If you’re looking to establish an academic blog, you’ve probably wondered how to go about doing so. Launching a standalone blog can be surprisingly difficult. Even if you’re fortunate enough to secure some form of publication deal, you’ll still need to build up a readership. That’s a lot of pressure for a fledgling blogger.
Fortunately, establishing an academic blog isn’t as difficult as you might think. There are several established digital marketing techniques that you can use to gain traction and attract a following. This article will discuss six ways in which you can market your academic blog for maximum impact.
1. Build Your Email List
One of the most effective (and free) ways to market a blog is through email marketing. Creating an email list — that is, gathering email addresses of interested parties — can be done in several ways. You can use a tool like AWeber, which allows you to easily gather email addresses from a variety of online platforms (including Twitter).
You can then use an email marketing service like MailChimp or Hootsuite to send out periodic emails. Depending on your needs and the resources available to you, you can use either of these services to send out emails.
One effective strategy is to email your list about once a week at most. Doing so allows you to stay top of mind with your audience, attract potential new followers, and continue to grow your email list.
2. Find Your Niche
A standalone academic blog doesn’t have to be on every subject area to be effective. Instead, you can develop a small niche and carve out an audience for yourself. For instance, if you’re a sports blogger, you may want to develop a blog around college football. Your blog can cover game recaps (from previous seasons), highlight reels, and interviews with key personalities from the world of sports. You can use tools like Google Trends to easily find and evaluate any niche you might choose.
Although developing a niche sounds like a tall order, it can be a simple and straight-forward process. Once you’ve established your blog with a small following, you can more easily go back and develop niche blogs around various topics you cover. Plus, the more you write, the easier it will become to find your niche.
3. Build Your Community
Another effective way to market your academic blog is by engaging with your audience. After all, you’ve got a captive audience for whom you’re responsible. You can use several techniques to engage with your audience, from simply responding to comments to creating exclusive content that is only available to subscribers.
The main reason behind developing a community around your blog is to provide your audience with value. Essentially, you’re able to create a space that they can benefit from and value. For instance, if you’ve established that you’re an expert in environmental law, you can use your blog to publish valuable tips and information on the subject. Or, if you’ve built a reputation as a quality commentator for major media publications, you can use your blog to provide on-demand expert analysis on key events and issues.
One major benefit of having a community around your blog (apart from establishing a sense of value and meaning) is that you can use your blog to attract and engage prospective followers, subscribers, and customers. By establishing a small but engaged community, you can gain credibility with key decision makers in your industry, create social proof for your blog and brand, and ultimately, grow your business.
4. Use Social Media
If you’ve been paying attention to our digital world in recent years, you’ll know that social media has taken over. In particular, the massive presence of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube has enabled individuals to establish themselves as opinion leaders online. As a result, many marketers and bloggers have turned to these platforms to help them spread their messages and to gain credibility.
One powerful tactic that you can use to engage on social media is called a “live chat.” Essentially, you’ll use a tool like Skype, Google Hangouts, or GoToWebinar to have real-time, interactive discussions with your audience. You can ask questions, give advice, or just engage in general conversation with your audience via live chats.
A slightly more traditional form of engaging with your audience on social media is by using your blog’s @ symbol to represent your Twitter account. As a result, when an individual follows the blog’s Twitter account, they’ll see that account’s content in their Twitter stream, regardless of whether or not they’ve actually visited the Twitter page for the blog.
You can also use social media to gain credibility with potential followers. For instance, you can use platforms like YouTube to upload videos of you delivering presentations or speeches, explaining complicated topics, or conducting interviews with industry experts. The videos can then be used to establish your credibility and brand.
5. Use Video Content
It’s hard to convey the importance of videos in digital marketing today. After all, videos can easily be shared online, used to comment on social media platforms, accessed via links on websites, and more.
One major reason behind the explosion of video content today is the need for information. People want to learn about products and services from experts who are able to explain complex topics in simple terms. As a result, you can use video content to establish your expertise very quickly and easily. If someone asks you a question about a certain topic, and you don’t have a video explaining it, you’ll lose out on the opportunity to educate your audience.
If you want to use video content to educate and inform your audience, you’ve got several options. You can use a tool like Bonjoro to create and host video courses on certain subjects. Alternatively, you can interview subject matter experts, conduct webinars, or create informative podcasts to share with your audience.
6. Market Your Blog Via Email
If you’ve been paying attention to our digital world in recent years, you’ll know that marketing via email is one of the most powerful techniques available to digital marketers. This is mainly because the costs of sending individual emails to a large audience are nominal, and the benefits (i.e., gaining credibility with key decision makers, attracting potential customers, and building a community) are significant.
Email marketing services take the drudgery out of bulk email marketing and allow you to focus on more important things. For example, you can use MailChimp to create automated email campaigns that can be sent to a large audience with little effort.
If you’ve got a sizable audience that you’re looking to engage with, consider using a tool like AWeber or MailChimp to create automated email campaigns.