When I first started blogging, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t turn into a “New Media Douchebag“. There is a line between over-promotion and under-promotion of a blog and from my observation, most bloggers fall on the under-promotion side. It’s OK to self-promote your writing, here are a few tips:
Share your blog entries with all of your communities.
- Facebook: even if your friends aren’t in your line of work, they may want to know a little about what you do (for me, it’s refreshing if they know more about what I do than that I’m involved with “high-tech/computer related stuff”). You can either import specific entries or set up the RSS feed to post to your account. I felt that my Twitter activity was too noisy for Facebook, but a couple of blog posts a week doesn’t seem like too much and I’ve seen enough comments and “likes” that I’ve continued the feed.
- Twitter: if people like what you say enough to follow you on Twitter, there is a good chance that they’ll want to see more than 140 characters at a time of what you have to say (plus Twitter searches may get you new followers). Many blog sites allow for an automated feed of your post to Twitter. I would also recommend that you mention in the Tweet that it is your blog post (such as starting your post “New Blog” or putting [blog] before the link). I’m more likely to click a link if I know that it is original content from someone that I know than from a news or tech site.
- LinkedIn: If your blog is related to your work, put the link on your profile and there are also now applications that will post your entries.
- FriendFeed: In addition to being an aggregation site, you can use FriendFeed as a distribution point for your activity. Louis Gray describes how you can use FriendFeed to master your data flow. You can customize which feeds get posted from FriendFeed to Twitter.
- Email: If the blog post would be of interest to someone, don’t assume that they will have seen it through the other channels. Go ahead and shoot them a note either saying that you thought they’d find it interesting, you’d like their feedback or just that it made you think of them.
- In person: The chance that someone has read your post varies greatly through all of the electronic methods listed above, you have a much greater connection when you’re talking to someone in person. I don’t promote my blog in person often, but if I’m having a conversation and believe that I’ve written a post that is relevant to the conversation, I will mention the post and email it to them later.
The best way for people to see your articles is if they are subscribed to your blog. Make sure that it is easy for people to subscribe to your blog and it’s OK to remind them that they can subscribe to it. [I tend to post a reminder at the end of blog posts on new topics, so if you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to this blog.]
The title of your blog post is important – if people are scanning through their feed reader, will it give them an idea of what the post contains? Having a catchy or funny title is OK, but a keyword of the topic is more important. The keywords are also important for the indexing of your blog in search engines and it also makes it easy to post to Twitter if you can just send the title without having to add a lot of hashtags or explanation.
At the end of the day, I find that the best promotion is when others promote your posts; make sure that you’re getting your posts out to enough services and so that your contacts have the opportunity to share what you’ve written. If nobody ever sees what you’ve written, they won’t be able to share it🙂