8 Ways to Promote Your Content Like a Pro

If only I had a calendar where I could schedule all my upcoming posts… Hold on a sec, I do have one! And it even helps me to promote it on social networks! Discover our new plugin!

You gave it all. You know what you’re talking about. You linked to other websites. You made the impossible and explained everything in plain English, so that anyone could follow you. In conclusion, you wrote the best post ever! And then you publish it and reality hits you hard—truth is, nobody cares. You really thought you’d succeed this time, didn’t you? You’ve crafted a beautiful post that addresses relevant issues perfectly… but in the end only your mom came to read it (hopefully, because sometimes she doesn’t come either 😭). What went wrong?

Derek Halpern and his 20/80 rule have the answer—you should spend 20% of your time to craft content and 80% of your time to promote it. I’m quite sure you already knew that promoting content is crucial but… do you know how to properly do it?

There’s plenty of actions you can take to promote your work, but let’s start with the basics. Follow these strategies to promote your content and stop praying for success.

8 Strategies to Promote Your Contents Like a Pro

Content promotion is tightly related to the channel in which we’ll conduct said promotion. There’s basically three types of channels:

  • Your own channels, which include your social profiles, your newsletters, etc. These are the channels you can (and should) address first.
  • Your audience and followers echoing your message to their own followers. Retweets and likes expand the horizons of your own channels and reach an even broader audience.
  • Paid channels such as, for example, ad campaigns on Facebook or Twitter.

All these groups matter and should be addressed. The problem is, you might not know how to effectively do so… so let’s see a few concrete actions you can take to reach your goals!

Be Social

Nowadays social networks play a huge role in our lives—if you don’t have a Twitter and/or Facebook account, you don’t exist. Why does this matter? Because you have to share all your articles with your followers on all social networks you’re in. And, ideally, you should share them multiple times. This is the first and foremost thing you should do.

Depending on the niche your business (or your personal brand) is in, one network might be better than the others. My partner Ruth already discussed how to get more traffic from social networks, and she explained some differences between the different networks you might want to use. For instance, if you’re selling shoes, Pinterest (where you can share pictures of your products) might be a better option than LinkedIn (a professional network).

Social Media by Rachael Crowe
Nowadays, sharing your content on social networks is an essential task. You can not forget that, because the audience you can reach through your social profiles is immense.

Another important aspect you have to take into account is content promotion frequency. You can share the same post multiple times per day on Twitter, because messages are quite short and have a short lifespan. But doing so on Facebook or LinkedIn can be perceived by your followers as spammy, and do more harm than good. In the end, it’s all about knowing each social network and learning when and how often can you publish on them.

If you’re worried about the time this work might take, today’s your lucky day! There’s plenty of tools you can use to integrate content promotion in your editorial calendar, making the process easy and straightforward.

Keep a Mailing List

If you publish consistently in your blog (and you definitely should 😉), you should have a newsletter too. Newsletters help you keep your audience updated about your publications—whenever you publish a new post, let them know via email, or some of them might forget you exist and never come back to your blog.

If you’re worried about spamming your audience with too many emails, don’t be. Newsletters can be adapted to your needs and goals—don’t notify your visitors every time a new post is published and send a daily, weekly, or monthly summary instead. The idea is to stay in touch with your audience and keep reminding them you’re a reliable, trustworthy source of information.

MailChimp is a very interesting option to manage your mailing lists. It also includes reports on the effectiveness of your email campaigns to see how useful they are.
MailChimp is a very interesting option to manage your mailing lists. It also includes reports on the effectiveness of your email campaigns to see how useful they are.

I know all this stuff is complicated but, again, there are several tools that help to deal with it. For instance, in our case we use MailChimp to manage our newsletters. This is how we set it up: we connected MailChimp to our RSS feed and it automatically composes and sends emails with the latest posts in our blog once a month. It even gives us some analytics about open rates and click rates! Awesome. Other alternatives include MailRelay, Benchmark, or Acumbamail.

Don’t Be Afraid to Link to (Other) Experts

It’s also very important to connect with other bloggers and experts in your niche. This can be easily achieved by simply linking their content in your blog (as we do in our own). This has several advantages.

First of all, your content will be inherently much more complete and, hence, attractive. If you only offer your point of view and don’t support your claims with other experts’ opinions, people might stop trusting you and your judgement. If, on the other hand, you mention other people, you show your audience you’re not alone.

Moreover, linking to experts and influencers will help them to get to know you eventually. Did you link someone in your post? Make sure you mention in your tweets the experts you linked in your post and, hopefully, they will retweet you, thus helping your message to reach more people. Or you can even contact them directly via email and ask for their opinion on your post! It’s all about networking and bridging different opinions using the web.

Make Content Promotion Possible

This might seem obvious, but there’s plenty of blogs that don’t follow this tip: make it easy for your readers to share your content on social networks. Add sharing buttons in your posts so that they can easily share your content as they read it.

There are many plugins for WordPress that allow you to include sharing buttons on your posts. Here you can see an example with MashShare plugin.
There are many plugins for WordPress that allow you to include sharing buttons on your posts. Here you can see an example with MashShare plugin.

WordPress has thousands of plugins for adding these social buttons, so I don’t accept a no for an answer. In fact, there’s even some plugins that will lock certain parts of your post until the user takes a certain action, such as giving you their email or sharing the post on social media.

Sure, only a few people may end up sharing your content… but it’s better than nothing, right?

Get Involved

Get involved in forums and other blogs. It’s not about being a spammer and talking about you at every chance you get—the important thing here is that the contributions you make in other blogs are of high-quality, so that those readers can get to know you and identify you as an expert in the area. Look for relevant blogs and forums in your niche and share your opinions there too.

Or you can even go one step further and “work for others”. Writing guest articles in other blogs also offers a great opportunity for new readers to know you. These other blogs might have the audience you’re targeting and will give you the chance to gain some visibility.

Guest post from David Aguilera on WP Mayor explaining A/B testing.
Guest post from my teammate David Aguilera on WP Mayor, explaining A/B testing.

Finally, if you ever run into a post that’s talking about what you’re doing, and you’re not included in the list, ask the author to add you! If you’re polite, chances are they’ll be happy to complete their article with your own opinion.

Use News Aggregators

There are several webs whose only purpose is to aggregate content and rate it, so that they can show what’s hot every day. These webs usually work better with “news”, because they tend to value freshness over other aspects. But you can give them a try nonetheless and, if you get lucky, your article might be featured in the front page, which means you’ll have plenty of chances to get a lot of traffic.

As an example, managewp.org is a place in which you can find WordPress-related articles from different sources, vote them, or even upload your own. Find the one that covers topics from your areas and try to shine on it.

Again, it’s very important that you always share high quality content that gives your readers what they want. Some of the new visitors you get might even become regular readers of your blog… so don’t waste your opportunities with poor articles 😆

Convert your Content to Different Formats

Another easy strategy you can apply is to convert your content to different formats and increase the chances of people viewing and sharing it.

For instance, if a certain post in your blog had a lot of visitors and success, convert it into a set of slides and upload it to Slideshare. Or create a video and share it in your YouTube channel. Or compile several posts into a single e-book (which you might give away for free if people subscribe to your newsletter, for instance).

Promote Your Blog Whenever You Can

Mention your blog whenever you can. Are you attending a Meetup soon? Don’t be shy and talk to your peers, focus on networking, and let them know you have a blog. Are you one of the speakers? Mention your blog when you introduce yourself. That’s how people will get to know you. But don’t be too spammy about it! Nobody likes that one guy that always talks about himself… 😉 Just, you know, apply some common sense and don’t miss the opportunities you might have!

Stop Praying! It’s Time to Act

If you were expecting your contents to drive traffic automagically… well, you were wasting your time. Chris Lema made this point super clear in a YoastCon some time ago: “Hope is not a strategy.

Chris Lema with his T-shirt showing the "Hope is not a strategy" message at YoastCon. If you didn't see the full video, go see it. It's brilliant 👍.
Chris Lema with his T-shirt showing the “Hope is not a strategy” message at YoastCon. If you didn’t see the full video, go see it. It’s brilliant 👍.

In this post we’ve seen several different strategies you can apply today. Is it easy? No. Will it take time? Hell it will! But that’s your best chance to succeed at some point, so don’t be lazy and work hard on it. There’s plenty of tools that can help you during the whole process, including Nelio Content.

If you have questions on how to implement a certain strategy, or if you have some suggestions, please let us know in the comments section below—I’ll love to know your opinion! 😉

Featured Image by Jason Rosewell.

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Antonio obtained his PhD in Computer Science at UPC. He has several publications in the field of data mining and information retrieval applied to conceptual modeling and health informatics. He specialized in the design, development, and integration of web services and cloud applications. He's an active contributor to the WordPress community and participates in meetups, seminars and WordCamps.

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