Cyclical Marketing for blog growth.

*This is going to sound quite boring and dry, so please bear with me if you do bother to read.

Have you ever read a digital press release in which the company (Company A) distributing the release will link several different companies or organizations within the release?

Have you ever seen those links, taken the step to go to the linked company pages (Company B) and see what releases that company has put out? That company will have their own release on the same subject and at the bottom of their release, a link that takes you back to the initial company’s (Company A) website.

This is cyclical marketing. For every company you promote, you’re gaining more promotion in return.

In marketing, it’s one of the easiest, and smartest, things you can do to gain promotion and grow your audience. It’s a tactic that companies use all the time – whether money exchanges hands or not. It’s a tactic that I used ALL THE TIME at my previous job, in press releases, on social media and on our website. From something as simple as a tweet that says “Check out or Friends” to something as fancy as a “Here’s our 100 page Media Kit printed by Company L”.

It seems straightforward and simple… because it is.

It works for companies and can also work for bloggers. If you’re looking to grow your audience and don’t necessarily know how to go about it, I strongly recommend considering this as an option to try and increase your reach.


Here’s how I’d explain it:

First, you find your tribe. It’s cheesy, I know. Find your people (generally between 2-5 people is the optimal inclusion rate. When you go above five you run the risk of losing attention). These are people who’s beliefs may or may not align with yours, but they’re people who can put their own twist on a topic. Once you’ve found them, start a conversation about something that interests all of you. It could be a product review, it could be an outlook on mental health, it could be an opinion about pop culture, politics or religion… whatever it is, find one subject that all of you can write about. Make sure that it’s a popular subject. Don’t pick something obscure that people won’t want to read. The goal here is to pick a subject that’ll appeal to your audience, and to the audience you’ve not yet met.

Each of you writes a post. Each of you edits the posts. At the bottom of your posts include a note that reads ‘This post is done in paternership with Blogger X, Blogger Y and Blogger Z. To see their perspectives on these subject please click on the following links.”

Schedule your posts for the exact same moment. If you’re in different time zones, make sure that you’re aware of the difference so that you can pick an optimal time for everyone.

Your readers will read your post, and, if you’ve done your job well enough, have interest in checking out the opinions of those you partnered with to make the post. And each of their posts will direct their readers to you.

The Math:

Let’s say that you, Blogger A, have 100 followers. You’re struggling to reach a new audience and you’re looking for a means to grow your blog. You take on this opportunity. and find three friends to do it with.

Let’s say that Blogger X, Blogger Y and Blogger Z also all have 100 followers each. Whilst it’s estimated that roughly 10 percent of that audience could overlap, that sill leaves 90% of the audience who has not yet heard of you.

Blogger A (you), in one post, promotes Bloggers X, Y and Z to your audience of 100 people. In return, Bloggers X, Y and Z are promoting Blogger A(you) in each of their posts, which is 270 brand new readers being reached (300 people – 10% or, 30 people).

270 new people that are being reached without spamming, without purchasing followers, without being sneaky or underhanded. It’s just honest, open promotion. If you do it right, it works.


Key Points:

  1. You need to write about something that will garner attention, something popular, something that people will care to read your perspective of, and the perspective of others. So don’t write about how cheerios are gross. Pick a topic that matters. If you don’t, no one’s going to care.
  2. You have to post at the same time. If people click on the link to go to someone’s blog and their post hasn’t been made yet, the cyclical promotion will stop dead right there. So, if you’re in different time zones – say one of you lives in Florida and one of you lives in California, you need to schedule to ensure the Floridian posts at noon and the Californian posts at 9 am.

Cyclical marketing helped me, in my last office, grow the twitter profile from having 200,000 followers to 600,000 followers in just 12 months. Granted it was an established company so the brand name played a help in that growth, I did posts of this nature several times a week. Posts we paid for, posts people paid us for, posts no one paid for we just did as a means to reach new people and showcase our brand… whenever I saw a partnership that posed an opportunity for growth, it became a part of my Twitter calendar.

I have experience first hand just how much value these Cyclical marketing initiatives can benefit a company. Celebrities do this too! All the time! Now that you’ve read this post, you’ll realize it when you see it happening more often.

It’s simple. It’s smart. It works.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – for a subject that’s sole purpose is to make things sound better, cooler or more appealing, explaining the structure behind marketing is boring.

Blogging 103: Blog Monetization

*Point of Note – All information in this post is my person opinion based off my experiences on WordPress and from working in Digital Marketing. Please take anything said with a grain of salt and make the decision that’s best for you.

I read a lot of blog posts, from people new to the WordPress community, who are looking to monetize their blog almost immediately within creation. While I’m all for the entrepreneurial spirit, I think it’s important to note that you have to pay for the Premium Personal Account that has site monetization and for all of the Business Accounts that have site monetization. This means you don’t just get to run these ads for free.

Before you go and purchase this account that allows site monetization, I think it’s an important question to ask yourself, are you getting enough traffic to your blog to even make back the money you’re paying for the account?

Fun Fact: I once worked for a company in which we ran ads on the company blog. With 20,000+ hits to the blog per week, we were making on average… about 75 cents per day. I say this not to scare people away from the decision to monetize your blog. If you want to do it, do it! But do so being informed. Keep in mind that a WordPress account that allows you site monetization is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. You have to put money in to get money out, and, what money you make from ads is based on site traffic and clicks.

In the short term, without established traffic visiting your blog, it could be difficult to garner enough revenue from those advertisements to even pay off the fee the account cost you. I say this not to discourage, but to educate. If you have money to burn, this might not matter to you. But, if you’re living pay-cheque to pay-cheque, or struggling to get by, putting your hard-earned money on a WordPress account that isn’t going to return it’s value might cause you to be discouraged with blogging.

In the long term, if your goal is to monetize your blog that’s a very smart, sustainable approach. Building your audience and your community will ensure an established level of traffic to your blog that can allow you some foreshadowing as to potential ad revenue that you can make. If your blog so happens to get more traffic one day over another, that’s an added bonus. But, at the very least, you’ll be able to estimate possible money earned based from average hits your blog gets.

I think that it’s also important to note professional bloggers don’t make the majority of their money from ad revenue. Ad revenue is often an after-thought in blog revenue from someone who’s professionally blogging. Bloggers will use ads, but these ads are not their primary source of income. These ads are often a secondary, or more likely, a tertiary source of income. If someone is really successful with blogging these ads might just be a fourth or fifth source of income.

Professional bloggers make their substantial pay-cheques from things like sponsorship, brand collaborations, selling of services, EBooks and so on and so forth. And they’re awarded those sources of income because they have an already established audience of people reading their blog. Sponsorship can mean big bucks, depending on the size of your site. While working at the aforementioned company who’s blog that I ran, a sponsored post for us could make anywhere between $500-$5000. $5,000 for a single post was a big difference from the 75 cents per day the blog was making in ads.

So where does that leave you?

Well, if blogging something that you really want to make a go at, it’s going to require some hustle. It’s going to require some strategic digital marketing practices being put in place to grow your blog for not only temporary traffic, but for people who will keep coming back, who want, need and desire to see what you have to share.

It’s going to involve strategic positioning. It’s going to involve taking the initiative to properly use your analytics in your favour, and it’s going to take work. (Unless you’re already famous or the child of a celebrity, that is)

If you’ve got something to bring to the table, something that can benefit others, or bring them joy, connect with them or catch their attention, then you will need to use all of the Digital Marketing tools in your arsenal to make sure people read your work. Because… like I’ve said before… just because you write it does not mean people will read it. There’s plenty of profoundly intelligent people on this platform with a lot to offer the blogging community (and the world) who don’t know how to Digitally Market themselves, and as a result, will never get to share their expertise as far as it deserves.


Like this post and want to read more about Digital Marketing and showcasing your blog? Read any of these posts:

On building your dream blog >

On making your blog stand out >

Blogging 102 – Tips for Blog Growth >

Beginners guide to wordpress analytics (and using them to grow your audience) >

Why you shouldn’t buy followers >

Beginners guide to wordpress analytics (and using them to grow your audience)

*Warning – this is an exceptionally long post.

You’ve heard of them, possibly from your boss, probably from sports and absolutely in gambling. Analytics have become a powerful force behind the things we do.

The process of collecting, storing and using data is not new. Scientists have been doing it for hundreds of years with research. It’s only been in recent years, however, that analytics have become an integral piece to business and life with respect to our computers and how we use them.

Why do analytics matter?

Quite simply, analytics matters because they work. You can be overwhelmed with data and the value of it may be unattainable. Applying analytics creates insights. Human brains were not built to process the amounts of data that are today being generated through social media, sensors, and more. So analytics allow us to compile data in an easy to understand format to use it in our favour.

With wordpress, analytics are essential to understanding your audience. If you’re here as a hobby-blogger, then you likely won’t desire knowing any of this. But, if you’re openly, willingly trying to grow your blog, analytics are an important piece to doing so.

WordPress has laid out analytics in simple graphs and charts to make it easy for every user to understand. Here are some of the ways you can use wordpress analytics in your favour.

UNDERSTAND WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE IS FROM

For me, the vast majority of the audience that reads #MillennialLifeCrisis are from the United States. Second behind the United States is the United Kingdom. This information is important to note because if you want the most people possible to see your blog posts, you want to be posting during the hours in which the most people will be awake.

The ‘Magic Hours’ for distribution of communication are between 11:30 am-2:00 pm and from 7:30 pm-8:30 pm. These time frames are widely used by companies around the world as windows in which to distribute their information. So, if the majority of your audience is from the United States, schedule your posts to be released such that they’ll fall within that window. If the majority of your audience stems from Australia, try to schedule your posts to be released during that window… from an Australian time zone.

UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE ARE FINDING YOUR BLOG

Use the “referrers” section to understand how people are finding your blog. In many, if not most, cases, the majority of referrers will be wordpress.com readers. This is because when we come on wordpress, we browse each other’s blogs. But take a moment to also understand where else people are finding you.

For me, I don’t have a facebook account for #MillennialLifeCrisis, or personally. So, seeing that 6 people have been referred to my blog today from Facebook shows that people are taking my content and sharing it to their facebook pages. This is not only a huge compliment, but can also show me that it might be a valuable thing for me to create a facebook page for which to share my content.

Take note of that listing on the bottom as well. ‘Search Engines’. Though it’s a small number, only two referrers today, it’s an important number. What ‘Search Engines’ is telling me is that two people were able to find my blog through their search of a subject on google. This is HUGE! If your blog posts can crack the google system, this means your content has the possibility of reaching an even greater audience than wordpress users because your blog posts will appear when people search the subjects you’re writing about.

‘POSTS & PAGES’ CAN TELL YOU WHICH OF YOUR POSTS RESONATED MOST WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

Review the ‘views’ listing under posts and pages and allow this to show you what posts have resonated most with your audience. By flipping between “Day” to “7 days” to “30 Days” all the way down to “All time” you can see which of your posts have received the most attention, not just on the days in which you posted them, but have continued to receive attention even though you might have posted them three months ago.

Knowing which content of yours has ‘withstood the test of time’ and not just fallen into the back pages of your blog can provide you insight towards popular topics. Popular topics help provide subjects you may wish to follow up on, subjects that could gain interest should you take a deep dive further into.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR ‘INSIGHTS’

This section tells you the most popular day of the week and hour of the day. Please note that this section will change/update weekly. But, if you’re someone that perhaps only posts one blog post per week, reading this insight might suggest that Monday is a good day to post next week.

Not only are ‘Tags & Categories’ how most people find you through WordPress, but they’re also how your blog finds its way into search engine listings. Using proper tags of your content can make a big difference so far as to who finds your content. So, if you’re trying to grow your audience/readership, ensure that you’re properly tagging your posts, and you’re reviewing this section of your analytics to see which tags/categories are gaining the most traction.

Case in point of proper categories being critical – posts that have been made to #MillennialLifeCrisis that I did not categorize have provided the lowest amount of traction to my blog.

If you’re unsure of which tags or categories to use, I recommend using the ‘search’ function to search tags and categories similar to the content you post. If you post reviews of music, search ‘Music’, ‘Music Reviews’, ‘Rock & Roll’, and so on and so forth. You can see which tags and categories have the most updates and gain the most traction.


Honestly, I could go into analytics all day long. There’s so much to make use of and so much to learn from. I think the most important lesson to take from your analytics, though, is that if you really want to grow your blog/audience/readership, they’re abundantly important.

Perhaps I’ll make another post like this further down the line. For now though, I think this is a good starting place.

Use your analytics wisely and they’ll be one of your greatest tools to blogging, communication, distribution, social media and online business in general. It’s all in using what you’ve got in front of you!