stats but once in a week. The first requirement of data analysis is having a good substantial data. So Once I have a data for a week I do check what works and what I can improve but only once in a week. My only point is not overdoing it.

  31. says

    These are great pointers, obsessing over website statistics was definitely my big hurdle to get over. Its addictive but really drains you of time and creativity.

    • says

      Yes and most of the time new bloggers waste two much time, checking stats in each half an hour etc, which is not required. That time should be invested in creating articles or promoting the blog.

  32. Catarina says

    Good guide and advise for someone that’s new to blogging.

    If I were you I would have written 9 different posts about it and explained more in detail about each section for new bloggers. As it is the article is far too long for social media and you will hence lose some of them before they get to the end. My background is in media so I’m used to writing long articles but online articles have to be short if you want to be read.

    • says

      Thanks for the suggestion Catarina, I was thinking about running a series on promotion strategies. I will try to implement it there.

  33. says

    Good tips on blog promotion. I would also add that checking your analytics too often can become a time wasting activity as all. So resist the temptation to do that. Also, you can install a local version of your blog to test out design changes before putting it live. Then try to limit your updating activities to the low traffic times. You can tell when traffic usually dips from your analytics. Usually a friday evening or saturday morning is generally a good time to make some changes.

    • says

      Hi Richard, I also favor local installation to test the changes, it is more important if changes relates to PHP as it can make the blog non-functional. I always keep a local version to do my changes.