You’ve just written a blog post and it’s absolutely perfect; beautifully written content that has the ideal balance of valuable information with easy-to-read conversational language, not to mention those catchy headlines and witty imagery. People should be lining up to read this post, and share it with their friends and colleagues… but how to make that happen? How do you ensure that once you press publish your content will get found and spread by others?
1. Before You Hit Publish
Remember that perfectly written post? Did you include keywords? Do a quick keyword search on Google to see what words people are using to find content like yours. Then go back and make sure that those keywords are included in the main content, the headings and the image titles. All this will help your post get found organically through the search engines.
Ensure you have an RSS feed set up for your blog. This will allow people who use RSS feed readers, such as Google Reader, get your content automatically the minute you hit publish.
3. Email List
Allow people to sign up for your blog via email (not everyone uses RSS readers so this is still an important option). Once you have a mailing list many blogs will allow you set up an automated email to go out to your list, advising them that a new post has been published. If you can’t do this automatically just send a quick email to your list manually, the blog title and a link to the page is plenty, although you can include the opening paragraph with the tantilising “read more…’”as well.
So you’ve got the keywords, the RSS feed and the email list, that means the post will get indexed by Google and your existing readers will be notified immediately once you publish. But what about sharing on social media? This is a huge part of the process, and I have, both personally and professional, seen massive changes to visit counts as a result of social media activity.
4. Social Media Sharing
As with sending an email, it is possible to set up a post to automatically publish out to your various Social Media accounts, however I caution against this. While it takes some of the effort out, people do interact with social media differently and at different times. Research has shown that blog posts published in the morning get the highest traffic, however blogs posted on social media in the afternoon get shared the most, with the peak being around 4pm.
So ideally, you would publish your post in the morning, all your current readers will get it via email/rss, and then you would head over to your social media sites later on in the day and share it with your followers/fans there.
On Twitter you should aim to share a link to your blog post several times, as this medium moves fast so followers who log on an hour after you’ve tweeted may not see it. Make sure to use different taglines each time you tweet, this allows you see what works best at grabbing people’s attention (and also avoids the wrath of Twitter who frown on the same tweet being repeated ad nauseam). Be sure also to use a url shortener such as bit.ly or ow.ly as this gives you more of those precious 140 characters to play with, and also provides you with great analytics such as how many clicks, and from what countries, valuable information for future targeting.
On LinkedIn you can share your post via your status message but you should also seek to become involved in different groups. Check out what groups there are that might be relevant to you. There are 100s, if not 1000s, of groups and many of them will be interested in your message. Join the groups and then be sure to share your blog post with each group. This can result, not only in massively increased traffic, but also in some very interesting dialogue with like-minded members. LinkedIn have a great learning centre where you can learn more about groups.
On Facebook you can again share your post, however Facebook has a less frantic pace than Twitter, so sharing the post once is sufficient. Depending on your audience this could result in great engagement with your fans, as well as driving traffic to your site.
Make sure as well to have social sharing buttons on your blog so that anyone who comes across your post can share it with their own networks, thereby driving even more visitors to you!
It’s Worth It
While all of this might seem like a lot of effort, once you’ve done it a few times it will become second nature, and it will become quicker. It will also result in your post getting a LOT more traffic.
Isn’t it worth the bit of extra effort to ensure that your perfectly polished post doesn’t languish forgotten and alone in the Internet ether? Thoughts?