If you’re new to blogging, you know that getting your blog online and adding content is the easy part. The hard part is getting people to want to read what you have to say.
One easy way to get your posts out there is with marketing automation.
Why do I need to market my blog?
If you take the time to learn a bit about marketing your blog, you’ll start to grow your following. The more your audience develops, the easier it’ll be to generate income from ads and affiliate programs.
One of the most straightforward techniques you can use is automated marketing. Don't get scared by the marketing jargon. Automated marketing is just setting up repetitive tasks to occur on their own so that you can keep your focus on writing.
Simple Set Up
Automated marketing does not mean you set up your emails and your social media posts and send them out at scheduled times in hopes of a response. You need to develop a strategy.
This strategy should have inbound marketing as your goal. You want to find a way to automate communication so that people visit your site—hence the term “inbound.” How do you do this?
You can automate your marketing in a way that creates personalized communication with readers. Here are a few ways you can do this.
Automate Your Social Media
A social media presence is one of the most important aspects of growing your blog. But, it’s virtually impossible to manage all the different social media channels and still write quality content.
When you use social media automation software, you can schedule posts and receive alerts via apps when people comment on your posts. Replying to comments on social media is vital to increasing your number of readers. People want to feel like they are being heard, and they like to engage. Just because you automate your posts does not mean you can overlook responding to comments. A personal response will help build loyalty to your blog.
You can also use tools like IFTT or Zapier to make it possible for your blog and your social media channels to communicate. These tools are meant to help fill in the gaps. An uncomplicated way to understand how this works is to think of your blog and your Facebook account.
When you use a fill in the gap automated solution, you can set up a “recipe” to tell it to post new blog posts to your Facebook account automatically.
As you become more aware of how different social media channels respond to different content, you can plan out an editorial calendar that corresponds to your social media following as well. You can put posts that will appeal to different audiences on the right social media channels, so they get shared instead of buried in feeds.
Opt-in Email Lists
Another important step in strategizing your automated marketing plan is to grow your email list. The more people you have on this list, the more people you can inform about new posts.
You can use an automated social media marketing tools to try and grow your mail list. You can do something as simple as set up a daily post to ask people to subscribe to your list.
Personalize, Don’t Generalize Your Emails
One thing you need to keep in mind about email lists is that you cannot just send out blasts in hopes of reaching someone. If you want to create a genuine following, you need to send relevant emails to relevant followers.
Your goal with your email lists is to provide readers with the information they’re looking for so they don’t have to search for it.
A good rule of thumb to follow when you’re trying to generate leads online is conversations lead to conversions. With email automation, you can set up rules for what to do if/when a potential reader clicks on a message you send out.
Automated marketing services allow you to send emails that are valuable versus emails that are general.
For example, say you send out an email telling your readers about a new piece you just published about child safe and natural cleaning products. You can easily see who opens the link and who doesn't.
Armed with this information, you can send a follow-up email that talks about other child safety topics or other natural product topics. With automation, you get a good idea of what types of posts your readers are more likely to read so that you can tailor your content to match.
Your blog will grow faster when you send out valuable information to people who want to read it. When you send out mass email blasts to people who couldn’t care less, you end up in the spam folder getting read by no one.
Subscribe to Feedly
Feedly is a news aggregator that allows readers to choose what they like to read. When you subscribe to Feedly as a blogger, you are putting your blog out there to be seen by everyone who subscribes to this channel.
If you publish your blog on Feedly, your readers will know that you published a new post. This is an excellent way to keep your readers in the loop, and you don't have to do anything. The best part is, Feedly encourages its users to share posts they find interesting. So, your readers will help you grow your following.
You should also subscribe to Feedly as a reader as well. The more you read, the more you can see what types of content people enjoy reading. This approach will help you develop new ideas to write about.
Without a doubt, you’ve got a great idea and a lot of great info to share about your niche, but how do you get people to find you on the World Wide Web. After all, it is the “World Wide” web—so there’s a lot of competition.
Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing consultant with over 8 years of experience working to help Fortune 500 brands grow their online presence. He currently resides in Miami, where he owns boutique creative agency WEBRIS. You can find Ryan on Twitter or LinkedIn.