How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

a-reply-from-one-of-our-subscribers How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

After half a decade of blogging experience, I’ve learned that when it comes to promoting your blog, there are only three ways.

No matter how many listicles you browse, every tactic you see falls into one of these three categories.

You know the meme about how you need experience to get a job but you also need a job to get experience?

meme-about-work-and-experience How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

Blogging is similar—You need visitors to build an audience, but you need an audience to get visitors. Unlike the job conundrum, you can fix this by ‘borrowing’ audiences.

Borrowing an audience means finding places where your target audience already hangs out online and getting your content in front of them.

Here are some tactics you can use to do this:

Optimize your content to rank in Google

Google is the best place to borrow an audience. Search traffic is predictable, compounding, cheap, and targeted.

To get traffic from Google, you can’t write about random topics. You need to write about topics people are searching for.

Here’s how to find topics people are searching on Google:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter a topic relevant to your blog (e.g., if you own a blog about the ketogenic diet, enter ‘keto’)
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
  4. Switch the tab to Questions
matching-terms-report How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

Look through the list and see if there are any potential keywords you could target.

Once you’ve selected the topics, you’ll want to figure out why the searcher is looking for the particular keyword. Knowing this ‘why’, aka search intent, can help you create content that the searcher wants to see.

You can figure out search intent by looking at what’s already ranking on Google. The easiest way is to enter your target keyword into Keywords Explorer, scroll down to the SERP Overview, and click Identify intents. For example, if we do this for the topic “what to eat on keto diet”, we can see that searchers want a list of allowed foods on the diet.

search-intent-for-what-to-eat-on-keto-diet How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

So, when writing our article, we’ll want to align our blog post to answer the questions searchers have about this topic.

Further reading

Offer to update other people’s posts

If you can find posts on other websites that are declining in search traffic, it might only take an update to reclaim rankings and traffic. By offering to do these updates for them—and subtly linking to your content within the updated post—you can promote your blog to potentially thousands of people every month.

Here’s how you can find content that’s declining in organic traffic:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Search for your topic
  3. Set a minimum Page traffic filter (>500) so you can only target pages worth your while
  4. Toggle Filter explicit results
  5. Set a Language filter to your target language
  6. Check Exclude homepages and subdomains
  7. Set the Trends dropdown to Last year
finding-content-that-is-declining-in-organic-traff How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

Go through the list and look out for pages with declining page traffic.

For example, this article from PureWow looks like a good candidate:

this-article-from-purewow-is-declining-in-organic How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

Reach out to the editor and see if they’d be interested in updating the post. Sweeten the deal by offering to do the work for them and optimizing it to rank higher on Google, like what Irina Maltseva, the former head of marketing at Hunter did:

an-email-sent-by-irina-maltseva-to-offer-to-update How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

Share barebones posts on Reddit

There is a subreddit for almost anything. If you do it right, you can borrow Reddit’s massive audience and drive lots of visitors to your blog.

But you can’t just waltz in, drop a link, and expect to get a flood of traffic. Redditors hate advertising and marketing more than anything. If they catch a whiff of self-promotion, they will not hesitate to throw you out and ban you.

However, Reddit does love useful content. So, to bypass the hate brigade Redditors may deliver your way, share a barebones version of your content. Strip everything out, especially your internal and external links. Leave only a link back to your original post at the bottom, so anyone who’s interested can check it out.

For example, here’s what our Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Tim Soulo did on r/bigSEO:

tims-barebones-post-on-reddit How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

Four years later, this post is still one of the top posts of all time in the subreddit.

Build relationships with amplifiers

Influencers, podcasters, YouTubers, journalists, and newsletter writers will have significant audiences you can borrow.

your-content-audience-falls-into-four-groups How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)
Source: Sparktoro

But these people have an audience for one reason: They consistently share interesting and quality content—not just anything from anyone and everyone.

So, to ‘borrow’ their audience, you need to cultivate good relationships with these people. You need to practice what my friend Visakan calls ‘good reply game’.

You want to support their work: by consuming, sharing, and complimenting. But you don’t want to fawn over them (everyone does this) or sound like an AI.

me-identifying-obvious-ai-replies-on-linkedin How to Promote Your Blog (There Are Only Three Ways)

In fact, if you disagree and share your opinion intelligently but not belligerently, you will catch their attention.

Building a friendship with amplifiers doesn’t mean expecting them to share every article you publish. That’s transactional and people can smell it from far away. It’s a surefire way to lose friends.

You’ll want to share only your best work with them. Do that with no expectations. If your work is good, you’ll find that they’ll naturally share it with their audience, just like Rand Fishkin did unprompted when we published our article on podcast advertising.

If you have enough money to solve a problem, then the problem doesn’t exist.

So, reaching an audience is not a issue if you have the budget. You can pay for eyeballs via Google Ads, social media ads (e.g., Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok), or newsletter ads.

If you’re new to blogging, you may think this is out of your reach and you don’t have any budget for paid advertising. But don’t forget: No tactic is truly free. Even if you’re not using money to execute, you’re using time. And time is money.

Think about it: If you could spend $100 on an ad and drive a guaranteed 1,000 clicks, would you do it? Compare that to spending 10 hours repurposing your content for LinkedIn and leaving your fate to the algorithms. Sometimes, it makes more sense to run the ad and use your valuable time to do other things for your blog.

Further reading

Final thoughts

In blogging, all roads lead to Rome. And the “Rome” in the blogging world is owning your audience.

When you own your audience, you can reach them anytime. You’re no longer reliant on the whims and fancies of other people or algorithms.

So, even if you’re borrowing or paying for an audience, make sure to funnel those efforts into building your own audience.

Got questions? Ping me on LinkedIn.

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