Blogging is still one of the best ways to generate interest in your business. A good blog can turn an otherwise uninspiring corporate website into a customer focused information source that will be shared across social media and the web. Blogging is also the best way to build internal links to your product pages.
Regardless of the industry you operate in, you can create engaging content that your customers will love to read. For example, we have worked with reinforced concrete suppliers, curtain cleaners and accountants, and the fact that none of these companies are famed for their dynamic and exciting products has not prevented us from creating some great content.
Creating great content is only half of the battle, though. A huge amount of interesting and engaging content gets published to the web but then is read by only a handful of people – in the end, it doesn’t matter how good your content is if nobody gets to read it.
Here, we will look at a variety of blogging tools and platforms that you can use to promote your articles effectively and with little effort, to really get people talking about your company and your brand. So, let’s get on with the best tools to make blogging more effective.
Reddit has been around for a while, but of all the social media platforms, it is possibly the most underutilised by business. Reddit calls itself the “front page of the Internet” and it relies on its users not only sharing great content, but becoming experts within a particular niche.
Reddit is actually a sum of its parts, consisting of a huge number of smaller sites called, reasonably enough, “subreddits”. The idea is that a visitor who is interested in a particular topic browses the site and can find interesting content on it. As you can imagine, this means that there are discussions on just about everything imaginable, and many people have had fun searching for the most bizarre subreddits out there.
On Reddit, anybody can submit a link to another site, and as it is designed for news, newsworthy blog posts are a perfect fit. However, just sharing a link does not guarantee that it will be seen, so the best way to increase exposure is to manage a relevant sub-reddit yourself and build up a readership of your own.
StumbleUpon, like Reddit, has been around for years. It is not as popular as it once was, but it is still possible to drive interested readers to your website. The key difference between StumbleUpon and other similar sites is the Stumble button, which will take you directly to an article of content that is of interest to you on another website.
The site was one of the first to realise the full implications of mobile first technology, and as long ago as 2013, it went through a major revamp in readiness for the forthcoming mobile revolution.
As the platform of choice for high profile users such as Forbes, it is definitely worth considering.
Quuu Content Sharing
Quuu is the newest content sharing platform – so new that not many SEOs are aware of it at present, which means it is still a really good community! It allows you to select special interests which are used to share relevant content.
Quuu will trawl Twitter for relevant and interesting content and automatically share it to your Twitter feed. Perfect if you are struggling to find enough good quality content to share – Quuu simply does it for you.
Integrate blogging platforms such as Buffer and HubSpot, and Quuu will essentially allow you to put your social media marketing on autopilot, by supercharging your social feeds.
Facebook and Twitter
Of course, we cannot talk about blog promotion tools without mentioning Facebook and Twitter. Seen by many as catering more to the “social” side of social networking as opposed to business, their sheer size in terms of membership still makes them tools that you cannot afford to ignore.
While Twitter is not the influential power house that it once was (see LinkedIn below for that), it is still the third most popular social media platform, with more than 300 million active members, so disregard it at your peril.
Facebook is possibly the best platform if you need to reach a specific marketing demographic, as you can use Facebook advertising to reach people by gender, age, location and interests. It also has by far the greatest reach of any platform on the planet. That might sound like hyperbole, but how else can you describe a membership of almost two billion people? That’s approximately a quarter of the world’s population!
The “professional Facebook” has really gone from strength to strength in recent years, and now has more than 400 million registered users. It is the perfect place for publishing content within a professional community and is ideal for building a reputation in your field, as well as for building a stronger professional network. Research by Econsultancy found that visitors from LinkedIn are four times more likely than Facebook users to visit your website.
LinkedIn has a simple publishing feature, which lets you post content that is attached to your personal or corporate profile. All you have to do is click the “Publish a post” button that is at the top of your homepage, and you will be taken straight to the publishing tool. Write or paste your post, add your images, hyperlinks or video and click the “Publish” button. It could not be simpler.
Best selling author, marketing consultant and keynote speaker Jay Baer is someone who is never short of a good soundbite. He did not fail to deliver when asked to comment on this latest blogging platform, describing it as “LinkedIn’s cool younger brother who wears concert T-shirts all the time, but also checks the Dow Jones average on his iPhone.”
The brainchild of Evan Williams, who also has the small matters of Twitter and Blogger to his name, it was launched in 2012 and now receives around 40 million visitors every month.
As you would expect from a modern application with such a strong pedigree, it provides a fantastic and user-friendly interface for getting your content out to people who want to see it. And best of all, when you use your Facebook or Twitter account to join, you will get a ready made audience, as all your followers on these platforms will automatically become followers on Medium. Similarly, it works the other way round when any of your Facebook friends join Medium.
In discussing the track record of Evan Williams, you might be forgiven for asking “Twitter and what?” Blogger is the original blogging platform and is dear to many in the industry.
It is now owned by Google, and is still operated as a free publishing tool for sharing content. It comes with a variety of templates, themes and widgets included, and is an effective, no-frills social network built purely around blogging.
Before we had social media, we had web forums (and newsgroups before those). Forums are a little old school, but they can be extremely effective. Many forums have huge readerships and reach millions of people every day. Forums tend to be fussier when it comes to allowing you to link to your own site, but many are happy for you to do this, so long as the mention is relevant to the discussion. Forum links can be very powerful in terms of SEO.
The key to successful blogging is to write a regular blog and share across social media. Develop yourself as an authority on each of your chosen platforms and discuss topics relevant to your business. Engage others in conversation and then include references to your own business. It takes time, but with careful planning and the right resources, you can catapult your blogging efforts and reach new levels.