You’ve created a great blog post, went through the checklist of things to do before publishing and now your article is live. You cannot rest though as the marketing work only starts now. If this work is not done your content will most probably go unnoticed no matter how good it is. This is because visitors will not just come to you automatically. You need to draw people’s attention to it.
Publishing thrilling content without doing any marketing and distribution only works if you have already built a large and loyal audience. The quality of your content is key and it needs to be able to carry its own weight but you need to proactively go and make people aware of it. You cannot just sit passively and wait for visitors to come. You need to overcome the stigma of self-marketing. Content distribution should be the essential part of your content marketing strategy and the success of your site depends on it.
This is my post-publish content marketing routine. This is what I do to drive traffic to my blog. I hope it inspires you to make your own distribution routine. You should make it a habit and do it after publishing each and every post. It is your job to distribute your content wherever you can and this will help increase your reach and audience. Aim to spend 50% of your time creating the content, and the other 50% promoting that content.
Optimize your approach for the individual social network
There’s a fine line between good content marketing and spam. You don’t want to be seen as a spammer. You want to create value to the people you are reaching out to. You want to answer questions they have. You want to help them out achieve what they want to achieve. Do spend some time in learning about the guidelines and the way to approach each individual platform and follow them when you are trying to promote your own content.
- There are some differences between the different social networks in the way that they handle content. Content appears differently in terms of formatting for example. You should take these into account when creating your social posts.
- In general all the social networks are very focused on visual imagery so using some shareable images in your content is a great start and will result in more reach and engagement.
- Twitter only allows you 140 characters limit for your posts so you have to be smart about the way you write your copy. Both Facebook and Google+ allow longer copy so there is more room to play with. Google+ even allows you to do slight text formatting like bolded font and numbered lists.
- Each platform also has different type of audience, different expectations and even timings for when it’s best to post so optimizing for individual network is key in getting the most out of it.
I have included links to my guides on the platforms that I work with throughout this article so do take a look and learn more about each of the platforms. Let’s get started. I have split my blog post marketing routine between tasks I do for each and every post I publish, and tasks I do selectively for some special posts that I want to put even more emphasis on.
Tasks I always do
- Mailing list. If you have a newsletter or a mailing list of loyal subscribers, it is worth sending some special (or even all) blog posts to them. These could be the first wave of visitors that help you share your new content to even more people.
- Tweet. One of the first things I do is to tweet out the headline and the link to my Twitter followers to make them aware of the new post. Many times I also include an image as that seems to get more attention. See more on my Twitter strategy and how you can get more followers.
- Facebook. I do the same thing on Facebook where I post the link with the image attached on my Facebook page. I find that displaying the image on my wall instead of the link thumbnail works best in terms of reach and engagement. See how to boost your Facebook reach.
- Google+. Google+ may not be as popular but I also do the same process on my Google+ profile like I do on Facebook. Not only that. You should also join relevant Google+ communities, be active in them by sharing your knowledge, and then post your link once in a while as well.
- Linkedin. I also publish the link to my post on my Linkedin profile. You can even post it in different Linkedin groups or use their publishing network to host your post on the platform. See more on my LinkedIn activities and advice.
- Pinterest. I submit the post image to my relevant Pinterest boards. I make sure to include a headline in all the images that I put on my site and that was mostly thanks to the increasing importance of Pinterest as a traffic driver. It makes the images look better. See more on using Pinterest for traffic.
- StumbleUpon. Stumbleupon is still a nice source of traffic and I aim to stumble all the posts that I publish in hope of getting some visitors from there. See more on how I drive traffic through Stumbleupon.
- Tumblr. I keep an active Tumblr account with the main objective being for it to be a traffic driver to my site. I post any new article on Tumblr adding the relevant tags. I have explained this strategy in this article.
- Instagram. Instagram is a bit different as you don’t have an option to add a link, but it is still an interesting platform. People on Instagram can be more engaging than on other platforms and you can catch their attention by using some stunning imagery and lead them to manually type in and visit your blog. See more on Instagram marketing here.
Tasks I do for selective posts
- Reddit. Some of the articles I publish fit well in certain subreddits on Reddit. Reddit has the potential to drive thousands of visitors to you so it is definitely worth exploring if you have a relevant article to submit and you can find a relevant and popular subreddit.
- Quora, Yahoo Answers and other Q&A sites. If you’ve done research before writing your post you’ve probably found a question people have and answered it in your post. Now you can go directly to different Q&A sites, look for people asking similar questions and help them out while at the same time indirectly promoting your content.
- Outreach to bloggers and influencers. I send personal tweets and emails to certain bloggers and other influencers that I think the post might be interesting to in hope of getting them to share it with their networks. I also reach out to anyone that I have mentioned in the post. Don’t beg for retweets, let the quality of content speak for itself. Here’s how you can get your emails read.
- Internal linking. I try and include the link to my new post in internal links where it is relevant from certain posts in my archive. See more on how you can optimize your internal linking.
- Commenting. I comment on the most recent posts of relevant sites that have good traffic numbers.
- Guest post. I can even write and submit guest posts to relevant and popular sites in which I would include the link to my new post. More on how I submit my guest posts.
- Niche sites, forums and other communities. Depending on the niche you are in there will be several community sites and forums that allow you to submit content. Sites like Hacker News. There’s a Hacker News type site out there for every niche. For example if you’re a food blogger it is worth submitting your posts to niche sites such as Foodgawker and TasteSpotting.
- Syndication. Syndication is similar to guest blogging in the sense that you go to a larger site where there is an audience you are looking at and give them access to publish your content. Business2Community is one syndication option for business related content. SocialMediaToday is another option. Medium, BusinessInsider, Forbes and Huffington Post are some of the other sites that accept authors.
- Repurposing content. There’s a lot of potential in recycling your content in different formats to different platforms. I can create a video for the post and upload it to YouTube or to Facebook. I can create an audio podcast version of the post and share it on iTunes and SoundCloud. I can create presentation slides or a PDF for the post and share it on SlideShare. Check out more options for recycling of your content.
- Paid advertising. It is increasingly difficult to get reach and clicks on social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Investing a bit of money in strategically important posts can give you a great boost and get your content in front of a larger audience. Majority of platforms mentioned in this post also accept paid advertising in order for you to boost your content to a larger audience.
Repeat the push
Aim to repeat the push on selected profiles several times over the next few days. Sharing content more than once on your profiles brings many more clicks as most followers don’t see the first post – on Facebook for example less than 10% of your likes see your post. You will see that nobody is bothered by you repeat posting and your clicks will increase so it’s hard to argue against this.
Twitter is perfect for repeat posts and I aim to publish the post some 3-5 times over the 48 hours after the article has been published. Be careful not to repeat the same tweet but add some variety and mix it up. You can do “title + link” once, but next time use an interesting quote or a fact instead. You don’t want to be repetitive and boring. Think what social media drops you can use in your content. Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are the other networks where I do reposting regularly.
Note that repeat posting doesn’t work on Reddit and on niche sites as one submit there is enough. You don’t want your actions to be seen as spam.
Review and monitor the results
It is important to take a look at the results, feedback and data on your push. What is the pickup like in the social media? Did you get retweets, Stumbles or votes on Reddit? Did someone influential share it or link to the post? What are the visitors saying? This will help you figure out how to proceed. You didn’t get the response and reaction you were hoping for? You might need to make some slight changes to the original post itself according to the feedback in order to make it more interesting. You can try with a different format or a different angle to the story. Can you make a better headline or a more interesting image for example?
If you follow this process well you will increase your blog traffic and publish more successful posts. I wanted to show you a journey of one of my successful post. One of my popular posts is the best WordPress plugins so this is the post that the infographic tries to examine and show its way from being published, to being spread thanks to my marketing routine to thousands of people within the first 24 hours of being online. Click on the image to view the full image.
The main lesson here is do not be passive! If you want your site to grow, if you want to increase your reach, get out there, find your target audience and help them out solving their problems. Be it Twitter, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Facebook, some forum or any other social networking site. Your audience will be somewhere and will like an expert to help them out with their questions and problems.
Find and help people one by one and soon your audience will grow. Your site will get visitors, your social media following will increase which will help you with future content distribution and you will get links from other sites which will help you with search engine rankings. At one point you might not even need to promote, as the audience will be so large that it will help spread the word about your content for you. If you are interested in more tactics for increasing your visitor numbers take a look at lessons I have learned from getting 1,000,000 visitors to my site.