I've put this comprehensive article together to help you cut through the marketing hype and crap that's all over the social media and the internet.
Don't have a lot of money to spend on marketing your new business or blog or to scale your existing one? Don't fret! There are numerous ways you can market your small business or blog free. Check out our top 95 list of things you can start doing to market your small business or blog today.
As business owners and bloggers, we've all heard it time and again, but I can't emphasize how important it is for you to promote your brand or blog content on social media. Here’s a short overview.
Learn how to build a profitable business this year by clicking below!
1). Use your Twitter bio as a way to collect email addresses or as a marketing funnel. Use Bitly.com as a way to track clicks.
2). Post to Twitter between 10-15 times per day (including likes and retweets). Add between one and three hashtags to each post.
3). Follow at least 10 people in your niche per day. Retweet their tweets or links to their articles. This is a great way to build relationships with influencers and other important people in your niche.
4). Join Twitter chats or host a Twitter chat. You can find relevant Twitter chats by conducting a simple Google search.
5). Make sure your profile is filled out properly. Share your page with your friends and family to increase page likes. Make sure your page has a header that’s relevant to whatever you’re promoting at that time.
6). Post new content between one and three times per day. Don't use hashtags. Make sure your content isn’t too salesy or promotional because your posts won’t make it to the newsfeed.
7). Like at least five other pages in your niche every day. Leave comments to show your interest.
8). Join Facebook.com groups to generate traffic back to your website. I’ve joined five, and those five have been great to send traffic back to my blog posts, build relationships with other influencers, and network overall.
9). Sign up for a business account. Fill your bio out completely with the right keywords (because your bio is searchable). Add a link to your profile.
10). Create at least 10 boards (with the first being only dedicated to your content or products). Make sure each board is optimized for the right keywords. (Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine).
11). Add between five and 10 pins to each board. Make sure each pin contains a description with a link to your website or another website. Check each link you repin to make sure it doesn’t lead to a spam site. (Be sure to curate 70 percent content from other profiles and the web, and 30 percent is yours). Don't use hashtags.
12). Follow influencers in your niche. Repin the pins that you think your audience will find valuable. Remember, you’re pinning for your followers, not you.
13). Join group boards to reach more audiences. You can find relevant groups to join on PinGroupie.com. Limit yourself to ten.
Instagram is a little tricky because you only have one space to add a link.
14). To begin, make sure your bio is optimized with the right keywords.
15). Add a link to your landing page or whatever product or program you're trying to promote. (Don't include a link to your homepage).
16). Add a photo to your profile. If you're a brand, add a logo.
17). Add between one and five photos per day to your account. Make sure the theme is consistent with the rest of your brand. Pick a color scheme that fits with the rest of your brand. Add a watermark to all of your images.
(If you visit Instagram.com/Femfounder, you’ll notice that the theme we’re using now is a two-tone background with text overlay.
As soon as you see one of our posts, you’ll know that it belongs to one of these accounts. Branding is key to building a successful following on Instagram.com).
18). Make sure to add up to 30 hashtags per post. You can also add up to 2,200 characters in each caption.
19). Try to follow 50 profiles in your niche each day. Like and comment on other profiles as well.
20). You can also host a contest on any of these platforms.
21). Add your pages to Stumbleupon.com.
22). For every one of your own pages you submit to Stumbleupon, make sure to submit 10 other pages so your account isn't marked as spam. (When I first started out, I submitted 10 of my own pages and was penalized and my account was marked as spam).
23). Follow at least three people per day.
24). Like, comment, and stumble at least three pages per day. The more you stumble, the more views and traffic your blog or website will get.
In case you’re wondering, we will explore Facebook.com LIVE, SnapChat.com and Periscope.com in depth in upcoming blog posts. Stay tuned for those upcoming posts later this month.
25). In today's oversaturated market, blogging is one of the most effective ways to reach wider audiences and build a loyal following. Not only does it help with your search engine rankings, it also helps you build authority in your niche. Longer blog posts of 2,000 words or more usually do better (so writing one lengthy post vs. three short posts every week will be better for your overall search engine rankings).
Note – According to NeilPatel.com, most blog posts that go viral are between 3,000 and 10,000 words (which I didn't know until I started blogging seriously a few months ago). You’ll start to notice that most of my blog posts will now exceed 3,000 words.
26). The best posts are round ups, how-to articles, lists, interviews, case studies, and other articles with short sections or bullet points, which make it easier for your visitors to read.
27). Make sure each blog post is optimized with the proper keyword phrases. Add the right keywords to the blog post title, description, H1 and H2 tags, and URL. You'll also want to make sure any image alt tags contain that right keyword or keyword phrase, too.
28). Develop your brand voice and be consistent with every blog post. Don't be afraid to show your true colors. Keep in mind that controversy is fine; just don't be offensive and rude.
29). Make sure that your website or blog content is shareable. Use a program such as Sumome.com to add shareable social media icons to your website or blog (it's free for the basic package).
30). Turn your blog posts into slideshows and upload to Slideshare.net. This is a great way to send traffic back to your website or blog.
31). Interview other influencers and experts on your blog and have them share it with their audiences. Although it might be difficult getting the top influencers in your industry to agree to an interview, start by approaching mid-tier influencers. Even though they might not have the largest followings, they could still send a significant amount of traffic to your website.
32). Although it hasn’t been that effective for me, comment on other blogs so influencers get used to seeing your name and website. This seems to have worked well for other bloggers.
33). Add video content and tutorials to your website or blog.
34). Use customers as case studies or testimonials for your website or blog. This helps increase your social proof and helps build trust.
35). Offer a free training on your website.
36). Post your blog posts to sites such as Medium.com to increase your traffic.
37). I know I've covered publicity in many articles in the past, but I think it's important to review it again. Pick out 20-25 outlets you'd like to see coverage in, and research those editors' names.
38). Put those names into a spreadsheet of a Google document for easy reference.
39). Draft personalized pitches for each outlet you pitch. Be sure to spell the editor's name correctly. (The blanket approach doesn’t work because editors can tell when they are mass pitched).
40). Limit your pitch to 500 words or less. Make sure it's interesting and newsworthy. (You can learn what’s considered newsworthy and how to write a compelling pitch here).
41). Email your pitches and follow up a few days if you haven't heard back. You can follow up one more time after that before pitching a new angle to a new editor.
42). Pitch to write for a trade magazine. Since trade magazines are always looking for contributors, they are generally easier to get into than national consumer magazines.
Influencer and Social Media Star Marketing
43). Similar to traditional publicity, influencer marketing can be very impactful to your blog or business. Start by researching the top 20 influencers in your niche. (Use Buzzsumo.com to find out who the major players in your industry are).
44). Draft short yet personalized pitches with the correct spelling of the influencer's name.
45). Limit this pitch to 200-300 words. It should be a short intro with what you're pitching. Make sure whatever you pitch – whether it’s a product or article idea - will fit with the influencer's content.
46). Email your pitch and again, if you haven't heard back after a few days, you can follow up one to two times. If you haven't heard back after the second follow up, move down the list.
47). Thought leadership should be a part of every publicity campaign. Pitch yourself for article opportunities on national websites and blogs that generate a lot of traffic (use SimilarWeb.com to find out how much traffic a website or blog gets).
48). Celebrity endorsements can be an effective way to market your business, but the process can be difficult to navigate.
To get started, subscribe to a database such WhoRepresents.com or Imdbpro.com to find the right celebrity handler. (You’ll want to start with the publicist, stylist, makeup artist, or some interior decorator).
49). Pick out the celebrity's publicist, makeup artist, interior designer, or fashion stylist, and send a short email intro about who you are, what you offer, products you'd like to send, pricing, and images. You don’t have to be clever here; less is more.
50). Limit this email to 200-300 words.
51). If you hear back, ask where you should send the product (this is considered a gift so you’ll want to make sure to incorporate gift samples into your budget). Make sure it's wrapped beautifully. Be sure to include a short note, business cards, and other marketing materials.
52). If you don't hear back (which you probably won't most of the time), you can follow up two times before moving onto the next person.
Note - You can send unsolicited gifts to celebrity handlers, but many times, they don't make it through to the celeb. The best course of action would be to contact the right handler to make arrangements to send gifts.
Your Website and List Building
53). Make sure to have opt-in boxes in three different places on your website or blog to collect email addresses. Opt-in boxes should be in your header, sidebar, footer, and in every blog post.
54). If you're a blogger, offer content upgrades on all of your posts to collect email addresses. Add three to each post.
55). If you're going to send out emails, send them out at the same time every week so your subscribers are used to seeing them. (If you’re just starting out, sending out emails once a week is generally enough).
56). Make sure your emails are short and engaging, not just promotional or your subscribers will unsubscribe from your list.
57). Start a podcast and add it to your website or blog. This is a great way to build relationships with influencers in your niche.
58). Research relevant podcasts and pitch yourself as an expert for an interview.
59). Treat a podcast as any other radio interview. Make sure you have your talking points down.
60). Share your podcast(s) on all of your social media channels.
Other Things You Can Do to Start Driving Traffic to Your Website or Blog
61). Ask influencers if they would be interested in contributing content to your website or blog. You might get many “no” answers in the beginning but don’t let that discourage you from building your blog. It’s happens to all of us.
62). Answer questions on a website like Quora.com or Yahoo Answers to position yourself as an expert and leave a link to your website. (I’ve tried this but haven’t seen much of a return yet. It does seem to work for other bloggers and business owners though).
63). Use long-tail keywords when you write blog content. Use Google's Auto-Suggest and Keyword Planner tools to find out the best keywords for your niche.
64). Create targeted landing pages for each one of your products so you can start building an email list that you can eventually sell to.
65). Post your content to Google + because it's a great way to help rank higher on Google.com for certain keywords.
66). Join communities and share your content. BizSugar.com, Inbound.org, and HackerNews.com are some of the communities that generate the most amount of traffic.
67). Make sure to add internal links to your other articles on your blog so readers can click through if their interested in learning more about something. This helps readers stay on your website or blog longer, too.
68). Make sure your website is mobile friendly because more and more people surf the web on their tablets and smartphones.
69). Add quizzes to your blog as a way to increase engagement. Qzzr.com is free.
70). Recycle old content and use it for social media marketing or create a free email course.
71). Publish an e-book on Amazon and your website to position yourself as an expert and to increase your credibility.
72). Add your blog to websites like AllTop.com and Flipboard.com to get more traffic.
73). Offer testimonials to others you've worked with in the past. The person you write the testimonial for will usually post your headshot and URL to their website.
74). Make sure your site is optimized for speed and the URL structures are clean. (This is very important if you have an online store with lots of large images).
75). Post your blog posts to LinkedIn.com.
76). Add graphics or images to your blog posts.
77). Learn how to use Google Analytics to optimize your website and increase page views.
78). Make a media kit available on your website or blog. If you need help figuring out what to include, check out our blog post on how to create a media kit here.
79). Attend relevant networking events in your niche. You can also host a meet up.
79) Join Reddit.com (and other social media bookmarking sites). Be active. Just don't promote yourself too much or you’ll be classified as a spammer.
80). Join or create your own mastermind group.
81). It's often overlooked, so be sure to include your website in your email signature.
82). Make sure to include call to actions on all blog posts and website pages.
83). Make sure your website or blog is easy to navigate and has an aesthetically pleasing design.
84). Make sure your blog post headlines are engaging and interesting. The shorter and more concise your blog titles are, the better.
85). Make sure your About Us and product pages are optimized with the right keyword phrases.
86). Remove all of the unnecessary clutter from your website or blog. Less is more these days.
87). Sign up for ViralContentBuzz.com to get others to share your content. You earn credits by sharing other experts’ content. It’s a great way to share quality content while having yours shared as well.
88). Draft a press release (learn how to here) and send it over the free wire services such as PR.com and PRLog.com. This is a good way to build backlinks to your website or blog.
89). Automate your social media posts with something like Buffer.com or HootSuite.com.
90). Respond to all blog comments to show your readers you listen to what they have to say.
91). Update old blog posts with new content (statistics, trends, and images) to get new traffic. Be sure to post on your social media accounts again.
92). Although I have yet to do my first, I always hear how great webinars can be to drive traffic to a blog or website. You can use Google Hangouts free to set it up.
93). Post your videos to YouTube.com and Vimeo.com. (This isn’t something I’ve done yet but I’ve heard from other influencers that video marketing can be one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to a website or blog).
94). Make sure to proofread everything you publish.
95). Join Tumblr.com to reach more audiences. (Although I haven’t explored much of Tumblr.com just yet, I’ve heard from social media experts that it can be a great way for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands to build their followings. We will explore Tumblr.com in depth later this fall.)
Keep in mind that it takes time to build a loyal and engaged following especially when you’re first starting out. If you're looking to skyrocket your website or blog traffic overnight, then you'll need to look into paid advertising and sponsorship strategies (which generally costs a few dollars per click on Google and less than a dollar per click on Facebook.com, Pinterest.com, and Instagram.com).
What are some of the tactics you've used to grow your website or blog traffic? What tactics have been the most helpful to grow your business? What tactics have fallen short? What did I leave out in this post and what topics would you like to see covered in future blog posts? Describe your thoughts in the comments below.
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