Pulling In New Followers To Your Blog

By @TheMarkDalton

One of the biggest mental challenges we face when we start a new blog is “who is going to actually read this?” You have got yourself fired up over the idea, you have a name, organised the domain and claimed social media accounts.

Then the doom sets in and you think, who is really going to read what I have to say? Who is going to care? For sure, it is not easy and the reality is simple – it takes work. How bad do you want it? Because in order to make it a success you are going to want it real bad.

We all start at zero

We all start at the same place, that is why I get pissed when I see people using follower numbers as some form of social currency. Have the forgotten they started at zero too? People who say to me, “oh I only have 100 followers on Instagram, nobody really cares all that much…”

Wrong, I had 100 followers at one point, the biggest account on Instagram had 100 followers at one point. If 100 people are following you on Instagram there is 100 people who care about the content you are creating and posting – that is a lot!

Anyone can write a blog, anyone can start a social media account but it is what you do with it that makes the difference. Someone said to me once that Twitter was the only place they had to promote their content. Thats wrong, you are limiting yourself to Twitter, don’t blame the shortcomings on social platforms – blame yourself if you are in that position.

You think any of us on multiple social platforms find it easy? Of course not, it is hard work but we are exposing our content to a wider audience. If you put in the work and the effort, if you really were hustling instead of talking about hustling then you would be on all platforms getting your content out there in any way possible.

Look at your social media account(s)

Really, you should have more than one, and no, LinkedIn is not a social network. It is an enterprise platform for business and spamming each others inboxes with rubbish. By all means you should be posting your content there but I’m talking about the big big players here.

When it comes to finding your content, social media is crucial and you need to be in as many places as possible. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter. Once your content is ready to be seen you need to start pushing it hard on these platforms, and I mean all of these platforms.

I’m promoting content across every single one of them at present. Some more than others based on the engagement and conversion rates. Think about how you are promoting content on each platform, there is no blueprint to be applied across the board so you need to consider each one individually. Here is how I do it at the moment.

Facebook

Facebook Pages have the potential to be a bit of a beast when you put some investment into them. Ideally you don’t want to post excessively due to the Facebook algorithm.

Facebook ads offer the biggest ROI of any online advertising at the moment, I run an ad campaign at least once per month targeting different demographics based on the content and what is trending at the moment.

I have spoken to a lot of people who want to avoid Facebook completely, are you nuts? Avoid the biggest social network on the planet? Not a good idea. Experiment, play around and see what works for you.

Instagram

A visual beast and it is easier than ever with tools like Canva to create stunning photos to promote blog content. Use a picture from a blog post, stick it in Canva and add some nice text. Upload to Insta, apply a filter maybe and jazz it up a bit.

Load it up with relevant hashtags. Hashtags kill on Instagram and the trick is to make sure they are relevant, once you start using them for the sake of it you are going to find people labelling you as a spam artist.

Change up the link in your bio to the most recent piece of content you are promoting, always finish a post on Insta with a “link in bio” comment when you are promoting content. Organic reach on Instagram is insane at the moment, you should also be taking advantage of stories.

Share a narrative of your day, what you are up to and a glimpse behind the scenes of upcoming content. Build a narrative of your life, you may think people will be bored of it but I promise you that people will be interested.

Pinterest

Yes, Pinterest! I use my account to build a catalogue of posts based on month and year. It is also great for me to dip in and re-share evergreen content when I want. Pin your own content and repin other users content, doing this will help drive traffic to your site.

Snapchat

Taking a bit of a hit among influencers and content creators lately simply because Instagram stories has been a bit of a beast. Snapchat still retains value and pioneered the whole stories concept in the current form. Branding 101 guys, we have spoken about the benefits of Snapchat on here plenty of times before.

Build a narrative, generate interest and then drive them back to your content and your website.

Twitter

Twitter has its struggles but retains value, people who click links on the network are pretty low and there is a lot of “blind re-sharing” where people retweet content without ever clicking on it and reading it themselves.

I use an aggressive approach to Twitter and share content a lot throughout the day, for the Mark Dalton Media account we share around 14 links of our own content per day. Twitter chats can be great for connecting with new users and generating new traffic and leads to your site.

Basic SEO

After social networks you need to take care of basic SEO and you need to do it right from the start. If you are using WordPress then you should download Yoast which is what I use for all my websites. It is user friendly and easy to customise and setup to optimise the SEO of your website.

You need to be found on Google, bottom line. For that you are going to need to make sure you are paying attention to SEO right from the start because it is much harder to optimise for SEO at a later date.

Engage

The biggest thing that people forget, engage. Even with people who leave comments on Insta that just read “Awesome” or “Thanks”, engage with them anyway. What have you to lose? The only thing I refuse to engage with are your automated DM’s! But I reply to the silly one word Instagram comments and I reply to what appears to be automated mentions on Twitter (that seems to be the new growing trend now) because not only does it look good and reflect well on you as an individual taking the time to engage, but there is literally nothing to lose.

Engaging with a comment that you deem to be not that important could in fact turn out to be the start of a relationship that could change things around for you and your blog entirely.


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