This is Part 2 of my series on do-it-yourself promotion for your coaching blog. Part 1 talks about a classic blogger’s technique – getting your writing onto other sites where your market gathers, and pointing them back to your blog from there.
This post is about leveraging your social networking presence. If you are already using online social networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter) in your coaching business, you have a blog promotion platform with powerful potential.
If you’re not using social networking in your business yet, don’t worry. Part 3 of this series will talk about some simple moves you can make to leverage your presence on the Web outside of the social networking sites.
Use Your Networks
Social networking and blogging are perfect complements. Both are interactive and frequently updated, creating a virtual conversation that can draw your audience in and engage their attention. Because their user communities are enormous and enthusiastic, the major social networks offer unmatched opportunities to expand your blog’s reach.
If you are actively using social networking in your coaching business, promoting your blog through your favorite social networks will come naturally. Be sure to touch these bases:
- Update your profiles.
- Promote your posts.
- Engage your networks.
Update your profiles. Include your blog’s url, and your tagline or Unique Benefit Statement, in all your social network profiles. Where you can, customize your profile so it echoes your blog’s branding. (Check out my Twitter profile for an example.)
Promote your posts. When you publish a new post, of course you’ll want to announce it to your social networks, with a link back to the full post. Your webmaster can help you automate this.
- If you have a WordPress blog and use Twitter, use the WP to Twitter plug-in to tweet out each new post automatically when you publish it.
- Pull an excerpt of each new post into your Facebook profile or fan page using the Networked Blogs app.
Once your blog has built up enough of an archive, you can pull short quotable excerpts out of some of your older posts to use as social networking updates. If the article is ever-green and highly useful, include a link to it. Use a Twitter client like Hootsuite to set up multiple updates in advance.
Engage your networks. Use social networking to engage your audience on topics you blog about. Ask them what they would like to see you write about. Ask questions that relate to your favorite topics, and engage with whoever answers. Look for questions other users have asked, and give them a pithy and useful answer.
LinkedIn Answers is designed to connect users in this kind of Q&A format. To create similar interactions on other networks:
- Use the Search function to find relevant questions, then post your answer as a comment.
- Join Groups related to your topic, and watch the group forum for ideas or opportunities to engage.
Every time you post, there’s a link back to your profile, and an opportunity for users to click through to your blog. And the more you can engage your social networks with what you are writing, the more they will spread links to your blog posts.
Don’t Wear Out Your Welcome
When directly promoting your blog posts on social networks, take care not to over-do it. The ethic of social networking is to serve others more than you market yourself. The community will punish users who cross that line. Even though your blog posts are full of useful information, promoting them in your status updates counts as marketing yourself.
So, promote your posts only on networks where you are actively interacting with and serving your audience. (Of course, this includes what you do with automated tools like WP to Twitter.) Hold your self-promoting updates to less than 20% of your overall activity on the network.
There’s an exception to this rule when you have a blog post that directly answers another user’s question. In that case, linking to your post is about answering the question, and counts as service.
A Word of Caution for Newbies
No matter how strong a promotion tool social networking is, don’t get into it just to publicize your blog. This relates to the rule about not over-promoting yourself. It’s better to use each network for a while, and get comfortable with it on its own terms, before using it for promotional purposes.
But don’t let that stop you. As a business tool, social networking is too powerful to ignore, and promoting your blog is just one way to leverage that power.
So if you are not using social networking in your coaching business yet, jump in. I’ll write more on how to get started in future posts.
Help Me Publicize This Blog
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