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Remember that Kevin Costner movie, where he kept hearing, “If you build it, they will come,” and he did, and they did, and everything ended happily ever after? Publishing great content, if that’s all you do, is kind of like that. If you write great content “they” will, indeed, come to your site. Eventually. After, maybe, five years or so. Unfortunately, pushing “publish” is just the start of the journey unless you have a marketing team to do the footwork afterwards. A large amount of a website’s success is based on what happens AFTER you publish. Now that you’ve put your blood, sweat and frustration into that post, it’s time to make it fly. Here’s how you do that, in 6 easy steps – plus one, because 7 is the number of completion, and I like bonuses.
1. Obsess over your post.
Have you ever pushed “Publish” on a post you’re particularly proud of, only to realize later (or worse yet, be told in a comment) that you’ve badly misspelled something? I’ve had photos somehow get skewed and odd characters show up mixed in with the text. Once, I somehow managed to cut off half the post when I published it, and had to go back in to fix it. You’re getting ready to shout to the world that you posted a new, exciting, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat blog post. Take a few moments to make sure the published version looks as good as the preview!
2. Thank any interested parties.
If you’ve written a blog post based on influencer feedback, thank them first. A quick note sent out will do, but make sure they know their voice is out there before anyone else knows. Of course, you can promote and thank at the same time. For example: @person: Thanks for your input! It really helped pull my post, “5 Things You Shouldn’t Ignore” together! <link>
3. Promote, promote, promote.
We’ve written before about not bombarding your social circles with your own stuff, but a brand new, shiny blog post is the exception. Of course, you don’t want to fill your whole social day up with nothing but chatter about the post, but dropping a Tweet here and there isn’t overdoing it. The five pack:
- If you use Twitter, set up a few hand-crafted (not automated!) Tweets about your new post.
- Facebook? Sure! This is especially easy if you’ve added Open Graph markup to your site.
- LinkedIn loves to give you space on your connections’ pages.
- Google+ makes your posts look pretty for your circles.
- Pinterest, if you have great pictures, should not be left out.
There are definitely others. Instagram, Reddit, and Inbound.org are just a few. – But, whatever your social networks, make sure you spend the time to write out your shares, and always share responsibly.
4. Feed the RSS machine.
If you don’t already have an RSS-to-email campaign set up and you post more than one post per month, get one. An RSS-to-email campaign automatically sends your posts to the email service provider, which then sends it out to your subscribers. This is an excellent way to gain traction with visitors, and it’s also a convenience for those interested in your posts. MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber are just a few major email providers that have this feature. There’s a caveat to this, however. If you post more often than, say, twice a week, your best bet is to provide your subscribers with an option of topics. Otherwise, they can quickly be overwhelmed with your content, and toss you away.
5. Keep up with the community.
If you have any kind of following – and even if you don’t – you may just get a comment on the blog post. Do yourself a favor; until the comments become so many that you can’t keep up, take the time to respond to each one – or at least most of them. A simple “thank you for reading” can make a big difference on how much “stick-to-it-iveness” your followers will have. There’s a flip side to this. Pick out at least one commenter (depending on how much time you have), and visit their blog. Take the time to read a post and comment on their post. It helps you build more trust, but it also helps you be more personable and approachable. These aren’t bad things at all.
6. Check your statistics.
After everything is said and done, you want to see how your blog post did. This doesn’t happen right away; give it a few days. After three or four days, look at your analytics. How did your post do? If it did better than normal, try to pinpoint why. After all, we’re all looking for the golden formula for blog posts – that time when the planets align just right and your post gets picked up by major industry websites, and more visitors flood in than ever before… Or, it could be the worst performing post in the history of postdom. If so, you need to find out why and NEVER do that again. Either way, logging post performance is a strong step towards perfect posting.
Bonus: Make and follow an editorial calendar.
If you don’t already have one, start an editorial calendar right now. Try to map out what you’re going to write and post about for the next several weeks. Not only does this make it easier when it’s actually time to write (because you already have the idea, right? And that’s half the work…), but it also helps you keep track of topics. In turn, this helps you make sure you don’t leave one topic alone too long while writing about other topics too much. It keeps your blog interesting, people.
The Too Long, Didn’t Read Version
The quick and dirty version of this post is simple: you aren’t done just because you’ve pushed “publish”. You have to push that baby all the way out the door and wave it around in front of people’s faces. It’s a lot work, but at the end of the day, the work is well worth the results. Of course, if you’d rather not do all that work, contact us, and we’ll do the pushing for you.