Getting your first 1,000 email subscribers on your blog is not difficult.
In fact, in order to do so it only takes two things:
1. Creating great content
2. Promoting your content
If you’re like most bloggers your biggest problem is finding out where and how to promote your content.
In last week’s “How to Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers by Blogging” installment I shared a lot about how to optimize your blog so that you can get 3-5x the standard opt-in rate than most blogs do.
Today I’m going to share with you a couple of really important things that will help you build your blog traffic and overall web presence:
- Why you can no longer rely on email marketing and RSS feeds as a primary distribution channel
- What layered engagement is and why you need to be using it on social media
- How to build a following on all your social networks in less than an hour per day
And of course an update on the progress of our quest to 1,000 subscribers!
Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
When you first start your blog your options are pretty limited in terms of how you get traffic to it. Especially when you don’t have any authority yet in your niche, you’re building your email list from scratch, and you don’t have a big virtual following.
The only place I have a really big following is on Facebook. You’ll see towards the end of this blog that I used Facebook over the last week to drive 75% of the total traffic to this blog for the launch.
In growing this blog to its first 1,000 subscribers I’m going to have to go beyond my Facebook following and into new territory.
There’s multiple reasons for this beyond just the obvious.
RSS Feeds, Email Marketing, and Blogging are Dying?
According to research from this post on Problogger.net, blogging is dying.
“Jason Kottke, writer of one of the longest-running blogs on the web, states that the blog’s demise came about because the fundamental purpose of blogging was no being fulfilled with other media.”
“With social media platforms becoming the online communication too du jour, and with smartphones and other devices becoming for many the preferred platform, blogs have fallen to the wayside in favor of shorter, punchier messages specifically tailored to hit a reader’s buttons.”
And of course since Google Reader was laid to rest and Gmail + other providers started moving promotional emails out of the “Primary Inbox” it’s become more and more difficult to build a readership.
What You Can Do to Adapt to These Changes
Blogging isn’t really dying, it’s application is just changing… as well as the way that you build a community around your blog.
You have to be where the eyeballs are.
Your audience is spending more time on social media and less time on your blog, in their email inbox, or even paying attention to the road while they’re driving (because they’re busy texting or checking FB on their mobile)
That’s where social media comes into play.
Your audience is waiting for you to connect with them on these different sites. And they’re making the decision to visit your blog based on the micro-content you’re providing on social.
If you’re just getting started I would suggest choosing one or two sites to spend the majority of your time building up a following.
This article from thenextweb.com will help you determine which social media platforms are best for your business.
Eventually, you want to be everywhere that makes sense for your business.
So the question is:
How do you reach your audience without spending countless hours going down the social media rabbit hole?
The answer is something called ‘Layered Engagement’
How ‘Layered Engagement’ Will Save You Previous Time and Explode Your Social Media Channels
I’ve been doing this for years but didn’t know what it was called until I stumbled upon this blog post by Kim Roach on how to 10x your traffic.
The basic idea is this:
You can use one marketing channel to cross-promote content on other marketing channels which increases your following across all channels at once.
It’s a really simple way to grow all your social channels at the same time without spreading yourself too thin.
I’ll give you a few examples here in a second after I show you the framework of what makes this so powerful.
The Hub and Spoke Model for Social Media
If you’re somewhat new to using social media to grow your business this might be totally new.
The basic concept is simple, you or your company have your blog your website, and then you have accounts on the various social media sites that you use to drive traffic over to your website.
The Updated Hub and Spoke Model for Social Media
At one point in history we believed that everything in the Universe revolved around the Earth.
And then as we learned more we had to update our model of the solar system to reflect new discoveries. We found out that all of the planets revolved around the sun, and not around us.
The truth is that your customers spend a lot of time bouncing around different social platforms and perhaps will only visit your blog every once and a while. Which is why I updated the model to include this concept of layered engagement on social media.
This updated version of the hub and spoke model accurately represents the way traffic actually flows around the internet now.
Traffic flows both into your blog from social media, and back out from your blog to social media.
However, the most important detail to note is that people are now traveling between your various social media properties.
So people might find you on YouTube but then want to connect with you over on Facebook. Or they connect with you on LinkedIn and go over to Twitter to find you there.
I’ll show you in just a second some creative ways to layer your engagement and cross-pollinate your social media followings.
But first, I want to show you some examples of how you can set up your social sites to better communicate with each other.
Hub and Spoke Example Using Facebook
Make sure to fill out the ‘About’ section on your personal Facebook profile or fan page to include your various social properties and your website under the ‘Website’ section.
Now anyone that finds you can connect with you anywhere on the web.
Hub and Spoke Example Using YouTube
Your YouTube channel is almost like its own website because it not only hosts all your videos for you, the main channel page gives you a TON of options to link out to other social media sites and your blog which you can see below.
Go ahead and click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel while you’re here
Hub and Spoke Model Final Thoughts
Can you see how important it is to interlink all of your social properties?
People will naturally flow from one network to another and your entire social empire will grow at the same time.
You can do this stuff one time, and it will continue to work for you.
The reason this is so critical is because when you publish your blog posts and syndicate them to your social media profiles you need to have a following there in order to actually drive traffic.
You can’t just spam your posts and hope people will notice, you have to constantly be cultivating a following wherever you are posting.
The key to doing this, in a shorter period of time, is through layered engagement.
Examples of Layered Engagement
Now that all your social sites are connected to each other, here’s a couple of ideas you can use to promote all your networks at the same time.
Interconnect Your Blog to All Networks
And I’ve also got a Facebook Like Box which you can see in the sidebar. It’s the site I’m most active on so I want people to be able to connect with my Facebook page more easily to follow the conversation over there.
Create Groups or Communities
Within both Facebook and LinkedIn you have the ability to create a Group. Google+ has a similar feature called Communities.
Both allow you to create channels within channels that you own and moderate.
When you’re connecting with others around the topic of your group, don’t be afraid to invite them the join your group. It’ll help you grow your influence and allow you to better syndicate your content in the future.
I started my own Facebook group called the FB Wealth Code Group last week and have already grown it to over 200 members.
Link to Threads and Conversations Happening on Other Social Networks
I learned this one from Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook about a year ago. He was trying to build up his presence over on LinkedIn, and also one of the groups he had started there.
He would take a really compelling topic, write a post or article about it in his group, then he would share the link to that post on Twitter and Facebook.
When you clicked the link not only did you have to log into LinkedIn to see it, you also had to join his group. Genius.
Now he can communicate with me in yet another social channel.
Leverage Your Autoresponder
You’re building your list for your business, right? If you’re not, make sure you check out last week’s blog on optimizing your blog for list building.
Make good use of your autoresponder messages and include a call to action in the signature of each of your emails to connect with you on various social platforms.
Sometimes I just send out broadcasts for the pure intention of getting people to connect with me on Facebook. Once they’re in my sphere and seeing my updates every day they start feeling closer to me and more trusting of me.
Broadcast Emails to Conversations and Videos
Sometimes your subscribers just feel safer on a place like Facebook or YouTube than over on your blog.
One of my favorite things to do is to send emails to my list that go directly to a video or a thread I’ve posted on Facebook.
You can do this on Twitter, Pinterest, G+, LinkedIn, and a ton of other sites (those are some of the big ones) but I like doing it on Facebook because people are already on there and it ads social proof to my posts before I start running ads to a video for example.
Layered Engagement Final Thoughts
There are a TON of ways you can interconnect your social media profiles. It’s up to you to get creative and just play with different ways of helping them to promote each other.
Get really strong at one or two platforms and then use those to start building out the others, even if it’s just slowly at first.
At the very minimum you should interconnect all of your profiles so that people have no problem finding you EVERYWHERE on the web.
Update How to Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers by Blogging
Altogether I think we had a pretty decent launch this week for the new website. I didn’t spend nearly as much time as I wanted on promoting my content, but that will change a lot between now and next week.
I launched almost completely on Facebook and have only shared two out of the 5 articles that are already on this site which just means that I have a lot to do to promote what I have to gain more traction.
In total we had almost 400 unique visitors this week totaling over 500 different sessions.
The average page views were kind of low so I’m going to add some more pages to the site this week and also install some widgets that encourage my readers to spend more time on the site by looking at other articles on here.
Here’s a screenshot of the referral traffic from the past week:
As you can see in the top 10 results, over 75% of the traffic to the site this week came directly from Facebook.
This is going to change at least a little bit between now and next week.
Alexa Rank for December 5th, 2014
Last week we were ranked almost 8,000,000 in Alexa versus other sites.
This week we’re getting closer to 3,000,000. Which just means that we’re in the top 3,000,000 most trafficked websites in the entire world that have been indexed by Alexa.com.
Alexa ratings don’t tell you a whole lot, but I think they’re fun to see a general sense of how well you’re performing in terms of traffic versus other sites on the net.
Total Subscribers After Week One
We made a solid splash this week hitting over 90 subscribers to this blog within just 7 days.
Here’s the Aweber screen shot:
Not too shabby! However, I think we can do much better, don’t you?
The Next 100 Subscribers
The only thing that’s going to take this blog to the next level is promotion. Consistent daily promotion.
I’m going to use the layered engagement strategy outlined in this blog to reach more people and build up my following on other networks as quickly as possible.
That means getting very structured and disciplined with my time on each site where I’ll spend the majority of my time reaching out and connecting with others, and a small fraction of the time posting my own stuff.
So for example:
- Google Plus: 2-3 posts per day, networking in communities, 15 minutes per day
- Twitter: 4 promotional posts per day, lots of retweets and replies, 15 minutes per day
- Pinterest: 1-2 unique pins per day, 10+ repins, 15 minutes per day
- LinkedIn: 1-2 posts per day, sharing and contributing in groups, 15 minutes per day
- Facebook: 3 posts per day, messaging, sharing, contributing in groups, 1 hour per day
That’s the basic plan, at least for now
Thank you for checking out my blog! This coming Friday I’ll release the next installment with an update on how everything went and what changed!
There’s a couple of things you should do next to play along and get the most out of this series:
1. Connect with Me on These Sites:
Facebook Personal Profile – 4,024 Friends, 2,812 followers
Facebook Fan Page – 776 Likes
Twitter – 1,176 Followers
Google Plus – 2,750 Followers
Pinterest – 468 Followers
YouTube – 35 Subscribers and > 1,000 Views
2. Share This Post and Comment Below!
Use the share buttons to the left and on the bottom of this post to share on your favorite social sites!
Then, link up YOUR most active social sites so that I can follow you back and that you can connect with others who are following this blog.
3. Subscribe for Updates
Go ahead and put your email address into the form below so you never miss an update on this journey to 1,000 Subscribers
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If you missed last week’s installment, you can check it out by clicking here.
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