After the first part of my article where I described the “pre” and “during” of my blog writing process, it’s time to go a step forward and actually promote the lil baby a bit to improve your blog traffic, what do you think?
Let me begin with the two steps that will dramatically increase your Digg and StumbleUpon results
If I could, I would include flashy arrows to point this part of my post out, since it’s really completely overlooked by most, even famous bloggers (apart Suzanne Vara, she does blog marketing right).
You don’t like these services? Shame on you! They really are useful, both a good way to pursue without resorting to old-school pay per click advertising.
You like them but you don’t know how to include them in your blog? Shame on you again! But it’s ok, you can remedy to it now and get some tips too.
So the two steps I mentioned:
1. Click on your post’s Digg button and make the first submission!
WHY: you have to select the category and submit your article to Digg. It takes 10 seconds, your readers most likely don’t want to spend them. If they find the article already submitted, they just have to press the Digg button, done, 1 second, 9 seconds of their life saved. And you’ll get that Digg.
2. Click on your post’s StumbleUpon button and make the first submission!
WHY: you have to fill in the categories of your post (I try to select max 3), and click on the “Yes it’s safe for work”. Unlike Digg, this method is really badly engineered, I really hate it but you can’t help it, someone at StumbleUpon decided to include zillions of useless categories so selecting the right ones, even if there are some quick-links included, can be a dreadful experience.
And your visitors won’t spend a minute choosing them, so they’ll just skip it.
If you submit your article for them they just have to press a green button, 1 second job, and you’ll get your Stumble.
Update: Natalie in the comments below pointed out the fact StumbleUpon might not like you Stumbling your own stuff. I have made some research on the web, and it’s not really clear what’s their current position on this. I can say that my SU traffic is still there with no big chances over the weeks.
However, not to cause problems to anyone, I removed this part of my post. If you have any more information, feel free to share it with us please.
3. Snip a bit here and there
To share your newly created babypost, you will need a short URL.
I just head to Bit.ly, log in with my account (to keep track of the statistics associated to it, vital step: in case you don’t have a Bit.ly account, make one, now.) and shorten the URL of the post.
Then, I fire up Google Docs and open the document where I diligently save my blog posts list with the shortened URL next to them, so I can keep track, all the time, of my various posts and their links.
One more step before moving on: creating specific short links for the Retweets I’ll make using them.
What I mean is: I create long links concatenating my post’s URL and the various Google UTM variables, to keep track of the campaigns in Google Analytics. Ok ok relax before fainting… let me explain it a tiny bit better, it gets complicated…
Google Analytics can keep track of web advertising campaigns using variables which can be appended to any URL.
In my specific case, utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign.
utm_source and campaign will be equal to “Twitter”, while the utm_medium… well that’s a special value I assign according to the time of the day I send the Twitter on, and the kind of title text I use.
For example, if I use the default post’s title and send the Tweet at midnight, I will use a utm_medium value of “typeA00″, if I use a secondary title (to experiment which one gets more clicks, you know) and send the Tweet at 6am, I will use “typeB06″, and so on. Insanely complicated? Nah not much, but keep in mind this:
You will know, exactly, how many clicks a certain link, sent at a certain time with a certain title gets. You will know which title is more effective and which time of the day usually gets more clicks.
Pretty essential data if you ask me.
So how do I keep track of all this stuff? I use a Google Docs spreadsheet where I compile the post’s title and URL, add the type of title (“A”, or “B” and so on), the time of the Tweet (“00″, “06″ etc). Now I can copy the generated URL from a calculated field, so I can shorten it on Bit.ly.
For example, my previous post had a calculated “Final URL” equal to:
for the “midnight Tweet”.
At this point I usually press my post page’s own Tweetmeme button and send out a first Retweet of it to my followers, even ’cause it’s usually around 6pm when I get to this point, a good time for some Twitter promotion from my experience.
I then schedule the midnight and 6am Tweets in Hootsuite using the shortened URLs I previously made.
5. LinkedIn status update
It’s always good to update your LinkedIn status at least once a day, so what better chance to do it by linking your own new blog post?
I usually add a headline to my status update encouraging people to take a look at my post and let me know their feedback on it.
6. Get some BloggerLuv
I really love BloggerLuv! John Sullivan did a really awesome job with it, as it allows a wonderful blogging community to come together and share ideas and posts in a very friendly environment.
That’s why I always take a few minutes to hop over there and post a status update related to my post, to encourage feedback on it and get the opinion of people who know what they are doing.
You really should try it out now, it’ll be worth it, trust me.
7. Get engaged with BlogEngage
BlogEngage is an amazing blogging service providing access to a vast blogging community, more than happy to provide their opinion on your content while sharing their own for the same reason.
I am actually paying for the silver version of it, which gives you the benefit of setting automatic imports of your blog posts via its RSS feed, so you won’t have to do the operation by hand.
It’s a very interesting and worth service, so I advise you to give it a try and let me know what do you think about it. It really is full of helpful people and I am really thankful I ran into a post, several weeks ago, reviewing it.
At this point, it’s just a matter of waiting
You’ve done all you could, and in the most ethical way possible. No shameless spam, no endless self-promotion or give-out of promotional products, just you posting your ideas and giving others a mean to give you feedback on them.
Now you will wait patiently for your first Retweet or your first comment, without forgetting to always reply and show your human side while interacting to people who took time to read what you have to say.
Are you willing to give my method a try?