If you don’t have a system in place for promoting your content, you’re really missing out. Fortunately, I’ve got you covered …
Today we’re going beyond hitting the publish button.
You’ve taken your time to research, write and publish high-quality content your audience is going to love. The mistake you don’t want to make is to think hitting the publish button is the final step because really, it’s just the beginning.
Many business owners get frustrated by putting time and effort into content creation only to see their social media counters at zero, no blog comments and no real engagement. If you can relate to that, you’re going to love the following 9 techniques and tools.
Tune in to find out
- The first place you should go to share your content (it’s an easy win)
- How to get industry leaders to share your content
- How to automatically promote your latest content with every email you write (without being spammy)
- The tools you can use to build content karma and make it more likely people will promote your posts (in just a few minutes a day)
Listen to Hit Publish below ...
The Show Notes
- How to Bulk Load Messages in Hootsuite
- HootSuite social media management
- Customised email signatures with WiseStamp
- Stay updated with your favourite blogs using Feedly
- Share content easily using Buffer
So You Hit Publish… Now What? 9 Simple Ways to Get More Readers Once Your Content is Live
Voiceover: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.
Amy Harrison: Hello this is Amy Harrison and you’re listening to Hit Publish, where I cover simple ways to get better results with your online business.
Today we’re going beyond hitting the publish button. You’ve taken your time to research, write and publish high-quality content your audience is going to love.
But hitting publish is just the beginning, and if you don’t have a system in place for also promoting your content, you’re really missing out.
I want to thank you for downloading this podcast and I want to thank Rainmaker.FM for hosting it.
Are you ready for a veritable toolbox techniques and tips to help get your content out to as many people as possible? Let’s Hit Publish.
All right, my lovely Hit Publish listener, let’s get straight into…
The word of the week.
This week’s word is “blandish,” a verb which means to coax someone with kind words or flattery. As always I’ll be hiding that word somewhere in today’s episode and when you hear it. Feel free to give a little squeal of delight.
Now though, it’s time for our Dear Amy column:
“Dear Amy, I’ve been writing and publishing content on my business blog for a while but I don’t seem to be getting traction. Do you have an idea about how to promote my posts without being pushy or spammy?
Yours, feeling overlooked, Sheri.”
Well Sheri, I don’t just have one idea for you, I have nine ways you can attract readers to your content after you have hit that publish button.
You see, here’s the problem a lot of content creators face. You can put in a lot of time and effort into creating content and then feel like hitting that publish button is the final step when really it’s just the beginning.
The following scenes are based on a true story of a once-loved blog post.
[Typing and music]
Blog Post: Oh hello, I’m a blog post and I’m having the most wonderful time at the moment hanging out with Amy. We’re spending so much time together. She researches information using a search engine or by getting comments from experts and then she puts them all together in me, her blog post. I can tell she’s enthusiastic, she has that sparkle in her eyes that lets me know we’re really making something magical together. After weeks of planning out my title, and doing the research, the writing and the formatting, we’re finally going to go public! That’s right, she’s going to hit that publish button and let the world know we’re together. I can’t wait to see where our next adventure together leads.
Here it comes, she’s hitting publish now!
[footsteps and door closes]
Blog post: Amy? Where… where is she going?
One week later.
Blog post: I just, I don’t know what happened. I really thought she was committed to me but once she hit publish I never saw her again. I think she mentioned me once on Twitter but that was it. Now I just lay by the wayside on page 2 of her blog while she spends all of her time with new posts. But it’s always the same story, I see her looking at those posts like she looked at me and then once that publish button is pressed, it’s like we no longer exist…
It may seem dramatic but I have worked with so many businesses who invest a huge amount of time and energy creating great content, but then they just leave the post languishing on their website. Social media counters stay at zero and they become frustrated that no-one seems to be engaging with their content.
9 Techniques for Promoting Your Content
If you can relate to that, you’re going to love my nine techniques because the secret you need to understand is that you have to give the first push and get that content promotion ball rolling.
So, first up:
1. Use Your Current Network
If you’ve been running an online business for a little while you probably know other people in your field. Perhaps other bloggers, or business owners you respect and admire. There is nothing wrong with reaching out to these people and asking them if they want to share your post. This comes with two rules though:
- Your post has to be relevant to their audience. Don’t reach out to your accountant friend and ask them to share your latest post on dog grooming.
- Be polite, don’t be pushy and explain why you’d like them to be involved. For example, you might ask your friend to share and leave a comment because you really respect their opinion and would love to have them as part of the discussion, or perhaps you think the content will just really help their audience.
The other important thing to remember here is that you should have spent some time building your network first. You can reach out to people outside of your close network and we’ll look at that in a moment, but in this instance I’m talking about reaching people who you already have a good rapport with.
2. Don’t Be Afraid To Tell People Multiple Times
Social media platforms, in particular, are perfect for this. Because you know what? Sometimes people need to hear about something from a particular angle before it piques their interest.
[cup of tea noises]
Amy: Dad, do you fancy going to a bluegrass festival a weekend this September?
Dad: Oh I don’t think so Amy, me and your mother… we’re not much for festivals… all that loud noise and muck.
Amy: Hmm. Hey, what if you could enjoy some great live music in just two music tents, and only a 5 minute walk to a fully-equipped static caravan on-site?
Dad: Oh I don’t know. Watching bands all weekend, that might get a bit boring.
Amy: Well, you know that banjo you’ve just started playing? What if you could take that with you and join in other live sessions with beginners just like you and also take part in workshops?
Dad: I’m not sure…
Amy: What if I told you it was £2 a pint?
Dad: For the love of George Jones Amy, why didn’t you say so? Sign us up!
Now, persuading your customer to read your content is going to be a heck of a lot easier than persuading my dad to… well, do just about anything really.
But here’s the thing, it’s not good enough to simply let people know once that you’ve written a new piece of content. Why?
- They might miss your announcement the first time round
- They might be interested in certain aspects of your post but not others
So what can you do?
One thing is to have a plan to post multiple times over your social media channels. Now you don’t want to be spammy, so here’s what I’ve been trying on Twitter that’s been working well on my own posts.
- Once a post is written I create a document that has a list of multiple possible tweets to promote the post.
- Each tweet is different so I’m never saying the same thing twice.
- So I might ask a question in one, or offer a quick tip that comes up in the post. I try and think of as many different angles as possible.
- Then I upload that to my Hootsuite account and it automatically sends them out at the times I set.
- I’ll send one tweet every few hours for the first couple of days and then one tweet a day for a week after that. I’ll link in the show notes to how you can also do this if you use Hootsuite to manage your social media accounts.
Multiple touches is essential when marketing anything. It’s not good enough to simply say it once and hope that people will remember or take it in the first time.
3. Promote Your Post in Your Email Signature
Now this is down to personal preference but I use a tool called WiseStamp which lets you build a customised email signature. One of the options WiseStamp give you is to link to your latest blog post. Once you setup your email signature, it automatically updates whenever you publish a new post. So if you email people, they can see the title of your latest post in your signature. Again, I’ll link to WiseStamp in the show notes.
4. Commenting on Other People’s Blog Posts
Now back in the day when blogging was really taking off, this was a key marketing strategy, leave a blog post on someone else’s blog and hope that they might come and visit your site and engage or share your post.
This can still work, but these days it’s not just about putting out comments there willy nilly, it’s about building relationships with people and building your network. I would recommend choosing a handful of blogs you read regularly and respect, subscribe to their blogs and get involved in the conversation.
You’ve got to give a little before you can expect to get back.
5. Quote Experts in Your Content
Mentioning industry experts is a great way to get their attention and encourage them to share your content. But do it with substance. Don’t just stick their name into a post, explain why you want to feature them, why you respect their opinion, mention work they’ve done and why your audience should find out more about them. Just make sure that you are genuine and don’t flatter your experts insincerely.
Once the post is live, you can then tag your expert in a tweet or social media update and mention that you’ve featured them in your post. Most experts using social media regularly are more than happy to share a well-written post that mentions them.
6. Share Other People’s Content
I’ve said it before but you have to give before you can get, so if you want more people sharing your content, make sure you’re also being generous and sharing other people’s content too.
A couple of tools I use for this are:
Feed.ly – this lets me subscribe to a bunch of blogs I like and respect. I can then go through a whole list of posts and catch up on them all at once.
Then I link my feed.ly account with a tool called Buffer. When I see an article I like, I can click on it, add a comment and that is uploaded to my Buffer account, which then reshares that post across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, for me.
7. Email Industry Leaders
Maybe you haven’t mentioned a specific expert, but there’s someone in your industry who you think would enjoy what you’ve just written, and more so, you think their audience would find it useful and valuable. Don’t be afraid to reach out via email and let them know about your post. But here’s what you need to remember:
- Get to the point about who you are and what you do
- Tell them why you think they might like the post
- Tell them what value you think their audience would find in it
- Link directly to the post to make it easy for them to read and share
- Be respectful and show that you know something specific about them, their business and their industry
Too many business owners shy away from this because they worry they’re going to be annoying, but if you’re offering real value, it’s not annoying. You know what’s annoying? Having something of value and not sharing it.
Amy 1: Hey Amy, what are you doing out here in the arctic?
Amy 2: Oh, I thought I’d set up a stall selling thick sheepskin coats. I figured people must get cold here, be a good place to shift them.
Amy 1: Hey, did you see that group of sailors shipwrecked and shivering just down the way there? They’d absolutely love to buy a sheepskin coat!
Amy 2: Yeah. I don’t know. I didn’t want to bother them.
Obviously that’s ridiculous, but seriously if your content is going to help people, why not share it? If you’re worried about sharing it, it may be that you don’t feel your post or article is really strong enough. If so, go back and see if you can add in more advice or help that will delight your readers.
8: Sell It In Your Newsletter
The reason I say ‘sell’ it in your newsletter isn’t because I mean you should charge, but you have to sell your reader on spending their time and attention on your content. I see businesses that simply mention the title of their latest blog post in their newsletter.
Don’t do this, instead:
- Talk about the key issues or tips you talk about
- Tell them what problem you solve in the
- Tell them what they’re going to be able to do as a result of reading your content that they couldn’t do before.
Get them excited about reading your article, don’t just tell them you have a new post out.
9. Publish Across Multiple Channels
[sound of printing presses]
Amy 1: Hey Amy, so it’s a big day for your new newspaper, Country Music Content Marketing. Are you excited?
Amy 2: Oh you betcha. I’ve got 4,000 copies of the first edition and another 4,000 for next month’s edition.
Amy 1: So cool. So who’s going to stock them? Are you going to be in the supermarkets? Or Waterstones?
Amy 2: What? No, people can just come to my bedroom and get them directly from me.
Amy 1: You’re not going to put them in any shops?
Amy 2: Nope. Don’t think I need to. I mean I live here at home, it’s where I create all my other content. People should know where to find me…
Your business website or your blog is your online content home, and that’s where you want to base your content, but with billions of web pages out there, publishing only on your site means you’re making it harder for new audiences to find you.
So what can you do? Have a profile and presence on a number of social media channels, but make sure you:
- Choose a channel you will actually use
- Choose a channel where your target market hangs out
- Choose only a handful of channels that you can post to regularly and consistently
Don’t spread yourself too thin and have a sporadic social media presence.
Also think about guest posting for other websites where you may have the chance to link back to a related piece of content on your own site. This is a great way for bringing in new readers.
My Question to You
So, here’s my question to you: What system are you going to put in place to make sure that hitting publish isn’t the last step, but part of the ongoing conversation you’re having with your audience?
Do you have other content promotion techniques that work really well? Don’t keep them to yourself, let us know in the comments on the show notes!
Thank you for being a smashing Hit Publish listener. If you’ve found this useful today, I’d love it if you popped over to iTunes and left a rating and a review. It takes just a few minutes but apparently leaving a review means you’re less likely to lose your car keys in the future. So that’s got to be worth it right?
Don’t forget, if you’d like to be featured in the Dear Amy column, simply leave a comment on the show page with your question or problem, or email me using firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s all for this week, so until next time, remember to take action and Hit Publish.
Beca Lewis says
LOVE this podcast! Although I have some of these strategies in place, I was missing quite a few. Appreciate the help!
Amy Harrison says
Thanks Beca! So glad you’re enjoying it. Would love to know what strategies you’re using to promote your content. What works best for your audience?
Beca Lewis says
I use wise stamp, linked in, twitter (trying out buffer and tweet jute box – thinking of moving over to hoot suite.
On my site where I promote my illustrations I also use instagram and pinterest.
Wish I knew what works best ,, I think I am doing as many as I can just to see if at least one catches on.
Amy Harrison says
Great Stuff Beca!
Sometimes it can take a little while to see results and you might choose to put a concentrated effort into 3-4 strategies at once before moving onto another. I love that there are lots of ways to promote posts, but sometimes the choice can be overwhelming!
Beca Lewis says
So true … I have to be more careful about doing everything! (and probably not all that well ..)
I promote weekly at Google Plus, Facebook, & Twitter. I’ll check out WiseStamp tomorrow. Thanks for these tips!
Amy Harrison says
Thanks for sharing Patricia! It would be great to know if you have a particular platform that works well for your audience and your content.
Fantastic to hear a Northern accent on a podcast (I’m in Hull) – do you think there is a bit of a content marketing ‘myth’? Whereby a normal small business, working in a specific geographic region is unlikely to generate enough good content to become an authority site, and therefore is effectively frozen out of this opportunity for coverage, backlinks, social shares etc…
Amy Harrison says
Ahhh Ben – Hull is my birth town (but I grew up in Leven) I’ve just been to your site and got a pang of homesickness with all those gorgeous aerial shots!
I’d love to know a bit more about your question – do you mean if a company is tied to providing services for a specific local region? So for example, a plumber working in London compared to a web designer who can work with clients from around the world?
If so, I’ll queue up your answer for a Dear Amy and cover this properly in an episode very soon!
Great tips shared. I remember when commenting in online forums was a great way to promote blog posts, however it became very spammy and was quickly considered to be a bit black hat SEO, hasn’t commenting on blogs gone in a similar way?
A few things I’ve been doing to promote posts is to use StumbleUpon (both free and paid) as well as article submission sites such as webnews. Not only does these help get content to the wider audience but because audiences can rate the content, it helps to see what does and doesn’t work.
Amy Harrison says
webnews is a new one for me to check out Michael – thanks so much for sharing.
I remember the golden age of forum posting! Blog commenting has gone a little that way. I know a lot of prominent blogs that have seen a decline in blog comments (but not necessarily in business performance) and other sites that swear by comments as an indication of a successful community (as well as a correlation to sales). You can get a good result from commenting on blogs, as long as it’s a symptom of a deeper strategy to build your network.
Absolute pleasure, hope you find it useful. I know that it has helped a German colleague of mine considerably in expanding their audience reach with content.
The blog comments is a grey area I think, I know a few companies who’ve switched off the capability on their posts – although via a post we’ve recently ran on eSpares it has been a great way to source feedback,
panth mehta says
Nicely crafted and loved it the way you told the blog post story as a character. I also agreed that sometimes people loves to check out the other angle of the news. And the awesome thing is i am following your 4th point, commenting on other people’s blog…HA Ha..
But i have one question,is it good to send a direct message to influencers on LinkedIn about our new post to read and ask the opinion about?
Amy Harrison says
Hey Panth! Thanks for your comment.
Rather than LinkedIn, I would be tempted to do some digging and see if you can find an email for them. Also, remember to make it clear why you think they would like the article, and why their readers may like it.
I get quite a few emails that simply say: “Hi, I wrote a post about X, I think you’d like it, do you want me to send it to you?” and they go straight in the trash.
Be clear, make the effort to learn about their business and make it easy for them to click through and read what you have.
Superb! Love your content 🙂
I am creating a huge guide to dominating Google and for SURE adding a link to you under ‘content promotion’
Thanks for sharing.