There are two traits that every blogger (if they expect to become popular that is) has in common.The first thing a professional blogger needs is a steady stream of ideas that they can successfully turn from imaginary kernels into fully formed blog posts, usually within a few short hours. Luckily, the blogosphere is a relatively malleable place and, as long as you stay within the rough context of your blog’s topic you can write about almost anything.
The second trait that most bloggers share is a knack for relentless self promotion. In fact, I’d imagine what while bloggers are usually pegged as being the shy type, most have a secret extrovert hidden underneath the mange t-shirt and horn-rimmed glasses just dying to get out.
Now, as far as self promotion goes, there are a number of different ways to go about getting your name out there: guest posting, social media and email newsletters being just a few. But, when promoting yourself, there are a few pitfalls that you should avoid -- the worst of which is over-promoting.
Here are a few signs that you may be hyping yourself up a bit too much.
- Attack Of The Tweets
Everyone knows that Twitter is can be a powerful tool for self promoting. Still, it’s incredibly easy for your tweets to switch from “promoting” to “bragging,” so easy, in fact, that most people don’t even notice when the switch takes place when really, all you have to do is pay attention. I find it’s best to keep your tweets down to three per day, morning, lunchtime and evening. These are the times people are most likely to get their fix, so your tweets are sure to be seen. Of course, if big news breaks, tweet away, but be careful - unchecked tweeting isn’t all that different from spamming.
- Email Blasts
Speaking of spam, sending out a newsletter can be a great way to keep your readers up to date on your newest posts. But it’s important to keep a schedule. If you notice yourself sending your newsletter out willy nilly at at random hours a day and multiple times a week, it’s time to reel things in a bit. Most people sign up for newsletters because they don’t have the time to (or don’t want to) check a blog every day. The newsletter is a way to keep them informed without disturbing them. Make a schedule, no more than once a week, and stick to it, or you may find readers jumping ship.
Just like Twitter, Facebook can come in handy when you’re trying to let people know about your newest post. And, just like Twitter, it can be pretty easy to start bragging instead of promoting. Here’s an example:
15 new followerz on Twitter today y’all and it’s only 11!
Bieber, I’m on your tail!
That’s all well and good that some people decided to follow our Twitter feed, but unless your blog is about how many people you can get to follow you on Twitter, odds are there’s a better way you can spend your time - like writing more blog posts.
- Watch Those Posts
The last few things that I’ve talked about can all be avoided by simply paying attention to what your doing. The same goes for the actual posts on your blog. It’s okay to write about how popular your blog is getting and it’s okay to ask your readers to follow you on Facebook and Twitter and any other social media sites you may have, but be careful not to sacrifice the quality of the content on your blog for the sake of self promoting. If the content is good, people will find their way to your site.
- Connect, Don’t Sell
Promoting your blog is important, to be sure. But the best bloggers are the ones who find a way to connect with their audience, whether it’s talking trash about celebrities they mutually hate or sharing photos of a trip toTibet. No one likes to be force fed. Promote your blog in a classy way and focus on turning out content that people want to read and the readers will come.
Daniel Cassady is an experienced freelancer, guest blogger, and frequent contributor to a blog hosted by Benchmark Email, one of the world’s global email marketing software providers