Are you using your WordPress blog to promote yourself?
I’ve been very busy for the last month, and I’ve asked a select few people if they would like to submit a guest post. Rather than ask the “gurus” to post on my blog, I’d much rather have you hear from people just like yourself that have been working hard to build their site with some real elbow grease! Bobby Linkemer writes for a living, she’s authored 14 books – and I felt she would have a pretty good perspective on promoting your own services through a blog. I hope you enjoy this post, and if you would like to share you real world experiences, frustrations, or just ask me questions that I can respond to in a future post – please fill out my contact form.
7 Ways to Promote Yourself With Your Blog
By Bobbi Linkemer
Times have changed since the earliest bloggers wrote what were little more than on-line journals. According to Technorati, 150,000 new blogs are launched every day, and many of them are intended for a far wider audience than their pioneering predecessors. One of the significant reasons for creating a blog is to promote an individual or a business. What follows are seven ways to promote yourself or your enterprise by blogging:
1. Define your purpose.
Before you start designing your blog on WordPress, Blogger, or Godaddy, take some time to think about why you want to do this. It may be that you just need to emote or rant, but as business objectives, those are unlikely to attract the kind of followers you want. Think of your blog as an equation: purpose + content + packaging = subscribers. It’s a foolproof formula for successful blogging.
2. Develop a following of loyal readers.
All writers crave readers. Bloggers certainly do. If you have what you think is a compelling message, naturally, you want others to read it and become captivated. But one visit to your blog is not enough. You want readers to return, again and again. In fact, you want them to subscribe and have your blog land in their e-mail in boxes every time you post. Your blog host does its part by providing RSS feeds and widgets to make subscribing easy. Learn about these tools, and take advantage of them.
3. Demonstrate your expertise.
There is a lot of competition for attention out there on the WWW. Why should people read what you have to say? You may be an expert on your subject matter, but don’t assume everyone knows it. In fact, you have to prove it with every blog post. It may be the first time someone has been to your blog, or he may be deciding whether to subscribe or move on. Give people a reason to read and return.
4. Provide something of value.
The first rule of having a presence on the Web is to create a benefit for anyone who lands on your site. Web surfers have short attention spans. There is so much to see and so little time. If they don’t find a reason to read past your first line, they are gone in a click. The old WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) applies. Most successful bloggers are generous. So, give away lots of free information.
5. Inform, teach, guide, or entertain.
The content of that information is important because it relates to the purpose of your blog. With every post, remind yourself of what you want to accomplish, and check to see if you succeeding. If your goal is to teach, then provide facts, news, instruction, advice, or guidance readers can use. If it is to provoke, don’t abandon good taste. The word “provocative” means many things, including irritating, infuriating, insulting, and inflammatory. If self-promotion is your intent, those are hardly the ways to achieve it.
6. Create and reinforce your brand.
Branding products is not a new idea, but branding yourself may be. You are your brand; and everything you do, say, or write is a way to expose and expand awareness of your brand to a potentially huge audience. Remember, WWW stands for World Wide Web. That means your message and the way it is presented are being broadcast all around the world. Be consistent, be careful, be creative.
7. Sell your ideas, services, or products
There is a caveat here: You have products, even if they are concepts, ideas, or philosophies. If you’re in business, what you are selling may be more concrete. But, even though selling is part of your purpose, if your blog is one big, online commercial, people may not find that worth too many return visits.
Remember: Content is king.
You have to have something to say, something worth reading. But WIIFM applies to you, as well as your reader. What’s in it for you to be blogging? Well, if you are writer, it won’t be difficult; you already have the skills. If you love to write, as I do, it will be rewarding and fun. But even if neither of those applies, you will be getting your name, your brand, and your message out to many people who will benefit from what you have to say. That’s called a win-win situation.
About the author:
Bobbi Linkemer is a ghostwriter, book coach, editor, and the author of 14 books. Her articles on all aspects of writing appear on more than 35 article sites on the Web, including top-ranked EzineArticles.com. Bobbi has been a professional writer for 40 years, a magazine editor and journalist, and a book-writing teacher. Her clients range from Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurs and individuals who want to write nonfiction books in order to build their businesses or share their stories.
You can find Bobbi at the following:
The Writing Life: http://writeanonfictionbook.blogspot.com