By Sherry Gray published July 15, 2015

5 Ways to Extend Your Blog’s Reach and Grow Your Audience

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You may not be a superstar with a giant audience. So how can a person with a relatively small following generate big buzz over a new post? Follow these five tips.

1. Choose links carefully

While you’re adding value to your post, why not choose links that boost your reach? Look for quality posts about related subjects written by people who are likely to share your post. Excellent link choices:

  • Are written by active promoters or hosted on sites with active social media teams
  • Add value to your post
  • Are hosted on high-quality blogs with related focus to your host blog

How does this help extend your reach? Promoters promote. Let people and sites know you have mentioned them in your post, and they will amplify your content marketing (you don’t even have to ask). You can add their reach to your own. It’s a win-win for everybody.

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Quote and photo courtesy of @robinsonwriters, president of Posts by Ghost

Start-ups and small-business blogs are often full of great information your readers want to see and they love the publicity.

2. Use competitive intelligence to choose topics

As marketers, you probably use competitive intelligence to improve your marketing efforts. The same concepts translate easily to blogging and audience building.

With a competitor analysis tool, you can find out what topics and keywords are trending for other bloggers in your industry, what topics are most evergreen (old posts still attracting significant traffic), and who is most engaged with other bloggers. Research can help you find an irresistible headline.

Find new angles for the topics that interest the largest number of people and draw the most comments, and reach out to industry influencers on their favorite social networks. If they are interested enough to share your competitor’s posts, they might be interested enough to interact with you.

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Quote and photo courtesy of @BrittMichaelian, founder of Mass Amplify

3. Work your groups

You can’t just be part of a group. You have to be active and engaged. Join (or start) hashtag chats and professional groups related to the industry about which you’re writing and nurture those relationships. If you’re writing blog posts based on FAQs, the friends you’ve made will discuss the same subjects – and you’ll have perfect opportunities to mention your posts.

You may even have the opportunity to market in advance. “Can I quote you? I’m writing a post about that right now. It’s going to be published in a couple of weeks on ContentMarketingInstitute.com.” And now the whole group wants to read your upcoming article.

A note of caution: Use this tactic judiciously and only if it fits the conversation. If your only purpose in the group is to self-promote, you’ll be ignored … or worse, mocked. Always give more than you ask for. Offer to tweet, introduce friends, proofread, encourage, and bring the bacon. Always bring the bacon.

4. Ask influential people for quotes

No matter who they are, people love to share their wisdom and tell stories. Here’s a great quote and an even better story from Yael Kochman, marketing manager at Roojoom, that perfectly illustrates my point:

A few months ago I set my mind on interviewing Product Hunt’s community manager for the Roojoom blog. I simply reached out to her via Twitter and asked her for the interview. She accepted, and not only did the post turn into a great success, but a few weeks later she mentioned our blog as one of eight marketing blogs to follow in an article she wrote for HubSpot. She wouldn’t have discovered us if I hadn’t reached out to her. It’s all about building relationships and putting yourself out there.

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Quote and photo courtesy of Yael Kochman

5. Create original graphic pull quotes

Why settle for just quoting someone when you can make shareable images in minutes? Canva is free if you use your own images and easy enough to make you look like an expert in minutes.

Creating relevant graphics with quotes from your post encourages more people to share. In addition to the people featured in your graphics, you’ll pull in their fans, people who like the nature of the quote, and even people who appreciate a beautiful graphic.

To really give your post legs, use a WordPress plug-in such as Tweet This to emphasize points from your post. Developer John Morris recently improved the code to make it easier to include graphics. It’s still a manual process, but you won’t regret the effort. Readers will be able to send custom tweets and accompanying graphics from anywhere in your post with just a click.

Always bear in mind that you’re not just promoting a post. You’re building a brand – establishing your reputation as an authority, starting a conversation. Make sure your voice and tone are in line with the brand image and work it. Don’t get discouraged. If you do your homework and write content your audience seeks, your audience will grow.

Want to connect with your fellow content marketing professionals and learn more content distribution strategies? Make plans today to attend Content Marketing World 2015

Cover image by Nicolai Bernsten, Unsplash, via pixabay.com

Please note:  All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team.  No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).

Author: Sherry Gray

Sherry Gray is a freelance content writer from Key West, currently suffering the burbs of Orlando. Her work includes building and promoting business blogs, writing creative SEO content, and helping clients earn organic traffic. She's a science geek, a social media junkie, and an unapologetic fan of all things bacon. Connect with her on Twitter @sherisaid or on LinkedIn.

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  • http://outsprung.com Paul Manwaring

    I really like the first point as it gave me an idea on a different way to find and include other links. Typically (and i think this goes for most of us bloggers) we google the term we are trying to find a resource to. While google will return probably the most relevant and quality content it wont take into account how active these resources are on social media.

    If you can find content that is high quality, relevant to the point your are trying to make AND the writer has good percentage of retweet/sharing of other peoples content then you’ll likely have much more success.

    For my next article I’m going to try this out and find someone relevant through buzzsumo.

    • sherrygray

      Paul, it’s also a great way to engage with authoritative people in your industry. I reach out, have a great conversation, make an impression, and wind up with new contacts.

  • http://roojoom.com/ Yael Kochman

    Great post Sherry, and thanks for the mention.

    • sherrygray

      You’re welcome! It was the perfect story to illustrate the concept.

  • Alien

    Amazing tips ( techniques) over here. I’m defitnely bring that visions to my agency here in Brazil. Cheers !

    • sherrygray

      Thanks, and good luck!

  • Alice

    The topic you choose should be evergreen,content should be relevant and should contain informative matter.Good post #sherrygray thanks for sharing.

    • sherrygray

      Absolutely! Although I go with a mix of evergreen and topical – because what’s happening right now also needs attention. I author corporate blogs in several industries, and breaking political and economic issues are good ways to spark a lively debate…and in doing so, attract new visitors. I keep an eye on industry activism, emerging technology, trends…whatever people are interested in. Being a little controversial is not a bad thing 😉

  • http://www.shermansmithblog.com/ Sherman Smith

    Hey Sherry,

    The one thing I started doing last year was look for content within my niche that were getting a lot of shares and good rankings. Once the bloggers started noticing me they would come by my blog, sometimes comment and share my posts. With that said my rank and traffic kept improving. You have left some great tips here and many will benefit from them.

    Thanks for the share! Have a good one!

  • Danielle Ste. Just

    Thanks for this great article. I already do a few of the things you’ve listed. Yael Kochman’s advice may have given me the push I need to ask two authors for an interview.

  • Maggie Holley

    Hi Sherry,

    My commiseration to you ” suffering the burbs of Orlando”… esp in high summer!
    😉
    Great article on the basics.Thank You!

    I would only add that everyone needs to pay attention to their image size when loading them on their Blog.
    Google has the old ‘Page Load Time’ squarely in its sights for the ‘visitor experience’,
    especially on smaller screens/mobile.

    But.. the bottom line is (more than ever) well optimised CONTENT.

    We all need to do more of it in the unique and quality ways you list ..to be ‘heard’.
    (Note to Self!)
    Cheers
    Maggie

  • Chipsorfriesdotcom

    Great tips! I have tried promoting links but still not generating traffic