Welcome to Part 2 of my 'A Newbies Guide to Being a Newbie'. Today I will be concentrating on talking about promotion of your blog.
This is probably the question I get asked the most 'How did you go about promoting your blog?'...now I'm not entirely sure why you're all asking me because in the scheme of things I don't have that many followers, but hey, I'll roll with it.
So I'm going to be covering a few things; being brave, networking and 'getting out there'.
First off! This technically isn't instructions of on how to promote your blog but I think it's just as important! When I first started blogging I was absolutely terrified to approach anyone! I used to sit behind my computer and wait for people to approach me, and you know what? For a few months nothing happened! I had 0 followers and 0 comments on all my posts for about two months because I was too scared to actually tell anyone about my blog. And then I adopted the 'Whats the Worst That Can Happen' attitude, and I think if you want to make your blog successful you need to adopt this mindset very quickly. If you comment on someones blog and leave your url, whats the worst that can happen? Email a 'super blogger' asking them to check out your blog, whats the worst that can happen? Either they're going to ignore you, they're going to say no, or, heaven forbid if your email is polite enough they might actually check out your blog! Sending your blog link will not result in people hunting you down and slipping arsenic in your water overnight. Never EVER be afraid to approach people....ok, so that's my most important point over, moving on.
Networking as I'm sure you all know is one of the most important parts of promoting your blog, having a great network of blogger friends who are willing to help you out is a vital part of making yourself a name. The big question is, do you spread yourself thin over a large variety of different sites, or aim your focus at one or two? I don't work full time, nor do I attend school anymore so generally speaking my days are pretty empty. I locate myself on a variety of network sites because I have the time to keep them updated. If you work full time, go to school full time, have a child etc etc. Then you're probably not going to have time to concentrate on a blogger, twitter, IFB, facebook, tumblr, linkd, pinterest etc etc account. Choose one, maybe two, and focus on making friends via this site. Focus on keeping them regularly updated, especially sites like twitter, and don't just post crud. If you tweet something make sure it's worth reading. Don't waste your readers time otherwise they'll be quick to tap that 'Unfollow' button. Another vital part of networking is responding. I understand that if you've got 4,000 followers on various different sites you probably won't have time to reply to every single question, but when you're starting out you do have time. If someone makes the effort to send you an email, or post a question regarding a blog post it's just common courteousy to write back to them. I try and make concerted efforts to reply to every email, message, tweet, blog comment that you all write and you should make the same effort for your readers!
Ok last thing, a lot of 'Promoting Your Blog' articles say that a vital part of networking is commenting on other peoples blogs, and to a degree I believe this too. But being completely honest I have to say I rarely check out peoples blogs just because they've left a 'Nice outfit' comment. If you've taken the time to write a comment that shows you've obviously actually read my post then yeah, sure I'll click through. But if you leave a two word comment followed by 'I followed you please follow me back' then there is no chance I'm going to check out your blog. There is nothing I despise more than 'Follow meeeeeeee' comments, to quote School Of Rock 'They're tacky and I hate them'. Want someone to check out your blog? Send them an email, or leave a comment that shows you actually care. If you're not going to bother putting in an effort than why should I?
Ok, I'm sorry this post is getting super long but I have a lot to say.
So here we go; last bullet point: Getting out there.
What a lot of people don't know about me is how much behind the scenes work goes into securing an interview or a sponsor for a giveaway. I have never actually been approached about doing an interview...never. It's always the opposite, if there is a blog I'm following that I know does a 'Blogger in the Spotlight' sort of feature than I email the owner letting them know about my blog and asking them if they'd be interested in featuring me. It's the whole 'what's the worst that can happen' mindset again. Likewise for my giveaway sponsors, I approached them. Letting them know my blog stats and asking if they'd be interested in donating a giveaway prize. A lot of companies simply ignored my email, a couple wrote back saying no. But a couple of companies agreed and that's how I'm lucky enough to have the giveaways that I do!
Ok! So those are all my little tips on how I personally went about promoting my own blog, I hope you learnt a few things and didn't fall asleep from boredom!