Who wouldn’t love for a post to go viral?

You could pop open an ice cold can of Tab and sit back in your duct-taped office chair refreshing your stats for hours. Or maybe that’s just my dream. Maybe you just want, you know, people to read your stuff. Today we’re looking at promoting your blog posts without being a nasty spammer.

How can we get more eyes on our awesome work? Make friends, create relationships

To get people to read your post, you have to let people know your post exists. That means interacting. The more you become an active and authentic part of the community of writers and readers on the web, the more writers and readers will come to you. The Internet is the best place for introverts to sell themselves because it’s all typing! Yay!

But notice that word “authentic”? It’s important. Promoting your posts starts with creating genuine relationships.

Make professional connections

Conferences are a great way not only to learn more about your craft, but also to connect with like-minded folks in the blogosphere. I get a third of the hits on my blog from yeah write, which I was introduced to by a friend I met at Blissdom. My biggest posts have been picked up by bloggers I reached out to after hearing them speak at conferences.

To be read, be a reader. Reading your favorite blogs and commenting on them is a great way to get to know other bloggers AND their readers. It’s no secret I have a huge girl-crush on The Bloggess. I regularly read and comment on her blog, and it’s among my top five referrers. Her readers want to read people who read her.

If you want people to be generous with your work, be generous with theirs. Promote your favorite posts and bloggers and, if you’re as awesome as everyone says you are, they will return the favor.

Be courteous and don’t be tacky

Do not email your post to random bloggers and ask for a link-back. “Dear [Big Blogger]: I’d love it if you’d link to my post 10 Crappy Things I Made for My Kid’s Goody Bags!”

There’s an etiquette to asking people to read, share, or link back to your posts. The less you know the person, the more formal you need to be and the more connection you need to find between your content and that blogger. I target completely different bloggers when I want to promote one of my political rants than I do when I’m pushing a parenting story and another list entirely for, say, posts about my underwear.

Do not randomly tweet your post at bloggers you don’t know. “@GiantBlogger Here’s my new post! I’d love if you’d retweet it! Pleeeeease and thank youuuuu

Do not put links back to your blog in comments you leave on other blogs. Only on rare occasions would this be appropriate. If you have a post that might answer a question the blogger has asked, or if your post is so uncannily related to that it would be freakish not to tell the writer about it. Otherwise, it’s spammy. But, if you have some connection with another blogger, let her know about your great post.

Now try it for real: promote one of your blog posts and share the results in comments

Let’s do it. Promote a post.

challenge116

The yeah write #116 weekly challenge grid is still open for submissions: giving away a premium WP theme from Elegant Themes

You can add your day two list post or you can write a new post specifically for the challenge: a personal essay or traditional blog anecdote. Is it time for a 31dbbb prize giveaway, yet? If you’re on self-hosted WordPress or are planning to move to self-hosted soon, you’re invited to browse the Elegant Themes web site for a new theme and, if you’re on the challenge grid this week following our submission guidelines, we’ll add you to a random drawing for a new premium theme. Just let us know you want in in the comments.

Questions, promotions and prize drawings in comments…