Ever worked on a piece of content you were proud of?
You hit publish and you wait for the comments and shares…
But the response is lacklustre at best.
Your comment box is bare. And your share numbers are better off hidden than proudly displayed.
Heck, it even happens to your opt-in freebies. You were certain you nailed it.
People were practically begging in Facebook groups for someone to create what you did and hand it over to them.
You know your content holds answers to the question so many of your target audience have.
Why then are your conversion rates less than 5-10% and your share numbers miserable….
I’ve worked on pieces which I thought were sure to be hits only to never make the top 10 of my Google Analytics.
It’s disappointing and downright demotivating.
There are several things that could have gone wrong. Here are a few:
Headline: The headline doesn’t resonate with the audience. And if your headline doesn’t ‘click’, you don’t get the click-through to your site either.
Timing: Some topics are more popular at certain times of the year. Weight loss and goal setting with new years. Time management during summer. If your content misses it by a whisker, it’s going to be looked over the rest.
Visual: If you use a visual medium like Pinterest as a primary traffic driver, and the pin image used isn’t enticing, you’re not going to convince your audience to click-through to your site as well.
Content: Maybe the content just wasn’t as good as you thought it was. It’s not something people would want to share.
These are all plausible reasons for a post to fall flat.
But more often than not, the reason could be a simple lack of strategic promotion. You’re not getting sufficient eyeballs on your content.Don't blame the content. Blame the promotion strategy. Here's why you need one ASAP!Click To Tweet
Ever heard of the 80/20 rule?
You should spend 20% of your time writing your content and 80% promoting it.
It’s easier said than done. Life gets in the way. You struggle to keep up with your publishing schedule, let alone give it the promotion it deserves.
In this post, I’m going to give you some ideas so that you can create your own blog post promotion strategy or see how you can boost your existing one.
Download the checklist (and my template+tutorial on how to loop tweets) to help craft your own promotion strategy. Yours may end up looking very different from mine because of different audiences and content and that’s absolutely fine.
5 ways to prime your posts for shareability
Before we talk about promotion, you need to prime your posts for shareability:
1. Add Social share buttons
Make these visible and at the top and bottom of your posts. I use Social Warfare and this allows me to choose when I want to display the share count of a post.
Showing share counts is good for social proof. The higher the number, the more people are likely to share because of something called ‘herd mentality.’ If 800 other people have found this post worthy of a share, they are more likely to share without hesitation.
Don’t add all social platform share buttons. Too many choices and people don’t take any. It also looks terribly unattractive. Pick platforms that you use and are active on.
2. Add Click-to-tweets
Click-to-tweets are byte-sized, punchy sentences from your post. Adding click-to-tweets makes your content more shareable and I’ve definitely noticed an increase in shares once I started to add them regularly to my posts. Sprinkle your posts with 6-10 of these.
3. Make social platform appropriate visuals
If you’re on Pinterest, you want to make it easy for someone to find the vertical image.
There are several times where I’ve gone in to pin a piece of content only to find that there wasn’t a vertical image (or it wasn’t visible). Add a pin-it button to the image you want pinned. Plugin like jQuery and Frizzly make it really easy to do so. You also do not need to have a fancy pin-it button. The standard Pinterest one would do.
#4 Create good content
People share content that’s helpful, which in turn makes them look good. You want to create a good piece of content that everyone is clamouring to share. Read this post on how to write posts that Google and your readers will love.Create a piece of content that everyone is clamouring to shareClick To Tweet
#5 Make your posts ‘scanner friendly’
You want to keep them on your post long enough for them to make a decision whether that’s a worthy piece of content that deserves a share. For that, your post needs to be ‘scanner friendly’ and inviting.
Use big text and a clear font. Size 12 works for paper but you would likely need a larger font size for digital. Haven’t you heard that 14 is the ‘new size 12’?
Add sub-heads that break the post down and give them plenty of white space as well.
In a perfect world…
Here’s where we get into the meat of crafting a blog post promotion strategy.
I’m going to outline the steps I take as well as what you could do to go further.
In a perfect world, I would do all of the following outlined here for every single post.
I have worked up to a point where I do most of these but not all. Syndication for instance, is something that I’ve done for very few of my posts.
Here are the steps I take after I hit publish:
#1 Submit the post to Google+
This is a tip that I read in Lena’s Traffic ebook. Submitting posts to G+ could possible help to boost the post’s organic search because Google prefers its own social platform.
#2 Submit the post to StumbleUpon
Honestly, I don’t think StumbleUpon’s traffic is sticky or ‘high quality’. I don’t spend a lot of time on StumbleUpon and as of now, this traffic medium is purely experimental.
#3 Share on Twitter (a couple of times that week)
I don’t actively tweet out my own posts on Twitter because I’ve auto-looped my tweets with IFTTT.
I have my guest posts, products as well as blogging buddies and a few influencers posts to auto-tweet using IFTTT. So, this is completely hands-free and requires no maintenance on my part other than to update any links.
This is the recipe set-up within IFTTT and how it looks within Google calendar.
I also have the Revive old post plugin which goes through my posts and tweets them out automatically. I want to eventually add all my click-to-tweets as well post tweets to Google calendar so that I can cut down on the use of a plugin.
This ensures that even my old posts and guest posts continue to get exposure on Twitter. Download the template below to loop your own tweets.
#4 Make multiple pins per post
If I don’t get this done the first time, I never get it done.
I make a few images per post but don’t share them all at once. I space them out over a month.
#5 Add to Pinterest Group boards
I use both Tailwind and Boardbooster but use Board booster primarily to share to my group boards because it makes it easy to do so.
I have a campaign set-up within Board booster. I pin my image to the secret board which then automatically adds the pin to my group boards at the times and days that I’ve set. So I pin it once and that’s it.
I don’t have to manually keep track of which boards I’ve pinned to or if I’ve missed out on any.
The same functionality is available within Tailwind with the Board Lists Feature.
You add all your group boards to different lists. When you have a pin, you choose the board list you want the pin to go out to and it gets added to the schedule and is posted out to the groups on auto.
You can also select the interval you want the pins to go out.
#6 Repin old content
If you read my interview with McKinzie Bean who grew her new blog to over 20K page views in 3 months, she suggests repining your content not just once but several times.
Likewise, keep a spreadsheet of sorts so that you remember to repin your content to your own boards more than once.
You could also set-up a random campaign within Board booster to repin your old content to group boards so that they get a continuous stream of traffic.
#7 Post on Instagram
If you’re active on Instagram, make multiple images with different text overlays for your posts and content as well. You could also feature each click-to-tweet on an image and rotate those over weeks.
#8 Facebook promotion threads
I have a schedule of Facebook group promo threads which I try not to miss. I don’t just share my new posts but old content as well because not everyone would have seen it the first time.
And ‘sell’ your post on Facebook threads.
Don’t just drop a link but share a short introduction with a call to action. Give them a peak at what’s behind that piece of content to get that click-through.
#9 Send emails to influencers or peers whom you have quoted in your posts
I do this without fail.
Especially for this post, where I shared snippets of my favourite emails, most of the influencers whom I featured and emailed personally, tweeted out the post to their audience.
So never forget to drop an email to anyone you’ve featured.
If you need an email template, I have a couple at this post that you can use.
#10 Email your list
If you’re familiar with my posts, you know I’m not a fan of sending out blog posts notifications to your list.
But if you have additional exclusive content that’s tied in with the topic of your post, then by all means alert your list about your latest post.
#11 Link within old posts
Go back to your top posts and interlink keywords of your new post.
If you want to give the new post an additional boost, add it to the ‘related posts’ feature if you have one at the bottom of your top posts. I use Related Posts by Zemanta and it shows up below like this. I can manually change what posts I want to display.
These are the absolute basic steps for a simple blog post promotion strategy. If you want to take it further, here’s what you can do:
#12 Syndicate posts
I’ve read that it’s best to give Google some time to index your post first before you republish it on other sites. I have republished a couple of my blog posts on Elite Daily and Huffington Post but I’ve always trimmed the content and tweaked the language or tone to suit the sites.
Medium is another platform which is great for this.
#13 Answer questions on Quora and share your post links regularly within them
#14 Turn your content into a slide-deck to share on Slideshare
#15 Submit your post to content communities
#16 Paid Promotion
- Quuu promote (*I’ve personally tried this)
- Promoted Pins (*I’ve personally tried this)
- Facebook ads
A blog post promotion strategy is not cast in stone
Review and monitor what gives you most traction and focus your efforts there.
Like I mentioned, if a post doesn’t do well, the promotion strategy or lack thereof could also have a part to play. With a proper blog post promotion strategy in place, you’ll be able to analyze your posts better and rule in or out the reasons for a post’s failure.
What has worked for you with regards to promotion and what should I be adding to my blog post promotion mix?