Talking Shop: 10 Things to Remember When Marketing Your Business' Blog Posts

In a previous Talking Shop, I covered some reasons I believe you need a blog for your business, particularly a creatively fueled one. Now that you've (hopefully) written a few blog posts, let's cover some helpful tips to remember when marketing those posts. You wrote the best post ever that everyone should read, right ? Now let's get the ideal readers to your site. 1) Be consistent. The best way to get and keep readers is to be consistent in when you post your blog posts. Try always posting on the same day and time so readers can anticipate when new content will come. Whether you're posting once a month or two times a day, you'll retain more readers if you can help them anticipate content. Consistency is easy, built-in marketing for you. In the same way keeping an existing customer is better than getting a new one, keeping an existing reader is far easier than pulling in a new reader who is unfamiliar with you and your brand.

2) Write that social media calendar. I'm a big believer in the social media calendar. Social media is huge for business now but it can eat up your time and drive you crazy if you don't get control of it - quick. Once you know when you'll be posting your blog, you can work around that date to come up with relevant social media. Essentially, you have at least three social media posts per blog post; a teaser for upcoming content, an announcement of live content and a reminder that the post went live. But you also probably have several social media channels to post these three on which brings me to...

3) Smart social media is better blog promotion. I love how easy technology makes certain aspects of business. You can schedule your blog posts to post in advance (I'm actually going to be on a vacation when this post goes live - crazy right?) and you can also help your social media channels talk to each other. IFTTT (If This, Then That) creates recipes for your social media channels to cross promote with each other. When this post goes live through our website, IFTTT is triggered to send a certain message to our Facebook and Twitter channels. Schedugram, Hootsuite and Latergramm also allow you to preschedule your Instagram posts. Work on all your social media once (with the help of Canva!) and boom - you're done for weeks!

4) Use graphics that will help you promote. When you're creating the photos and graphics necessary for the promotion of your blog post, be sure to create graphics that are doing double time for you. Not only are they visually appealing but they promote your blog post with helpful information, like the title or a relevant quote you've pulled out of the article itself.

5) Format your graphics so they continue the promotion train. When you post your blog and add photos, you can change the description and caption for each image you use. Sites like Pinterest take that information to create the standard caption for your photo when it's shared. Using descriptive words about your blog topic will also help your SEO since web search services can read them & help drive traffic to your site.

5) Use relevant hashtags. When you're promoting your blog post on Instagram and Twitter, use hashtags related to your business but also to blogging and business in general. Make sure you're using the kinds of hashtags specific to your industry as well. For example, fashion bloggers use the hashtag #ootd to share outfits but that's not being used by bakeries. Target your hashtags to maximize promotion.

6) Cross post on another blog. You've already written the content and presumably it's something you're proud of and feel you've done a good job on. Find other blogs or outlets related to yours that will take a submission. For example, if you're writing about the incoming trends that can be found at your store, see if another fashion blog will take the content for a guest post.

7) Promote past blogs. Assuming a post is not time sensitive (for example, "Join us for an event this week only") you should be able to continually promote it. What about a #throwbackthursday post of a previous blog entry? Or even a simple reminder of a top post on your blog. Remind readers of what they might have missed and encourage them to check back regularly to stay in the know.

8) Share offline. If you have a brick and mortar location, use it to promote your online content in just the same way you use your website and social media to promote your brick and mortar. Remind customers they can view more information about a certain line or background into the store on your website.

9) Partner with another business. Just like cross posting on other blogs, if you can partner with another (relevant) business for a particular post, you'll both have content to share. You're also able to access a market and customer base you might not otherwise have access to. This will hopefully lead to new traffic and sales for both businesses.

10) Write what will naturally be promoted. Writing something that it doesn't make sense for you to promote is a huge waste of your time and your blog. If you're a spa, it doesn't make sense to write about your favorite boots. Write relevant content. Additionally, write relevant content for your readers so they get excited to share it for you and become guerilla marketers for your blog, without even knowing their spreading the word.