Promoting Your Blog Posts
Now we've published a blog post, how do we promote it? So, I shared this quote with you earlier, but I wanna talk about this again. My good friend Brigitte Lyons said, "A blog isn't just something you do once you have traffic. It's something you do to grow your traffic." So, just by blogging, you are marketing. Even if all I did was hit publish on that post and walk away and never think about it again, that was still a marketing action that I took for that day. Now that said, there are simple actions you can take to help your blog posts get more traction. There are a few things you can do to help promote it better. And as we've just seen, these start before we hit publish. So the first thing that we're always doing is thinking about optimizing our posts for search. We're gonna make sure that we're using keywords. And again, this is particularly important for content that we're using to get found by our ideal customers. So we're gonna use those keywords and our blog post titles, and our...
meta descriptions, and our image files, and our image alt text, we're gonna make sure we've got keywords in there. We're gonna include links to product pages, because this actually helps, so Google wants to see that things link to other things, right. Because it's not just about keywords, it's also about relationship, and there's a whole bunch of other things, we're not getting super techy. But making sure that you're linking to product pages, that you're linking to other blog posts, that you've got internal links happening, those things will help you. So make sure that you've got all those things, that, again, begins before we even hit send, or hit publish I should say. And again, I showed you guys here this idea. I think this is the one from that. So we've got our snippet preview here. Looks about the same in Shopify. So then again, before we hit publish, we also wanna do those things to optimize our blog posts for Pinterest. Because if you use it right, Pinterest is the most powerful tool for driving traffic to your blog. Actually, regardless of how many Pinterest followers you have. So, I'm gonna spoil my other class a little bit here. So, in my Pinterest class that I have here on CreativeLive, one of the strategies we talk about is growing your followers, and growing your followers is absolutely important on Pinterest, but actually if you're using a really smart keyword strategy, you can get found on Pinterest regardless of how many followers you have. Because again, Pinterest is a search engine. So we wanna make sure we're optimized for Pinterest. We're gonna make sure we use a vertical image. We include keywords in our image filename, and our image alt-text, and if you have not yet done this, we're gonna apply for rich pins. So you guys remember, I explained that rich pins are those pins that let more data show up? So we are going to apply for those if your site doesn't automatically do them. This is a little bit techy, so you may need someone to help you, you may need to Google or ask a developer, but at the end of the day, if your site's set up properly, what you can do is search for the rich pins validator, and then what you'll do is go to this URL, and you'll just copy and paste the URL of any blog post you've created. And then you're gonna hit validate. And as long as that post contains metadata, they should be able to turn it into a rich pin. So you'll just go ahead and hit validate, it'll tell you if it'll work or not, and then thankfully they've gotten faster, and now within an hour your pins will show up as rich pins. And you do not have to do this for every blog post on your site, it's a one and done thing. So you do it for one blog post one time, and forever and ever all your blog posts will show up as rich pins.
What do rich pins do again?
The rich pins give you the actual information from the blog post, so this is a not rich pin, and so this is just the description that you would put in on Pinterest. This description can be changed by anyone. Rich pins pull your site, pull the title, the post title, and then they also pull descriptions. So the description can still be edited when you view the whole thing it actually shows you the metadata description as well, so the description could still be edited, but you'll always see the post title that you chose. So it keeps people from totally changing your description into something crazy, because at the very least they'll still always see your post title. And it also it helps in search in Pinterest because it's more data for your thing to get found. So if you're not a rich pin, the only information that they're pulling from is the description and maybe the text and the image filename, but if you have rich pins, they're also looking at, in terms of keywords on Pinterest, the post title, and the metadata. Make sense? So then, now we've hit publish. So the thing with Pinterest is, if other people pin your content it can still get shared, but we wanna seed our content on Pinterest. We wanna help it get found, so my recommendation is that on the day your post comes out, I like to pin the images from my blog post to at least two different Pinterest boards. Now I'm not gonna go into Pinterest strategy and detail here because as I just said, I have a whole other class on it. But my personal rule of thumb, is first of all, do not just create one board that only has your own content on it and only pin to that because you are wasting your time. Pinterest likes relationships, so if you only pin your content with only your content, and your content isn't currently getting found, your new content also isn't gonna get found. But if you pin your content on boards with other people's content, it increases the likelihood that your content shows up in relationship to that content. Make sense? So what I like to do is pin my blog content to at least two different Pinterest boards that it makes sense for on the day it comes out. And then, I personally, because I think that Pinterest is such a valuable tool for promoting my business, I use a pin scheduler you can use. I use Viraltag, Viraltag is great. Tailwind is also great, to re-pin your post approximately every six to eight weeks. Sometimes I go a little bit longer, sometimes I might go out to three months, and it also depends for me on a seasonal angle. So that spring post, if I were gonna do that, I would maybe pin it a couple times throughout spring, and then I would let it rest, and then I would start re-pinning it again in the next spring. But, knowing that there's also a lot of Australia people, I might pin it in spring in Australia time too to get my southern hemisphere friends. So I do that, and what I do with this, is because at some point you're gonna run out of boards that are appropriate for that content, is that I just start pinning it again to boards that I've already pinned it to. So if it's like, I have, so I might come up with an outfit. So say that spring outfit, I think I probably have six Pinterest boards that it makes sense for. I can put it on my spring style board, I can put it on my Megan Auman style board, I can put it on my casual style board, I can put it on my fashion and style board, and after that I might run out actually, so I have about four. (laughing) So after the fourth time, I'll just pin it to a board it's already been pinned to. Make sense? Michelle's thinking about it real hard. Okay, so that for me, so for me, this is like the non-negotiable promotion. I hit publish on the blog post, and then I immediately put it on Pinterest and schedule it out for the future. Tony, do you have a question about that?
Yeah, do you ever pin to group boards, blogs?
No, I hate group boards because I have a very, very carefully curated aesthetic with my Pinterest account, and I cannot control what other people do. I am a control freak, so anything that involves letting other people do stuff, I'm like no. But that's a good question. Alright, so like I said, this is my non-negotiable. For me, it's the blog post gets published, and I immediately do this. Even if I'm running late out the door. It's like, nope, I gotta schedule my pins first. I gotta do that, so after that, then you could also share your posts on your other social media platforms of choice. I am admittedly a little bit lazy about some of this, because at the end of the day, I know that any posts I share on social media is only gonna have traction for a few hours. Maybe 24 if I'm lucky, so if I'm pressed for time I don't worry about this stuff, because I know if put it on Pinterest, it's got a crazy long lifespan. But that said, if you've got the time, if you have the few extra minutes, why not post it to social media? Preferably social media platforms where you can share a link, so it's better if you can put this on Facebook, or you can tweet it out, or you can do things where they can click on a link. But you can still do things like post something on Instagram, and say, "Hey guys, there's a new blog post, click the link on my profile." But you do wanna think about sharing it places where you can put a link. You can also use a scheduler to give your blog posts a longer life on social media. So if you do, if you are really heavy into social media, particularly if you're using Facebook a lot, you may wanna think about something like MeetEdgar, which is the platform where, and I to be fair, do not use this platform, but I hear lots of great things about it, and I don't use it because Facebook is not part of my marketing strategy, so instead I use ViralTag and pin things to Pinterest. But the idea behind Edgar is that you put content in and you say how long, how often you want it to be refreshed on say, Facebook and Pinterest, and it just keeps eventually sharing it forever and ever. So it gives your content a longer lifespan. Obviously they claim it will double your traffic. It's probably worth trying if you're using those platforms. The other question with blog promotion is should you email your blog posts to your list? And really there's actually no right answer here, my solution is sometimes. So there was a time where I was creating outfit posts, or creating posts for my blog five to seven days a week. My list does not want an email with those everyday. So I do not email most of my blog content to my list. Instead, I do it occasionally when I think it makes sense. So I mentioned earlier, I did this post, it was Eight Ways to Wear One Contra Necklace, and that week I was really struggling for content for my email marketing. So I thought okay, I'm just gonna send this out to my list. And in this case, that necklace sold within about 45 minutes, but I also know my list, and I know that if I sent them one of these posts every week, they would get really tired of me. So I use it sparingly when I need email content, but I have a very different strategy most of the time for my email marketing, which those of you who saw that on my email marketing class know all about that now. So really, it's kind of your discretion. We also, someone else asked a question earlier, sometimes I might throw a PS in, so if I've got an image, and then I've just done that, so if I email out, say, a link to that new leaf pendant, I might add a PS that says, "Hey I just styled this on my blog if you wanna check out a way to wear it." General rule of thumb, is I say give yourself about 10 to 15 minutes to promote every post after you finish it. That's really all you should be taking, maybe even five to 10, I don't even think I usually take 15. You guys know I like to get this stuff done fast, right. Couple of minutes, move on. So, I'm gonna give you guy a checklist. If you do not want to write all of this down, the good news is that this is one of your bonuses for the class, so if you purchased the class you do not have to write all of this down. But just to run through it really quickly, we've got before publishing. Do you have keywords in your blog post title, in your meta description, in your image files, and in your image alt text? Do you have links to product pages if you've got them? Or if you don't have product pages, do you have links to your email call to action? Do you links to other blog posts if it's relevant? And did you include a vertical image for Pinterest? So run through that checklist before you hit publish. Then after publishing, I recommend pinning to at least two different Pinterest boards on that same day, scheduling your future pins, and then if you've got these platforms, share a post on Facebook. You could do your business page and your personal page. The problem with the business page is, is that they don't really love it. If you've got a link, they want you to pay to promote. That's sort of the way Facebook rolls now. So, share it on your personal page too, it at least gives you a little traffic, gives you a little boost. If you're on Twitter, tweet it out. You can also, if you're using a scheduler, schedule your future posts for Facebook and/or Twitter, and again, I don't do all these things all the time. For me, if I get these two done, if I've pinned it to Pinterest and I've scheduled it for Pinterest for the future, I feel okay to walk out the door. But if you are heavy on these other platforms, why not use them? And then share a version of your post on Instagram, or even Instagram stories if you don't wanna post it to your regular feed, show it on Instagram stories, you could do a little video. And I know, someone's gonna ask how to use Instagram stories, we don't have time for that right now. But you could share a little video and say, "Hey guys, I've got a new blog post up, you can go check it out here." And then if it makes sense, email the post to your list. And that's it, doesn't have to take a ton of time. So who has questions, does anyone have any further questions about promotion? Promoting your blog posts after they're up? Besides how to use Instagram stories, we're not going there today.
We have a question here, a few people were curious about this, Janet had posted it. They're curious to know about benefit to participating in blog hops or challenges where you're kind of connecting with other bloggers. Something maybe we'll get to, but that's just, a lot of people are curious about how to do that.
So what I, so there's two things. First of all, that for me strikes me as the kind of content that appeals to your peers and not your customers. And secondarily, those things make more sense where you are blogging where the blog is the business, and your only goal is to get enough traffic to appeal to advertisers and sponsors. So that's where I see that content coming into play. I don't think it makes a lot of sense for a business, a blog that's promoting your products for your business.