17 Unique Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Blog Post for Free
Great job! You’ve published your blog post…
I’m sure you probably already know that your job isn’t over yet.
For some of us, writing is the easy part. But getting those visitors to your website and getting their eyeballs onto your content?
That can be a little trickier.
A general rule is that you should spend twice as much time promoting your post, as you do creating it.
Luckily for you, I’ve spent a lot of time sorting out how to use social media for blog promotion, and I’m going to lay out some of my favorite blog promotion strategies.
Now, before I jump into the specific strategies for how to promote your blog, I want you to keep in mind that you may not want (or need) to do everything that is listed here. You can pick and choose the tactics that you think will give you the best end result.
Or, you can choose a few of them, test ‘em, and keep what works and stop doing what doesn’t. Everyone’s audience is different, and not all results can be replicated in every situation. That’s why testing is so important.
And, in order for your blog to be successful, it pretty much goes without saying that your content needs to be stellar. It needs to be lengthy, well-written, and provide a unique story that not everyone is telling. If you need help with providing that quality, you should check out my earlier post on building a content marketing strategy.
Having stellar headlines, descriptions, CTAs, and images will ultimately make each post perform better because those features are what actually get the click-through and shares you are looking for…
Also, you absolutely need to know who your target audience is and where they hang out. If you haven’t done a ton of research on your ideal reader, you should stop what you are doing, back it up, and find your ideal customer before doing any more content creation.
Where to Promote Your Blog
The first thing that you need to do is determine which channels are the best to promote your blog. If you’ve already amassed an audience on some of your business (or personal) social media channels, those would be the obvious places to start.
A few quick pointers on choosing your channel:
Everyone’s on Facebook, you can’t go wrong there… BUT, they’ve cut their organic reach way down, so getting through to people is tricky. Facebook groups work really well for blog post promotion, but finding the best ones and utilizing them to the fullest requires a little bit of finesse, and I’ll get to that in a minute.
Instagram is for visually stunning art and quotes for the most part. If that sounds like your business, try it out.
Pinterest has a large number of users who are predominately female and tends to be a bit more arts and crafts oriented. Again, you need to have stunning visuals to make it a strong promotional channel. That doesn’t mean you can’t advertise to men on Pinterest. In fact, sometimes it’s wise to go where others aren’t, like Jeff Sieh did when he started Manly Pinterest Tips.
Snapchat is for the younger generation… obviously. And LinkedIn is more for B2B or more professional businesses like lawyers or accountants. Then you’ve got Vine, Reddit, Quora, YouTube, and a bunch of others…
If you’re unsure what social channels are best for your business, I’d recommend reading up on how to choose the right social network.
Now, if you’ve been promoting across several channels and have some data, take a peek and decide if those channels are driving enough traffic for you. If a channel isn’t delivering visitors to your blog, don’t try to get better at it. Just drop it and double down on the ones that are working.
It’s ok to not be everywhere. In fact, in order for you to succeed, it’s imperative for you to find what works early and cut out the junk that doesn’t. Running a quality blog takes a lot of time, and ain’t nobody got time for channels that don’t help you meet your goals.
Running a quality blog takes a lot of time, and ain’t nobody got time for channels that don’t help you meet your goals.
Tracking Your Blog Promotion Efforts
After you’ve got your channels figured out, you’re going to want to set up tracking.
We use a sweet combination of UTM tracking parameters with bit.ly links so that we can properly attribute our social media efforts in Google Analytics. Using bit.ly with UTM tracking codes helps because you can create several different bitlinks with different parameters that all go to the same content.To properly attribute #blog referral traffic, use UTM tracking codes w/ @Rebrandly links. Click To Tweet
I typically will create a UTM tracking code for Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and then copy and paste each of these into bit.ly. You can actually see in bit.ly without even using Google Analytics which links are getting the most clicks.
Bit.ly doesn’t tell the full story though, so using Google Analytics to get the full picture of your traffic referrals all the way to email signups and paid conversions is ideal.
But bit.ly makes it easy to track how your blog promotion is doing on social on a day to day basis, and I find myself in there pretty much every single day, which is why it’s one of our top online marketing tools.
If you are unsure about what UTM tracking is, here is a list of very good resources that you can read to learn more about it:
- Sproutsocial: Social Media Campaign Tracking with UTM Parameters in Google Analytics
- Buffer: The Complete Guide to UTM Codes
- UTM Parameters Made Simple: 15+ Things Marketers Need to Know
How to Get More Traffic to Your Blog Post for Free
Now that you’ve got your tracking in place, we can move on to the good stuff!
To get traffic, you need to go where the traffic is, and that isn’t your site. Here are some of our favorite places to promote your latest post.
Answering Questions on Quora
Section by Derric Haynie
Quora is great for personal branding and traffic driving in general. You could launch a whole social media strategy around driving business through Quora, but for now, let’s focus on the strategy for promoting your one specific post.
First off, make sure you have an optimized bio in your Quora profile, a profile image, etc. You will want your main blog URL right there in your description, which will then appear in every question you answer. You can, and should, tailor your bio’s for each topic accordingly.
You will want your main blog URL right there in your description, which will then appear in every question you answer. You can, and should, tailor your bios for each topic accordingly.
The strategy breaks down two ways: if you have a large following, and if you have a small (or no) following.
Small Following Strategy
If you don’t have a large Quora following, or any supporters that you think you could bring from your other channels over to Quora to help upvote your answers, then you should only be looking for posts that have no answers to them. One of the best ways to actually find these answers requires a more patient approach:
Go to Answers -> Knows About -> Edit
Add all the topics you believe you will be blogging about. Don’t bother with any topics that you have no interest in spending time on.
For instance, I recently moved out of poker to digital marketing / growth hacking and no longer want to be bogged down with poker questions, so I will go ahead and delete poker from my “knows about” list.
After you’ve entered your topics and saved. Check that you have your notifications set to receive emails from Quora when they think you can answer a question. You can also have “asked by people” checked… I used to, but it got too annoying after a while.
Now you play the waiting game. Quora will email you with questions to answer related to your topics on a daily basis, and you can decide which questions to answer.
To make that decision, consider if the question fits these 3 crucial criterion:
1. You can provide a lot of value and information in your answer. That is what Quora is all about, after all.
2. You have a related blog post already published that you can link people to from within the post.
And here’s the most important part:
3. Check how many followers, views, and the last time the question was asked to determine how much demand this question is driving.
Take a look at this answer:
First off, don’t be like Gabriel with a one liner selfless plug of your website.
JK, JK, I know Gabriel and am on his email list. Good guy, bad strategy. And a little rude to the Quora community if you ask me.
But, aside from that, look at the number of followers and views this post has had. It’s really not that many. With 3 (or 2.5) brief answers already out there, we could spend some time answering this question and probably keep the #1 position, but it seems unlikely that it will get a ton of views anytime soon. This one is a pass.
Here’s a better example:
This post has 18 followers, 805 views, and someone just re-asked the question. It’s a sitting duck for traffic to your website (if you’ve got a blog post about LinkedIn).
I don’t know many disadvantages to LinkedIn, but if I was a LinkedIn expert, I’d stop what I was doing, and answer this question.
Now, if you can’t wait around to find unanswered questions, you can obviously put your topic into Quora, begin scrolling through questions people have asked, and see which ones are the best fits for you to answer.
Click to tweet, Social Share Buttons, and Kiwii Campaigns
Not all promotion has to come from shamelessly broadcasting yourself to your social networks like an attention-hungry stripper with daddy issues.
You can have others do it for you!
Including social share buttons and clickable tweet links makes sharing easier for your readers who enjoy your blog posts. You can even add a call to action at the end of your post and say something like: “If you loved my post, share the love with your friends!” or something to that effect.
We use Click to Tweet to highlight the most valuable takeaways, concepts, and points within our blog posts so that people can share directly from the page without having to leave.
On the topic of making it easy for others to share your content, give your blog posts an extra boost by using a system like Kiwii.
With Kiwii, you basically create a list of tweets that you want others to share, and you invite them to the campaign with a link. Once they are at the campaign page, all they have to do is click “schedule” and the tweets are automatically queued up. Super simple. Take a look at how many clicks (and subsequent page views) we got for an event, just by asking the attendees to participate in a Kiwii campaign:
Obviously, you wouldn’t want to ask everyone in the world to help you promote, but if you have promotion partners (great for promoting events), supportive friends, or a community of die-hard fans, you can invite them to participate in your kiwi campaign for additional exposure.
Section by Derric Haynie
Guest blogging for other people can be a good way to get your name (and valuable backlinks to your blog) out there.
Guest posting on a topic that is related to something that you’ve written about, but slightly different, gives you a chance to link to your own content within the guest post. Another benefit to guest posting is being able to add a link to your website in the author bio (usually called a byline).
But, the absolute first thing you should know about guest blogging is that you can’t just go around guest blogging for everyone, or re-sharing your blog post to someone else’s site, and expect anything to come from it. The more you put into each post, the more you will get out of it.
You need to be very strategic in who you write for.
It needs to be people in your industry, or a related industry, that have a similar target audience. They must have a substantial amount of website traffic and a strong domain authority (or be “up and coming” like us).
To check a site’s domain authority, use the Moz plugin.
You’re looking for a site with at least a score of 40 for domain authority.
Now, there’s always a tradeoff between who will actually have you as a poster and what kind of authority they have.
Naturally, the higher the authority, the more people that want to blog for them, and the harder it is to get in. But if you’re already a domain expert in your niche, it won’t be too difficult. All you have to do is ask politely.
To check website traffic, you can use Similar Web. They will show you estimated monthly views of a website for free. You’re looking for at least 50,000 monthly visitors, but, again, it depends on your industry and expertise level.
How to Nearly Guarantee They Accept You As A Guest Blogger and Get Traffic To Your Guest Blog Post At The Same Time
To find sites that are worth guest blogging for, think of a related topic that you’d like to write on (or have a finished and original piece of content ready) and search Google for that keyword search term.
Now here’s where we get sneaky!
Go to page 2 of your search results…
Welcome to where blog posts go to die!
Take the page 2 and 3 results of your search and scroll through those sites for a “guest blog” or a “write for us” section.
For the ones that offer guest blogging opportunities (or you suspect they would be interested and have a contact form), check their social channels, website traffic, and domain expertise to see if they are worth your effort.
You’ll probably only get a handful of workable options… And can go to pages 4-10 of the search results if you have to.
Now, reach out to those sites and tell them you found them on page 2, and you think that your blog post will get them on page 1 (you can’t make any promises that it actually will).
If they agree to let you blog, show them your post AND make sure you tie in some sort of reference and link from your content to the piece you found on page 2 of Google.
This can really help boost the rankings of their old post, but you also will have a strong ranking for your post because clearly the site is blogging about this topic. And obviously suggest to them to link to your new content from the old content, as we just discussed above.
When linking back to your site from a guest post, ALWAYS, please… Link to content… related content. Don’t link to your homepage, and never link to your sales page.
Your goal of the guest post is to get people to engage with your content enough so that they want to come back to your site and get more. From your own site you can market your own products.
You should have one or two references to your own content when applicable, but don’t make those the only references on the post. After all, if you’re writing a valuable piece of content, it should link out to a lot of great resources.
For the absolute best read I’ve ever seen on guest blogging, check out this amazing post by Brian Dean from Backlinko, most appropriately called, “The Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging.” (and tell him he should add my page 2 of Google trick)
Try to blog on related topics to your post, and not directly on the subject matter.
Then I got a guest blog opportunity at Growth Marketing Conference. So I wrote a post on remarketing ad strategies you can use for sales.
That post is a great follow up post to anyone who just installed their Facebook Custom Audience pixel, but does not interfere or duplicate my post.
Twitter Mention Campaigns
In one of my previous articles, Growth Hacking Twitter, I talk about a strategy where you can use a tool called Audiense to target specific people [referral link] who follow you on Twitter with an automated engagement called an auto-mention.
Now, if you didn’t want to pay for a SocialBro account to do the auto-mentions for you, you could manually engage with people on Twitter who use a specific hashtag or who have mentioned you in the past. This idea might be a little out there, due to the fact that it would probably take a decent amount of time to accomplish, but if you’re looking to get it done on a budget, here’s how you do it:
This idea might be a little out there, due to the fact that it would probably take a decent amount of time to accomplish, but if you’re looking to get it done on a budget, here’s how you do it:
- Login or create a free account for IFTTT (if this then that), and search for Twitter recipes.
- Find a recipe that creates a twitter list based on a certain hashtag and/or creates a Twitter list from the people who have mentioned you and add it to your recipes.
- Open up a word doc or notepad or something and create a scripted tweet that says something like: “hey, I think you might like this blog post I wrote about X. What do you think? ” (You could even create a couple of these tweet templates for each of your posts and send them to yourself in an email so that you can do this on the go without too much effort.)
- Go in to Twitter (or Hootsuite, or whatever you use to monitor and manage your Twitter) and open up the hashtag list or the mention list, and start sending out manual blog promotion tweets to these people. I would highly recommend using Hootsuite or another social media scheduling program to space out these tweets for maximum exposure. Also, I would also advise that you engage the people on these lists in other ways than just promoting your blog content to them. Twitter lists are pretty powerful, so if you aren’t segmenting people into lists already, now’s the time to start.
- After you begin mentioning people, if they retweet your content, you can manually add them to another Twitter list called something like: “Content Sharers.” That way you can keep track of your seriously engaged followers and build better relationships with those people.
*UPDATE: IFTTT recently de-activated this recipe and no longer allows you to create Twitter lists based on mentions or hashtag searches. However, you can set up a zap in Zapier to do the same thing. Simply sign up for a free account, create a Twitter list that you want to add people to, and add your Twitter account. Then, you can follow the above instructions for manula blog post promotion outreach.
After the infamous Facebook updated that severely cut business page organic reach, brands, bloggers, and business owners have been fighting to keep their Facebook pages alive. Many have either left the platform (a huge mistake), or have decided to promote their posts using Facebook advertising. Paying to play is a fine strategy… if you can afford it.
Fortunately, Facebook has a superb feature where reach isn’t limited, and conversations can be had with individuals who you may not be friends with, and who probably don’t like your page. That my friends, is the Facebook group.
Facebook groups are a great way to become an authority on a subject, get advice, and yes, promote your blog content. You can find them by searching for topic that you are interested in. After you hit enter, a bar will come up with a list of areas with related topic items. Choose groups top see the list of all groups with your desired topic.
To use Facebook groups to promote your blog, here’s what to do:
- Join as many relevant and active Facebook groups as possible and introduce yourself. Remember that social media is a social outlet and people do not like when other people just jump into a conversation with a promotion in hand. Be respectful, social and real.
- Build authority on your topic of choice by answering people’s questions, providing insight or ideas for their specific problems, and be as helpful as possible by providing content or personal advice. You can also post your fan page in groups (if self-promotion is allowed) after you’ve started to build a rapport with the members of the group.
- Share all of your original content in these groups (as appropriate for the group’s rules). It is very important to follow the rules of each group, otherwise, you may find yourself banned from the group. So if they say only promote on Monday, don’t post a link to your content any other time.
- Find perspective blog readers in these groups and recommend your articles (with links back to your website) to people when appropriate. You will need to scout out these potential readers by checking the groups on a regular basis.
- You can also join blog-related groups and use them as a support system. There are groups where their sole purpose is to help promote each other’s posts through social shares, comments, and page likes. Become a member in a few of these groups and get active so that you can start getting your name out there as fast as possible.
Pinterest Group Boards
Pinterest has always been a great platform for bloggers who share visual content. In order to get the most value out of this channel though, you need to be a contributor on large group boards.
This isn’t a new strategy by any means, but Pinterest group boards are one of the only real social aspects of this social channel. When you pin an image to a large group board, way more potential eyeballs are going to see your pin than if you only pinned to your own boards, unless you have a giant Pinterest following, in which case I would recommend managing your own group boards.
There is a process to find the right boards and become a contributor. This is what you do:
- If you aren’t using group boards yet, start with a little research on Pingroupie.com. There you can find pretty much all group boards, and you can sort them based on their topics. Choose boards that are relevant to your topic and your target audience, and try to pick boards that seem active and have a decent number of followers.
- In order to become a contributor, you will need to follow some directions. Sometimes, the directions to become a contributor are listed at the top of the board in the description.
- A lot of the time, the group board owners will ask you to comment your request to join on one of their most recent Pins in the group. This can be tricky if the owner isn’t super active. If you can’t find their pin anywhere, leave and find a new group to become a part of.
- Other times, the board owners would rather you to go to their profile, follow them, and look for a special “Message Me” board and post your request there.
- In order to find out the group board owner, just look at the top section of the board page where you can see a row of small circles with pictures of the board contributors. The first icon on the left is always the owner of the group board. Click the icon, and you will get to the group board owner’s page.
- Then you basically have to play a waiting game. Sometimes, your request will go unanswered and you will never be added to the board. That’s why you should find a couple of them and always keep your eyes open for new group boards to join. Other times, random people will invite you to pin on their group boards. This is always awesome because you don’t have to do any of the work!
Forums and Industry Specific Boards
Another way to get more free traffic to your blog posts is to promote your content in forums or on industry specific boards.
There are several options available and all forums have their own unique “personalities” if you will.
The best way to decide where to post is to do some research and find out where your audience is hanging out. Growth hackers tend to hang out on GrowthHackers.com, marketers go to Inbound.org, small business owners go to smallbusinessforums.org… You get the idea.
Find out which forums are best for you based on your niche, and become a mainstay of that website. To make sure that your content is being appreciated by the right people:
- Take the time to really vet your options. Choose wisely, because forum promotion is not a simple thing. It takes a lot of time to build up a reputation on these sites.
- Study the current forum thought leaders. Look at how they set up their profiles, their frequency of posting, how they interact on the platform, and create a strategy that emulates theirs. You can deviate once you’ve gotten your foot in the door.
- Regularly visit the forum. Start good discussions, provide high-quality information, help people by answering their questions.
- Share the content of the forum thought leaders, and when you want to promote your own post, create a new thread and post a summary of the post with a link to your blog, and ask people to tell you what they think about it. This way, you are starting a conversation with the people in the forum, rather than just self-promoting.
- Try to engage with other users as much as possible. Being a respected contributor is the best way to get other people to leave the forum and read your blog posts.
Content syndication is a promotion technique that has a couple of pros and cons.
If you know how to do it properly, you can benefit by reaching new audiences, creating more links back to your own site, and building brand awareness if you are syndicating to other publications.
I’m only going to focus on syndicating to the social blogging platforms Medium, LinkedIn Publisher, and Facebook Notes.
All of these tools allow you to publish and distribute content, and they have become very popular for content syndication, which means the re-publishing of content that was already published somewhere else.
The main drawback of using these platforms for content syndication is because they don’t allow you to customize the link code to essentially tell Google that the syndicated post is not the original.
If Google thinks that your blog is duplicating content in a malicious manner, heavy penalties could be applied and your SEO might tank. But, if you want to go the syndication route, there are a couple of rules that can help you syndicate without incurring any penalties for duplicate content:
- Wait AT LEAST two weeks before republishing any content from your blog on to a syndication platform. You want to make sure that Google has had the chance to index your site before you go republishing the same story somewhere else.
- Make sure you include a link back to your original post, and maybe even some text that says “originally published on my blog.”
- Don’t copy and paste. Take the time to manipulate the text so that it isn’t simply a word for word duplicate. Andy Crestodina (one of our heroes here at SplashU) gives the splendid advice to “write the evil twin” post by flipping a “how to” post into a “how not to” post. This technique allows you to recycle the bulk of your content without having to worry about duplicate content penalties.
- Another option is to create an article that summarizes the basics of your blog post without going into too much detail. Post a link back to your blog and say something like “to read the full version, click here.”
Influencer and Industry Authority Outreach
Using industry influencers and authorities to help promote your content is a no-brainer. The trick is getting their attention. As a rule of thumb, if you link to someone in your blog post, you should let them know. The less sought after they are, the more likely they are to share your content.
Every industry has influencers, so it’s best to compile a list of all of the ones in your industry. You should probably have done this before you even started blogging, but if you haven’t, do some research and build a list now. You should include all of their basic information: their website, twitter handle, name, contact or email address (if you can get it), and the topics they like to read, write or tweet about.
After you’ve published your blog post, you need to reach out these influencers (or really anyone that you link to in your post) and let them know that you’ve mentioned them.
Linking out to respectable and related posts is good for SEO, and it means that you can request those sites promote or link to your post.
I like to use Twitter for this purpose, but you can also go to their website or blog and fill out their “contact us” form, letting them know that you loved their article and that you linked to it in yours.
Or you can go to their blog and leave a comment about your link to them there, although I don’t recommend this unless you know what you are doing because it can be seen as spammy and overly promotional.
They might not end up sharing your post or linking to you, but it’s worth a shot.
If you do end up finding some success with this technique, be sure to note who shared your content in the spreadsheet, and thank them by sharing their content on a regular basis. That way you build up a rapport with the right people and can ask them to share your future posts as they are published.
While we’re on the topic of reaching out to influencers, one of the tricks you can do is find and follow all of the people who are commenting on the influencer’s blog on Twitter.
You can even create a dedicated list for people who comment on industry blogs.
These people are clearly already interested in your topic of choice, so it might not be a bad idea to perform the mention strategy we talked about earlier in this post.
Pin your recent blog posts in Twitter and Facebook
This is one is pretty simple.
Just pin your most recent blog post (with image) to the top of your Twitter profile and Facebook page.
When you are doing your other social media activities, like following relevant people on Twitter or inviting people from your Facebook groups to like your page, they will see your most recent post right there at the top.
If you have another offer or post that you want to promote, here is a good place to put it for maximum visibility. It’s probably a good idea to pin posts that have decent engagement (for social proof), but if you don’t have any, it’s not a huge deal.
Link from Old Content to New Content
This is a big one.
Just because you’ve published a post and now you’re on to bigger and better things, doesn’t mean you can’t go back in time and update your older posts to link to your newer content in appropriate situations. Creating this network effect inside your blog gives people reading your older articles a chance to see your new content!
Linking everything together makes all of your posts have stronger SEO value, and it is in essence, promoting your own blog posts within your other posts. If people are already reading your blog in one place, why not offer them a way to go further down the rabbit hole of content that they are interested in?
At Traffic and Conversion Summit 2016, we learned that Google values well maintained posts. When you go back to your old content and refresh that, it can give that content a boost in the search rankings. And when that content now links out to your new blog post, it can get ya some additional traffic.
If you’re not circling back through your old content and finding ways to link it to your new content, you’re not managing your blog correctly. This strategy should be considered a blogging best practice and just straight up mandatory.
Submit to Blogging Communities
Submitting your posts to blogging communities are another way to promote for free. Triberr (recently acquired by 99 Robots) allows you to build out “tribes” of people who you share your content with, and who share theirs with you.
When you sign up for an account, you gain the ability to join tribes. The goal is for everyone to promote everyone else’s content. It syncs up to your blog’s RSS feed and automatically updates your published posts to the tribes you are a part of.
Another great thing about Triberr is that it provides you with great content curation opportunities to share with your audience.
Check out this post if you want a quick tutorial on how to get set up with Triberr.
A couple of other blogging communities to check out include:
Repurpose and Create Slideshare Presentation From Blog Post
Section by Derric Haynie
Create a PowerPoint presentation using your topic, subheadlines, and images, and upload it to SlideShare.
The slide text is automatically converted to text on the presentation page, which helps the presentation get found from people searching from within the platform.
Very important: Make sure to add a slide, usually slide 2 or 3, that has a giant link back to your content, and repeat with one more CTA slide at the end of the presentation.
The link in the slide won’t be clickable (use a bit.ly for tracking purposes), but if you’re content is good enough you should find people coming in after viewing the presentation.
SlideShare tends to show newly posted content to a lot of visitors on the first few days, which should get you at least a handful of views. No it’s not going to break the internet, but it might just get you enough attention to get the ball rolling on your content’s ranking in Google (which depends on visitors, shares, time on page, etc.).
The traffic trickles off quite fast, so try and time the posting of your presentation directly alongside the publishing of your blog post.
And if you’ve chosen a hot topic, your presentation will still get some residual traffic that can lead to a few viewers trickling in for quite a while.
Alternatively, you can use an old presentation that’s on a related subject matter to drive people into this topic, or you can use the SlideShare itself within the blog post, if applicable. Don’t repurpose the content directly and post it back in the blog post, that won’t provide any value. But if it’s new, or expands more on one sub-topic of the post, you can embed it.
Create Video From Blog Post
Section by Derric Haynie
With video, you’ve got a few options.
First, you can give a talk on the subject matter, which I talk about in my next section in more detail.
If that’s not your thing, consider making a lead-in video that gives away one or two tips from the post, but leaves your best hack on the page. Close out with a “for our best trick, make sure and read the rest of the post by clicking the link somewhere around here.”
To make this video, simply find a corner of your home or office and turn on your phone, it doesn’t need to be a super high-quality production (although that doesn’t hurt). The key with a lead-in video is to provide a ton of standalone value, but still leave the viewer wanting more.
You can post this video to YouTube and Facebook and promote both channels separately.
One small tip for video on Facebook: Sound starts off, so your job is to get viewers to turn it on. Try to have text on the screen, like an overlay or callout, within the first 5 seconds, in order to give the viewer a reason to stop and read, then click on the video to get sound.
Or, you can copy a tactic that Gary Vaynerchuk uses, which is to flail around and make a ton of distracting movements in order to grab the viewer’s attention.
Live Streaming on Blog Post Topic
Live streaming is a popular medium for building brand awareness. Why not take it a step further and use it for blog post promotion?
We toyed around with Blab quite a bit while it was still active, and have tested the strategy of creating a blab for each blog post topic that we published. While this was a good chunk of work, it was definitely an interesting idea for giving users a new take on our current content.
But, now that Blab is no more, Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Periscope are good options for testing a blog post promotion strategy via live streaming.
The fact is that this technique is time-consuming, but if you have the time (and the equipment), live streaming can be a great way to enhance your blog posts by providing alternative ways for readers to consume your articles. Also, these platforms can attract new audiences to your website.
If you wanted to pursue a tactic like this, I would recommend testing out both Facebook Live and Periscope and seeing which platform you like better.
When you’ve decided which direction to go, you need to have a strategy for repurposing your blog post in a meaningful way. Using Facebook Live for interviews and Q&A sessions with influencers and domain experts on your particular blog post topic is a good way to go.
If you want to get the most out of your live streaming session:
- Choose a striking headline for your show. You want people to be interested in what you’re talking about, otherwise they won’t click.
- Invest in a tool like BlueJeans or OBS if you plan on having shows on a regular basis.
- Promote your live session across your other social channels just like you would with your own blog posts.
- Have someone in the room with you to manage the chat and welcome everyone as they enter. Getting people talking can be a little difficult, so having someone there to facilitate the discussion makes the blab more interesting. My favorite thing is to ask all new visitors where they are from.
- Make sure you remember to record your session so you can embed it later if it goes well.
- Steer clear of just reading your blog post, doing extremely specific demonstrations that would only relate to one person, or trying to pull off something scripted.
- Here’s a little hack: keep it under 45 minutes if you ever want to play it on Facebook as an ad.
After you’ve recorded your session, you can go to your blog and embed the video within the post. That way, you are offering your visitors a variety of content on a single subject without word-for-word duplication. And, fun fact, videos tend to keep visitors on your page longer, which is something that Google likes. So there’s some SEO benefits to this technique as well.
Twitter Chats and Hashtags
One of the easiest ways to get more eyeballs on your social promotions is thoughtful, topic hashtag usage.
Hashtags are social media search tools (best used on Twitter and Instagram) and can help your social posts be found by other people interested in the topics you are talking about.
When you craft your blog promotion social media posts, don’t forget to include at least one or two relevant topic hashtags (and a branded one), so that people who don’t follow you can find your post by doing a hashtag search.
Another great way to use hashtags is to participate in a Twitter Chat.
If you’ve never been a part of Twitter chat, you’re seriously missing out! Twitter chats are the place to be if you want to become an authority on a subject (or you want to do some research on the behavior of others pertaining to a certain topic).
They can also help you build your Twitter following since the number of participants can sometimes be staggering.
Do a little research to find the best chats to be a part of, and plan accordingly! There are A TON of different chats, so it might take a minute to find the best ones to support your promotion goals. In order to be a part of a Twitter Chat, you must use the associated hashtag. It’s easiest to follow along if you perform a Twitter search of the specific hashtag and sort by “Live.”
You can see the list of scheduled Twitter Chats here.
Once you’ve found the best chats to participate in (chats whose subjects are focused on whatever you’ve recently written about on your blog), engage whole-heartedly. When appropriate, share links to your blog content.
You will gain more influence the more times you participate and offer valuable insight, so find chats that you enjoy and commit to showing up when they happen.Find #TwitterChats you enjoy and commit to showing up to build authority on a topic. #LikeAFox Click To Tweet
Hashtags aren’t reserved only for Twitter Chats though.
You can easily get an engaged audience on your social promotions when you use a trending hashtag. I wouldn’t recommend doing this if your blog post doesn’t fit the purpose of the trend, but you can discover popular usages in both Twitter and Instagram and if they work, use ‘em!
One example of this would be to hop on a conference or event hashtag for your specific industry. You know that there are people following along who are interested in your industry, why not prepare a promotion or two targeted at the attendees?
I’ve had a lot of success using the event hashtags of events that I’m actually at to promote our content, but you don’t actually have to be there to do this. Just be careful and don’t overdo it.
Most of what I’ve covered here is for Twitter, but let’s not forget about the other powerhouse hashtag platform Instagram.
If you’re using Instagram as one of your promotion channels, I would advise having a list (or two…or three…) of hashtags saved somewhere on your phone that you can easily access anytime you publish a post. I keep mine in my email and on my notepad.
That way, instead of having to manually type out every hashtag over and over and over again, you can just copy and paste them in the comment section of your post. It looks cleaner, but still has all of the added benefits of “maxing out” on hashtags.
My perfect mix of hashtags looks like this:
- One or two branded hashtags in the post itself
- Two or three topic hashtags in the post itself
- One “trending” hashtag in the post itself
- A combination of as many topic-related, location-related and popular Instagram tags as I can fit in the comments section.
Email Your List
Now, you’d be surprised how many people we talk to who say that they’ve got an enormous email list that has never once been messaged.
The best people to promote your blog posts to are the people who have already committed themselves to being a part of your email brigade.
They’ve raised their hands at one point or another to say “I like what your offering.”
Don’t leave them hanging!
Every time you publish a new blog post, make sure you let your list know. And if you know who your most active users are, include the Kiwii campaign link we talked about earlier and ask them to help you promote.
Bonus Strategy: Turning Your Blog Post into a Talk
Section by Derric Haynie
Now that your post is done, you should be a relative expert on the subject matter, at least enough so to do a talk about it.
This strategy is a bit time consuming, but for blogs without much traffic, it can really do the trick.
Let’s break this down into 4 parts:
1. Find a local Meetup that you can speak at (or host your own)
Look around for Meetups situated around your subject matter and reach out to the co-organizers to see if you can speak at an upcoming event, or host one yourself. Bonus: A lot of co-working spaces will let you use the space for free after hours.
2. Create Your PowerPoint Presentation
Once you’re locked in for an upcoming speaking gig, you need to repurpose the blog post into a PowerPoint presentation, you can use your subheadings as slides. Try to keep less than 100 words on the screen at any given time.
Remember, you want to tell a story, and people only want to read the “bullet points.”
Add more images, go a little bit more off topic or about your own personal past, and be fun and funny, when possible.
Oh yeah, and make sure you have some sort of lead magnet call to action in your talk, so that people can opt-in to your list right there on the spot.
3. The Event
Now it’s time to actually give the talk…
But before you go wasting this valuable moment on your audience at hand, buy [Amazon affiliate link] a cheapo phone tripod like the one we have, and set it up to record you speaking. Now your talk can last forever on the interwebs.
Bonus points if you buy and use a lapel mic for the talk, as audio is the most important part. If you have to hire someone to do this, it could still be totally worth it. I mean a great blog post can make you $10,000s when used strategically.
Now you’ve got a sweet slide deck, a video explaining the concept in more detail, and hopefully a bunch of new email subscribers to your list.
Edit, publish, and upload the video to YouTube and Facebook with a great description and a link back to your site.
If you’ve verified your website on YouTube, you can use annotations or cards to further encourage people to head back to your site.
Publish your slides on SlideShare, and set up promotions across all accounts to promote the various content, or the blog post directly.
You can also (obviously) embed each new piece of content in the original post, but only do this if you think the addition adds value to the reader, such as an alternative medium, or new insights.
So what do you think? Are you going to use any of these strategies for your next post? Do you have any strategies worth adding to the list? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
PS If you learned something, don’t be shy to share it.
PPS If you read this whole post and haven’t downloaded this blog promotion checklist, now would be the time to do so.