blogging tipsOne of the most frequently asked questions I hear about blogging is:

How do people see that I’ve published a new post?

The unfortunate answer is they probably won’t, unless you let them know your blog post is there. I highlighted five ways to do this in a previous post about how to get people to come back to your blog.

Today we’ll delve into the first of those five ways:

Announce and promote your blog posts via social media

Both Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent platforms to share content. While it’s a good practice to share helpful articles from other experts both inside and outside your network, are you doing enough to promote your own blog posts?

Five things to remember about promoting your blog posts on Twitter and LinkedIn:

  1. Once is not enough – The members of your online network have unique schedules, tools, preferences and time zones when it comes to checking for new updates. No one is staring at your activity stream waiting for your news; they’re popping in and out and catching just a few of the things that have been posted from all their connections since their last glance. The more times you mention your new blog post, the more likely people will see the link.
  2. A link is not enough – Write a note to let people know why they should take the time to look at your post. Include a brief quote from the post, ask a question about the topic, or summarize the benefits the post will have for them. Will they learn? Laugh? Solve a pressing problem? Come up with something different than your post’s introductory paragraph, because this will show up automatically when you paste a link into the update box on LinkedIn, along with a photo (if your blog post has one).
  3. Words are not enough – Speaking of photos, just as they add visual interest to your blog posts, they do the same for your social media updates, helping them stand out from the crowd. On Twitter, manually upload your blog post’s image to the tweet from Twitter.com to make the best impression. On LinkedIn, the image will show up in your update automatically. You may think that images are only important on Google+, Facebook and Pinterest, but don’t underestimate the power of an image to get attention from your network on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  4. Your network is not enough – To extend the reach of your post, the people in your network need to share it with their own circles. Make this easy for them by adding social sharing buttons and/or “Click to Tweet” links from the bottom of each post. Check out how Susan Gilbert does this in her article about using LinkedIn for business research. Some people will prefer to copy and paste the link, or use tools like the Hootsuite Hootlet, but your sharing buttons may prompt them to take that action.
  5. A wish is not enough – Instead of relying on a subtle prompt, ask people directly to share your content. At the bottom of your blog post, ask them to use the sharing buttons. On Twitter, add “Please RT” to your posts. On LinkedIn, the equivalent would be to send a personal message to specific contacts, explaining why and how your blog post will be relevant and useful to that’s person’s connections, then ask for the share. Note: Use this LinkedIn strategy sparingly and be sure the content is truly beneficial.

When you’ve put the time and effort into writing a blog post that highlights your expertise and offers valuable benefits to your ideal customers, don’t keep it a secret! Use these five tips to promote your content to your connections on Twitter and LinkedIn.

(extend the life of your blog post / shutterstock)