Promoting a site is time consuming. The very second a blogger realizes this the first inclination is to go out and search for some form of paid promotion. In other words, go to Google or Facebook or some big website related to the topic you write about and pay the site money for advertisement space. The logic being that the $100 you spent (or however much) would be worth it if thousands of people saw a link to your blog.
Save your money.
When you pay for ads on places like Google you choose if you want to pay per impressions (you pay a fee for every 1,000 people that the ad appears to) or pay per click (you pay a fee for ever person that clicks on the link in the ad). Does this work? Yes in that you’ll get some impressions and clicks. But this is not how effective advertising works.
Here’s my go-to reality check: when was the last time I clicked on an ad’s link and immediately bought whatever the ad was selling? Speaking for myself, I can safely say I’ve never purchased anything after clicking on an ad. Sure, I’ve clicked if the site looked like something that interested me. But after quickly scrolling through I leave and the site is forgotten.
As I mentioned earlier, there are short-term and long-term aspects to promotion. The short-term aspect of paid advertising is getting that click or impression. But this is not what makes the “sale” (becoming a loyal reader of your blog). Advertising is a long-term investment. Large companies such as Coca-Cola understand this concept and it’s why they still invest millions of dollars every year to continue marketing what is already a world-recognized brand name. Advertising keeps the brand fresh in everyone’s mind. The company doesn’t care if you immediately go out and buy their soda. But what they do care about is when you are in the mood for a soda you associate their brand with quality because you are familiar with the label.
Translating this over to your blog… clicking on a random blog’s link once and scrolling through is not going to create a rabid fan. Think long-term. You need to have a system in place that allows your target audience to continually be exposed to your brand name (a.k.a. your blog). The reason why paid advertising works for huge companies is because they have the budget to really make it effective. Unless you have a budge to be equally effective it is far better save your money.