Teaching Blog 101: 10 Tips for Marketing Your Education Blog
How wonderful blogging would be if we simply built our blog and it became an instant success. The reality is that blogging is work and marketing your blog is just as important as anything else you do. If your purpose for blogging is simply to connect with your students’ parents, there is no need to spend time doing anything beyond reaching out to them. However, if your purpose is to connect with other teachers and companies, perhaps sell a few of your teacher-created materials, and share teaching tips and ideas, marketing is a must. The 10 tips below are a great place to start, but they are, by no means, all of the ways that you can market your blog.
What do you want to focus on on your blog? That is an important question to answer, because it will help shape the way you market your blog and how search engines will find you. Site Engine Optimization (SEO) is a full-time job, but even the hobby education blogger can research some of the keywords that relate to their articles. The more keyword rich your articles are, the more likely they are to be displayed on one of the first few pages of searches. Taking the time to add even a few well-placed keywords can gain you a significant increase in organic traffic.
Google’s search ranking criteria is very complex and ever evolving, but the good news is that the more sites that have a link back to your blog on them, the more value your site has. The trick here is to be sure that the sites that link back to you are credible and most other teaching blogs fit that criteria. You can gain links back by commenting on other blogs, being listed in their blog rolls, and doing guest articles.
3. Guest Blogging
It may seem counterintuitive to write for someone else’s blog when you are trying to establish your own, but it opens up a whole new world of possible readers. Not only that, it gives you a much sought after link back to your site and free advertising. Guest blogging is a great way to build relationships with other bloggers, as well. Do not be afraid to have guest bloggers on your site either. Just be sure that you balance the number of guest articles with the articles that you write yourself as it is, after all, your writing that people are coming to see.
You have been reading and analyzing great education blogs for awhile now. Since you finally have your blog up and running, it is time to start commenting on those blogs and leaving your blog’s address. If it is an option, sign in using your name, email address, and website when you leave a relevant comment. Be sure that your comment is relevant to the article on which you are commenting. As you will find when you start getting comments, there is nothing more frustrating than to be spammed by another blogger who is simply trying to get a link listed on your site through a comment.
5. Grab My Button
You have probably seen some education blogs with a small graphic with html coding underneath. The blogger has text that says something similar to “grab my button” which is asking you to place it and a link back on your website/blog. You can do something similar on your own blog with your own button graphic. Keep in mind that while you may want to have a couple of graphic buttons from your favorite education blogs on your sidebar, you probably do not want to clutter the look of your blog with dozens of buttons.
6. Facebook Page
Create a Facebook Page for your blog. Ideally, it should be named the same thing as your blog and feature the same graphics. Facebook, like Google, is constantly changing what is allowed and what is not allowed. Be sure to read the terms of service carefully, as you do not want to violate them and have your page shut down. One big “no-no” is running contests directly on your page without using a 3rd party application. You can advertise your contest, but you cannot run the contest on Facebook. Advertise your Facebook page by commenting as your page on other education related pages. Do not post on other pages asking people to buy your products, visit your blog, etc. That is considered spamming and most pages will actually ban you from commenting further. Instead, make relevant comments on posts.
Many teachers are afraid of Twitter, but it can be a useful tool for advertising and marketing your blog. Post recent posts, participate as your page in Twitter chats like #TeachChat, and follow other educators. Depending on how active you are and how active your followers are, you can expect to see at least some traffic from your Twitter interactions.
There are many collaborative blogs that have popped up within the last year that rely on a group of bloggers to populate the content. In other words, you are a contributor to the blog in exchange for a link back and advertising. Again, it is work, but it is also a good way to get your blog out there and in front of people who may not know about it otherwise.
If you are trying to market your blog, especially to companies, do a few product reviews on your own and link back to the company’s website and the product detail pages. Companies monitor links back to their site and will often contact bloggers who have reviewed their products on their own. It is a great way to tell other teachers about products you love, while also potentially getting your foot in the door with companies that you would like to work with.
10. Have Great Content
Above all else, the most important thing you can do to market your blog is to have great content. Great content will yield more search engine traffic and gain you followers, repeat visitors, page views, and all of those things that you want for your blog. Share your knowledge, your tips, and your photos of projects, and watch your analytics soar. You can do this!
Join us next week for the next installment of the Teaching Blog 101 Series when we discuss tips and tricks for using analytics.
Read All of the articles in the Teaching Blog 101 Series!