Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
You write an awesome post, click publish, then sit back and wait for the hordes of adoring readers to leave hundreds of comments on your site.
Chances are this has happened to most of you at least once because this is exactly how most people go around promoting their content, by focusing the vast majority of time writing it. The promotion part ends up being an afterthought.
The funny thing is, this is exactly the opposite of what most big bloggers that have seen success are doing.
As Derek Halpern of Social Triggers is always quick to say:
“It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more. Or, in other words, create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you’ve created.”
You see, it doesn’t matter how great your content is if no one knows it’s there.
The good news?
We’re gonna change all that.
Today, we’re going to take a very close look at where you can spend that 80% of time promoting your content.
Sure, you can schedule a Tweet or two and call it “promotion,” but if you really want to get ahead, put your name out there, and establish yourself as an expert in your field, you have to embrace a little bit of self promotion.
But, before we get into that, let’s cover one big thing first.
Have Epicly Awesome Content
We’ll let you in on a little secret…ready?
It’s way easier to have your post get tons of shares, likes, and comments if it’s really good. While in the early Wild West days of the Internet having a 700 word listicle was all that was required for “epic,” today’s readers are a lot savvier than they used to be.
Epic content means providing value, and lots of it. That means long juicy posts that are filled with detailed points, step by step how-to’s, and information that will actually help your reader, or drive them to take action. You want your readers to come away from everything you put out there learning a ton and salivating for more.
Once you’ve got the content taken care of, take the extra step of adding eye catching images to your posts. And finally, make sure you have a killer headline.
Copywriting chops aren’t just needed for affiliate marketers and sales pages nowadays. You now have mere seconds to convince someone to click on your content, so if your headline doesn’t scream “CLICK ME” then you’ve already lost.
The average human attention span is 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds over a decade ago, and now shorter than that of a goldfish.
This means that if a goldfish could read, they would put more thought into what they are clicking (let’s also assume goldfish could also use laptops in our imaginary scenario) than you do on any given day.
So, yea, epic content, photos, and headlines all matter.
Since we know you’ve got your content game on point, let’s look at how you can start making sure your content is seen everywhere.
Delight Your Email List
One of the first rules of setting up your own site is to start building your email list from day one. As the saying goes: “There’s money in dem der email list…” well, it goes something like that.
Your email list is a gold mine for promotion. These are the people who have taken the time to sign up for your content, they are your built in fans. It is far easier to keep these people moving forward through your funnel than trying to get new people to sign on.
That’s why your first step is to share your content with your email list.
Now, how you do that is up to you.
There are a couple of options you can consider:
- Sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter that shares your most recent content
- Sending out a broadcast for each new post you write
- Including your content in an autoresponder series
- Set up an automatic RSS feed through your email service provider to email out new blog posts
Each of these is going to get your content out to your list, and the people who are most likely to share it (don’t forget to ask them to share) with their circles.
Pro-tip: Always monitor the opens and clicks on your email list. If people aren’t opening then try re-tooling your email subject line and templates to see if you get better results. Also, don’t be afraid to resend your content emails out to those who didn’t click the first time, you’re likely going to get a few extra opens the second time around.
We all know social media is a key component of marketing, of course that depends on if you are using it the right way.
And when we say social media and content, that means a lot more than just Twitter and Facebook, you should be sharing your content on all your social media platforms all the time.
Both Pinterest and Instagram are the two fastest growing social media channels, especially for brands, doubling the number of users from 2012. That’s one of the biggest reasons why we recommended creating great header photos and multimedia in your posts, it makes it much easier to share on Pinterest and Instagram.
Stuck on images?
Head to a site like Pixabay, which offers thousands of free images (that don’t need attribution) which are curated from all over the web. Once you have that perfect photo, head to Canva or PicMonkey and get fancy, creating an awesome image that highlights your content.
Don’t Forget Your Own Social Share Buttons
It goes without saying, you also want to make sure you have your own social sharing buttons up and running on your site, making it easy for visitors to share any of your content.
Nail Down Timing
Now let’s look at timing. Here’s where you want to get a good grasp of your data.
Facebook has its own tool, Facebook Insights that for free gives you some incredible data and insights into when your followers are most commonly online.
Use this information and schedule your posts accordingly. If Tuesday at 9pm is the hot spot for your Twitter followers being online, then you should be sharing your content all over Twitter in the 9 o’clock hour for maximum exposure.
Want more? Buffer has an awesome infographic that will show you some social media sharing best practices.
Don’t be afraid to hop on a popular hashtag either. That way you’re exposing your content not only to your followers, but the people who are searching for that hashtag at the same time.
Oooh we love syndication.
Because you don’t actually have to do anything extra. It’s one of the best ways to get your content out there to a new audience, and get a bit of built in gravitas, we like that.
Essentially, syndication means you simply take the content you’ve already written and then publish it as is on another site.
Even if you are a newer blogger, there is one place you can always syndicate your own content: LinkedIn.
From your home page, just click on “Publish a Post,” enter your content and you’re good to go. Congrats, you just syndicated your first piece of content!
You can use a similar plan on Quora. They allow you to add your content to your profile, or you can share relevant (that is bold and underlined or you’ll get in trouble) content to a particular discussion.
Here are a few more sites that allow for content syndication:
- Toad World
- The Next Web
- Huffington Post
You can also look at syndicating your RSS feed. With these sites, your most recent posts will be pulled from your RSS and linked:
Finally, don’t forget that social bookmarking is a form of syndication as well. So you certainly want to include these sites as places to submit your content links to:
When you get your content circulating on these sites, it’s going to be hard for people to ignore you!
Comment on Other Blogs
No, we’re not talking about those spammy “Hey, I can show you how to make $8 an hour from home” comments you see everywhere, we mean actual thoughtful comments.
One of the best tactics you can use, especially in your own industry, to share your content is by commenting on other’s blog posts. Sites that use WordPress plugin’s like CommentLuv allow you to leave a link to your blog in your profile, which will show up hyperlinked when your comment is published.
The key to this is to actually leave great comments. It means reading the posts of others and adding value to the conversation. When you do that, other readers are far more likely to click on your post.
Get Active in Forums and Groups
If you’re not already active in some of the top forums and groups in your industry, then now is the perfect time to start.
When you’re a common presence on these sites, it makes it a lot easier to share your best content, otherwise it just looks like you’re spamming. It doesn’t take much upfront time and effort to help establish yourself inside a group, so build that foundation first, and then don’t be afraid to share.
And that doesn’t just go for your traditional forums, but think about social media groups too. Facebook groups, Google+ communities, and LinkedIn groups are all examples of places you can post your content to a relevant audience who is likely to love what you have to say.
Cozy Up to Influencers
One of the best ways to get your content out there? Have it shared by an influencer. They typically have huge audiences of rabid fans who will read and re-share virtually anything they post.
It’s a great way to get viral.
Unfortunately, we all don’t have a direct line to the Twitter account of Guy Kawasaki or Instagram feed of Kim Kardashian (yup, Kardashian, we went there). So, how can we get them to get interested in us?
Outreach of course.
This is another tactic that can take a bit of time, but the results are totally worth it. With outreach, you want to work on forming a solid relationship with your influencer of choice.
Oftentimes, that starts by including them as a featured part of your content. That could be highlighting them as an expert, linking to one of their posts, or showcasing a quote from them, for example.
Then, it’s all about reaching out.
Every time you include anything from an influencer in your content, let them know, either by social media, or email (if you can find their address). Tell them you featured them in your last post and wanted to share, then politely suggest they share if they like it.
Chances are, they will be willing to share that content to their followers, expanding your reach. Do that a few times, and suddenly you’re going to see some big results.
Check out this example in action:
See how it works?
You’d be surprised how a simple re-Tweet from a major influencer online can suddenly make a huge difference in your network.
You didn’t think we were just going to tell you to keep your blog posts as they are do you? Of course not!
Blogs are magical things that can be re-purposed into even more magical things like slides, videos, ebooks, pdfs, email list opt-ins, infographics, and more, oh my!
If you really want to kick up your content promotion, realize that you want to reach all those people who aren’t interested in reading content the conventional way. That’s why many of the expert content promoters out there are kicking it up a notch and really thinking outside the box.
Let’s look at a handful of options to get you started.
Buuuuut, how do I turn my blog into a video, exactly? Good question.
The answer is you don’t quite turn it into a video, instead you use your own good looking mug to sit in front of a camera for 1-3 minutes and give a nice little overview of your blog post. Then, you make sure to include your post right in the YouTube description.
This gives people options, they can start digging on your new YouTube channel and learn all about your content from there (before they head off for their daily dose of cat videos), or they can click through and check out your blog there.
Kindle books are all the rage right now, everyone is jumping on the ebook bandwagon. It’s easy to understand why, having a book can give you instant street cred in your industry, plus it’s a great marketing technique.
If you don’t know what to write, look at what you’ve already written. There are plenty of best selling Kindle books out there from well known bloggers that is simply a rehash of their blog posts with a few tweaks.
Check out this Kindle book from email marketing pro John McIntyre. He took the descriptions from his first 63 McMethod podcast episodes and re-purposed them into a Kindle book.
Plus, when you’ve got a Kindle Author Page up and running, you can use your RSS feed to populate your recent posts.
Remember, repurposing content isn’t just for blog posts!
SlideShare is a hugely popular site that allows users to upload slide decks and share them online. It’s a perfect tool you absolutely want to keep in your arsenal for repurposing your content.
There are a couple of reasons why. First, SlideShare is growing in popularity and acts almost as a social network site. Second, lots of people are using it as a search engine of sorts, going there first to find information on a specific topic, or as an easy way to digest more complex ideas.
Here’s an example.
This post called 10 Businesses You Can Run from Anywhere on Earth (and Start Today) was a big hit in the location independent freelance circle online.
Now, with well over 1800 Facebook shares and 3400 Stumbles the author, Sean Ogle, could have just called it a job well done and moved on to the next.
But, that breaks our 80/20 promotion rule, now doesn’t it?
Yup. So, instead of moving on to the next post, Sean decided to repurpose it a few months later into a SlideShare.
Here you can see that repurposing that blog post into a SlideShare got an additional 1176 views online.
Not too shabby!
Bringing it All Together
Whew, we covered a lot of ways to promote your content. But, if you take the time to actually do this with every single piece of content you produce, you’re going to be amazed at how much your profile can grow online.
Here’s a quick and easy recap of everything we covered:
Content Promotion Checklist:
- Write awesomely epic content
- Send out your content to your email list
- Set up a RSS feed
- Share your content on social media (at the right times, and more than just once)
- Get your content on syndicated sites
- Syndicate your RSS feed
- Add your content to social bookmarking sites
- Comment on other blogs
- Share your content in groups (including social media groups) and forums
- Reach out to influencers via email and social media
- Repurpose your content into video, ebooks, slides, etc.
Rinse and repeat.
More often than not the biggest difference between someone who has their content all over the place and the person who doesn’t is the promotion. It takes time and effort, which holds up a lot of people from moving forward.
The good news is we know that’s not you.
So use this ultimate checklist to get your content out there today, you can thank us later.