No Blog Traction? There’s a Distribution Plan for That
If you enter “why isn’t blogging working” into Google, you’ll find plenty of articles telling you that you just aren’t selling it.
They speak wisdom, but it’s often not deep enough for you to get started right away. That’s where we want to pick up the conversation.
“Content is king, but distribution is queen—and she wears the pants.” – Jonathan Perelman, VP of Agency Strategy at BuzzFeed
Build it and They Will Come… Right?
Content quality and distribution go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. If you write a blog without distributing it, then few people read it. If you distribute content without putting your best foot forward, then you’ll hurt your brand instead of helping it.
You can read up on how to write a good blog right here, but you’re here to learn about next steps.
Where Can I Distribute My Content?
Put your blogs in every place that makes sense for the kind of people you want to read it, then maybe a few experimental places just to experiment.
We can break these down into a few categories. Most websites will give you the Marketing Trifecta:
These are great categories to help us compartmentalize tactics, but we want to get a bit more specific than that. What can you walk away from reading this and do today?
Some are obvious and easy, while others require you go the extra mile. Only time and measurement will tell you which ones work best for you. Give everything its due time.
- Social media posts
- Email campaigns
- Guest posting
- Reddit, Groups, and Forums
How do they work? So glad you asked!
Social Media Posts
Social media is just the current state of the Internet. That’s how most of us consume content (including the news), making it an obvious play.
You should share content on your social media channels for this reason alone, but don’t spam your audience. A single blog shouldn’t feature on any given channel more than once per week, generally.
The trick is to have a social following of some kind—but good content will help you grow that audience in turn.
Pro tip: the LinkedIn newsfeed moves much slower than Facebook’s, while Twitter’s newsfeed moves much, much faster. Match your distribution strategy accordingly.
There’s hardly a better way to get people reading your blog than plopping it right in their inboxes. It’s incredibly cost-effective, too.
Once you’ve crafted a concise email, you need to think about how often you’ll send it. This will depend on how frequently you publish content and how often your prospects want to receive emails.
You might have a CRM or email marketing platform that lets your subscribers decide how often they receive emails, and what they look like, but most people just send updated templates on a monthly, biweekly, or weekly basis.
Whatever you choose, stay consistent.
Guest posting gives you exposure to new and related audiences while leveraging the credibility of the publication sharing your work.
The question isn’t what you should share; you should only try to arrange guest posts if there is a legitimate and mutual benefit to the publisher.
The real question is how you approach guest posting.
Brian Dean from Backlinko has already answered this better than anyone else ever could, and I invite you to read his post about it. But for those in a hurry, the essence is to reach out to relevant websites by offering them content to improve their own image and credibility.
You stand to gain a guest post, or a backlink at the very least. Both are valuable for your content and will drive traffic in the long run.
Similar to guest posting, syndication is just creating a carbon copy of your blog on alternate channels. This recently became a part of the white hat playbook with the rise of Facebook’s Instant Articles, LinkedIn’s self-publishing platform for all users, and Medium.
You won’t incur penalties as long as you provide a link to the original blog on your website with the proper authorial attribution. Post your blog on places like these.
- Your LinkedIn blog
- Slideshare (if you have graphics)
Reddit and Group Posting
You can find groups in several different places and forms. Finding a good subreddit (or even building your own) can become a powerful tactic to drive traffic back to your website, and usually proves to be well worth the effort.
Alternatively, you can search for private groups on Facebook or industry-specific communities and message boards. Put your blog where people spend time.
Respect the Platform or Pay the Price
Throughout the distribution process you may become frustrated by the various rules and best practices for each channel, and how they differ. Don’t become frustrated—just work through them systematically after you figure them out the first time.
Failing to observe the rules could earn a suspension or a ban, at worst. Reddit is infamous for this, and every subreddit as its own unique “reddiquite” for posting. Frankly, the moderators can be puritanical about those rules, so read them carefully or risk burning bridges.
New distribution channels and opportunities occur every year, but rarely do they disappear. It’s very much worth dedicating your time toward finding the strategies that work for your brand.
You will add a new tactic to your distribution playbook one by one, turning what used to be a one-and-done approach to promotion into a systematic process across multiple channels.
That’s how you build build and maintain a steady stream of traffic to your blog.
SEO and Content Marketing Consultant
Andrew is the digital marketing consultant at Webb Content. He's worked in a few different agencies full-time and with another seven or eight as a consultant.
He's usually writing new content, creating the occasional website, and constantly finding new ways to optimize those sites. It's kind of an addiction.