So you’re done now, right?
You came with a great idea for a blog post, and then you poured blood, sweat and tears into peoducing. It didn’t come easy, but you’ve finally got it all down. So now the job is done? Time to give yourself a pat on the back?
Not so fast, my friend. Not if you want to milk your content for all it’s worth. And it’s worth a lot. Each piece of content has the potential to attract and engage new visitors, and convert them into customers. But you’ll have to do more than write.
Over the years of content marketing and maintaining blogs for myself and for my clients, I’ve learned a lot about blog post promotion: the critical steps that come after a piece is written. Today, I’ll share what I’ve learned with you.
The Skim Test
After I’ve gotten the bulk of my post down, I try to take some distance from it, so that I can come back to it with a fresh perspective. That’s when I test it for scannability. You see, my posts tend to be a bit long. And that’s not a bad thing, according to Internet Marketing guru Neil Patel, who maintains that longer posts win more traffic.
But just because visitors have decided to give my post a shot doesn’t mean they’re going to stick around to read the whole thing. I’ll have to win them over. And my odds of doing that will be greater if my post is easy to skim. Because then, they’ll be able to decide whether it’s worth their time to delve in deeper without making a big commitment.
With that in mind, I review my post and:
- Break it into multiple sub-sections that each focus on one idea.
- Introduce each section with a descriptive headline.
- Break up lengthy paragraphs into multiple smaller ones.
- Use bulleted lists.
- Make good use of white space.
- Sprinkle attractive visuals throughout the post.
- Eliminate run-on sentences.
The Personality Test
Once I’ve determined that my post is easy enough to read, I give it a personality test. Is my writing bland and generic? Have I managed to let my personality come through? The voice you use comes down to a personal choice. I try to:
- Eliminate clichés and buzzwords.
- Adopt a friendly, conversational tone. (For example, I’ll use contractions like “I’ll” and “don’t” instead of “I will” and “do not”.)
- Encourage comments by asking questions or being provocative.
Focus on Conversions
While I’m writing, I’m focused on the subject of my post, not on winning customers. But in the end, I do hope some of my visitors will want to inquire about my services. That’s why I revisit every post to:
- Insert links to at least one page on my site that describes a service, like my web development page or my presentation design page. (See what I did there?)
- Add a call to action to invite visitors to contact me or to subscribe to my blog.
- Add a content upgrade option, wherever possible, to grow my email list. For example, after reading this post, you can download the checklist I use after each post I write. But you’re going to have to give me your email address to get it. That’s the deal, see?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
My SEO work on a post begins long before I start writing. When I’m coming up with topics to write about, I conduct keyword research to see what people are searching for. By the time I start writing my post, I often already know if there are specific keywords I’ll be targeting with the piece.
After I’ve produced the piece, though, I turn my focus to SEO once again. Specifically, I:
- Optimize key elements of the post, including its title, description, headings, body copy, and alt tags.
- Link to other posts on the blog using strategically selected anchor text.
- Scour other posts on the blog for opportunities to link back to this one.
Make Your Content Inviting
When I’m satisfied that the post itself is in good shape, I shift my focus to making it inviting to people who stumble across it on my blog.
Never mind what the proverb says, people do judge a book by its cover. Or at the very least, the cover is what makes us pick up the book to find out what it’s about. By the same token, the way you package a post can help you win a click. Here’s what I try to do:
- Write an attention-grabbing headline.
- Craft an intriguing excerpt or description.
- Design a striking feature image.
Up until this point in my process, I’ve focused solely on my site visitors. Next, I’ll shift my attention to attracting more of those visitors. With that in mind, I’ll turn my attention to blog post promotion on social media. That is, I:
- Add some Click to Tweets. Like this one:
- Create four different-sized images to promote each post. You’ll find the appropriate dimensions for each image in this great guide on social media graphics, by the amazing Peg Fitzpatrick. (I’ve had a bit of a girl crush on Peg since reading her book and following her on Twitter, but this handy reference just makes me like her even more.)
- Create or schedule a post to Facebook, one on Linkedin, one on Pinterest and three on Twitter.
- Place all my evergreen (i.e. timeless) posts in rotation through my social networks. Many people use Meet Edgar for this purpose but I’m all about SmarterQueue. It’s extremely powerful. has a broader range of pricing options, and their customer support so far has been outstanding.
Dabble in Influencer Marketing
According to Moz, influencer marketing is “the process of developing relationships with influential people that can lead to their assisting you in creating visibility for your product or service.” I don’t claim to be an influencer marketing guru, but here are some things that I try to do in every post:
- Find people who have written on a similar topic and who have a social following.
- Cite at least one such expert, where it’s relevant to the post. (That will add credibility to your post, even if nothing else comes out of it.)
- Reach out to anyone I’ve cited to let them know I have. If I’m lucky, they’ll share my post.
- Find influencers who’ve shared posts similar to mine, and ask for their feedback on mine.
I should mention that every post I write goes out to my email subscribers. It’s not on my checklist because I’ve set that up to happen automatically, every time I publish a new post.
Carole Alalouf is the President and founder of Exaltus, and primary contributor to the Exaltus blog. In her Content Marketing role, she focuses on turning her clients’ complex information into a compelling story. Carole particularly enjoys visual storytelling in the form of presentations, whiteboard videos, websites, and infographics. Sign up to her email list and get powerful marketing tips in your inbox, 2-3 times per month.