Register your domain name. Set up a blog on Blogger or WordPress. Create high quality content that people are interested in. Keep offering value consistently. And with time, your traffic will grow.” That’s what most blogging “experts” preach. And that’s what you have probably been made to believe, too. But, my friend, even after taking all those steps, you won’t generate good traffic. That advice used to be useful in the past—about 10 to 15 years ago. But the story has changed.

If you keep churning out loads of valuable content, hoping to generate massive traffic with that, you’d be disappointed. Traffic no longer flows to blogs by osmosis. The blogosphere now contains hundreds of thousands of blogs, all struggling for the scarcest thing to get on the web—people’s attention. So, you need to proactively promote your blog, so people can give it their attention.

Promoting your blog could be very expensive. But there are cheap ways to promote your blogs and still get huge exposure and traffic in return. Here are 5 low-cost advertising mediums that you can use to promote your blog:

5 Low-cost Advertising Media to Promote Your Blog

1. Contextual ads

Google Adwords is the best option when it comes contextual advertising. This is because your ads will be displayed in just above or beside search results when people search for information on Google using queries that match keywords you are targeting. This means your ads will be displayed to people who are most likely to be in need of the information you offer on your blog and are likely to click on them.

In addition, your ads will be displayed on websites, blogs, and other online platforms whose content are closely related to your ads, which means you will have your ads displayed on online platforms where people are likely to be interested in them.

Promoting your ads with Google Adwords is very cheap. You can flag off a campaign with as little as $25, and get massive exposure for your blog with such a campaign. However, the more you spend, the better.

Addynamo is another pay-per-click advertising platform that also allows you to promote your blog for cheap. However, this platform lacks the advantage of search result exposure that comes with Google Adwords. With Google Adwords or Addynamo, you have the option of paying per click or per 1000 views.

2. Facebook Ads

Other than hang out with friends and catch fun, you can use Facebook to promote your blog and create massive awareness of it. Facebook is a great platform for this because it’s one of the top three most visited websites in the world. And virtually all internet users in Nigeria visit Facebook daily.

When advertising on Facebook, you can choose to display picture ads, or sponsored posts or links. Which type will work better for you depends on what your blog is all about. With Facebook advertising, you can also choose to pay either based on clicks or based on views. Whichever option you choose, running ads on Facebook is very cheap.

3. Guest posting

This simply involves writing valuable posts and having them published on high-traffic, authority blogs with the aim of getting exposure for your blog. Most high-traffic Nigerian blogs are always willing to accept and publish guest posts that offer value to their audience.

While the high-traffic blog gets valuable content for free, you will get massive influx of traffic from the blog for as long as your post remains relevant. In addition, since most blogs will allow guest post authors to have a link or two in their author bio, you get a backlink to your blog, which will help your search engine rankings.

Guest posting will cost you no more than your time if you can produce the content yourself. But if you are too busy or are not a very good writer yourself, you can hire a freelance writer to write a good number of guest posts for you that you will send to as many high-traffic Nigerian blogs as possible. With little money, you should get a good number of high quality posts.

4. Forum marketing

This strategy involves leveraging forums to gain exposure for your blog. Nairaland is by far the most popular online forum in Nigeria and the most recommended for this strategy. Simply register with Nairaland, and start offering valuable and helpful content that is closely related to what you offer on your blog. In your signature, add a brief description of your blog and a link to it.

The more value you offer, the more traffic you will attract to your blog, because those who find your content helpful will want to get more by following the link in your signature down to your blog. The more you publish detailed, helpful content, the more exposure your blog will enjoy. And this could come at no cost if you have the time to write the posts yourself. But if you are too busy or simply can’t write for other reasons, you can hire a freelance writer.

5. SMS marketing

This strategy isn’t dead. It still works like magic, and it will continue to be effective for as long as people keep close contact with their mobile phones. You can send bulk SMS to people who are likely to be interested in your blog. In your message, describe your blog and the benefit they stand to gain by visiting it. And don’t forget to include the URL of your blog. With less than N20,000, you can reach several thousands of Nigerians via SMS.

5 Ways to Leverage the Biggest Blogs to Promote your Own blog

“If I had seen further (than others), it is because I stood upon the shoulders of giants.”— Isaac Newton.

When Isaac Newton wrote those words in a letter to Robert Hooke in 1676, little did he know that his words would become a quote that many would reflect upon and act by for centuries to come. Fast forward to the present, blogging is one of the many areas where Newton’s words are applicable and can be implemented.

For instance, If you are new to the blogging business in Nigeria, and you want your blog to quickly push far ahead of most other Nigerians blogs that were existing before it, then you need to “stand upon the shoulders of giants.” That is, you need to leverage the giant blogs in Nigeria to promote your on blog. And you might wonder who these giants are. They are the big blogs—the likes of Linda Ikeji’s blog, Bella Naija, YNaija, TechLoy, Omojuwa, etc.

Now, you are probably wondering how to promote your blog and make it more popular by taking advantage of the biggest blogs in Nigeria. Here are five tips on how to achieve just that:

1. Guest posting

Most of the popular blogs in Nigeria are always willing to accept and publish guest posts that will offer value to their audience. Writing guest posts for these blogs is one of the best ways to take advantage of them to promote your own blog. Most blogs will allow you to include a brief description of yourself or your blog alongside a link to your blog.

By having your guest post featured on a high traffic Nigerian blog, your blog will generate instant massive traffic through referral visits. And since posts on such blogs tend to rank very high in search engine results, chances are that more people will continue to read the post for years, and then follow the link to your blog. So, guest posting generates huge traffic in both the short and long terms.

In addition, having a link pointing to your blog from a high-traffic, authority blog confers more credibility and authority to your blog, since search engines rank sites and blogs partly by how many links they get from authority blogs. So, guest posting also gives your blog the search engine optimization advantage.

2. Direct adverts

If you really want your blog to grow like wild within the shortest possible time, you need to spend money—good money—on advertisement. One of the most effective paid advertising methods is to buy ad slots on high traffic niches within your niche or have a sponsored post written about your blog.

For example, if you are blogging within the technology niche, then you should consider running an advertisement on TechLoy or Naija Tech Guide. You can also run your ads on high traffic blogs that are not in your niche, but have a huge audience that will most likely be interested in your blog.

However, you must bear in mind that running ads on high-traffic Nigerian blogs could be very expensive. Linda Ikeji charges N350,000 to N500,000 for a front page ad slot on her blog.

3. Custom campaigns on ad networks

If you cannot afford the cost of running direct ads on high-traffic Nigerians blogs within your niche, there’s a smart way to run your ads on them without spending much. You must bear in mind, however, that this strategy will only work if the blog makes money from contextual ads generated by ad networks like Google Adwords and Addynamo.

Here’s the strategy: You run ad campaigns on the same ad network that generates pay-per-click ads on the blog you want your ads displayed on. In the campaign settings, set the blog URL specifically as the avenues on which you want your ads to be run. This is possible because ad networks allow you to specify what sites or blogs you want your ads to display on.

With this strategy, you will have your ads running on high-traffic Nigerian blogs within your niche without paying huge advert rates. But you can’t implement this strategy if the blog you want to advertise on does not display contextual ads.

4. Interview owners of high-traffic blogs

Another smart way to “steal” traffic from high traffic blogs is to interview owners of such blogs and publish the interview on your blog. Most often, such people will try to appreciate the gesture by telling their blog audience about the interview, either by mentioning the interview in a blog post or copying an excerpt from it to their blog. This will result in a massive flow of traffic to your blog.

Note that these strategies are not to be implemented just once. If you really want to achieve great results with them, you need to implement them consistently.

5 Free Tools That Can Help You Grow or Expand Your Blog

The success of a blog hinges largely on how quickly it grows or expands. This explains why serious bloggers always work implement various measures to grow and expand their blogs. To grow or expand your blog, you need to adopt many strategies; from basic ones to complex ones, and from those that bring instant results to those that will have effect in the long term.

Growing or expanding your blog may not necessarily be expensive or solely dependent on your efforts. There are many online resources and tools that can help you achieve this goal. While many of these tools come with a price tag, many others are free to use. Here are five free tools that can help you grow or expand your blog:

1. Google Search

The Google search engine is the most commonly used free tool on the internet. And it is one of the most useful and most effective tools for growing or expanding a blog. With Google search, you can find authority blogs in your niche that you can leverage to promote your blog. You can find interesting topic ideas. You can figure out how many web pages are competing for a post idea.

You can find quality information for your blog posts. You can know how your blog ranks in search engine results. In fact, the list of things you can do with Google search is endless. The more you use Google search to find information that will help your blog grow and expand, and the more you use the information you find to your advantage, the better your chances of successfully growing or expanding your blog.

2. Google Keyword Planner

This tool, also owned by Google, is another free tool that you can use to grow or expand your blog. It helps you figure out what keywords people are using to search Google for information that is related to your blog’s topic. It is not enough to publish quality content on your blog.

To really attract massive traffic to your blog, you need to publish quality content that people are really searching for. In other words, you need to give people exactly what they really want, not just what you believe they want.

The Google Keyword Planner can help you figure out promising keyword ideas, how many monthly searches each attracts, how strong the competition is for each, and how much Google Adwords advertisers are paying on average per click for each keyword (this also gives an idea about competition).

To grow or expand your blog, simply research for promising keywords using the Google Keyword Planner. Then write high quality posts on those keywords. Chances are your blog will rank prominently for those keywords in search results, and you’ll attract more traffic.

3. Mailchimp

There’s more to building a successful blog than just publishing posts and promoting them. To grow your blog, you need to build a strong relationship with your readers. And having a mailing list for interacting with your readers via email is one of the best ways to make this happen.

Email is one of the most personal ways to get in touch with your readers and earn their trust. Share valuable information with your mailing list subscribers and they will become loyal readers of your blog. Each time you publish a new blog post, tell your subscribers about it and they will eagerly follow the link to your blog to read that post. This way, you’d have taken charge of your blog traffic.

Most of the reliable mailing list services available charge a monthly fee for you to use their services. However, Mailchimp allows you to use their service for free until your subscriber count reaches 2,000.

4. Google Analytics

This is another free tool by Google that can help your expand your blog quickly. Google Analytics shows various reports and metrics about your blog’s traffic. It reveals how much visits your blog attracts daily, how many pages each visitor views, the geographical location of your visitors, the sources of your traffic, the most viewed posts and pages on your blog, and lots more.

By constantly checking your Google Analytics, you will be able to figure out what decisions to make to expand your blog. For example, if you find that your visitors are more interested in a particular topic, then you can attract more visitors by publishing more posts on that topic.

5. All-in-one SEO plugin

The WordPress plugin comes in handy when you need to optimize your blog posts for search engines. Remember, search engines can fetch you a huge volume of traffic in the long term. To attract more traffic from search engines, you need to write search engine-friendly content.

The All-in-one SEO plugin helps you optimize your post title, URL, and description for any keyword you are optimizing for. This tool is free, too.

Ajaero Tony Martins