There is a myth out there, this myth is that “great content markets itself”. This whole idea of build it and they will come really doesn’t apply online. The truth is unless you have a pre existing loyal audience of dedicated readers ready to determine your content is amazing and carry it on their backs to the rest of the world; then you’re going to need to personally take action to ensure the world knows about your content.
The following are 7 ways you can “seed” your content. What I mean by seeding is allowing things to happen organically rather than forcing them upon a reader. So let’s get on with the following techniques you can use to seed your content, note that I hardly ever use these techniques all at once.
1. Tweet About it
Tweeting your post is one of the easiest and quickest way to get your post out to the world. Not only is this going to get your content out there quickly but it’s also going to start some other micro events to brew in the process.
Of course the fact of the matter is the effectiveness of this is going to depend on the size and loyalty of your following, there are a couple things you can do however to add to the effectiveness:
- tweeting at peak times to allow for maximum exposure – timing your tweets to when the majority of your followers are actually online
- tweeting it more than once – I do this because the updates are often like a conveyor belt of tweets that may pass by some followers – tweeting more than once and providing a follow up tweet allows people to catch your post in case they missed it
- allow others to RT retweet your tweet – this means making it less than 110-120 characters so that a follower can easily retweet is without having to edit much
- add some flare – (+)throw some icons(+) around your link and change up the wording of your tweet to intrigue people to click on your link
When a post of mine does well on Twitter – and not every post I spit out on Twitter does well – I find that this is often times the biggest bursts of exposure I get. A certain snowball effect happens when a post of mine gets picked up by the Twitter universe as followers retweet and my link bounces around out there in the twittersphere.
2. Facebook Status Update
Similar to tweeting your post, a Facebook update is another way to quickly and easily get your post out to the world. Personally, I do not find this to be very effective simply because the majority of my contacts on Facebook are not related to business and are just old contacts from high school or college friends.
However, if you are someone who has built up their connections on Facebook in a business manner then this is definitely something you’ll want to do. Facebook has a ton of niches out there than spread like wild fires. A simple status update can get your post to spread just like these wild fires.
On Facebook people can “like” an update, comment about it and begin talking regarding your update. Much like a retweet on Twitter, a certain buzz begins to happen around your post that only happens on social media – partly why I love social media so much.
3. Throw it to A Fellow Twitter User
This is something I have found to be surprisingly effective. When you’ve finished a post send it over to a follower. Ask them for an opinion or for a shout out. This can ensure you an instant retweet, a second opinion or just a friendly hand.
A couple things to ensure is to take note of the type of stuff this twitter user is interested in. Don’t send an article about domain hosting to a real estate buff in other words. Take the time to get to know this follower a bit before laying your post on them – you’ll be surprised how far just a little bit of effort takes you.
4. Allow for Easy Sharing
This is a no brainer, but something that is overlooked far too much. If you look on this post you’ll notice there is a button that allows you to retweet this post with one click. You can also share this post on any number of social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg, dl.icio.us, Technorati and much more by clicking on the icons located below this post. These are easy to use plug-ins that I highly recommend you grab for your own blog.
This easy sharing is highly encouraging for the reader to help spread your post should they find it helpful. Allowing for them to share it that much easier is a crucial step – that little extra step you take for the reader will ensure that anyone who wants to share your post will more than likely do so.
5. Actually Bookmarking Your Post
This is something I don’t do as often as I should but from the little I have done, some pretty awesome results have come of it. This is the process of actually submitting your blogs post to sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc.
You don’t want to go out and start submitting every post in your blog to Digg for a couple of reasons. One you may get penalized by these sites if the same person is submitting over and over and two your posts might just get lost. %90 of submissions on Digg don’t get more than 1 digg. Therefore they are lost in the sea of ever increasing submissions out there.
Because of this I like to wait and allow others to submit my stuff when ever they find it helpful. But let’s say you are a newer blogger and looking for some quick exposure and traffic, it would certainly be worth grabbing a Digg account and submitting a couple of your posts.
6. Signature Slapping
Slap a post in your signature of the forum you’re always on. Most people have a link that leads people to their homepage. If you’ve got a post you’re trying to get some exposure you might want to change your homepage link to show the latest post you’ve got. While you do this, it’s important to make sure you’re understanding e-signatures.
The only reason I recommend this is because it may prove to be more effective to send a user to a single post rather than the somewhat misleading homepage of a blog.
7. Spread the Word with a Fellow Blogger
Share it with your friend, have them link to your post or simply have them include you in a shout out. If you’ve got a friend or fellow blogger who has similar topics as you do then you might want to alert them when you’ve got an appropriate post.
It’s a good way to mutually benefit each other and allow for traffic to be shared. Who ever said there was anything wrong with sharing right? For example if you’ve got a post about setting up a new Twitter account and your friend has a post about setting up a Twitter picture for your profile the two of you might want to link to each other.
Conclusion | Final Words
Remember that we are talking about “seeding” your blog posts. This is not a direct pitch to someone, seeding takes time and effort. You’re going to need persistence here, continues and extended effort without giving up will pay off greatly in the end!
On top of persistence you want to be forming two-way, mutually benefiting relationships with your readers and supporters alike. People who help you out and followers who do that extra bit of special effort should really be appreciated and cared for. Take the time to form that 2-way street relationship and you’ll be surprised the benefits that come from social media.