You’re doing it, you’re really doing it.

You, my friend, are blogging. High fives!

Ok, so you’re developing a routine. You’ve blocked some time in your calendar to be writing on the regular. You’ve got a growing list of story ideas. And you’ve crafted the first tight, bright post your audience is going to eat up. Now you’re ready to share. And the last thing you want to do is hit the big SEND button and then… crickets.

Here are a few simple ways to maximize your post to get the looks, likes, clicks and follow-through it deserves.

Social Media

Blogging is a super-strategic way to centralize your marketing efforts, using posts as the foundation of your social media activity. From one blog, craft at least three individual social media posts. Use a snappy quote, a question relating to the subject, or a version of the headline for your caption. Tailor the post to the platform: what works on Instagram might not be simpatico with LinkedIn.

Include the link to your post, of course. And don’t forget to tag any people or brands you mention in the blog, or who deserve mention.

Email

You don’t want to rely solely on social media to promote your posts. The platforms essentially own your followers and control access and exposure with their opaque algorithms.

Blogging is a great way to build your email list, which is essentially a roster of potential leads. With this list, you can distribute your posts directly to an engaged audience.

Don’t have an email mailing list? Don’t worry. This is actually the perfect time to start one. I use MailChimp to build my subscriber list. It’s free and easy.

Here’s how it works: whenever I’ve got a new post up on my blog, I’ll let my email list know. Often, I’ll paste the entire blog in the body of the email message, so followers who don’t want to click out of their inbox can read it there. I also add a link to the post for anyone who prefers to read on a website.

Once you start building your list, you can even craft email sequences of three to five messages for each blog post. Deliver unique messaging and value in each email, but always relating back to the one post. Efficient!

And in your email message, always ask your followers to share and comment on your post. Hey, they already subscribe to your list, so they’re likely fans.


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Sign-Up Forms

You want to encourage visitors to your blog page to subscribe to your email list. In the middle of a post, at a natural break in your copy, add a call-to-action to subscribe, and embed a sign-up box. You may also add sign-up boxes at the end of the post. Again, Mailchimp and other email subscriber software make it easy to embed sign-ups.

Encourage Sharing

One of the best ways to build your profile, reach new eyeballs and grow your subscriber list is to encourage your readers and followers to share your post on their social media.

All the major blogging platforms have simple plugins that make it easy for your followers to share either the whole post (as with a social sharing button). And a “Click To Tweet” widget lets them share a quote or idea.

Signature

Add a link to your blog post in your email signature to keep building followers.

Work Your Network

With every post, think of five to 10 people – clients, colleagues, friends, peers – who might enjoy and share it. Reach out to them. You can also create a peer support network with other bloggers and content creators to share each other’s work. A word of caution: You have to be willing to return the favour when they have something to share. Choose only those whose work is relevant and appropriate to your audience. It has to deliver value. Otherwise, you’re going to annoy – and lose – followers.

Keep the Conversation Going

Writing and sharing the post is not enough. It’s like gardening: You don’t just pop the seeds in the ground and expect a bumper harvest. You must tend to your post. That means being responsive to comments, questions, shout-outs and shares.

And remember: this engagement is gold. From the comments, you’ll see exactly what your audience cares about the most. And there you have it: ideas for future posts. You’re on your way!