Blogs 101 is a resource to provide our clients and readers with a clear concept of what a blog is, why a blog might be a positive addition to their website or marketing campaign, and how to implement, optimize and promote a blog. In Part 1 of this series I discussed the basics of a blog and some of the necessary steps to take before starting one. In Part 2, I explained blog feeds and how to optimize a blog. Now in Part 3, I will explain social media marketing and outline a selection of strategies for socially marketing your blog.
Important Note: Over the past few years social networks have exploded creating a service niche that Social Media Marketing has filled; evolving into a vast and complex profession of its own. In this regard, this article is by no means an exhaustive listing of the social methods for promoting a blog but it will provide you with worthwhile strategies to begin a successful campaign.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) revolves around marketing online media such as blogs, podcasts, or videos through social interaction in various online communities; such as news/content voting (i.e. Digg.com), file sharing (i.e. BitTorrent), video sharing (i.e. YouTube, Revver, etc.), and site/blog voting communities (i.e. Technorati, StumbeUpon, etc.). Here is a snapshot of some of the more popular social marketing communities with snippet definitions from Wikipedia:
Blog Social Marketing Strategies
The following are marketing strategies designed to both enable your readers to find, and then share your content easily.
Note: Even though these tools will need to be added by someone familiar with basic coding (HTML or whatever your site/blog software uses) the benefits are well worth it.
Share Your Blog Feed
There are countless websites that want your blog content, you just need to provide it. The trick is to find them and add your blog feed to their system. Here are some tips for finding feeds along with a couple of feed directory sites to make life easier:
Forums: In order to participate in a forum you need to create a profile which often includes the ability to provide a personalized signature. Within the signature provide your blog URL along with a slogan or description designed to peek the interest of anyone reading your forum post. Of course that leaves one issue on the table... you need to ensure your forum posts are thoughtful and intelligent enough for people to read them AND take interest in you.
Other Blogs: In most cases blogs offer the ability for readers to comment on a posting. In order to do so you usually have the option to attach a web address to your comment. This link should point directly to your blog home page so that anyone interested in reading more about you can visit your blog directly. Again make certain the comment is intelligent so that readers have a reason to click on your link.
Bonus Tip: Promote Bookmarking within Newsletters and Related Materials
Pretty much anything can be socially bookmarked but it cannot hurt to provide reminders here and there for your readers. If you publish articles, news releases, or even how-to's then it is important you add social bookmarking buttons to each page. One such example is a tutorial I provided recently on StepForth.com which explains how to recapture link popularity using redirects. The tutorial is now a significant driver of traffic and I expect the social bookmarking buttons I placed on the page have participated in its success.
Like most marketing objectives you could spend months learning and honing your social media marketing campaign and still have work left to do. That said, this 3rd tutorial in my Blogs 101 series is designed to push you in the right direction and ultimately help you create a world of fans for your new blog.
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Ross Dunn is the CEO of StepForth Web Marketing Inc., a web marketing company founded in 1997 and based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. StepForth provides cutting-edge search engine optimization services that provide highly successful, targeted results for its clientele. Ross Dunn is a Certified Internet Marketing and Business Strategist (CIMBS) with a background in web design and business management. His broad Internet experience in combination with a talented staff has made StepForth a name synonymous with top results.
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