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How to Promote Your Blog for Ethical Bloggers

promoting your blog

New to ethical blogging? Here’s my advice for ethical bloggers and influencers on how to promote your blog posts.

I’m back with the final installment of my Green Blogging series.  This last part is about how to promote your blog and blog posts.  It’s a bit of a long one so I’d advise brewing a cup of tea before sitting down with this one.

And if you’re not interested in blogging then do come back tomorrow for a return to normal services – or try out these posts from my archives – a Cornish house tour, how to make fresh food last longer, and sell your crap, pay your debt, do what you love (a favourite of mine)!  No more blogging chat after this post, I promise!!

The Best Places to Promote Your Blog Posts

I promote my blog posts through a variety of different channels. I don’t like to keep all my eggs in one basket, and promote in one place only, because things can change on the internet so quickly.  As a blogger, it’s important to be flexible and try and keep abreast of social media trends. 

Granted, it’s not easy. Especially, if like me you just blog in your spare time. However, it can just be a case of looking at your Google Analytics figures every so often. Here it’s easy to see if traffic from one source is declining or increasing compared to others so that you can see where to more effort into promoting your blog.

how to promote your blog posts

Pinterest

One of the main sites I use to promote my blog posts is Pinterest.  I pin my own content to Pinterest but I also pin other relevant content from other sites. This means that my Pinterest boards can act as a useful resource for anyone interested in the different aspects of green and ethical living, and not just be a place for self-promotion.

Pinterest is a great place for ethical bloggers to promote blog posts. This is because Pinterest has the added advantage in that your posts tend to stick around.  With Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, posts disappear after a couple of hours. This is because these sites prioritise new content.  With Pinterest content sticks around as people search for content and pin and repin time and time again.  Some of the biggest sources of traffic to my site from Pinterest are images I pinned two years ago that just keep popping up time and time again.

My top Pinterest tips are:

  • Create Pinterest-friendly graphics for your blog posts. I.e. take vertically orientated photos rather than horizontal ones. This is because vertical photos are more visible on Pinterest.  The photo above is a good example of a Pinterest friendly graphic!
  • Installing a ‘Pin it’ button on your website, that appears over your photos helps to make it easier for people to pin your photos.  I use the official Pinterest WordPress plugin for this. It’s really simple to add to your site.
  • When you pin photos to Pinterest write a rich description so that people can find your pins easily.
  • Join group Pinterest boards and share content on there.
  • Don’t just pin your own content – share others too.

It might sound like a full-time job, but once you’re used to Pinterest best-practice it becomes second nature to optimise content for Pinterest.

blogging tips

Facebook

I used to get a lot of visitors from Facebook, then it fell quite dramatically when Facebook introduced paid for advertising.  What happened is that Facebook now only shows your Facebook post to a small percentage of your Facebook fans. You can then pay to show your Facebook post to either the rest of your fans, or to a wider audience. In short, Facebook is not brilliant for promoting your ethical blog posts.

Paid for advertising works ok if you’re a business wanting to promote a particular product that you’re selling. However, when you’re a blogger wanting to promote a blog post that you’ve written that doesn’t make you any money then it’s not particularly good!  That being said, recently I’ve seen an upsurge in traffic from Facebook without doing anything differently, which I cannot explain, so I’m not going to turn my back on it!

My top Facebook tips are short but sweet:

  • When you set up a Facebook page make sure it’s a community page that people can like and follow, rather than a personal page.
  • Always include an image in your post.  Facebook is quite a visual medium and an image means more people are likely to interact with your post.
  • Occasionally share your Facebook posts on your personal Facebook account. Not all the time as your friends won’t be too happy about being spammed!
  • Join some Facebook groups relevant to what you are blogging about.
  • Finally, Facebook Insights is a really useful tool. You can tell which days and times your followers are most active on Facebook. As such, you can time your posts accordingly.  Find the button at the top of your Facebook page and click on POSTS:
facebook insights

My followers are most active at the weekend around 9pm at night. This is handy to help me know when the best time to post on Facebook.

Twitter

Twitter is another useful site to promote your blog posts.  I get less traffic from Twitter than Pinterest or Facebook but that doesn’t mean I ignore it.  I still promote my posts on Twitter.

But, more than that. I also find out lots of useful information from Twitter, keep abreast of current news on Twitter, keep up with my favourite bloggers, and more.  It’s also a good site to make connections with people and to take part in blog chats.  As a blogger one of my favourite chats to join in on is Blogtacular. It’s held on the first Wednesday of the month at 9pm  (GMT) on the hashtag #blogtacular.

Specifically for ethical bloggers, a good Twitter chat to join is Ethical Hour. Chat via the hastag #ethicalhour every Monday evening at 8pm.

Twitter Strategies

A good strategy for Twitter is, as well as sharing your own content, to share other people’s content too.  It can get a bit dull when a Twitter feed is just all self-promotion!  And try to include an image if you can – posts with images tend to get more engagement than just Twitter posts with text!

If I’m feeling a bit sassy then sometimes (just sometimes) I tweet people who I think might be interested in articles I’ve written.  For example, recently I tweeted the Vegetarian Society about an article I wrote for the Huffington Post on vegetarianism, saying it might be up their street.  Not only did they share it on Twitter but they also shared it on Facebook where it got over 100 shares, over 500 likes, and sparked a lively discussion in the comments.  I don’t like to go down this route too many times as to me it seems a bit impolite and a bit too self promotion-y but very occasionally I think it’s ok.  People would soon get sick of you if you did it all the time!

Something I do though, without shame, is if I mention a company or blogger in a post then I will tweet about the article and mention them in the tweet so they know I’ve been talking about them.  I think that is definitely a-ok, and not self-promotion-y.

Twitter Tips

Can I just take a moment to point out a common Twitter mistake I often see?  Say I want to let my readers know that Ricky Gervais has been doing some great work highlighting animal cruelty.

If I tweet:

@rickygervais has been doing some great work in highlighting animal cruelty

This means only people who follow both Moral Fibres and Ricky Gervais will see this tweet.  Only 3% of followers of Moral Fibres follow Ricky Gervais so I’m really limiting the size of my audience.

But if I tweet:

.@rickygervais has been doing some great work in highlighting animal cruelty

This means all followers of Moral Fibres will see this tweet.  Can you see the difference?  All I did was make sure the second tweet started with a different character – the ‘.’ –  and not an ‘@’ sign.  You should only start a tweet with an @ sign if the tweet is a direct conversation to someone, otherwise make sure you start a tweet with a different character.

Instagram

One site I also wanted to address here is Instagram.  Instagram isn’t my favourite place to promote your blog as it wants users to stay on Instagram rather than coming off-site to view blog posts. Instagram also has a frustrating algorithm, which only rewards those who treat Instagram as a full-time job.

As such, I don’t factor Instagram too highly into my social media strategy. I share photos from the blog on my Instagram grid and on my Instagram stories. Occasionally, I will share photos I’ve taken just for Instagram, but I don’t let it dictate my life. If you use it to promote your blog posts, don’t let it dictate yours either.

Tips on Not Being Overwhelmed When It Comes to Promoting Your Blog

The above is mainly how I promote my blog posts.  If it sounds like a massive amount of work for you in promoting your blog let me share a little secret. There’s a fantastic service out there called Buffer.  It lets you schedule Tweets, Facebook update and Pinterest pins in advance.  

I write Moral Fibres in the evenings. By day I work part-time. And on the days I don’t work I’m busy with my daughter. So there isn’t really any time in the day for social media.  I regularly set aside 30 mins one evening a week to schedule these things in advance. This means I can keep a presence on these sites without it dominating my life or stressing me out!  

I also have the Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook apps on my phone. This means when I’m doing something really glamorous like sitting on the bus home from work, or standing in a queue at the Post Office, I can check in to these sites. I can then respond to people so it doesn’t look my feeds are being manned by a robot!

promoting your blog

Outside of Social Media

Outside of social media, then if you’ve got the time guest posting on other blogs is a really good strategy in promoting your blog (hint hint – I’m always open to guest posts from other ethical bloggers on Moral Fibres – just drop me an email!). Alternatively, taking part in a blog series, or writing for other sites that accept contributors is a good way to expand your reach.  Basically, anything that increases exposure beyond your own blog is never a bad thing.

My Top Ethical Blogging Tips

Before I sign off on my blogging tips series, I wanted to end with probably the two most pertinent points about blogging. It’s one that will help keep you motivated and blogging for longer:

Ignore the Numbers

When you start writing a blog it can feel like no-one else is reading.  And if you’re reading other blogs with thousands upon thousands of readers it can feel a little intimidating.  The truth is everyone has to start somewhere. And generally, in the world of ethical blogging, you start at the bottom and have to build a readership up over time.  The keywords in that sentence are ‘over time’.  There is no magic shortcut to building up loyal readers. It does comes with time (a long time).

When I first started Moral Fibres about 10 people read the blog a day – which I think were some very lovely friends and family.  Even when I posted something I thought was great, the numbers didn’t go up and I felt as if no-one was really reading.  I quickly realised that if I wanted to keep blogging I should just ignore the numbers and keep posting blog post after blog post.  If you just keep writing it means people have more chance of stumbling upon your blog – through search engines, social media or word or mouth.

After two and half years of blogging here, I have published 334 posts.  That means when someone searches the internet for something there are 334 chances my blog will show up in search results.  If you have a new blog, with only four posts there are only 4 chances your blog will show up in search results.  Search engines also take time to index your post. What’s more, it can take up to two years for a post you’ve written to appear on the first page of Google! So don’t pay too much attention to your visitor statistics – just keep posting!  People will find you!  And if you wrote a really great article when no-one was reading your blog – share it again when your blog is bigger!

Define Your Blogging Success Early On

Everyone who sets out blogging wants to have a successful blog.  It’s human nature that we want to be successful.  I’d suggest when you set out blogging that you define what you want your success to be.  Very early on in the blog’s life, I decided that success to me is having a space I enjoy writing in, and a space that you enjoy reading and enjoy coming back to time and time again.

I don’t want the blog to be my full-time income. I have an environmental job I love and don’t have any intention to be a full-time blogger.  Defining my own success means I’m judging myself on the terms I’ve set for myself. I’m and not comparing myself to others. For example, that blogger gets more page views/comments than me. Or that blogger makes more money than me). These feelings only ever leads to negativity and resentment and can burn you out faster than anything.

If by successful, you mean that you want to be a full-time blogger then do be aware that most full-time bloggers don’t support themselves just through advertising on their blog. Most have book deals, product lines, e-courses, e-books, teach classes, speak at conferences, a complimentary business, etc.  The food blog Pinch of Yum publishes their monthly income reports. It’s an eye-opening look to see how a full-time blogger makes their money, and to see just how much work goes in to being a full-time blogger.

Thanks for Reading

Hope you’ve enjoyed and found this series of ethical blogging tips useful!  I think I’ve exhausted all of my blogging pearls of wisdom now. However, if you have any other ideas on how to promote your blog and blog posts then do let me know in the comments below.  

As this is my third and final post on blogging, I think I’ve shared everything you could ever want to know on blogging, but if there’s anything you’ve felt I’ve missed then do also let me know in the comments and I’ll address them there rather than in a future post.

ps: in case you missed it, here’s how to set up an ethical blog, my tips on ethical blog post writing.

Resources

Blog Post Writing Tips for Ethical and Eco Bloggers

writing a blog
writing a blog

Looking for blog post writing tips for eco and ethical bloggers? I’ve got you covered!

The second and penultimate part of my mini-series about green blogging is about coming up with ideas for blog posts (perhaps the hardest part about blogging!). I’ve also got some useful tips for ethical blog post writing.

Coming Up With Post Ideas

The thing about blogging is that you have to keep coming up with ideas of what to blog about on a daily basis. I’m not going to lie, sometimes that can be really hard!  Sometimes you feel like you’re full of good ideas. And other times your mind feels completely empty and you’re questioning why you even write a blog in the first place!

Brainstorming Sessions

To help overcome writer’s block I normally have a brainstorming session every other month. Here I sit down away from my computer and have a think about what I would like to blog about. 

Over a cup of tea, I come up with a list of ideas for blog posts. I find it really handy to have this list in the bank, so to speak, for whenever writer’s block strikes (surprisingly often!).  For example, this post on things you’ve always wanted to ask a vegetarian was born out of a brainstorming session.

Regular Series

It can also be really useful having a regular series on your blog to help plan out content.  For example, I post at least one Your Ethical Style post a month. As well as that I’m currently posting a What’s In Season This Month post. Having these regular features really helps take pressure away from having to keep coming up with new ideas!

Other times inspiration just randomly strikes and I write a post then and there.  For example, one day my bus went past a Co-Op Bank, and my mind started to think about ethical banks. As such, that post was born out of that flash of inspiration.  Other times I’ll write a post in response to a question a reader has asked me, such as this post on can you recycle envelopes.  The moral is to be flexible, and you’ll never know where inspiration might strike!

As the blog is a bit of a mix between things I’ve researched – like plastic in teabags – and things that are going on in my life, then this makes life a bit easier for me. This is because the posts about things going on in my life happen very organically without much thought, planning or brainstorming.   Things like what’s going on our allotment, or things I’ve made recently – these are all easy posts for me to write quite quickly!

Blog Post Writing Tips

To be honest, I don’t have any prescriptive tips for writing other than write in your natural voice.  As in all parts of life, it’s much easier to be yourself than pretend to be someone you’re not.  The other real piece of solid advice I can give you about writing a blog post is to focus on your headline.  I’m a fan of writing quite descriptive headlines so that people searching for information in Google, or whatever search engine they are using, can easily find my post.  For example, this post on vegan cakes is called “Six Delicious Vegan Cakes” rather than something a bit more vague or abstract so it can easily be searched for.

The Blog Post Writing Process

My writing process varies wildly.  Sometimes I’ll have an idea and I can write the post very quickly. Meanwhile, at other times I’ll write a bit of a post and come back to it again and again over time, writing bits here and there until it’s finished.  I normally have a few different draft blog posts on the go.  It’s just how I work. You might work differently – that’s ok!

mollie makes blogging

The Mollie Makes Guide to Blogging is full of really good advice on blog post writing. Especially if you’re looking for advice on a much more structured approach to blog writing. It’s actually the only resource I own on blogging!  Sadly it’s out of stock online, but you might be able to find it in your local library or eBay?

Use Images In Your Posts

Perhaps it’s a personal preference, but I’m quite a visual person. When it comes to blogs I like to see text broken up with photos rather than just being presented with a big chunk of text.  I’m also not particularly keen on websites with tiny photos on them – so make them a good size.  It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use, or if you just use the camera on your phone – just as long as the photos are large and clear – particularly if you’re taking photos of something you’ve baked/cooked or made!

I’d also add that adding images is also essential if you want to promote your post on social media, particularly Pinterest. Or if you want others to share your post on Pinterest. But I’ll cover all of that in the next installment!

How Often Should I Blog?

How often should I blog is such a common question but one that is really hard to answer.  In short – whatever works for you.

Some people say to succeed in blogging you should be blogging every day.  I think this is nonsense. Find a frequency that suits you.  Even if you did have the time to blog every single day, 365 days a year, then 365 posts is an awful lot of things to think up to blog about, let alone write.   And blogging every day is no good if you’re just churning out rubbish just for the sake of meeting an entirely made-up target.  It’s better to be known for writing one really good post a week than seven so-so posts a week!

What Works For Me

I personally blog roughly twice a week. This fits in with my life and my other jobs and responsibilities.  If you want to blog less than this then that’s fine too. There are no rules!  

As well as writing two posts a week I also take a break occasionally. Over Christmas and if I take a summer holiday, and any other time I need to. This is because a) I’m only human, b) it’s just me writing the blog, and c) and no-one’s going to be upset (or probably even notice!) if I take a day or week off.   Blog to suit you and your life – but don’t be a slave to it!  If you’re not having fun your readers will know.  Blogging should be about having fun. I do it as my hobby, not as a job, and you should do it on your own terms – you’re the boss after all!

That’s me for this installment!  I know some of you guys found the first post on green blogging useful so I hope this post has matched your expectations! Now check out my final post on promoting your blog post. I also have some tips on staying motivated, which can be difficult when you’re an ethical blogger.

ps: missed the first installment about ethical blogging?  It’s all about setting up a blog and getting started – take a look, you might find it useful!