Last Update 10th May, 2017.
Do you really need to know how to promote your website?
You’ve just written a stunning piece of content.
Sweat is dripping from your forehead from your efforts.
You drag your mouse to the publish button.
And as you squint your eyes, your shaky fingers reach for the button “click!”
Your content is LIVE!
But if you don't know how to promote your website, what happens after that?
But what happens after you hit publish?
If you're publishing on the WordPress platform, three things take place:
1) Assuming you have a Sitemap, it is updated automatically with your content, author and date info.
(If you don't, you might want to try the free All in One SEO WordPress plug in)
2) Google swings by and reads your Sitemap.
3) Google crawls your content – the search engine giant sends it's spiders, reads it, looks at the words, internal links, your formatting, H1 tags.
Google indexes your content based on on all of your website data and content, backlinks, etc. – it determines “What should we do to index this content?” and “What keywords should we use?”
From a technical perspective, this is what the publishing process looks like. It's not instantaneous but happens certainly within a day or two.
But that’s it.
If you're just letting this happen and nothing else, if you're not promoting your website content, do you honestly think you’re going to get this massive rush of traffic to your site?
No, probably not.
You need to reach out and let other people know about your website.
Content creation vs. website promotion
So how much time do you spend creating your content verses promoting your content?
What's interesting is that some of the most successful bloggers recommend you spend as much time promoting your content as you do writing it.
Derek Halpern of Social Triggers goes even further and has an 80/20 split: 80 percent promotion, 20 percent writing.
When I first read this I was shocked – at that time I was probably spending at least 90% of my time writing blog posts with very little thought about how I was actually going to promote them.
Listen to Derek Halpern explain why he spends more time promoting his website than producing content:
Have you ever felt like this as a blogger?
Take a look at the image below… bonus points to you if you can tell me which music video this is from.
Most bloggers feel like their job is to pump as many posts out as possible…
Is it the job of the blogger to push out post after post in the hope that one day, someone might find it?
I'm talking about blogging and promoting your website… and there's a reason using a music video to illustrate my point…
Being a blogger is no different to being a musician.
Please give me a second to explain: a musician writes music, lays down tracks and produces their albums – they publish their music.
Then they need to let people know about their songs – they need to promote their content.
Think of musicians in a start up a garage band – they have no choice but to write their own music and promote their own content.
Imagine if a musician writes music and does no promotion whatsoever – who’s gonna know about their music?
Look at Hollywood. They audition, they cast, produce their films, then they hit the road, do the interviews – they get out there and promote their content.
All the top directors and producers could get together and come up with the most spectacular motion picture ever produced, but with no promotion no one will know about it, nobody will go to watch it – they will earn no income and nobody'll get paid.
As a blogger you're no different to a musician or film producer – you produce content and then you promote that content to earn an income.
It makes sense right?
You're more than just a blogger
So from now on, I want you to start to think of yourself as more than just a blogger; you're a content musician.
And today I'm going to share some rocking website content promotion strategies that'll turn you into a blogging rockstar.
Ready? Let's get straight to it.
1. Share on social media
So I'm going to assume you're already sharing your website posts on social media. Whether its Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+, you want to share it out to all the networks you’re associated with.
This is the first point to let people know about your new content.
But please don't just copy and paste links into social and hit share…. you need to go beyond that.
The goal of social sharing is to engage with your audience, to generate a discussion and increase engagement.
2. Mention someone awesome in your content
Let's say you’re writing a review on a book you read recently. When you're sharing your review on social media, you can mention or tag the author in your post.
Publicly or you can do it privately, let them know about your review.
You could send them a quick email or private message;
“Hey I just mentioned you in your article, I think you’re awesome etc…”
This will help you promote your website for good reason, if it's a positive review maybe they'll reshare to their followers, if it's a negative review if gives them an opportunity to respond.
This is what blogging outreach is.
It's about finding an excuse to reach out to people, influencers in your niche, in the hope that they will share the content as well.
Let’s say you’re doing a review on AWeber, when you tweet it out tag CEO Tom Kulzer or mention the company by name.
Even if you’ve done a not so positive review I still think this is important because you'll want to give them an opportunity to respond and defend their product.
Now if you’re saying something is a complete scam – probably not, but in some cases it's mentioning influecers within your niche is worthwhile and effective.
3. Send an email to your email list
If you’re just starting out in email marketing I recommend you use AWeber to start building your list. There are other free email marketing services out there like MailChimp – see here for my comparison.
I do think building a list important as this becomes a major source to get people to share your content for you, get people to come back to your website, read your content, ask questions, convert and so on.
4. Submit to a group or community you're a part of
This could be a Facebook group you’re a part of, a Google plus group, a forum related to your niche…
Ask for thoughts and shares.
Obviously you don’t just want to join a group and post content – you’ll want to engage, get to know people, ask and offer advice – it’s a give and take.
They’re tons of community groups you can join, groups that are relevant to your niche.
Can you imagine if someone joined your group and immediately starting posting content? It's collaborating with people – so much more than just posting.
So don't just post and run, engage and partake. This is crucial to successfully promoting your website content within these groups.
5. Syndicate your top performing post
This technique for promoting your website is a little more advanced because you’re going to need already popular content to do this.
Places like Outbrain.com help get your website promoted on premium sites like The Telegraph and Sky News.
Content syndication, that is, sharing your content across many different networks, can your help you increase your blog reach and promote your website to the msot relevant audiences by sharing your content across many different networks.
Take your posts, ones that are performing well and submit.
6. Send an outreach email
Similar to mentioning related influencers in your social sharing, this approach is a little more direct and gives the people you're writing about a heads up.
Your email should be something simple and straightforward, here's an example:
“Hey Dave, I just write about your product, what do you think? I wrote this review and want you to have this opportunity to give any feedback or suggestions.
Leave a comment or reply to this email and let me know. Many thanks.”
Or you could for their thoughts and opinions “…because I know you're an expert in this niche.”
Sometimes I use email to contact or mention people who are sharing similar contact so say something along the lines of “Heres some of my content, ill love it if you could get people know about it because its very similar to what you share.”
This is super easy but can be a powerful way to get your website in front of powerful authority figures within your niche. There's nothing to lose by doing this, worst case scenario is they’ll say no or you'll not get a response – big deal.
If you wanna be a rockstar blogger you're gonna have to get think skin. 🙂
7. Submit a guest post
Though it might feel counter-intuitive spending time crafting a great post to post on someone else's site, guest posting is a great opportunity, (despite what some say about it being dead or dangerous) to get your name out there.
Just make sure you're guest posting with a large audience who will find value in what your website has to offer.
Guest posting is not just about getting quality backlinks, but building your brand, promoting your website and increasing your readership.
8. Offer insight interviews to other bloggers
You're more likely to succeed in this blogging business if you network and collaborate. A great way to do this is ask for an interview with influencers in your website topic.
Ask more established bloggers if they'd be willing to do answer some questions on ‘fun food ideas for football snacks‘ or whatever your niche may be.
It's reaching out to other bloggers and saying “Hey, im also in your industry, if you’d like to collaborate let me know!”
Offer to be interviewed or interview them.
Note: You might want to build up some street cred/blog cred first – its no use having 4 blog posts and saying hey “Do you want to interview me?!”
But you really do want to reach out. Collaborate on a piece together? There's no harm in reaching out.
Again, the worst thing is they'll just say no, and the best things they’ll “yes!”
9. Use Google Analytics To Find Your Direct Referrals
Keep a sharp eye on referral sources in Google Analytics to find popular posts.
Where is traffic coming from? Social, Google, other websites? Here you'll find links already pointing back to your site.
If you notice there's lots of traffic coming from a popular source – links from directories or google plus groups you’re a part of, or from a particular website, why not pop along to that article, leave a comment thanking him or her for sharing your content?
Then at some point you could email them, find them on social media and say “Hey, here's a review on this, it'd be great if you could check it out and see if this something your readers would appreciate.”
It's as easy as that.
10. Building authority within your niche
Another way to promote your website is by commenting on other blogs with similar content. This doesn’t necessarily mean putting links out to your content, but at some point you could mention how you wrote something similar and so on and so forth.
The key here is to offer value, insight and add the discussion.
11. Paid ads and re-marketing
Okay here;s the last way to promote your website – experiment with paid ads on Facebook, Google adsense. Now you can even pay to promote your website on platforms like Twitter and Pinterest.
This is something I'm still playing with and it takes a little tweaking, split testing but once you find a winner it's just a matter of rinse and repeat.
Tools you should or could be using
Most website promotion tools are free to get started, some of the tools I'm going to talk about are paid.
That just the nature of the business. You could totally bootstrap your efforts but you could also invest in some tools to get the job done quicker.
The tool I like to use across my sites are addthis.com – it’s a great tool and you get stats updates almost instantly.
I get emails every time I get a spike in stats – and its free. They do have a paid tier but I don’t use it and I don’t think you should either.
Hootsuite.com – it is free(ish) and it's a pretty neat tool because it schedules your social media posting. Think of it like email marketing for your social media. Its got a social media calendar, a fun little way to get your content organised.
Click to Tweet – A free and fun little wordpress plug in I have used before. Its just a way to add fun little things inside your content to get other people to tweet out your content. A great way to get people to promote your content for you.
Pin it button – associated with Pinterest and free to use. If you’re in a niche that is a very visual based niche (like cooking, crafts) then ideally you want to promoting your content on Pinterest.
This gives a way for people to share your content – the people within this niche will more than likely already have a Pinterest so why not make it as easy as possible for people to share your stuff.
Research and outreach
NinjaOutreach.com A great tool for finding contact influencers within your industry.
Google+ communities – these can provide an amazing way to expand your blog reach and promote your website.
Private Facebook groups – there are tons of great Facebook groups on whatever topic your website is about. A lot of them allow ‘free for all Fridays’ where you can share you posts and get feedback.
WealthyAffiliate.com – an affiliate marketing community. A great way to share content in the appropriate areas, get site feedback and affiliate marketing advice.
Services you should avoid like the plague
Fiverr gigs for website promotion – I'm not slamming fiverr.com, (I use it for Pinterest images and WordPress fixes) but what I am slamming is things like
“I'll share your content across 1,000 networks, I'll distribute your content to 500 diffferent high authority netowkrs – ALL for the low price of $5!”
Just think about this – imagine you had this massive networks of hundreds of high influencers – do you honestly think you would sell links on those high authority sites for $5? Do you think that’s really valuable, for $5 you're getting really high value stuff?
Backlink services – there are no SEO benefits to buying low quality backlinks and they can even have your website blacklisted by Google.
Anything really automated – Just avoid them. As tempting as these shortcuts may seem, (Wow only $5!) they're sooo not worth it.
If you're going to do that just send me your $5, or take that $5 and flush it down the toilet because that’s the same effect it’ll have.
Forget the shortcuts, nothing compares to learning how to promote your website like a rockstar.
Pick any one of these website promotion methods and start reaching out.
I hope you get out there, promote your content like the rockstar blogger you are. As always let me know what you think in the comments below and I’ll see you around the blog!