Content discovery engine Outbrain (more on them in a bit) composed a haiku on the subject that perfectly sums this up:
“If you wrote a blog
And no one came to read it
Did you write a blog?”
Even if you create high-quality humorous, witty, insightful, or poignant content, you still may not be able to organically reach your intended audience—especially if you are a new blogger or have a small following. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to generate buzz around your posts.
Venture Into Unknown Places
The first thing you need to do is stop doing ONLY the same things you’ve been doing. We are programmed to be systematic, routine-oriented creatures. So naturally this follows us into blogging. If you’re sharing your content in the same places day in and day out, you’ll never attract new readers. You have to venture into unknown places, new places to reach those who have never visited your blog. One of the best places to go: ultra-niche communities. This might seem counter-intuitive, but finding a smaller number of the right people (versus, well, ALL the people) will lead to more pageviews and unique visits. Don’t sweat it if a group or community only has a handful of members. If it’s ultra-niche and the members are ALL active participants, you’re more likely to turn them into loyal readers of your blog as opposed to trying to engage 20,000 passive members in a broader forum elsewhere. Check out the niche communities on Google+ and LinkedIn to get started.
Pay to Distribute Your Content
You just flinched, huh? Don’t! Paid doesn’t have to mean expensive. You’ve most likely seen “recommended content” at the end of posts on popular sites such as Huffington Post and CNN. These networks allow you to pay to have your content distributed on sites that receive massive traffic. A few include Outbrain and Taboola. Many of these networks do cater to advertisers with smaller budgets. Outbrain, for example, lets you set your maximum daily budget at $10 per day. That’s a trip to Starbucks and back.
Reuse and Recycle
Being a blogger means you are a content publisher, and great content never gets published and forgotten. You should be recycling, repurposing, and reusing your content for different mediums. Turn some of your posts into shareable how-to presentations that can be uploaded to SlideShare. Take a bunch of related posts and repurpose for an eBook. Pull quotes from your best posts and create eye-catching memes on Canva or PicMonkey. Every piece of content that you publish can be repurposed in another way.
Connect the Posts
Similar to recommended content, offer visitors the option to take a look at some of your “other” content by presenting related posts as links or thumbnails at the bottom of all posts. Zemanta offers a suite of super-awesome plugins for bloggers. They also have a tool that will recommend content while you write, before you even publish. Cool stuff!
Leverage the Power of Influencers
Influencer marketing is a hot trend and for good reason. It’s a great way to get your content in front of LOADS of people. Identify the thought and tribe leaders in your niche with the largest social followings. Tweet your posts at these influencers and ask for their input or to share your content. Give them a reason to want to share your content with their large audience. Remember, no one likes a spammer. So approach with tact and discipline.
This list is far from exhaustive, but hopefully you’ll be inspired to try some new things to boost traffic, pageviews, and readership!
What are some of your best content distribution tips?