If you publish a blog post and no one reads it, did you publish a blog post at all? In one sense, sure, it exists among the trillions of bytes on the internet. But in another way it might as well not exist. What is the purpose of a blog post that gets no attention? It doesn’t help you further any of your goals.
Whether you aim to build a high-traffic blog, or you want to build a brand through content marketing, you need to get eyeballs on that blog post. Get the post in front of the right audience, and you can start a snowball effect. Fail to promote properly, and you’ll end up like Sisyphus.
Promotion will take time, and it will take a grand effort. But if you follow this five-point plan, you can get your blog post the attention it deserves. Ready to start?
1. DETERMINE YOUR AUDIENCE BEFORE YOU WRITE
The best promotion starts before you even start writing your next blog post. Once you’ve decided on a topic and start writing the post, you’ve limited your audience. That’s a good thing; the best blog posts target a narrow, focused audience. But it’s also a bad thing if you haven’t determined that audience beforehand.
To illustrate, let’s use the concrete example of a company offering accounting software. The product itself has many target audiences: freelancers, small business accounting departments, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and more. It is impossible to reach all of these audiences with a single piece of content.
Got Your Audience? Great, Now Get a Message
Once you determine the specific audience for the blog post, generating ideas becomes a more effective exercise. It might not be any easier. Blog ideation is always a challenge, given the sheer amount of content produced every day. But having a specific audience in mind will make it easier to discard huge swaths of ideas and focus on ones tailored to that audience.
The accounting software company might determine that it hasn’t focused enough on income-earning bloggers. When coming up with ideas, they’ll think of problems that income-earning bloggers face with finances and accounting. By writing directly to this audience, the company can more effectively promote the content.
2. FIND INFLUENCERS WHO CAN AMPLIFY YOUR BLOG ARTICLE
Targeting the right audience is only the first step. You’ll need help in order to spread your content beyond your own network. Where can you turn? To the influencers in the niche you’re targeting. Find the right thought leaders, and you can reach a much larger portion of the niche you’re targeting.
Using a tool like Followerwonk will make it easier to identify these influencers. For our current example we might look for terms like “pro blogger” or “blogging influencer.” You can play around with search terms to find the influencers who will be interested in your content – and interested in spreading it.
That last point is the most important in this phase. As you’re brainstorming post ideas, keep your target influencers in mind. What kind of content do they spread to their followers? Understanding common threads will help you find a topic that resonates with them.
3. CREATE A SHARE-WORTHY HEADLINE
Anyone versed in copywriting knows the importance of a strong headline. Without one, even a perfectly crafted blog post will go unnoticed. Think about it: What do people see when someone shares your post on Twitter? The headline and a link. Your headline often becomes a tweet, so make it enticing.
There are entire books dedicated to the art of headline writing. It was important in the days of direct mail copywriting, and it’s important in the modern era of blogging. There are many resources at your disposal. Copyblogger has an entire archive filled with evidence-based headline tips and useful examples. Read them. Digest them. Practice them over and over. They will be your greatest tools in learning the art of headline writing.
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Read the last and most important promotion points: