There’s a common saying in the blogging community. One that relates to content creation versus promotion.
It’s said that you should follow the 80/20 rule: that is, 20% of your time should be spent actually creating your blog content, and the other 80% should be spent promoting said content. It’s a simple rule, but a lot of beginner bloggers fail to follow it.
That could be due to plain ignorance, or a false assumption: that you have to pay to promote content.
While it’s true that services like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads are paid, there are actually lots of free ways to promote your blog.
Here I’ll be looking at 11 of these cool free ways. Remember, without readers, your content is useless, so be an active promoter!
I’m starting off with the obvious here. It’s really no surprise that social media is a good source of free traffic. Actually, I’d say it’s the best source of free traffic, simply because so many people use it.
Whenever you finish a post, it’s a good idea to share it across multiple social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Google Plus is also a pretty good place to share, though I don’t really use it that much.
If you watch professional wrestling, you’ll be familiar with the term “put over.” This is when an established wrestler loses to a newer one, to make the rookie popular of legitimate in the eyes of fans.
Guest blogging works on a similar principle. Basically, you write a post for someone else. It doesn’t go on your site at all, but if you partner with a seasoned blogger, you can get lots of traffic, because you get a link to your site in the process.
If you want an authority site (who doesn’t?), guest blogs will help out a lot. Although backlinks aren’t very useful anymore, having some from a relevant, established site will no doubt help your rankings.
And of course, there’s the exposure. As a blogger, brand awareness is critical, so what better way to do so than visiting other sites?
Here are some guest blogging resources if you’re interested:
Commenting on Other Sites
When you comment on another site, you’ll be able to leave a link to your own site. You can naturally tell how well this can work out for you, especially if you’re commenting on a top-tier blog.
It’s idiotic how trolls comment “first” on everything nowadays, but if you can do that on a big-name site in your niche, you’re gonna get a lot of exposure.
If you create a Gravatar account, you can leave comments on countless sites with the same avatar. This is useful for brand recognition.
Make sure you have something good to say! No one looks twice at a generic or unremarkable comment. Think of it as a first impression.
Making Use of Your Email List
I could do a whole series of posts on email marketing, but for now, let’s just stick to the fact that it’s free and goes a long a way in promoting a post.
An email list is a powerful tool. If you send out a notification that your new post if finished, that’s some guaranteed traffic right there.
If you use email, and you do, you no doubt trash a lot right away. You don’t want that to happen to yours, so it’s important to make every email count. Make the subject appealing, keep it short, and especially provide value. That last one also goes for anything else you do, ever.
Write an eBook
10 years ago eBooks were barely a thing, and the idea of writing one seemed just as hard as writing a physical book.
Well, 10 years later, it’s now quite easy to write and publish an eBook, thanks to Amazon Publishing. You don’t need to be especially popular yet; some people get traffic from their eBooks.
There’s also the money you earn from eBook sales. Many blogs earn income from multiple sources, but eBooks often provide a large slice of that pie.
Link to Other Blogs
It’s common sense that having your blog linked to is a good thing, so why do so for other bloggers? Link to their sites.
Yeah, it does seem counterintuitive, but linking to another website could get your site noticed. The owner of the blog you linked to might well return the favor. That’s the best case scenario.
Worst case scenario? Well, there isn’t really one. What, all you’re doing is linking to a post! If it’s relevant, there’s no reason not to do it!
Plus, Google looks favorably on (see what I did there?) links to authority sites, so you really should make the most of an opportunity to link.
You’ve undoubtedly used forums before, on all kinds of websites. Almost all boards nowadays let you keep a “signature” in all your messages.
And yes, these signatures let you post your link in there. If you regularly post on message boards, why not take full advantage of the opportunity?
The great thing about forum signatures is they don’t have to be relevant to your niche. You can literally post any link in there. Well, usually affiliate links aren’t allowed, but you’re promoting your site, right?
Quora is a Q&A site that’s built on making it easy to find answers to whatever questions you may have.
When you answer a question on Quora, you’re allowed to leave links to anywhere you want. You can see where this is going.
As a community, Quora users eventually take notice of active answerers, giving them more views in the process. You basically become an authority.
Now, while it’s a great place to post links, the company is strict about spam, so any external link has to be subtle and relevant. That shouldn’t be too hard to do, considering Quora has categories for almost everything.
These are two different platforms, but they work similarly, so I stuck ’em together. You won’t get padded content from me, no sir.
Anyway, first is StumbleUpon. When I first stumbled upon (heh, heh) this cool service, I was amazed. You basically select your interests when signing up, then you “stumble upon” a random article.
It could be by anyone. That’s the magic of it. You can probably guess that this can be an awesome source of targeted traffic. It’s as simple as adding your link!
It’s so fun because you can get anything. After a few stumbles I came across a Flash game and a webcomic, among others. Your post could be one of these finds too! Effortless traffic, yo.
Note: To submit more than a few links on SU, you have to be active on the site.
Digg is kinda like StumbleUpon. You add links to its library, and other people come across them. The main difference is that Digg is more organized; there is no “stumble” button.
Don’t get me wrong, you still come across some pretty random stuff. The categorization makes targeted traffic even more likely. I prefer SU, but Digg is just as useful.
And if someone like your post, they can “Digg” it. The more Diggs it has, the more noticeable it is! Go out there and use this, dammit!
Fetch as Google
This is a little bit of a stretch, but I think it can pass. Fetching as Google is basically submitting a new post to the search engine instead of waiting for it to crawl.
In a way, it’s like a cry for attention. “Hey, look at me!”
That makes a link crawled right away. It doesn’t directly boost traffic, but it can index the post faster, leading to better rankings.
Now that I look at it, this is basically reaching. But it is my list…
BuzzSumo is my favorite content curator, if you can call it that. I mainly use it to share articles to social media, but it’s also important as a networking tool.
On the site, you can find the most shared articles of the week/day/month, and see which blogs are the most popular. This feature helped me find the “need-to-know” blogs for my niche, so it’s a good idea to check it out.
One Last Word
There’s undoubtedly tons more free ways to promote your blog, but these methods are among the most important, and not just because I picked them.
When promoting your site, remember there’s a fine line between “promotion” and “annoying spam.” You wouldn’t want to be looked at as a spammer, would you?
The important thing is, if you don’t promote, you don’t emote. Now I realize that doesn’t make any sense, but consider this: it rhymed.
But seriously, promote your content. While it’s true that content itself is king, it’s practically useless without readers.
Thanks for reading my list! Do you make use of these promotional pathways? Were any of these techniques new to you? Sound off in the comments below!
And if you found this humble list useful, feel free to share it! Please?
Your partner in promotions,
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38 thoughts on “11 Free Ways to Promote Your Blog – Get the Word Out!”
Wow! I never heard of most of these. I just tried the StumbleUpon and it would only let me submit 3 web pages. I then searched why and read there is a limit you can submit from 1 website. I then tried Digg. I couldn’t find a “help” section or where to submit a link. Any suggestions?
Yes, there is a limit to StumbleUpon. That’s a spam deterrent. If you want to increase your limit, you have to be more active on the site. It’s just how it works.
Digg is tricky. You have to actually click an article and then go to the bottom of the page, where it’ll show on the footer. I’ve added a picture to the post to clarify!
Great info thanks for sharing, I am going to try a few of them out.
Hope they work out for you Helen!
This are great tips. Will apply them to my site, thanks for sharing.
No problem Kaz! Thanks for reading!
This is really great stuff. Many are so simple but yet effective so thank you very much for sharing. And yes content is king 🙂
Glad you agree Michael! Thanks for reading!
These are eleven excellent ways to promote your blog or website! Of the eleven, StumbleUpon has got to be one of my favorites! I like the ability to randomly look at other interesting websites. As said in the movie, Forrest Gump, StumbleUpon is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get!
I agree! It’s just so fun being able to read anything. Thanks for reading Glen! And nice Forrest Gump reference by the way!
Wow! Thank you for all this information in an easy to read format.. I have heard of most of these things and know that i need to get to that 80% of promotion. I have bookmarked your site for future work and to keep that list handy. Right now its content, content, content for me. Your post also drew me right in and I wanted to read it.. Your site is clean and inviting. I look forward to your articles in the future.
Hi Shelley! You’ve got it right: content is what you need first. But you shouldn’t forget promotion.
Thanks for the compliments! Glad you like the site, and thanks for bookmarking!
Another great post my friend!! We should do some guest blogging for each other soon!!
Thanks Shawn! Looking forward to the opportunity!
Great Article Mohammad
I follow the 80-20 and I love it.
I will sure surely use most of these to “put my word out” 😉
One question: I heavily use Twitter for promoting my website, and barely use Facebook or Google +, is this a good approach?
Hi Yaser! I’m in the same boat. I mainly use Twitter. FB and G+ are very useful, but you don’t need to use them. Relying on Twitter has worked out fine for me. Eventually I might be more active on Facebook, but for now I can say it’s a good approach.
I will really try Buzzsumo. It looks so interesting and showing trending shares extensively is a huge advantage. Thanks!
No problem Furkan! I hope you enjoy it!
Thank you for writing this article, it’s so helpful. I was almost lost in making my website and I lost the path in a way. Actually, I didn’t know I can boost the ranking of my blog with these tricks. I will have to go again through your post and follow the steps. Thanks again and waiting for more posts from you! 🙂
I know how that feels. Making a website is hard work, but finding out new ways to promote it helps a lot. I hope you make good use of these techniques. Thanks for sharing, Ana!
Wow, I am so failing at the 80/20 rule. My posts take me ages. You have given me so many ideas to work on. Just need to get my head around how these all work. Will definitely add this page to my reading list. Thanks for the info.
It can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you spend a lot of time creating content in the first place. Don’t worry though, these are pretty simple to get the hang of. Thanks for reading!
Really good info! I will be trying some of the ways you mentioned in your post! I want to try out new things so for sure I’ll check out some you suggested here! Thanks for the info!
I hope you enjoy them Freddy! Good luck and thanks for commenting!
Hi Makki. This is a great post with great info.
Really really informative. Many of these that you mention I haven’t even known about… yet. Now I do. Thank you.
I only used to use Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. But now I have a lot more options to utilize on my site.
Great blessings and success to you
Hi Marlene! Yeah, a lot of people focus on social media and pretty much forget the rest. Admittedly, social media may be the best one of these, but it’s certainly not the only one. Every little bit helps!
This is a great post! So happy I got the chance to read this! I really only make use of social media and fetch as google. I will be starting to incorporate some of these other techniques into my daily list of things to do. I like the idea of commenting on other authority sites in your niche, that seems like such a simple way to promote your site, but by being subtle about it. I am also going to check out stumble upon. I definitely have alot of work to now but these techniques give me much hope for better traffic. Thanks so much for this information!
Hi Summerly! Thanks for reading. Sounds like you’re gonna benefit quite a bit from the list. The commenting thing is actually very potent, if you can find the authorities of your niche. BuzzSumo works great for that.
StumbleUpon is limited by your activity on the site, but it definitely is worth a try. Yeah, it’s a challenge, all right… but so is owning a blog in the first place! Thanks for sharing!
Man, I sure do need this article like right now and it really helped. I will begin work on these 11 pointers you have shared right away for my own blog’s development. Thanks Makki.
PS: You site’s simplicity and beauty is awesome. I love it. Cheers.
Thanks so much Koko! That means a lot. Thanks for reading!
Wow! Seriously awesome post! I bookmarked your page and I will take my time to go though it completely, I see that there is more to this awesome information than just this article!
Tried out the StumbleUpon and love it as well! It is just what I need if I am running out of inspiration or I don’t know what I would like to read and discover. So so grateful that I found your page!
Keep up the excellent work!
That makes me really happy Reelika! I also love StumbleUpon, even when I’m not putting my links on it. It’s just really novel. You never know what you can find!
Thanks for bookmarking too! I hope you enjoy other articles on the site as much as this one!
Wow, this is really a lot of very good tricks. Thank you for sharing.
I will definitely look into some of these sites and could probably use some of them.
You know writing an e-book has crossed my mind several times, but I cannot make a final decision.
But thanks for sharing.
Hi Filichia, and thanks for commenting. I absolutely recommend writing an eBook, if you have the ability to do so. It could be a huge boon to your site. You never know, it could end up being a hit!
Excellent post. I especially like the post about making relevant comments on someone’s blog entry.
Also, I would like to contribute an additional method:
Using a twitter profile search tool to find other bloggers with similar topics to partner up with. You can use Find70.com for this. Search for twitter users that follow the blogs most similar to yours. You can refine the search results with filters based on your own formula weighting too.
Hi Pascal! I’m really glad you liked the post. I never heard of Find70.com, but it looks great! I love the idea and it’s really easy to use. Plus, it’s free. I especially like that you can see profiles right in the application rather than having to go to Twitter itself. Networking is a breeze! I need a bit more to get used to it though. This should be a huge boon to my Twitter marketing. Excellent suggestion! Thanks for sharing!
Hi, thank you very much for your tips and advice.
Since I started blogging, I have tries so many social media platform that I never use before,
I signed up for G+, pinterest and reddit, while I am already on FB and twitter, what is you most favourite platform? People say FB but I think it is very hard to start with 0 follower on FB page. What’s your tips?
I really like FB, but that’s mostly because of ads. If you’re willing to shell out a some money on a good ad campaign, then FB is your best bet.
Twitter is also a good choice. I don’t like using it as much as FB because of the character limit and that their ads don’t PayPal. G+ and Reddit are great from what I hear, but I don’t use very often so my opinion isn’t useful.
Thanks for your input!