Blogging is boring without readers.
You write a thoughtful post, go through the trouble of researching the article and designing an image, and then you click publish — only to hear digital crickets.
But wait! Isn’t content king?
I created the content, so where’s its kingdom?
Creating high quality content in 2019 is just the barrier of entry. There’s a lot of high-quality noise out there these days. Your readers aren’t wading through that noise in search of your specific blog or ideas.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t rise above the noise to hand-deliver your blog to them.
That’s basically what content distribution comes down to: meeting readers exactly where they’re at.
I’m talking about manual content distribution, the process that sets popular digital writers apart from everyone else.
Here’s what I’ve learned about content distribution over the years:
3 Steps to content distribution
Step 1: Know your customer
Who are they?
What types of content do they respond to?
Where do they spend time online?
The key is to write content for a specific person. If you try to write content for everyone, you’ll be too generic. No one will pay attention. Understand who you’re speaking to before you start writing the article.
Step 2: Create distribution-focused content
Before you ever start writing an article, you should know how you want people to find it. Determine whether you’re optimizing for SEO or virality. You’ll write different articles depending on which distribution focus you choose.
In short, search-optimized articles will emphasize keywords and best practices. These articles will answer common questions asked within your industry.
On the other hand, viral-oriented content should be optimized for shares. It should present big ideas or some kind of controversy (less about nit-picking and more about challenging the status quo).
Articles can (and usually should) have elements of both distribution plans in mind. But if you don’t know your main distribution plan, you’ll end up creating a post without purpose, which is very hard to share.
Step 3: Distribution
Finally, I believe you should spend 3x as much time distributing your blog post as you spent writing it. This is the step most businesses skip because distribution requires manual labor and can be very time consuming.
But distribution could also be the difference between growing a steady following and hearing crickets every time you click publish.
Common distribution tactics:
- Perform keyword research
- Create + test at least 5 headlines
- Insert a corresponding graphic or video
- Create teaser content before the article is live
- Repurpose the article for Facebook
- Repurpose the article for LinkedIn
- Repurpose the article for Twitter
- Repurpose the article for Quora
- Repurpose the article for Reddit
- Share the article to Zest.is
- Share key points in images on Instagram
- Share the article on Hacker News
- Share the article with your subscribers
- Share the article with partner newsletters
- Share the article with relevant journalists + bloggers
- Share link across all social profiles (tag all contributors)
- Share the link in niche social media groups + Slack channels
- Get your team to interact with your posts
- Link your latest blog post in your email signature
- Pay to boost your article on social
Hope this helps!
P.S. I experiment with content distribution tactics every week. If you want to get weekly ideas about where to spread your blog articles, you can subscribe to the newsletter here.