S o you took my advice and started a blog! That’s a good start. It feels good to hit that Publish button, especially if you just wrote a gem of a post. But what do you do after you publish? If you answered “crack my knuckles, sit back, and watch my page views skyrocket,” you might be disappointed.
Below, I outline several actionable things you can do after publishing a new post to grow your blog.
I won’t talk about sharing your post on your social media because it’s common sense, however you should take a minute to read about the best time to share your post because the timing does make a difference. Schedule it with an automation service like HootSuite so you don’t forget. And if you have an email list (which you should), then send out a link to your post. Chances are, if they willingly signed up to your list, they already like what you have to say.
1 Leverage the power of comments
Every comment you get on your blog is valuable. Positive comments give you more social proof. They demonstrate to your visitors that real people are finding value in your blog posts. Sometimes people will add some value to your post that perhaps you might have missed. Comments asking questions are great because you can increase interactivity with your audience. This also gives you a chance to clarify things. Even negative comments can be helpful. Your target audience just shared your weakness with you. Corporations pay big money on focus group testing for that kind of knowledge. Use it to your advantage!
All comments also help supplement your SEO on that page. It’s additional unique content that can increase your search traffic.
It’s hard to get comments, which is why it’s important to answer all of your comments. The more engaged you are with your commenters, the more comments you will get. If they see that you’re answering (quickly and sincerely), people will be more encouraged to post a comment of their own because they know it will pay off. No one wants to waste time writing a comment that will get ignored. And if you answer every comment, you are essentially doubling the comment count, which again adds to your social proof.
The only downside here is the amount of time it takes to write comments. It might be easy when you’re first starting out and you’re averaging less than 10 comments per post. But as your blog grows, you might be looking at 200-300 comments per post. At this point, you have to schedule a block of time just for comment follow ups!
2 Set up a Google Alert for your post’s topic
Google Alerts is a great tool for monitoring specific keywords. It works like this: You type in a keyword that you recently blogged about and create an alert. The alert will show up in your email. Find a relevant article and leave a comment.
In your comment, say what you liked about the article (and/or didn’t like). Then mention as organically as you can that you just wrote a similar article that might be useful. Then post a link back to your article. If the comments section is active, you will succeed in driving traffic back to your site. If nothing else, you might just get a relevant backlink out of it.
Warble is also a tool just like Google Alerts, but for monitoring social media through hashtags and keywords. Sometimes you can get more interactions through social media. With direct messages, you never have to worry about the comments section being dead.
3 Reach out to people you link to
If you write a very data-driven post, meaning all of your assertions are backed by research data, then you will likely link to the research’s website. Chances are, they would love the fact that you’re sharing their data (assuming you’re doing it ethically), but there’s no way for them to know you did it unless they stumble upon the post.
Which is why you should send them an email. Let them know that you found their data useful, mention that you shared it on your post, that you appreciated their time and effort, and sneakily mention that you essentially just did them a favor. Then simply ask them to share the post with their sphere of contacts. Chances are, they won’t hesitate to do so.
Keep the email short and sweet. If you used a lot of data from multiple sources, you send a separate email to each source.
4 Post on aggregator sites like Reddit
Become an active member on the Reddit community. Don’t be overly-pushy or go for the hard sell. They hate that! Instead, take the same approach you take with your blog posts – aim to educate and add some sort of value to the conversation.
Try to engage Redditors in the comments section. Chances are, you can organically link to your post to clarify or answer any questions. Just mention how your recent blog post is relevant to the conversation, then link away!
Stay engaged! You might just get ideas for more blog posts.
5 Monitor your SEO rankings
You might have to wait a week or two before your SEO statistics become relevant. If your metrics are struggling, maybe the keyword you’re trying to match for is too competitive. It’s sometimes better to rank high for a less frequently searched keyword than to rank low for a popular keyword.
In a future post, I will talk about how to maximize your post’s SEO, but here’s a quick tip. Figure out your keywords before you type a single word. Then as you craft your post, be sure to include those keywords in your article heading, the title of the page, the URL of the page, the content of the article, and the meta-description.
On top of sharing your post on emails and social media, these 5 steps will help you grow your blog readership. Stay consistent and get organized. Follow these steps like a ritual and you will see progress.
Stop by the comments section and let me know which of these steps will implement as part of your posting routine!