A lot of bloggers these days don’t want to use ads and sponsored posts to promote their content.
You might have read umpteen posts advising bloggers to advertise their content intelligently across platforms. Harsh has also suggested quite a few variations of this practice.
That said, advertising is not the only way you can boost your blog’s popularity. There are many other sustainable ways to get your blog into the Bloggers Hall of Fame and steadily improve your traffic and visibility without over-spending!
Ways to get the word out:
1. Throw money at your content
If you want to reach people who have a voracious appetite for content, your best bet would be to target them on other content-intensive sites.
This is where content recommendation tools come into the picture. These are great alternatives to paying for Google advertising.
There are many content recommendation and native advertising tools that allow you to promote your content on third party sites.
From Time to Inc, Forbes to Huffington Post, you can choose from over hundreds of high-quality publishers to show your ads. If a link to your content appears as a suggestion below a highly shared article on a popular site, it can do wonders for you.
However, you have to be very careful when choosing a content discovery or amplification tool.
You don’t want your content to be shown on some spammy scraper blog that just wants to make a few more pennies.
So make sure the tool of your choice has no low-quality sites in their network. For instance, content marketing industry leader Outbrain has very high publishing standards and you have to follow their guidelines in order to be accepted into their network.
Further, their smart recommendation engine ensures your content is only displayed on the most relevant sites.
Outbrain allows advertisers and publishers to reach audiences with targeted and intent-based recommendations to ensure high engagement and CTR. It also provides many ways to keep users engrossed, encourage them to explore your website for longer, and lead them towards a high-quality experience.
As opposed to this, some content recommendation tools are just shoddy ad networks that sell ads under the guise of content.
In the example below, the highlighted ad, which is irrelevant to the main article (mobile security), as well as the ads around it, take you to website’s homepage (The Lotter) rather than the article.
This is decidedly misleading and can turn the reader against you.
2. Optimize your blog for search
One of the most painstaking, but rewarding methods to gain popularity is to optimize your blog for long tail keywords. SEOs these days can’t stop raving about the success you can get using long tail keywords, and we continue to see great results with them.
A modern SEO strategy for any blog should be based on long tail keywords related to its niche.
Here’s ShoutMeLoud guide to finding the best long tail keywords . Furthermore, once the post is completed, many bloggers will try and follow the basic guideline of keeping Yoast happy with most of their posts:
However, optimization should never come at the cost of user experience.
If you need to even go to the extent of deleting content for the sake of better readability and authority, you shouldn’t hesitate in doing so.
While it takes time and hard work, SEO pays off in the long term.
So it wouldn’t be wrong to say that:
- Search optimization is a sustainable way to increase your blog ranking and popularity.
Here’s a great checklist for SEO that every blogger must pin to their wall so they can gradually optimize their blog.
Here are some other hand-picked articles that you should read about SEO:
- How To Use SEMRUSH For Your Blog’s SEO
- How To Write Perfect SEO-Optimized Articles In WordPress
- On Page SEO Techniques To Rank On First Page – Current Edition
3. Create engaging social media posts
Unless you are a world-class photographer or have a hundred cute kittens running around your workplace, finding ways to keep your social media audience engaged is not easy.
However, there is no dearth of options – from Twitter polls to Facebook quizzes – for creating engaging social media posts.
Let’s see how Luke Moulton of Sit the Test, a Melbourne-based startup, used Facebook ads to promote a quiz.
His objective was to use a third-party platform to build an email list because his blog wasn’t getting much traffic at that point. Luke ran the campaign for 13 days on a budget of $30 per day and was able to build a list of over 570 people.
So the effective cost per conversion (the cost of acquiring an email address) was $0.66.
If you want to drive viral traffic using quizzes, there are many popular platforms that allow you to create them.
- ShoutMeLoud is currently running a discount offer, which allows you to get 50% off Riddle, a popular quiz-making tool.
4. Make podcasts and videos regularly
The last method on our list is using audio-visual content to boost popularity.
Bloggers using podcasts and videos are instantly elevated to the thought-leader level.
These formats are a cut above text and allow you to come across as a more professional and accomplished blogger.
If you want evidence that podcasts offer a great way to not only become famous, but also to gain authority, consider Mitchell Levy, “Chief Aha Instigator” (yes, that’s the title he chose for himself) at Aha Amplifier, who regularly uses podcasts to talk about “thought-leadership”.
In the process, he has become quite an authority on the topic.
The same goes for video.
My new friend David Bain at Authoritas has come up with a great series of quick, insightful interviews with thought-leaders in SEO about where they think the industry is headed.
If you haven’t yet gone this route, you should start by setting up your own channel on popular video networks like YouTube, Vimeo, or Vine.
Alternatively, you can host your videos on your own site using a custom hosting tool like Wistia.
Whatever platform you choose, make sure you use all means of promotion that work for you in order to gain visibility.
Once you have built up a sizable audience, you can also try live-streaming.
Live-streaming is one of the toughest and the most time-consuming of all the above-mentioned methods, but if you really want to go that extra mile, there is no substitute for it.
For further reading:
- 10 Pro Tips For Starting Your First Podcast as a Beginner
- 13 Must-listen Podcasts for Serious Entrepreneurs
It is very important for bloggers to grow their blog and carve out a niche for themselves using unique and individually distinctive ways. Although advertising provides a great way to boost popularity in bursts, it is important to use more sustainable methods that can provide value to audiences over extended periods of time.
Are you a blogger? How do you promote your blog and keep your audience engaged? Have you tried out any methods discussed here? Let me know in the comments!