How to promote a blog post and drive traffic to your site

This is my online marketing routine for how I promote my blog.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to promote your blog and get traffic. Starting a blog is easy compared to getting people’s attention, promoting content and increasing blog traffic. Here’s what you need to know to promote your blog content and drive traffic.

“Blog and pray” does not work

You cannot just publish content and expect people to find you. It doesn’t work like that. Beginners think that simply starting a blog means that visitors will come automatically. The reality is the other way around.

Without you promoting your blog, your content will most probably go unnoticed even if you publish the best content in the world.

You need to have a marketing strategy for things to do after you publish a new piece of content. This will help get that content discovered, driving awareness and traffic to it.

Make it a habit to spend at least 50% of your time promoting your content. It will ensure that you market your blog effectively and successfully boost blog traffic.

Here’s the list of things I do and all the places I go to promote my blog content.

The best traffic sources for blogs

When looking at the top blogs and websites, some patterns emerge in terms of the best traffic sources:

  • Organic search traffic – This is traffic from Google as Google stands for some 90% of all search traffic across the globe. For many blogs, Google drives 50% or more of their total traffic. Google and search engine optimization is a big topic, so I have a special blog SEO guide.
  • Direct traffic – This is your loyal fans and those that come to your blog through their bookmarks or them typing your URL directly.
  • Referral traffic – This is traffic from links from other websites and blogs. It is something you can impact by creating great content that drives organic links but also by syndicating it on other sites and guest posting.
  • Email newsletter traffic – This is the traffic that comes from you sending newsletters to your big fans but also from those fans forwarding your emails to their network. More on this in my how to start a newsletter guide.
  • Social media marketing – Social media doesn’t drive as much organic traffic as it used to do but there are still opportunities.
  • Paid search and social advertising – This is the fastest but also the most expensive way of driving traffic to your blog.

30 places to promote your blog content

Learn how to leverage already popular sites in your field to increase traffic to your blog content.

Syndicating your content to more significant, established sites with broader reader bases works in your favor in several ways. You get your message in front of a large audience that is interested in what you’re doing.

This will lead to an increase in brand awareness and authority. It might give you some clicks and visits to your site, some subscribers to your mailing list or some followers on your social media.

The most significant long-term benefit of getting mentioned on bigger site is that you’re building the authority and links to your domain name.

Your content will rank higher for a wider range of long-tail keywords. This will introduce you to new people, some of which will decide to join your mailing list too.

Content syndication means publishing excellent content as a contributor to big sites popular with your target audience. You do this to attract new visitors to your blog.

Many sites accept contributors. Write a targeted essay that’s useful and attracting to that particular kind of audience. Some sites even allow you to repost your existing content.

Include a link (or two) to content that’s already published on your blog to make it easier for readers to click over and visit you

Most popular syndicators looking for writers

Medium is worth exploring for syndication is another excellent opportunity to syndicate your content. You are free to republish material that you’ve already posted somewhere else too.

If you’re importing a story you’ve already published somewhere else, make sure to use the Medium Import feature. Imported stories automatically apply a canonical URL which references the source URL.

This consolidates the duplicate articles and makes sure your original article gets the search engine benefits.

Medium has a large reach with 90 million visitors per month. It’s also a very noisy platform with 20,000 new articles published daily. You may find getting organic views difficult. There’s a solution for that.

Medium is a home to different publications which accept syndication. Some of them have vast audiences, which means that your syndicated post gets sent to their subscribers and is shown on their home page too.

This is a quicker and more efficient way of getting attention on Medium compared to starting to build your Medium audience from scratch.

Find a publication relevant to what you’re doing, review their submission guidelines and submit your content.

Most popular Medium publications welcoming submissions

Here are the most popular Medium publications that welcome content submissions:

Here’s a good Medium leaderboard if you’re looking for an easy way to find even more publications.

Find additional syndication and guest posting opportunities

Use Google to find other opportunities more relevant to your field. Search for:

  • Your keyword + Become a contributor
  • Your keyword + Write for us
  • Your keyword + Guest post guidelines
  • Your keyword + inurl:guest-post
  • Your keyword + inurl:contribute

Recycle your content in different formats for different platforms

Don’t just only use the same channels that everyone else uses. Find the right channels to focus your marketing effort on instead. Places where your target audience is.

Some people like to read. Some prefer to learn by watching. Others learn best by listening. You can accommodate them all and expand your audience at the same time without the need to come up with more new content ideas.

Enable the right stories to find the right readers in the right places at the right times.

Reuse and recycle your content in different formats on different platforms. Repackage and republish content to give unseen content a second chance.

Here’s how it works for BuzzFeed:

A seven-step web recipe for slow-cooker chicken becomes a 46-second Facebook video, and then a 15-second Instagram clip with the instructions written as a comment, and finally a Pinterest post with two images and a link back to the Facebook video. And if it’s going on Snapchat, it needs to be shot in portrait mode as well. It’s all the exact same recipe, but “we put it on Facebook, and we put it on YouTube, and we put it on AOL and Yahoo, and all of a sudden it’s 15 different MP4 files.”

Take, for example, the series about short-girl problems: It began with an article on the website that attracted more than 8 million views, titled “30 Awkward Moments Every Short Girl Understands”; it then became a scripted YouTube video (“10 Problems Only Short Girls Understand”); and ultimately it inspired a cartoon titled Trans Girl Problems that appeared on Facebook.

Video and YouTube are big for BuzzFeed, so here’s my guide on how to make a vlog if you need any help.

You can also record your content as a podcast and release it on the different podcast platforms.

Podcasts are the perfect entertainment for the daily commute, workout, while cooking, cleaning the house or doing other chores. They are very diverse, highly personalized and have a high level of intimacy. People love them.

The latest iPhone or Samsung devices can record high-quality audio, which is more than enough for a new podcaster. Try it out and see how it feels.

Releasing a podcast allows you to promote your content and expand your reach using platforms such as:

  • Apple Podcasts app (or iTunes on a laptop) is one of the most popular destinations for podcast listeners. Submit your podcast RSS feed URL here.
  • Stitcher is one of the most popular podcasting apps for mobile phones. Submit your podcast here.
  • TuneIn is another popular app. You can add your podcast by contacting them manually here.
  • Alternatively use a platform such as Anchor as they automatically get your podcast on Pocket Casts, Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music with one click.

I hope this helps you understand the value of reusing your content in different formats.

These are simple but effective tactics to reuse your old content. Give it a fresh look and a new format that you can spread on platforms such as YouTube or Slideshare.

Go to niche forums and communities

Your target audience is somewhere looking for an expert to help them with their questions and problems. Depending on the niche you are in, there will be several communities and forums that allow you to submit content.

Sites like Indie Hackers and Hacker News. There’s a Hacker News type site out there for every niche. If you’re a food blogger, it’s worth submitting your posts to niche sites such as Foodgawker.

Follow this process to engage with niche communities without being a spammer:

  • Search for the specific communities relevant to your topic. Google is your best friend here.
  • Find those that look to be the most popular and the most active.
  • Are real people having real conversations within the community?
  • Or is it full of random people posting links to their sites and no engagement?
  • Actively sharing your content doesn’t mean that you send spam. You don’t just join and post your content. You will be ignored and banned.
  • Spend some time learning the guidelines and the way to approach each community.
  • Participate, create value, share interesting information, help people out, solve their issues and be a part of the wider community.
  • Be an authority and you will get noticed. As you begin building trust and relationships with people in the group, you can start sharing your relevant content too.

Think of it as informing an audience rather than a push of a marketing message that they don’t want.

You know what people want and you give excellent and informative answers to their questions in your content. You help them solve their pain points.

Discover forums dedicated to your topic

How do you discover relevant communities such as forums dedicated to your topic? Do a Google search using this format including quotes:

  • “Your topic” inurl:forum

Facebook Groups should play a big part in your forum strategy

About 60% of all Facebook users use Facebook groups. That means that more than 925 million people use Facebook groups every month.

Whatever topic you’re covering, whatever field your audience is interested in, there’s a group for that. People love to connect to other people that are interested in the same things that they’re interested in.

Most prominent groups have millions of members, which makes Facebook groups an excellent alternative to Facebook pages, and they can even be used to promote a page.

Content from Facebook groups has less algorithmic restrictions compared to content from pages, which gives groups more visibility in the news feeds.

Facebook also drives more repeated traffic to group by the use of push notifications. This makes them a great source of traffic too.

Consider joining some relevant Facebook groups (or creating your own).

  • Search for your topics using Facebook search and find groups that fit with whatever you are doing.
  • Review groups for quality signs. These are a low amount of spam, engaging discussions and a large number of members.
  • Join groups and regularly participate in the conversations.
  • Help people, answer questions, share your experience and build relationships and your authority within the group.

Reach out to influential groups and pages

One way to get instant access to a broad audience is to reach out to relevant Facebook pages and groups. Many communities exist for simply sharing the best content that’s available.

You can discover pages and groups that have shared content that was popular with your target audience in the past.

If you’ve started a fashion blog, for instance, there are bound to be many fashion niche groups.

Then reach out to their page owners and group admins and ask if they’d like to take a look at your content too.

Their audience has shown affinity to similar topics in the past and will also like the content that you’ve created as it’s best that’s available right now. It’s a win-win situation and you will get admins who are more than ready to share.

Share it on relevant Telegram, Discord, and Slack communities

Telegram, Discord, and Slack are chat platforms and trendy places to host a community. Use Google to find those applicable to your niche topic, join and interact:

  • Telegram channels + your topic
  • Discord groups + your topic
  • Slack communities + your topic

Share it with connected Reddit communities

Some of the articles I publish fit well in specific subreddits on Reddit.

Reddit has the potential to drive thousands of visitors. It’s worth exploring if you have a quality article and you can find a relevant and trendy subreddit.

An alternative to finding great subreddits is to look up your competitor by visiting this URL and changing the bold part with their domain name.

It can help you identify which subreddits are interested in that type of content.

LinkedIn groups

Search for, join and engage in the relevant LinkedIn groups.

Piggyback on hashtags, trending topics, and influencers

Twitter comes alive during big cultural moments like live sporting events, award shows, and TV shows.

Post more timely content. Content that is real-time and focused on news and happenings.

Tweet about relevant and popular trending topics and tap into their popularity.

By using relevant keywords and hashtags that are trending, your tweet could be amplified and could reach a large number of new users.

Mention influencer usernames in your tweets. You will never go wrong by talking to other bloggers, influencers and other power users on Twitter.

By building relationships with the influencers, you stand a better chance of getting your messages spread to more people.

I search Twitter for Twitter chats, keywords, phrases relevant to my content and my target audience. I then follow, interact with, and help the real people who talk about and ask questions about my topics.

I used to spend hours on this every day in the early days. It’s a tremendous real-time way of getting visitors and spreading the word about your content. It helps you establish your name in the field.

Here are some excellent hashtag research sources:

Answer questions on Quora and Q&A sites

Quora, Yahoo Answers, Stack Overflow, and other Q&A sites are great sources of referral traffic. If you’ve researched before writing your post, you’ve probably found questions people had and answered them in your content.

Now you can go directly to the different Q&A sites, look for people asking similar questions and help them out while at the same time indirectly promoting your content.

Answer questions the best that you can directly on the Q&A site. Help people solve their problems and then link back to your blog for those who want to explore even more.

How do you find questions to answer?

  • Use the search box on the individual platform to surface relevant questions
  • Search for the relevant keywords on Google and find Quora and other Q&A threads that rank well and answer them. These threads are ranking high which means that they do get some organic traffic

Reach out to influencers

This one is difficult. It may result in you being ignored by the majority of people you reach out to. When it does work, it’s something that can bring major results.

This is another tactic that will take some time and experimentation for you to find the actual message that resonates.

Journalists, bloggers and other influencers already have built their audiences and have access to platforms that can extend the reach of your messages too.

Identify and get in touch with influencers who have the attention of an engaged audience relevant to your field. These could be bloggers, journalist, Facebook group admins, forum moderators, and social media power users.

Reach out to them with exciting messages. Build relationships. Your great content can help get attention and your message may be shared further.

  • Journalists are looking for things to write about.
  • Influencers are looking for content to share.
  • Bloggers are looking for companies to work with.

One tweet from an influencer recommending your content can result in a cascade of traffic and shares coming your way.

This does take longer time than the other advice in this post, but it’s a robust strategy.

I send personal tweets and emails to individual influencers that I think the post might be interesting to in the hope of getting them to share it with their networks.

Here are some ways to reach out to more people:

  • Reach out to anyone that you have mentioned in your blog post and tell them about it.
  • Contact bloggers who have linked to similar content in the past. The chances are that they might like to update their post with a better and more up-to-date resource.
  • Reach out to journalists that are writing relevant stories using tools such as Haro and SourceBottle.
  • Find popular content and people who have shared it. Reach out to them telling them about your post. You’ll be surprised at how many groups there are with the only purpose of sharing the best content they can find. If you reach out with content that their audience will love, you stand a good chance getting that share.
  • Go beyond simple tweets. Connect with them, partner with them and build a mutually beneficial relationship. Do a co-marketing venture such as a webinar where everyone wins.

Don’t spam, don’t beg for shares, let the quality (and usefulness and relevancy) of content speak for itself.

Comment on other blog posts

Comment on the most recent posts on relevant blogs that have good traffic numbers. Commenting on posts is a simple tactic that can be very useful when building a connection to another content creator.

Proper commenting etiquette is all about respect. When you’re on someone’s blog, you’re on their “property.”

Just as you would treat someone’s home with respect in life, you should treat someone’s blog with respect in the virtual world when you leave a comment.

Find blogs related to your content using Google or social media. Subscribe, follow them and explore their content. Show up regularly. Feedback on their content. Contribute with your opinion.

Don’t just comment for the sake of it. Most comment areas list their comments from first to last. You must comment on the post soon after it has been published.

If you do that you will expose your comment to thousands of people who are going to read the post. The earlier you are, the more people will see your comment.

Send your new blog post to your true fans

  • Be it your email list
  • Facebook Messenger subscribers
  • The browser push notification subscribers

Send a message to the people who have permitted you to contact them. These are your true fans and could be the first wave of visitors that help you share your new content to even more people.

How to promote your blog on social media

Most content creators focus on this part when doing marketing. They share their posts on their channel and believe that their work is done.

Out of all the different ideas in this post, sharing to your channel is probably the least effective one.

Most own channels have very low organic reach, very little engagement, and almost no clicks. When starting out, you’ll have no audience. Some general tips to get more traction with your social media marketing:

  • Follow relevant people first. That’s still the best way to get attention. Look at people following prominent personalities in your field and follow those people. Look at people who have shared similar content in the past and follow them.
  • Include relevant hashtags when posting your content. This is a good way for you to extend your reach.
  • Use a tool such as Buffer. It lets you post to multiple profiles at the same time and makes your social media marketing more efficient.

Social media distribution is no longer free

The social media landscape has shifted. Investing time and money into organically running a Facebook fan page could be a waste of time.

You ultimately depend on Facebook algorithms to reach the people who like your page, but Facebook doesn’t care about you.

There is a strong likelihood that your content goes completely unnoticed in the busy Facebook news feed. Did you know that your Facebook page posts are viewed by less than 2-3% of people who like the page?

The organic distribution of posts is gradually declining as Facebook tweaks its algorithm. We might soon see the end of organic reach. ZERO organic reach!

Facebook recommends the use of paid ads to reach all your likes. Facebook is monetizing your likes by charging you for news feed distribution. Facebook owns your page and your likes, not you.

It’s a great business model. Keep this in mind when thinking about your distribution strategy. I don’t recommend you put all your eggs in one basket.

Use social media to help build your audience and a direct communication line through email. You’ll always have full, unrestricted and free access to your email list.

We should not complain about Facebook and other social networks, though. Don’t forget that Facebook’s a business, not a charity organization.

The primary goal is to make money for their shareholders, and they can do whatever they want with their site. Accept this, be smart and work around the limitations.

More than one and a half billion people use Facebook every day. It’s a major player and can help you get your content in front of more eyeballs.

Best way to starting building a social media following is to follow people first

Conversations and followers will not come to you automatically unless you are a big name and have an established audience that you can attract.

Instead, you must proactively seek the engagement from users. One of the easiest ways to get followers is to follow people you want to follow you first.

Many people check who follows them and in case you have an interesting and relevant profile, a good percentage may follow you back.

Before you start following people make sure to personalize your Twitter profile with your profile picture, cover picture, background image, URL and description.

Most people will check your profile to decide whether to follow you or not or to learn more about you when they read some of your recent tweets.

Having a personalized profile helps you build connection and trust with your audience. You stand a better chance of a follow if your Twitter profile looks good.

So how do you find people to follow? Take a look at some of the biggest names in your field. Look at who they follow. Look at who is following them.

You can also use Twitter search to see who is talking about keywords and keyword phrases relevant to your skills and your content. Use Twitter search to look up people tweeting about topics relevant to you.

Search for relevant keywords and keyword phrases to your topic and then engage and interact with people that are talking about the topic.

This is a great way of introducing yourself and creating value for someone in your audience.

Don’t just share once. Repeat the push multiple times

Break up your main content into smaller, social media-friendly posts. Then share and link all these social posts back to your main post.

Aim to repeat the promotional push on the social platforms several times over the few weeks after publishing your post.

Sharing more than once brings many more clicks as most followers don’t see the first post. Only a small percentage of your total audience sees what you publish on social media.

It’s a loss of opportunity if you promote your latest article for a day or two, and then focus on writing a new article.

Nobody is bothered by you posting multiple times and your clicks will increase, so it’s hard to argue against this.

You don’t necessarily need to publish the title every time. Add some variety and mix it up if you wish not to be repetitive and boring on your social media profiles. Do several variations such as this:

  • Post headline + link
  • Post introduction + link
  • Choose a particular quote from the post + link
  • Share a big takeaway or a lesson learned from the post + link
  • Focus on a different detail and different aspect of the post + link
  • Ask a relevant question about the post topic + link
  • Post a media from the article + link
  • Reword and rephrase one of the earlier messages + link
  • Change up the media + link
  • Tag a person you highlighted in the post including a relevant quote + link

Understanding your social media audience: When to post

Even if you are successful in reaching your fans, the engagement rate of a typical Facebook page post is less than 1%.

Because of this, it is critical to understand what content works best with your fan base and then amend your content strategy to increase the organic reach.

Look at the reach of the total fan base and engagement from people you reach to see how well your content works.

You want to post the right type of post at the right time of day to have the highest chance of reaching the most massive possible audience.

Facebook Insights will help you with this. Look at your insights for “Posts” to analyze these factors:

Day of week and time of day to post

Your audience might be present on certain days or times more than others. Make sure to post on the right days and times.

Type of post format to use

Plain status update, link thumbnail, video, image. The type of post format that you publish affects your organic reach.

How to optimize your blog for social media marketing

Use proper Open Graph tags

These tags are a code included in your site which allows Facebook to preview your content.

The preview includes the headline, image thumbnail and an excerpt of the post. If you don’t use these Open Graph tags, Facebook won’t be able to recognize your image.

When your posts are shared, they will display without images which may affect your clickthroughs and engagement on the platform.

Use this debug tool to see how Facebook sees your content now. An easy way to add proper Open Graph tags is to install WordPress SEO plugin and in “Social” section for Facebook, tick on “Add Open Graph Meta Data”.

Twitter cards make your links more prominent. Your Twitter profile gets more exposure as they add thumbnail, headline, description and author information to all your links and display them within the Twitter timeline.

Use a plugin like WordPress SEO to help you add the meta tags to your site and then verify your site. Alternatively, use JM Twitter Cards to simplify this process.

Integrate Facebook comments into your comments area

Facebook comments do require commenters to use their real identities and their real Facebook accounts.

When people have to post using their real names and their friends and family might see their comments, they might be more careful with what they write.

This, in theory, would eliminate a significant amount of spam that any creator gets and would allow you to optimize your time for writing.

When using Facebook commenting your words also appears in your news feed with a link back to the post you commented on.

This can be an additional traffic source for a website if friends and network of the person who commented sees the link and clicks on it.

Also, when you respond to comments, you can choose to respond as your Facebook page. This gives more exposure to the Facebook page and hopefully more “likes” as well.

One possible negative aspect of Facebook comments is that you will have fewer comments. There might be less spam and fewer trolls but you will have fewer comments in general.

Some people don’t have Facebook accounts. Some people do not want to have their personal Facebook account, full name and profile picture scattered all across the different comment areas around the web.

Install the Facebook Comments plugin. To get a good overview of the Facebook comments posted on all your posts, save the Comment moderation area link.

Add social sharing buttons

Word of mouth and social media play a significant role in the viral spreadability of your content. Your true fans love your content.

You should empower them and encourage them to help you spread the word for you.

Make sure there’s nice space for social sharing buttons when you’re looking to design a blog.

Include social share buttons on all your content. Highlight the most important points or quotes and ask people to click to tweet.

Tweet the post

I tweet out the headline and the link to my Twitter followers to make them aware of the new post. Many times I also include an image as that seems to get more attention.

Post it on your Facebook page

Share your posts on your Facebook page. I find that displaying the image on my Facebook page instead of the link thumbnail works best in terms of reaching and engaging the highest number of people.

Post it on LinkedIn

I publish the link to the post on my LinkedIn profile.

Share it using Instagram stories

Post an Instagram story referencing your blog post adding the link too.

Share the article on Tumblr

I keep an active Tumblr account with the main objective being for it to be a traffic driver. I post any new article on Tumblr adding the relevant tags.

Share the image to your Pinterest boards

I submit the post image to the relevant Pinterest boards.

I include a headline in all the images that I put on my blog and that’s mostly due to the increasing importance of Pinterest as a traffic driver. It makes the images look better.

Use social media paid advertising (if you have a budget)

All traffic has a price. None of it is truly free. Promoting your blog costs you time, money or both. As time is a limited source, paid marketing can help you scale and get there faster.

It’s increasingly difficult to get organic reach and clicks on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Investing a bit of money in strategically important platforms and posts can give you a great boost and get your content in front of a larger audience.

The majority of platforms mentioned in this post also accept paid advertising in order for you to boost your content to a larger audience.

Finding the right channel for you and getting a bit of marketing budget can work wonders for you.

Paid marketing is not the most sustainable growth model for bloggers in the long term. It can bring you fast growth and can be optimized but it gets expensive. Finding a balance between organic and paid strategies is what will bring you a healthy and sustainable growth.

Paid marketing is not the same as buying fake followers or getting fake accounts with no real audience to share your content. You don’t want to waste your budget and want to get some return on investment.

Two budget-friendly places I recommend you start with:

  • Twitter Promote Mode: For $99 per month, Twitter will amplify your tweets and help you reach a wider audience.
  • Quuu Promote: It’s like your blog promotion service. For $35 per post, your article can be shared by hundreds of social media users.

Link to your new post from your old posts

I try to link to my new post where it’s relevant in the popular posts from my archives. In that way, I try to lead some of my visitors to explore more of my newer content too.

This internal linking also helps with your SEO and will get the newly published post to rank faster and higher.

How do you find relevant posts in your archives to link back from? Google is your friend yet again. You can search for your posts that feature relevant text but don’t link to the new post like this: intext:”keyword of your new post”

Don’t panic if people ignore you and if you don’t hear any feedback

This is something you need to get used to. It’s one of those things that’s very difficult to learn to understand and live with. You have put a lot of time and effort into something, be it a product or a blog post.

You release it into the wild but get no feedback whatsoever. No email replies, no comments, and responses. You might see a few likes here and there only. Or a comment from your mom.

It’s important to understand the nature of the web and social media. It’s full of lurkers. The Internet is a great place for people to join a community and passively observe.

There’s no obligation to respond or interact. 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% contribute a little, and 1% account for almost all the action.

You almost certainly have more people paying attention to you than what you see in your engagement numbers, so do beware of that and keep pushing your project.

Find some alternative metrics to keep an eye on and follow your progress. These can tell you a better story.

  1. Visitors to your site
  2. Time spent on site
  3. Pages viewed per visit
  4. Subscribers to your email list
  5. Open rates on your email list
  6. Revenue

There you have it. That’s how to promote your blog to attract people to check out your content.

Working on this blog promotion strategy will put you on the road towards getting 500 or even more loyal visitors.

Categorized as Posts

By Marko Saric

I’m on a mission to help you share what you love, get discovered by people who love the same things too and make the web a better place at the same time. Find me on Twitter and Mastodon too.