Monday, December 1, 2014

The Quandary of Self-Promotion

When you're a new blogger, sometimes self-promotion is all you have. But how do you do that without annoying the ever loving crap out of everyone? I don't have all the answers, but let's have a chat.

The issue with blogging is that before you become big and have your blog or YouTube channel spread via word of mouth or recommendations by your viewers and readers, you're going to have to be the one doing the hustling. And believe me, a lot of people do not appreciate it. Reddit, for example, is one of the highest traffic websites in the world and anything that smells remotely like self-promo will immediately get a rude comment and a downvote. Sometimes, if you're promoting a YouTube channel, people will go and downvote every one of your videos just to prove a point. That isn't very helpful when you're struggling to get eyes on your content. And a struggle it is.

Although some websites may not have anti-self promo policies and simply dislike self-promotion, others will simply not allow it at all. Recently, I included a link to one of my blog posts on a forum I frequent as I thought it might be helpful to those who were navigating that particular topic. It was labeled "blogspam" and I was chastised by the group moderator, which leads to a frustrating experience. Sometimes, they will have policies that allow you to copy and paste your blog post, but not to your blog itself. Great, people are reading your words, but you're not getting butts in the seats at your blog, so to speak.

So what are ways to self-promote without breaking the rules or annoying people? That's the tricky part. Here are some things I've done that have helped, although this list is by no means exhaustive.

-Joined forums that welcome self-promotion
This issue with this, however, is that your posts often become lost in the shuffle. If everyone is yelling "read my content!" then no one is reading each others and it becomes a bit of a waste of time.

-Joined Facebook groups that welcome self-promotion for similar blogs
This may not gain you a ton of readership, but you can guarantee you're putting your blog posts into a "hat" with other bloggers. Often, I find great new content as I'm sharing mine. Participating in the blogosphere is really an exchange of ideas, not just hoping everyone flocks to you, so it can do you good to find some new blog crushes as well.

-Joined forums that allow blog links in the signature
While you're being a little more subtle with this one, if you participate enough, it will lure a good amount of people to your blog--particularly if you are posting on subjects similar in nature to your blog. But you genuinely have to participate, not just ask people to view your blog, so it is best if the subject is interesting to you.

-Giveaways, giveaways, giveaways
I participate in giveaways hosted by other high traffic bloggers as well as host my own. Promoting your giveaway on a site like Giveaway Promote or Money Saving Expert (UK or Worldwide giveaways only) will garner you tons of new readership and subscribers. Two of the most important subscriber bases to grow, in my opinion, are your Bloglovin' and YouTube (if you're a YouTuber). Twitter is also helpful, but I see the most traffic from Bloglovin'. However, this option usually requires you to spend a little money (for the prize pack and a listing on Giveaway Promote). If you are unwilling to do so, then your blog may grow a little bit slower, but it is up to you!

-Go rogue
Someone once told me to tap dance the line between being annoying and and assertive to show people you are there. This may mean posting on sites that frown on self-promotion and going for broke. For example, some people have been very successful with self-promo via Reddit (my Kate Middleton articles  have gone over very well there), but it depends on the culture of the subreddit and if people seem to be annoyed by self-promotion. I may try and write about promoting on Reddit at a later date.

What are your strategies? What do you think of self-promotion and what has and hasn't worked for you?


YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Facebook for My Books | Mailing List | Bloglovin'

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean with this post - I try to still to promo-friendly means and not be annoying as well as not just trying to force my blog on everyone else but not giving back (so I always check out other people's blogs too) xx

    Jasmine // Magpie Jasmine

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