Is there an ideal international blog promotion formula? Well, I have been hunting for a good for a while and I’m now finally happy with what I have come up with for my own international business. I’d like to share it with you.
With my background as a cross-cultural marketer I know how to reach international audiences. That was not my challenge. The missing ingredient for a strong international blog promotion strategy was elsewhere. You see, although it is easy to understand what you need to do to promote your blog online, it is not always easy to figure out how to put this into practice.
Today I’m only going to talk about businesses targeting international English speaking, or “English-reading”, audiences online – we’ll look into international blogs in other languages in another post.
Let’s have a look at the easy part before I share my secret with you.
Blog Promotion Tactics
Luckily, if your international blog is in English, you have many resources outlining blog promotion tactics. The trouble for foreign businesses is:
- These resources are in English
- The best blog practices in one country may feel a bit “foreign” to someone from another country
- It takes time to get used to blogs and blogging practices and even more time when you add in the cultural differences
There is some good news for foreign language blogs: ICANN is now moving forward with URLs for countries with alphabets in non-latin characters. This means there will be more culturally diverse web activity and resources available… and possibly more foreign blogging opportunities.
But at least you can find a multitude of blogging resources in English online. After spending a few weeks reading through the wealth of information on blog promotion it is easy to come up with a long list of things to do. Here the the main ones:
Personal messages to the people who comment on your blog – to create community.
Regular search monitoring – to engage with people linking to your blog or talking about you and your blog online.
Regular social bookmarking & networking activities – to both promote your own blog posts and integrate the communities on a few strategic platforms. For my business these are currently: Posterous, BizSugar, FriendFeed, Delicious, StumbleUpon and Reddit.
Comment on other blogs and forums - to be seen, engage in discussions and create relationships with peers and potential clients.
These tactics work well for blogs in English.
A word of caution: Don’t assume the exact same tactics are ideal for all blogs in other cultures. Cultural differences effect all forms of communication, including blogging. More about this in a future post.
This list looks easy enough. But what happens when you actually sit down to do the work. The truth is, this is the most difficult part of creating your blog promotion.
How Do You Manage Your Blog Promotion
Managing your time investment in promoting your blog is the hard part. You see, if you are not careful you can spend the whole day promoting your blog. Sure, this will get you results. But at what price? This is why I listened attentively and went hunting for formulas on how to include blog promotion into my social media strategy.
- How much blog promotion do I need to do for my business?
And finally these are the 3 bits of advice I used to come up with my own plan:
- Spend the same amount of time promoting your blog as writing your blog posts
- Spend 5 hours promoting your blog for every hour you spend writing your blog post
- Do a long list of social media actions every day
Blog Promotion For An International Audience
After looking closely at this advice, I decided to follow and adapt these three rules for my business:
Blog Promotion Rule #1 - When my schedule gets busy I still blog. Blogging is now firmly part of my daily routine. And I always spend at least the same amount of time for blog promotion as for blog writing. No exceptions. This is usually about an hour for each task.
Blog Promotion Rule #2 - As I want to reach international audiences and rely heavily on social media, 5 hours of blog promotion a day is probably a very good thing for my business. So I try to fit in 5 hours worth on as many days of the week as I can. Did you notice how I said ”5 hours worth”? This means I am always looking for ways to increase the value and the reach of the time I spend promoting my blog. So, in practice:
- I include a little blog promotion wherever and whenever I can. It has become part of me.
- I’ve become a student of productivity and processes, and at the same time paying close attention to what works for me and what doesn’t.
- I nurture friendships with people who are both fun to be with and willing to help me out in promoting my blog, even if it’s a tiny bit.
Sure, sometimes I do spend 2 or 3 hours a day solely on blog promotion. But not everyday and sometimes not for a couple of weeks. In addition, it is only when my schedule is free. These long blog promotion sessions are a pleasure because there is often a good deal of networking and connecting with my blog readers. For an international business this is vital.
Blog Promotion Rule #3 - I use a checklist to keep me focused. This allows me to immediately jump into the tasks at hand… and jump out when I’ve finished. My checklist is similar to the ones I found online, except I’ve adapted it a little to fit my business goals. It does not matter if I do not manage to do everything on the list every day. What I’ve found is that it is good to tweak it from time to time to be sure it fits into an hour and stays relevant to my business goals and the new things that pop up in social media.
How has this experience been? Well, although I do spend an hour promoting my blog every day, I started doing this first thing in the morning. This worked wonderfully for me. Then I decided to try to get more “billable” hours into the mornings and moved this to late afternoons.
Big mistake. Although I network on the phone almost every late afternoon and speak to people from all around the world, I was not good at keeping up with the blog promotion tasks in the evenings. My brain was too tired to network across cultures in writing in late afternoons. Speaking was fine. Just not the writing.
So international blog promotion is now back to mornings for me. This is fine. The very first task I do every morning is review my keyword search results to read the latest news of interest to me. And this flows well into the blog promotion tasks.
An International Hub
Blogs are not miracle international sales machines. But with a little thought about your international promotion tactics, your blog can become the hub from which you connect with audiences in different areas of the world. What happens next depends on what you do from there.
As you can see from above, for my international business I allow a large amount of time for networking and almost always include blog promotion while networking. Even if different businesses, with different goals, use different blog promotion tactics to reach their international audiences, networking will probably play a role too. A blog as an international hub makes networking with international audiences a natural choice.
Have you guessed what my secret for effective international blog promotion is? Yes, it is to include active networking as part of my blog promotion. This creates a truly international business hub from a simple blog.
Now it’s your turn…
- What international blog promotion formula do you use?
- What are your goals when connecting with your international audience?
- How do you promote your blog to international audiences?
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: International Social Media
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