When you write a blog post, what is your workflow or your blog promotion strategy?
This is a pretty serious question, and I’m really interested in hearing people’s responses to it, because I think we might all have a lot to learn from this one.
If you asked me this a year ago, I’d say Facebook, Twitter, email list... and be done with it (then wonder why my blog wasn’t growing...)
Now, those steps are just the beginning, and I realize the process is a lot more involved and systematic than I had ever given credit to.
What I’m Currently Doing (Social Networks)
To start, I do the standard blog promotion on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ updates. I’ve recently started to take the featured images on my blog posts more seriously so I have a thumbnail that stands out in the busy Facebook and Google+ Feeds.
On Facebook, I’ll also post a link within the relevant groups I participate to drum up conversation in those places.
With Linkedin, I’ll take the core question that inspired the article and spark conversation there as well. Often times the answers I receive on Linkedin become the inspiration for new posts, and I can weave people’s answers from the old conversation into the new topic. This gives them extra exposure, and me an increase in word count without having to write everything, which I would say is a pretty good bonus.
On Twitter, I’ve noticed personalized Dm’s seems to be pretty effective. In the past I’ve considered Dming people en mass taboo, but it’s been so effective that I’ve had to challenge my assumptions.
To make things as ethical as possible, I’ll fire up followerwonk.com and see who I have in common with up to two other bloggers that talk about a similar subject. After finding a healthy cross section of people, I’ll send personalized DMs with a link. Surprisingly, this pretty consistently averages in a 25% clickthrough rate.
After the social media portion of my blog promotion strategy is done, I’ll send an email to my list. But I’m not just sending a standard broadcast, no that would be to easy. Instead, I’m sending to the segment of the people who clicked on my last broadcast first.
This helps me make my email more customized because I can assume they because they clicked the last email - they read it. (and if they didn’t actually read the last post, I’ll link to the previous email so they can catch up)
Because my writing is generally iterative (or episodic), I’m able to reference comments, talking points and general themes from the last article and weave that into the premise of the new article. Talking to the people who clicked let’s me keep a little more of an “insider” type vibe to the email.
The next email I send is to the people who opened, but did not click. I can still reference talking points, comments etc... but when I can assume these people did not see the last email, I can take a more “what you missed” type tone. Also, because I know they didn’t click on the last link, I do everything I can to make this link more enticing.
After that, you guessed it, I send to the “no open, no click” segment. This email works pretty hard to get people into one of the segments mentioned earlier. Also, because I know they didn’t open the last email, I can assume there was something wonky with the subject line that didn’t grab their attention, so I pay extra attention to detail there.
It’s a lot of writing, but it gives me so much valuable information about my list that I would not otherwise have without the extra work.
This is simple, I submit to Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon, Hacker News, and various other news sites (Popurls.com has a pretty complete list.)
With sites like Reddit and Hacker News, It is very important that you craft a catchy headline. With Reddit specifically, it’s also extremely important that you publish to the appropriate subreddit otherwise you’ll get downvoted and potentially banned.
Likewise, I’ll submit the post into forums that I am a part of with a thought provoking question to go along with it. If the post has a controversal angle, I try to play this up just a little in order to get people talking, and thus *bumping* the post up in the forum.
SocialMediaToday (and other community blogs)
This is more icing on the cake than anything else, but my blog’s rss feed is plugged into Social Media Today.
If their editor deems that my content is worth making it to the site, they’ll automatically publish it bringing the conversation to a different audience.
I know there are some other community blogs out there that will do the same thing, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not plugged into them simply because I haven’t taken the time to vet the quality of different communities.
If I feel that a subject is particularly juicy, and I’ve found that I haven’t expressed all of my thoughts on it, I’ll break the conversation up and use part of it as a guest post.
If done well, breaking your thoughts up into two (or more) guest posts gives your readers more meat on a subject. Some may argue that this is too much, but the truth is as soon as they come over to your site the attention span has been reset.
So instead of writing one 4,000 word post, why not break it up into two 2,000 word posts? Or even better 4 1,000 word posts. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but isn’t that what professional blogging is all about?
Emailing Other Bloggers
This one is very important, but tread carefully because it's entirely easy to fall into spam territory here.
The primary thing to consider when emailing a blogger that you don't know is that they're busy and get pitched a million times a day.
Knowing that, don't just send them an article that says "hey would you share my stuff" but rather share just enough to get them curious and asking for more.
In these social settings, it’s important to note that it’s not just my stuff that I’m putting out there. I also very much am a part of the ecosystem answering questions, sharing posts, and doing what I can to be a good community member.
That is why any of this works.
What’s your promotion workflow? Let’s use this article as a way to learn from each other and even meet some new people!
Can’t wait to hear what you have to say