Writing and managing a blog is a full time job. Or it should be. Blog marketing is even more so. If you check out the hundreds of thousands of successful blogs in the internet compare them to some of the lesser known ones that your friends (or other people you know) have created, you will know that the former take marketing seriously.
Going back a little…
Ever since the famous Panda update, over marketed blogs or blogs rich in keywords and low on content have largely disappeared from the Search results. But it hasn’t gotten much easier to feature on the first page organically. Even if you write the best post on a particular topic, there is no guarantee that it will get the readership it deserves. Sure, there are ways your content can be better (and should be) than others writing on the same topic. But at the same time, blog marketing is also essential.
I will not be making simple to dos that you can follow. Simply because several such posts already exist. This is about me actually implementing certain changes, automating what’s possible and checking the results.
My own blog marketing objective
Before I can safely begin I need to set my objective clearly. I must meet this to call this endeavor of mine a success. I will fix – say to reach 1000 readers a day (currently it hovers around 100) within 1 month.
See what I did there?
I have set a goal – 1000 viewers a day
I have set a timeline – 4 weeks
I have not said anything about the bounce rate yet. That is to be taken up at phase 2. The marketing campaign can be considered successful if I am able to get people to the page in the first place.
Make of note of this – set a goal for your own blog marketing. Be totally honest and realistic while setting it.
Install your web analytics tools. I am using Google Analytics. It has all the features you need to get the job done. Depending on your type of blog, installation methods will vary slightly.
Installing Google Analytics on your blog
If you are using self hosted wordpress blogs, please follow this link to get started. For wordpress.com blogs, you can simply use JetPack to do the job for you. For blogger the integration is hassle free as well.
Learn the basics of Google Analytics while you are at it. Things are pretty self explanatory. You will take no time to understand how it works. Here are some screenshots for reference.
- After your website is verified, you can see the analytics details
- You will be able to filter them with certain parameters
- Our objective is to pull this line up
- Check the keywords that are already doing well on your website
- Forget about competitor analysis at this stage
Okay now. We have a long way to go.
With Google Analytics setup you are closer to your goal.
Now it is time to create a marketing schedule. For our beginner workshop, as a proof of concept exercise I will keep my schedule extremely simple.
I already have a few pages on social media. I will create or revamp ones that are also necessary. And I will post there regularly. I will also automate the process as much as possible to make it easier for me to give time to other important stuff, like creating content.
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I know this looks daunting. Sharing stuff almost twice every day is tedious. Right?
You can use Buffer to automate the process. It is free for up to 3 accounts. For the rest we will explore other options.
First, let me break this apparently complex stuff down.
The Three Types of shares – How to share your posts
There are three types of shares that can be.
- Single Image (with embedded URL)
- Single image with separate URL
- Single/Multiple image with URL and text
I will write ONLY one post per week. It will be of great quality.
But then I will create the meta content of the three types above at the same time.
At once I will have content to share for the entire week. The same text and URL will be used for all social media sites. The same image will be used. I won’t even optimize the resolution of the sharing images unless absolutely necessary.
I will take help of some of the applications or websites to make my task easier. Let’s list them down here.
Things to do when setting up a plan for blog marketing
Basically, we have the following tasks ahead of us:
- Creating beautiful images with text/url – I will use Canva for this. You can use anything similar. Hint – check the image at the top. 🙂
- Shorten the url in some cases – goo.gl is great. bit.ly is better.
- Automating the sharing process so that I set the stuff to be done once a week and the work is done.
Let’s take this post for example.
The meta content for the post will be as follows:
The text can be : “Blog Marketing Experiments – without spending a dime.”
This is an apt title for the page too.
There are ways you can further optimize it, and there is no end to it. But, with Canva it takes little time to do it. And you can focus your energies on content creation rather than design alone.
The same image will be posted everywhere, including Pinterest. I will just crop the sides to make it fit. Once you get more traction, you can create site specific resolutions. Canva has it built in.
As for auto sharing your blog, you can look at Blog2Social plugin for WordPress. For free you can share the content manually across multiple social networks. But the scheduler itself is a premium feature.
But this post is about getting it done for free.
HootSuite is good. Problem is that they allow only facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for the Free account.
Fine. That is what we will start with. There are options, though. Especially if you are adventurous.
I will try this at a later date. Either if I become desperate or just for the fun of it. In a nutshell, what it does is simple. For every event, it can evoke an action. With the help of plugins it can connect to social networks. Based on your event – new post, an action can be taken. For instance to post as per a set schedule. We will get back to this. Promise.
Till then, this should be a good start. Our schedule for the week becomes a little bit simpler now that only three social networks are to be taken care of. We will scale up eventually.