Hubspot’s latest study shows that the number of companies that blog has grown from 48% in 2009 to 65% this year. Indeed, it appears that non-bloggers are fast becoming the minority, and it’s not hard to see why: companies that blog have 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages, compared to those that do not.
In one of our earlier posts, “11 Financial Advisor Blog Benefits,” we talked about how blogging allows financial advisors to share helpful, non-commercial content delivered in a personal and authentic voice.
As a community-building tool, blogging provides opportunities for advisors to interact with clients and prospects. It also promotes information sharing on social media, which has the added benefit of building valuable backlinks. This is why, along with quality content, bloggers are equally focused on growing readership; combined, these two constitute the lifeblood of a blog.
So, now that you have a new blog (or are convinced enough to start one), how do you effectively launch your new blog and make a loud-enough splash in a sea of blogs teeming with similar content?
Engage your clients – make sure as many as possible subscribe
Aside from being a ready resource for new ideas and commenting activity, your clients play another key role in the growth of your blog: that is, as the foundation for your subscriber base.
Getting the buzz going can be as simple as sending your clients an e-mail introducing your new blog and asking if they could take a moment to subscribe (whether via RSS or e-mail newsletter).
Chances are, you’ll have greater success converting clients into subscribers (than you would random visitors to your site), since you’ve already established a position of trust with them, and they in turn already look to you as an authority in your field.
Promote it on your website
It’s SOP to include a link to your blog on your website’s navigation bar. Apart from that, you can also use the sidebar on your homepage to announce the latest posts on your blog.
Another idea is to include an RSS feed icon on each page (at the top, where it is readily visible), whether standing alone or alongside other social media account buttons.
Promote it in your offline marketing materials
Capitalize on the abundance of offline marketing materials you already use to leverage your blog. Include your blog URL in document letterheads, sticky notes, calendars, folders, organizers, and other printed material that you normally give to clients and prospects (either as giveaways or required documents).
Your business card, aside from containing your usual contact details, should also hold the address to your blog. After all, you never know when you’ll run into someone whose profile fits into your blog’s niche.
Connect it to your social media profiles
Increase the visibility of your blog by integrating it into your social media accounts. Each time you publish a new post, do the following:
- On Twitter: share the post’s title to your Twitter followers. Use URL shortening tools to maximize Twitter’s 140-character limit.
- On Facebook: Share a link to new blog content on your Facebook Wall. You can also connect your blog to Facebook’s Notes or to third-party RSS feed reader apps on your Facebook business page. These automatically show your visitors the latest updates on your blog to your Facebook connections.
- Promote your blog post on your LinkedIn status updates. Additionally, you can share your blog’s RSS feeds on LinkedIn groups.
If these seem like a handful to you, there are social media automation tools that help you easily publish content to all of your social media accounts.
It’s equally important to make it easy for your readers to share content from your blog with others on their network. One way to do this is by adding social networking, bookmarking, or sharing buttons after each post.
Submit it to blog directories
Another way to get your new blog noticed is through blog directories—online yellow pages that organize blogs by categories. Blog directories allow bloggers to submit their blogs for inclusion and, for blog readers, to find new or niche blogs.
By submitting your blog to a blog directory, your blog stands to gain valuable inbound links and site traffic.
Consider a press release
What better way to generate free publicity than by a well-written, informative press release?
Originally intended as a communication tool between a company’s PR staff and the media, online press releases have evolved into an effective direct-to-consumer communication tool. With the help of RSS, press releases have also become a means of attracting incoming links, via syndication.
Newsworthiness is key in crafting an effective press release. Also, getting the most out of a press release also means finding interesting, unique angles to write from. For instance, instead of just announcing the launch of your new blog, you can organize a short e-course to go with it. Furthermore, you can throw in something tempting, like waiving registration fees for the first 10 subscribers, and make this the highlight of your write-up.
A simple search of “PR submission sites” will yield hundreds and thousands of wire services, and most of these will distribute your press release for free.
There are more than 6 ways to launch a new blog, and you don’t necessarily need to shell out a fortune to get the word out. With a bit of initiative, creativity, and a whole lot of Internet savvy, you’ll be well on your way to a successful launch, and an equally successful blog.
Know of other ways to effectively launch a new blog? Share it with us.