Written by Lou Donnelly-Davey
One of the hardest things about starting your new blog is finding an initial engaged audience, or even finding an audience at all! Once you’ve set up your blog and written your first few posts it can be a little daunting to find that you haven’t amassed the type of readership that you were envisioning. You’re not being found by Google in the top search engine results pages yet and your social following is not cutting the mustard when it comes to social traffic.
Unless you’ve already built yourself a community of enthusiastic followers you’re going to have to figure out a way to get eyes on your content another way, at least in the short term.
But, don’t fear! There are plenty of ways to promote your blog when you have no followers so that the right readers get their eyes on them.
In this article we’ll cover
- Content aggregators directories and curated communities
- Roundup posts
- Guest blogging
- Blogger collaborations
- Blogging communities
1. Content aggregators, directories and curated communities
You might be forgiven for thinking that it’s simply a matter of publishing your blog and throwing it on Facebook or Instagram to get viewers. It’s a long held myth that traditional social networks are the best way for people to find your content. Pinterest can be a pretty good source of traffic, but you are at the mercy of the ever changing Pinterest algorithm. And since they brought in controllable distribution, many are finding their traffic stats have plummeted.
However, there are other networks at your disposal that are just as good – perhaps even better from a longevity point of view for promoting your blog posts to.
Mix is content curators dream! Simply sign up for a free account and you’re on your way. Mix delivers fresh, discoverable content daily. You can create collections (much like on Pinterest) and add as many posts to the site as you like!
Find other interesting blogs and follow others in your niche.
Mix is super easy to use and even has a clever Chrome extension that makes adding new content a breeze.
This ones one of my favorites. ScoopIt is a content curation site. It’s free for up to 50 blog posts or articles and is super easy to use and to set up. There’s a ton of benefit to uploading your blog posts to Scoopit. They can be searched and found by people looking for content just like yours, and site users can also share posts they love with their social networks.
Blog Top Sites
There are plenty of directories out there that you can add your blog URL to to get listed. But one of the oldest of these is a site called Blog Top Sites. It is VERY old school and has an interface to be admired as one of the original layouts of websites from the early internet years. They even make reference to the blogosphere in their about section. I absolutely love it!
But more to the point. You can add your site URL easily with their on site form.
There’s also plenty of other directories on offer in this niche like Blogarama and Best of the Web.
2. Roundup posts
Roundup posts are something that suit every niche of blogging, but they are particularly popular with food bloggers. A roundup post is where a blogger will request submissions for blog posts based on a particular topic and then write a roundup post on their own blog backlinking to your site with the posts they have collected. It’s a great way to get your blog out there and to also start to make connections in your niche.
For instance think of perhaps a roundup post of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes for the holiday season. The blogger will ask for blog posts featuring chocolate chip cookie recipes and they curate a post with their favorite links.
This is a great example of a cookie recipe roundup post. But it doesn’t have to be food related! Roundup posts can be anything and everything from business tips and tools to DIY and crafts.
Two of my favorite roundup and collaboration groups on Facebook are Blogger Roundup Requests and Rounduppalooza.
3. Guest blogging
You may have been head down and tied up with creating your own blog posts and not stopped to think of why you might want to write for someone else. Sounds strange right?
But, hear me out. Guest posting on someone else’s blog is a great way for you to get your brand and your name out there. It’s an awesome way to start to establish good quality backlinks to your blog and it’s an awesome way to start to leverage your particular niche and blogging community. Just make sure you’re not making the mistake of backlinking from irrelevant sites. Aim for blogs that are highly relevant to your niche at all times. .
You can find guest blogging opportunities by participating in blogger communities like the ones I mention below, or start by doing some research of your own into the types of blogs you’d like to be featured on. Search their blogs for write for us or guest blogging …. To see what sort of process they have.
Some people like you to form a relationship with them first and like to see you engage on their social platforms. Others would like you to simply pitch them an idea. Look for blogs that are well known and have a good following to pitch to, so that you gain a strong backlink and ensure the site will give you a do follow link.
4. Blogger collaborations
Similar to the round up style posts we talked about above. But these can take many forms.
Collaborations can be things like getting a group of your favorite bloggers together to all write about a similar topic, each with a unique twist, then linking to each other’s blogs within your own.
For example, you might like to each write about crafting holiday gifts on a budget … with each of you representing a particular holiday like Easter, Christmas or Thanksgiving. Or you could each pick a budget amount… Gifts under $25, under $50 and so forth. Another option might be to each write about a travel topic, like 5 things I love about London… with each blogger focusing on a specific subtopic like food, sights to see and ways to get around.
You can create these opportunities for yourself by connecting to other bloggers and participating in blogger forums and groups.
5. Blogging communities
There is an abundance of exceptional blogger communities both on Twitter and on Facebook. And some of my favorite ones are in Facebook groups. These groups enable you to gain support and guidance on your blogging journey and also help you get your content seen by people who love what you write about. You can find collaboration and round up requests in these sorts of groups as well. Two of my favorite groups at the moment are Bloggers Collective and Global Women Entrepreneurs.
It’s never easy starting your blogging journey and it can be a long process to find your audience and generate the attention and the traffic you’re aiming for. But, you needn’t think you’re alone when it comes to accessing some easy ways to find readers for your awesome content. Jump out of your comfort zone and look further afield than Facebook or Instagram for your blog promotion and you’ll start seeing results in no time from promoting your blog …. even if you’re starting off with no followers!