September 03, 2014
Welcome to our series on promoting and marketing your own content. Every other week, we’ll debut a new post designed to help you push your blog content to a wider audience like a marketing rock star, and show you how to build a larger and more engaged community of readers along the way.
Today marks the beginning of a new series, stepping away from common blogging mistakes and shifting your focus to learn how to better promote and market your content. Getting your blog started on the right foot is important, but continuing to present your blog to a wider audience can be more so. This series will cover ways in which to garner more attention for your content, with your content, and today we start with social media.
In series past, we’ve reminded you that sharing your content to social media is a great tool for establishing your blog and building a readership. So, too, is it important for maintaining, and continuing the growth of, your blog. In fact, it can be quite essential for helping promote older content, which is something we’ll be covering in a later post.
Some bloggers may feel that the initial, and easier, method of sharing their blog post to services like Twitter and Facebook is all they need do. It’s a great start, but who says it should stop there? You can grow your readership with a slow build, but why not do it better, faster, and controlled (in large part) by you?
How you use the services available to you is up to you, but we have a few tips for helping push your content further.
Go Beyond the Basics
Go beyond the initial sharing to the major social media services. Instead of simply allowing the post title and link be shared to Twitter and Facebook, use the options on the compose page to customize the message that gets sent out, using attention-grabbing phrases or hash tags for popular keywords.
Another step to go beyond the basics is to promote your content to major services instead of waiting to see if readers will do it for you. For example, why wait for them to share your post(s) to Pinterest? Take charge of sharing your content and start pinning them yourself.
Use that same mindset for your other favorite social media outlets.
Take the Extra Time to Curate
Be creative and smart by curating the shared content for your posts. Use an eye-catching image that will draw people in as they scroll through their social media accounts. Even better, use that same image to lead your post into the meat of its content. Combine that with a crafted excerpt, you have a better chance of grabbing the attention of the people who happen upon your shared content.
Taking the time to create a great (and relevant!) image, and to write a bold excerpt so passers-by become curious and click to see the rest of the content, is what pushes you from simple sharing to marketing. You move from content creator to marketing strategist for your blog's brand, increasing the range and chances of increased views for all content, not just the newest.
We're not one for limits, and placing limits on what you can and can't do for your blog doesn't make sense to us. Beef up your marketing strategies even further with cross posting. It may seem like heavy lifting at first, but the extra work can reap big rewards. The effort you put into pushing your content to one service can be exponentially increased by how you cross post your content to another service.
Using the first of our images above as an example, a suggestion of steps to further market our content could be:
- Create the image to grab attention and give readers an idea of what they'll find if they continue through to the rest of the content.
- Craft an excerpt that teases at the content. Don't be vague; be smart. You want to pique their interest even further, not hide what the real content is behind dubious phrasing. Sometimes that involves getting straight to the point, while others allow for a bit more fun.
How I Got Lost and Beat Up Sasquatch
(and other lies I tell myself)
What started as any other random drive around town somehow became a perilous, and extremely bumpy, journey down a forgotten brick road of long ago. Many muttered curses, failed attempts to turn around, attacks from prehistoric bugs fended off, and other run-in's with "wildlife" later...? What's a girl to do but tell her story of heroism and strength.
- Share the post to Pinterest, using the image created, pinning it to a relevant board in your account with the most followers. Make sure to copy the URL of the pinned post for use in the next step.
- Provide ways for readers to reach and/or share the content even further. This could be an additional post to Twitter, with carefully crafted text, a hashtag, and a link to the post on Pinterest; or it could be a post to your fan page or timeline, using the photo, your excerpt, and a link to the post on your blog AND a link to the post on Pinterest.
Pin to Read Later or Share with your Followers!
Cross posting between your blog and other services, then from one service to another, guarantees your content will be seen, and shared, by more people than if you were to do only the minimum. Make the effort to go the extra mile; it'll pay off.
We have more great tips coming up in this series that will help you to market your blog, but we want to hear from you too! What methods do you use for continuing to promote your content beyond the bare essentials? We'd love to know what works best for you.