So you have a blog up and running and publish regularly but are you still getting no traffic? Then you need to market that blog with a planned action to become a marketing superstar. This blog post will give you the 9 actionable steps to get traffic to your blog and turn you into the marketing superstar you really want to be! #1. Building a community that gives you permission to market to them A great blog begins with the content you create, but to be successful a blog also needs a strong community or audience. The members of your community will follow your blog by giving you permission to send them updates. This is a powerful step in inbound marketing. With traditional advertising, you’re interrupting people and while this can be effective it’s much easier to market to people that opt-in to receive information from you.Inbound marketing is about driving traffic to your web pages and converting that traffic to leads and customers. Your blog is a powerful tool in this chain of information driven content marketing. The wish list for your blog community is as follows It is the collection of followers, subscribers and whatever else you want to call people that want the information you’re sharing. It is the collection of people that will read your blog posts. It is the collection of people that will comment on your blog posts. It is the collection of people that will share your blog posts, sending them to their extended community. It is the collection of people that will send you traffic, leads and sales. a. Identify your “people” or buyer persona When you make a journey you plan the route and you may have heard the expression “How do you know how to get there if you do not know where you are going”? Similarly you cannot write content without knowing who it is for, so identify and define who your “people” audience are and what they might like to read. b. Build a community that has given you permission to market your blog posts to repeatedly Your community will encompass everyone that has given you permission to market to them. This community is spread over all the most important channels as follows.Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin,Google+,Pinterest,Instagram and Email list building. c. Grow your social media presence on the right social platforms for your business Where possible a business page on these social media platforms is preferable too.You promote your blog content across all your social media platforms to further grow your brand and followers in your community.Email is the cream of the crop when it comes to building a community for your blog. An email list is something you own and something you control. Social media sites can change the rules for how you can promote to your followers, but with email you are the one in control. You can test to determine how often you should market to your subscribers and you can test different types of email content to determine what gets the best response. But now that you have the foundation of building a blog marketing community it’s time to discuss the type of blog posts that are easy to market. #2. Easily Marketable Blog Posts The types of posts that are easy to market are ones that others have a vested interest in helping you market. You need to have a marketing system to create content that will make blog marketing easier. You need to consider the big players and influencers in your area of business.The term “Influencers” will include the bloggers, brands and other people and organisations you will potentially write about in your blog posts.These will be the people of interest to your community and followers and where they will be spending their time.Any blogger, brand or organisation that shares your target audience is a potential influencer for you and your business. The key point of this section is to write about the influencers in your industry or niche so that they may share the content you create with their communities. You have to make it worth the while of the person, brand or organisation to share your content. The list of influencers you just considered will be your key resource while you blog. Whenever you need to conduct an interview, create a top list or do a feature story you’ll be able to reference your list of influencers. It will save you time and will also ensure that you’re writing about and including people that are likely to share your blog posts with your target audience members. Interviews often make for interesting, engaging and useful blog posts, but they also serve the purpose of getting others vested in the success of the post. When you interview one of the influencers on your list you’re opening up their knowledge and sharing it with your readers. It’s a benefit for the person you’re interviewing because you’re exposing them to your audience and giving them a platform to share their story, knowledge and experience. The interviewee will want the post to do well so they’ll do what they can to promote the post in their communities and networks.It is often a win-win situation. With regular posts you can market and have great success but by using industry influencers and giving them a vested interest in the success of your blog post you are expanding the reach and growing the following of your list and audience. When attending networking events it is easy to chat and record an interview with industry leaders and using this in a future blog post with their permission. #3. Optimize Blog Posts with Organic Search You need to know the basics of SEO and how to format your blog posts so they rank well in search engines. Organic search remains an important way to generate traffic for your blog. Optimizing your blog posts for organic search accomplishes two things: Creates content your target “people” audience wants and needs Communicates what your content is to search engines so they can share it with your target audience The essential steps are as follows: Keyword and Focus –When creating each blog post you want to have one main keyword phrase in mind for each post. Title – To capture attention your title has to be intriguing to your target audience. It has to really entice them to want to click. URL – Create the URL to provide the most relevant information to your audience. Description – When writing your descriptions you want to share a little bit of what the reader will find in the full article. Entice their interest. Use the focus keyword phrase. Headings – Using your main focus keyword and secondary keywords in the headings gives the reader hints as to what the content is about when they scan your article. And the search engines use it as a signal too. Internal Links – Internal linking gives search engines an indication of relevant content on your blog. Internal links can also increase traffic and time on site, which are two additional indicators search engines use to gauge the relevance and authority of your blog. If you blog on the WordPress platform then consider installing Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin and this will help you focus and make your post an SEO powerhouse. Organic search remains a major source of traffic for successful blog posts.If you create unique interesting posts that are relevant and of value to your audience you will achieve good results in the organic rankings.Creating the type of content that is most shared and linked to by your target audience and hopefully your key industry influencers will benefit your blog over time as links remain a major part of those organic search algorithms. #4. Paid Search Paid search options can be a great source of traffic for your blog but as with all traffic it has to be the right kind of traffic. Google Adwords If you really want to learn Google Adwords correctly simple follow the training delivered by …well Google! However here is a 6 point strategy for promoting your blog posts uniquely. Publish a new post. Select only specific keyword phrases use the Keyword Planner in AdWords to target the right kind of people interested in your post and brand. Create simple to the point Ads that touch on key emotions with potential readers. Turn Off The Content Network to focus solely on the paid search part of AdWords Learn what works and create content based on your findings. Test and amend and then do it again, then you can target the term for both organic and paid search. Bid on competitive Blog Keywords. When you put an ad up using a competitive brands keywords the searchers will see your relevant post and go to your blog post instead of to your competitor’s blog. Yahoo/ Bing Network Did you know that more than 163 million searchers use Yahoo and Bing each month. Of that number, 54 million don’t search using Google at all! Here are a few steps for using the Yahoo Bing Network to market your blog with paid search. Using the same keyword research as Google but as Yahoo Bing is cheaper and less competitive,target broader keywords with more potential traffic than you would reach on Google. Use the Geo-Targeting feature on Bing Ads to promote your top list blog posts. There will be very few, if any, other ads with this type of content 2nd Tier Networks There are just 3 options here that offer opportunity. Lijit – This platform has an extensive content publisher network. As an advertiser, you can target specific sites and specific audience types.To take the most advantage of Lijit, create ads that promote your blog content as a type of “Related Posts” or “Related Content” ad. Chitika – This platform has an large collection of blogs in its publishing network and are heavily focused on mobile ad delivery for advertisers.Blog posts continue to be popular with mobile users so there is reason to believe you can have success by promoting your popular blog posts with mobile ads on other popular blogs. 7Search – Is worth considering and investigating as the keyword traffic is not as high as Google or Bing and offers an opportunity because of it’s low keyword bids. Using paid search is not the first thing people think about when it comes to promoting their blog content and for that reason alone it will give you an advantage and growth quickly. This growth will result in leads and sales for your business over time. #5. Social Media By now you are familiar with building your followers on the essential social media channels and now we will discuss the tactics that have worked to build the biggest blogs on the digital airwaves. I mentioned before that different platforms suit different styles of blog and followers so lets dig a bit deeper and explain that thought. Here are the following steps to determine the best social network for promoting your blog. Following on from developing your buyer persona as discussed previously you need to identify where they are hanging out ie where do they read, where do they post, what platforms are they on themselves? What is the traffic potential for you and your business form the social networks? Which platform will deliver for you? Automate your blog posts for ease of distribution and reach. Re-post and re-purpose your Blog content as new aspects are being discussed go back over your articles and re edit and reprint them. Give your old blog posts new titles and urls and redistribute them and share them again, many people may not have read them the first time. Use social sharing buttons on your posts and ASK readers to share , re tweet and follow , encourage them to promote you if they found the article of value. Use Hashtags. Identify relevant and popular hashtags for your blog post.Use up to 3 Hashtags per posting. When sharing your blog post on Facebook consider the following : Share to FB groups,message your connections and ask them to share it also. Share on Twitter and then find people who have tweeted similar content and reply to them to encourage engagement and discussion. DM people who have tweeted similar blog posts and ask them to share your blog post and you will reciprocate for them. Post and engage on Google+ and Linkedin in a similar manner as for Twitter and Facebook above and finally sharing your blog post is an art that you become creative and good at over time, however if you follow the above strategies you will learn and fine tune the best method that suits you and your own business over time. #6. Paid Social Media Consider using paid Facebook advertising to promote your blog postings by creating sponsored stories. This will give you a bigger opportunity to get traffic and eyeballs on your brand and business. Just use the Ads create section and enter your Blogs title into the sponsored story create tool and make sure it is a catchy title as discussed before. Make sure your content is outstanding and encourage them to opt in to your email list for your ethical bribe give away. This is a great way to use social media to drive traffic and grow your email list. Likewise with Twitter you can target your audience with keywords and use promoted tweets to drive traffic and encourage click throughs to your content. Consider using Linkedin if your target audience is professional and you are in the B2B industry as they have as advertising program that benefits content marketers. You should also investigate platforms like Stumble Upon and Reddit to promote and interact with people interested in what you have to say. Nowadays with the use of smartphones it is easy and cheap to generate video for your business and you can place banner ads on relevant videos to promote your blog post and encourage click throughs. Finally with paid social done well you can target your audience on the right channels and build your followers with advertising to supplement your organic efforts. #7. Outreach Outreach is what you do when you reach out to people via email, social media and even networking and ask them to promote your blog posts. We discussed earlier the importance of building a list of influencers and people that will share your content. Once you have developed a relationship and you know the type of content that people engage and share with you can create and publish content that is exponentially better. This will build your authority and brand and impress those influencers and you will become an influencer yourself. This has the domino effect and your “Stuff” will get re distributed and shared with more and more followers. #8. Web Syndication There are many different ways that you can organically submit your content to platforms that will expose them to communities.Take a look at Buzzblogger and see how this platform can be a great resource for syndicating content on other websites. Here is a list of other platforms that can help you redistribute and organically grow your following. Scoop.it helps you pull together content for a target audience from all over the web.It will also help you create email newsletters with engaging content that your readers will love and look forward to reading. Inbound.org is a community that shares interesting, useful and entertaining content from the online marketing world. It covers everything from SEO to Social Media to Blogging and much more. Thousands of users share all kinds of content — blog posts, videos, guides, slideshows and more. The post is listed as a title with a short description in Inbound.org. Users can go read the article and come back to comment with others on Inbound.org. Reddit is a place where all kinds of content can be shared with a large community of online users.It’s a sarcastic community that appreciates witty, clever comments. Short, snappy comments that are clever are appreciated. So are personal stories that you can tell in the comments to build on a popular piece of content that was shared. Add these types of comments and you’ll receive upvotes for your contributions, which will build your profile for later on when you want to share your own content. Blog Catalog is a place where people go to read the best blogs around the Web. You can pay to promote your latest posts on various places in the catalog. It’s a great way to increase traffic to your latest post. With the premium features you can even have posts written about your blog and blog post and have your latest posts shared on social media. Digg is a place where the best and most interesting content is shared from around the web each day. It remains one of the most popular sites on the web and it can be a great place to get traffic for your new blog post. Alltop – Submit your blog feed to Alltop and find the niche that best fits your blog. Your most recent post will appear at the top of the feed and you’ll have instant access to the thousands of users on Alltop that are looking for great content like yours. Technorati is one of the most extensive blog directories on the web. Submit your blog and add the appropriate tags for your niche. Your blog will be included and listed based on traffic. As your traffic grows you’ll gain in rankings. By submitting your feed your latest blog post will be included giving you a link back to your blog and another automated way for each of your new posts to be syndicated. So as you can see from the extensive list above there are many ways to syndicate your content and market your blog. You can use these strategies and platforms to syndicate your content around the web. All of these will help build your community which is the core foundation of blog marketing. #9. Repurposing Blog Content Blog marketing and promoting your blog is not only about text-based blog posts. You can repurpose your blog content to extend the reach of your blog and to identify further link-building opportunities. Some people prefer to read blog posts. In fact, a lot of people do, but everybody has their own preference and if you want to reach your target reader that prefers other forms of content you have to give them what they want. As soon as you publish a blog post consider the following options for repurposing that post. Turn that blog post into a Whitepaper download in PDF format and use it as on opt in to your list. Create a slide show of the content and upload it on Slideshare and use your slideshow as a marketing tool for your business. Turn your Slideshow into an infographic which takes the original blog post and turns it into something visual for the reader. Consider making your Infographic a videographic which is an animated video of your content. This quirky style is visually appealing and can catch traffic and interest. Or you can just make a full video of your content and upload it on You Tube or Vimeo and distribute it in the usual channels. Podcasts are a relatively new way to engage and discuss your chosen Blog topic.The advantage is that people listen to a podcast while driving to work or working out in the gym and they are in the background but can be relevant and interesting to listen to. You could podcast an interview with one of your key influencers mentioned above. Webinars have become almost mainstream in many online businesses in recent years and you could deliver your Blog post in webinar format to your followers. So finally to expand your reach and get the most value for your blog post consider the options above for repurposing your post and growing your following. Remember to include a link in all of the above to your web page and written Blog post and always, always have an opt in to encourage the growth of your email list and blog community. Blog marketing is an essential part of blogging success. Creating amazing blog content is one part of the puzzle. Marketing that content is the next step so by reading all the way to the end of this article you have all the steps required to build your following and community. Good Luck! Blog content compiled from thesis research with thanks to Gartner, Chris Brogan, Hubspot, Neil Patel and David Meerman Scott. Images: “Close up Two hand holding smart phone with Influencer Marketing word and icons, Digital concept /Social media on hand with blue background / Web syndication word cloud concept /Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. 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