Before I started my personal blog I was already deep in the Internet Marketing waters and having a blog was a natural decision. I started a blog in November 2012 and one month later I became a local celebrity, at least for a couple of days.
At the beginning I wasn’t sure which topics to cover so I decided to write about things I like. I did a couple of articles on parenting, a couple of articles about blogging and some articles dealing with my “new” country, Serbia.
Now… Before I came to Serbia all I knew about it was that there was “some kind of war” there, that there is nothing there to see and how people are not good. At least that’s the kind of impression you get if you watch CNN and other western media. By the way, I am native French.
When I came to Serbia (it takes 2 and half hours from Paris by plane) I was surprised with the hospitality, awesome weather and great food and also (last but not least) I met the love of my life. Long story short- I married a local guy, left my family and my job in France and moved to Serbia. That was the best decision I could have make, even though it was very hard at the beginning.
So, I had to tell my story to others and to invite people to visit Serbia. My article on Serbia was very short, maybe 400 words. To make it look better I went to Picktochart and created a free Infographic. I was so in love with Infographics at that point and Picktochart was the best solution for a fast and free infographic.
Ok, so my article is live but since my blog is new no one is visiting (sounds familiar?). I did a couple of more articles about Serbia before I started what I was already doing for some of my clients. I started a social media campaign. This is what I did:
- I contacted major Facebook pages talking about Serbia
- I contacted Serbian travel organization
- Contacted Facebook pages of a couple of the most important papers
No reason to be shy, most of these pages are out there to spread a good word about the country you’re writing about. That’s why you can expect free promotion. This is the type of the message I sent to the most of those pages/sites:
I hope “insert name of the FB page here” is doing great. My name is Karine and I am a native French living in Belgrade. I have a blog where I share my thoughts about Blogging, Living and Enjoying. I have published an article about Serbia (small article but I am sure your visitors will find it useful). You can check out the article here “insert link here”. Feel free to place a link or the entire article (Infographic included) at your page.
I really enjoy living in Serbia and I hope to publish more articles soon, and your support would really mean a lot to me.
All the best,
Now, if you’re going to start something similar you don’t have to use this exact template, heck you can even contact me to give you a couple of advices free of charge. We’re here to help each other.
After a couple of days I got my first reply. Actually they didn’t even bother to reply to me, they (National Tourism Organization of Serbia) tweeted my story and I was happy like a small kid. It felt great!
But soon after this I got a big surprise when I decided to check out my Google Analytics. My jaw dropped, hit the floor and bounced back when I saw 350+ visitors at that moment at my site. I checked Facebook and I saw that I got the answer from Facebook page with 600K Likes. They posted a link on their page and approximately 4,000 unique visitors hit my site in the next 10 hours.
Just when I thought “that’s it” I saw that local papers published my article in their online and printed edition (December 16). There was another Facebook page that published a link to this article, and another and….in a couple of days I got an Email from 24 Sata papers, they wanted to interview me.
Some other news portals re-published the story about me so I got more free promotion. After a week or so everything settled down but I used my experience from this campaign for my future project. There is a twist that you can use to do something similar with your blog.
This is what you can do. You can do it by yourself or if you’re really busy you can hire a VA (virtual assistant) on Elance to do this for you. I prefer doing this by myself because I wouldn’t like someone else to spam random pages using my name. It is not easy to find a perfect VA, most of them try to do the job as fast as possible to get the money.
Basically you contact big Facebook pages (with 20K+ Likes) and tell them how you’re writing a story about their city/country/business/whatever and how you would like to see if they would be interested in sharing your story on their page.
For example, let’s take this page . This is a huge page, and what’s even better it is the official page of Canadian Tourism Commission. This means that they are on Facebook to promote Canada, they are not there to earn money with Facebook so they won’t have a problem to share your link.
If you have a travel blog, this is the perfect page to target. If you scroll down you will see that they already shared some articles. Now, the best thing is that you don’t have to write an article about Canada and pray to see it on their page.
You do let them know that you’re writing an awesome article and if, only if, they answer positively you sit down and write a super-duper article about Canada and add some nice photos (or Infographic, like I did). This is the type of the article that EVERYBODY will share . This can be done in 2-5 days. If you don’t have the skills, hire a great writer.
In January, I had a guest post on my blog talking about what to see in Salzburg (Austria) and guess what I did? I contacted a FB page talking about Salzburg (not a huge page, maybe 20K Likes) and I got around 1000 visits in one day, from that FB page alone. They were thrilled to see the article about Salzburg published on my blog and I was thrilled to get free social media promotion. I did this for a couple of more articles for my blog and I am doing this for my clients now.
This method can be used for other niches as well. All you need is a really good article, a little bit of time to contact Facebook pages covering the topic you’re writing about and …that’s it! Of course, you won’t contact your competitors and ask them to post a link on their page.
Please share your thoughts.