This post, from Darren Rowse, originally appeared on ProBlogger on 9/3/09.
Two days back I explored the myth that all you need to do is write great content on a blog for it to get readers and introduced the idea of ’seeding’ content rather than ‘forcing’ it upon readers.
Today I want to take the ’seeding’ idea a step further and give a few examples of ways that you can do it – and in the process hopefully grow your readership beyond your immediate family (not that there’s anything wrong with Mom reading your blog).
I should say that while this post contains 9 ways to promote a blog post – that I rarely use all of them at once. Keep in mind that the idea of ’seeding’ is not about forcing things but rather it is about getting things going and then letting something organic happen. You might need to put a little more effort into things somewhere along the way to keep momentum going (like ‘watering the garden’ helps a seed to grow) but the idea isn’t for force things.
So without further ado – let me share a few of the techniques that I use to ’seed’ content:
1. Tweet it
I find that one of the most effective ways to get a link to a new blog post ‘out there’ is simply to tweet it. Tweeting a link is quick and easy to do – and if you do it well it can be quite effective at both driving direct traffic to a blog post but also in starting other little viral events on other sites.
The effectiveness of this does depend a little on the size of your follower group – but other factors you can have a little more control over include:
- timing your tweets to be during peak times when lots of people are on Twitter.
- doing a followup tweet to your original one (I only do this on important posts and usually try to change the wording so as not to annoy people too much)
- the wording of your tweet (give people a reason to click it)
- making your tweet ‘ReTweetable’ by not making it too long (I keep these seeding tweets to under 120 characters to leave room for people to retweet them).
I find that when something does well on Twitter (and not every post will) that it can often trigger a secondary event on a site like Delicious. This in turn can trigger blogs to link to my posts or other social bookmarking sites to pick up links.
2. Facebook Status Updates (and other social media)
This is of course similar to Tweeting a link. I’ve not had as much success with Facebook as a promotional tool for my blogs but know of a few bloggers in different niches who find it to be more effective. Whether it sends loads of traffic or not it can be helpful in an overall strategy.
Similarly I sometimes also use other social media sites like LinkedIn’s status update if I feel that the content I’m promoting is better suited to other audiences. Again – it depends partly upon the size of your network on these sites but even a small but relevant network on these sites can trigger other bloggers to link up or secondary organic submissions on other social sites by those in your network. You never know what impact sharing a link in these sites can have until you do it.
3. Pitch it to another Blogger
Is the post you’re promoting relevant to the audience of another blog?
This is a question I’m always asking myself as I’m writing blog posts. As I write I jot down the names of other bloggers that have an audience that might find what I’m writing helpful. This means that when it comes time to promote the blog post I have a ready made list of people to shoot out an email to to let them know about my post.
I don’t send these emails out often, nor do I send them out to the same group of bloggers repeatedly – but if I genuinely think my post is of high quality and that the blogger will find it relevant I will.