Blogging can be one of the most stressful, but also one of the most rewarding ways to build your business and brand.

However, there’s a lot of misconception about how to promote your blog. Not only do blogging ‘experts’ often give poor information, but what works one year may not work again specifically for the next year.

That’s why I invited some of the top emerging blogging superstars to share their opinion on what really are the best ways to promote your blog this year and beyond and answer the question “what are the top 3 ways to promote your blog this year?”.

These guys (and gals) are growing their own blogs at lightning speed and know what it takes to get REAL results. This isn’t stuff that helped them get a ton of traffic and results in the past and then stopped working, but strategies they are implementing right now as well as sharing with their own audience and clients.

It’s important to note, none of these experts knew what the other was going to say, so it’s interesting to note the similarities in some of the responses below.

That being said… let’s dive into the top ways on how to promote your blog this year.

 

Joel Comm

1) Social media – Building a tribe of followers who like, know and trust you remains the best way to generate traffic and create conversation without any financial investment. Write content that invites people into the conversation and solicit their feedback.  Make sure you have share buttons integrated with every entry for maximum impact.
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2) Be controversial – There’s a ton of people vying for attention. You’ve got to say something that will stand out. I’m not saying create controversy for the sake of controversy. Just don’t be afraid to have different opinions.  The purpose of viral content is to get others sharing it.

3) Paid advertising – If you aren’t generating traffic on your own, you can always pony up cash to Google, Facebook and Twitter.  Just make sure you know what you are doing to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Joel Comm is a New York Times Best-Selling Author of 11 books, including Twitter Power 3.0″. You can learn more about him and his books at www.Joelcomm.com.

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Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph

Blog commenting is a free, simple way to expand your presence online. I love commenting because it’s my fave way to connect with influential entrepreneurs. My Blogging from Paradise eBooks were endorsed twice by a NY Times Best Selling Author and I also landed a speaking gig at NYU through the good old blog comments field. Not a bad way to snag the attention of some influential folks, no?

I treat commenting like this; read the post, elaborate on a point made, share your thoughts in a thorough, authentic fashion and make blog commenting all about connecting with bloggers. Blog comment to make friends. Friends expand your presence, inspire you and support you. Yep, your friends help dictate your online success.

I just started building my list. I dig what I’m seeing so far. Most folks are addicted to their email. Even if they aren’t addicted you better believe most folks love the convenience of checking their email. So if they’re huge on checking email just send your blog posts directly to their email. That makes sense, doesn’t it? You can also message out good old discounts and the like.

As for the 3rd strategy I’ve noted a blogging problem. A wide-spread blogging problem. Many bloggers are in a hurry to promote crappy posts. They mean well of course but they want to promote stuff that won’t inspire readers.

I publish one 7,000 word blog post weekly. I joke, I tell bizarre/weird travel stories and link these tales to blogging tips, I share jaw dropping travel photos with my community and I also share practical tips with my readers. Proven practical tips which I personally use to blog from paradise. I noted a surge in social shares after I committed to publishing in-depth, long-form, inspired, helpful content.

Don’t be in a rush to share something. Create the inspired, impacting content first. Then get down to sharing. You’ll note so many more folks promoting REALLY good, valuable blog posts versus the less than valuable stuff that’s floating around the web.

To learn more from Ryan check out his blog at Blogging from Paradise as well as his books at  Blogging from Paradise Books

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John Paul Aguiar

For me the things that will work this year are same things that have been working in 2014.  Find areas you not in now, and GET in them and producing.
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Here my 3 ways to get your blog noticed this year.
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1, Continue to use Social Media.  I mean use it, be active, be in there talking, sharing and helping. Do that right, so when you have a new post or page to promote it will get seen and shared much more than if you don’t put the engagement work in beforehand.
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2, Use other media to promote your blog content. Use video to talk about your new post, use podcasting, use slideshares, use infographics.  Be creative and find other media to promote your blog.
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3, Build that email list, as always you OWN that list, you control that list.  So stay focused on building that list, the bigger your list, the more people you can send new blog posts and updates to.

To learn more from John Paul Aguiar, check out his blog at http://johnpaulaguiar.com

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Jane Sheeba

Jane Sheeba

1. Linking out to others
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Ya you heard me right. Linking out to others works well as a promotion strategy. But you should not be focused on linking out just to get links back. But I found that whenever I link out to the others, I naturally get a lot of backlinks, shares and mentions. Also this puts me in the radar of other bloggers who have a great following – a great chance to make new connections too.
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2. Blog commenting
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Considered as a time consuming task by most bloggers, I find this as a pretty effective way to promote my blog. My comments out there stand as my opinion and as my voice throughout the internet. So rather than confining my presence and voice only to my own site, I spread out my wings when I leave blog comments.
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Depending upon the quality of the comments you leave, people will surely fly to your site!
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3. Guest blogging
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It is not dead. Not even close. Genuine, good quality guest blogging where you maintain a premium standard will lift your site’s online visibility and standard within a short period of time.
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With guest blogging, you have to be consistent – of course some bloggers cannot be consistently writing guest posts for their entire life time. But when you plan to do a campaign, do it consistently and fast so that people get enough opportunities to notice you.
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You don’t have to mass guest blog on hundreds of blogs. But when you choose to write for 5 blogs, make sure the posts get published in a frequency that helps people notice you every where.
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Besides these tips, I’ve shared my own blog promotion tips in this post here. Also there are certain things you need to do BEFORE you think about promoting your blog!

To learn more from Jane, visit her site at http://www.besthostinganddesign.com and Twitter @Problogsuccess

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Ron Sela

Have you created a blog and now you haven’t any idea how to get it out there so it gets read? Well, there are many simple ways to get readership and grow your blog that don’t cost you a penny and don’t consume all of your valuable time. The easiest part of blogging is building the blog itself. One of the best initial ways of growing your blog is to work with fellow bloggers who work in the same niche or similar niches as your blog. Share your high quality blog posts via social media shares on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and niche websites such as Reddit, Inbound.org, and BizSugar.
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E-mail marketing is quite valuable in growing your blog. Build an e-mail list via providing an offer to website visitors and motivating the subscribers to visit your blog via weekly e-mail messages that provide excellent content and links to your blog posts. The easiest way to accomplish this is to insert a form in your blog for a small giveaway. Further, you can insert a subscribe button on your blog that offers the option of subscribing by e-mail. Your blog posts will then reach your readers in their e-mail, which most people check on a daily basis.
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As mentioned earlier, networking with other bloggers is valuable. Reach out to them. Write them a message on Facebook or comment on their blog posts. Follow them on Twitter and interact with them genuinely. Be sure their content is of interest to your readers and is well-written. Making professional contacts with other bloggers is very important in growing your blog. Whatever you do, never spam to get attention.

To learn more from Ron, visit his site at http://ronsela.com

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Lisa Irby

1) Pinterest.  Even though it’s been online for a few years, this network is still widely untapped.  People blow it off as “just another picture site” but it’s more than that. It’s now responsible for driving massive traffic to bloggers like myself and much of it is passive.  No other social network gives you so much long-term passive traffic from one image.
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2) Video.  This is such an effective method for driving traffic, largely because YouTube is the second most popular search engine behind Google.  Not only can it help you build traffic, but it helps you connect with your readers and gives your brand personality.
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3)  Email Marketing.  Some say it’s dead. I say those people just haven’t figured out what works.  I drastically improved my open rates by using AWeber’s blog broadcast feature so now all my new posts send a quick snippet to everyone on my list.  It’s a great way to keep in touch with your audience.  Email marketing doesn’t always have to be about promoting a product.  Staying in touch and sending out your best info is also a great strategy.  It’s about balance.

To learn more from Lisa, check out her course at http://www.2createawebsite.com/amcourse.

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Andreea Ayers

1. Be a guest on other popular podcasts in your niche  – I can’t tell you how many times per week I get an email from someone saying “I heard you on the so and so podcast and just checked out your blog.”
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2. Start your own podcast – Launching your own podcast is a great way to tap into an audience that you might not otherwise have access to since iTunes’ audience is not only large, but loyal as well.
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3. Be yourself – if you’re the face behind your brand and blog, make sure to be yourself so you can attract readers who are into what YOU have to offer. It doesn’t serve you well if you have 1000 readers that can’t relate to you – it’s better to have 100 readers who get and understand what you have to offer.

To learn more from Andreea, check out her blog at http://launchgrowjoy.com.

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Danny Inny, Megan Dougherty, and Firepole Marketing Team

When you’re looking at the different options for promoting your blog, you have to have your goals in mind. Are you looking for more traffic? More sales? More authority?

Your goals are going to greatly influence the tactics you choose.

If you’re looking for more traffic – just generally, then I would recommend guest posting as much and as often as you can. Guest posting is the most effective when you can give the appearance of being everywhere at once – and it’s a lot of work, but the increase in visibility can be massive, and long lasting. You need to have a very compelling opt-in incentive on thelanding page you direct people to from your by-line, of course – and don’t hesitate to split-test it! Especially when you’re starting out, every visitor counts, so you want to optimize your conversions as quickly as possible.

If more sales is higher on your radar, then you want to be putting your blog (and the products or services therein) directly in front of people who are looking for what you have available. I would turn to really optimizing your social media presences – especially if you’re selling anything that can be visually represented. Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook all have really excellent mechanisms to turn browsers into buyers, and build relationships that, over time, can lead to steady sales and promotions. People turn to their social networks when they look for recommendations and information about what to buy – so build relationships on the networks you know your audience uses, and when they are looking for something – make sure to be there!

If authority is what you’re looking for (and, naturally, the traffic and sales that come with it!) – then I recommend that you create something to teach. Online education is one of the best ways to position yourself as a genuine authority in your area of expertise – and it also allows you to bring your vision to the world in a direct, applicable way for your audience. There is a new paradigm for online education – creating valuable information that people really want to buy – head over to Coursebuilderslaboratory.com to find out more, and watch some free training videos explaining how to make the most of what you know.

To learn more from the Firepole Marketing team, visit http://firepolemarketing.com or their new course at http://coursebuilderslabratory.com.

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Adam Connell

There are a number of traffic strategies I’ll be focusing on this year, but the following 3 will be key:

1) PR mentions – There are journalists all over the world that need experts to contribute to their stories. While this isn’t always the biggest traffic driver, it’s great for branding, visibility and authority.

2) Paid traffic – Paid traffic tends to be relatively expensive but sites like Outbrain.com are fairly cheap and the traffic is highly targeted.

3) Building an email list – While other traffic strategies will get more eye-balls on your content initially, you need to keep them coming back, building an email list and using it to promote your content is the best way to do that. And with an increased focus on improving conversions you’ll get more email subscribers with the same amount of traffic.

To learn more from Adam, visit his site at http://bloggingwizard.com

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David Risely

First, I think the most effective and predictable way is to use paid traffic from the likes of Facebook, Twitter, etc. A lot of blog owners tend to overlook this in search for free organic methods, but the truth is that you will learn a LOT about your audience targeting by fine-tuning our paid ads. Not only that, the results are predictable. The only “catch” is that you HAVE to set up the content in such a way as to funnel the reader into something which they can buy… otherwise you’ll obviously lose money. I talk more about this on my post about the Blog Monetization Funnel.

Second, guest posting. And that would include guest appearances as an interviewee on podcasts. Guest posting isn’t the backlinking tactic it used to be, but appearing in front of the right audience and really blowing them away with your best work will definitely promote your blog.

And last, video and podcasting. These days, a written blog just isn’t enough. You need to be active in other mediums and have all of it point back to your “home base” – which is your blog.

To learn more from David, check out his site at http://blogmarketingacademy.com.

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Shane Melaugh

One of the most important opportunities for promoting a blog lies in collaboration. You’re not in this alone and the more you can work with other bloggers, authors and influencers in your market, the faster your blog will grow. A lot of noise has been made about guest posting and that certainly is one form of collaborating with others in your market. But in terms of actually building relationships with people, I think it’s fairly weak. There are many more collaborative things you can do, like interviews or expert roundups. It gets really interesting when you look to someone else in your market and ask yourself how you can combine strengths to create something great.
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For important posts on your blog (the big, epic posts that you create to get long-term traffic), the trick is to treat each post as a marketing campaign of its own. To me, there are clear parallels between this and creating a product: you scope out the market, get to know the audience, scrutinize your competitors… and from that, you come up with a unique angle and a way to make your post better. And once it’s published, you spend at least as much time on promoting the post as you did on researching and creating it.
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Finally, I have to mention product creation: I’m really not a blogger at all, but I have fairly large and very enthusiastic audiences for my blogs. The key to this isn’t in what I do on those blogs, it’s in how I create and sell high-quality products. This has been the most effective way for me to build my audience.

To learn more about Shane, check out his site at http://imimpact.com.

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Greg Narayan

Write 3 guest posts for the largest blogs you can think of, or at least think you have a chance at. If you don’t get accepted, tailor the post to another well-trafficked blog. If you do get accepted, make sure things look welcoming at home and watch promotion happen on it’s own.

To learn more from Greg, check out site at dearblogger.org.

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 Dino Dogan

1. Great content
2. Great tribe
3. Generous attitude
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Great content helps when your tribe is inclined to share your content with their audience. Generous attitude helps when promoting others who’s content you love.
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In essence, your job is to build a mutual admiration society amongst the bloggers you know.

To learn more from Dino and improve your blog traffic, check out his site over at http://triberr.com.

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Ted Rubin

I simply produce content regularly, syndicate it on every social platform as well as my blog, and others, and allow reposting of my content by anyone who wants to on their blogs. I have found that by producing content people like, and engaging regularly, my presence has grown dramatically. But I do not sell ads or look for sponsors, my business is as a marketer, consultant and speaker… so my content production and brand building is as a feeder for that. Here are a few tips I suggest to grow your blog. For me it is not about tools, but about strategy, and execution. Here are a few things to consider in addition to just posting articles and working the SEO angle…

1. User-Friendly Navigation: Keeping your blog easy to navigate with intuitive category labels will help people find the information they seek much faster. Also, make it easy for readers to leave comments and share your posts on various channels that will help lead others back to you.

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2. Look for Holes in Your Competition: Take a look at your competition’s blogs and websites. Are there content holes they’ve missed that you can take advantage of? Ways to add value not already available and help you stand out. Those consistently provide lots of content have a bigger chance of attracting people who are actively looking for information.
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3. Don’t Close Your Comments: Don’t close the door for people to leave comments on your blog; doing so leaves the impression that you only care about what you have to say and are not willing to be responsive to others. Seth Godin can do it, and it sure works for him, but until you are playing in that league, don’t go there.
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4. Commenting on Other Blogs: Look for other blogs in your industry that have a good amount of traffic and comments, and contribute a comment, but only if you think you can add value to the conversation. Be careful not to promote your blog here; just add some insight, and do it on a regular basis. Make seeking out and commenting on other blogs a part of your daily activities. The more you contribute to the conversation happening around you, the more you’ll be seen as a thought-leader (and people will click on your link to check you out).
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5. Syndicate, syndicate, syndicate… share your content via all social channels always including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, which also makes it easy for others to share. And don’t be afraid to do it more than once periodically sharing old posts via your social channels, especially those that were well received. Also let others freely repost your content with a link back to the original post.
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Welcome to the ‘Age of Influence,’ where anyone can build an audience and effect change, advocate brands, build relationships and make a difference.

To learn more from Ted, check out his site at http://TedRubin.com.

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Ileane Smith

Promoting your blog is just as important as writing great content. After all, it won’t do you much good to pour your heart and soul into a blog post if no one ever reads it. I think social media will continue to play a huge role in spreading the one about your content and I’m seeing a lot of quality traffic coming to my blog from Pinterest. This means you need to be sure your images are optimized at the right size that will look great on mobile and you need to have a Pinit button installed.

YouTube and podcasting are the next hurdles for bloggers to conquer – pick one or the other, but do both if you can.

Last but not least is email marketing. Bloggers will continue to make list building a priority and they should.

To learn more from Ileane, check out her blog and podcast at http://msileanespeaks.com.

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Devesh Sharma

Email Outreach – This is one of the most effective and best ways to promote your blog. All you have to do is to ask people to share your post, but there are two things to keep in mind:

  1. Publish an amazing piece of content that is worth sharing (which is what every piece of content you write should be).
  2. It is okay to ask for shares and comments, but you should never ask for links.

Email list – If you are building an online business, creating an engaging email list should be your top priority. An effective email list can help you get more traffic to your site, earn commissions via affiliate products, sell your own products, and much more.

One thing I have learned over the years is that you should never depend on one source of traffic (especially not on Google for traffic).

The first step towards building an effective email list is strategically adding opt-in forms on your site, which you can easily achieve using a free WordPress plugin like Optin Forms or SumoMe. I recently did a roundup post on some of the best list building plugins on my blog.

Interviews / Experts Roundup – This is great way to connect with new bloggers in your industry. I did one last year on my blog, and ended up generating 1000+ social shares and links from sites like SEJ & Adpushup.

To learn more from Devesh, check out his blog at http://wpkube.com.

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Nick Loper

1. Do something blog-worthy. Though I’m certainly guilty of this, the world doesn’t need another half-assed list post. My aim is to be a practitioner more than I am a preacher, and I’ve found the posts that do best are the in-depth case studies of my different experiments.
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2. Consider a podcast. The Side Hustle Show podcast has grown 2x as fast as the blog. It’s a less crowded medium and can build a deeper connection with your followers. And it’s a ton of fun and gives you an excuse to talk with amazing people on a weekly basis and expand your network.
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3. Get off your blog. That means finding the right people to outreach to when you post goes live, and the right sites to guest on. One tactic I’m going to try this year is a perma-free book on Amazon to introduce people to my brand and content. It’s essentially the same strategy as guest posting, only on a much bigger platform.

To learn more from Nick, visit his site at http://sidehustlenation.com.

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Ana Hoffman

Effective blog promotion starts with giving your readers various ways to consume your content, as well for you to leverage that content through different social sharing platforms.

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And it all starts with what you are already doing – creating that one core piece of content.
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Let’s assume it’s a blog post. Here’s what you can do with it to truly milk it for all it’s worth.

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1. Many of your readers are more visual, so they are more likely to get excited about/share posts that have interesting images.
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If you create several images for your blog post, for instance the main post takeaways, you can easily put those images together into a Slideshare deck.
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This strategy will not only make your blog post more shareable, but will also bring you traffic from Slideshare itself, so you’ll be tapping into an entirely different audience.
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2. Now take that Slideshare deck you’ve created and do a screen recording of going through the slides while reading the text. Boom! you’ve got yourself a YouTube video.
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Now upload that video to YouTube and 1) get traffic from YouTube, 2) embed it into your blog post to target those readers who prefer to watch a video over reading text, plus 3) those readers are now more likely to share your post on social media, which in turn, 4) will bring you more social media traffic.
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3. Next, strip the soundtrack from that YouTube video you just uploaded and add it as a soundtrack to a site like SoundCloud.com. I love SoundCloud because most social media platforms like Twitter, Google+, etc. will allow you to embed your soundtracks right into your social media update.
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So now you have a way to reach those folks who prefer to listen vs watch or read.
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And all of that with just one piece of content!
This, in a nutshell, is my Content Catapult – a way to leverage your blog post for various audiences and on various social media platforms.

If you learn how to do it right, your readership will grow exponentially and you’ll quickly become known for ‘being everywhere’.You can learn more about how I do it in these posts at Traffic Generation Café:

To learn more from Ana, visit her site at http://trafficgenerationcafe.com.

 

Zac Johnson

There are many ways to promote yourself… but knowing which are best and how to maximize the efforts of each are key. In the examples below we are going to already assume that you already have a brand to already work off of — if not, start one today!
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1.) Have a Blog – This one is a no brainer. It doesn’t matter what type of business or brand you have, you need a blog. A blog allows you to create awesome content that not only increases your search rankings and traffic, but also how people engage with your site and share it through social media as well. If you still aren’t convinced that a blog can help grow your business and ROI, check out how these top bloggers are using mailing lists to grow their brands daily.
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2.) Start a Podcast – Yes, everyone is getting into the podcasting game, but it’s nowhere near as saturated as you might think. There are well over 100 million blogs in the world today, but there are still only hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there. People love listening to content instead of reading it, so look at your business and brand and think about how you could best cater to your audience. Need more examples? Take a look at my podcast and the 50+ episodes I’ve recorded during 2014.
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3.) Build a LOYAL Following – Again, you’ve probably heard this before… but building a loyal following is one of the best ways to grow your brand and business. There are already millions of pieces of new content going live online everyday, but even if you only have 1,000 loyal followers who read every single post you write, that’s huge! Don’t focus on the overall number of followers, but instead focus on providing the best content and value possible for those who care the most.
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To learn more from Zac, visit his site at http://zacjohnson.com.

 

 

 Sarah Arrow

The three best ways to promote your posts this year depend on where your audience is. If you have a Facebook following, then low cost ads are a good way of promoting your posts, and the same for Twitter. Wherever you advertise, it must be where your audience is. There will be more “pay to play” advertising options and for the price of a cup of coffee, most of them deliver good results.

Email, although declared dead every year, is only getting stronger, and communicating with your email list; letting them know you have a new post and why they should read it is important. I’m often told by clients that they don’t want to annoy their reader and will insist on only emailing once a month. If your post adds value to your readers you should email it to them and let them know. In my 30 day blogging challenge I email every day for 30 days, and then every 2 days for 90 days. If people know what to expect when they sign up, they won’t be upset when you email them.

Finally my secret weapon for post promotion is a tool that you can install into WordPress and send a notification directly into someone’s Facebook notifications. It’s very cool and I have 300 ish readers who chose to have blog posts delivered this way. It’s great for immediate traffic and those initial social shares. It’s called Pulse Notify Pro.

To learn more from Sarah, visit her site at www.sarkemedia.com.

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There you have it, the top ways to promote your blog this year from blogging experts and consultants who are having real success today.

As you can see, there are a lot of similarities between the answers.  Hopefully you will take away some valuable tips and strategies and start applying them to your own blog and site. Even if you don’t have a blog up, it’s important to consider starting one and implement a great content marketing strategy

So what did you think?

What did you think of these answers… do you have anything you would like to add yourself?

Was there one that stood out more than others?

Also, is there anyone else you would like give information? If so leave a comment below letting me and other readers know.

 

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