Blog promotion can tend to be tough, slow, tedious and at best a slog, even with Facebook, Twitter and regular posts. Highlighting your RSS feed, highlighting your social networks and maintaining everything can prove tough – at times, too much to manage any additional promotion.
Freebies, however, are a great way to deal with this problem. Rather than feeling snowed under with the weight of trying to get noticed, use the offer of a free product or gift to your readers to draw in new visitors.
What you give away is up to you. As you’ll see, there are various options open to you, so you should find one that suits your blog and your philosophy.
A Free eBook
One of the most common strategies by website owners is to give away an eBook, something that the reader can get their teeth into and appreciate. The content of such a document depends entirely on what sort of blog you run, while the length is up to you. You should be aiming for around 15 pages, however – any less and you’ll be giving away a “free report”.
If your blog is in any way connected with the business of showing your readers how to make money, then you should be looking at this sort of topic for your eBook/report. A particularly popular blog post might be the solution, for instance; a starting point for your eBook.
The idea is that you create something interesting, useful and desirable, something that will impress your existing readers and attract new ones. Don’t overlook the fact that to download your eBook you should be requesting email details from your readers, as well as their agreement that you add them to your mailing list!
A Free Email Address
If a free eBook seems beyond you, what about offering your readers a free email address?
This doesn’t have to be something you do too regularly – it might be a nice competition prize, for instance – but gives your readers the chance to be related to your blog in a way that they might never have imagined. By making the blog inclusive in this way, you get the advantage both of some free evangelizing from the email address owners and by the email address being seen by more people than before.
Offer Free Advertising
While this option might not appeal to the vast majority of your readers, you can still gain traction by associating your blog with a popular brand, one that is interested in advertising on your blog and can pay to do so – only you offer them a short period of free advertising.
Although not strictly a free gift to your readers, you can of course spread the offer of short-term free advertising to your community, perhaps enabling them to highlight their business or profession in a blog post.
If this doesn’t seem like a good idea, arranging a free gift from the advertiser in place of cash payment for advertising might be a better option.
If your blog has a regular set of visitors who bathe in your wisdom on a particular topic, you could offer a very unique giveaway – yourself!
By sharing your expertise with a lucky winner, you get the chance to build a bit of buzz in the run up to announcing who you will be giving your valuable time to. This might be done with a phone call or web chat, perhaps personal one-to-one time via email or simply some form of remote tutoring – if you already run courses or seminars in person, you might offer a version of this, for instance.
Finally, if you’ve already considered gamifying your blog and awarding points for particular actions carried out by your readers (thanks to plugins such as CubePoints), then these can be added to with the completion of a particular task. Once your readers reach a certain number of points, they will be able to then trade these in for prizes.
Prizes might be PR material you have been sent, for instance, or Amazon vouchers paid for with some of your affiliate scheme earnings.
Conclusion: Freebies Attract New Visitors!
So what have we learned? Firstly, I hope, that free gifts on your blog will attract readers. Your existing community will share the news, bring in new people who will again share… it has a snowball effect, but remember that the giveaway can only run for a particular length of time, so you will need to optimize your efforts for a one or two week period.
Also, however, you should have learned that although your blog is full of great content, so are you! As your blog grows, so do you. You should be absorbing the content and reflecting the persona of the blog, just as your blog reflects you.
What could be better than rewarding lucky visitors with some special aspect of your expertise that you haven’t yet shared?