More Traffic. Probably the single greatest desire of every blogger who ever blogged.
Traffic is the cornerstone of a successful blog, and knowing how to drive traffic to each new blog post you write will put you in great stead to grow your audience. All bloggers have been there, spending hours on an article, editing the images, tweaking the copy, finally putting it live and then…nothing. A handful of views and you get disheartened that nobody likes you.
Well that isn’t the case, the issue 99.9% of the time is purely because nobody knows the blog post is there. If they did, they would be all over it. The problem lies in blog post promotion. It’s something that’s rarely taught to new bloggers, with tutorials normally focused on your on-site activity, branding, etc. So you’ve written an amazing blog post, how do you get it in front of the right people? Let’s find out…
We’re breaking down the options into free options (available to everyone) which will only cost you some time. Later on we go over a few advanced/paid options for those wanting to take it to the next level.
Each of these options will vary in terms of the time they take, we’ve estimated how much we believe each option should take to allow you to prioritise which ones you are able to fit in. Note: Inevitably, the longer things take the more effective they will be at driving more traffic to your new blog post.
Email the post to your email list
This should always be first up on your checklist. Your email list should become your biggest fans, so make sure you let them know about your new post first.
You can set up an automated RSS-to-email campaign so it is sent automatically, however spending a little time each time you publish a post to craft a unique, short, personal email to your subscribers will show noticeably higher levels of engagement.
The subject line should generate curiosity with your subscribers, while the email itself should be short, snappy and advise exactly what the subscriber will see once they click through.
The main goal of these emails is to get people to read your blog post.
Share on Facebook Page
You might be wondering why the next 7 points are not grouped into a single ‘Share on social media’. The simple fact is that each social channel is slightly different as to how you should tackle promotion.
First off – your Facebook page. This is where the fans of your blog will have liked your page. However with the ever changing Facebook news feed algorithms, it’s getting more difficult to actually reach them all (even though they’ve actively liked your page, Facebook doesn’t believe they want to hear from you, weird logic, but that’s Facebook).
There are certain types of posts that work well on Facebook pages and get more engagement (and exposure in news feeds) than others, the current best options include: Live Video, Video & Images (galleries often outperform single images).
You can really big up the post when publishing it on your Facebook page, really sell what your fans will love about the post if they click through.
If you are going to use the gallery option for images, make sure you include a description and link on each of the images to allow for your fans to click through to the article when browsing the imagery.
Share on Facebook Profile
Your friends and family may not be your blog's main target audience but they will be keen to know what you are up to, so pop a quick post on your Facebook profile and you may end up helping someone you never realised you would.
It doesn’t need to big up the article itself (the headline should sell it) but a brief reason of why people should read it would be very useful, and could lead to people on your friends list sharing it with their friends and beyond.
Share in relevant Facebook Groups
Facebook groups shouldn’t be spammed, it’s the sure fire way to get kicked out the group (if it’s not your own group) or for your own group to look self-promotional and lose engagement.
The best tip for sharing your post in Facebook groups is not to actively promote your blog post, but rather to ask for feedback from your peers in the group.
This way you don’t appear self-promotional and you are actively looking for feedback to improve your blog post (which in turn will help you grow your blog) but also if you blog post is really good, you’ll find it will get some shares and links back from some of the other bloggers in the group.
You will need to be careful with this tactic as you probably won’t be able to do it for every blog post you write (depending how many you do each month) and you should limit it to only 1-2 blog posts a month.
Share on Instagram & Add the Link to your Bio
A massively underused tactic (although bloggers & brands alike are quickly catching up) is maximising the potential of Instagram. As mentioned previously, if you want to seriously grow your blog in 2017, you need to be clever with your Instagram bio and your bio link (the only link you have at your disposable on Instagram).
If you have strong imagery on your blog (a must-have for any interior blogger) you will probably have a lot of images in each of your blog posts. Instagram is the place to share it.
The ideal Instagram promotion plan would go something like:
Add article as the bio link (Use bit.ly to track the number of clicks) Use imagery from your article every other image you post for 3-7 days (depending on your time resources and how many images you have) In each of the images you share, make sure that you mention “link in bio” to encourage people to visit your bio and click the link.
Get active on Pinterest
Pinterest is traffic gold for interior design blogs, so it’s an absolute must that you share all your images on Pinterest.
It can become quite a laborious job if you have lots of images, however there are very reasonably priced tools that can you utilise to schedule your pins. Tools such as ViralTag, Boardbooster, Tailwind and Buffer.
Make sure you give each pin a unique description, which will help it show up in search results when people are searching on Pinterest, this way you’ll drive more traffic.
Also, make sure you are part of group boards and share the occasional Pin in the board to get additional exposure to your articles.
Pro Tip: Split the cost with a friend as you can often add multiple accounts and this can save you money.
Share on Twitter
Rarely forgotten, but always crucial to keep the obvious on your checklists in case forget one day.
Want more engagement on Twitter? Images are your answer! Nearly every piece of research into getting more engagement on Twitter comes to the same primary conclusion which is that you need to use more images.
This naturally goes hand in hand with the interiors world as it is a very image-heavy industry, so when you are sharing your new blog post, make sure you include an image within the tweet to maximise your engagement levels.
*(Apparently) little known tip: When you @mention somebody in a tweet, only people who are following both you and your mention will see that tweet. If you want all of your followers to see it, put a full stop right at the start (.@mention)*
Share more on Social (don’t just share once)
This is one of the biggest mistakes bloggers, brands, and pretty much everybody makes when starting out (and often even longer after that).
To give you an idea of why you need to share each of your blog posts more than once; the average lifecycle of a tweet is just 17 minutes, so if you imagine that after 20 minutes of you tweeting your latest blog post, no one will see it after that time.
Here’s a graphic to display when you should be re-promoting your new blog post across your main social media channels:
If you are struggling to think of different ways to share the same blog post, here are some ideas:
Facebook – In your first post, share it as a gallery of images. Then with the second post, directly share the link. You can learn which one performs best for your Facebook audience and what will work for future blog posts.
Twitter – Once you’ve written the blog post, create 5/6 tweets about the article. The first obvious one would be the title of the blog post, then another could be a re-wording of the article title, or one could be a quote from the article - use the blog post itself for inspiration.
Pinterest – Once you’ve pinned all the images, you shouldn’t re-post them otherwise your profile could start to look spammy. However there is a great tool called BoardBooster, which will automatically recycle your pins to drive more engagement and also build your following at the same time.
Instagram – Never be afraid to republish images you have already published on Instagram, especially if your following is growing quickly – within a few months you might have over half of your audience that never saw the original image so you can also re-share the image (and even put the link in the bio again if the article is still relevant).
Email the people you mentioned in the blog post
It’s only natural to link to other resources when you write a blog post.
It could be because you’ve used someone’s image and you’ve given the credit & linked back to their blog as a thank you. Or you’ve used someone else’s guide to then create something in your home.
You have probably mentioned brands and linked to their products that fit the style of your blog post – whether that be bed linen, cushions or kitchen appliances.
Whatever it is that you’ve linked to, make sure you let them know you featured them. Everyone loves to hear when they’ve been featured and will often share these features with their followers – in doing so you’ll reach new audiences and get more readers on your blog.
Pro Tip: Large brands are unlikely to share your post (unless you’re an equally big blogger), so help out the smaller brands with links to their site, let them know you’ve featured them – they’ll be much more likely to share it.
Email your friends / network who might enjoy the post
Whether you’ve been blogging for a few months or many years, the chances are you’ll have a few close-knit group of blogger friends, they might be in your same niche or could be from a completely separate market.
You’ll be close to these blogger friends, you’ll know their likes and their dislikes, and what they are up to in their lives – and you can use this to your advantage by giving them a personal heads up when your post goes live.
For example, you may know that one of your blogger friends is thinking of doing up their kitchen (maybe they’ve been talking about it for a while but never actually got round to it). If you’ve planned an article about kitchens, such as a guide on how to maximise space in a small kitchen – this is exactly the sort of thing you should be letting that friend know about.
Simply pop them over a quick email, or text, or however you usually chat – mention you’ve just published an article they might like and send them over the link. Not only will you be helping that friend out with an awesome article – the chances are they will share it with their audience through their social channels too.
Get it featured in round ups
Occasionally bloggers will publish round ups of awesome posts they have read in the past week or month. It gives them an opportunity to show their audience some other great resources for interior inspiration produced by other bloggers within that previous week/month.
If you are particularly proud of your most recent article, you should try and get it in front of whoever writes the round up – if it really is as good as you think they should have no trouble including it in their round up.
To maximise your chances of getting it featured, ask for their feedback on the article itself. If they come back with anything constructive, make those changes and then let them know. If they come back with a glowing positive review and they like your post, be cheeky and ask if it might possibly make the cut and get featured in their round up.
Ask Influencers for Feedback
Is there someone in the industry you really admire? It might be another blogger, interior designer, or the founder of a brand. This is your opportunity to take a chance and start building a relationship with that person you most admire. Pop them an email explaining you have produced this article that they might be interested in and you would love their feedback as an expert in the field.
With this sort of promotion you are playing to the ego of the influencer - I mean who doesn’t love to be told they are an expert or hear that they have inspired someone. The chances are they will take a browse of your blog post, and if your post is as good as you think, they’ll share it with their audience.
This in turn could lead to more social shares, an introduction to a new audience and more views of your new blog post.
Advanced & Paid Options
Blogging is often a very tight ship for most, there normally isn’t really any budget to pay for tools or additional promotion. However once you start earning money from your blog, experimenting with these tactics can seriously make a difference to your traffic levels and earning potential.
Share it with people who have written similar topics
This tactic takes a bit of set up and preparation but once you have done that, it becomes an insanely powerful way of getting your blog posts more social shares (and therefore more traffic). To set up ready to use this tactic, follow these simple steps:
Pull together a list of as many interior bloggers as you can (or maybe focus on your favourite ones to start with). Set up a Pro account on Feedly (If you share this with 5 friends it works out less than $1 per month) Add all of the bloggers on your list to your new Feedly account.
Now you are ready to action this every time you launch a new blog post.
When you write a new post, whatever the topic, search the topic on Feedly, and you’ll find a list of people who have written about the same topic recently.
You can then reach out to these bloggers and say you’ve written something similar – and ask them if they would like to check out the post. As you already know they’ve shown an interest in the topic, there is a very high chance that they will be interested in reading your post.
And if they like it, they’ll share it.
Paid social promotion (Facebook & Pinterest)
Boosting your posts on Facebook can drive serious new levels of traffic to your blog posts. If you know your audience (you can get this from your Google Analytics) then you can target similar people to those who already read your blog.
You’ll already be sharing your content on Facebook & Pinterest, so give it that little nudge to potentially go viral.
On Facebook, the simplest way to do this is to share a link on your Facebook page, then click on the ‘Boost Post’ button, set up the audience target and budget and set it to work. The more specific you can be with your audience, the better results you will see.
On Pinterest, it is slightly more complicated but again you will just need to choose a Pin to promote and choose search keywords to target for it to display.
The important part of this is to measure how many visitors and how your engagement levels vary with these promoted posts and learn exactly what your audience likes to engage with.
Repurpose into new content (Video / Infographic)
This tactic can be pretty time consuming, but at the same time it can be extremely rewarding and get you a lot more exposure.
If you’ve created a step by step guide on a certain topic (for example, 'how to reupholster a dining chair'). Hopefully you’ve created lots of images, and detailed precisely what to do for your reader to reupholster a chair in this post.
You can take it to a whole new level and also create a video to go alongside the article, not only that, you can then also share this across your social channels. Video is one of the best performing content types around so try to capitalise on it if you can.
Create Your Own Blog Post Promotion Process
There are quite a few ideas you can potentially use to help get more traffic to every new blog post you create in this article. Naturally some are easy, whilst others take a lot more effort (but for equally greater reward).
There is no need to do the entire list of promotional techniques for every article you create, but the more you do, the more traffic you will receive.
Use the ones you enjoy the most, or get the best results for your blog – and make sure you action them for all your new blog posts.
Pro Tip: Use checklists, they actually have a psychological benefit to increase your chances of completing your blog post promotion for every article you produce. Whether you use free tools such as Trello, or a simple Word Doc you print off for each blog post – creating a checklist for your promotion will help keep you accountable and more likely to action your promotion techniques.