I try to be helpful; I really do. Back in 2018 I wrote an article titled 22 Things You Need To Do To Help Promote Your Blog Or Business On Social Media. Was it long? Yes; yes it was. The idea was to be comprehensive, and for its purpose, it was.
I may not look it, but I am!
Yet… it seems that maybe it wasn’t comprehensive enough. I mean, if I couldn’t get the message through in 3,000 words, what should I have done to get more attention? Actually, the article was pretty popular at the time I released it. Many people said they liked the tips. So, what happened after that?
Out of all the people who responded to the article, only 3 of them have created any new content in the last 6 months. Out of those 3 people, none of them have a single comment on their blogs; heck, one of them doesn’t even have comments set up… well, not easily anyway.
This isn’t going to be a 3,000+ word article; not this time. It’s not even going to be deeply comprehensive. It’s going to attempt to be helpful, but also realistic; I doubt that half the people who might end up commenting it will follow what I’m going to suggest. But one never accomplishes anything they don’t try, right?
So, let’s start with blogging, since it’s the thing I’m passionate most.
I’m going to start off with something that’s conflicting with my main goal, but it’s the truth; it’s not always comments that determines if your blog is working for you or not. I love getting comments, but this is the only one of my 3 “real” blogs that gets much attention, and that’s not an “always” thing.
My business blog is geared towards leadership, a topic that’s not overly popular with the masses as most of them aren’t leaders. Yet, over the years it’s landed on a lot of top leadership blogs; none since 2018 unfortunately, but it’s still got a pretty good history. It’s also on a lot of Twitter lists for the topics of leadership and diversity; I can live with that.
The thing is, that blog rarely gets comments, even if some articles get shared elsewhere. So, even though it’s not a big draw when it comes to comments, it gets the job done where its value is concerned.
However… and this is important… whenever it gets a comment, I always respond. I think it’s courteous to respond when people take the time to leave a comment on your blog. It’s also important because you never know if that person might share your content with someone else or with a larger audience on social media. Not only does no one like being ignored, but by not responding to comments most people will forget that they even left a comment on your blog if you don’t respond. This is tip number one.
Tip number 2, it turns out that some blogs don’t send out responses to people who comment on their blog. That wasn’t a problem back in the day, but as themes have changed it seems that the creators of those themes don’t prioritize responses as much as they used to. On my blogs I use a plugin that allows people to decide if they want to see if they got a response or not. Look down below and you’ll see you have that option. If you’re using WordPress software, the plugin is called “Comment Reply Email Notification“.
We be promotin’!
Tip number 3; pay attention to your own blog. I visit the dashboard of all of my blogs 3 times a day, even if this is the only one that gets a lot of attention. I’ve talked to many bloggers who say “I didn’t know someone left a comment”; that’s a shame, and there’s no real excuse for it. Even if it went into spam or pending, at least it’s there.
I do use some powerful spam filters that block certain comments based on disallowed verbiage or the location of the sender (sorry to the eastern Europeans, but y’all send most of the spam), and of course I “block” all gmail responses since that’s where almost all the spam comes from, but those go into the trash and I’ll pull legitimate comments out. I don’t get notified when that happens, which is why I check all my blogs multiple times daily; because I care.
Tip number 4; visit some of those people who leave a comment. Depending on the quality of the comment, I tend to check out the links of new commenters to see whether they’re responding from a blog or from a business site. If I’m interested in the topic of feel I have something pertinent to share my opinion, I’ll leave a comment… when I can. That always helps your own blog, because people are more willing to share your content when you prove you care about theirs.
Tip number 5; make it easy for people to share their comments with you. Some blogs require that you sign up for a service; that’s been around since I started blogging in 2005. I’ve never signed up for any of those services like Disqus and some others whose names I can’t think of at the moment. I am on Blogspot’s commenting list, though I can’t remember how I got there, and I’m on WordPress.com’s list because I’ve written for a couple of business blogs owned by others there over the years. If it’s complicated people would rather leave than deal with the nonsense.
Tip number 6; allow comments! I get it; spam is irksome. However, not only are there plugins that help deal with spam, but if you’re paying attention you’ll see a lot of patterns you can deal with by using the discussion area of your settings and adding words and email addresses you don’t want getting through without moderation. You can’t be getting as much spam as I do; a plugin service I pay for called Clean Talk blocked just over 5,000 spam comments last year. Adding “gmail.com” to my discussion area has kept a lot of comments that Clean Talk misses from reaching my comments area. Go ahead and allow comments; as I said earlier, people hate being ignored.
Tip number 7; promote your content… promote it more than once. I’ve covered this multiple times on this blog and even on YouTube, but I’ll touch upon it once again. When you create new content, share it in as many appropriate places as possible. Twitter’s good for everything. LinkedIn is good if it’s even somewhat business related, and it doesn’t have to be related to your specific business.
I share my original content on Twitter at least 8 times in the first week, then it goes into rotation to make sure I share it again down the line; that includes my YouTube videos. I only share once on LinkedIn because that seems appropriate, and only business related items (which means my article about diabetes never made it to LinkedIn). However, some of the non-business related content is appropriate to share on Facebook (the diabetes article was shared there), and your audience is actually more loyal there than anywhere else, even if they don’t come to the blog to comment (which is okay because if they comment on your Facebook link it’ll show up in their streams to their friends you’re not connected to).
Tip number 8; promote other people’s content, especially if you’re in it. I’ve been interviewed a bunch of times over the years. It used to mainly be blogs, but these days it’s mainly podcasts. No matter what the platform is, or whether I conducted the interview or was the subject of the interview, I have all of those in a place there I share all of them at least once every month on Twitter. What I also do is share the Twitter handle of the person or persons who were a part of the interview. Some of them see it and will like, share or comment on it, which benefits everyone.
Tip number 9; if someone promotes something with you in it, whether it’s new or not, help promote it by re-sharing it, liking it or commenting on it. If you’re smart, you’ll do something like that every time it comes up. I’ve noticed that most people only share something once, no matter what you do to help them get the word out, even if it’s about them. If you’re not willing to help yourself, why expect others to help you? And if you’re not doing enough to promote your own content, why are you griping that you’re not getting visitors or enough traffic?
I’m stopping here so I can stay under half as many words at that initial article I linked to; that and 9 is one of my lucky numbers. 🙂 These aren’t comprehensive, but I think they’re enough to help. What say you?
15 thoughts on “You’re Not Promoting Your Blog Or Yourself Properly”
Good solid advice. I agree with all of it. I am pretty active about checking stats and I generally get notifications about comments so I know to respond.
But I am not real active in promoting anything anymore and I hardly comment anywhere.
That is a big change for me. I used to comment all over the place. I found it to the most effective tool I had for promoting my blog and building relationships.
It was how I built some friendships online. I probably ought to start doing some of that again. There are still some very fine writers and interesting people out there.
I’ve “studied” the difference one makes in driving traffic to their blog between writing guest posts, doing interviews, promoting one’s content or commenting on another person’s blog. Overall, as long as someone else’s blog is still generating a lot of attention, that’s #1; if not, then promoting it on social media is #1, but that’s an audience that won’t often comment on your topic unless it smacks them in the face. Still, it’s interesting to see the stats and see where traffic’s coming from. I doubt I’ll do another “blog post every day for a month” with everything else that’s going on, but when I did the numbers jumped as far as traffic was concerned, mainly from Twitter.
Either way, if we actually care that someone’s reading what we’re producing, we need to at least promote ourselves somewhere, right?
LOL. I know I’m not promoting myself. Must do better. But, as you know, I refuse to turn on comments.
I do try to implement tips 8 and 9, mainly on Twitter.
I think #7 is also helpful, and also on Twitter. Studies have shown (at least those I’ve read) that unless someone is following you closely on Twitter that promoting once will do little in helping to get visitors because Twitter moves so fast that if you’re not on one of their lists your message will be lost in less than 3 minutes.
So, get prepared for planning a bit of promotion for the upcoming book; yeah, I’m helping you get notice that’s it’s on its way. 😀
Thanks for pointing that out. For some reason, I have equated multiple tweets with spamming and, therefore, am reluctant to do that. Is it correct that one should modify the content of each tweet?
I appreciate the book shout-out, too. 🙂
Basically, Twitter “requests” that you modify a tweet within a 24-hour period. I do that on the day I release new content, adding an introduction and maybe releasing one of my hashtags on the 3nd article of the day so that the next morning I can just release the title with all the hashtags because from that point on every article will be more than 24 hours apart. With that said, I’ve seen lots of people posting the same exact thing multiple times within a 24-hour period without issues, which either means Twitter isn’t paying attention or they’re giving some kind of leeway; no idea.
Lode of wisdom as always. I, for one, have been told often that I need to promote myself and MisterWeirdo much more than I do, which is practically non-existent. lol
Back in the mid 2000’s there didn’t need to be a lot of promoting to get known or be one’s version of successful. As social media has grown and every Bob and Sue can do something that others might like, it makes promoting oneself more important than ever.
I love comments, and I (almost) always respond. I have a plug-in that filters “comments with no response.” Not all comments invite a response, unfortunately. But I enjoy the conversations, as you know. I’m no longer the “comment queen,” because so many blogs are contentious or actively discourage comments. I try to stick to the ones that feel welcoming, like yours.
You say, “It turns out that some blogs don’t send out responses to people who comment on your blog.” If you’re on WordPress, and you want notification, you have to subscribe to comments. The plug-ins only work some of the time. GDPR has made this even more problematic, because you have to CONFIRM (via email) that you really meant to do that – and a lot of people don’t look for that email or won’t find it after it lands in spam, unfortunately. Ah well. It almost guarantees that the conversations will be friendly, as only friends who read will bother.
Yes, definitely pay attention to your own blog; if you don’t, why should anyone else? I’ll admit that I miss comments that fall into spam, sometimes – especially on high-spam days. I’ll go a few weeks with little or no spam, but some days it seems as though everything falls into the spam folder indiscriminately. I think people who keep their comments on moderation may check more regularly for that than I do – I tend to think my Bouncer can be trusted, till I find he needs a stern scolding. And it seems as though there are about 3 people who routinely fall in, even though I’ve punched the Bouncer in the nose and told him to treat those three as honored guests. I can’t even blame Akismet for it. I’ve no idea what’s going on.
You, though – you have to check, because my comments always fall into your spam moat and you have to fish me out (I think it amuses you to see me all wet and bedraggled, riding the gators ’round the castle like dime-store merry-go-rounds, though).
Oh, I’ll do you one better than merely visiting the REAL people who leave a comment. If they are regular visitors, give them backlinks. Add them to a blogroll. I know, those fell out of favor and became a massive PITA to maintain, some years ago. But I’ve recently added a lovely plug-in that creates a dynamic (and low maintenance!) blogroll like the one I had a thousand years ago on Blogger; see jahangiri.us/2020/recommended-reading-by-friends/ (you’re there – had you even noticed?) If you’re there, you get rewarded for keeping your blog up to date, as the links appear most-recent-first.
#5 – Dear God, yes. Do not make anyone jump through flaming hoops to leave comments if you want comments. Do not make me solve math problems or train image recognition algorithms for someone else, for free. I won’t do it unless I’m very highly motivated (and I’m usually NOT). CAPTCHA codes are making users do the work you should have software doing on the backend, unobtrusively 99% of the time. RECAPTCHA (the second chance to pass a passive Bouncer) isn’t terrible; perhaps a commenter IS feeling motivated enough to prove they really are not a spammer if the system has reason to think they MIGHT be, even after checking references. People are lazy, but they will be downright obstinate if you try to make them do unpaid work when they think they’re doing YOU a kindness.
You’re not on “Blogspot’s commenting list.” You’re logged into Google. That’s really all it takes. If you use Jetpack and link it to your self-hosted WordPress, or if you have a Gravatar, you’re connected to WordPress (though you may be prompted to log in, before you’re able to comment on some blogs). Might as well, really – two of the more (arguably) trustworthy systems on the Internet. I do wish Google hadn’t officially dropped their “Don’t be evil” motto, but if you have an Android phone and a Google account, you might as well admit you’re Borg. You’ve been assimilated. If we ever need to go on the lam, first thing we do is smash the devices and throw them into the nearest port-a-potty, right? Down into the blue goo…
Ahh, you use Clean Talk, too? I don’t mind paying for that one – their rates are good and they do their job. You COULD just whitelist me there, you know…
#7 – I do, but it feels tiresome. I’m old enough to remember when we were supposed to let others do that for us, and to resent spending more time making cute PowerPoint presentations tooting my own horn than having managers who felt a need to promote their teams. But I’ve given up arguing that “Content is king.” Marketing wins. Content has been reduced to a commodity. OK, noted – I need to work on this.
#8 and #9 are much easier, until it’s not – and by that, I mean things you wouldn’t naturally share, like ad-centered, product-promotional posts you know are cookie cutter pieces, or posts you strongly disagree with, even though you may like or respect the author. But if you’re IN it… Oh, you, you clever man, have me trained like one of Skinner’s pigeons, there, haven’t you? LOL
As for stopping at #9, do current blog studies still show that odd-numbered, single-digit listicles perform best? 😉 I feel old, some days.
Ugh! Your second paragraph quotes what I wrote… I had to go look at the article again because what I typed definitely wasn’t what was supposed to be there. lol In the first line it should have had “their” instead of “your”, and I wrote “blog in” instead of “plugin”; ugh again! lol
As you know, I don’t genuflect to the GDPR whatsoever, and to that extent I use a plugin that blocks all European countries (Stop Spammers; I’m taking the spam thing seriously). That might seem like overkill and harmful to traffic, but it seems I was only getting .04% of traffic from Europe so it’s not that much of a loss.
As for your comments going into spam; that’s actually a misnomer. They’re going into the trash because you love using gmail. I know we had that one issue with your real email, but since I’ve whitelisted you haven’t tried using it again to see if it works… not my fault! lol
I didn’t know you had a blogroll, and just now I noticed that it’s in your About section… something else I didn’t know one could do. You’ve been on my short blogroll for years; I keep having to change it up because you keep changing the dates. 😀
I have a Gravatar, so that explains tone thing, because I keep forgetting WordPress bought them, and Blogspot because… actually, I don’t know why Google has me listed because I’m not signed in with either of the gmail addresses that were created for me (turns out one was created when I got my first Android phone, the other when I created my 2nd YouTube channel). As long as they work, I’m good (though I wish the Gravatar piece stopped asking me for different passwords I forget I have).
I still believe content is king; without content, people are marketing nothing. At least with content you have a friend in search engines… sometimes… since DuckDuckGo and Bing love me.
I’m skipping 7 & 8 and jumping right to 9; I’ve no idea what studies are showing about numbers, but I’m superstitious and overall I’m not a fan of even numbers. lol
Thanks for the Tweet clarification.
Thank you for your detailed article! I love the tips as a whole, and I’m also planning to implement those steps… I just need to sort out where to begin! I’m hoping to develop my blog and to cause it something that will to be useful for others.
The easiest place to begin is Twitter. Title, link, image; you’re done! Pre-post articles for later dates and you’re on your own after that. If you’re hesitant pick one of your best articles and test that to see if you have any audience response to it.
Great advice I must say! But unfortunately the blogging space in my area is toxic in the sense that you might end up losing your site / blog if you are committed to promoting your site on social media
Really? Why is that? I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Nigeria.