How to Promote Your Content (and Not Just on Social Media)
You have created an awesome piece of content–be it a blog post, a video, or a podcast episode–but no one knows about it. Not until you put it out for others to see it. For a new blogger, getting organic traffic is mostly unheard of. That’s because ranking on search engine result pages takes a lot of hard work and time. While you improve your SEO skills, you need to find other places to promote your content and attract blog traffic.
For those of you who downloaded the Boost Your SEO Cheat Sheet, you would have noticed that promoting your content on social media platform plays a huge role in getting your brand name out there.
But, blog promotion is hard work. You are competing with hundreds of, if not thousands, other bloggers who are equally keen on getting their voice out there.
In this post, I am listing nine ways to promote your content (and not just using social media marketing).
9 Ways to Promote Your Blog Content
Note: What I am listing are IDEAS for promoting your content. You DO NOT need to do ALL OF THESE. In fact, it will burn you out. Pick 3 ideas that work best for you and test them out.
Disclaimer: All links prefixed with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. Any purchase you make by clicking these links will earn me a small commission but will not cost you anything extra. For more details, please read my Disclosure Policy.
Social Media Platforms
I am willing to bet my last dollar that you found me or this post on a social media platform. That’s where the majority of my traffic comes from. Sure, I am working on my SEO skills, but it takes a while for your posts to show up on search engine result pages.
But knowing that you should promote your content on social media platforms is the easy part. Figuring out how to promote on these platforms is what will make the difference. Here are a few ideas:
- Facebook Groups: These are my #1 source of traffic. That’s right! It isn’t Pinterest, but FB groups. Here’s how I look at the whole FB vs. Pinterest debate: 99% of the time, I only share or comment on blog posts that are either in my niche or I am truly interested in. I don’t click on any random post in a promotion thread. As I shared earlier, I also don’t participate in “all or nothing” type of promotion threads. I am assuming you work the same way too. This means the traffic coming to my blog is more or less targeted. Yes, it takes a little more time than just pinning because you want to reciprocate the shares or comply with the rules of sharing in each group. That you can network with other content creators and potential clients is an added bonus.
- Your own Facebook business page: If you are or wish to be a business entity, create a Facebook business page for sure. Set up your blog settings to automatically publish your new posts to your business page. During the week of publish (but not on the day of), host a Facebook Live session (if you are not ready to go live, record a video and publish) based on the blog post you published earlier.
- Post to your personal profile: Okay, this one is a little tricky and completely up to your comfort factor. Personally, I don’t post anything related to my work life on my personal profile. No one, except my husband and a few close friends, knows about my blog. But if you are okay with sharing your journey with your personal social circle, go right ahead. You never know, it might earn you a new endorser.
While Facebook works great for me, for many Pinterest does the trick. Whether you sign up for all popular social media platforms or not, I suggest sharing your content on Facebook and Pinterest without fail.
Again, set up your blog to auto-publish all new blog posts to Pinterest. In addition to the original pin, create 5-7 pins for each blog post with different headline variations. You can either include these pin images in your blog post but hide them, or you can manually upload a new pin image to Pinterest every day. The objective is to add ONE new pin of your own content every day. Try to pin these images during your peak traffic hours. Another advantage of creating multiple images is to provide more options and opportunities to your readers.
This platform needs a little more work than any other social media platform. Luckily, you have the option to retweet other people’s tweets with just two clicks. But we’ll come to that later.
Before anything else, set up your blog to auto-publish new blog posts to Twitter. (I know I have repeated this thrice already, so let’s just say set up your blog to auto-publish to all platforms you wish to be on and that WordPress supports.)
Identify or create a list of at least 10-15 tweets per post and tweet them out during your peak hours. All these tweets need not be direct quotes from your blog post–they just need to be related and you could even use an image+quote to draw attention (Instagramish).
Ideally, try to send out a tweet every hour or two hours so that you are covering global time zones and reaching out to maximum people.
Optional: Install plugins such as Click to Tweet on your website, which will not only enable you to highlight tweet-worthy sentences in your post but also enable your readers to simply double-click other sentences and tweet those out.
Once or twice a day, during your peak hour, post an image related to your blog post. It could be a quote or a peek into your personal life yet speaks to the post you are promoting.
Additionally, if you want a more personal approach, consider posting a couple (or more) “stories.” That’s a great way to connect with your audience and give them a glimpse of your personal life. They will be interested/intrigued about you and would want to check out more about you. Personally, I LOVE watching Instagram stories, especially of bloggers, though I am still very camera shy and not ready to post my own yet.
Video posting is becoming very popular. This is apparent from how social media platforms are pushing for video stories–Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and of course YouTube.
While most of your audience is likely hanging out on non-video platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest, some may even be on YouTube. Because that’s just how people learn–visually. Additionally, YouTube is owned by Google, which means Google search queries will list YouTube videos as well. And we all know that means more traffic to your website.
Now, you could either create and post fresh videos on your YouTube channel (say, once a week or month, depending on your schedule) or you could repurpose your FB Live videos on YouTube. The only downside to this type of repurposing is the interaction element, i.e. when you call out viewer names in an FB Live video, your YouTube audience might be confused. Nonetheless, it’s a great way to start building your YouTube presence.
Industry News Sites and Forums
You’ll be surprised how many people visit industry news sites or forums, such as LinkedIn, Reddit, and Quora to get their queries resolved. These sites also host several influencers answering questions and thereby building another fan base.
If you are knowledgeable about a topic, consider joining these news sites and forums to answer questions. While answering questions, you may link back to relevant blog posts on your website. Additionally, include your blog link on your profile page.
These sites may not drive explosive traffic to your blog, but you can rest assured that 99% of the traffic will be your niche audience.
Another popular option to promote your blog posts is sharing your content on aggregator or curation sites, such as StumbleUpon, Tumbler, Flipboard, etc.
These sites are positioned as “discovery” sites while also allowing you to create your own list of favorite content pieces.
Again, these sites may not be your primary traffic driver but this is a great way of putting your content out there with the click of just one button.
Promote Other Bloggers
I am sure you have heard from many blogging gurus that you should promote other people’s content more than your own. It helps you get noticed by your fellow content creators.
If you create good content, your work will be promoted by those who you promote. A simple case of gratefulness and reciprocation.
I know this works because I have noticed that certain people are more likely to share my content than others every time I include my link in the FB promotion threads. Likewise, I always share the content of these creators and some others because I know they write useful content that my audience will benefit from.
While it’s natural to follow and promote industry influencers (read: big bloggers), be sure to identify content creators who are in a similar position as you in their blogging journey. This will not only allow you to build a professional network but may also help you find some wonderful, like-minded friends.
Comment on Blogs
Similar to promoting other creators’ content, be sure to comment on their blogs. This allows you to not only build a relationship with the blog owner but also gives you the opportunity to put your own blog’s name and link out there.
One word of caution though: do not leave your link in the comment box. Some bloggers may mark you as spam. Leave your link in the URL box provided above or below the comment box.
Additionally, when someone leaves a comment on your blog, try and respond to their comment. This may not always be possible but do the best you can. Replying to comments shows that you care about your readers. People love to engage and if you offer them an engagement opportunity, they will likely return to read more on your blog.
Another unverified benefit of commenting on blogs is that it creates backlinks to your own blog. Now, I say this claim is unverified because I have read posts that say this isn’t correct. According to these sources, most blog platforms are built to mark any and all links in the comment section as “nofollow” by default.
Contribute to Other Blogs/Guest Post
Another very popular way of promoting content is by contributing to other blogs and publications. By becoming a guest blogger.
Guest blogging allows you to put forth your content in front of a potentially new audience.
It may be your natural desire to create content for big and known blogs or media houses. If you can manage to grab their attention, great! But focus your efforts towards landing guest blogging opportunities with bloggers who are in somewhat the same position or slightly ahead of you in the blogging journey.
Of course, whether you pitch to a big brand or a new brand (or blogger), choose one in or close to your own niche.
Do you have an email list? If not, please start today.
If you do, email them. If you are not visible to your subscribers, they will forget about you. As they say, out of sight out of mind.
It might be the scariest thing to email strangers who happened to stop by your blog and signed up to receive a free resource or updates from you. But do it anyway.
As you start writing to your subscribers, you will slowly find it easy to pour your thoughts into the digital paper.
There’s a lot you can share with your subscribers. One such thing you can and should share are your latest blog posts. Now, you could activate an RSS feed email to go out every time you publish a new blog post but this strategy is not the most popular among readers today. So, to err on the side of caution, avoid it.
Instead, in your emails, include your latest blog post in some form–excerpt, pretext, post link, etc. Make it contextual…draft your email based on that context with additional value that is exclusive to your email subscribers. It could be a simple sentence of upliftment or it could be a full-fledged passage. That is up to you.
Remember, it is very likely that your email subscribers do not even follow your blog. So, unless you promote it to them, your blog remains invisible.
I am sure you have seen sponsored posts on most social media platforms, most notably, Facebook Ads, Sponsored Twitter and Instagram posts as well as on Twitter. Of late, Pinterest has also jumped into the party and offering paid promotion opportunities to its users.
I think it’s a fantastic way to reaching your target audience. There are so many webinars I have signed up for because I saw a paid promotion of them.
Paid promotion is not for everyone when they are just starting out but may become a necessity as your business grows and so does your need to reach a wider audience group.
However, it is equally possible that you never end up paying for promotion. In the end, it’s your decision alone.
On your website
- Use plugins like Jetpack to auto-publish your latest blog posts to multiple social media platforms.
- Install social media sharing plugins, such as *Social warfare or Sumo, that allow visitors to share your content.
On your social media accounts
- Include your website URL in the bio section of all social media platforms.
- Post your own content 1-2 times a day on each social media platform you get your traffic from (not YouTube though…unless you have a LOT of free time)
- Post other people’s content 2-5 times a day (definitely not YouTube!) on each social media platform you get your traffic from.
There are even more ways of promoting your blog. I will be sure to share those with you in another post.
How do you promote your blog?