We’ve all experienced the disappointment of spending some serious time and effort carefully crafting an awesome blog post, only to have it sit untouched and unloved when the audiences just don’t show up. Businesses find a particularly challenging road to getting eyes on their blogs since most of their blogs are simply self serving advertisements that people will actually go out of their way to avoid.
Still, for the businesses that are actually putting out useful audience-first content, there are 3 VERY easy things you can do after every blog post that will up the chances that people will at least know your content exists. These are simple, fast, and free. None of them will suddenly drop thousands of eyes onto your blog where there were no views before, but they will definitely give you that little push to get you started with building an audience for your blog!
1. Post the URL to Google + – This is one of those things we ALL know we should be doing, and yet – in a world of Facebook and Twitter, we never really remember to do, and that’s a shame. It’s no huge secret that Google gives extra “Google Juice” to the products it owns, and in an attempt to get us all to “finally come around” to the red-headed step child of a social network, Google gives content posted on Google + a little extra power over content posted on the more popular networks.
Admittedly, there aren’t as many people who are going to see your post there (I’ve heard people joke that if Facebook is a bustling world of it’s own, you could probably fire off a cannon on Google +’s main thoroughfare and not hit anyone), but that’s not really what you are for. The biggest reason to post your article on Google + is to get it quickly indexed and moved a few paces forward on Google.
That’s not to say that there aren’t any human eyes on Google + though. I keep finding articles about people (some of them are even major influencers in the business, marketing, and tech worlds) who actually prefer the platform over the more commercialized Facebook and Twitter, so definitely, make sure that what you post there still makes sense for human consumption. Still, for those of us to believe in keeping things simple, focus on Facebook and Twitter for human audiences, and Google + for technical reasons.
2. Ping the article on Ping-O-Matic- Easily one of the most overlooked ways to get your blog some extra attention is to make sure that the major blog directories are indexing it. Ping-O-Matic is a great (free) services that allows you to enter your blog URL (and/or your RSS feed) in a simple form, and then click the “Ping” button at the bottom of the page. Ping-O-Matic will then update a dozen or so of the most popular and powerful search engines that you recently added new content. It literally takes 3 seconds for Ping-O-Matic to do a task that would take you a couple of hours to do yourself!
3. Shorten the URL and then post it on LinkedIn- This one isn’t a hack per se, and it doesn’t really do much to help bring the power of the search engines to your site, but in terms of getting actual HUMANS to read your blog (which, by the way, is the ultimate goal that so often gets lost in today’s SEO obsessed world), you can get some really good results from LinkedIn.
Bit.ly is a free online service that not only shortens your URL, but also adds some great tracking features. Once you enter your URL and Bit.ly shortens it, you can copy and past the shortened version of the URL pretty much anywhere you like. In this case, you’ll want to post it to LinkedIn, both on your business page and on your personal feed. LinkedIn will past a preview which should have your blog title showing. Make sure that before you post, you also add some sort of attention grabbing text as to why you think your network will benefit from your blog. Nothing screams “I’m not really trying!” like posting a random link to LinkedIn with no explanation as to why you are posting it, or why we should car.
After posting, check back with your Bit.ly account. Whenever people click your shortened Bit.ly link, Bit.ly will keep track and let you know. This is a great way to see how many people have read your post, keep track of when you are getting more reads, and compare what content you have shared is actually resonating more with your LinkedIn network.
Likewise, when your content is useful, pertinent , or just amusing, LinkedIn audiences are often more likely to share that content with their own networks since being associated with good content (by sharing it) makes them look good with their contacts as well. I know that I’ve had MUCH more traction on building my brand on LinkedIn than on all my other social networks combined, and every time I post particularly strong content, my network …and my brand grows!
Now, here’s the trick: If your content isn’t any good, these three tricks aren’t going to help you, but they sure can HURT you. If you drive eyes to your blog and then ambush your readers with self serving advertising …or utter crap…you will scare them all away. That means that even if your next post, or the post after are “good content”, you will have already burned the bridge, and that’s a bridge that’s really hard to rebuild.Make sure that you have good content, and that you have some sort of call to action before you do anything to get your blog in front of new eyes!
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