So you’ve got a blog, written some amazing content and now you’re delving into the seedy world of increasing conversions and blog optimization. And its working. Subscribers are increasing, comment counts are at Blog Tyrant levels and you’re getting more followers on your social media accounts.
But what about off-site marketing? What are you doing there? Anything…?
Off-site marketing is something that, when brought to your attention, seems like an absolute given. But it really seems to have fallen to the wayside in recent blogging history. In this post I want to give you a few ideas about promoting your blog off-site.
Why do you need to market off-site?
This post is partly inspired by a massively huge post I did on Problogger recently about spending some money to advertise your blog. The major response? Most people didn’t want to spend any money.
To me this seems totally ridiculous. People want to be “pro-bloggers” and live off their blogging income but don’t want to spend any money to get it to that level.
What about if you were a plumber? Would you spend money taking out a Yellow Pages advert? Would you take out ads in the local newspaper? Would you put signage on your van and give business cards to all your friends? Of course you would. So why don’t bloggers do it? I don’t know.
If you want to make your blog a real life business that makes money and pays taxes and gets bigger you need to advertise it. Unless you are a freak of nature like Dosh Dosh (now dead) who can generate buzz by writing the most pristine content you’ll ever see, or a genius like Glen from Viper Chill who seems to promote his blog by giving away free and original technologies, you’ll need to start promoting your blog off-site.
Some off-site marketing ideas
I’d like to do something a bit different and give you two starting elements for an off-site marketing strategy. These are essential and common to any business. If you want to know more about the next steps we can discuss it in the comments.
1. Develop an actual strategy
I’ve done some marketing at University and spend the majority of my working life thinking about it so I am pretty anal about how marketing campaigns come about. A haphazard approach that gets thrown together without any real strategy makes me nervous.
That being said, not everyone has the knowledge or time to devote to developing a proper strategy. What I will say though is that is it really important that you at least think about:
- Who you want to target
What kind of person are you targeting? Sex, age, location, income level, internet experience, etc. all need to be considered.
- Your final goal
Why are you promoting your blog? Is it to get more email subscribers or to sell a product? Make sure this final goal/conversion is extremely well defined or you will have no way to measure your success.
- Your marketing methods
Are you going to market offline or using online methods? How much are you going to spend? How will you track your performance.
Spend a few weeks reading about these things (I’ll give you some resources) and come up with a loose plan of action that you can refine and perfect as time goes on.
2. Reinvest a portion of everything you make
This was one of the main arguments I put forth in the Problogger post; you should be reinvesting a portion of everything you make in to advertising and off-site marketing.
It is just logical.
All “real” businesses around the world use marketing to grow their business, especially when things are bad. And they get this money from either a start-up loan or by reinvesting a portion of their profits. We should do the same.
Just like I suggested you do for tax, I think everyone should be putting aside a small amount like 5% for marketing. Imagine that this money doesn’t belong to you and put it straight into a separate account when you receive your money. Then, once you have developed your plan of attack you can tap into that money in order to make things grow.
What have you tried?
Without those two steps nothing will ever happen. But now that’s said and done, I’d love to hear about what you have tried on your own blogs. Adwords, Stumble, print media? Anything worked? Also, if you’d like to discuss some ideas for your own blog marketing I’ll be happy to chat down below.