One of the common misconceptions that some new bloggers start out with is that in order to find readers for their blog all they’ll have to do is regularly write quality content.
- “Great content will market itself” – a statement I heard one speaker make at a blogging conference last year.
- “Write it and they will come” – a motto I’ve heard a number of new bloggers sharing as a secret to their yet to be found success.
- “Quality Content = Readers” – an ‘equation’ I saw being written about in one online blogging course recently
Each of the above statements has elements of truth to it. Many bloggers have built successful blogs on the back of great content. However there are almost always other factors at play.
The reality is that many blogs produce quality content that doesn’t get read. The reason isn’t that the blog’s not worth reading – but in many cases it’s because nobody knows to go read it.
Here’s the thing…..
Letting your content market itself DOES work IF you already have an audience to help with that process by spreading word of it through word of mouth – but if you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a readership the reality is that YOU are the only person who knows your great content exists.
Word of mouth can still play a part in your finding of readers – but as YOU are the only person that knows about your great content YOU need to be the one who starts the process and starts the process of getting the word out.
It’s time to hustle and get word out about your content.
Later in the week I want to highlight 9 methods to do this – however today I want to start with a more general suggestion that comes from my own experience of getting content read
Seed it – Don’t Force it!
Perhaps it’s just my personality or style – but I find that sometimes less is more in the blog post promotion game. Here’s how I’d chart the effectiveness of my blog promotions vs the amount of effort (or aggressiveness might be a better word) put into the promotion.
Let me flesh this out a little:
- In my experience if you only put little effort into your blog promotion you get little results. This is what I talk about above – if you don’t let people know about your posts how will anyone find them?
- If you put in too much effort into it and get too aggressive with your promotion you can also get little results. In fact sometimes when you’re too aggressive you can actually go backwards and hurt your site.
- For me it’s about putting in some effort – but not getting too full on about it. It’s a real balancing act at times.
I like the term ‘seeding’ to describe how I try to promote my content.
I’m not really a great gardener but I do know that in order for me to have a new plant grow in my garden I need to go to some effort – but that if I do too much I can actually hurt the growth of the plant.
To have a plant grow I need to plant a seed, I need to ensure it gets water, I can give it some fertilizer, I need to give it a little protection from my kids digging it up…. but after that it’s up to the seed and the environment to make it grow. It takes some effort – but there comes a point where I need to step back and let the seed do it’s thing.
This is similar to my experience of promoting content on blogs. Often it takes me getting the ball rolling but if I force things it can actually have the reverse effect.
As I look back on some of the biggest traffic events on my blogs there’s been a real mix of my own promotion (usually to start the process) and a more organic thing happening. Sometimes I push too hard and don’t get results – other times I don’t push enough and get little return also – however getting it right can lead to incredible days of traffic.
Update: read the continuation of this post at my next post in the series – 9 Things to Do to Make Sure Your Next Blog Post is Read by More than Your MOM