The real power of the web for businesses lies in its social nature. The web is built for sharing, collaborating, including.
So when starting - or growing - a blog is on your to-do list, social strategies are your best best.
Things like SEO, bold headlines, and good visual appeal are great, too. But the biggest boosts in blog traffic and engagement I've ever had didn't come from independent things like keywords.
They came from including others in my work. Making my blog posts wider and deeper than just my own corner of the web. And the strategy for doing it was so simple.
The Secret to Taking a Small Blog Big
Link to other cool people.
Really, that's the gist of it. Whatever you are writing about, someone else probably has an interesting or informative take on it, too. Quote them in your post and link to their work. Share their opinion with your audience right along side yours. Maybe it complements or adds to what you are saying, or maybe it contrasts it.
Either way, it's about getting other people involved.
You can create your own approach for doing this, but I'm describing my own 3-step strategy below.
Step 1: Find other people in your industry (or a complimenting industry) with an established platform
Your first goal is to identify other bloggers or influencers who talk about similar topics that you share with your audience. You want to specifically look for people who have a large following - on their blog and social media.
You might find a group of people that you admire and follow, and visit them when you're looking to add someone else's expertise to your posts. But you don't stick only to what you know - search for new, interesting voices to include. It's easy to find quality work to reference or quote while you're writing a new post by doing a quick n' easy Google search. When you find something that you think will mesh well with what you're writing, do a little research. Find the author on social media and see if they have reach. Look through their blog and take note of the quality and engagement their posts get. Remember: you're looking for people who can add quality and relevancy to your posts and expand your reach.
Step 2: Quote and link to other influencers in your blog posts
Now that you've found quality, influential content to quote or reference in your posts, it's time to incorporate it. Don't just throw in quotes and links without a strategy - find a way to incorporate themes elements in a way that makes sense. Find a quote that supports or adds detail to a statement you've made, or link to a post that goes into more depth or provides more advice on a topic you've mentioned, but didn't flesh out.
Step 3: Get in touch
After you've published a post quoting or referencing someone else's work, follow up with them. You can send them an email explaining why you value their work, and share a link to the post you've included them in. In addition to an email (or instead of), tag them in social media updates about your new post.
Not everyone will reply to your messages - but most will notice your gesture and be flattered you've included them. Which often means they'll share your post on their own social networks and with their own audience - which equals a much larger reach for you.
Including other people in your blog is one of the quickest and most powerful ways to expand your reach and land more traffic. And, as a bonus, you'll get the chance to meet other smart people and build relationships that could turn into even bigger opportunities for you and your blog.