Are you wasting your time?
“There are millions of people out there who get very frustrated with content marketing. Many of them have great content. They optimize their content in every way they can. But since they expect their great content to magically attract an audience on its own, simply no one knows about this great content.” So wrote Susanna Gebauer of The Social Ms, way back in April 2015.
Writing a blog is a great outlet for your creativity. It’s a good way to keep your web content fresh. But, on its own, it’s a lousy way to reach an audience. Why? Because the people you want to reach aren’t even peripherally aware of it.
So why would they read it?
Content creation does not equal content marketing.
Content creation + promotion does.
Aaaaargh, I hear you scream – I already have way too much to fit into my day. How the hell am I supposed to do that too???
There are several ways to get promotion out of the way without wasting daily hours over it.
- Buy billboard space all over town, or newspaper, magazine, radio or TV ad spots. OK, they’ll blow the budget but you’ll definitely get your message out there. Whether anyone will pay any attention to it is another story. (How do you react to ads? I ignore them or swear at them; I don’t buy.)
- Post links to your content on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and/or whatever other social media channels work for you. This is much easier and cheaper – and usually more effective. The easiest way to do it is via Hootsuite, Buffer or one of the other posting services, where you can set up a week’s worth of posts on a spreadsheet in about an hour and then forget all about it. You still need to post as yourself, as you normally would, but your blog post will be promoted regularly without you having to remember to do it.
- Sign up to MissingLettr which takes all the work out of thinking about how to promote your posts. They work out hashtags for you, which images to use and what blurb should go with each – but you can edit all the suggestions before you give your campaign the OK, so you’re not stuck with what the computer dreams up. The great thing about it is that each campaign lasts a full year – and you don’t even have to think about it! I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it seems to be very effective. It’s still quite new, so it only posts to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook at the moment, but other social channels will be available soon. As with Hootsuite and the rest, you still have to post your normal stuff regularly, too.
- I’d also recommend you sign up to Quuu and get enthusiastic people to promote your content for you. (You should, of course, promote theirs in return; that’s only fair.) Basically, Quuu allows you to leverage other people’s audience to drive traffic to your content. It’s worked well for both my GreatCopy and ScottishVisitor blogs. The good news is, it’s just about to become available for a mere $39 from those nice people at AppSumo and you can get it for a short time only from May 29th 2017 (yes, it’s an affiliate link). This is the same package I signed up for, and I’m very glad I did!
- Make sure you capture names and emails of visitors to your site. Don’t have a pop-up that covers the screen as soon as they arrive (one of my pet hates). At least give them time to see whether what you offer is what they’re looking for. My pop-up appears when visitors are about to leave the site, and gives them something of value in return (a free ebook) if they sign up to my newsletter. It’s really easy to set up – at least, it is with WordPress and Mailchimp: it took about 10 minutes. Your enthusiastic newsletter/blog readers will then, hopefully, help promote your content to their contacts.
If it still all sounds very complicated and time-consuming, take heart: if you use even one of these methods to do the promoting for you, it really isn’t. If you use all of them, you’ll extend our reach hugely and it’ll only take you a couple of hours a week, on average.
If you don’t use any of them (or something equally effective), do yourself a favour: stop creating content. Because you’re just wasting your breath upon the desert air. Ain’t no-one gonna find it.
The systems all quite easy to set up, even for non-tech-savvy people (I speak from the heart). They’ll save you hours of bother. And they work.
Over to you…