There’s nothing more despondent than spending a lot of time writing a fabulous new blog post, publishing it, and then having hardly anyone read it. Here’s how this scenario can be amended:
And here’s some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers to help them get their posts noticed!
1. Get writing
You’ve got to write a new blog post first, of course! As usual I could bang on about the need to find an excellent subject people want to read, creating or researching information that could make their lives better, composing an incredible headline your readers just can’t ignore, bla bla bla, but all this really should be reserved for another post.
2. Publish it
Once everything has been written (I originally wrote ‘said’ – hmmm), and your new blog post has been thoroughly checked and read out loud (actually this is a good exercise, as this shows up any anomalies and awkward phrases which may stilt the flow), it’s time to hit the publish button. But before you do so, is this the right time?
Consider when your readers will be more likely to be around to read it. Consider also the search engine spiders who may be lying in wait for your post ready to index it. Consider how to train these humans and robots to expect your posts at a certain time. The answer is to publish regularly at a designated moment (hour, day or whatever) and they will soon cotton on!
3. RSS trigger
RSS is such a time-saver, especially for busy entrepreneurs, who think they haven’t the time to faff about pasting in their new blog post URL everywhere. Surely there’s nothing wrong with RSS kicking in and publishing a link to your new blog post on your chosen social media platforms? And at least it’s also sending an email to your blog’s subscribers to keep them happy.
4. Let’s get personal
But the process of publicising your new blog post should not stop there. Social media is, after all, social, and this means personal interaction. RSS is an automatic function that has nothing personal associated with it. The post’s URL will just be dumped, unadorned and neglected, as a link in your social media profiles with nothing to draw attention to it.
5. Get your hands dirty
There’s nothing for it, you’re going to have to physically do something yourself to help publicise your new blog post.
Let’s hope you’ve managed to accrue lots of good and faithful followers on your social media profiles, as this is where they become useful, and you need to start being proactive. It’s time to start being sociable! Learn how they think, what they like to write about, what triggers a discussion, what rocks their boat. Fading flowers in the corner need not apply here.
6. Where do they hang out?
Suss out which social media platforms contain which kind of readers. This also includes understanding the mindset of those who use these platforms. You will need to be able to adapt your publicity message according to the kind of person who may be reading it. Your new blog post may be suitable for them, but the way of attracting readers needs to be diverse and appropriate.
Each new blog post may not be suitable for every social media platform. Don’t think you need to plaster its URL everywhere. Targeted publicity and promotion will be far more cost effective (this includes your time) and will be less inclined to annoy your potential audience with irrelevant material.
7. Descriptions required
As I said earlier, a new blog post URL link sitting on its own in a status update is much more likely to be ignored. Why should anyone click on it when there’s nothing to explain what it contains? It could be anything, not to mention spam or worse. Even if the post’s title placed in front of it, that’s still not much of an incentive, unless, of course, that title is incredibly compelling.
So a short description accompanying your new blog post URL can be extremely helpful to the potential reader. It’s like being properly introduced at a party, there’s a good reason to take things further. Once the content of the post is properly understood, then a decision can be made whether to click on the URL link to read the post.
8. Attract their attention
People read and scan the web at lightning speed. Therefore something is needed to arrest this practice and force their eyes to stop and take notice. And usually this is done through such a headline that springs out of all the dross and hits them between the eyes.
You need to work out what kind of headline would trigger such a response. Usually this matches a desire or a need. It promises a solution to a problem. It provokes an agreement or disapproval. It matches what the reader is thinking or working on at that moment. It provides the necessary information they are looking for. And it needs to be relevant to the environment it is placed in and the target audience it is meant to reach.
9. The more the merrier
Your social media profiles are the only place where you could publicise your new blog post. Most of the main platforms have groups and communities which normally welcome interaction and the sharing of new material. If some of them are a bit iffy about the latter, then this needs to be adapted to make it less obvious. Definitely dumping blog URLs will not be tolerated here.
Your newly practiced skill at writing an introductory description and attention grabbing headline to accompany your your post’s URL link will certainly come into force here. And this is also a great place to practice perfecting it too.
10. Start a discussion
Part of being sociable is talking to each other. The other is creating a discussion where everyone can join in. Take advantage of the group’s capabilities as a forum and initiate a debate based around the subject matter of your new blog post. Then sneak in your blog’s URL link within your responses, but not so blindingly obvious to turn the other participators off, or point them towards its location in your discussion statement.
This is a great way of not offending the group’s mediators who don’t tolerate basic sharing of blog post material. It will also be an opportunity for you to expand and showcase your knowledge around the subject, as long as you are tolerant of other people’s opinions and responses along the way.
11. Remember to respond
Comments arising from discussions or as a result of finding and reading new blog post material within social media are a bonus. They should not be ignored, instead they should be celebrated. Perpetuate these actions by responding and engaging as much as you can to others who take the trouble to have their say, even to the point of a ping-pong conversation. This will generate more interest, because people naturally gravitate towards action and popularity.
Creating such a favourable response to your discussion (and also post’s material) should be a brilliant way of drawing attention to yourself. If people agree or like what you say, they will feel more compelled to visit your blog and read what else you have written on other subjects through your posts. And this may even result in comments on them too, not to mention more sharing on their social media profiles (triggered by a suitable call to action, of course)!
12. Did you choose Twitter?
Twitter isn’t like the other social media platforms. Because it moves at such a rapid rate, constantly updating with new material, your new blog post URL link will soon get lost as it moves down the stream. Therefore it requires more than just one update a day. In fact several. And each update needs to be different from the previous one (not even Twitter tolerates repetition).
13. Set up a scheduling strategy
There are lots of different platforms and applications available to help you schedule your tweets over the day. These could be regularly spaced apart, or concentrated within specific times when your target audience may be more likely online, such as during their commute to work, in a coffee break, lunchtime, in the playground when collecting the kids from school, on the way home from work on the train, or unwinding at the end of the day. There are applications that could work out these times for you too.
Remember each tweet needs to different. This does require a bit more copywriting effort, but since tweets aren’t very long, it’s mostly the captivating statement that accompanies the new blog post URL link that needs to change. Think about your target market and what would make your tweet stand out above the rest. You have less than a second to make an impact, even if your followers have listed you in one of their streams.
14. Reduce your URL
Since each tweet is only 140 characters, it may be advisable to make your new blog post URL into a tinyurl to save space (reducing it to just 28 characters or less). But this is not the only reason. Twitter and the scheduling platforms won’t allow you to repeat a URL during the day, so it is necessary to adapt your post’s URL link into multiple alternatives to overcome this problem.
15. Rinse and repeat
Publicising your new blog post during only one day won’t be as effective as if you promoted it over a series of days (weeks or months). This would give you much more of a chance to expose it to a bigger audience who may not have been around the first time the URL link was available.
But be aware of how often you can repeat promoting your blog post, especially when it ceases to be new any more. The description, discussion, interaction and engagement criteria still stand, preferably in a different guise for variety. And how many times in particular platforms also needs consideration. Twitter requires many exposures a day, whereas Facebook perhaps once a week. Don’t annoy your audience by being unaware how many times they will get to see your URL link, especially if it hasn’t had time to naturally expend its time out in the open.
Now it’s your turn
Quite a daunting task, I know. Start with one or two social media platforms and perfect your methods. See what triggers the best responses from your followers and readers. If it works, do more of it. If you can, analyse why it worked and see if you can improve upon it. But above all, be consistent, or all your previous hard work will be for nought.
Don’t think you can easily farm this out to a VA, unless you know she or he has the superb copywriting abilities to vary and adapt each publicity exposure suitable for the social media platform you’re aiming at. Not to mention the kind of audience you are striving to attract. And of course there is the interaction and engagement, which really ought to come from you, and would work better if you had written the discussion statement or attractive headline in the first place.
And, of course, here’s my call to action: please leave your comments in the box below, or on social media if you have found this post there, and please remember to share this post on your own social media profiles. Many thanks!