Most of the experienced bloggers today started with hit and trial. They tried several ways for social media promotion for a new blog and other activities to grow their blog. Some worked and some bombed. But they learned a lot.
I have had my own share of learning through blogging since 3 years. Two blogs with one of them over 1 million page views, I feel my journey has been full of experiences that taught me a lot. So, when Nikita wanted me to share some strategies she could use to learn blogging and help me grow Finix Post even more, I thought why not write a blog post about it.
It’ll help me explain better and help her ask questions in a proper manner. That’s what this is. My lessons to my new blog partner to help her grow this blog – a real account of strategy for social media promotion for a new blog. I say new blog because I want Nikita to start from scratch and build her way up, just like I did.
Goal: Get more viewers and blog partnerships. Yes, we do want to make money from this blog, like everyone does.
Lesson #1: Get seen
It’s crucial for you as a blogger to get seen. Your blog should be visible and so should you. I remember that my first little collaborations happened just because I was a noisy person on social media. I was EVERWHERE. I was on all social media channels, talking, sharing and trying to be visible. It paid off!
That’s what you need to do. Pick the crucial social media channels (I will mention those later in the post) and start becoming visible on those. Now, don’t just make it blog specific. Bloggers are dead! What will live in future is ‘social influencers’. These are the people who build communities and who are leaders. Other people/readers listen to them, value their opinion and look up to them for advice.
You don’t become that by dumping your links in several places. You become that by doing interesting things and talking about interesting things on social media. GET SEEN!
Lesson #2: Do it every day
I don’t want to make it a sermon. So, only thing I would advise for a social media promotion for a new blog is consistency. You HAVE to do it every day. All the things that I mention below, you need to do it every single day to see an impact. You will be running behind numbers (goals) but at the same time, you will be serving a bigger purpose of converting yourself into an influence.
Social media channels for social media promotion for a new blog
I began with Facebook but for you, I say you start it with Instagram. You need to do the following:
Building followers on Instagram Goal: 5k followers in next 3 months.
Post great pictures. You may not click the best ones yet, but start posting them. Click new pictures every day and start sharing.
Give your pictures a good caption.
Building Instagram followers
There are a couple of essential things that go into building Instagram followers.
Number #1 is regular posts.
You have to do at least three posts per day on Instagram. Timings of those posts are important. Now, a lot of social media promotion advisers would give you an exact time when you need to post. I say, don’t listen to them. Just read this!
Your post’s timings should be according to the content. Are you going to post a photo of your lunch? Do it during lunch time. Dinner? Do it during dinner time. Party? Do it in the evening. Makeup? Do it in the morning or evening.
The goal is to use your common sense to think when you’re in the mood/thinking of that particular product. You’re your guinea pig. Test on yourself and post accordingly.
Number #2 Use hashtags
Hashtags are the coolest thing on the Instagram. They exist on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ as well. But you can make a maximum impact using this feature only on Instagram and Twitter.
On Instagram, you should use around 8-10 hashtags in each of your posts. Give a caption to your post first or have a very cool engaging question or quote. Then load your post with hashtags. It serves two purposes – first one helps you engage with the audience which I will cover in the number #3 part. The second one is important here.
By using hashtags, you will turn up when people search for that hashtag. You have more chances of getting discovered by a random stranger who may be interested in your content. You can gain new followers through that.
Now, there are two types of hashtags – generic and specific. Generic hashtags are like #selfieoftheday, #selfie, #photooftheday, #travel, #food, #money, and #blogging. Basically, these are broad terms that may define your picture. Specific ones can be like #morningselfie, #foodphoto, #traveltogoa, #samosa, #moneysaving, and #dailyblogging.
To recognize a generic hashtag from a specific one, you just need to type on Instagram that hashtag and a drop down will come up and on its right side, you will see the number of posts in that hashtag. For generic ones, the posts will be in millions or at least thousands. For specific ones, the posts will be in tens or hundreds.
Both are relevant. Generic hashtags are searched by more number of people and give you chances of visibility to more number of people. However, the stream goes so fast that your post will be on top for not more than 10 seconds (a random guess :P). So, chances of success become really less.
Specific hashtags are searched by less number of people, but at the same time, less number of people are posting about them. So, your chances of visibility increase.
What’s the way out? You need to have a combination of both generic and specific hashtags. Let’s say you try having 5 generic ones and 5 specific ones.
But wait! What hashtags to use? The first thing to do is think of the picture you have. Have hashtags related to that. For example, if I am posting a picture about jewellery, my hashtags would be based around jewellery, fashion and stuff like that. For food, I will have food, cuisine and eating related hashtags. So, that’s where you use your common sense.
The second thing to do is search for generic hashtags on Google. Type in ‘popular hashtags for XYZ’ where XYZ maybe food photos, jewelry, wedding, or anything that describes your picture. Or type in ‘popular hashtags in XYZ’ where XYZ will be any city, area or so on. Select any link and get hashtags from there.
This is your testing phase. Every day you have to notice what hashtags are working better, what resources give you truly good hashtags (when you’re searching on Google) and change accordingly.
Another hashtag – personal branding hashtag. Now, as Nikita is working for Finix Post, she will use the brands’ hashtag #FinixPost. It’s all very important but it doesn’t come under the scope of this post about social media promotion for a new blog. Just keep in mind that you have to think of a hashtag you will use to brand your blog and start using it right from the post one. For example, any of my own Instagram posts will have two hashtags #LifeOfManpreet and #FinixPost as a part of my personal branding activities.
Number #3 Engage with the audience
Reply to every single person who comments on your post and go to their profile and like some of their posts. Following them or not is your choice. Why do we that? Because we’re not going to become dead bloggers. We want to become influencers. Influencers exist due to their communities. If you don’t connect with people, you WON’T become influencers.
Another thing you need to do is pick the specific hashtags you’re using in your posts, search those ones on Instagram and start interacting on others’ posts. It’s a great way to have communications with new people, get discovered and make quality connections. This is where people will see you and follow you the most.
So, make sure you spend at least 10 minutes every day leaving comments on other Instagram posts. No comments like ‘nice photo’, ‘wow’, ‘awesome’ and so on. Leave meaningful, long comments that would start a communication. Maybe share a story or your personal experience or ask a question or praise in phrases. Just have a long enough comment for the owner and other commenters to notice.
Number #4 About pictures on Instagram
As I read the length of this post, I want to skip it but I know Nikita is going to ask – “all is okay but what kind of photos should I post?” The ones that show your personality and inform people about your blog.
So, you have got a blog that covers entertainment, food, books, beauty and fashion. Pick pictures related to those and also add some pictures of yours, your personal style, your personal habits or whatever you’re doing in your life.
I suggest you have two photos clicked by yourself. Maybe you clicked your desk or clicked the picture of your nail paint collection, it all works as long as you take good pictures. Start by yourself and I will soon have our third blog partner share a lot of tips on good photography because we all know that I suck at photography and cannot give you any tips on that unless they’re curated from several blogs.
The third picture should be an announcement, question, caption or whatever that would inform people about your blog.
1) So, mostly we will have our custom-created pictures on our blog. Use them. Keep all of them in a folder on Google Drive for easy access.
2) There’s this amazing software called canva that is free to use online and you can create great quotes using it. You can also create blog banners which we will do while working for Pinterest. Use this platform to create quotes and have that picture go on as your third picture of the day which will also promote the latest blog post on your blog. If you don’t have a new post on that day, pick a previous post and re-promote because it’s equally important.
3) Use Pixabay and Pexels. There are amazing breathtaking lifestyle photos on these two sites and I would say you will never have a shortage of pictures until you have used every picture from these sites. They keep adding new pictures so it will practically never happen.
And last but not the least, just start taking more pictures. I share plenty of food photos on my Instagram, and many people think that I just eat out every day. Truth is, I take so many pictures during one blogger’s table that I use them for about a month. Then my regular food pictures and my personal outings are there. I never have a shortage of pictures. You see how I do it? I just click more pictures and keep them in stock for future use.
Number #5 Optimize your Instagram profile
Here comes the most important part of using Instagram for social media promotion for a new blog. There’s just one link you can post in your Instagram profile that will actually work like a link. People can click on it and visit your website. Begin by adding your blog link in that link section.
You also have to fill your bio. Keep it simple and explain what you do and what your hobbies are. Your bio should be more like you’re a blogger and ‘these’ are your interests. Don’t use hashtags in your bio. They don’t work. They’re not searchable. I’m telling you as I did and I truly feel stupid now that I think of it. Don’t be a fool like me!
2000 words and this is what I have to say just about one platform. That’s what you need to do on Instagram for social media promotion for a new blog.
Also go ahead and give shoutouts to people and participate in 1-2 Instagram contests every month. They’re cool, give you visibility and maybe let you win some cool goodies as well. When you start making real cash from your blog and Instagram profile, you can host your giveaways. They help to get more audience, but it’s a bit advanced thing to do, and we’ll cover it once you hit 5k followers.
Use it as a news sharing site. I recently read a post on how we wrongly put together all the websites like Facebook, Twitter etc as social networking sites. Come on! Twitter is truly a news sharing site. It is also a microblogging platform. It’s not like Facebook where you make friends and put pictures and do random status updates and you get likes.
I have used Twitter as something like Facebook where I shared random updates about myself. To be truthful, they work a bit as I am a girl and you get plenty of people who will like it. But that’s not your target audience. You don’t want stalkers or random guys. You want a community.
You need to be posting content that would be liked by people and shared by them. The news can be anything – your latest blog update, a crucial life lesson or business lesson or quote that may inspire somebody or make somebody reshare it.
Types of content to share on Twitter
Goal: 5k Twitter followers in 3 months
Number #1 Quotable and shareable tweets inspired from your blog content
For me, I would be wise if I share quotable sentences from this post as my tweets. You get the hint? Start going through your blog posts line by line and pick sentences that have a complete meaning and that are helpful. It’s the easiest way to find content for Twitter as you already have it on your blog.
Number #2 Share your blog links
Every day, you should share your latest blog post at least twice. Put a link and have an interesting introduction to it. Use hashtags (which we will discuss later in this post). And have a link. After all, the major reason why bloggers use social media is to send traffic to their blogs.
Number #3 Tweet about trending hashtags
It’s the best feature of Twitter. You can typically join a community of people discussing a topic and make your point. The better you’re at it, the more people will re-share your tweets and the more followers you will get. Every day, use these hashtags and tweet about them.
Number #4 Retweets and mentions
Retweets are also content. I would advise that your regular tweets should be 10 per day excluding the ones I will mention after this. But at the same time, retweets are also a great piece of content on Twitter. Retweet only those things which make sense and maybe liked by your existing followers according to you.
What are mentions? When you use someone’s twitter handle in your tweet, it’s called a mention. That’s not relevant to you. What’s relevant is how many people are using YOUR twitter handle in their tweets. It’s good for SEO (We’ll cover it in next blog posts) and it gives you more visibility. Remember, more visibility = more followers = more traffic + more money.
Number #5 Twitter Chats
I have already explained a bit about Twitter Chats to Nikita. In fact, she has even joined one of my favorite Twitter chats #BlogChatter. Basically, Twitter chats are virtual parties where like-minded people get together and discuss a topic. The host of the party asks questions and people reply to those and do random discussion alongside that using the hashtag.
For example, recently we had a #blogchatter chat about communities. We were answering questions about community building, its importance in blogging and at the same time, we were some friends praising each others’ blogs. It’s a party guys!
Now, how do they help? First of all, they help you meet more people, build a community, get more followers and get seen. Every Twitter chat you join, you get to meet at least 15-20 people and probably have that much of new followers in a day just through that chat. And the amount of influence you gain is unbeatable.
My favourite chats are #cfchat, #blogchatter, #hootchat, #bufferchat and #SY5chat. You can find more chats which will be related to your field of interest by looking over the internet or even on Twitter all such parties have the word ‘chat’ in common. Keep looking and you’ll find some great ones. Like I have already told Nikita that some of them can bring you as much as 1000 genuine, loyal followers a day. It’s a huge number! Set a schedule and make it a point to participate in at least 2 chats per week.
Number #6 Mentioning celebrities
This is my most favorite part which has brought a huge amount of traffic. It began when I randomly mentioned Paulo Coelho on Twitter in the early days of Finix Post back in 2013. I had so much traffic that ultimately my website crashed. I had to upgrade to more bandwidth afterward. It was because Paulo Coelho, being a huge celebrity, tweeted the blog link of a review of his book I did on Finix Post.
The same had happened multiple times like when I mentioned a journalist while talking about sensitive news topic or when I mentioned Shilpa Shetty Kundra tagging her in the book review. She shared it, and I got tons of traffic. I got visibility too, but that’s limited.
So, I make it a point to mention every concerned person while sharing a link. For example, I always tag the author as well as the publishing house while tweeting about a book review. I always mention the bloggers I mention in my posts. I always mention the celebrities I talk about in my posts.
Number #7 Reply to tweets
It’s all about creating connections. You need to talk to people to make them talk to you as well as talk about you. So, every day, spend 10 minutes going through your Twitter feed and finding tweets to retweet, favorite and reply back to. It will get better for Twitter uses an algorithm to serve you tweets according to your regular Twitter use habits. But do it no matter how tough it gets to find tweets that you could reply to.
Once you do all this, your Twitter will have more followers, mentions, retweets, and favorites. That’s what you need to keep growing until you can monetize the platform and also use it as a major traffic source for your blog.
Number #8 Scheduling your tweets
Tweet scheduling is important as it’s not a good idea to put up all tweets at once. You have to spread your tweets all throughout the day. I use a premium version of HootSuite to manage my social media but another free excellent product is buffer. You sign up for it using your Twitter profile and start scheduling.
Next is Pinterest which is a platform dominated by women and which is a huge traffic source for fashion and food industries. You can also get a lot of traffic on your blog about blogging through Pinterest.
Goal: Drive traffic to your website
Number #1 Optimized pictures
Optimization of pictures is very important on Pinterest. The horizontal picture rarely work on Pinterest while the vertical ones have maximum chances of discovery. So, you will need plenty of vertical pictures.
1) The first place to find them is again Pixabay and Pexels. You keep searching and find relevant vertical pictures and pin them.
2) You can make vertical pictures on canva. The blog banners that you will have to make also have to be made on Canva. Blog banners are fairly simple as most of the times they contain a cool background as well as the text which is the title of the blog post. For example, the banner for this post will mostly have a good abstract background topped by the title – guide to social media promotion for a new blog.
3) You also need to look for vertical pictures you click or you already have on your blog. These pictures should be pinned.
Number #2 Optimizing the pins
Pinning pictures doesn’t really serve any purpose without optimization. It begins by editing every pin you do and putting the relevant blog link on that. Whenever anyone clicks on that pin, he/she will be pointed to your blog and viola! You got a new blog visitor. More traffic means more chances of making money from your blog.
Then the description is very important. The description is how you will describe the picture you have pinned. It will help your pin pop up in search results and give you more chances of discovery. You can also put hashtags here. Hashtags in Pinterest don’t work like they do on Twitter and Instagram but they still help you get discovered easier.
Number #3 making boards
You will need some boards where you will pin the pictures. As a blogger, your boards should mostly define your content. For example, you can have a board about fashion, food, lifestyle, beauty and so on. You can have even more specific boards like MAC beauty products. It depends on what kind of pins you’re going to do. If you think you will have enough content for specific boards, make them else stick to general ones.
Now, every board should have a description and category. Doing this right will help your board pop up in search engines and this is even more important as this is how your reach will expand beyond Pinterest. Your boards can pop up in Google search results and that will be the best thing ever.
As a general rule, do at least 10 pins per day. At the same time, being a part of the community is important so also do repins and favorites. Comment on other pins as well. Lastly, have fun on Pinterest. It’s a really cool way to organize ideas especially DIYs you may want to do. So, start working on them.
As a beginner, I would suggest you to setup a Facebook page, but if you have no money to invest in it, it’s pretty useless except for serving the purpose of branding. So, what I would advise you is to focus on Facebook groups.
Number #1 Using Facebook groups for social media promotion for a new blog
First of all, make a Facebook group of your brand, we already have Finix Post Facebook group, and start adding in people who are interested in all your blog updates. This is your audience that stays in constant touch with you.
Then join a lot of blogging and niche specific Facebook groups.
Blogging groups are mostly the groups bloggers have formed to share their links. Link dumping exists and does send little amount of traffic. But there’s a way to increase that. Whenever you go to a group to share your link (post in at least 5 groups a day), go through the old posts by other people and like or comment. You can also check the blog links and go there and comment on their blog. We will cover blog commenting in future posts and it’s an excellent way to discover new blogs for blog commenting.
Specific groups are the ones that are related to the content you’re sharing. For example, if you’re sharing a post on fashion, you can share it with a group like fashion lovers and so on. When I do book reviews, I share it with groups that say book lovers, bookstore and so on. You share your stuff in front of people who are already interested in your subject.
Number #2 Using your personal profile
One of my first few followers were my friends. And it is the same with everybody. So, don’t refrain from sharing your posts and thoughts as your Facebook status updates. You will get a lot of useful feedback as well as respect from your personal community which is crucial to keep you going.
Nobody uses it. Well, a few people do, and they do it because Google owns it and it helps in SEO. So, you always post your blog links as your Google+ status updates and also use the platform as a typical social media site for about 10 minutes a day.
It’s important to use every social media site as a normal platform that you use as a regular person. Mostly bloggers get too involved in promoting their content that they forget this essential thing and hence, ruin their efforts. Don’t do that!
That’s pretty much what you need to start doing every single day for social media promotion for a new blog. Begin it and get consistent at it. It may take a week but stay focused, and we will discuss what else to do very soon.