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How to Market a Blog?

Adam Roynon on February 15, 2020

I have been running a computer science and programming related blog for just over a year now. I've written around 100 posts to do with programming,... [Read Full]
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I feel you :) I've been struggling with this ever since I started... 6 years ago? (I started on Blogspot, and originally didn't talk about software.) Nowadays, yujiri.xyz gets something like 10 search clicks a day according to Google search console and comments from strangers every now and then, which is enough to make me feel like I'm getting somewhere.

Every SEO article you read tells you the most important thing is to get links, but that's much easier said than done.

I would say what's been the most important tool to getting me where I am now is finding related communities. I started with Prismata, a strategy game I was a prominent player of, and wrote some beginner guides for it and shared them; that got a lot of people checking out my other content, as well as a couple of backlinks. I've also made a lot of backlinks through other communities I have a foot in. I comment on a lot of subreddits and if I'm sparing, I can drop a highly relevant link to a piece I've written every 10-20 comments. It's been a long time since I got downvoted or removed for self-promotion (in general, I find reddit is more tolerant of it than most traditional forums).

In general, it semes like the formula is: find an existing community that might be interested in your content, become a figure / contribute some value there, then start linking, and people might be intersted. (What you've done here is actually a very nice example :))

(I clicked your link to acroynon.com btw and the first thing I see is a "Join our newsletter" popup. FYI, that stuff irritates me and has a pretty high chance of making me leave the page if I'm not super interested, especially if it happens almost immediately on load.)

(Oh yikes. I also noticed that I get the popup again every time I open a link in a new tab. I don't know if that's intentional, but I highly recommend you tone it down.)

 

Thanks for the feedback. I've never thought about posting to reddit, that's a good idea. I've also been thinking about scraping the newletter/email signup from my site, as so fae I haven't actually done anything with it and, as you mentioned, it can be annoyinf to viewers.

 

Another thing: are the comments broke? I made one pointing out a typo, but it isn't showing up, and I don't see a "waiting for approval" or anything. What is PHP spells AAJX instead of AJAX once.

 

Nope, I see it waiting for approval, I was just about to correct the mistake and approve the comment. Thank you

 

Oh wow... I just had a disheartening realization looking at Google search console. I'd thought of the possibility of reddit adding rel=nofollow to external links, but I checked the HTML and they didn't... turns out some subreddits do, but not others.

 

Interesting, that's good to know

 

I took a quick scroll through your DEV posts and it looks like some of your posts get some good traction, so I wouldn't feel too disheartened!

Taking a look at the title of your posts, it seems like the "What is X?" ones tend to get more reactions than the ones that are more succinct e.g. "Logical operators". Maybe you could try and do an analysis of your post titles (and then write a blog post about that too) and see what catches peoples' attention.

Looking at the content of your posts, I'd recommend adding a cover picture, and more pictures in general - a place you've done well on that is the image in your CSS box model post, whereas I think some your Ethernet Cables Explained post could have benefited from some diagrams and pictures.

 

That's a great idea, I've never thought about doing an analysis that deep. Usually I look at the topic I'm talking about. Thanks for the ideas, will definitively be doing this!

Edit: the reason I don't often have images is mainly due to my hosting package on my website. I do have a lot of space but I don't want to litter my posts with images and then run out. Right now I can't afford an upgraded package, so I'm trying to stretch my current package until the ROI kicks in (fingers crossed)

 

Can you switch hosting? Depending on how you've set up your website, you could host it for free on Netlify.

It's just a simple WP site so switching shouldn't be difficult. The main issue is that I've paid for a multi-year hosting package as it was cheaper. Other people have mentipned netlify, definitely will check it out, thanks

 

Hi!

Same here, let me share my thought.

I've been running a personal blog for over a year now, I do not have as much articles as you have. However I have 3 main articles that are getting most organic clicks from google, the rest is just left unseen or very minimal amount of clicks.

But I guess I'm just not trying good enough, and just being lazy. :)

From what I have observed (the top devs from twitter community), if you're willing to get more exposure to your persona or personal brand if you will:

  1. Start posting articles about actual topics here on DEV community. To find out what is actual is a whole another story. Also that's quite hard, e.g. if I have a "cool" article idea, and then I search for similar article, usually there's already another one with hundreds of likes, then I'll dismiss the idea. But if you manage to post a good quality article it can be twitted by the DEV community, exposing it to wider audience.

  2. Start creating creative pens on CodePen. This way you have a pretty high chance to get more exposure to the community. And like previous point if you really have created a quality/creative pen it can be featured on the CodePen or twitted by CodePen, thus exposing it to wider audience.

  3. Interesting thing I've noticed on twitter lately is subtly begging for followers. Like "let's make our community better/bigger", "You follow me, I'll follow you" and bla bla bla. So in a way you can do that, to get more followers, however I don't like this approach, besides since I've never tried it I'm not sure if you'll get real people who are interested in you/your content. It's quite possible they'll unsubscribe.

But again like said in one of the comments above its easier said than done. It is what I observed from other people. I personally try to practice 1st and 2nd point, but I do not always have much of free time, will and power to do so. As it really takes a lot of effort to constantly create quality and creative stuff, and I have a full time job and a family which is my number one priority.

Also, don't take my word for it, I just share my thoughts, you have to find your own way. :)

 

Thanks for the feedback. I do try and interact with communities online as much as I have free time to do. I often go through programming related hashtags to interact with people, I try and post good content alongside advertising my blog, I try and respond to every comment/reply I receive. Sometimes it is just a bit disheartening that you work so long on a post/blog and it goes nowhere, but I guess other people would love my "success". I regularly have to remind myself to be grateful for the success I do have, even if it is little.

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