This is a guest contribution from Bill Achola.
I remember those days when I thought writing a blog post was enough.
I would invest all my efforts on choosing the right topic, writing a quality blog post, making it smart, funny, and engaging, adding interesting pictures, carefully crafting an eye-catching format, and choosing the right time to post.
I would weigh all my options, do all the hard work, hit ‘publish’, and then wait for the traffic to pour in.
It wasn’t until I had wasted a considerable amount of effort that I realized that effectively promoting a blog post is as important as, if not more so, than writing quality content.
In a blogosphere full of unwanted noise, your goal is to make your voice heard above all the others. Your goal is to attract audiences who might be interested in what you have to say and how you choose to say it. For that, you need to find creative ways to promote a blog post before you even write one.
But how exactly can you do that?
After all, not all of us can invite Drake to help promote our next offering. So, you need to rely on these four creative ways to build buzz for your next blog post before it goes live.
1. Reach Influencers Through Pre-Outreach
Influencers are every blogger’s personal gold mine. They are the gateway to blogging heaven, the key to success. The right influencers can drive valuable traffic in droves to your blog. Each of the influencer’s audience is your personal resource which you can tap into to get more hits on your blog post.
You can have separate influencers for separate platforms. And the ways to reach audiences on each of these platforms are oddly specific. For instance, consider how Wilson Hung describes his experiences in promoting his blog posts on Reddit:
A few days before I publish an article, I look for recent Reddit posts related to my article. I then send a PM to Redditors who commented in the article asking if I have their permission to follow up with them when I release a similar Reddit post. When your blog post finally goes live, you can promote it on Reddit and send a PM to all the people who gave you their permission. This may sound like a lot of work, but soon you’ll build a list of army upvoters that will help ensure you hit the #1 spot in a specific subreddit for each article you post.
A successful example:
2. Use ‘Weak Ties’ To Generate Early Buzz
But what exactly are weak ties, you may be wondering? And how do you use them to promote your blog post?
Weak ties, by definition, are the antithesis of close friends on social media. They are acquaintances that you might not even talk to once a year. Think about it. How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many of them do you speak to regularly?
Not many, I suppose. Your weaker friends may not be valuable to you from a social perspective. But they are highly important resources from a promotional perspective. Sure, they might not all be digital marketing experts. They might not even be influencers in your field.
But who cares? They do have friends, don’t they? And they can share your articles with those friends, can’t they? Even if you reach five of your weaker ties, you are reaching five separate audiences. You’re increasing the likelihood of your article being read and shared by a factor of five.
According to Ronald S. Burt:
Indeed, it might not be who or what you know that creates advantage, but rather more simply, who you become by dint of how you hang out—the disadvantaged hang out with folks just like themselves, while the advantaged engage folks of diverse opinion and practice.
3. Use The ‘Content Roadshow’ Technique
The Content Roadshow technique was developed by Brian Dean as a means to generate backlinks for your content. You can also use it to promote your blog post even before you begin to write it.
But what exactly is the Content Roadshow technique?
In simpler terms, it’s a way to search for leading authors for your topic and reach those authors individually to promote your content. Since these authors are well-read experts in your field, gaining their support will be highly beneficial for your blog.
Here’s how Brian Dean describes the Content Roadshow technique:
I usually just Google keywords related to my content and find other bloggers. Then I reach out to those people that come up in those results. I will send an email and just ask if they want to check it out. If they are interested, I’ll send the content and ask them what they think. It’s very simple. People will thank you and share it with their audience.
Did you notice that the process begins with looking up keywords? Finding the right keyword ideas is the first step of the Roadshow technique. Once you narrow down a list of appropriate keywords, it’s time to begin emailing the prospects.
Here’s an example of the email draft:
4. Email Brands That Have Been Mentioned In Your Post
Even some of the most successful brands and services are always looking for publicity and ways to reach newer audiences. And if you do that for them, they’ll respond positively as well.
For instance, if you plan to link an article or a successful blog in your content, you can email the original author, asking whether they would be interested in sharing the content with their readers.
Formulating the email is crucial. If you do it right, you’ll be surprised by the response you receive. Here’s what Melyssa Griffin has to say about that:
Your initial email is fairly crucial, especially because many brands receive plenty of these types of emails each day. My best advice? Keep it short, descriptive, and to the point. Don’t add entire paragraphs about your blog or a three-page collaboration idea that they have to download as a Word document. Rather, keep your email to a few sentences.
Reach For The Stars
Experience is not just about learning from the mistakes. It’s about learning from the mistakes of others as well. And the best way to avoid what I went through is to follow these four steps from the very beginning.
Reaching for the stars is not easy, but taking the first step is.
So what are you waiting for?
Bill Achola is a content marketing consultant specializing in content writing and marketing at Billacholla.com. He works closely with B2B and B2C companies providing the right content that generates traffic and revenues back to their business.