You’ve written a fantastic blog post.
Now . . . how are people going to find it?
It’s a question most of us bloggers deal with every single time we hit “Publish.”
Maybe there is.
I’m excited to share a list of nine ways I’ve found to drive traffic to new blog posts: a checklist of sorts that can help you see how to bring some lift to every new piece of content you publish.
The Content Distribution Checklist
9 ways to bring more traffic to every blog post
- Post to (relevant) social media accounts
- Buffer 6 updates to Twitter
- Notify your internal team
- Notify your email list
- Reach out to friends whom you know will love the article
- Reach out to influencers mentioned in the article
- Reach out to influencers on the topic
- Answer questions on Reddit and Quora
- Set up a Google Alert for long-term promotion
1. Post to all your (relevant) social accounts
Once your blog post is live, an easy way to immediately get some exposure is to push it to your social accounts.
(Hint: This is especially easy to do if you’re using an auto-publish plugin, such as the JetPack plugin for WordPress.)
Posting to your social media accounts right away can be a nice way to let your followers know about your latest post.
Some people choose to announce a new post with a little tagline at the start, making special note that the content is new. Here are a couple of my favorite was I’ve seen (and an example from the ProBlogger Twitter account):
- “New post: [headline here]”
- “My latest from the blog: [headline here]”
New at ProBlogger: Tools to Help You Optimize Blog Headlines and Content https://t.co/QTAjy1c2bo
— Darren Rowse (@problogger) October 20, 2015
Pro-tip: Not all posts are suitable for all social accounts. (For instance, an article on Twitter tips might not make sense to share as much on Facebook.) You may want to consider how your following may differ across social accounts, just to make sure your updates make sense!
2. Buffer 6 updates to Twitter
Tweets tend to have a shorter shelf life than other social media posts. They’re quickly buried under new tweets—whether it’s new tweets from you on your own profile or new tweets from other people your audience follows. A single tweet from the buffer Twitter account reaches about 4% of our followers.
That means that if you’re only sharing your blog post to Twitter once, you only have one shot at getting your audience to see it.
(Which might be a little risky!)
One possible solution is to share articles on Twitter more than once.
Even up to six times or more!
That may sound a little bit like cheating at first, but Belle Beth Cooper has found three killer benefits you can get by sharing a post to Twitter multiple times:
- You can get more traffic and engagement. In fact, a Wisemetrics study found that, on average, the second tweet gets 86% as much performance as the first one. And the returns keep coming in. Even after an article is shared 6 times, it can still bring in around 67% of the first tweet’s engagement. (HT to Kevan Lee for finding this study!)
- You hit multiple time zones. (There’s a good chance some of your followers are sound asleep or hard at work when you hit “Publish”!)
- You reach your newer followers. If you spread your re-shares over months, you’ll be picking up new followers between those shares. That means that your “old” content may still be new to them!
How to schedule multiple shares to Buffer
One tactic you may consider for posting multiple times is Buffer’s Power Scheduler (currently in beta within the free Buffer browser extension), which lets you plan how often to share one of your articles:
This way, you’re tying certain shares to specific times—which means your followers aren’t going to see a long string of tweets pointing to the same article over the next few days!
3. Email (or Slack, or HipChat) your internal team
The job of content distribution doesn’t have to be completely on you. Your coworkers and teammates may be able to share your awesome content with their followers, too.
However, you’ve probably noticed that if you’re hard at work, it’s not easy to know what your teammates are up to. They’re probably in the same boat: they don’t necessarily know that you’re writing awesome stuff.
So, one way to start distributing your content is to let your team know about new blog posts! Sending an office email can score a few big wins:
- Your whole team will be up to date. Your sales team will know of new assets to refer potential customers to. Your customer service team will know about helpful advice to share with new customers. Your boss will know what’s going live. A quick email gets everyone on the same page.
- Your team can give you some input. There have been a few times I’ve hit “Publish” a little too soon, but my teammates were able to catch a few errors or give me some direction before it got in front of any customer eyeballs.
- Your team can seed that content with social proof! If a few of your coworkers share that new article, then your audience will hit a page that already has some numbers beside those social share buttons.
Slack, Hipchat, and other messaging apps are a great option also if more of your team communication happens there versus email. Both IFTTT and Zapier offer some neat automation so that every time a new post is published a notification appears in the room!
Here’s a sample from the Buffer hipchat room, notifying the team of a great new post!
4. Notify your email list
Thus far, you’ve given this post a little lift from your social followers and internal team. Let’s look at a few ways to seed it with some more traffic.
One way to send a great deal more traffic to your post is to send a note to your email list. This can score a few wins:
- More people heading to your post increases your chance of getting more social shares.
- Sending a note to your email list helps people feel like insiders—like they’re among the first to know about the awesome new content you’re making!
A popular way to accomplish this is through an RSS email campaign with MailChimp, Aweber, Campaign Monitor, or other email tools. This allows for your posts to go out automatically to your subscribers every time you publish (more on email strategies here).
Here’s a great outreach email from Help Scout as an example:
5. Reach out to relevant friends
If you’ve published an article that you just KNOW is going to be appealing to a few of your friends, it might help to reach out to them specifically. For example, let’s say you’ve published a blog post on why cats are superior to dogs in every way. You have a few friends who really love their kitties—people who would absolutely love an article like this.
One way to get a little social traction on a fresh blog post is to ping these friends and let them know about it!
6. Reach out to the influencers mentioned in your article
If you’ve mentioned any influencers in your article, one way to get a little more distribution is to let those influencers know that you’ve given them a nod. (They may turn around and share it!)
The cool thing about this strategy is that you don’t have to be a super-important celebrity in order to make it work. All you need to do is mention someone influential (in a way that makes them look good), and then reach out to them about it.
(By the way, this strategy has had a 66 percent success rate for the Buffer team!)
It can be as simple as this brilliant email Kevan sent to the Twibble team:
7. Reach out to influencers on the topic
There may be some influencers in your niche who share cool stuff from around the web every once in a while. If so, you might have a shot at getting them to share this awesome content you’ve created! You can send these influencers a quick email or tweet letting them know about that terrific post you just wrote.
Reaching out to influencers isn’t easy. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind that have proven valuable for me:
- Influencers are usually short on time (so it may help to keep your messages brief).
- Influencers are used to people asking them for favors (so it may help to let your content speak for itself, instead of directly asking for a share).
- Influencers are real people, and real people like to feel respected (so it may help to make the message all about them).