Where to host your blog?
Before getting into blog marketing it’s important to first take a few moments and decide where to host your blog.
Some platforms allow a lot of freedom and others less. Some offer traffic, some don’t. First it’s important to know exactly what you want to achieve, what is your end-game.
Maybe you are just a casual blogger that wants to get his/her message out or maybe this is just your starting point for building a business.
If you are a casual blogger and don’t plan to take things any further than that, your best choice would be one of the platforms that are easy to use and also give you exposure. One such example is Medium. All you have to do is open an account and start writing. It’s also a well known platform that people read regularly, so it can get you readers without doing any blog marketing yourself.
Another fine alternative to Medium is Quora where you can write a blog as an extension of your profile. It also gives you access to a large community of interested readers, just like Medium.
Other alternatives for bloggers that are just interested in the craft of writing in itself are Blogger and Tumblr. Both of them have their downsides and upsides, but the downsides are pretty much all of technical nature.
For those that plan to expand their blogging efforts to a full blown business and do some serious blog marketing, it’s a better idea to use a platform that allows for more freedom and has the option to turn a blog into a self hosted website or even a shop.
The obvious choice here is WordPress as it offers unlimited possibilities, but unlike Medium and similar platforms, you’ll have to do a lot more blog marketing and probably even invest some money into getting your blog out to the masses.
An alternative to WordPress would be Squarespace. The main difference is that while WordPress is an open-source platform that you can deploy on your own server, Squarespace is always going to be on the company's servers so you are kind of dependent on them.
You could also use other website builders, like Wix, but again they have their pros and cons.
Finally, you can also use Ghost, which is self hosted and open source, just like WordPress. Why Ghost? You are currently reading a blog made with Ghost :)
So where to host your blog?
If you want to just write and don’t plan to take things any further, take a look at:
If you think you’ll want to expand your blog beyond just blogging, use WordPress, Ghost or alternatively have a look at Squarespace or Wix.
How to market your blog?
There are many ways to market your blog, but the actual options opened to you are dependent on your budget.
You can always promote it via advertisement. What kind to choose is up to you, but given the fact that it’s content promotion, social media platforms are a great place to start. It also makes sense to check out the competition on search engines and invest some money into search engine advertising, if the topic you are covering is cheap.
Where to promote your blog?
But like most bloggers, you are probably looking for ways to market your blog for free. There are basically 3 ways you can do this successfully and sustainably:
- Social media
- Blogging platforms
When you are low on advertising funds (actually even if you are not) it makes sense to keep SEO in mind when planning and creating your content. This means doing the research on what people are searching for before you actually start writing your content. To do this you can use the free tool Ubersuggest. What you want to look for is keywords that have low organic competition and high search volume.
Once you pick your keyword, make sure you actually use it in and around your article. Don’t stuff it everywhere, but do use it in a couple of places:
- First sentence
- Last sentence
- In one outbound link
- Every 300 word or so
It’s not an exact science, but if you keep to places mentioned above, you should do OK,
It’s also important to build links back to your website. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
- Look for similar, not competitive, blogs and ask if you could guest post.
- Examine your competitors, provide better content and ask the same webmasters linking to them to link to you instead. You can check out their inbound links with Ahrefs backlink checker.
- Look for other simple ways to get links, like answering questions on Quora or… making your own app with Upsquare, which gets you a link from Google Play right off the bat :)
Social media is all about content and that is also what all blogs are about. That’s why social media is the absolute best place to spread the word about your blog.
There are a couple of different tactics you can try, but make sure you have the basics down first. So the first thing you should do is decide what platforms are good based on your topic. If you run an arts and crafts blog, Pinterest is the place to be. If you run a fun adventure blog, you might want to have a look at TikTok. Travel blog? Go Instagram! No matter what your blog is about, you should probably always include Facebook.
Once you decide which platforms to cover, get started by creating a page/profile and editing it so that it looks great for anyone that is going to check you out.
Make sure you also include a link back to your blog wherever possible, since the end goal here is to get new visitors that turn into regular readers.
Now that you are all set up, be active. Join and post in groups related to your topic. Comment on stuff that is similar to what you are writing about. Make sure you grab the attention of any potential readers by constantly creating new, fresh content for the social media platforms that you choose.
Remember Medium, Quora, Blogger and such… You might want to think about expanding your self-hosted blog to other platforms. That way you have the freedom that, let’s say WordPress, brings, but you can also take advantage of traffic already on blogging platforms that have communities built around them.
Now… what you definitely don’t want to do is copy your content, but what you can do is post lesser or complimentary content on these platforms and refer back to your main blog. That way you pass the link juice for SEO and traffic from these communities back to your main blog without accidentally competing with yourself for rankings on Google, Bing and other search engines..
Conclusion about how to market your blog
First of all you have to keep in mind that you are a content creator and as a content creator you have to make use of channels that were made for sharing content and information. Search engines and social media.
Second, you are probably going to want to monetize your content with ads, so you are probably going to have to lean more towards traffic from channels that are inherently free. Organic search and organic social traffic. In other words… SEO and building a social media following.
Third, write about something you enjoy and you’ll also enjoy marketing your blog.