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Help! How Do I Get My Blog + Brand Noticed Online?

  |   Business Tips, Classy Marketing, Reputation, Social Media Marketing   |   60 Comments

20+ Things That Get Bloggers + Business Owners Noticed Online (if you're struggling to get more followers, customers, and blog traffic, this post is for you!)

 

Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to getting people to perk up and take notice of you online?

 

Do you wonder, “How do I get more people to like my social media posts or even visit my website? It seems like I’m trying everything and no one is listening!”

 

At my office hours last week, I had A LOT of people come to me with this problem.

 

They all wanted to know how they could present their online marketing so that it was attractive. Appealing. Effective.

 

I decided to tweak and expand my advice to them in today’s post, because I feel it’s a good foundation to start building a stronger digital strategy.

 

In the weeks to come I’ll be covering the different social media networks in more depth so you’ll understand exactly how to stand out and look your best on each one.

 

(There may even be videos! Eeee!)

 

But to begin, we need to start at the beginning:

 

LET GO OF THE IMPERSONAL BUSINESS-AS-USUAL MENTALITY

 

One of the biggest things preventing people from growing their business effectively online is treating social media as a sterile, personality-free soapbox or sales kiosk.

 

Think for a moment about what makes you click “like” — or even go as far as to leave a comment! — when you get on your own personal social media accounts.

 

Do you like to see dry status updates about grants or acquisitions or donors?

 

Do you like hearing (again…and again…) about the latest and greatest sales or giveaways or contests?

 

Do you like only reading about a business’s hours, class times, daily specials, ______?

 

You may interact with that kind of post once, but if you see them over and over, what happens? Of course: you scroll on!

 

That’s because there’s nothing there to involve you, intrigue you, inspire you, teach you, or help you.

 

99% of the time you’re being talked at, not being talked to.

 

So when it comes to your own business-oriented social media presence, alwaysalwaysalways think first about the real people behind the screens.

 

How you can relate to them on a HUMAN level?

 

If you’re not receiving much feedback on your posts, I want you to take a good hard look at what you post on a regular basis.

 

My guess is that you’ve probably made it a pattern to only share info directly about your business: your latest blog post, your big sale, your lesson times, your e-course, your book, your shoots…

 

Go on. Look for yourself. (Seriously!)

 

I’ll wait.

 

Done? Okay. If I was right, I give you permission right now to break away from that.

 

It’s not working for you!

 

“Well Erika, what do you suggest I do instead?! If I’m not outright promoting my business, what DO I do?”

 

I’m so glad you asked, because I was just itching to float some ideas by you. 😉

 

(Note: I’ve indicated those platforms which are best suited to each thought with the abbreviations inside the brackets.)

 

FB = Facebook

T = Twitter

I = Instagram

P = Pinterest

LI = LinkedIn

 

1. Show off more casual, impromptu photos of you and/or your employees [FB/T/I]

 

2. Snap a shot of your desk/office/window view/bookcase/equipment/… [FB/T/I/P]

 

3. Ask your fans a friendly question [FB/T/I/LI]

 

4. Give glimpses of your in-progress projects and creations [FB/T/I/P]

 

5. Post some graphics of your favorite quotes (they should align with your brand) [FB/T/I/P/LI]

 

6. Give an opinion on a popular story currently happening in your industry [FB/T/LI]

 

7. Ask your followers to help you make your business decisions on: product development, blog post topics, e-course subjects, website graphics, etc. [FB/T/I/maybe LI]

 

8. Let people see what you’re eating/drinking at work or during your “off hours” [FB/T/I]

 

9. Share the sights around your town or on your travels [FB/T/I]

 

10. Draw attention to others’ pages by sharing their content, expressing gratitude, or giving them praise [FB/T/I/P/LI]

 

11. Draw inspiration from the popular Humans of New York route and show off snapshots + interesting quotes of the people you’re working with (you could do this with your clients & customers, your colleagues, and/or your employees) [FB/I]

 

At worst you try one of these posts and it flops. But I promise you: that’s OKAY.

 

Learning what your audience likes online is a lot like conducting a science experiment. It usually takes a ridiculous number of failures to finally discover a winning strategy.

 

The key? Always aim to show people a genuine human face.

 

In the end that’s the only way you’ll be able to reach and delight people long-term.

 

 

SUPPLY ORIGINAL CONTENT THAT’S INCREDIBLY USEFUL

 

This next point deals with getting people to your website.

 

This is your BIG goal with online marketing, friends, as it’s there where people can fully immerse themselves in your content, study your services/products, and eventually do business with you.

 

So, how do you get people to visit it, notice it, LOVE it?

 

Two golden words: valuable content.

 

Many businesses are starting to try their hand in this by way of a blog, which is super smart.

 

But the problem is that if the content isn’t useful to the point where others are:

 

A) learning something they really want to know, and B) wanting to pass it around to more people who may be your ideal clients

 

…you’re not helping yourself get noticed, help more people, and make a profit.

 

(And let’s be clear: those things are WHY we’re online to begin with, right? If they’re not, we’re expending a scary amount of effort, time, and money on something that could be better spent elsewhere.)

 

So how do you make your content valuable so people sit up and take notice? It’s not hard, but it does take thought. Let’s start here:

 

1. What do your customers care about?

2. What problems do they need solved that YOU can help them with?

 

As an example, if you’re trying to attract interest in your handmade clothing or jewelry, what kind of information might be relevant to the kind of person who buys your products?

 

Would they appreciate style and fashion tips? Or maybe they are rugged outdoor enthusiasts – in which would they love to know how to clean their jewelry after they take a spill into a muddy trail puddle? Or how best to clean their handmade clothes when they’re on an extended fishing trip?

 

If you’re a photographer, would your people want tips on how to keep the kids happy and engaged during photo shoots, what clothing looks best on what body types, how to apply makeup so they’ll look good on camera, or when is the best time in a woman’s pregnancy to take maternity photos?

 

Or if you’re a residential real estate agent, what practical guidance do people who are buying or selling a house want to know? Maybe it’s advice on choosing a realtor, tricks to getting homes sold faster or for full price, or whether there are dangers to buying a foreclosed home.

 

The last part of this equation is that the information you put out there MUST be geared toward making it easily read and easily shared.

 

Because if it’s great advice but it’s difficult to read (ie: never ending paragraphs, lack of clear direction), devoid of good graphics, and there’s no sharing buttons…guess what?

 

Yep, it won’t get passed on. And that’s sad. (Truly.)

 

So after you write your epic blog posts, go back and break up paragraphs, do some thoughtful editing, find one interesting (legal) photo or make one good graphic, and be sure you’ve installed a sharing plugin.

 

I think you’ll be wowed at the difference just those minor things can make in helping you get noticed online.

 

(Tip: If you need help with DYI’ing slick graphics, I highly recommend using Canva and scouring the free photo sites I listed on this post about avoiding copyright infringement with your website images.)

 

 

GET INVOLVED IN ONLINE COMMUNITIES AND BUILD REAL RELATIONSHIPS

 

This last point is the most important one of them all.

 

I see a lot of well-meaning people who think that if they just post links on Twitter and keep a blog, they’ll be the next Marie Forleo.

 

While I’ll be the first to say it’s a grand dream, I also need to say this: it’s not a realistic one, girlfriend.

 

Very, very few people can start something and create buzz without making a sincere, ongoing effort to collaborate and gather with others. (Nope, not even Marie.)

 

Personal contact is what you need to create business magic. (Tweet it!)

 

It’s how you start getting people’s attention.

 

Their support.

 

Their wisdom.

 

If you’re struggling with reaching people online, the best thing you can do right now to advance your business is get out there and start mingling with others.

 

(As always, I’m here to help with ideas! But I’d love to hear YOURS in the comments.)

 

1. Join a few Facebook/Google+/LinkedIn groups (with both people related to your industry and people who are your ideal customers)

These are where the conversations get more intimate and relevant. If you don’t know which groups to join, find out where your current connections and mentors are congregating and go from there. To get started, check out this list of Facebook Groups for women bloggers, creatives, and small business owners.

 

2. Participate in free challenges going on in the blogosphere (like my popular Brand Impressions Detox!) whenever you can find them

Just be sure you can take the time to be fully involved or you won’t get much out of it.

 

3. Comment, comment, comment on other blogs and their corresponding social media accounts

Many people make the mistake of only associating with blogs that focus on the same things as they do. There’s nothing inherently bad about that, but it’s a much more competitive + crowded space. Find your own ocean by expanding your presence to complementary blogs that have an audience of people who you want to reach.

 

4. Participate in Twitter chats

They’re ridiculously fun, you’ll learn a ton along the way, and you’ll gain business colleagues, fans, and followers nearly every time. One that I really like (but frequently miss – darn it!) is Mack Collier’s #blogchat on Sunday evenings. This Twitter chat list curated by Kayla Hollatz is also insanely helpful if you’re a creative.

 

5. Be active on a forum where your clients are located

For instance, if you’re a midwife, doula, or childbirth educator, seek out forums that specifically involve people from your area (such as the local boards on Mothering.com or WhatToExpect.com) and offer your assistance when appropriate.

 

AND NEVER, EVER…

 

Now, before we wrap up, I want to give you a quick heads-up to 5 things that are deadly to your engagement. Do the above, avoid these, and you’ll be on pretty solid ground:

 

1. Overpost

Too much sharing gets obnoxious, fast. People will either tune you out, mute you, or unfollow you. (What defines ‘overposting’ on each social platform varies, but generally don’t post more than 2-3x/day on Facebook and don’t automagically tweet something every 5 minutes, 24 hours a day on Twitter.)

 

2. Underpost

If you’re only posting something once every two weeks on your primary social media account, you can’t keep people’s interest. It’s hard to interact with someone who is never actually around.

 

3. Complain & Whine

At the risk of stating the obvious, if you use your business accounts to make whiny, self-righteous, irate, and/or Debbie Downer statements, your followers and current clients will want nothing to do with you. Depending on the remark, it could also single-handedly destroy your business.

 

4. Slam Your Competition

You know how people get sick and tired of negative political ads? The same principle applies to business. It’s distasteful to attack, belittle, and discredit another just to make a buck. If you do it, expect to turn a lot of people off. Permanently.

 

5. Put On A Show

Just like the cleaning product salesman who knocks on doors and then proceeds to go through a rehearsed song and dance demonstration, putting on a plastic persona and giving out things like “free webinars” only right before you want to sell something makes most people grow cynical and detached. :p Dehumanize yourself like that and don’t be surprised when people cease being interested.

 

Do you have anything to add to this post to make it more helpful to others? If so, we’d love to hear your great ideas below!

 

And, as always, a huge THANK YOU to you all for reading. If you think it would help someone else, please go ahead and share it!

 

Erika Madden

 

 

Main blog image (c) Africa Studio (fotolia)

 

 

 

OTHER POSTS IN THIS BLOG SERIES

 

Simple, sleaze-free tips to getting noticed on Facebook + a video tutorial.  Simple, sleaze-free tips to getting noticed on Twitter + a video tutorial.  Simple, sleaze-free tips to getting noticed on Pinterest + a video tutorial and free worksheet download.
 

 

The free 21 day ecourse that creates pro online impressions for business owners!

 

 

  • Whew! This is meaty! Saving this one for when I can really sit down and digest it all. Thanks for pouring on the awesome-sauce!
    {Now I’ll go grab a snack, because I’m obviously hungry…with all those food references.} 🙂

    • LOL I hope you found something good to eat!! (And yes, I know, this post was huuuuuge. Save it for when you need a good meal. 😉 )

  • Meaty is RIGHT (ditto Kirsten Thompson!) … this was great Erika! I loved the idea to offer “get to know you” posts that introduce your readers to your content easily (like HONY). Totally stealing that!

    • I love that idea, too. 🙂 (And all the credit goes to HONY.) Thanks for reading, Naomi!

  • mdcartisticdesigns

    Wonderful post Erika! I love the reference about personal contacts create business magic. I truly believe that the essence of a successful business is creating relationships with your peers, your customers, etc. It takes time to nurture your contacts on social media, but it is crucial to keep at it to succeed. I definitely need to look into Twitter chats and forums to further develop my network.

    • Marlene I could not agree more. It’s a bit harder to build a business via real relationships, yes (particularly when you’re a one-woman show) — but in the end it’s WORTH IT. I really believe it results in a stronger, more viable business and people get more out of it.

      I think you’d really enjoy Twitter chats, Marlene. There are a million of them; if you need help finding one, I’d be glad to try to help. 🙂

  • I love it – “sleaze-free!” What a great term for it. It’s easy to feel sleazy and/or cheesy online, especially when opening up your personal side, outside of your business.

    I love your suggestion to “find your own ocean…” Expanding your reach can help to not only meet more people but can sometimes inspire new ideas for products or services that help you stand out from all the others in your industry. Thinking outside of the box.

    I love Humans of New York! What a great idea to draw inspiration from their post styles to give a personal perspective into your business for your followers to engage with. I will definitely keep that one in mind!

    Great post, Erika! Thank you!

    • You touched on so many important points, Julie. Thank you as always for your thoughtful input!

      It really is easy to feel sleazy online. In part I suspect that’s because there’s a lot of rather sketchy “techniques” out there and when we try them out, we find ourselves getting the ickies. Above all I think it’s most important that we all try to be more of ourselves and stick to things that feel honest. The more authentic and real we are in everything we do to help promote our business, I think the more confident we become. 🙂

  • I loved that not only broke down how to promote on your social media accounts but also what social media accounts to post what content on. Often we get so scattered that we just say “the heck with it” and throw all our promotional content at ALL of our social media platforms at the same time. Not as affective as we had hoped. haha. Its so helpful that you broke what kind of promotions work best on what platforms. Makes it so much easier for entrepreneurs that aren’t business savvy to understand! Well done.

    ps. “And never ever!” Soooo good! This section rocked my socks off!
    pps. Dont “complaining & whine”… unless you are out of wine. Thats the only exception in my book. 😛

    • Jon, thank you so much for your awesome comment. 😀 Haha and you’re so right about just throwing everything on, well, everything. I’ve been there and unfortunately found out the painful truth: it ain’t gonna work!

      Oh, and yes. You can whine if there is no wine. I mean, who wouldn’t?!

  • That was amazing! Thank you for all that insight!!The social media info was particularly useful as I’m all over the place on that front!! My question is..you say to try and keep some of your content consistent with your branding (for quotes etc.) what if I’m not happy with it yet?! I’ve tweaked and changed it once or twice but I’m still not 100% happy! I’ve used canva, photoshop etc but with really basic knowledge so I feel like I’ve hit a wall. At the moment I’m travelling & won’t be settled again until Jan but I’m constantly reading blogs trying to educate myself as much as possible so I can really put my all into it next year! Thank you for all your hard work xxx

    • Katelynn, wow – great question! I’m know a lot of people struggle with this, so I’m really glad you asked.

      My main advice here would be to keep it tied into your website no matter what you do. So, if you change the visuals on your website, be sure you create some things that you can put up on your Facebook and/or Twitter profiles as well.

      Alternatively, you can put up a personalized photo on those networks that still represent you but don’t need to directly reflect the visuals on your website. (I talk a bit about this re: Twitter on my latest video post: http://olyvia.co/how-do-i-get-noticed-on-twitter/) That way you can keep those photos up until you get a solid visual brand established.

      It’s really important to reach a visual look that you can keep for awhile, but I know how hard that can be if you’re not an experienced graphic designer. What I would do is, if you can, save up some money for a simple, professionally designed logo. (Or perhaps do a trade of your services?) Most designers now also include the process of helping you establish a visual brand with a solid set of colors that you can then use in whatever you do. It may not be your “forever look,” but that way at least you’ll be able to have something consistent and unique to begin really establishing yourself online + in all of your marketing offline!

      (If money is really tight, you could look into places like Fiverr in a pinch. I don’t like to recommend them, but I also understand what it’s like to literally not have ANYTHING to put toward a brand initially — and if it doesn’t meet your expectations, at least you’re only out $5.)

      I hope that helps a little, Katelynn!

  • Skye

    Wow, I just wanted to ask this question today on your free office hour and then I just saw your post. 🙂 Thank you very much for this incredible and informative post. I saved it as it takes me some time to read and fully understand as English isn’t my mother tongue. I was really very concerned about that subject but now you gave me the tools. 🙂

    • You’re so welcome, Skye! I hope you find it useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

  • This has to be the most informative blogs I have ever read, I am diving into each blog post and taking so many notes! Thank you so much for this awesome post, I needed to read this as Im having a lot of doubts about putting effort into social media.

    • Marie, you are more than welcome. I hope it has helped you move forward with social media; I really believe it is a powerful tool for small businesses like ours!

  • What a juicy post Erika! So much great advice all jam packed inside. 🙂 I especially loved the part about getting involved in community and real relationships. While I’ve been reading other people’s blogs for years I never really commented on them or tried to interact with people. I’ve recently made it a point to do that and I’ve already made some new friendships + collaboration opportunities! Yay!

    xoxo
    Allison
    http://www.livelaughwonder.com

  • CAITLIN REYNA

    Really great advice. I’m noticing the longer I do it, the better I get. It just takes time and practice…something I need to keep reminding myself!

  • This is so helpful. I love the list of ideas for things to post on social media. I’m a total newbie and I needed this to get my brain churning. Thanks!

  • CreativeKhadija.com

    Great article, best info. thanks for sharing.

  • We Live Life Simple

    Great Post!! Definitely bookmarking this one.

  • Eva –

    Amazing tips! Thank you! This will really help my blog 🙂

  • Once again, you never disappoint. Honestly one of the best business/blogging blogs I’ve been to. Thanks for sharing

    http://empoweredinternetwomen.blogspot.com.au/

  • Sherry @ Wild Burr Designs

    OMG! This is a fantastic post. This is exactly what I have been looking for. I have to reread this one again making notes and put a plan into place. Going back to your blog to do more research!!
    Thank you so much for sharing such clear & concise information.

  • Wow, this is an awesome post. Definitely going to keep coming back to this one and work through it all. Thank you so much lovely. 🙂

  • Whenever I visit your blog I always find a blog post that makes me think, instead of one that just repeats the same info everyone is saying. Thank you so much for being so awesome!

  • Create a unique AD, banner that can actually stand out from the rest

  • Yaa Jecty

    wow, this is really informative and good. Thank you Erika for sharing this. Now, I know i need to go back and edit some of my articles. Bookmarking this for reference.

    • I’m so so happy you found it useful! Thank you for your comment. 🙂

  • sayan pal

    Hello Erika,

    your article is really help full for bloggers as well as seo professionals. I like your article. I hope i will get more idea about blog traffic generation. I have made a article about Complete seo guide for bloggers, i will be happy if you visit in my blog and see my this article http://unitmask.com/complete-seo-guide-for-bloggers/ , which is really help full for bloggers who need seo. 🙂

  • So glad I found your post! I’m really working on the commenting on other blogs portion and reaching out to other blogs that aren’t in my niche (mixed media art). Definitely pinning for future reference, thanks!

  • This post was encouraging and useful (too many have great leads and very little actual info, just ads). Thanks for sharing information I can use!

  • Renee McClintock

    Loved this! Thank you! I felt like I am right on a few things and I have areas of improvement on others. This was a great read and very meaty!

  • rogee

    Please check out my store from Tv to Starwars feel free to place your bid you might never know you might just get it at a ridiculous price http://www.ebay.com/sch/jewelbabe2015/m.html?_nkw=

  • Lee Mccarthy

    Thank you. I am guilty of the first – it is different to my personal stuff where I’m hilarious – not really but more me. There’s so much in there for me to absorb also. Thanks for sharing

  • Carolyn

    Thank you for such a great post. I’m hopeful that this year will allow me to take my efforts up a notch. I’m getting better with the branding, but still need to work on the social media. I’ve decided to shut down my etsy and sell directly from my website (selling part not set up yet). I do feel like a sleazy salesman, or “look, look, mom, look what I made” when I post on FB. I have a FB biz page, instagram account, Pinterest (still learning how to best utilize, though it led me here), and am working on LinkedIN. I do not have (nor do I really want) a twitter account. How crucial do you feel it is to have one?

    • Great question, Carolyn. I rarely feel that any social network is an “absolute must” for a business owner. What matters more than anything is choosing 1-2 networks where A) you know your ideal customer spends a lot of time on, B) you know you can commit to on a daily basis, and C) will help you represent your brand in the most compelling light. Twitter is another neat way of building relationships and many find it useful, but it’s not crucial if your brand can shine on FB/Instagram/Pinterest. I hope that helps. 🙂

  • todayithink.com

    Great information, I took a lot of notes! I’m two months into my first lifestyle blog todayithink.com and have roughly 10 contributors that I call “our village!” I’m constantly doing research on the how-to’s and what not to do when it comes to having a blog site. I’m a graphic designer with constant creative hunger. Right now, I’m focusing on how to GET “subscribers.” I’m going to continue reading your information.

  • Romario Hall

    really helpful 🙂

    http://nutrities.blogspot.com/

  • Dia

    I love when people get personal and fun! It’s so nice to see the real personal side of a person or busines.

  • This was such a thorough post, and definitely a helpful read!

    I especially liked the fact you placed emphasis on providing valuable content to readers. I have recently stumbled across several business websites with blogs that are full of low-quality, keyword-stuffed content. It doesn’t demonstrate the value of the business, and actually turns prospects away. It’s hard to for a business to get noticed online if it doesn’t prove its value!

    Excellent post. Thank you for sharing!

    Alexia P. Bullard,
    http://www.alexiapbullard.com

  • You really took some time on this one. That is a lot of good things. Will need to print and disect it. Thank you for sharing, always need ways to spruce it up and we forget things sometimes.

  • I am thrilled that I came upon this in Pinterest! It is filled with so much, easy to understand and down to earth, information! Thank you!

  • That list of things to post on social media is insanely helpful! I struggle tremendously with building a voice on my social profiles. Thank you so much. This entire post was great.

    http://cityambition.com

  • Thanks for this! All helpful tips. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I don’t really know what Twitter chats are, but you better believe I’m going to find out!
    -Rachel
    http://www.boyitellya.com

  • Nice tips! Yes for showing personality!

  • Kayleigh Falcon

    Awesome post Erika! I’m going to focus on mingling with others in Facebook groups and Twitter chats! Love the resource for Twitter chats too!

  • Bekah

    Thanks for posting this! The posting on social media can be such a fine line! One I’m trying to figure out 🙂 Thanks for the guidelines!

  • There were loads of points and I absolutely loved it! I l simply can’t get enough of your Blog Posts. You’re extremely detailed and helpful. Thank you so much Erika. I’m really looking forward to enhancing my Blog for the New Year and these tips are going to help me do it. Yes!

    • Aww thank you, Angela! So thrilled that you found it helpful! 🙂 I wish you the best with your blog!

  • Tara Thorn

    Found this via Pinterest, some great input and advice as well as what not to do!!! Much appreciated!

  • kristie

    Boom! Your content waves hi like a beauty queen in a parade convertible! I LOVE it!
    Kristie @DreamToPaper.com

    • Hahaha, I love that, Kristie! 😉 You are awesome. Thank you!!

  • Cassidy Slockett

    Great post! I found it very helpful and can’t wait to implement these strategies.

  • I am reading this two years after you’ve written it and so much of it still rings true. Really helpful and practical article. Thanks.

  • Callie Schultz

    Love this! Thanks for the tips….I’m trying to take my business to the next level and there’s some great ideas in here. Thanks again!

  • Cybergenic Associates Int’l

    Wow! This exactly what we are looking for. As a company we are trying to expand our social media account. The contents of your blog were very educational. We will definitely be saving this one as guide and hopefully we will get noticed online more 🙂 Wish us luck Erika! Thanks a lot for this post.

    http://www.cybergenic.net/