One of the toughest parts of starting a new blog is getting some visibility.
The problem with doing your initial promotion post-launch is that at that point you have already develop a new series of activities such as content management or front-end interaction. These tasks will considerably reduce your time and resources.
What if you could instead create buzz around your blog even before its launch and before you drop a line of content in it? In this post I’ll share with you a few ways you can build hype about your launch and go live with traffic already coming in your door.
When it comes to planning, this is no different than doing so for your actual blogging in which we’ll assume you have a strategy for content generation, scheduling and stuff like that. In this case, you should also write a little pre-launch strategy.
So here are some of the ideas and hopefully you find them of value:
“Coming Soon” Landing Page
First you need to create a very simple but attractive landing page with the domain name you will be using. Until the day of the launch, this is going to act as your online hub. Don’t think of it as a dead end for your traffic, instead be creative and focus on getting people excited about it.
A plain “Under Construction” page does nothing but annoy people. Give them a little taste of what’s coming.
Start Building Your Email List
Yes, it is possible. Getting people to give you their email address is not easy even having an existing blog with lots of content, doing so for a blog that doesn’t even exist is even harder.
The main element on your “coming soon” landing page will be an email signup box to get updates on the launch of the blog. In order for this to work, it needs to be attractive enough for people to get excited. Focus on great copy and great design.
In order to start building up a name for yourself without having your own platform, you should offer to guest post on related blogs. There are a couple of things to consider here:
- Most bloggers will be happy to get a hand with content so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Try to guest post for a relevant blog. If the blog gets no decent traffic it will probably not do much for you either.
- Stay in your field. You don’t want to write for your direct competitor but make sure you find a blogger in your niche, where you know what your talking about and people in your industry can start recognizing your name.
Comment On Other Blogs
I’m not talking about “Hey John, great post” kind of comment, I’m talking about significant contributions to the conversation and obviously staying on topic. Remember that at this point these are the only opportunities you have to express your thoughts.
Also important is to make your comments friendly, create profiles at Disqus and IntenseDebate so you can be compatible with the rest of the planet and make sure you include your future blog address as it will be visible on every comment you make.
Build Some Twitter Muscle
Twitter will be your blog’s best friend but in order to really leverage from this relationship form the beginning is better to start tweeting in advance. Here are the main reasons:
- Twitter will help you establish relationships, by the time you launch, you will already have a small community to go to.
- Being resourceful by sharing good content in your industry will build some initial trust.
By the time you announce the launch on Twitter, people will already be listening to you.
Get Some Celebrity Hype
Announce some kick-ass content to start with a big splash, a good way to do this is by getting somebody with rockstar status in your industry to do an interview with you. There are many ways of doing an interview, it can be written or video over Skype (Read: “How To Produce Video Interviews For Your Blog Using Skype“) if there is some distance in between but if you have the chance to do this interview physically present, you can very easily go for a very nice quality product without losing your shirt.
Last year I saw a couple of blogs do this successfully by leveraging from Gary Vaynerchuck’s popularity.
The good thing is that these kind of leaders in your industry usually need the exposure too, see who’s getting a book published for example. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Give Stuff Away
Another way of getting attention is by giving stuff away, nobody cares if you have published any content if you are giving something for free. Don’t think you need to give away an iPad, you can also do other interesting things like a few copies of a good book related to your niche.
Contests are very powerful if you know how to ask for something in exchange. You can ask people to follow you, to subscribe or to simply tweet to participate but the point in this particular case is to get your blog on the map. Read my post “How To Run Successful Contests On Twitter” to get some ideas.
I can already see your face now. A lot of people won’t even consider this but let me tell you that Facebook ad campaigns not only can be very affordable but you have full control of daily limits and even when to stop, there are no long-term commitments.
Even if the campaign is a failure, it is good that you become familiar with these kind of things and get some experience under your belt. After all, this is a testing game.
Ask For Help!
Yes, believe or not, getting help is also on the menu. Ask your peeps to help you amplify the message. Everybody can get some additional support. To give you an example, every time I have an interest on promoting something online, even if it’s not myself, I have the @nakedelephant (my wife), my team at the office and a few online relationships ready to spread some love.
Depending on who you got in your corner or how much support, the message can be easily amplified by 10 times or more…
Your Turn Now…
Share some others ideas, other methods you have used in the past or seen other people do successfully. What was your experience launching your blog?
Or… If you are planning on launching your blog soon, ask any questions!