After all, when we promote our content, it’s like we’re saying to the world, “I made this.”
We’re really putting ourselves out there, and every time we put ourselves out there, it’s a little bit scary. Because once we put something out into the world, it’s open for people to judge.
Because we tend to put our hearts and souls into what we write, and it’s easy to get into the mindset of “if someone hates our content and thinks it’s terrible, it means they hate us and think we’re terrible.” Obviously, that isn’t true, but it can be challenging to keep that fear and self-doubt from creeping in.
Or maybe we’re scared of coming off as too spammy or self-promotional, like we’re screaming for attention. We’ve all seen those over-the-top attention seekers (the “Hey! Look over here! Look at what I can do!” folks), and let’s be real — none of us want to be that person. No, thank you.
There’s a lot of fear associated with putting ourselves out there and promoting our content. And I’m going to be 100% real with you — for a lot of us, it never entirely goes away. But it does get easier.
We just have to flip the script!
Instead of thinking about it from a place of “what will people think?” or “how am I going to be perceived?”, we need to start thinking about promoting our content in terms of “what will people get from this?”When we shift the focus from how others perceive us to how we can help others, all of a sudden promoting our content gets a whole lot easier.
Now that we’ve gotten past the scariness of promoting our content, let’s talk about strategy.
Here are 7 ways you can promote your next blog post:
1. Blast Your Email List
I could talk about the importance of building an email list until I’m blue in the face. There’s a million reasons why it’s so important, but one of those reasons?An email list is a great way to promote our content.
When we create a piece of content, we need to send it out to our email list — it doesn’t matter if that list has 3 or 3,000 people.
Now, when we promote our blog content through our email lists, I think it is a good idea to go above and beyond to add something special and unique to the content. We don’t want our email recipients to feel like we’re just rehashing the content that’s already on our blog for all the world to see. People sign up for our email lists so they can get access to information they can’t find anywhere else, so we need to make sure we’re elevating the content and giving them something extra special when we send them a blog post we’re promoting.
There’s no need to kill ourselves finding ways to add value to our emails! We just need to throw in a little something extra. Let’s say we were promoting a new post called “10 Ways to Save Money This Fall”. In the email we send out to our list, maybe we’d include an 11th tip we only share with them. Or a personal story about how we used one of the tips to save $1,000 in a month. Just something extra to boost the content and add even more value.
2. Get Your Social On
Social media is literally built on sharing things we find interesting. So what better place to share our content?
When we write a piece of content, we should take advantage of every opportunity to share it on social media. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, … Whatever platforms we’re on, we should use them for sharing our content. And we should be stuffing as many relevant hashtags in there as possible.
Now, when we post on social media, it’s not like we can just copy and paste a link to our blog post and expect great results (although how nice would that be!). We need to write promotional copy for social media platforms that gets people excited to read our content.
We don’t have to write a novel to post on social media. A two- or three-sentence blurb for Facebook (and 140 characters or fewer for Twitter) should do the trick. The point is to build the benefit for the audience. Whenever I’m having trouble coming up with promotional social media copy, I ask myself these three questions:
- What is the reader getting out of reading this post?
- What value does it add to their life?
- What problem does it solve for them?
Once we have the answers to those questions, we can use them to create a compelling hook that builds the value and convinces people to click and read our content.
If we have a post on Facebook that’s doing well really organically, we can also consider boosting it. Boosting a post that’s performing well can get it in front of more potential readers and increase engagement (like comments) and conversions (like email opt-ins).
A trick that my team and I use is that we always write our promotional copy at the same time as we write our blog posts. We’ve just made it a part of the process — in fact, we don’t even publish a post until the social media copy is done and ready to roll (we use the Social Warfare plugin for WordPress). We’ve found that trying to go back and write copy for blog posts we’ve written in the past takes WAY longer than writing it at the same time, so we have simply made it a part of our process.
It seems like something small, but trust me — one little tip will save you hours of time writing promotional copy!
3. Take Your Tweets to the Next Level
Once we’ve shared our content on Twitter, it’s time to level up.
Because hashtags allow new readers to find our content, we want to experiment with as many relevant hashtags as possible. But Twitter’s 140-character limit can be… well, limiting, so if we want to make the most out of hashtags, we have to post multiple times.
Sharing on Twitter with different hashtags (and different hashtag combinations) can help us see which hashtags bring in the most readers which, for future content, is super helpful to know.
If we mention any other blog or bloggers in our content, we can also tag them on Twitter. That way, they’ll see the content and (hopefully) share it with their followers, which will introduce us to a whole new audience.
4. Leave Comments on Other Blogs
Now, this one can be super useful, but we also need to be careful. If there’s a blog post that’s very closely related to our content, leaving a helpful comment on that post with a link back to ours can be a great way to send some qualified traffic our way.
The key here is to make sure the comment is helpful! If we’re just going around randomly commenting and posting our links everywhere, we’re a) going to come off as spammy, and b) probably get our comments deleted, anyway.
The only way this works is if our comments are thoughtful and relevant to the conversation. For example, let’s say we were reading a post called “10 Etsy Shops to Hit for All Your Back-to-School Items”. We might leave a comment that says something along the lines of:
“This was a great post! I’m always shopping on Etsy, and I had never heard of Shop A and Shop B — can’t wait to check them out! I actually wrote a round-up of my favorite Etsy shops that covers a few shops you might like — check it out here [insert link].”
This comment offers value and shows the blogger (and other readers) that we read their post.
The same applies for answering questions on Quora. All we have to do is search for questions that our blog post answers. If we find a question to which we can offer relevant and useful information, it’s a great place to find new readers. But just spamming a bunch of questions with links to our blog posts won’t get us very far.
To make a long story short, commenting can be a great way to promote our content — as long as we do it strategically.
5. Answer Questions in Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are also a great place to promote our blog content. And now that Facebook has added a nifty search feature to their groups, we can easily filter through content and find the best places to post our content.
We can use the search feature (it’s on the left sidebar of the group) to search for questions that relate to the solution our blog post provides. For example, if our blog post was about “10 Ways to Organize Your House Before Back to School”, we might search a mom-related Facebook group for questions like “how can I get my kids organized for back to school?” or “what are some organization tips for the back-to-school season?”
Because we’re answering questions that people genuinely want to know the answer to and providing content that can help them solve their problem, our content sharing will be perceived as useful, not self-promotional.
6. Optimize for SEO
Part of sharing our content is making sure our content is optimized in a way that makes it easy to find. And that means optimizing for SEO.
I use what I call my “backwards SEO” method. I never write a post based on a keyword. Instead, when I’m done writing the post, I ask myself, “If I were searching for this kind of information, what would I type into the search bar?” Then I take those keywords and add them to my post, my subheadings, write my meta tags, and all that fun stuff.
The better our posts are optimized, the easier they’ll be to find for people searching for our content — and the more they’ll end up being shared.
7. Share on Personal Pages
When we’re just starting out, there’s no need to limit our sharing to our blog pages. Sharing on our personal pages can be just as effective!
When we share our blog post with our families and friends, there’s a chance they might share it as well. And that opens us up to a whole new audience we never would’ve been exposed to if we hadn’t shared with our personal networks.
The Power of Consistency
Getting our content out into the world is one of the most important things we can do for our businesses. And it requires a constant and consistent effort.
The way to find real success is doing the small things over and over — and doing them well. It’s about creating and following a system. None of the tips we’ve talked about today are difficult — but for them to be successful, we need to do them consistently. Every time we write a piece of content, we need to go through these seven steps. The more consistent we are, the more consistent we can expect our results to be.
For example, when I first started out blogging, I learned everything I could about SEO. I literally started implementing my backwards SEO technique in the second week of my business. And I’ve been doing it consistently, for every post, since. I don’t pick and choose which posts get optimized. There’s no telling what posts will be successful, and if I wasn’t consistent in optimizing my content, I might have missed out on some of my biggest opportunities.
The moral of the story is that when it comes to promotion, we need to do these things and do them consistently. That’s the road to success.
And finally, if you’re worried that following all seven of these steps every time you promote a blog post will feel like too much promotion to the people who are following you, I promise you that it won’t! Remember: no one but you will see every single place you are promoting, and no one but you will feel like it is a lot. And the more you promote, the more opportunities you have to reach (and help) people. So get out there and promote away!