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So many bloggers will devote two to five hours of their time to write a solid blog post and then they barely spend five minutes to make people read it. Yet they frequently check the traffic stats in a hope that "readers will come" sooner or later. However the numbers don't grow and eventually the blog becomes abandoned by its author. I know that promoting blog posts is not easy, but if you refuse to do it you might as well not even start writing your next post. If you do it right, you can easily double your traffic in a month or less.
I'm really excited! I'm about to share with you my 5 favorite blog post promotion methods and I encourage you to try them and tell me your results.
1. Poor Articles Won't Get You Anywhere
If you chopped an article in just an hour or less - don't bother to promote it, it's useless. You should only promote your best content, otherwise people will think you're yet another spammer. Besides, a killer article will promote itself! People will gladly tweet it for you, like it on Facebook, vote for it on StumbleUpon & send it to their friends. Any bit of promotion you put into an awesome article will bring you doubled results, while poor articles will never set off no matter how hard you push. Just recently I wrote 3000 words on writing epic blog posts
, but I will gladly do a recap for you here:
- Find the idea that would make people "tick."
- Spend time to research what's already written on this topic and think if you can do any better.
- Brainstorm the best possible headline for your post, no one should be able to resist your headline.
- Work on the structure and styling of your post (subheadings, bullet points, images) and make sure it reads easily.
Think of the posts YOU like to read. What makes you want to read them? Are they fun to read? Maybe evergreen? Or highly actionable? Or the author is some kind of celebrity? Try to guess what makes a certain post successful and see if you can replicate that in your own writing.
2. Give Them A Reason To Promote Your Content
You've just published a cool post about the morning habits of your fluffy kitten and you think it's endlessly charming. However, why should anyone care and (what's more important) help you spread the word about your post by tweeting, liking, voting? Well, why don't you give them an actual reason to do it? The human brain can be very predictable in some cases and it's a proven fact that we're far more likely to act once we're given a reason to do it, even if the reason is absolute nonsense.
Dr. Robert Cialdini in his awesome book called "Science of Persuasion" (video recap
) shared an amusing experiment. The girl had to cut in line to use a copy machine and she was using three different phrases:
“Excuse me, may I use the Xerox machine?” – and 60% of people said OK to that.
“Excuse me, may I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” – and 94% let her do it, for there was a good reason.
And now the most amazing thing…
“Excuse me, may I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” – and 93% were ok with that, even though the reason was nonsense!
Think of what might happen if your reason will pull one of the psychological triggers that generally motivate people to share content online? Here are 5 reasons why people share content online:
- To bring valuable and entertaining content to one another.
- To define themselves to others.
- To grow and nourish our relationships.
- For self-fulfillment.
- To get the word out about causes they care about.
Learn the psychology of sharing
and use it to make your readers promote your content for you.
3. Notify The Influencers
Once you become a pro in the first two tips, this one will come naturally. But if you skip them you might ruin your reputation forever. The trick is to get in touch with influencers in your niche and let them know you've published something cool. There's a good chance they will share it with their audience. But again, make sure that what you pitch is insanely awesome, there won't be a second chance.
You might even want to reverse-engineer these 3 tips:
- Find some influencers first and appear on their radar by retweeting them and frequently commenting their posts, maybe ask for an interview (tip #3a).
- Learn what they care about and what kind of content do they generally share with their audience and why (tip #2).
- Brainstorm an idea that might impress them and do your best to make this post outstanding (tip #1).
- Let them know about your post by email or just mention them in a tweet (tip #3b).
Honestly these 3 tips are all you need to become a success. If you can't write a post that an influencer is willing to share - maybe you should just quit blogging. Or try harder!
4. Tap Into Existing Communities
No matter what your niche is I'm sure there are tons of websites, blogs, forums and message boards on the topic. Plus a handful of groups, pages & communities on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Reddit, etc. Just go and throw your 5 cents there:
Blogs - find relevant articles and comment on them with links to yours, but make sure you add value for bloggers hate spammers. You can also suggest blogger a guestpost where you can reference some of your own articles (did you notice how I linked to my own blog post in tip #1?).
Forums - hang out with others. Don't try to post messages only for the sake of promoting your blog posts. This will get you banned quickly. Find a few forums that you really enjoy and hang out there, throwing a few links to your articles every once in a while.
Message Boards, Social Networks, Communities - pretty much the same principles apply here. Find a few that you enjoy the most and hang out there with others. Try to spam them with your links and they will ban you the same day.
Yet again, if you're following the first two tips it's unlikely that you will get banned for letting people know about your outstanding content.
5. Create A Community Of Your Own
Guess what? Follow the first two tips and the community will appear by itself! Follow the next two and your community will start growing faster! A single post of exceptional quality will bring you almost as many Twitter followers as two weeks of mass following
. And these people will actually follow you with an intent to read what you tweet and communicate with you, unlike those that follow you out of reciprocity and don't care about you at all.
Essentially all you have to do is let people know where to find you, be it Twitter or Facebook or Google+ and make sure you always reply everyone. As you continue to come up with killer articles new followers will start pouring in ready to spread the word about your awesome articles. This is where things get tough as these guys might unfollow you fairly easy once they decide that you no longer write epic stuff.
All In All
Stalking influencers and getting on their radar is really hard and takes time. Gaining some reputation on blogs, forums and message boards will take you months (if not years). So think what are you doing it for? Is your blog post really worth the amount of effort you're putting into promoting it? Will people care about it anyways?
I hope that I've just motivated you to double your efforts and write something epic! Something that people will not consider spammy or intrusive! Something that everyone is willing to share with others! Are you pumped? Then go ahead and tweet this post, because your followers might benefit from it as well!