You’ve researched. You’ve launched your blog. You’ve written new content. And now, you’ve pressed “Publish” on your latest WordPress blog.
Too many business owners see publishing their content as the final step in the process, but the reality is that pressing “Publish” is just the beginning. In fact, some experts – like Derek Halpern of the popular Social Triggers blog – suggest spending as much as 80% of your time promoting your content, compared to the 20% you spent writing and publishing it.
“The secret to building a blog with a raving fan base that’s ready to buy what you sell has nothing to do with how much content you create. It, instead, has to do with how good you are getting your content into the hands of more people.”
If you’ve been guilty of publishing without promoting in the past, it’s time to improve your promotion game. Here are 10 steps to take every time you hit “Publish”:
Check Your SEO
Writing content for specific keywords is so 2007, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore SEO entirely. While it’s no longer appropriate to follow strict optimization schedules, take a few moments after you’ve published your content to ensure it meets today’s best practices.
The easiest way to do this is with a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO. Once the plugin is installed on your site, select a single keyword focus for each of your posts (ideally, one you haven’t used before on other pages) and make the changes suggested in the “Analysis” section until you get a “green light.”
Update Links In Past Posts
Another smart SEO step is to go back to old content on your site that’s relevant to your new content and add a link to your latest post.
For instance, if you’re in the health and fitness space, and you’ve published a new tutorial on getting six-pack abs, linking to your new content from past posts on exercise routines will improve the SEO of your new piece while also making it easier for readers who enter your site through your old content to find your latest contributions.
Email Your List
Remember, your website’s readers won’t automatically know you’ve published new content. And since they likely don’t check your site every day, the fastest way to alert them to your new post is to send out an email blast to your list.
You can do this manually, but many email marketing list providers also offer opportunities to automatically notify your readers whenever new content goes live. As an example, Mailchimp offers a simplified process for linking your blog directly to your newsletter:
Share Your Post Socially
Sharing your posts socially is one of the most obvious post-publishing promotion steps, but did you know that it’s not a good idea to automatically share the same update across all of your different profiles?
While the lure of auto-updating your social channels with a single click is undeniable, Lindsey Ashcraft of Social High Rise argues that “a solid social media plan needs to include relevant, thoughtful, and platform-specific content. When this is executed correctly, you can expect better engagement and closer ties to your customers.”
When you auto-post to multiple social channels, your ability to engage with your audience diminishes, as evidenced by Ashcraft’s screenshot below:
Craft new content for every channel you’re active on. It’s the only way to drive real engagement and to prevent the auto-posting mistakes that could cost you customers.
Queue Up Future Social Promotions
On the subject of manual social updating, remember that it’s perfectly appropriate to share the same piece of content multiple times.
While you’ll want to be careful to not spam your followers, the reality is that, in an age of declining organic social reach, most of your readers won’t see every update you post. To catch as many people as possible, you have to share updates multiple times, using different formats.
Submit Your Blog Post to Industry Communities
Another way to get eyeballs on your content is to place it in a location those eyeballs visit frequently – in this case, industry communities.
Reddit has always been popular for this purpose, though you’ll need to watch out for that community’s sensitivity to self-promotion. Alternatively, look for other industry-specific forums, message boards, Facebook Groups and other community sites serving your niche.
The subject of influencer marketing has grown over the past year or two, but it’s built on a simple premise: if you can get an influencer to share your content or product, you’ll build your own audience faster by leveraging their follower reach.
Think about it… If your site is new or small, you might have a list of 500 readers who have signed up to be notified when you publish new content. Compare the impact of blasting out an update to this list with getting a mention in an email from an industry expert with a list of 100,000 subscribers.
Of course, getting the attention of these influencers is easier said than done. A few popular approaches to influencer marketing include:
- Quoting influencers within your content and tagging them in your social updates after your post goes live
- Creating content that offers genuine value to their readers
- Building relationships with influencers well in advance of asking them to promote something
- Targeting lower-level influencers with medium-sized audiences, rather than the top folks in your industry
The level to which you decide to engage in influencer marketing is something only you can determine. Approach it from a “what’s in it for them?” mentality, and you’ll position your content best for influencer sharing.
Suggest Your Post to Industry Round-Ups
Round-up posts – like DietToGo’s “The Top 100 Inspirational Weight Loss Bloggers You’ve Probably Never Heard Of (Until Now)” – have become quite popular in recent years.
You can use this trend to your advantage by reaching out to the blogs that host these lists and asking that your blog or individual articles be included.
To do this, you’ll need to find the sites in your industry that are publishing round-up lists. A couple of quick Google searches should turn up a few candidates, but you’ll also want to set up an RSS feed for your field’s top publishers to see if/when they roll out new round-ups.
When you find past round-ups or see new ones hit the web, simply use the blog’s contact info to reach out and make the case for including your content. You may not be successful every time, but when you are, you’ll boost both your perceived authority and your site’s SEO.
Update Your Content
This isn’t a strict promotional technique, per se, but it is an important part of ensuring your content remains engaging – and thus, promotable – over the long-run.
Have you ever clicked through to a blog post – eager to read its recommendations – only to realize that the content is several years out-of-date? When visitors encounter dated content on your site, they may be less likely to trust your current articles – let alone share them virally with others.
For these reasons, it’s a good idea to periodically review your old articles for outdated content. This doesn’t need to be complicated – once a quarter, you could audit your top 10-20 pieces of content (according to Google Analytics) and make any necessary updates. In particular, look for:
- Statistics based on data that’s more than two years old
- Industry best practices or other recommendations that have changed
- Screenshots of websites, tools or other resources that have changed in appearance
Leave a note at the top of your article noting the date it was updated, as well as an overview of whatever changes were made, so that future visitors will know your content is still relevant.
Repurpose Your Content
Finally, a great way to get more mileage out of your existing content is to publish it in multiple formats. Not only does this take some of the burden off your editorial calendar, it also opens up your readership to those who prefer to engage with different formats.
For instance, you could turn your blog post into:
- A video or series of videos
- A podcast
- An ebook or downloadable guide
- An infographic
- One part of a longer series
Get creative! Your existing content represents a wealth of promotional and repurposing opportunities. Using the strategies above will ensure you get the highest possible value out of the work you’ve already done.
What other steps do you take after publishing a new piece of content? Leave us a note below with your suggestions.