Hang out around this place for more than ten minutes and we’ll hit you over the head, telling you to create some high-quality content.
And by “high-quality,” we mean the good stuff. Not spun, fluffed, scraped, or otherwise mass produced for pennies a word.
Something people want to read. (Or listen to, or watch.)
So if you create that kind of content (or hire someone to create it for you), you’re set, right?
When I quoted Robert Rose saying, “Great content wins. End of story,” did I mean that great content promotes itself? That if the content is good enough, content fairies fly down and magically transport it to the eyes of an adoring audience?
Sadly, no. Creating content worth paying attention to is vital … but it’s not the only step.
Once you’re pretty confident that your content does not, in fact, suck, you’ve got to put your big-writer pants on and actually promote that content.
That might make you nervous, but I have faith in you. Once the quality aspect is covered, here’s where you want to put the bulk of your work and attention:
#1: Build your network
Today, tomorrow, next week, and next year, you need to be building your network of web publishers.
Those are the bloggers, web journalists, social media power users, and others who have the audience you’re looking for.
My top tip for expanding your network and making connections with influential folks on the web? Actually, I have two, and you really need both:
- Do something epic.
- Be a good egg.
You have to do something (like create some fantastic content) worth paying attention to. And you have to be the kind of person that others can stand to hang out with.
Incidentally, don’t try to only cultivate a network of “big” publishers. Those are nice, too, but you also want to expand your network of publishers whose audiences are close in size to yours. Blogger Michael Martine once called this your “blog pack.” As your sites grow, you’ll be able to support and encourage each other.
Networking isn’t about sucking up to people you don’t like. It should be about cultivating relationships with publishers who are passionate about the same things you are. Spend your time on people you respect and like — it just works better all around.
#2: Make it shareable
As you’re building your network and creating all that epic content, remember to make it easy to share.
- Format it to be reader-friendly.
- Put a decent headline on it.
- Make it easy to share on social sites.
- Make it entertaining and useful.
Make a careful study of the content that gets lots of shares on your favorite sites. Try to model your content on that — not just superficial elements like a Buzzworthy-style headline, but in delivering an experience that the audience wants to share with others.
#3: Clones don’t win
You’ll never be able to really effectively promote stale, “me-too” content. Even if you make it useful and interesting. Even if it has good headlines.
Your content needs a unique voice. It needs a point of view. You have to stand for something. You need a thumbprint — something about you, your approach, and your content that no one else has.
No matter how crowded and cluttered your topic is, there’s always a way to differentiate. But you need to put the work in. It can take time, and thought, and a lot of words written. But there is always a way.
I’ve got some more ideas for you
I’ve written lots more about content promotion, and you can download it instantly in a handy, nicely formatted ebook … along with 14 others on just about any aspect of content marketing you can think of.
We even throw in a 20-part online marketing course, to give you a real foundation for success.
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Flickr Creative Commons Image by Peter Lee