Today’s task for the 31 Day ProBlogger Challenge is more involved than the day #2 assignment to write a list post. The assignment is to choose a particular post and promote. Rowse suggests 11 promotion techniques. Fortunately, he says right up front, “Don’t use them all with every post you write.” Whew!
With this assignment, I’ve applied selected recommendations to my list post about educational family games. Once these have settled, I’ll analyze the short-term results.
- Pitch Other Bloggers:
I’ll take a minor attempt at this. I submitted the post to BlogEngage and in the comment section I asked others to link to it. In return I offered a link back from this article. No response so far.
- Social Messages:
My blogs are set up to automatically post a notice to my FaceBook and Twitter accounts. I also put in a short-term FaceBook status asking my “friends” to add their favorite games.
- Social Bookmarking:
I’ve never spent much time with most of these sites. As I said, I submitted the post to BlogEngage and I submitted it to StumbleUpon, too.
- Internal Links:
Although I was skeptical about finding anything workable, I actually found one Pix2Brix post that had the words “educational games” and another with the phrase “playing games.” I linked both back to my post. And I might as well do it here, too.
I just set up a Pix2Brix newsletter subscription. Once I actually have subscribers I plan to send a monthly newsletter.
- Other Blogs’ Comments Sections and Forums:
This post appeals mostly to parents. Homeschooling parents, as a subset, are particularly interested in educational games. So I commented on three homeschool specific blogs and linked my name to the specific game post rather than just my home page, as I usually do. I did not throw try to slip in an in-comment link (usually tacky and a way to get your comment moderated and/or trashed).
In addition, I found a few CommentLuv enabled blogs that (1) I was interested in and (2) had potential readers. I posted a few comments — after I actually read the entire post.
- Email Signatures:
I’m on a few email lists for homeschoolers. I’ve been on them for years and know the folks so rather than just use a signature, I told them about the post and sent a link. This works for lists of people you have a long-term relationship with and when the link is on topic.
For a few days I’ll also add a direct link to the games post in my signature. I don’t post to lists a lot, but it can’t hurt.
- Followup Posts:
While not exactly a followup post, I have written Best Toys Roundup that lists and links back to all my previous posts in the Best Toys series.
- Advertise Your Post:
Not going to spend any money to promote this with AdWords et. al.
- Pitch Mainstream Media:
No opportunities that I know of and the post isn’t worthy of such a move.
- Article Marketing:
Wow. I haven’t done article marketing in years. Generally I’ve preferred to spend my time writing for my own blogs. But in this case — for this exercise — I decided to go all out and do an targeted games article.
Dusting off my EzineArticles account was more involved than I thought. My account had been suspended because the email address listed wasn’t valid. I updated my email and sent them a message, but it took two days to clear (that could easily be automated). I also forgot how much I hate their interface. The “resource box” — the article field in which you can actually link to your own sites — creator, for example, get this, doesn’t allow you to paste or even insert text. If you mess up a single character, you have to delete everything back to that point and start over. (What genius thought that was a good idea?) These programmers need to take a look at, say, WordPress.
Finally, I looked for an alternative. Turns out I had an unused account at SelfGrowth, so I popped over there and whipped up a post. The interface is much nicer and the theme of the site fits mine.
Unfortunately, they also have a significant lag time between posting and approval (and their FAQ info on the issue contradicts itself). So I have an article that’s been waiting for two days and counting.
These 11 solid steps to promote a blog post have the potential to bring traffic for months or years. But in the short-term it has also given the post a boost. The first and second days after I posted, Pix2Brix got the second highest traffic ever on the blog (an actual tie on those two days) and the family games post beat out the home page two days running.
The third day, traffic dropped back to a rate that is only very slightly higher than normal.
As times goes on, I’ll update the comments here to reflect how this extra promotion has (or has not) made a long-term difference in traffic and/or conversion.