We got the following message via our Contact Us form this weekend:
To Elisa Gabbert: Saw your article in Website magazine! I write a marketing blog via WordPress and was writing to get your advice on how to distribute this blog beyond LinkedIn/Twitter – seeking vehicles that are low budget ... Thank you in advance for your response.
Thanks for your question, Howard. I always think it's better to answer questions like this via a blog post rather than a personal email. That way, other readers get the benefit of the information too. So here are five low-cost ways to distribute your blog posts to a larger readership.
Howard is well aware of this channel, as he says he is using LinkedIn and Twitter for distribution already. But don't dismiss other social networks – Larry found that Google+ is already sending a surprising amount of traffic to our blog, and of course Facebook is a huge source of referral traffic for many blogs.
Try out multiple platforms and use analytics to keep track of what's working. Depending on your business and audience, you might find that some social platforms perform better than others. (Learn some of the differences between using LinkedIn and Facebook for B2B or B2C businesses.)
Be sure to include social buttons on your blog posts as well, so people can tweet, "like," Digg and otherwise promote your content at will.
Our blog content often gets "syndicated" (i.e. scraped) without our approval – some scraper sites even bother to run the content through a sort of English-to-English translation system, basically paraphrasing everything with a thesaurus, so the content isn't exactly the same, or else injecting random phrases to use for anchor text. (In one example, Larry was (mis)quoted as saying, “I was utterly astounded to find how clever Google+ was as a amicable media trade source motorist.”) However, there are more legitimate syndication services that offer a couple of benefits:
- Easy links – Many blogs that syndicate your content will keep all links intact. Some of them even have a decent PageRank.
- Different audience – This process can put your content in front of a different audience that never would have seen it otherwise. It may also rank for different searches or in a different segment of search (such as Google News).
However, I don't necessarily recommend this route if your blog is new and lacks domain authority – you risk letting your syndicated posts get higher rankings than your own blog. Because our blog is fairly established, that's an unlikely scenario for us.
Use your newsletter list to promote your blog posts. If you already send out a regular newsletter, you can include links to recent, interesting posts in a sidebar. Or consider starting a dedicated newsletter to promote new blog content. We send out a weekly "Performance Tip" email that highlights a blog post, and the featured posts always see a nice spike in traffic.
Link outreach can get pretty time-consuming, and anything that costs you time also costs you money. However, it's worth five to ten minutes a day to do some very targeted outreach – in other words, reach out to a few select people that might be particularly interested in the topic of your post every time you publish a new article – or at least every time you publish an especially good one. If they read it and like it, odds are good they'll share it with their own audience and followers. Just don't barrage the same people over and over – people who are interested in everything you write can subscribe to your blog.
This is also a good task to delegate to interns or more junior members of your team (hence, the time spent isn't as costly).
Drop a link to your blog in your email signature. Anyone you email is subtly encouraged to click through and read your latest posts.
Hope that helps, Howard!
How else do you get your blog content out there?
Image via Nick Saltmarsh