So far, we’ve looked at How to Choose a Niche & Do Research, and How to Plan & Outline Content For Your WordPress Blog.
In this post we’re going to look at what promotion channels you can use to promote your WordPress blog.
As with most things, there are free and paid options each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s start with the free options.
Free promotion channels
High Quality Content
We have already discussed this in the previous post but I would like to mention it here again briefly.
If you create high quality content, it will promote itself through the search engines.
High quality content ranks well at search engines, which means your audience will be able to find your WordPress blog at the search engines.
Always make sure you create high quality content.
With the rise of social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and others, it has become common to use these channels for promotion.
With quiet a few social media platforms to choose from it can be difficult choosing the right one for your WordPress blog.
In order to make sure you choose the right social media platform(s) for your blog, you will need to know whether your audience is mixed gender, mostly female or mostly male and what the average age of your audience is which you find in the research you did in How to Choose A Niche & Do Research For Your WordPress Blog.
Besides this, you also need to choose the social media platform that best fits the type of content on your WordPress blog.
I have put together a list of the most popular social media platforms including the average age of users and what type of content should be used:
Average users: 2 billion
Average age: Between 25 and 54 (Mixed genders)
Content type: Any type of content.
With Facebook you can use your personal profile or create a page.
A profile is personal and can be limited to only your friends.
A page on the other hand represents an organization or public figure and is visible to everyone, so it is better to create a page for your WordPress blog for maximum exposure.
In order to create a page, you can follow these steps:
- Go to facebook.com/pages/create
- Click to choose a Page category
- Select a more specific category from the dropdown menu and fill out the required information
- Click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions
Average users: 330 million
Average age: Mostly under 50 (Mixed genders)
Content type: Easy to read content such as how to articles, lists or quotes. Images do perform better than video, but text is still your best option.
Average users: 467 million
Average age: Between 30 to 49 (Mixed genders)
Content type: B2B related content that is in editorial form
If your blog is business related, LinkedIn will be a great platform to use in order to promote it as the majority of users are business professionals.
Average users: 70 million
Average age: Between 18 to 29 (Mostly female)
Content type: Visual content
Because the content on Pinterest is visual this is a great platform to use if your blog has a lot of image or video content.
And if your audience is mostly female it is an even better choice.
Once you decide which platform(s) to use, you will need to make sure that you keep them updated.
Manually logging into each of them to post updates can be time consuming.
Luckily there are options available to automate this process for you.
Connecting WordPress with social media
WordPress comes with a number of plugins to make your life easier, one of these is Jetpack.
Jetpack has a number of features (including some important security features) and one of these is, connecting social media accounts to your WordPress blog.
Every time you publish something on your blog an update will go out to each social account you have connected.
This not only saves you time but also ensures your social media accounts are up-to-date with what is happening on your WordPress blog.
Schedule social media updates
The Jetpack plugin takes care of sending updates when you publish content on your WordPress blog but sometimes you want to send other updates on your social media accounts, such as asking questions, quotes, media or other content that is not on your blog.
And you might want to share a few updates over a span of several days.
It can be easy to forget especially when you are busy, even more so if you have more than one social media account.
That is where Buffer comes in.
Buffer is a service that allows you to schedule social media updates.
The free option from Buffer allows you to connect up to three different social media accounts and schedule up to ten updates for each.
But there is more…
Depending on who your target is, Buffer can suggest the best time to share your updates to ensure your audience sees them.
This can really make a big difference allowing you more time to create content for your WordPress blog.
You can create your Buffer account here
So far we have discussed content and social media, next we will have a look at guest blogging.
In essence guest blogging is a great way to promote for two reasons:
- It creates back links to your WordPress blog
- Further establishes you as an expert in your niche
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
What are back links?Back links is a term used in search engine optimization (SEO) and it is links from other blogs to yours. Click To Tweet
The more back links the better it can rank at search engines.
Why is that?
Only high quality content will be linked back to, in other words the more valuable the content the more links it will get.
And if content has a lot of back links it tells the search engines that it is high quality content and therefore it should be placed higher in the search engine results.
That is another reason why creating high quality content for your WordPress blog is so important as mentioned in How to Plan & Outline Content For Your WordPress Blog.
When you are guest blogging, make sure to create content that you would feel confident in publishing on your own WordPress blog.
Establish yourself as an expert
Having your own blog and sharing your knowledge will already earn you respect in your niche but you can take it a step further by sharing your knowledge on other blogs.
Where to guest blog?
Once again we come back to the research you did in How to Choose a Niche & Do Research For Your WordPress Blog.
As you can see for yourself, the research that was done has become a valuable reference as we move forward.
While you were doing research I’m sure you came across other blogs that are in the same niche as yours.
Some of them might accept guest blog posts, if they do make sure you read their guidelines before sending your guest post.
If you can’t find something about guest posts, you can try and contact them to find out if they will accept one.
But before contacting them make sure you have read some of their content to get a feel for it so that you will know whether you’re the right person to send a guest post.
When you do contact them, make sure you:
- Make it personal, address your request to the right person.
- Explain who you are and why you would like to create a guest post for them
Just to summarize where we are, we have gone through the following free options to promote your blog:
- High Quality Content
- Social Media
- Guest Blogging
Next we will go through the paid options.
We mentioned Google AdWords briefly in the first post, How to Choose a Niche & Do Research For Your WordPress Blog, when you were doing your research, this follows on from that.
Just to refresh, we used the Keyword Planner Tool to find out what terms or keywords were being searched for in your niche.
In the results from there was a competition and suggested bid column.
If you are planning to create an ad campaign or also referred to as paid search, which means placing ads in the search results, these columns come into play.
With that being said, paid search does not replace search engine optimization (SEO).
What does that mean?If your WordPres blog is not ranking well in search engine results, you shouldn’t use paid search to try and make up for this. Click To Tweet
There is a lot involved in creating and running an ad campaign with Google AdWords and for that reason we are only going to go through the basics.
How does it work?
Google Adwords offers pay per click (PPC) as well as pay per impression (CPM) options for your ad campaign.
In most cases it is better to go with PPC than CPM.
What is the difference?
With PPC you are only charged when someone clicks on your ad, CPM is related to how many times your ad is shown.
For a PPC campaign, if your ad is displayed a 100 times but there are only 50 clicks, you will be charged for the 50 clicks.
When using CPM, you will be charged for the 100 times your ad was displayed regardless of whether someone clicked on it or not.
How much does it cost?
So, much does it cost when someone clicks on your ad?
This can vary and is all related to the competition and bids for the keyword.
If the competition is high, the average bid tends to also be higher than if the competition is medium or low.
The bid amount you see is not how much you are charged if someone clicks on your ad, it is used to determine the order in which ads are placed as well as to calculate the cost.
This can be confusing, so let’s use an example.
You want to place an ad for the keyword “web design” and the bidding starts at $5.00.
That bid is a bit high for you so you decide to place a bid for $4.00 instead.
Another person bids even lower than you at $3.00.
The highest bid will be placed higher in the search results and the lowest bid will be placed at the bottom.
So your ad will be displayed between the highest bid and the lowest bid.
Taking all the bids into account, an increment value is calculated which then results in how you will pay when someone clicks on your ad.
For the purpose of this example, let’s say the increment value is calculated at $0.5 which means the highest bidder will pay $2.50 for a click and you will pay $2.00.
With Google Adwords, you can set up a limit.
If you don’t want to spend more than $20.00 per day, you can create a rule that pauses your ad campaign once that value is reached which means your ad will no longer be displayed until the next day.
This is only a brief overview of how Google Adwords works, there is a lot more involved such as designing your ad, quality scores, A/B testing, etc.
If you want a complete guide on Google AdWords you can download HubSpot’s excellent guide here.
I would like to say again, paid search such as Google Adwords should only be used if your blog is search engine optimized and already ranks high in the search results.
Also keep in mind that the free promotion tools we discussed earlier can reap just as high rewards as paid search so don’t worry if this seems too much for you.
Social Media Ads
When it comes to advertising on social media it is similar to paid search, you also have the option of choosing between PPC & CPM.
Some of the things that are different from paid search are:
- Social media advertising is not related to the SEO of your website.
- When creating an ad on Google Adwords you are limited to only text. With social media advertising you can create image and video ads to make them more entertaining and captivating.
- Social media advertising does not work on a bidding system. You are just charged per click and that’s it.
The following social media platforms offer advertising:
If you have chosen any of the above as your social media platform for your blog according to the audience, you can use them for advertising as well.
For a more comprehensive guide on social media you can read the following post from Hootsuite
In this post we looked at how you can promote your WordPress blog using both free and paid options.
If you want to stay up to date with the Become A WordPress Pro series, make sure you subscribe.
We can now move on to WordPress itself, from setting up to how it works.
To kick things off we will be looking at Choosing Between WordPress.org & WordPress.com.
Thank you for reading and please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below.