5 Content Marketing Experts Share Their Blog Promotion Tips

You’ve crafted a great blog post. Now what?

If you answered “promote it” — which of course you did — then you’re absolutely right! As you know, all the time and effort you’ve poured into your creation amounts to zero if it’s not reaching your intended audience. No visibility, no engagement, no social sharing, no Web traffic, no conversions. And all that nothing can be…um…discouraging.

So we asked five of the sharpest content marketing minds out there to share their insights into how to promote your blog, via this two-part question:

Digital content writers and marketers read a lot of tips about how to promote their blog posts. In your experience, what’s the ONE strategy most bloggers don’t utilize (and the most successful bloggers do)? What’s your favorite secret (or overlooked) blog promotion strategy?

Their candid answers are illuminating, often amusing, and rich with details. Enjoy!

 

arnie-kuenn

Arnie Kuenn (@ArnieK), CEO of Vertical Measures

In your experience, what’s the ONE strategy most bloggers don’t utilize (and the most successful bloggers do)? 

It all starts with creating useful, valuable content that people would actually be willing to share and promote. Assuming you have that, the one thing I still see most bloggers miss is focusing on the actual title of their post.

Many bloggers spend hours creating this fantastic post and only minutes on the title. In today’s world, the title is everything. It typically becomes the title tag and H1 (main header) that search engines love. The title tag then becomes the text that social media displays when posting. So the title is your best chance to get the world’s attention – which is where the sharing all begins.

What’s your favorite secret (or overlooked) blog promotion strategy?

In a word – Facebook. Our paid search team continues to find creative, cost-effective ways to promote content on Facebook. It almost always seems to work and sometimes there are some pretty big payoffs.

 

gabriella-sannino

Gabriella Sannino (@SEOcopy), President & Founder of Level 343

In your experience, what’s the ONE strategy most bloggers don’t utilize (and the most successful bloggers do)? 

Let’s face it – most bloggers focus too much on traffic and not enough on retention — keeping visitors coming back. Traffic is only as good as visitors’ staying power, and staying power is only as good as the relationships you build.

Look for your most successful content (analytics, anyone?). Keep it updated. Repurpose it. Pay attention to the headlines and content that brought them in. Do more of that.

At the same time, look at relationship building. Build relationships with influencers and your target market. Work to earn social shares and backlinks from influencers and brand advocates.

A great outreach program is to do competitive research and work on building a tribe with them. Just because you’re competitive doesn’t mean you can’t work to gain mutual satisfaction. For example, we can only handle so many SEO projects. So what do we do when we’re overfull? We refer them to the competition. We look good, the competition looks good – it’s a win, win.

What’s your favorite secret (or overlooked) blog promotion strategy?

Sending out muffins to people. 🙂

I’d have to say that my favorite secret strategy sauce is inviting your sources to read, share, and link to your content. Sometimes it’s a blatant invite, but most of the time it’s a notice that you’ve written about them, quoted them, or otherwise brought them some exposure. It’s a “hey, I like you enough to talk about you, hope you don’t mind…”

In the process, it brings exposure to you from the people who visit to see what you said about them.

And if that doesn’t work…. there are always the muffins.

 

lee-odden

Lee Odden (@leeodden), CEO of TopRank Online Marketing

In your experience, what’s the ONE strategy most bloggers don’t utilize (and the most successful bloggers do)?

One of the most important blog content promotion strategies overlooked is to consider promotion at the content planning stage, versus after the content is already created. You’d think this would be obvious, but in the case of corporate America, it’s definitely not.

This is a timely question because I just received an inquiry from a company chock full of content – original content from the content team, influencer content, user generated content amongst their community and still – the issue of content distribution and promotion was problematic. Why? Because they focused so much on content creation and on-page SEO, the importance of audience development, syndication and distribution only came as an afterthought.

Successful marketing content creators understand the value of developing channels of distribution for their content whether it’s through an email list, an active community on relevant social networks, forums and groups, or through co-creation that inspires participants to help promote the content to success. In the case of content co-creation, a significant part of content promotion is factored into the planning – from topic to publishing channels to activating the influencers involved.

However, keep in mind there’s a big difference between lazy “listicles” with famous industry pundits and actual co-creation that inspires influencers to help you promote your content.

What’s your favorite secret (or overlooked) blog promotion strategy?

Secrets cost money 🙂

It would be easy to suggest a behind-the-scenes network of mutual content promotion groups, but I still think one of the most effective blog promotion tactics is the content itself. Understand what motivates your readers and give it to them – better each time. Nothing inspires sharing of blog content like anticipation of what’s next and your content delivering as promised.

Many bloggers don’t have the patience to grow a community and subscriber base in their search of shortcuts. As a result, they overlook things that can take more work with a bigger payoff a little further out.

 

mark-traphagen

Mark Traphagen (@marktraphagen), Senior Director of Online Marketing, Stone Temple Consulting

 In your experience, what’s the ONE strategy most bloggers don’t utilize (and the most successful bloggers do)? What’s your favorite secret (or overlooked) blog promotion strategy?

I could share a lot of high level strategies, but your audience has probably heard most of them, so let me instead share an easy tactic that gets us a lot of traffic and extra shares of our content we might not have had otherwise.

The tip is: create “click to tweet” quotes from your content. Choose a few of the best takeaways or quotable moments from your post, and make it one-click easy for readers to tweet that quote to their followers. The easiest way to do this is with a service such as ClickToTweet (https://clicktotweet.com/). Compose the tweet quote in ClickToTweet (don’t forget to share a link back to your post!) and the tool gives you a shortlink. We usually turn the quote into a simple graphic inserted into our post, with a “Click to Tweet!” call to action included. We then make the graphic a clickable link, using the ClickToTweet-provided short link.

When a reader clicks the graphic, a Twitter composition window opens, with the prepared quote already in place. The visitor just has to click “Tweet” to publish the quote to their followers. If you included a short link back to your content when you did the setup on ClickToTweet, the quote should drive more traffic to your post.

Every time we include these in one of our posts, we get far more Tweets and traffic from Twitter than when we don’t.

 

kristi-hines

Kristi Hines (@kikolani), Freelance Writer & Blog Marketing Strategist

In your experience, what’s the ONE strategy most bloggers don’t utilize (and the most successful bloggers do)? What’s your favorite secret (or overlooked) blog promotion strategy?

I’m not sure that a lot of others do this, but one of the things I’ve found most helpful in promoting content long term is setting up Google Alerts and Twitter searches for keywords that people would use when asking a question that my post answers.

For example, I had alerts set up for Thesis versus Genesis for a while to promote a post I had written on the differences between those two WordPress theme frameworks. That post ended up being my most successful in terms of affiliate earnings as it helped anyone asking about the two and, no matter what they chose, they would get them through my affiliate links.

So now the ball’s in your court: do you have any blog promotion strategies that have worked well for you? Please share them with us in the comments below! And thank you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 replies
  1. Josue Valles
    Josue Valles says:

    Laura, excellent post. I really loved how experts shared their secrets. I’ll definitely share this on y networks.

    Have a nice day!

    Reply
    • Laura Crest
      Laura Crest says:

      Thanks so much, Josue! Glad you enjoyed those “secrets”. Our contributors were very generous, indeed! And thank you for sharing on your networks 🙂

      Reply
  2. Theodore Nwangene
    Theodore Nwangene says:

    Great post Laura,
    Most bloggers usually prefer writing and writing and writing without ever thinking of how to actually promote what they’ve written.

    The fact remains that even if your post is the best in the world, if no one knows about it then, it’ll never be able to serve its purpose efficiently.

    This is why its always advised that you dedicate more effort in promoting your post even more than writing it.

    Couldn’t have agreed more.

    Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Laura Crest
      Laura Crest says:

      Thank you, Theodore! Yes, blog writers are usually so “head down and working” that any kind of content distribution or promotion strategy doesn’t enter their minds. You might be interested in our recent interview with BuzzSumo’s Steve Rayson, where he discussed the need for mapping out a promotion strategy before creating the content. Happy blogging 🙂

      Reply
  3. Leo
    Leo says:

    I really like these tips from successful bloggers. I hope I can apply some of them to my online marketing strategy. It would please my clients if we get good results.

    Reply
  4. Jan
    Jan says:

    Really useful information from many smart people.

    One question for Kristi Hines, though. I must be dense, but I don’t get the step In the Google alerts process. It seems to be 1) Write a great post. 2) Subscribe to Google alerts 3) … 4) Get more visitors. Did I miss something?

    I got some useful tips. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Kristi Hines
      Kristi Hines says:

      Hi Jan! Sorry if I wasn’t clear on that. Here’s more detail on the process. 🙂

      1. Write a great post.

      2. Think of questions that people would ask that your post can answer. As my example, I wrote a comparison post on Thesis vs Genesis WordPress theme frameworks. People who might be interested in this post would ask what others thought of Thesis vs Genesis, or would people recommend Thesis or Genesis.

      3. Take unique keywords from the questions you come up with – in my case, “Thesis vs Genesis”, “Thesis or Genesis”, “Genesis vs Thesis”, “Genesis or Thesis”, recommended WordPress themes, etc. – and add them to Google Alerts so you can get notified when someone on the web mentions these phrases. Also add them as Twitter searches.

      4. When you get notified to a new Google results with one of the keyword phrases, check it out. I used this method to find questions in forums and Q&A networks where people were trying to decide on a WordPress theme and used the opportunity to answer with a link to my post. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Gabriella
    Gabriella says:

    Hey Laura, thanks so much for doing this… I had completely forgotten about it until I noticed someone sharing it on Twitter feed! 🙂 Always makes me smile to know our hard work is appreciated!

    Reply
    • Laura Crest
      Laura Crest says:

      Hi Gabriella! You’re the one who should be receiving thanks for this… Your response was positively awesome! (And yes, it’s always a good feeling to know our hard work is appreciated!) 🙂

      Reply

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