Marketing is a challenge that we new media entrepreneurs know way too well and frankly, struggle with more than we’d like to admit. It is so easy to set up a blog these days that people often think this is their path towards fame and financial prosperity.
Since many people feel that way, your blog is soon doomed to be lost in a cabinet of the vast archives of the blogosphere. So, make no mistake by believing that simply setting up a blog and writing killer content will jump start your career and your online business.
In fact, writing for your own blog should be the one task you spend the least time on. I know this is not something you like to hear, I certainly didn’t. After all, you love blogging and this is what you want to do all day long, right?
Sure, you can do just that, but don’t expect people to magically find your online presence when there are more than 156 million other blogs out there.
If you don’t want to spend your online live alone, it’s up to you to take action and market your content. Now, before you freak out about the cost you will have to invest, look at this infographic.
Since most of us don’t have that much time nor ever see 100 Million Dollars on their bank accounts (if you are one of the lucky ones, then good for you!), we can be grateful that online marketing has such huge potential and can make a terrific impact on your business. And the best thing is, it doesn’t cost a dime!
So, how do you start to promote your content?
First of all, you need to use social media big time. If you don’t have twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google + or Pinterest accounts yet, you should wait no longer.
It might sound ludicrous to be on so many social networks, but if you want people to read your blog and buy your products, you need to approach them where they are. At the beginning, I would suggest you focus on one network and get to know how it works, how you can get in touch with other, like-minded people and how you can help them out. Over time, you will have the language of the network down cold and you can add another one.
Over time you will see which network works best for you and where you can find the most readers and potential clients. This takes some time and a bit of experimenting, but the investment is more than worth it.
Creating a Facebook Fanpage is so simple, yet so effective. According to Alexa, Facebook is currently the second most popular site on the Web. So, there is no reason not to have a presence on there. It’s also a great way to build a community for your clients and readers and to give them another place to interact and share their opinions, views, tools and maybe even problems.
Fan pages don’t have a limit for fans you can have. That’s an advantage to a user profile, which is limited to having 5000 friends. This means you have a lot of opportunity for growing and that is the ultimate goal, isn’t it? By updating your fanpage, your comments will appear in the timeline of your fans, which reinforces your brand and gives you the chance to share promotions, events, feedback and links to your website.
LinkedIn is a networking powerhouse and an essential network to use. LinkedIn was created with professionals in mind, so it is very much business related. It’s a great way of putting your name, your experiences and your services out there and adding some proof to it by providing recommendations and a background on your skills. By joining different LinkedIn Groups, you can make connections within your niche and link to your content in order to spread it even more.
Be sure to participate in the discussions of the group and not solely be a lurker. The more you engage the better the chances that they will check out your content and maybe even recommend it. Another benefit of being active is to be named this week’s top influencer and appear on the homepage of the group. I
f you want to even go a step further, you can create your own LinkedIn group. However, I would wait until you have a bit of a following to do that. Otherwise, you’ll be the sole member of the it. I know what I am talking about, believe me. 🙂
Google + Hangouts
A great way to use Goolge + in order to grow your relationship with your fans is to have organize regular Google + Hangouts. This gives you the chance to chat with your readers via video, which is so much more personal than conversing in written form.
It is also another way of helping others with their problems and giving them the opportunity to ask whatever they are struggling with right now. The more you give the better. You can position yourself as an expert here by sharing your wisdom and your skills.
I am a very visual person, which is why Pinterest resonates so well with me. Pinterest lets you create collages and then easily share them with other users on Pinterest. It’s fun, beautiful and can help you promote your products and blog posts in a completely different way.
You can create different vision boards around topics that interest you or are related to your niche. Be sure to add lots of pictures to your blog posts in order to make it easy for readers to pin your content and share it with others.
Be gentle when reaching out
Don’t push your content on the people you converse with, but simply help them whenever they have questions you can assist them with. The more you help others the more they will think of you and the more they will be intrigued by what you might have to offer elsewhere.
A great way of reaching out is to set up twitter search with a few key words that relate to your blog/business. That way, you can channel twitter in real time and you will be able to find people you could use your expertise.
Social media and online marketing is all about building relationships and those have to be real and honest. People notice right away when they’re being taken granted for or when you have a different agenda in mind while talking to them.
So, get to know them a bit, find out something about their lives, have meaningful conversations with them and don’t just stay on a practical level. At the same time, you need to be approachable and authentic.
Key to making on impact on our social media world is to think of yourself as a brand and to market yourself just as much as you market your product. This may sound arrogant, but people naturally want to form relationships and they will be much more inclined to read your blog posts or buy your products when they know the person behind it all.
All in all, what you have to keep in mind when you start to market your content is to put a lot of emphasis on authenticity, relationships and character, no matter which social network you use.