Getting noticed, the big break, the breakthrough– it’s the dream of all new bloggers. It’s usually the start of everything going rosy, from the lead magnets getting their leads, the blog itself getting ample affiliate income, and your products or service (if any) getting bought and touted.
Here at Blogelina, you find advice about everything related to blogging, and you’ll notice I don’t subscribe to the wait-and-attract-it mentality. If you want something, you go after it! Yes, getting regular and huge traffic to your blog is a slow process, but that doesn’t mean you just sit back and do nothing, like that guy who sat under a tree and waited for an apple to drop instead of picking one!
So here I compiled this:
The ultimate list on what you can (and should!) do to get noticed as a new blogger!
Social media rocks the boat.
1. Pick your platforms and research how to get noticed there. Instagram’s community is different from Facebook’s, and Youtube’s is different from Pinterest’s. So the tricks into getting noticed there are different, too. Master them. Charm each platform’s crowd.
I said ‘charm’, not ‘spam’.
2. Pick your platforms and focus on them. Be sensational at Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter rather than barely making any headway in 6 social media platforms because you spread yourself too thin and don’t spend enough time and effort schmoozing in any of those platforms.
3. When you socialize on social media, truly socialize. Tag people! You know those very social people at parties who introduce people? Be that person. Make people join in the conversation, and reply to those who do join in!
4. Schmooze where your audience hangs out, or where they can/should also hang out!
- Find the “hot” pages/people and schmooze there. They’re not competition. They’re your ride. Speak up! Make them and their community like you. Network and engage!
- Find the up-and-coming, less popular pages/people and schmooze with them, too. But only if they’re active and post great content. Like for Likes, comment for comments, help each other out, and before long you’re all winning.
5. Leverage current events for your relevance. Ride the trending hashtags, if you can connect them with your niche. Anything goes, if you’re witty enough! Just don’t be insensitive when you use particularly tragic events.
6. Leverage trending hashtags– AND create new ones. How? See the next tip.
7. Use famous people/movies/characters with huge fandoms. If you’re not aware, fandoms are fan kingdoms. They’re huge– think Taylor Swift, Harry Potter, Rihanna, sports/teams/players, The Walking Dead, etc. A graphic meme witty/hilarious/outrageous enough will get on the fans’ radar, and will snowball overnight, or in as little as one hour!
Caution: This can backfire if you “use” this obviously. Content should be in good fun AND correct. That is, you shouldn’t misrepresent the famous person/character/fandom.
8. Use the 80-20 rule in social media. Post your own content ONLY 20% of the time. 80% should be external posts. This is where #2 comes in. You become sensational in social media when your page becomes a ‘source’. Find out what’s great and share it. The original poster/page is happy. Your page gets noticed. That notice becomes traffic to your page, and then to your blog. You’re happy. It’s win-win!
9. Make it easy for your readers to share your content in their chosen platform. Your social media share buttons should be visible, and include a CTA for your readers to share or Like/Follow you there. Are your headlines Tweetable at 120 characters or less (leave room for their own comments and tags)? Do you include Pinterest- or Tumblr-worthy infographics?
10. Participate. Be truly social. Sure, you share their content on your page, and you comment and tag people, but don’t stop there. Help them out. If they have contests, join if you can and promote them. If they need something, offer help.
11. Look into paid ads on social media. These are highly-targeted ads and your post goes straight to your audience’s feeds. When combined with your presence on pages and communities where your audience hangs out, these ads are doubly effective. Your audience will click them, because they’ve seen you around.
12. Post sensational content. Not just a photo you took and then added your watermark. Something original, funny, witty, gorgeous, sad, infuriating, etc. People on social media are visual creatures, and they want to look smart/funny/witty to their own followers.
Look at the recipe page, Tasty. They post beautiful videos of recipes and people share them not for the recipes, but for the hypnotizing videos!
Something you made (or shared) can snowball quickly and give you an explosion of traffic overnight, if you do it right! Consider stop-motion videos of photos, infographics, cartoons, funny quotes, emotional-triggers (sweet, sad, terrifying).
13. Post on schedule, on time. Regularly and often enough that you’re in your audience’s radar, but not too often that they unfollow you just so they can see other pages and other people in their feed.
Find your audience hours. Experiment and see in which days and hours you get the most engagement in your posts, and exclusively post during those times.
14. Posting on schedule and on time means riding the holidays, but be memorably different. During Christmas, a greeting that isn’t Christmassy (perhaps acknowledging the workaholics, or the cynics) would get you noticed. It will get shared. It will get laughs. It might even get some negative publicity, but that’s still publicity!
15. Post on weekdays. Promote on weekdays. Distract your audience from work. They’re offline on weekends!
Content truly IS king. Crowned and backed by SEO.
16. Write great content in your blog AND let the right people know. This is targeted distribution. Find people who share/post similar topics and make yours great/better. They’ll want to share it anyway, because they’ve built a reputation for themselves as a source of what’s good in your shared niche! Email influencers who do roundups. Comment on related blog posts with a link back to your post.
17. Read a lot, write a lot. That’s advice from Stephen King about writing in general. But in this case, reading/writing a lot means you read and then you leave an insightful line to that blogger. Take your time about it. Not just a haphazard, empty comment.
18. Find your voice– and make it irresistible. The above leads to this: you develop a voice because you’ve read a lot of ones you like and ones you disliked. Don’t be that new blogger who successfully gets traffic from schmoozing, only to turn off readers because of the stilted, awkward voice in the writing.
19. Tell stories. Get noticed by being memorable in your posts. Make jokes, anecdotes, make great advice wittily. Entertain and educate at the same time.
20. Always name your sources. And I mean name-dropping and linking. Quote experts!
21. Use stats and numbers. Always seek exact figures. That’s authoritative and makes your blog something to watch, a reliable source.
22. Know your niche’s language– and even create new words yourself. No high-falutin vocabulary. Speak the lingo. AND not only should you use buzzwords, create them! It might catch! The Internet is very conscious of proper attribution these days, so rest assured the origin would be traced to you. If it’s cute enough, witty enough, people WILL use it.
23. Guest posting is queen. If content is king, guest posting is queen. Learn how, and use it to your advantage. Guest posting is one of the best techniques to reach your target audience.
24. Narrow your posts’ focus. In the beginning, brand your blog– drive your blog’s focus and your expertise. Every guest post should be similarly targeted. This is how you get bookmarks and links from your target audience. They know you speak their language and what they need/want to know.
25. Saturate your blog with useful content. No ads. Let the ads come later. Build your audience through generosity and commitment.
26. Give away something awesome. Different and separate from a lead magnet. This one has no strings, just something your guest post host would love to include, an incentive for accepting your post and an incentive for your new readers to Like and Share your post. If you have a product or service, perhaps an “exclusive” discount or freebie to a lucky winner?
27. Create spectacular lead magnets. The kind that your readers can’t believe you’re giving away for free.
28. AND promote that lead magnet. Plenty of new bloggers forget their lead magnets and leave it as ‘exclusive’ to their blog visitors. Why?! Or they leave it until they’re established. No no nono. From Day 1, you should start building your list, and use that lead magnet instead to lure blog visitors! Promote it in your bio in your guest posts. Share it on social media. If you look at your lead magnets with an eye toward promoting them, you’re also more determined to make them spectacular. They shouldn’t embarrass you, should they?
29. Use Adwords! It’s called “adwords” because it’s a game of words. If you do it right, your Adword will get more clicks, and if you get more clicks, Google rewards you with more visibility at less cost! Promote a lead magnet, a particular post, or your service or product.
30. Take great photos. Or buy them from professionals around you. Blogs are visual. So many new bloggers get lazy with images. They think words are enough. They use stock photos, or they use what’s already out there for the taking.
If you happen to supply users with great content when they search for images, that’s organic traffic you can count on. If you upload something with a better color, better resolution or better look than any of the exact same image already online, people will pick YOUR upload.
31. Or use doodles– yours, or something you commissioned. Graphics are everywhere. They’re art, too, but they’re the usual. But something hand-drawn? Whether digital or not, doodles are somehow more memorable, whether they’re stick-figures or calligraphy. Look at the success of The Oatmeal!
32. Watermark your images. That’s the only ownership you could have after you upload your images online. Afterward, anyone can use them. It can’t be helped. But at least your brand is there first. There are plenty of free apps you can use to add a watermark to your photos/graphics.
33. Use text overlay. This means using an image as a background for text, with both image and text resonating what message you wanted to convey, whether it’s your headline or a particularly interesting quote or stat. If you don’t know how to do it, have it done by a professional. THIS image could be your highly shareable content.
34. Of course, optimize these images for search engines. Name them with keywords.
35. Speaking of keywords, use them. Use their existing hashtags, or create new ones. Blogging depends on keywords. New bloggers do well learning every tip and trick about keywords, from Adwords, blog meta, and headlines to CTAs and social media.
36. Earlier, I mentioned finding your voice and making it irresistible. Now consider making your voice outrageous. But only if it’s genuinely you. Most of us hide an inner cynic, or an inner sarcastic. Or an inner snark. Let it out. Make it your brand.
37. Be genuine and personal. Once you frequent Buzzfeed enough times, you’d notice that every post made to please huge groups of people but is not a particularly dear subject to the author ALWAYS ends up wrong and derided. But when the topic is truly something the author knows, loves/hates, it shows, and the readers are pleased because they can recognize a kindred spirit!
38. Write something about SEO. You might say, Oh gosh, that’s cheap. It’s been done to death! Well then, take that as a challenge! Connect it to your niche. Research an angle and share your findings. Or curate what you’ve found, in your unique angle, and round them up! Create a shareable graphic about it. You can bet that post will get noticed!
39. Write something to help, not to get noticed. The above tip can only work if you do it in earnest, in a sincere desire to fill a need. Know your audience, and provide what they need. You impress when you are least conscious of being impressive. Even pitching a guest post hinges on sincerity! Your heart should be in it!
40. CURATE. Round-ups get new blogs noticed. See why here. Do it well and readers will trust you AND bloggers big and small will want to be included in your curation.
External links are like little announcements that you exist. That’s why content curation works so splendidly! Every post should have at least FOUR external links.
41. Don’t. Lose. Your. Ideas. Write them down! If you often find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with killer ideas, use a transcriber! Or learn shorthand so you understand what you scribble while half-asleep!
42. Promote your content actively, and look for active promotion when looking to cross-promote. You and your promotee/promoter should tweet several times, repost on Facebook, post in several platforms, include the post in newsletters. Lazy promotion is no promotion at all.
43. Promote old content. Update them, tweak them, make them better, make them seen. “I’ve written about this before, and here are wiser additions.” “What I Thought Before vs. What I Know Now.”
If you’re not networking, you’re not working.
That’s by Dennis Waitley. Schmoozing is half, if not three-quarters, of blogging. You schmooze with your existing and potential readers, you schmooze with fellow bloggers, and you schmooze with mentors and influencers.
45. Networking is free exposure. That’s valuable. You pay in time and sincerity. Good deal!
46. Get an education: learn from the best. Enroll in workshops and masterclasses. You learn a lot, it gives you an edge, and it’s a networking opportunity too. It enables you to do the next tip.
47. Name-drop. Your guest post pitches, your bio, your About pages in your blog and social media pages– they all become more impressive when you name-drop big fish who mentored you in those workshops and classes!
48. Or simply claim mentorship. It’s still name-dropping, but it’s outrageously confident if it’s genuine. If you’ve been reading The Huffington Post from the beginning, you can say you’ve learned from Ariana Huffington’s progress. If you’re one of Neil Patel’s regulars, you can say he’s one of your mentors!
49. SPEND MONEY. Buy tickets: plane tickets and conference fees. That’s schmoozing traditionally AND significantly. Networking events are the ultimate investment and commitment that pays you back for months and years and years afterwards. And it makes you do the following two tips.
50. Make contact everyday. Start small, 10 contacts a day. Move up to 100 contacts a day. It turns into a routine. What do I mean? I mean building real relationships with people. Leaving a comment on a blog or an Instagram post, sending a DM on Twitter, replying to a Facebook post, pinning AND commenting on Pinterest, sending a personal email (not part of your bulk)… to 10, or 100 different people.
THIS is schmoozing. THIS is being social. You’ll get noticed. You’ll make friends. Can’t do it all yourself? Delegate it. Reclaim it when you get a response.
51. Form a squad. These are your mentors and feedbackers. Backers, so to speak. A little group where you help each other with fresh perspectives and insight from someone not too close to the project. When you schmooze with intelligence and warmth, you could be in the squad of an influencer, and that influencer is in yours!
- Form a special squad among your readers. These are your loyal ones. They have a genuine attachment to you and your blog (not your mom, siblings, bffs, or favorite cousins). Make this squad feel special. Connect with them, give them exclusives, nurture them.
52. Email people you mentioned. Reach out to the influencers. Don’t be shy. Don’t assume they’ve got the Google alert anyway and that’s that. Reach out to them. You’re human, they’re human: people say hi to each other! They might have already seen the Google alert, but your email might make them mention you in their blog and/or link to your post! Ask them for their input.
53. Tag influencers when you post on social media. If you mentioned them in the post, it’s relevant. If it’s something particularly awesome about them, message them privately to ask them to promote the post.
54. Make your email awesome. Cold emails, emails to subscribers, leads, fellow bloggers– all should be a pleasure to receive and read! Sign up to newsletters and take note of which ones engaged you, and which ones are generic things you don’t bother to open.
- Organize your emails. Create groups, and send according to interest and topic.
- Personalize your emails. I don’t mean having the greetings automated to include their first names. I mean making each email relevant to the receiver. “I made a curated list inspired by your blog post/tweet.” “Hey, you said you needed a guide on this. I made one!”
55. Contradict or call out. Even influencers can get things wrong sometimes. Their source could have been wrong or outdated, or you simply have a different opinion or experience. Speak up. If someone in the comments is already contradicting, but you happen to agree with the post, speak up. Discuss. Get lively! THIS is participating.
56. Use Bloglovin’. to find blogs in your niche. It’s like the Pinterest of blogs. Leave a footprint on each one. Read, comment. Make a contact.
On Blog Design
57. BE hot first before looking hot. That’s it. While you’re promoting your blog and taking steps to get noticed, DON’T tweak your blog design. Focus on launching your blog. Don’t be distracted by templates and banners and fonts and colors. Stick to what you’ve got for now. Nobody cares yet. You want them to recognize you first. You could even take their feedback on an overhaul later!
58. But get noticed and recognizable through a logo. It’s what appears on the tab. It’s your profile picture on social media. It’s your branding. You can change it later, but you must have one. Give your readers a sense of place and identity of where they are and who you are, when they’re with you.
BONUS: Have a daily plan. Every morning, or every night, create a list of what you’ll be doing that day. DO THEM ALL. Take action, be proactive. Go after what you want. Which of these tips are going first on your list? Let me know in the comments!