Toward the end of the “How to Market Your Blog and Turn It Into a Brand/Business” session, Elina asked the panel to give her some tangible examples for marketing her blog. I don’t think we ever really answered her question because we ran out of time, so here are my suggestions for what you can DO to market your blog.
Get Out of Your House
This is my number one tip for marketing your blog: Get out of your house and meet people! This is a great way to tell people about your blog and explain what it’s all about. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet other bloggers and find ways to work together.
I attend a lot of blogger events and conferences– many of which are open for everyone to attend. Here are just some of the blog conferences out there: Fitbloggin, Healthy Living Summit, BlogHer, BlogHer Food, Foodbuzz Festival, BlogWorld, Urban Running Blogger Summit, and Blissdom. (Just sign up for the event’s newsletter to stay in the loop about their upcoming events.) Twitter is also a great way to find out about events in your area. Twitter is all about WHO you follow!
Participate in the Blog Community
If you haven’t noticed already, the blog world thrives on community, so be sure to participate in anyway that you can. Here are just a few ideas: link to blogs and posts that you like, comment on blogs, host and participate in contests/giveaways, make friends on Twitter, offer to donate or bake something for an online auction, attend or host your own blogger meet-up in your area, contribute a guest post on another blog. All of these things help you make connections and spread the world about you and your blog.
Reach Out to Your Favorite Brands
Offer to write a guest post or submit a recipe to your favorite brands’ website or blog. In the past, I’ve written guest posts for Back on My Feet and Eggland’s Best. Reaching out to your favorite brands is a great way to build relationships and get new readers to your site.
Think Outside of Your Community
When thinking about guest posting, look outside of your usual blog community to find new audiences. A lot of my traffic comes from the healthy living and foodie communities, but I’d like to expand my reach to the fitness and running communities, so I recently offered to write a guest post for the Lisa Johnson Fitness.
Lisa has a large following (more than 19,000 followers on Twitter!), so I knew reaching out to her would be a great way to market my blog to a new audience. Bigger bloggers tend to get busy, so a lot of the time, they’re looking for content to feature on their blogs. It takes you just as long to write a guest post as it does a regular post on your own blog, so it really doesn’t take you anymore time or effort. The other blogger gets content for their site and you gain some new readers, so it’s a win-win for everyone. (FYI: I’m always looking for guest posts on Trading Up Downtown!)
Register Your Blog with Blog Directories
Registering your blog with various directories around the web is an easy way for people to discover your blog. Here are just a few of the blog directories out there: BlogCatalog, Healthy Living Blogs, Foodbuzz, BlogHer, BlogWise, Foodie Blogroll, and Technorati.
Create an Offline Presence
Quite a few bloggers are starting to expand their presence offline. For instance, Matt of No Meat Athlete has done a really great job with his t-shirts. I swear, I see at least one at every road race I run! There’s a million ways to create an offline presence, but anything that creates buzz for your blog will do.
Recently, I’ve had some success with creating CNC t-shirts and stickers. I only make about $1 off each shirt that I sell, but every one has the CNC logo on the back, so anytime someone wears it, my blog gets some free marketing. Similarly, I gave away CNC stickers to my readers. I had to pay for the postage to mail them, but it was totally worth it for some extra blog promotion. Plus, fun stickers make people happy.
Use Some Basic SEO Practices
At Fitbloggin‘ this year, Matt of No Meat Athlete covered some basic (not sketchy) search engine optimization (SEO) practices that bloggers can implement to help search engines find their sites. The session was summarized here: SEO for Fitness Bloggers and then later turned into a webinar, so you can see all of Matt’s suggestions. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve used on CNC. Additionally, a great presentation about SEO for Food Writing from TECHmunch also provided a number of useful tips and tricks for making it easier for Google to find your recipes.
You don’t have to post 2-3 times a day like crazy people like I do, but posting frequently keeps your loyal readers interested and coming back for more. I know a lot of bloggers who create a posting schedule to keep themselves on track. Maybe your goal is to publish a post four times a week. Plan it out on your calendar and then stick to it!
Leave Business Cards
This one is really simple, especially if you already have business cards for your blog. If not, VistaPrint.com is really easy to use and has some great deals!
At stores with community bulletin boards, like Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Bruegger’s, I sometimes post a couple of my business cards on the bulletin board. You never know who might find it, and it’s a quick and easy way to market your blog.
Create a Facebook Fan Page
People always ask me when I first I saw a spike in my blog traffic. About six months after I started CNC, I added my blog URL to my Facebook profile and posted a couple of links on my wall. Once I did that, I saw a considerable jump in my blog traffic.
Since then, I haven’t used Facebook much to market my blog, which is crazy because Facebook has something like 500 million users. A couple of weeks ago, however, I created a Carrots ”˜N’ Cake Facebook fan page, and I’ve already seen a small spike in traffic. I mean, just think about how many connections the average Facebook user has”” there’s so much potential for people to discover your blog!
Participate in Twitter Chats
The first step with this one is creating a Twitter account and then tweeting! Twitter is such an amazing way to network and promote your blog.
Participating in Twitter chats is another way to connect with people of similar interests and help them discover your blog. It’s also a great way to find new blogs to add to your own daily rotation. Two of my favorite Twitter chats are #runchat, which is held on the second and fourth Sunday of each month, and #FitBlog, which is held every Tuesday at 9 p.m.
What are your tips for marketing your blog? Please share!
Steph and I over at 321delish are still FAIRLY new to the blog world and our presence on Twitter has made a HUGE difference. We have made TONS of friends 🙂
Hi Tina, thanks so much for these tips. I don’t make my living blogging, but love that my little blog’s viewer numbers grow a bit each month. And if I follow some of your tips, who knows…maybe it’ll grow even more! (PS: how in the world am I the first to comment on this post???) Have a great day!
Awesome tips thanks for posting! I was just thinking the other day about what I could do to market my blog better (even though I am still a newbie!)
These are all such great tips, Tina! I think participating in the blog community by reading and commenting on other blogs is huge – when I started, that was where the majority of my traffic came from, and that’s how I learned that there were so many other similar bloggers living in my area.
Tina- I can’t thank you enough for posting all these tips. As a newbie to the blogging community I frequently find myself overwhelmed and not knowing what to do, etc. (In addition to being very sleep deprived). Your blog is a true inspiriation!
Great tips Tina! I definitely agree with the post regularly + using facebook and twitter. When I do those things I can see positive changes in my traffic.
These are great tips. I do a lot of them. I’ve been procrastinating on getting business cards and I need to just do it!
The one thing that disappointed me was that I contacted TONS of local and favorite companies for sponsorship/giveaway/advertising etc and the result was a big fat zero. 🙁
@Lisa: Same here. It’s not easy. My best advice is to keep trying!
@Tina: You are right, I should have kept trying. I contacted like 30 or 40 companies and only got rejection letters from about half–the rest just didn’t even respond. I gave up. I should try again.
Thanks for all the great tips, Tina. My blog is still young (about two months), so it’s great to keep learning about new ways to “market” myself. I can’t wait to give some of these tips a try!
LOVED this! Especially the “get out of your house” one – that’s definitely something I need to do more often…
Thanks for these tips!! I just wish I had more time to participate in all of this stuff!!
Great tips Tina!! Its very inspiring to see what other bloggers do 🙂
Wow! I’m new to blogging and the last few days I’ve been feeling overwhelmed a number of bloggy things including how to get the name out there. This post is tailor made for me! Between this and Julie over at PBFingers.com giving blogging tips on Tuesdays, it seems my momentary frustration was met with answers right in my lap! Thanks so much for posting. Will be visiting this post again and again 🙂
Thanks for these wonderful tips Tina! I already started implementing some of them on my lunch break today. 🙂
This is all so helpful! The best way I’ve ever gotten tons of traffic is from guest posts (including my post for Trading Up).
If you like a gym, studio, restaurant, etc in your area, dedicate a blog post to them and tweet it with their handle if they have an account. I recently did this with a yoga studio I enjoyed and they threw my review up on their Facebook page. Free advertisement for both of us!
Thank you so much for these ideas, they are great. Although I have been blogging for over 3 years as a “mommy blogger”, I just recently launched my healthy living blog. You have been a great inspiration story about making blogging a career, and I am already following a few of your suggestions (attending HLSummit, fitblog chats, creating business cards, etc). I am going to bookmark this post and keep it as a great reference for the future.
These are really great ideas! Thanks so much!
This is awesome. I’m trying SO hard to start a blog and, at first, it seems a bit daunting. Any information I can get is awesome!! Thanks, Tina!
Thanks Tina, this post really helps!!
Wonderful blog full of great information..thanks so much for sharing!
Great advice, there is really no end to what you can do to market your blog. It’s just about committing yourself to trying and trying again, no matter what!
These are really great tips! Thanks for sharing them all 🙂
Great tips Tina, thanks! Commenting on other people’s blogs is a big one for me.
Thank you for these tips! Now I just need to find out if there is a community of bloggers in Glasgow!
I went to a local blogger conference recently and most bloggers agreed that the best way to get traffic was to guest post. Guess I need to put myself out there.
We also talked about giveaways and how they can HELP or HURT your traffic. A lot of people said they actually hurt them in the long run.
Thanks so much for the useful tips! A couple friends and I have just recently gotten into the blogger world and are trying to find ways to get our blogs out there! I will definately have to give some of your tips a try. I have already added BlogHer to my list of faves to explore when I have more time! 🙂
Great tips! Leaving restaurant reviews on sites like yelp.com is also another way to attract people to your blog, especially it’s a food-centric blog. Sometimes just mentioning the restaurants name will result in an email from the owner. I’ve had this happen a few times now!
Great information! I love posts like this because they are helpful to a newbie, like me!
I am a new reader-I learned of your blog when you were in the Boston Globe for your book. Do you know of any good Diabetes (recipes, advice, etc) blogs?
Thanks so much for the tips, Tina, this is great…and just by being at TECHmunch last weekend, my traffic has definitely increased! More social/blogging events are definitely in my future!
Thanks for all the great tips Tina! I even bookmarked your blogging page at home because it has such great information. 🙂
Thanks for the tips 😀
Thank you so much for posting this and giving us all tips!! We all want to see our blogs grow.
These are great tips – it’s nice to know you actually market your blog, and success didn’t just come all on its own 🙂
I have a food/recipe blog, and one thing I do is bake for any and every occasion. Birthday at work? I always have treats to share. A friend’s bridal shower? I offer to make the cake or cupcakes. It gives me extra practice, an excuse to try new desserts, and best of all if people ask for the recipe, I point them to my blog 🙂
this is SUCH a great post and it’s SO informative! Thank you for doing this!!
Thank you so much for the tips. I would love to attend some conferences but it is unfortunately just too expensive to travel. I can’t afford to take a flight etc. I hope some of them come to Boston!!
Tina, thank you so much!
I just started my blog this week so this is incredibly helpful! 🙂
Great post, Tina. I love reading tips from established, successful bloggers.
love this, all such great ideas! Sadly I live in an area with ZERO other healthy living bloggers, so blog meet ups are a no go. But I try to do it at destination races!
I was so curious… how much traffic did you gain from the Marie Claire exposure? due to the massive feedback it seemed like people were clearly seeing that it was a one-sided piece. Just wondering since I assume that the magazine reaches a lot of people.
These are great! I’m new to the blogging world and even though I have a marketing degree, this is a whole new ball game. Love your blog!
Awesome tips! Thanks so much for the help 🙂
These tips are simple, but they sure are helpful for those of us new to the blogging world 🙂
Tina- Thank you SO much for these tips! Serious blogging is A LOT of work!! But it is such a great community to be a part of 🙂
Wonderful ideas, thanks! It’s tough promoting my blog with my work schedule, it would love more time and money to travel for blogger meetups. Love the tip for contacting brands and working on a list now. 🙂
Thank you for this collection of awesome tips! I’ve already had business cards made (love Vistaprint!) and I’m definitely going to try some of your other ideas. Thanks!
These are great tips, Tina! I’ll have to bookmark this page for future reference 🙂
Thank u so much for the tips! I just started blogging recently after being an avid reader for years! I can’t wait to meat everyone I’ve admired at HLS this year!
Thank you so much for this! I’m trying to get my name out there a little more, so this is awesome :). I just started my first ever giveaway today!
great tips again 🙂 I loved reading any advice to make my blog better! thanks!!