When I began blogging a few years ago, I had no clue how to promote my blog besides telling my family and friends that I started writing about my food and travel experiences online. Needless to say, my audience was JUST my family and friends for a while...
Fast forward to a couple of years later, and I realized that self-promotion as a blogger is so important for success. If you really want brands to notice you and you crave more traffic/bigger online audience, you have to stop being bashful. No one will know about your blog if you don't share it with others. So here are some of the ways that you, as a blogger, can promote yourself starting today.
1) Promote yourself online (but kick it up a notch) - You may already share your blog posts online, but are you doing it to your advantage? Make sure you're not only promoting your new content, but also your old content as well, especially if it received a ton of comments/engagement from your readers. CoSchedule is a great tool for this. Creating new blog posts with a round up of links from previous posts is a quick way to recycle content and share it all in one place (just make sure you create a theme around said posts so the links have a cohesive feel). Another thing you could do is revisit some of the platforms you're currently using but underutilizing. Find ways to incorporate old posts for #tbt, re-pin some of the blog posts you've created in Pinterest and add them to different themed Pinterest boards and join a Twitter chat or two every so often to promote your viewpoints and expertise. Maya Elious said something super smart the other day that I absolutely loved: if you want readers to your blog EVERY DAY, you must share your content EVERY DAY.
2) Get yourself out there - There are a BAJILLION blogs out there, and someone is starting a blog every single day. So one way you can distinguish yourself from the crowd is by promoting yourself and your brand in-person with everyone you meet. Yes, this may seem very annoying and self-serving at first, but think about it. You are sharing your interests and experiences with an audience that wants to hear about them, so why not self-promote? When my former co-worker introduced herself at a staff meeting, she mentioned that she was a food blogger. She wasn't shy about promoting herself, and guess whose name came up every single time when they mentioned foodies in the office or someone who would know what restaurant to go to this weekend? Hers did. Because this is the way she branded herself, everyone remembered. In addition to introducing yourself and mentioning your blog, you should also join groups where you'll meet brands and bloggers alike. Literally, one month after joining the Atlanta Food Bloggers Society, I saw a spike in my traffic. It doesn't matter if you're an introvert or an extrovert: don't be shy about sharing your blog with others. The people will come, and you'll also be branded as an expertise with your blog (that's what I call a win-win!).
3) Form your blogger squad. Whether this is a group of online or offline bloggers that you call friends, having a small community where you can share each other's posts on social media, bounce ideas off of each other, share contacts/opportunities with brands, etc. is CRUCIAL. It's especially helpful to talk with your friends about if they are working with brands, how much brands are paying them, what networks work best for them, etc. You can also keep each other accountable by making sure you are always on top of your blogging A-game. This is the true definition of #squadgoals.
So how can you find your squad? Join Facebook groups that are related to your blogging interests (and comment regularly). Becoming a member of a blogger society (like I did), is a great way to meet new people and form new friendships. Just make sure that while you are making this new group of friends that you are doing it with good intentions. I've seen many burned bridges and ruined friendships happen because one blogger used another blogger for their benefit and gain alone.