After spending all that time perfecting your blog post, what’s the worst-case scenario? That nothing happens. No one comments on it. No one shares it. No one even reads it.
Writing a blog post is really only half the journey. You then need to work out how you’re going to distribute it. How will you promote your hard work? How will you find readers? Even better, how will you encourage people to read all of it?
In a world of information overload, getting people to click on your content is a challenge. Even if you’re bursting with natural-born writing talent, it’s not enough to guarantee that you’ll rack up the views.
But following these 11 steps is a great way to ensure you’ve done all you can to get eyes on your page.
Check Your Post Before Publishing
Before publishing your blog post, optimise it for readers. To ensure you’ve written the best article possible, make sure that:
- You’ve nailed the title. It should include your keywords, be short and concise, and stand out from the other titles on the search pages.
- You’ve made it scannable with lots of white space, headings, bullet points, and short and snappy sentences and paragraphs.
- You’ve got some high-quality and relevant images or infographics to break up the text and encourage people to share your content. Don’t forget to caption your images to help people scan-read.
- Your grammar and spelling are correct and typo-free. You’ve had other people proofread the content to ensure that you haven’t missed anything.
- Your URL includes your keyword and your meta description piques people’s interest.
- You’ve referenced other sources to add credibility and authority to any claims.
- You’ve checked that it loads quickly and that all your links work.
- You’ve written an article that clearly answers a reader’s question or addresses a pain point and delivers on what it promises in the title and introduction.
Pick Your Distribution Channels
Content distribution is just as important as content creation—if not more important. How else are you going to let people know that your blog post actually exists? Content distribution is the way you deliver your content to your readers.
There are three kinds of distribution channel:
- owned (for example, your website, blog, newsletter, or social media platforms)
- paid (this includes PPC, social ads, and influencers), and
- earned or third-party channels (such as mentions, shares, appearances on forums, reviews, or guest posts that are done for free)
Your chosen content distribution channels will depend on your audience.
- What platforms do they generally use?
- Where do you see the most engagement?
- What channel is the best fit for your particular brand?
- How big is your current social media following?
- How much money can you dedicate to content distribution?
Social media is one of the best forms of distribution today. The social media platform you choose to target will depend on your audience and the nature of your blog post. For example:
- Facebook – most companies will want to use Facebook as part of their content distribution strategy. Post consistently on your account, sharing your blog articles with a hook to entice readers, plus an image to get their attention.
- Instagram – you can share your blog post in an Instagram story, link to it in your bio, or link to it under an image. The latter only really works if the image is particularly intriguing and high-quality.
- Pinterest – like Instagram, sharing content on Pinterest works best if your images or infographics are incredibly appealing. You can also build related boards to further boost traffic.
- Twitter – use hashtags to share related content in your niche. Try hashtags.org to find hashtags relevant to your industry.
- LinkedIn – it’s best to use your personal LinkedIn account to share content rather than your company account as it feels less corporate and impersonal.
You can choose more than one social platform, trying out multiple and using analytics to see where you’re succeeding the most. But be sure that you’ve adjusted your images and optimised your titles as necessary for each platform.
Encourage engagement by asking for thoughts on the article. Participate in any discussion and respond to feedback. And remember to include a link to your blog on your social media profile.
Don’t be afraid to share your article more than once on social. A study by Coschedule found that doing so can increase your traffic by 3,150%.
Hit Up Their Inbox
In the UK, every £1 spent on email marketing has an ROI of £38. And so, using email to distribute your content is exceptionally effective. After all, you’re contacting people who have already demonstrated their interest in your brand.
Use pop-ups to collect email addresses and build your newsletter subscriber list. Then send out a weekly or daily newsletter with a round-up of your blog articles or promoting one specific blog article. Explicitly tell readers what they can learn from looking at your content.
Send your newsletter at the same time each week and at peak times—so not at the weekend or late in the evening. You can also segment your email lists to further personalize your messaging, sending specific articles to specific readers.
You could also include a link to your post in your email signature and get members of your team to do the same. Use Wisestamp to create professional-looking email signatures.
Ask for Help
Using third-party earned content distribution channels can also be very effective. You can ask a related third-party website to feature your article in one of their emails in return for doing the same for them. This way you can both reach more readers.
Bear in mind that any third party is also more likely to share your content if you mention them. Could you reference one of their articles, a piece of their content, or even one of their products?
Use BuzzSumo to identify the highest shared authors for your particular subject or niche and think about how you could get them to share your content or how you might include a reference to them in your article. Even better—reach out to them and see if you can get a quote or interview.
Although it isn’t exactly a means of distributing your content, guest blogging—writing articles for related blogs—is a popular way to promote your blog and boost your site in search rankings. Write and publish an article for their blog. Then provide a link to your own blog in your author bio or in the comments section.
Look for Sponsors
Build relationships with influencers in your particular niche. Getting an influencer on Twitter or Instagram, for example, to share a link to your content could massively boost traffic to your site as people trust recommendations from authoritative figures.
Izea is an influencer marketing platform that connects brands and influential content creators while Triberr is designed to help marketers increase their reach. You join a ‘tribe’ with other people who blog about a similar topic to you. This allows them to read, engage with, and even share your blog articles.
Consider Paid Content Promotion
Each social media platform offers the chance to pay for advertising, from video ads on Facebook to promoted tweets on Twitter. Consider the best social network for your audience and the best format for your adverts, as well as your resources. How much can you afford to spend on content advertising?
While paid content promotion can drum up some initial traffic, it isn’t the most sustainable way to drive engagement on your blog. You can’t consistently pay for readers so consider how often you can afford to implement this particular content distribution method.
Research the niche forums related to your subject or industry. Check the audience to see if it suits your target reader and make sure that there are lots of recent posts and comments indicating that it’s fairly active.
Then post a link to your article with a summary of why members might find it valuable. Continue to engage with them after publishing. If they think you’re just there to promote your own stuff, they won’t appreciate you posting.
And check the rules. Some forums don’t allow product promotion, so you’ll only be able to share educational and informational content.
You can also post in response to people’s questions on Quora and specific subreddits. But, again, don’t simply post a link to your article. This will look like spam. Provide useful answers and put a URL of the article at the end of your comment or on your profile where they can find out more if they want.
Add a Call-to-Action (CTA)
Once you’ve got a reader on your page, ensure all your efforts aren’t for nothing. You want to move them down your conversion funnel and the best way to do this is by including a call-to-action.
Invite them to subscribe to your email list and include social buttons on your blog posts so they can ‘share’ or ‘like’, further boosting engagement.
Evaluate Your Success
Set metrics to determine the success of your content distribution method. Measure the following KPIs:
- Traffic and views – evidently the more traffic and views your article gets, the more effective your content distribution strategy.
- Social media shares, likes, and comments – monitor engagement on social media to see how well your audience is responding on that particular channel. This allows you to judge both the success of your content and the success of your distribution method.
- Sign-ups – more sign-ups to free trials or newsletters indicate that people are reading your content and responding favourably.
- Feedback – check the comments section to see how much your audience is engaging with your article and how popular it is.
Content Distribution Strategy: The Final Stage
While it’s tempting to think that simply writing great content is enough to secure a readership, it’s really only the first hurdle. You then need to get your blog post under the nose of your readers.
This means working out where your readers are hanging out and targeting them directly—either via social, email, or through arrangements with third parties. As a last resort, you could also try paid advertising.
Then monitor what methods work best and hone and repeat your content distribution strategy as necessary to boost reach and engagement.
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