Wouldn’t it be great if we could just post our blog entries, and our readers would flock to them? Of course that would be awesome, but that’s not how this works. As bloggers we need to broadcast our entries multiple times to capture the attention of potential readers on different days and at different times.
You’re reading this on the Missing Lettr blog, so you already have an idea of what Missing Lettr will do for you. Nothing against Missing Lettr, but their service provides 9 tweets over a year’s time. Is that enough on its own to promote your individual blog entries? The answer is no. Promotion of your blog entries also needs to come from you.
There is a fine line between bombing potential readers with “Read my blog! Read my blog! READMYBLOG!” and not promoting your blog entries at all. I haven’t yet come up with that magic formula as to how many posts are enough. But here are some strategies you can use to figure out how many times you could rebroadcast your blog entries and collect some more traffic on your site.
Step 1: If you haven’t done it yet, get a Google Analytics account
This is how you can track, for free, how many visitors are coming to your blog. You can also see which individual entries are the most popular, so that you know to deliver more content in that genre to ride that wave of popularity.
Step 2: Create an account at bit.ly
Bit.ly is a URL shortener. It will take your longassurl.com/allthethings/allthestuff.blah and shorten it to around 10 characters. This is key for posting your blog entries on Twitter, where your Twitter posts must fall within 140 characters or less. What’s also neat about bit.ly is that it will save all your shortened URLs and will also show you for each one how many clicks each has gotten, and when those clicks happened. This is all FREE, so you’re crazy not to take advantage of it.
Step 3: Go through your existing blog entries and make a list of the ones that are seasonal in nature, and ones that you can re-broadcast any time during the year
For example, I have a few blog entries that are holiday stories—I don’t want to broadcast Christmas stories in June, right? Let’s call the ones that you could post any time during the year and call those “evergreen.” Let’s start with those evergreen blog entries and make bit.ly links for those, and save them in bit.ly.
Step 4: Figure out when to schedule re-broadcasts for your evergreen blog entries
There are a few ways you can do this. CoSchedule has an online tool that you can use to schedule and post to your social media accounts. I think this costs around $15/month. I tend to be frugal, so I stick with a paper calendar I carry in my promotion notebook. On my paper calendar I hand write a schedule of three social media posts per weekday.
I use Hootsuite (free!) to post to my Twitter and Google Plus accounts simultaneously. Don’t forget to use your bit.ly shortened links, and don’t forget to use hashtags. The hashtags will help readers find your blog entries. For example, when I post about scuba diving, I use the hashtag #scuba to attract readers who are searching on that hashtag. Once I am done posting to Twitter and Google Plus with Hootsuite, I flip over to my Facebook author page and post my blog post over there too. I schedule Facebook separately because I have more room to talk about my blog post than I do on Twitter. Facebook also tends to be the site where I get the most interaction from my followers, so I like to spend more time getting my posts just right.
Don’t forget to use pictures on your posts. Tweets and Facebook posts with pictures get way more visibility than just text posts. I like to search in images.google.com for pictures I can use. I also use canva.com to create my own images. Again, both are free.
Use your calendar to figure out when you want to broadcast your entries. Plot out a week at a time, and keep your calendars from previous months so you can see how many times you posted a particular entry last month. I try to avoid re-posting the same entry two weeks in a row. But this also depends on how many blog entries you have in your arsenal. If you have only a few blog entries, then maybe you won’t post so many tweets during the week until you have written more blog entries. Once you’ve plotted out a week, get on Hootsuite and schedule those posts.
Step 5: Now that you’ve gotten a few weeks of evergreen blog entries scheduled, let’s take a look at the seasonal ones
Do you have any that apply to this month or next month? If so, schedule those postings too. If not, make bit.ly links for those entries so you’ll be ready to rebroadcast those when the time comes.
Step 6: Every week take a few minutes to review your schedule for the upcoming week, to ensure that what you want to post this week is still relevant
Also, keep an eye on current events so you can avoid any embarrassing posts that might clash with a story in the news.
Once you get a few weeks of rebroadcasting your blog entries under your belt, check your Google Analytics account. You will see a spike in your traffic, as you’re putting your site out there on a more frequent basis. But then you can see other things. You’ll see where your traffic is coming from. For me, Facebook and StumbleUpon are my bigger sources or traffic, Twitter is smaller. That doesn’t mean I should stop tweeting my blog entries, however. I am still getting some traffic from there, so I have to keep that up. Another thing you’ll see is, on the individual entry level, which blog entries are getting read the most. This is vital information, as this is your readers telling you that they prefer one topic over another. With this information you know now to give them more of what they want. If my readers like my scuba diving posts more than my knitting posts, you better believe I am going to write more about scuba, right? (Though underwater knitting may be a consideration. Kidding!)
With just a few extra minutes you can use these free tools which will help you to grow your traffic on your blog and get a better understanding of what your readers want from you. Implement the above steps to improve your blogging game.