It’s been a while since I blogged about blogging! And I missed it. No idea why it took a back seat per se. I’ve lately been a bit concerned that I’m not blogging as much as I used to do. And that’s because writing makes me happy – many times that’s the bit I enjoy. But blogging should really be approached on a 20/80 rule. 20% writing and 80% promoting.
So except you have a whole team or people sorting out the promotion for you, the hard job actually starts right after you hit publish! And this is something I know I’ve been ignoring.
A relatively recent tweet by a popular African musician – Mr Eazi caught got my eye and sums up this rule. Referring to his new music video here’s what he said:
“Cost of Production – $6,000. Cost of YouTube Advertising – $10,116. Revenue generated in 10 months – $89,620. Don’t play yourself – Mark(et) … if you can!”
So as a note to me and a note to you, to ensure we aren’t playing ourselves, here’s how we can get more out of the 20% once we’ve had a read through the post and are happy with it!
1. Send out to your mail subscribers
In the blogging / content creating world – an advice that gets very easily thrown out is “build your mailing list from day 1”. Many go on to advice that it’s literally pointless amassing followers on other media if you have no solid real estate in your own. So what if Instagram shuts down? Also people who subscribe to your mailing list you know are in your corner and really do enjoy your content. So when you publish a new blog, your subscribers should get it ASAP. I know some people limit their mailing list to weekly newsletters and I guess that works. But personally I like my subscribers to see my posts first. In fact, if for some reason a post goes out and they didn’t get a notification, I feel pretty mad and almost refrain from sharing on social media till they get it. I almost imagine them thinking “how could she be sharing with outsiders when we haven’t seen it first!”
I’ve subscribed to a couple of lists where people send the entire blog post in the email all the time. I’ve tried to wrap my head round that but still can’t. And the couple of times I’ve done that mistake myself, I’ve literally banged my head against the wall and said “rookie error”. My preference is for the email notification to come with an excerpt that encourages readers to click the link to read the blog post and hopefully leave a comment.
Finally make sure there are share buttons in your email notification. From reading the title or excerpt, some people already know it’s gonna be a good one – and they want to share!
2. Tweet, Tweet, Tweet!
Twitter is a gem. It’s potential reach is unquantifiable. I mean no one goes on to Instagram and says “Instagram do your thing”. But it’s amazing how great twitter is at spreading info. And that can often translate to great reach for your blog posts if done right. If you need the clicks to your posts, you should be on Twitter. You will however need to dedicate time. Time to sharing your posts methodically and regularly, with new captions and different photos, or excerpts. But if you keep at it, you’d see an increase in clicks and engagement. One advice is to use a scheduler that sends out tweets for you – even when you’re busy. But you still need to create time to input the posts, check the analytics etc. Some of these schedulers are free, but to make the most of out of it you might require the paid versions and upgrades. The most common ones are Buffer, Hootsuite or Co-Schedule. An additional tip and one thing I do immediately I publish a post it to check how it looks on Twitter Card Validator. It shows you an excerpt whether the image is aligned or not. That way I know if people share my post on twitter, it will look somewhat decent.
3. Instagram Story (+ IGTV)
I’m personally kind of upset with Instagram. Their story feature is so brilliant – I love it. I love the behind the scenes, the tools and features, the interaction that it allows for. And the Swipe Up feature – amazing! But then they had to limit the swipe up to 10K follwers. Really? So anyone with less than 10K isn’t worthy of sharing a good link. Well if you do have 10K follwers, please maximise your swipe up. If you don’t, still share your blog posts on Insta story. You may not be able to post about it more than a couple of times on your feed but your stories is another way to remind people to catch up.
4. Facebook Ads
Everyone’s hustling for the money. Even Facebook too. So no thanks to how much written content gets pushed out daily, you have to pay for them to promote / boost your posts to even your own audience. But I think it’s becoming a norm with bloggers / content creators. And as Facebook is linked with Instagram, you can run ads on both platforms. It’s not overly pricey and would depend on your budget and what you hope to achieve. If you think there’s a fab post you’d like to reach more people, you can boost that. Or you can boost your entire blog, Facebook page or call for subscribers on your mailing list. It’s definitely worth exploring and playing around with.
How do you guys do with blogging? Have you been ignoring promoting or you spend more time promoting than actual blogging – what’s your favourite social media for promotion that converts. Please share any other tips you’ve got!