#31WBGB: Promote a Blog Post

#31WGBGWelcome to Week 3 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!  If you are just joining us, you can read the kick-off post here .

Week 3’s topic is promoting a blog post.  The assignment for this week is going to be a stretch for me, so I’m really interested in hearing what you have to say on this topic.

Darren Rowse of Problogger says that he often sees people promoting their blog as a whole, but that promoting individual posts is far more effective.  This e-book was written a couple of years ago, so I wonder if he still sees this as a problem?  My experience is that most genealogy bloggers promote individual posts via Twitter and Networked Blogs, but my perspective may be skewed, because almost everyone I read is on Twitter.  I saw a statistic a few weeks ago that only 10% of Americans use Twitter, (compared to 50% who use Facebook), so the people I read are probably more tech- and social networking-savvy than most.

Nevertheless, Darren offers us:

11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post

  1. Pitch to other bloggers:  ask another blogger to consider linking to your post.  This gives me the heebie-jeebies.  I really don’t like asking people to do things for me.
  2. Social Messaging: use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to promote your post.    Darren says “the key is not to incessantly spam your followers and your friends with your link.”
  3. Social Bookmarking:  promote selective links on sites like Digg or StumbleUpon.
  4. Internal Links:  what posts within your own site can you link to a given post?  Have you written on a topic before?  Are you writing a series?  Link them up.  Another way to do this is to use automatic apps, like a related-post plug-in if you are on WordPress, or a widget like LinkWithin, which I believe works on both WordPress and Blogger.  You can also add a section in your sidebar with “Latest posts,” “Popular posts,” “Featured posts,” etc.  WordPress makes this very easy to do; I’m not sure about Blogger.
  5. Newsletters: shoot an email out to your newsletter list, if you have one.  (Does anyone do a newsletter?  I’d like to hear more about how often you do that, what kind of content you include, etc.)
  6. Other Blog’s Comments Sections and Forums: leaving good-quality comments can help drive traffic to your site and leaving a link can be appropriate if it is germane to the discussion.  (Just a note here, I use a plug-in called CommentLuv that automatically inserts a link to each commenter’s last post, if they’ve signed up for the service. And since, I’m signed up, my links are left on other bloggers’ sites, if they use CommentLuv.)
  7. Email signatures: Darren suggests including links to recent posts, instead of just your blog’s front page URL.
  8. Follow-up posts:  write a new post that picks up where another left off, like a series, or adds new information to a previous post, then inter-link them.
  9. Advertise Your post:  You might consider a small ad campaign for a post you are particularly proud of, using AdWords, StumbleUpon, or similar services.  This probably isn’t something most geneabloggers would consider, but it might be worthwhile for those who are professional genealogists.
  10. Pitch Mainstream Media:  You might want to do this for a really interesting post.  Again, I think this would be more suitable for the pros.
  11. Article Marketing:  Rewrite some key articles and submit them to article marketing sites.

Don’t do all of the above for every single post you write. For one thing, you wouldn’t have time to do anything else.  Pick one or two posts a week to promote.

Action Items

  • Pick something from the above list that you’ve never done before and use it to promote one of your posts.
  • Share your thoughts on some of these items.  What social networking sites do you use for blog promotion?  Have you ever used Digg or StumbleUpon?  Have you used any of the other ideas?  How have they worked for you?  Leave an answer in the comments or, if you write a post about it, come back and leave us a link.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to come back and let us know which idea you tried for the first time and how it worked for you.

Prize (you know that’s why you’re here)

This week’s prize is a Legacy Family Tree Webinar on CD* called Sharing Genealogy Electronically. The description of this webinar from the Legacy site says:

Join Legacy Family Tree’s Geoff Rasmussen as he presents a live workshop to both 1) the West Valley Genealogical Society in Youngtown, Arizona and 2) to a live webinar audience. The class will teach methods of sharing your genealogy in the form of a printed book, print-on-demand publishing, websites, and shareable CDs. The class, being taught live at the West Valley Genealogical Society’s library, is part of a 4-week Advanced Legacy course. Teaching to both a live brick-and-mortar audience AND to a live online audience at the same time is something we have never tried before. Maybe it will work. Maybe it … well … we’ll be positive here and hope for the best.

If you’d like to enter for a chance to win this webinar (which retails for $9.95), leave a comment on this entry with your thoughts on blog post promotion. You must be a US resident to enter. The contest ends at 11:59pm on Saturday, July 23, 2011. Winner will be drawn randomly.

*And now for the disclosure.  I received this, and many other, Legacy Webinar CDs as a blogger gift at SCGS Jamboree (and intend to give them all away, so come back often).  I also use affiliate links to sell Legacy products.

Series Navigation<< #31WBGB: Make List Posts Work for Your Genealogy Blog#31WBGB: Analyze a Top Genealogy Blog >>

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Comments

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hi Kathleen! Thanks for stopping by. I loved your quilt post by the way. The quilt was fabulous and I liked the way you broke out out the blocks and showed them individually. Very creative!

  1. says

    I usually leave a link to my latest blog post with a brief description of it on Facebook. I have noticed that when leaving it on someone’s wall (and I only do that if it’s a fellow family genealogist who might be interested in what I have to share, or if I notify them that I have quoted them on the blog), sometimes it is rejected as SPAM. I think it has to do with how the individual has set up their account. But I only have my Facebook account set up so that friends only can read my status.

    I’ve never used Digg or StumbleUpon, but I have noticed that Thomas MacEntee uses StumbleUpon, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

    I have written series posts before, and linking them is a really good idea that I will try. I recently started categorizing my posts by linking them to separate ethnicity pages.

    And lastly, I do like to leave comments when I have something to contribute, or even just to let the author know that I really enjoy their blog and I plan on following them. I share the link to my blog at the same time so that they can check out my blog as well. Since I started doing that, I have gained several new followers.
    Debra Newton-Carter´s last blog post ..Going Backward to Move Ahead: 6 steps toward a well-documented family history

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Debra, if you’re interested, you can set up Facebook so that it automatically adds new blog posts to your wall. It’s done through an application called Networked Blogs.

      One thing I’ve noticed about StumbleUpon on the sites that use it is that it really slows down the page load time. I’m really impatient, so that has been a deal-breaker for me.

  2. says

    Twitter: afamilymystery
    The steps I take to promote my blog posts include auto-notification to Facebook (through NetworkedBlogs) and Twitter. I also post a notification on G+ (although I’m looking for an automated way to do this – has anyone found one yet?). I use WordPress, and have a “related-posts” plug in. I’ve also got an email signature that includes my main website and my blog – I think adding a link to a particular post would be too much, and I would forget to change it!
    Today I installed CommentLuv for WordPress, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll post later in the week if I have anything to report, but I don’t seem to get a lot of comments (new blog still) so I may need to give it more time before I see any results. I am planning a follow-up post for Tech Tuesday, finishing up a post from a couple weeks ago.
    As far as 9, 10 and 11 – I’m just not there yet. Maybe in another year I’ll start looking into more active advertising.
    Thanks for the great tips!
    Tara Anderson´s last blog post ..My “Heritage Pie” Chart – #31WBGB and SNGF

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Tara, I’m with you on the specific post link in email signatures. There is no way I would remember to change it and I would be promoting the same post for months. : )

  3. says

    Twitter: Lindagartz
    Hi Tonia,
    Well I need to get much more efficient at using several ideas listed here. e.g., nothing happens automatically, as I understand it can – e.g. – an auto Facebook post. I don’t know how that can be done. Is Networked Blogs a good idea to join? Do my privacy settings from my regular FB page move onto that forum?

    Already I:
    1) send an email to a couple of groups who already know me — so I don’t know what that does to get new traffic.
    2) I tweet it and Do two FB posts, one personal, one for my writers’ group (#2)
    3) I try to visit many other genealogy sites (and leave comments) both to learn from these very knowledgeable people and to be part of the community. Many then come to visit my site.
    4) I have my blog URL under my email signature. It will take one to the most recent post. If interested folks can read others. (# 7)
    4) #8 right now my blog is an unfolding story. I’m posting the documents including letters, passports, recommendations, photos, books, diaries to reveal a story of my paternal grandparents coming to America. (my grandmother, Lisi, just boarded her steamer heading across the Atlantic). I often refer back to other posts.

    So I’m going to try to use DIGG and or stumble for my latest Post. I’ve used Stumble once before and have no idea if I got any traffic from it. Following through on all the stats, etc. is daunting.

    What is meant by #11 “Article Marketing sites?” what are those? Certainly writing an article and having one’s URL at the end is a great tool, but I’m not sure what you mean here.

    Thanks for the tips!
    Linda Gartz´s last blog post ..Lisi’s "Moveable Feast"

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Linda, it’s been so long since I set up Networked Blogs that I can’t remember about the Privacy settings. I’m sure it would tell you during the enrollment process, though, and give you the chance to back out if you didn’t like it.

      Regarding Article Marketing sites: these are sites like Suite 101, Hubpages, etc. You submit articles to the sites and make them available for others to reprint, re-use etc. Here’s an article that explains the concept and has some links to various sites.

  4. says

    Twitter: kinfolknews
    Tonia, Another great article full of awesome ideas! After viewing the comments above, I see a few of y’all seem to be stuck on how to implement #7 (putting your current post in your email signature). My suggestion is WiseStamp. You can add all kinds of information to your email signature including your current post. I had what I thought was a pretty cool email signature setup with my facebook, twitter, blog (as a whole) and current post but sadly, I didn’t realize that it was stored on your PC and when I got my new PC… well it went the way of the dodo.
    Hope this helps!
    Regina´s last blog post ..Thoughts From My Brother about the Space Program

  5. says

    Hi again, Tonia!

    I really had to do some head-scratching for this one. My blog posts are already linked to Twitter and Facebook, and I use internal links where appropriate and follow a long list of genealogy blogs, though I don’t often leave comments. But the suggestion of a newsletter caught my attention. I have considered creating one in the past, but never got past the “what-if” stage.
    However, this time I have seriously considered it and did some research into the how’s and where’s and I have come up with this.
    What do you think?

    http://ruthsgenealogy.com/2011/07/21/31wbgb-promote-a-blog-post/

    Ruth Stephens
    Ruth Stephens´s last blog post ..#31WBGB: Promote a Blog Post

  6. says

    This was great. My blog post for this week’s challenge was “6 Types of Genealogical Collaboration” (http://geneapoppop.blogspot.com/2011/07/6-types-of-genealogical-clollaboration.html) and my description of how I promoted it can be found at “31 WBGB: Promote Blog Post” (http://geneapoppop.blogspot.com/2011/07/31-wbgb-promote-blog-post.html).

    Quite simply, it worked!
    Geneapoppop (Bart Brenner)´s last blog post ..31 WBGB: Promote a Blog Post

  7. says

    It may not be conventional, but as a new blog, I found the best way to promote it was to get it added to geneabloggers this week! As for specific posts, I have started a new series on my blog called ‘Society Saturday’, in which I’ll showcase the work my local society is doing and/or what I’m doing for them at the moment. To promote it and the idea in general, I submitted it to the Geneabloggers guys. Thomas MacEntee really seemed to like the idea and said he’ll get around to adding it next week, so, it’s a start!

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Dana, you absolutely are right. I can’t believe I forgot to mention Geneabloggers.

      Everyone else, if you haven’t added your blog to Geneabloggers, you’ll want to do so. I think the number of genealogy blogs that Thomas is tracking is around 2,000 now. He’ll add you to his blogroll by category and he sends out a weekly post of new blogs added.

      He also offers Daily Blogging prompts, which have two benefits. One, they give you ideas to write about, which can be helpful when your are stuck or as a series you might want to pursue. Two, if you put the prompt name in your post title (i.e. Tombstone Tuesday: . . .); Thomas pulls all the posts with the prompt title into a widget on his blog, promoting all the posts for that theme. It’s a great way to promote your post and also a great way to find new blogs to read.

  8. says

    Twitter: heritagehappens
    Tonia, my blog is unavailable right now but I am hoping it will be available tomorrow afternoon and that the post shows. Will have to wait and see, but I wanted you to know I have done the post and am looking to try adding a post link to email because I have never done that! I also would like to play a bit with CommentLuv, (although I didn’t put that in my post) sounds interesting!

  9. Tonia Kendrick says

    Congratulations to Tara Anderson, winner of the Sharing Genealogy Electronically webinar!

    Thanks to everyone who participated in this challenge. I hope you all learned something. I know I did. : )

    Tonia

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Thanks Michael! Glad to have you aboard. I’ve been reading your “catchup posts”. You’ve been busy today!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Hey, thanks for sticking with me as I go through 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had come across a fabulous genealogy blog – Tonia’s Roots. Lots of great info! She has an ongoing weekly exercise – 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog that I am loving. Learning lots too! I’m on Week 3 right now and our lesson for this week is Promote a Blog post. […]

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