Unfortunately, writing great content is not enough in order to build a successful blog. Here are 11 channels to use so people will actually read your awesome posts.
What makes content marketing successful?
In my opinion it’s 50% about the content, and 50% about distributing that content effectively so people will discover your posts. There’s a tipping point where enough people follow your blog and new posts will gain a momentum without you doing anything. It’s usually around 10,000 monthly visitors. However, most people who choose content marketing as their main strategy fail to get there. This post’s goal is to help ensure that your great content is discovered by more people.
Before practicing content marketing, I used blogs/ PR as our main marketing channel. I think the thing I have liked best since switching to content marketing is that it’s a democracy. You don’t need to develop a ‘relationship’ with bloggers, try to hunt them down at conferences or pay an expensive PR firm. It’s the people’s choice: if you have good content and know how to distribute it, you’ll get the traffic. There are numerous “democrat” websites which offer users the opportunity to upload posts and let the readers upvote/ downvote this content. On the large sites, if you get to a high rank you’re likely to get thousands of visitors to your blog the same day. The main rule to follow on all sites is simple – make sure to publish content and not write about your product. People go on these sites in order to discover interesting content, not to purchase new products. Users are super sensitive to promotional content and it’s very likely to get downvoted fast.
Let’s cover the main ones:
The largest voting website, it covers a huge variety of subjects. In order to get started you need to choose a subreddit (= a group), create a user profile and submit. There are tens of thousands subreddits covering every topic you can imagine.
How to find the right subreddit:
Make sure there are enough people in the group. If you post to a group of 300 members, you’re not likely to get much traffic. I try to target subreddits with over 10,000 members.
Make sure the content really matches the subreddit. Check out the leading posts and see if your content is aligned with them.
Here’s a cool trick to discover the right subreddit – you can see all the submissions coming from a certain domain. So, if you type in a successful blog that is similar to your area you’ll be able to see in which subreddits they post and where they get good results. Type “www.reddit.com/domain/” and the domain name. Here are the results for my company’s blog for example :http://www.reddit.com/domain/www.takipiblog.com
If you write about entrepreneurship or programming, HackerNews is a must. The downside – it’s very hard to get onto the front page. The up side – if you get there, you can expect 1,000-50,000 visitors. I reached the #1 position once and received over 20,000 visits in one hour(!). No groups or sections like on other voting sites. Tip: submitting your content during the ‘slow time’ – weekends or nighttime in the US – gives you a better chance of getting to the front page as you’ll need fewer votes.
I haven’t had a chance to work with Dig or StumbleUpon since my main focus is B2B, but if your focus is consumer products definitely check them out.
Visually: If you have an infographic, this is the place to post it.
“Cool! I’ll ask some my friends to vote and get to a high place!” This strategy doesn’t really work. We all ask for 2 or 3 votes from friends but it’s almost impossible to “cheat” with more.
All these sites track IP addresses so you can’t vote from the same place (yep, your colleagues are useless).
Most of the sites make sure that the same users don’t upvote the same users over and over. On HackerNews for example, the third time you upvote for the same user, your account dies.
The first time I even thought about this channel was when one of our posts was featured in a newsletter and we received great traffic, over 1500 visits with a good conversation rate. This channel usually brings very high quality leads. What do you have to do to get into these newsletters? Pretty much like with bloggers, I email the person who runs the newsletter (it’s usually a one-man show) once we publish a post which is aligned to the content they usually publish. If you’re included in a newsletter, don’t forget to say thanks later. Many newsletters also suggest a paid channel and offer a sponsored post.