Starting and maintaining a blog is fun, but it can also be taxing, especially if you want to do it well. We all know the feeling of crafting a blog post and publishing, only to spend the next two days obsessively checking to see how many people have viewed it. When those numbers are low it can be disheartening, but there are a number of things you can do that will promote your blog and send your page views soaring.
One of the fun ways I tried to get the word out on my blog was typing out a witty little email, sending it to friends and family. Those in the “business” call this email marketing and whether you’re an international clothier trying to keep people interested in buying apparel or an enthusiast who started a blog about what you love, it’s a great way to engage with current and potential readers. Once the people I knew spread the email around, I was getting regular subscriptions to my blog and consistently high page views, which was awesome. Once I had gotten my web-writing chops, I was able to mold the jokey email reminder into a more formal “newsletter” and that small element of “professionalism” has boosted readership also.
Introverts like me have a tough time talking about their blogs. I always felt corny asking people to “check out my blog”, as if that were a dishonest way of getting views. I felt like the people who were interested should just go. I’ve since changed my thinking completely. Offline promotion is a huge get; there is something very real and profound about word of mouth. Even the action of someone writing down the blog URL on a piece of paper to reference it later gives it a certain power that a Twitter link doesn’t have (though you should be tweeting the heck out of your blog). If you have a Japanese music blog and are taking a Japanese class, it only makes sense to make a short announcement and let people know this thing you happen to produce that caters to a potential interest of theirs is available. More professional types will want to put a blog URL on the business card.
The biggest way to promote your blog is to be active. If you’re not posting to the blog regularly, start now. Once you’re doing that, build relationships with blogs you follow. Leave comments and start engaging with those who make other posts; if people see you interacting with their blog, they are more likely to interact with yours, especially if both of your blogs are on similar topics. Eventually, you may ask to write guest posts for these blogs, which is a great way to get your voice out and direct people to your blog. Guest blogging is a great way for you to network, interact and gain notoriety.
Whether these are “inventive” ways to promote your blog is up to you, but only a fool would argue that they are not important and effective ways of driving traffic to your blog. Of course, you should also be casting the digital nets of Twitter and Facebook, but getting really involved in guest blogging, email marketing and good old fashioned word of mouth will yield impressive returns. So get to it!