You’ve built up a nice little archive of posts. Now all you need is some readers. It’s the question everyone’s asking: how do you promote your blog?
First, let me direct you to the excellent post on this topic by Michael Martine. Michael knows you have to give a little to get a little. I’m going to address a specific aspect of that: giving publicity.
If you run a themed blog, this will be very simple. In fact, you’re probably doing it already. If, for example, you run a sewing blog, you’re probably writing reviews of different patterns, suggestions on where to buy cheap, high-quality cloth, or profiles of successful designers and manufacturers. Every time you write a positive review or recommendation about a person or company, you’re giving them free publicity.
You can also do this on your personal blog, and you probably do. Ever written a glowing review of a band you just discovered? How about a post about the great meal you just had in a restaurant near your house? This is all publicity; linklove for businesses.
Now it’s time to make this publicity work for you. Track down some email addresses for the people and companies you’re writing about, and then draft an email letting them know you’ve given them a five-star review on your site. Include a link to the review and a link to the site. Ask if they would be willing to add a link to your blog on their professional website.
Once you’ve sent the emails, be prepared to wait a long time – maybe forever – before you see any response. In my experience, if your site is a small one then the best chance of success comes from individuals and small groups: companies that are just starting out, local small-time professionals, and small websites. If your site is larger, with a lot of traffic, you may start to hear back from the big guys.
A few tips to boost your response rate:
Larger companies and more famous people are going to be more impressed by a professional-quality review. If you’re not sure about your writing skills, send it around to your writer friends for peer review and listen to their advice about how to improve it. Also consider adding top-grade images and selecting a more subtle color scheme.
Personalized letters are more likely to be read. Sending one form letter to everyone makes you look like spam. Consider your audience for each email and alter your tone accordingly.
Starting out with a few compliments is always a good idea. Tell the recipient what drew you to his or her work in the first place, and stress that you’re providing this review primarily because you are a fan/consumer, and only secondarily because you’re looking to boost your own traffic.