Blog Promotion: How Your Blog Can Kick Ass on Google

Do you want to Kick Ass on Google?  If so read on….
blog promotion - KickAss

If you mange to kick ass on Google you’ll get a lot of free traffic to your site and generate lots of business!

Brian Dean from Backlinko launched his site about SEO in December and is already appearing on page 1 of Google for some of the most competitive terms in the SEO industry.

I chatted to Brian to find out how his blog promotion process works – Write great content on the blog, optimize it and promote it!

Read this summary of a really interesting interview and you’ll be kicking ass in no time!!!

 1.  Identifying the Topic

Brian does some keyword research to figure out a good topic to write about and then he searches Google to find out the top results for this search.  He will then pick out the best content from that list and write something a lot better.

He wants to have the best article on that list and this will give him the best chance to stand out.

2. Writing the Content

Brian writes around once a month and writes long detailed articles, each article on his site is over 1,000 words.  From his research long articles do better in terms of shares, comments and of course links, which are the most important and means they will do better in search results.


Link Building Post - blog promotion

Long detailed and very useful posts!


How can you make an impact with only one post a month?  Brian agrees with Derek Halpern from Social Triggers.  You need to spend more time promoting your content than writing it!  In fact he suggests spending 20% of your time writing the content and 80% promoting it.

You can write lots of great content each week but if you don’t have a good promotion strategy then the content just won’t do well.


3. Optimizing the Content

Brian mentioned in the interview that a couple of years ago you would just stuff keywords in a post to help it rank.  But Google is smarter now so the goal is to help Google understand how to index your content correctly based on what you want to rank for and not to over optimize.

Let’s take a look at one of Brian’s posts.


Blog Post Optimization - blog promotion

There are some basics that need to be considered for every post


Brian wants to rank on the term ‘on-page seo’

1.  On-Page SEO is displayed across the top of the browser.  This is known as the page title and it’s one of the most important elements you need to configure.  Google will read this to figure out what the page is about.  You’ll notice that the title tag includes other words but what’s imortant is that On-Page SEO is at the start of the title.

2. On-Page SEO is the page name.  You’ll notice that Brian doesn’t include the full name of the blog post but only focuses on the key term he wants to rank on.

3. The name of the post is a Heading 1 title.  This is also relevant.  Make sure the name of your post is marked as a H1 tag (Heading 1) on your page.

4. Brian mentions the keywords within the first 100 words of his post.  As the post is about On Page SEO it makes perfect sense that he talks about this early on.

The whole post is about Brian’s technique so have a read of his post about on page seo and take a look at the infographic below.


On Page SEO Infographic - blog promotion

This is a great infographic for understanding how to optimize your blog posts

(Get infographic code on

Note:  Raventools is a good tool for analyzing and optimizing content.

4.  Promoting the content

Writing great content doesn’t mean it will rank well within Google or it will get shared.  The crucial element after publishing the content is how you promote it.

Brian produces really valuable content so there are plenty of people that will be interested in linking to it.  But if they don’t know about it in the first place how can they?  So Brian reaches out to these people to make them aware of his content.  He uses a monitoring tool called ‘’ to monitor mentions of keywords he wants to rank on so that he can reach out to the sites that mention these keywords when he posts his blog post to make them aware of his post!

In the post above Brian had an infographic so he started to reach out to relevant blogs that may be interested in this infographic to see if they would publish it.  Of course when they publish (embed it) a link it generated back to Brian’s site.

Brian uses a tool called Ahrefs to find the sites that are linking to the URLs that appear in the top 10 results for a search on the keywords he wants to rank on. So in this example, he would have entered “on-page SEO” into Google and then copied the web address of the top 10 results, one by one, in to Ahrefs to see what sites are currently linking to this content.

Note: Brian also mentioned that he’s investigating a tool called Backlink Spy from SECockpit which he is finding very good.

I ran this on his page and as you can see there over 600 links pointing back to this page.

Without these links the page would not have a chance of ranking well.


ahrefs backlinks - blog promotion

Ahrefs shows the number of domains that are linking back to this post


Based on this basic optimization of the post, by providing fantastic content and carrying out some strategic link building, this page is ranking number 8 in the search results.  Think about all the thousands of SEO companies that know SEO and want to rank for this keyword.  Brian ranks with one post and some link building, powerful!!!

On page seo results - blog promotion

Ranking on the first page for a very competitive terms


How did Brian get these links?

This is not an easy task and it’s time consuming.  You try to identify relevant websites/blogs that would want to link to you.  One of the most important things for links is to get relevant links.  You want to get links from sites that are relevant to yours.  But the diversity of these links is also important, for example, if all your links come from only a handful of high profile sites Google will not see this is as natural.  It’s much better if you have a broader spread of links so having some lower profile links are fine (as long as the sites are relevant).

In the example above infographics are very popular so it’s easier to get people to include an infographic in a post.

Let’s take a look at some of the examples of where the links came from.

1.  Networking with the right people

In the following example this blogger found Brian through Neil Patel’s site (very influential) and decided to write an article and include the infographic.  So this is not a link that Brian looked for.  He got this because he networks with the right people.  So networking is one important area of building links.  Network with people, build relationships and where relevant share their content.


Networking with the right people - blog promotion

This post described Brians’ process and embedded the infographic


2.  Being picked up by high profile sites.

Wordtracker (which is a highly ranked website) included the infographic as a post.  This is a site found either Brian’s article or seen the infographic on another site.  Companies are looking for good content all the time so if you produce good content and you really promote it you’ll get some juicy links!

Wordtracker - blog promotion

A very valuable link from a great domain


 3.  Edu domain link

A domain that ends in edu is generally an institute of higher education.  These websites are generally highly ranked within Google due to their huge popularity so getting a link back from them can be really valuable.  On the site there is a list of SEO resources and Brian’s post is mentioned.


Edu domain link - blog promotion

Getting this type of link is really useful


They could have just found Brian because the infographic was shared around a lot or they may have found him through search results.  In this case Brian reached out to them and found them through searching online.

This sounds like a lot of work and it is!  But this is a link you will always have and having more high quality links means regular ongoing traffic.

During the interview Brian gave an example of someone who created an infographic very similar to his that didn’t have any links and very few social shares.  The issue with this infographic was that it wasn’t promoted.

What about optimizing video?

The best tip that Brian gave was to search Google for the keywords you want to rank on and if there are no video results in this search then don’t waste your time trying to rank a video.  Google only puts video’s in search results for some keyword searches so there’s no point in trying to rank if there are not videos in the results already!



Thanks to Brian for a fascinating interview.  The action I’d love to see at the end of this is for people to commit to higher quality content and focus more on blog promotion.

I’d strongly advise you to start following Brian as he is bringing out some fantastic courses which will teach people the process he follows for ranking.  Check out Backlinko now!

We’d love to hear your feedback below.  Will you take any of the above on board?  What has worked for you?




  • Nandini Rathi

    Great read! Networking with the other bloggers in your niche is the key to building a long term backlink strategy. After the recent Google updates, bloggers are looking for ways not to depend on Google alone. And this is one of the magic tricks.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you Nandini, I think you are right. Thanks for stopping by! Ian

  • Zsuzsa Szabo

    Ian, this is exactly the post I needed, thanks for interviewing Brian!

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you Zsuzsa, glad you found it useful. It was great to chat with Brian.

  • Paul Shapiro

    Let me tell you, out of the 100 somewhat SEO blogs I read daily, Backlinko is quickly becoming one my favorites when it comes to solid link building advice. Good stuff Ian.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Paul, it’s one of my favorites also!

    • Brian Dean

      Thanks Paul! I really appreciate that.

  • Steve Elson

    Good article, clearly written by someone who’s passionate and driven by the subject. Will definately by applying your research tips to my content writing strategy. Thanks for sharing Ian

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Steve, thank you so much for your great feedback. I’m certainly passionate about the subject and it was great to interview Brian. All the best, Ian

  • Malhar Barai

    My go-to sites for anything SEO so far were usually Moz or SearchEngineLand. Certainly good to know about Backlinko and surely it does have wealth of information.

    Thanks Ian, will be using few tips from here.

    • Ian Cleary

      Hey Malhar, Backlinko is certainly useful to have on your list. Articles are once a month but all very high quality! Thanks for your feedback! Ian

      • Malhar Barai

        You were right. He has some wonderful articles. Just subscribed to his newsletter.


  • Stephan Hovnanian

    This is fantastic, and I agree, as someone who doesn’t blog regularly, promotion goes a long way. I’m going to get a little more aggressive with it though after reading this.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you Stephan, go for it!!!! Ian

  • ticklingpalates

    Ian, thank you for this wonderful article. Made me rethink the strategy of I’m currently doing.- Radhika

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you Radhika, delighted that it has done that!!! All the best, Ian

  • Uzair

    know how to get free backlinks

  • http://www.mcngmarketing/ Vincent Ng- MCNG Marketing

    Ian, this blog article is right on. As a blogger it gave me a lot to think about and how to approach blogging. I think that the ideology of blogging every day can be a bit much and leave people exhausted. But blogging and relationship building are so important, and you’ve now made me look at the way I write my content and what’s considered valuable to SEO rankings. This was truly inspiring.

    • Ian Cleary

      Hey Vincent, that is great to hear. Thank you so much, I’m delighted you found it useful, Ian

  • Jenny Brennan

    Hi Ian, This is such a handy post. I am about to delve back into the world of blogging and see how much things have changed in a short few months. This is a really easy to read and follow post. My brain is now whirring with new ideas not only for my content strategy but also my networking strategy!

    • Ian Cleary

      Hey Jenny, thank you so much for your feedback, glad you liked the post. Good luck with the blogging! Ian

  • Cendrine Marrouat

    Ian, this is probably one of your best posts since I started following you. And it is so easy to understand and follow!

    I agree with you that promotion should take more time than the writing of the articles itself.

    Mention is such a cool tool. You can’t miss anything with it. I also rely on WordPress for backlink mentions. It’s pretty efficient.

    I’m going to share this article widely. Thank you for all you do!

    • Ian Cleary

      Hey Cendrine, thank you so much for you lovely comment, it’s really appreciated and thank you for sharing. Ian

  • Aleksey Zuravlov

    Hi, Ian!

    Lovely overview! I can definitely confirm that having huge posts helps with ranking, a LOT. 2k+ word posts rank like crackers. The only problem is writing great, enticing content and be that wordy about it.

    Best wishes,

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you very much Aleks. You’re right, the content needs to be very good and easy to read! Ian

  • BrentCarnduff

    Great article Ian – one of the best SEO pieces I’ve read in a while! Going to share it again : )

    • Ian Cleary

      Great, thanks Brent. Delighted you like it!

  • Shayma

    I enjoyed reading this and agree with a lot of it. I think it depends on which field you are in with regards to the number of words you write. In the food blogging world, good blogging etiquette dictates that you keep your posts short – hovering around the 300-500 range. Of course, this number is not cast in stone, but if we look around us, that’s what we see.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you Shayma, that’s interesting to know!

  • Dawn Abraham

    Ian great post I love it! You give so much valuable information I will bookmark it for future reference. I am big on keyword research and feel if the keyword is one I don’t stand a chance of being found for on Google I won’t write the blog post. That has paid off but can be frustrating to say the least.

    Networking is always huge with anything you do. I would love about ten more hours in the day so I can network with even more people. What I do that works well is higher quality networking.

    Instead of just saying thank you or hi I take the time when I can to check out people’s bio. and go their website. That way I have something to talk to them about that is important to them. It works beautifully I end up with some great connections from amazing people.

    I am glad I found your post I think it was on Pinterest or a link to it was. Great post Ian you make some great points and you got me thinking. Talk to you soon! XOXO

    • Ian Cleary

      Hey Dawn, thank you so much. I don’t write very many posts that I don’t think I can rank on within Google. I prefer to put a lot of effort into a blog post as it ends up getting traffic on an ongoing basis. This post ranks for ‘blog promotion’!

      I also agree with you regarding putting in the effort with networking. I just love meeting people and if you make the effort people are surprised. When I”m presenting at an event I invite people to the event and then I greet them at the door when they come in. I will remember a lot of their names which they really appreciate.

      I am so looking forward to meeting you some day and I know it will happen!

      I sent a friend request on Facebook as I’d like to get to know you more!

      All the best,

      • Dawn Abraham

        Hi Ian,

        You are smart with your writing. I do the same thing. I write my post and then rewrite and wait until the next day and rewrite it again adding more value better pics. etc. I also only write evergreen posts. I have articles, knock on wood, that have been on the first page of Google for four and five years. ツ

        We are on the same page although every article I write isn’t always epic like what you do. I like that I will have to think about that.

        I saw your friend request on fb and I approved it so yes we have to make an effort on facebook to connect. I now appreciate the few people I can add to facebook as my friend. I only have 3 spots left. For 2 years I couldn’t add anyone. Some how my friends went up to 6200.

        I know the limit is 5000. Something weird was going on and it took two years for me to get just barely below 5000 friends. That just happened a month ago. So we are going to connect there if it kills me. hahaha kidding. ツ

        I will talk to you later Ian! Have an awesome day tomorrow. XOXO

        • Ian Cleary

          Thank you Dawn, unfortunately some of my content is not evergreen but I’d like more of it to be. When I write about tools the tools change so I need to go back and review the posts on a regular basis!

          It’s very smart of you only writing evergreen content!

          I’m glad you managed to squeeze me in on your friends list!!!!
          You have an awesome day also, great chatting! Ian

  • Trina V Rohner

    I’m sooo glad I checked into you today!!!! Very educational and I will be following you closely , Thank You!!!!

  • Wessel

    Ian this is an awesome post! Really enjoyed it. Now i can take on the South African market! LOL,, Im in the tourism industry and ive spotted a huge gap in the industry but for this i will need a good content writer/online partner. Is this something you will consider taking on or do you maybe know people who will be interested? Sorry to post this here but after this article you are someone worth reaching out 2… Great article!

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you for your feedback, sorry not for me!! Best of luck with your new role!

  • danaray

    Ian, this is exactly the post I needed, thanks for interviewing Brian!

    Life Experience Degrees

  • Enstine Muki

    Great stuff Ian
    Brian is now ranking 2nd position on Google page one for that hot keyword.

    I just got a new tool for blog promotion called broadedNet. Have you come across it?

    hope you have a wonderful week

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Enstine, I haven’t heard of it. I hope it goes well for you. I’ll certainly check it out! Ian

  • Cassidy Rauch

    Just came across this but still interesting to read how focusing more on the content and not posting as often is really better than just posting every day or week. Quality posts with thought and some planning still sound like a good way to go when blogging.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Cassidy.

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