Ever been in a new city?
Or in a party where you didn’t know a single soul.
Your heart pounds. You feel fake.
You get a few weird looks.
A couple of smiles.
Majority of people walk on without giving you so much as a second glance.
That’s how it feels when you and your blog are brand new.
It’s daunting, intimidating and downright demoralizing.
Maybe your stuff is good. You’re also working terribly hard.
But the horrible thing….No one knows you even exist.
Because everyone’s voice is screaming for attention.
Why is yours any more important than the voice who has been at this a year or 3 years longer than you?
Trust me–I know how you feel.
I’ve had days where I wanted to throw in the towel.
Days where I’ve wondered if all the hard work was worth it.
In this post I’m sharing 9 things that I did and learnt about how you can get your blog noticed even when it’s brand new.
I also want to answer a variation of the same question that several people have been asking me recently:
Did you have a blog before? It doesn’t look like you’ve been blogging for only this short a time.
There’s nothing spectacular or ingenious about any of these things I’m going to suggest.
They’re not going to get you 10,000 page views or subscribers in the thousands.
These are practical, simple steps that could help put your blog on a strong upward trajectory even when it’s newly minted.
#1 Write exceptional content
Not every piece of blog post is going to be a masterpiece. And that’s fine.
And there are at least 1000 people who have already written about your topic.
But ask yourself these questions
1. Does it add to the conversation that’s already out there?
Have a look at your niche.
Has this been said before?
Will this piece make a contribution to the existing content on this topic?
2. If you think it’s better, in what way?
You post doesn’t have to be long.
I know Google loves long form content.
But the word count doesn’t matter as long as your content serves your audience.
Bernadette Jiwa is the author of The Story of telling.
Her posts are at most 500-700 words. They are pithy and thought provoking. Her content serves its purpose.
So don’t think of better in terms of word count.
Think of better in terms of an angle, perspective or a new strategy.
3. Does your audience need to hear this perspective right now?
Is it aligned with what your audience needs?
- What objectives or personal goals do they have?
E.g. To get noticed online. To earn some income from her blog. To turn her blog into an online business
- What’s preventing your ideal reader from achieving the desired change?
E.g. Lack of time. Information overwhelm. Shiny object syndrome.
- What mistakes is she making and what can she do about it?
E.g. Focusing on wrong strategies for different stages of her blogging journey.
- What mental block does she have to overcome?
E.g. Believing she is not an expert. She has nothing of value to contribute.
If you can justify the existence of your post on most of these grounds, then go for it.Does your content add to the conversation that's already out there? Or is it noise?Click To Tweet
#2 Have a POV
In every niche there’s a social conversation.
These could be simple discussions about:
- Whether you agree on the usage of pop-ups
- Do you like the idea of having premium courses
- Your take on whether you believe in having a newsletter or not
- Do you believe in long form or short form content?
- Your take on list building
- Is guestblogging dead or not
- Ads to grow your list. Yay or nay
Your perspective on these topics determines the type of content you’ll write about.
You want to build your stature in your niche or community as someone who believes in certain things.
If you’re not sure what your stand is, don’t be afraid to say you don’t know.
Don’t rush in to follow another person’s point of view.
You can’t be seen as a flip-flopper.
So pick a stand and write an opinion piece about it.
This post here was the 4th blog post on my blog and has been shared several times.
I’ve also had lots of emails from readers telling me how much the post resonated with them.
Validate your points with screenshots, figures and research sources.
If you have your own stats to prove your case, use them.
You may repel some readers away.
But you’ll also attract the right people–the type of people you want on your list and community.
#3 Pick your mentors wisely
First ask yourself, what do you believe in?
If you were a blogging personality who would you be?
Whose values and teachings do you connect with?
It doesn’t have to be a single person.
It could be a mixture of people.
Learn from them. Study what they do.
But here’s the thing…learn to differentiate between who you admire and who you want as your mentor?Learn to differentiate between who you admire and who you want as your mentorClick To Tweet
You can admire certain people but their way of doing things may not gel with the direction you want to chart.
And this is so important.
Because if someone’s teachings are not aligned with what you believe in and you choose to follow their strategies either way..
…you’re going to feel terribly misguided and miserable.
#4 Choose to give. The world smells a taker from a mile away – so don’t be one
How many times have you dropped your link in a Facebook promo thread and got on with your busy life?
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m guilty of this at times too.
But in blogging, the more you give the more you get back in return.
Promote others freely.
Share their work and give them praise.
Even if you’re in the same niche or have the same audience.
Keep a handful of Facebook groups that you are active in.
Contribute to the conversations.
They dropped me an email to tell me they enjoyed my lead magnet.
They had both been blogging for a lot longer than I was but took the time to connect.
Be Suzi or Candis for someone. Reach out to your peers.
Help them out without expecting anything in return.
And celebrate their successes.Choose to give. The world smells a taker from a mile away-so don't be one.Click To Tweet
#5 Be specific about HOW you can help
‘Let me know if I can help in any way.’
Have you been throwing that statement around?
It’s all well and good that you’re helpful…
…But how exactly can you help.
This was the mistake I was making till very recently.
I offered my peers help but I wasn’t telling them exactly HOW I could help.Being helpful is good. Being specific about how exactly you can help is better. Click To Tweet
It’ll be a lot easier for your peers to ask you for help if they knew what you could help with right?
What areas are you good at?
What themes does your blog anchor on?
For example, mine would be: 1. How to craft a strategic online presence and 2. email marketing.
Tell them you could help in these areas.
#6 The old school method that still works
Are you wondering what that is?
Commenting on other blogs.
I told you. It’s not game changing.
And this is NOT going to help you get a load of traffic or subscribers.
That’s not the intention.
The intention is to put yourself out there. To show that you can make a valuable contribution to the conversation.
And you can’t do that by posting another ‘me-too’ comment.
The ‘great post’…’good job’ type of comment.
To be noticed online, your comment has to add to the conversation.
Your comment has to be ‘head turning’.
Because a reader might decide to drop by your blog after reading your comment, like it did here.
Before we look at how to make a head turning comment, you ideally want to be one of the first few to comment on an influencer’s site.
How to be the first few to comment on an influencer’s site
At times by the time you make it to a popular blogger’s site to read their post, there are over 30 comments…
And you wonder if it really matters if you comment.
Because you’re not going to have anything to add to the conversation since the 30 people before you have already done so.
Here’s how you can get in on the action when the post is still fresh:
I do most of my blog reading from Feedly.
So, I created a separate category of all the bloggers I’d like to connect with.
Then in IFTTT, I run the recipe below.
What this does is that it sends me an automatic email notification when there is a new blog post from one of the blogs in my chosen category.
But that doesn’t mean I comment on all posts I get a notification for.
I only comment if I can add to the conversation and it’s a topic I genuinely am interested in.
The art of a commenting
This is something I learnt from Kevin Duncan from Be a better blogger.
1. The greet
Always address your host. If it’s a guest blogger address your host and the guest blogger
2. Give a compliment raising a particular point about the post that you liked or intrigues you
3. Here’s where you give your take and add to the conversation
Is there a different perspective?
Is there a point they missed out?
Or you know of a free tool or app that could make something they mentioned easier
4. Thank them again and let them know you’ll be sharing this (if you are)
Here are some examples of how I put these steps in practice through the comments I’ve made on other blogs.
There's an art to commenting. Don't make another 'me too' comment.Click To Tweet
Don’t be the unknown avatar
Maybe yours even does.
Blog comment systems like DISQUS require a log-in via facebook or twitter and your image gets pulled from these accounts.
But other comment systems pull your image off Gravatar.
So, if you don’t have an image on Gravatar, you’re not going to be recognized as the face of your brand no matter how valuable your comment is.
You can learn how to set-up a Gravatar account at this post
#7 Guest Post on Authority Sites
Not as revolutionary as you were expecting right?
I’ve had 12 guest posts accepted these past 2 months. Some published some in queue.
I can’t guarantee you’ll get lots of subscribers from guest posting.
There are sites from where I’ve gotten less than 10 subscribers and some where I’ve got more than 50.
But it gets you noticed.
Your content shines for what it’s worth.
You also get invited to contribute to Roundups like I did by Philipscom. Here’s a link to the original post: 130+ Experts Spill Their Productivity Secrets‘. (It was also republished in the Huffington Post here.)
It positions you as an authority and expert even when you don’t have the years to show for it.
And when you do guest post, be thankful and respectful.
The host has lent you the platform that they’ve built.
Follow their guidelines.
When people take the time to leave a comment, reply to every every single one.
Even if the host responds to the comment.
It’s a nice gesture and gives you an opportunity to build a relationship with the host.
No, guest posting is not the only way to build your online presence or subscriber base.
There’s no denying that some people have become highly successful without doing a single guest post.
Choose what’s right for your path.
Related: Mary Fernandez has a giant index of guest blogging opportunities you can opt-in to.
#8 Invest in yourself and your blog
You can write exceptional content. but if your site looks like it’s from the 1980s, you’re not going to be taken seriously.
Go the self-hosted route and get a premium theme.
Have a look at my resources page for the tools and plugins I’ve used for this site.
There are also basic steps you need to take to get your website ready and ‘visible’. You can grab a copy of the checklist below.
What course do you need for this stage of your blog?
It’s not what you think you need…but what will move the needle for you in the stage of growth you’re at with your blog.Choose a course that will move the needle for you in the stage of growth you're at with your blog. Click To Tweet
Do you need a Pinterest course because you’re tackling social media?
Do you need a copywriting course because you’re not able to articulate your thoughts clearly?
Is wordpress holding you back?
Pick a course that you have an urgent need for.
Finish it and then move on.
#9 Let them pick your brain and be thankful
Charge your worth. Absolutely.
But you have to earn the ‘ask’.
There’s no set formula for how many emails you need to send before the ‘ask’.
Ask yourself: Have you provided enough value to warrant an ask?
Offer to help people.
Drop a note to some of your subscribers out of the blue to ask them how they’re doing.
There’s a person behind the email address and you’ll be surprised how many people are touched by your simple gesture.
Reply to all your twitter mentions in a timely way.
Reply to each and every single person that comments on your blog.
Need I say more?
Simple, old-school and unspectacular methods to get your blog noticed online
That’s what these 9 steps are.
But they work.
There are no short-cuts to getting noticed online.
You’ve got to put in the hours and the hard work.
And if you do, I guarantee your blog’s growth will surpass your expectations whether it’s 3 or 6 months old.
If you’re looking for a place to start, download the checklist below.
Share your thoughts
What’s your biggest struggle in getting your blog noticed? Tell me in the comments below.