10% Blogging 90% Shouting “I’m Heeere!”
I wish I had read a marketing for beginners post somewhere when I first started. It wouldn’t have taken me six months to realise that I needed to get out there.
As a well known blogger in my area I’ll start off by saying blogging is about 10% what you write, and 90% pasting yourself all over the internet. I’ve been saying content is key all through this blog, because content IS key. But if you don’t market yourself you’ll quickly find out that no-one will be able to find you and your awesome content. It’s the sad state of things. You could have the most perfectly balanced website, with a super attractive logo, blisteringly industry-leading information, and a theme that would make even the stiffest competition want to copy you. But if you aren’t taking your website to the proper places, no-one is going to know you’re there.
You’ll also learn how incredibly lazy everyone is when you get into marketing. Information has been thrown in our laps constantly, and for years. It’s so bad now that we’ve developed filters for information so that we can sieve the good stuff from the nonsense. People will just wait to be placed with your website in front of them without no offering to search for it on Google. Trust me, they aren’t going to go out of their way to search for you. No way. I even have to update my Facebook real life friends so that they keep looking at my blog or they’ll forget. It’s not that they don’t like what I write, only that they need to be remembered, else it will slip out of their memory banks.
Think of your fans as babies that need to be spoonfed. You’ll learn this when you progress from marketing for beginners to more advanced reading.
Don’t forcefeed your fans with your links
Don’t forcefeed though. As soon as you start forcing your content down people’s throats they’ll develop block filters for you and your site. When you start to limit choice for other people they begin to shut off and close down their openess to what you bring. That’s why all the spammy posters get a bad reputation. And why I don’t join some promotion groups because all they are, are people stumbling over one another to be heard.
The best way to market yourself is through engaging with other people. Since you’re reading marketing for beginners, I recommend at the start, rather than shoving your blog in fifty million places at once and forgetting exactly where you promoted yourself; reach out to other bloggers. Talk to them, ask them how they did it. How come they have such an active following? How did they start out? – See if they have any amazing posts that you can use and share to others yourself. You’ll find bloggers all over the Internet. Mainly in groups on Facebook. Seek out the most engaged where people are talking to each other and helping. All the popular bloggers went through the stage of ‘marketing for beginners’ and they know your pain! Most are very helpful.
Network lots and often
Networking with other people and other bloggers will help you learn what everyone is writing about and what tactics they use. You will also make friends with other people over the world that will help and inspire you to reach new depths. You’ll also make friends and deepen your audiences as you share work together. I’ve never thought of competitors as competitors, but more so people to collaborate with. I’d rather share than compete – that way I’m open to new audiences all the time. I’ve never been competitive. I think people can grow faster together than when they’re pitted against one another.
Also, don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Video blogging? Gamecasting? Podcasting? (you can podcast on YouTube). The more avenues you send yourself down the more people you will be able to meet and network with, and reach bigger audiences. Think YouTube. That is literally the only other in-website search function I use other than Google. Oh, and Pinterest. Pinterest is awesome when looking for new bloggers. No shortage of marketing for beginners articles there! Lots of valuable blog-like information on Pinterest!
Marketing for beginners – Share the love
Share other people’s work. Don’t just blast your own crap all the time. You’ll get to know and love a few other bloggers work out there. Share their links with your audience, link out to their relevant posts and send them some love. I’ve learned that people get annoyed really quickly if all you do is take take take and don’t give anything back. I try and share people’s work that I love, and sometimes I just share work if I know I have fans that would enjoy the content. I don’t have to directly like it myself, only that it’s honest material and it works. People like it when you share their content – it makes getting your own content shared much easier. You also build bonds and make solid friendships.
First thing you’re going to want to do is get out there on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest and many more. Get a page for all of them. Whenever you find someplace new, get a page. It will really benefit you. I have planned a super detailed social media post for later so watch this space. You’re going to want to keep in line with your brand identity – so whatever your website is named, you’re going to want to have the same for your social media sites. Colours, themes, et al.
What a lot of people that share content miss out on is good, relevant links to other pages and websites in your niche. If you’re a marketing blog, seek out and find your industry leaders, share their content. Also share marketing content from people that are new, or two years into it. If it’s new, relevant and awesome, give it to your users. Never ever, ever, skimp on content. Make sure what you’re sharing is amazing, top dog and worthwhile. People will gravitate towards you. Why wouldn’t they? You make great content and share great content too.
Never be afraid to use other blogging platforms to link back
I use Google’s blogger platform, Medium and Niume to share some of my posts and link back to the original content of my blog. You bet I’ll have a near duplicate marketing for beginners post on there soon enough. That way I’m harnessing the audiences of other platforms back to my own blog. Think of that as a sort of cheat sheet of harnessing audiences that aren’t already available to you. Particularly for audiences of platforms like Niume that prefer to keep their users on site. Sometimes it can be hard work doing all that – but there are programs and applications that can do it automatically for you. I will get into that later.
Realise that in marketing you aren’t important
Technically you are, because you are the brand. But on the surface you aren’t. I’ve seen people literally destroy their businesses overnight because they got offended at what a customer said and went primal on them, or they have made a stupid prejudiced, or racist remark. If you’re getting out there you need to realise that you are reaching lots and lots of people from different race, backgrounds, country, you need to have no opinion on anything unless it relates to your business and you can’t get offended at ANYTHING people say. People say stupid shit, they’ll get over it eventually. Unless your blog requires opinion, and that’s a different matter entirely! Just be cautious.
I saw a lady in Fife, Scotland capsize her bustling wedding venue by publicly shaming a bride that was going to be booking her venue. And she did it for everyone to see. And overnight, she had changed her business from a thriving, bustling happy venue that people love to go to get married, to a worldwide spotlight filled with angry people and negative reviews. Like seriously, don’t talk angrily to your fans if they are angry. Handle it appropriately and calmly, else you’ll destroy everything you’ve built.
Some ideas in that video for you there!
What you want to be seen as – badass
Basically, as a blogger you want to be seen as a person to visit for wildly accurate and amazing information in whatever subject that you want to talk about. I talk a lot about experiencing life – and people are taken on an amazing journey of introspection with me viewing my thoughts, ideas and feelings in the first person sense. This blog here, I hope to cultivate some of the best information on growing your blog for bloggers starting out like I was at one point in my life. I didn’t have any of this starting out, and if I knew what I knew now? I’d be eons ahead of myself two years down the line.
Just be awesome, and you’ll thrive.