By: Lance Trebesch
This part two of how to build a successful blog. Part one talks about setting up the blog in the right format to gain reader interest. Part two discusses about more promotion techniques and how to keep your readers.
- Ask people to subscribe. RSS feeds allow users to subscribe to your blog and receive an update when you add new blogs. This makes it convenient for readers so they do not need to check for blog updates. An alternative is to send the updated blog through email, so having both an email subscription and a RSS feed is necessary. Also, make the sign-up process simple and prominent. Display the RSS button everywhere and occasionally mention it in your posts to sign-up. The simpler the process to sign-up, the more chance the reader will go through with the process.
- Offer a bribe to sign-up. Take an example for Marketing Pilgrim, by offering a $600 cash giveaway by signing-up for a RSS feed. The code to register for the money is in an RSS-only message. Receiving $600 free is pretty convincing to sign-up. Other options to get people to sign up are free e-books related to your topic (“How to Get a Record Deal”), or send a personalized autographed picture of you or the band to those who sign-up.
- Comment on forums. Comment on blogs. Comment on chats. And comment by providing a link back your blog. By injecting your opinion and showing your personality through these comments, people will notice you and want to find out more. Make sure the comments are meaningful and not just some form of spam to create a link back to you. People appreciate when an expert adds their knowledge, so write truthful comments that will help the audience. Comments are the biggest promotion of your blog in the beginning months of the blog.
- Leave blogs open for discussion. If compiling a list, ask for comments to add their suggestions for the list. The 5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO) blog by Influential Marketing Blog became instantly popular by people linking to it, posting comments and recommending the blog. After writing a general blog that does not include a list, ask a question at the end to encourage comments and blog discussion. The more, interesting discussion, the more people will link to your blog, promoting it.
- Respond to comments. Read your comments daily and respond when someone asks a question to you through the comments. Once you start getting a steady reader base that begins posting comments, do not discourage them by never responding back. Respond rapidly to make your reader happy.
- Start a podcast. A podcast is a great way to promote both your blog and your music. Podcasts are an audio blog, but you should not update it as often as your blogs (unless you just want to run an audio blog exclusively). On the podcast, talk about interesting subjects related to your blog and mention your music often. Play a fraction of your music just prior to and just after your podcast, promoting both your music and your blog.
- Invite guest bloggers. Be a guest blogger. Your blog gains interest if you occasionally – monthly, quarterly – invite guest bloggers to write. Your business pals become a good place to start when thinking about guest bloggers. The guests then feel flattered by your interest in them and in return promote your blog or music. On the other hand, ask your business friends to guest blog for them, which immensely promotes your music or blog through their site. Whenever you get an opportunity to guest blog, take it.
- Add videos, pictures, MP3s, etc. Just having words on every blog gets boring. Perk reader’s interest by putting a funny YouTube video in your blog, adding a unique MP3 or taking a snapshot of the website you mention in the blog. Any item out of the norm to create a change will boost your blog’s appeal. Every once in awhile, make your blog a video-blog through YouTube where you narrate the blog (and act as well). You can also create a music video for you or the band and advertise it through your blog.
- Use tracking software and analyze. Find out how many people are visiting your blogs and which ones generate the most traffic. You should re-create titles and content that receives many views. The tracking software can also tell you how people are hearing about your blog, through Digg, Google, etc. It can give you a great insight on your viewers and many other marketing hints if you are creative.
- Build a brand. You want people to recognize your blog as an object, not just another blog. Make your blog worthwhile to the reader. Promote the blog with any sources you have. Tell your friends, family and strangers about it. On your website, promote your blog and on your blog promote your website. Do the same with social networking sites, YouTube videos, podcasts, live performances, etc. By marketing in a bunch of different places, you spread your name and have more sources to promote your blog and music.
Your blog will only see success if you follow all these steps and promote it as often as possible. Blogging takes a lot of dedication but pays off in the end with increased music sales. Never stop blogging and remember, you are writing for your audience.