A Guest Post by Adrienne Erin
You've not only come up with a great blog idea, but you’ve written a stellar post.
However, while the writing matters – and content will always be king – your work is far from being done.
That’s because, in this day and age, the Internet is constantly being flooded with great ideas and new material. The hardest work you’ll have to do? Finding an audience and growing that audience every time you hit publish – right away and much later.
Before You Hit Publish
Before you start marketing your content, you want to make sure it’s the best it can be.
That includes more than just reading through your post and checking for any spelling or grammar errors. It also means optimizing your content for keywords so the search engines can find your article. Use Google Adwords’ keyword planner to choose a keyword that makes sense for your post.
Additionally, if you use WordPress and don’t have an SEO plugin installed, stop reading right now and go add one, like Yoast. Plugins like this will show you how well you’re doing in integrating your keywords, so it’s an important thing to have and to pay attention to as well. In addition to keywords, plugins can also help you optimize images, among other things.
Immediately After You Publish
You've officially hit “publish” – what now? Getting readers is all about getting your article out there and building links. Here are five ways to do just that:
1. Share on Social Media
Nowadays, this is a no brainer. You publish your article and then head over to your social media sites to link to your new content, or you have your blog set up so a link will automatically post to your Facebook and Twitter. You don’t have to be on all the major sites, but you should have a presence on the ones that make sense for your blog’s niche. For example, food and recipe bloggers – and other bloggers who create their own great imagery – find success with Pinterest, while business bloggers should be on Twitter.
Don’t stop with just a simple post on social media. Test what works best by posting links to your content in different ways. On Facebook, this might mean posting a photo from your blog to your page with a link to the article in the photo’s caption. On Twitter, test out different headlines with different tweets, even if they all link to the same article.
2. Make Your Content a Resource
Chances are, the content you published – whether it’s relationship advice or a book review – is a resource to someone out there. As such, your blog post is an answer to a question someone is asking. Now go out and find that question so you can answer it!
Places to check include Twitter, Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn Answers, Facebook groups, and industry forums. Quora, too, is a site that’s been growing steadily, as it’s a place where any question can be asked, and they’re all filtered by different categories, like cities or school subjects. No matter which site you decide to post on, politely answer their question and then provide a link to your content, where you provide additional information on the topic at hand.
By the way, these are great places to look for topic ideas for your next post!
3. Submit Your Post to Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites can provide backlinks to your content, but, even better, they can help spread the word that you’ve created new content. Build presences on bookmarking sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon by submitting your links when you publish.
One important thing to note, though: sites like Reddit frown upon accounts that only post links to the same website over and over again. As such, if you use Reddit, interact with the community and upvote other content as well. Really use the site, and real users will respect your content.
4. Build Links between Posts
Most of the tips thus far have all been about building external links back to your site, but internal linking is just as important. Internal links work so well because they help users move around your site; and the more time they spend on your site, the better. Not just that, but it makes it easier for Google to crawl your blog!
To make this work best, with every new post you write, add links to other blog posts of yours within the article body. After you hit publish, go back to at least one of your older, related posts, edit it and link to your new post.
5. Customize Your Email Signature
An email signature may seem like a small thing, but it can make a big impact on your site traffic. Rather than just having a link to your blog’s homepage, link to your latest post. One easy way to do this, so you don’t have to continuously update your email signature, is to install Wisestamp. This free Gmail extension has a tool that automatically pulls your latest blog headline into your email. This way, every time you email anyone they’ll see what you’ve been posting. Maybe it will pique their curiosity!
Promotion Long After You Hit Publish
Your content doesn't die after you post it. Unless you are writing time-sensitive news pieces, there are often ways to recycle that content or bring some new readers to it, even much later. Here are two ways to keep benefiting from your older content.
Get Creative with Your Marketing
One of the best ways to get your content noticed is to get creative by doing more than just posting a link on your social media sites back to your blog. Think outside the box and come up with different ways to present your content, like Intel does by educating and entertaining their followers with their status updates. Being creative – and relevant – can help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of going viral.
In this ad, Intel shows off the light weight of their Ultrabooks by demonstrating how a rhinobeetle could carry eight of them. It’s definitely creative, and got a great response from their fans!
Update Old Content
Last but not least, keep everything on your blog relevant. Posts you wrote two years ago may contain outdated information or even facts that are no longer, well, factual. To keep this content evergreen and useful to your readers, make it a habit to go back and refresh your older posts once or twice a year. This way you’ll continue to be a resource long after you initially hit publish.
The writing is, of course, important, but so is spreading the word about your new and relevant content. Try different ways to promote your pieces and monitor what works best – and then keep doing it.
So, what do you do after hitting publish? Share your process in the comments below!
Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer obsessed with blogging and social media. She’s been blogging, in one form or another, ever since she started using the internet – and having grown up with the technology, has learned a few tips and tricks along the way. You can see more of her work by following @adrienneerin on Twitter or visiting her blog, Design Roast, where she talks about what it takes to improve as a designer.