You’ve done it! You’ve launched your blog into the big, wide scary web.
After launching your blog, you’ve probably gone through a roller coaster of emotions and had a million thoughts race through your mind.
Now that you’ve gone through all that work and your blog is out there for the world to see, it’s time to get some blog readers and to start making some money.
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Promoting Your Blog Posts
You may have heard the saying, “If you create it, they will come”, but I’d like to suggest that this saying isn’t entirely true. In fact, for bloggers, it’s probably not true at all.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but people will not just miraculously find your blog and tell their friends about it. You need to be actively promoting your blog.
But don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as you might think. And it certainly doesn’t have to involve emailing and Facebook messaging all of your friends and family to beg them to read and share.
Here are some easy tips for getting traffic after launching your blog:
Choosing Social Media Platforms
As you probably know, social media platforms are some of the best places to find potential blog readers. People find and share blog posts on social media all the time.
Social media also gives you a way to build an audience that will return to your content again and again. You simply have to gain followers.
(Important note here: Social media followers are not guaranteed. You don’t own your followers or their information and they can all disappear in a day. This is why it’s so important to also have an email list… see below.)
As you start marketing your blog through social media, I recommend picking just one or two platforms to focus on at first. If you pick too many platforms, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed.
If I may, I’d like to suggest that you start with Pinterest (which isn’t technically a social media platform) and one of the following social media platforms:
Because Pinterest is actually a search engine, not a social media platform, your ideal audience can find your pins without even following you. All they have to do is search for a term related to your content and your pin will pop up!
This makes Pinterest the BEST place to get quick traffic when you’re just starting out.
When I started my blog, I had no idea what I was doing, but I easily got 100 blog views in my first month simply by pinning my content on Pinterest.
That number shot up to 1,000+ pageviews the next month and 4,800+ the month after that. And, no, none of those views were from my mom, sister, or best friend.
Why Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all similar platforms, but have some different strengths and weaknesses and appeal to different audiences.
Choosing just one of these platforms to begin with will allow you to become an expert on that platform and not spread yourself too thin.
Here are some reasons you might choose each:
- Facebook – One of the best features of Facebook is Facebook groups, which allows you to create a community for your audience where you can easily engage with them. You can also use others’ Facebook groups to promote your business and share your brand.
- Instagram – Instagram is great because it’s highly visual and is the preferred social media platform of younger generations. If you enjoy taking photos and have used Instagram in the past, you may decide that Instagram is where your audience is and where you want to connect with them.
- Twitter – Twitter is much less visual than Facebook and Instagram, making it a better platform for blogs that are a little more professional. Twitter is probably not the best option for a blog with a personal brand, but could be a great option for blogs with a very specific niche, since it’s an easy place to connect and share with other similar brands and influencers.
Regardless of which platform you choose, after launching your blog, it’s important to show up consistently on that platform. Build out your account and brand in a way that draws people in and makes them want to hear more from you.
SEO = Search Engine Optimization
If you haven’t heard of SEO already, it’s basically the way that people will find your blog on Google.
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing your blog and blog posts to be found in search engines, like Google.
SEO takes quite a bit of time to take off, so it shouldn’t be your only focus for getting traffic after launching your blog. But, because it takes time for the changes you make to make a difference, it’s important to start working on SEO from the get-go.
I’m not an expert on SEO, so I won’t go into detail on it. (It’s complicated.) Instead, I’ll point you in the direction of Neil Patel’s SEO Guide, which will give you a good overview of the basics.
Starting an Email List
As I mentioned above, your social media following is not yours. It can all disappear in a day. If Facebook shuts down your account or accidentally deletes all your followers (crazier things have happened), it will all be gone.
This is why it is soooo important to have an email list for your blog.
When a blog reader gives you their email address and gives you permission to email them, their email address is yours to keep until they unsubscribe (which hopefully won’t happen).
Having an email list also guarantees that your content will be seen by your subscribers regularly.
With social media, there’s no guarantee that your followers will see your posts – the constantly changing algorithms make sure of that. And, while there’s no guarantee your readers will open your emails, there is a guarantee that those emails will arrive in their inbox, giving your content a better chance of being seen.
You don’t have to have a ton of traffic or a fancy freebie (although it’s great if you do) to set up an email list. After launching your blog, just set up an opt-in form and invite people to join your email list. You might be surprised by how many people eagerly sign up.
When starting an email list, you’ll need to sign up for an email service provider. You can find more information about how to choose a provider in one of the previous posts in this series: How to Set Up a Blog: The Technical Stuff
Making Money with a Blog
Once you have people reading your blog, it’s time to think about how to make money with your blog, if that’s your goal.
There are a few different ways you can make money with a blog.
Don’t feel pressured to use them all. Just pick the monetization strategies that feel right for you and your blog.
Having ads on your blog is probably the most common way to make money blogging when you first start out.
It’s important to note, though, that ads pay very, very little and payments are usually based on your traffic.
There are several ad companies that you can go with when you first start out, but there are also a few better-paying companies that require you to have a certain number of pageviews before signing up.
If you want to have ads on your blog, you can start with one company and then switch to a better one as your traffic grows.
One important thing to note here is that ads can drastically change the feel of your blog and can cause some people to leave your blog early if they feel overwhelmed with ads. Keep this in mind as you think about whether or not to have ads on your site.
Sponsored content is when you collaborate with a brand to promote a company or product.
You can promote them through a blog post, email, or social media platform, depending on what you and the brand agree upon.
Unlike ads, the payment you receive for sponsored content is not as dependent on how many pageviews you get. You will be paid a set amount upfront, regardless of how many people ultimately see the promotion.
This can be a great source of revenue for bloggers. Just be careful to only partner with brands that you truly love and can whole-heartedly promote. Your audience will begin to lose trust in you if you start promoting less-than-stellar products.
Like sponsored content, affiliate marketing is when you team up with a brand to promote a specific product to your audience.
However, with affiliate marketing, you are paid only when someone from your audience actually purchases the product. At that point, you receive either a percentage of the purchase or a set amount, depending on the rules of the affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money as a new blogger because it requires less time than sponsored content and creating products and provides a bigger payout than ads.
It’s also easier to find affiliate marketing opportunities than it is to find brands who are willing to collaborate for sponsored content.
If you’re looking to get started with affiliate marketing, try some of these common affiliate programs:
I’m listing products last because they take the most time and energy and are probably not the first monetization strategy you want to use as a new blogger.
However, once you’ve established an audience and have an email list, creating a product can be the best way to create sustainable and scalable income through your blog.
Because it’s your product, you get to keep all of the revenue when someone purchases the product, resulting in a higher payout than other monetization strategies.
Creating a high-quality product can also increase your audience’s trust in you and lead you to be seen as an expert on a particular topic, which can increase your revenue from other income streams, as well.
Digital products, like ebooks and online courses, are the easiest to sell online and require little to no overhead costs, but you can also use your blog to sell physical products.
Everything You Need to Know to Start a Blog Series
If you’re still working on setting up your blog, go check out the other posts in this series for a step-by-step guide that includes everything you need to know to start a blog.
One Last Note
Launching your blog is no easy feat and the work doesn’t stop once it’s launched. I hope these tips have given you a good idea of what to do after launching your blog and how to get traffic and make money with a new blog.
As always, I’m happy to answer to any questions you might have. Just drop your blogging questions in the comments!