5 Ways To Market Your Blog

8539048913_3328e8545c_z

I know, I know, I’ve been talking about blogging a lot lately. Last week I published Out Of New Ideas For Articles and Blog Posts? This week I’m going to talk about five different ways to market your blog.

This is a question I am often asked by new bloggers. I definitely do not have a big blog by any means, but I do many different things to network and hopefully get my name out there. Thankfully, networking and marketing are some of my favorite parts about blogging.

Below are five ways to market your blog and attract new readers:

1. Create great content.

My top tip to market your blog is to always produce great content. You can market your blog an insane amount but if your content sucks then no one will stay. Instead, they will read a sentence and run away screaming.

Always produce great content, make sure your posts are engaging, do your research, and make your readers want to come back for more.

2. Guest post.

Guest posting is something I will admit I do not do enough of. I do participate in interviews, but I haven’t done an actual guest post in years it feels like.

Guest posting is a great way for new readers to find you. You can reach out to a blog owner you are interested in writing for and ask if they accept guest posts. Usually they will ask for a few topic ideas from you and give you their requirements.

3. Be active on social media.

There are many different social media networks out there. Social media is a great way to market your blog because EVERYONE has some sort of social media account. It’s just another way for a potential reader to find you.

Social media can also be a great way to get your name out there because most people want to see a real face or a real personality when it comes to reading a blog. I know that when I was “semi-anonymous,” a few people actually stopped reading my blog because they felt like they never really knew the “real” me because I never posted any pictures or shared any of my personal social media accounts. I am now completely public, but I do think that being anonymous held me back the first year.

Now, I am active on all different social media outlets. I have Instagram, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. You can post links to your articles, publish images, use hashtags, etc. in order to attract readers to your blog.

4. Comment on other blogs and in forums.

This is something I love about blogging. I comment on other blogs and forums (I personally love the Mr. Money Mustache forum, for example) mainly because I am nosy and I don’t want to “miss out” on something in the blogging world and in a blogger’s life. Since I work from home now, commenting is pretty much my form of socializing with others.

Also, make sure you reply to comments on your own blog as well. I often go back to blogs I comment on and see if I was replied to. It’s a nice little touch and can go a long way.

5. Participate in giveaways.

This is something many people have mixed feelings about. For me, I enjoy having giveaways. It’s a way for me to give back to my readers, and I know that many readers have also found me because of giveaways.

There are many ways to hold a giveaway. You can give something away (such as cash, a product, a service, etc.) with no strings attached, or you can ask them you follow you in some form (such as asking them to follow you on Twitter or Facebook). You can have a giveaway by yourself, or you can team up with other bloggers and have a huge giveaway.

I’ve found that both ways can work well if you decide to have a giveaway. The key is to promote your giveaway via giveaway websites in order to find new followers. Just type in “giveaway promote” into a Google search and you will find many giveaway companies that will help you do this. Some are free and some cost a little bit of money. I’ve found that the free giveaway promotions work just fine.

How do you market your blog?

 

Image via Flickr by mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

Out Of New Ideas For Articles and Blog Posts?

2987926396_87eb3c3494_zA few months ago, Wes told me he was interested in starting a blog of his own.

We finally bought the domain name the other day, and he already has a few blog posts in the works. He’s had many questions about blogging, and one question that he keeps wondering is how a blogger comes up with blog post ideas.

He didn’t really know where to start, and he didn’t know how people could blog for so long and continually come up with new article ideas.

I won’t lie, there are many days when I sit down to write a post and I just cannot do it to save my life.

However, over the past few years, I have become much better at this. I have over 1,000 published posts on Making Sense of Cents alone, and I still have a few hundred ideas in my notes as well.

Here are my tips to keep the ideas and posts flowing whether you are a brand new writer or you have been writing for years:

Use questions you receive from readers.

Some of my favorite posts have come from ideas I’ve received from readers. Sometimes I receive an email, sometimes a tweet, or sometimes a reader will comment and ask me to expand on a topic.

This is a great way to think of new blog post ideas. You could even create a survey or directly ask your readers if they have any questions they would like you to answer. I’m sure there is something!

Use questions you have had yourself.

I’m sure there have been times where you have Google searched a question you’ve had. Maybe you dived in and completely researched the topic. If this is the case, then you may have a great blog post idea right here.

You know the saying that if you have a question, then others probably do as well?

Well, that’s true! I’m sure there are others who have wondered your very same question.

Think about your life experiences.

One thing I love about have a personal finance blog is that it’s PERSONAL. I can write about whatever I want, and that’s what I always do.

Many of my blog posts on MakingSenseofCents relate directly to my life and what I’m currently going through. These can be positive, negative, boring, fun, and more. It’s whatever I want them to be.

For example, the other day I published the post Easy Ways I’m Currently Saving $1,200 Each Month. This post is all about how I’m saving money in my life right now and that’s how I thought about the idea.

Also, I’m a nerd. Whenever something “interesting” happens, I almost always write it down because it may have the possibility of turning into a blog post.

Have a running list of possible post ideas.

For me, it would take a very long amount of time for me to run out of ideas. I have ideas both in my phone and on my laptop.

My phone is full of ideas I’ve thought about on the go or right before bed (I get a lot of my ideas then). My laptop is full of ideas from when I sit down and try to have a brainstorming/research session.

I probably have a few hundred ideas, which is something I am proud of. While I am not too far ahead when it comes to actually writing these posts, it is nice to know that I have possibilities for when the time comes.

 

Do you ever feel like you are out of article and blog post ideas?

What do you do to overcome this feeling?

 

Image via Flickr by Rennett Stowe

Learning to Say NO

2476059942_f7ee6b2b09_z

A few months ago, I published the article Why You Need To Start Saying Yes. In that article, I talked about how I’m a shy person and I often say no because I am afraid to step out of my comfort zone.

I’ve been learning to say yes more, and it’s been pretty awesome so far. I feel like I have opened up a lot and I have also learned a lot about myself. It’s been great trying new things lately.

Well, on the opposite side of that article, what do you do if you are constantly saying yes?

I recently came across someone who took a freelancing job they absolutely disliked.

Actually, they didn’t just dislike it – they hated it.

It didn’t start as hate though. In the beginning, their freelancing gig started just like any normal job. However, the work and the client were becoming more and more demanding and yet the pay wasn’t increasing.

They didn’t know what to do, and they e-mailed me recently about what their options may be. This isn’t one of their first freelancing gigs, but it is the very first one that they’ve actually ever wanted to quit.

So, what do you do when you want to start saying no in your life? Maybe you want to quit a job, free up some time in your schedule, stop getting stepped on, or get some sleep.

Find out why you have a problem saying no.

Do you know why you’re always telling people yes? There are multiple reasons for why you might be like this:

  • You try to please everyone.
  • You’re afraid if you say “no” that you’ll be hurting someone’s feelings.
  • You fear missing an opportunity.
  • You don’t want to be rude.

In order to determine what your next step is, you need to figure this out. If you’re running yourself ragged just to please others, then you need to re-evaluate your plan.

Evaluate your schedule.

There are plenty of times when saying yes can be very helpful. There is a reason I published the “Saying Yes” post. Saying yes has helped me greatly.

However, if you don’t have time, then it can be a really big negative in your life. You should evaluate your schedule and see whether or not you have time to say yes or no to others’ requests.

Perhaps you just need to rearrange your schedule? Of course, there are plenty of circumstances where you actually need to say no.

Flat out say no.

There are multiple reasons for why you might say no.

You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

One reason might be because you might don’t have enough time. If you don’t have enough time you should let the person know. They should respect the fact that you have a lot on your plate already. Everyone deserves sleep, right?

Or, you could tell them you don’t think you’re the best fit. Everyone’s not the best fit for everything, and I’ve personally turned down freelancing jobs that I knew for a fact I could not truly do. If you’re not the best fit, then it’s always best to be honest about this because you don’t want to waste your time or someone else’s.

Offer something else.

If you know you don’t have time but you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings, then you may try offering something else in order to help them out still.

For example, the person in the freelancing story above could perhaps help their client out by quitting politely but also giving their client recommendations for others who may fit the position better.

Tell them you’ll think about it.

If you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings, then you may want to try telling them you’ll think about it first. There is no need to say yes right away, and giving it a little thought is probably best anyways.

Of course, only do this if you are actually going to think about it. You don’t want to string the person along if you know for a fact that you will be saying no in the end anyways.

Do you have a problem saying “yes” or “no?” What are you doing to change that?

 

Image via Flickr by abhi_ryan