πŸ“’ Promoting your publication

Feeling like you're screaming into an empty void after creating great content can be maddening. Putting all your blood, sweat, and tears into your work to hear only crickets isn't the dream you envisioned when starting your blogging business. This week's newsletter is about getting your publication the attention it deserves with word-of-mouth marketing, using best promotion practices, and distributing your content in the right ways. Let's go!

In this week's issue πŸ“¨

  • The power of word-of-mouth marketing
  • 12 ways to popularize your publication
  • Choosing the proper distribution channels

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Spread the word

Word-of-mouth marketing is when your followers relay their positive experiences with your publication to their friends and family. Their trust in your content keeps them coming back for more and gives them the confidence to talk you up to the people most important in their lives, organically increasing your traffic and revenue in a perfect win-win scenario.

Zsuzsanna Ban, loyalty specialist at Antavo, explains why word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful promotional tool for your publication.

What you need

  • Authenticity is what customers value above all else. If your content and overall aura aren't real or you've broken their trust, over half will never connect with you again. Try giving them as much appreciation as possible by being open to feedback and wholeheartedly applying it to create change.
  • High-quality content offers your readers something unique and delightful while making their lives easier and their work more effective. Genuine content will allow them to genuinely promote your publication. If they can find your content anywhere, they'll go elsewhere without a second thought.
  • Engagement on a human level can create a timeless impact on both your members and your work. Replying to your followers, giving them a comment section to build community, and inviting them into the publishing process by hearing them out will make their loyalty last.

Why word-of-mouth matters

  • Community building is much more cost-effective than targeted ad spending, which most people don't respond well to anyway. Generating positive reviews organically by treating your readers like real people and giving them the content they crave will encourage them to do the promotional work for you.
  • Invaluable insights your followers have about their friends and family (potential customers) are always naturally available to them. They know their tastes, interests, hobbies, and problems. They consider all of this when they endorse your work without you having to do any research.
  • Trust and loyalty surge when your publication is recommended to someone by a person they love. Then, when you give them great experiences and worthwhile content, new members can quickly become advocates, starting the word-of-mouth process all over again. Growth!
Word-of-mouth marketing is a fruitful way to build loyalty and increase readership.

Organic vs amplified

  • Organic word-of-mouth marketing is when you delight a customer so much that they can't help but share their positive experience with those around them. They're happy to leave reviews without being incentivized and are actively engaged in your publication's community.
  • Amplified word-of-mouth marketing encourages readers to share their experiences through referral or affiliate programs. You can offer rewards for their reviews, such as membership discounts and gifts, but don't forget that free stuff never replaces excellent content.
  • What works for you is based on your publishing goals and what you want your overall vibe to be. Organic word-of-mouth marketing works best for everyone (especially small blogs). Amplified word-of-mouth marketing works best for seasoned publications that have greater financial responsibilities.
At the end of the day customers are led by their emotions, curiosity, past experiences, and thorough research. Sharing positive experiences comes naturally to people. It makes them feel like they are helping their friends by sharing their recommendations. That is what word-of-mouth marketing is all about... – Zsuzsanna Ban

Interesting stories & ideas πŸ“š

If great content falls in the woods and nobody is around to read it, does it make an impact? Well, no. Creating valuable content is the most crucial step to a successful blogging career, but your work won't stand a chance if you're not properly promoting it. Before you have a steady stream of revenue, you first need a steady stream of visitors, or you'll give up before you get going.

Ryan Robinson provides twelve ways to popularize your publication to ensure you get the site traffic you crave.

#1 Optimize your SEO so that you rank high within your blog's niche on Google. This is still the most tangible source of ongoing, high-volume traffic.

#2 Research your competition to discover what you can offer your readers that others aren't. Providing unique perspectives produces better results.

#3 Promote to your target audience by learning who they are, discovering their interests, and creating solutions to their problems.

#4 Growing your social media presence by focusing your energy on only a few platforms will allow you to hone in on your target audience.

#5 Email marketing is a solid and quick promotion strategy, even if you're only starting with a small email list.

#6 Guest blogging is a great way to network, promote your blog, and drive traffic to your business from day one.

#7 Make your content easy to share, understand, and digest to encourage your followers to spread the word about how great your work is.

#8 Use your analytics to learn what's working and what's not working. This can reveal what your readers are responding to and provide invaluable insight.

#9 Interact with your audience and make it easy for your readers to connect with each other by providing them a comment section or starting a Discord.

#10 Utilize your existing content to promote new work by regularly linking to other posts. This will increase engagement and boost your SEO.

#11 Network within your niche to connect with the most influential publishers and creators to give your publication more exposure.

#12 Use the right resources, like Ahrefs' free SEO tools, to automate much of the work for you. Set it and (sort of) forget it!

Channel surfing

Every publisher should ask themselves two questions: What will I write about, and how will people find it? Content distribution is sharing your content to help your work get recognized, boost engagement, and increase conversions. Marketing yourself in the ways that speak to you and the distribution channels you decide to focus on can take your blogging business to new heights.

Let's examine what it means to distribute your content, why it's vital for your publication, and how to get started.

β€£ Content distribution can be divided into three channels: "Owned channels" are when you share your content on your social accounts or deliver email newsletters to your subscribers, "Earned channels" are when someone else promotes your content for you, and "Paid channels" include any promotion methods that cost money, like paid ads or sponsored content.

β€£ Align content promotion with your audience by knowing where they are, what problems they're looking to solve, and what kinds of content they crave. Starting with who can best benefit from your work can lead you to where your audience is, which will help you decide which distribution channels to use. Target audience + the proper promotion channels = more engagement.

β€£ Decide which content to distribute to help you choose which promotion tactics are best for your brand. Evaluate the style of your content, such as long-form blog posts, research studies, or news articles, and then analyze what mediums you enjoy working with, like written word, videos, or podcasts. This will ensure that the right content goes through the best distribution channels.

Grasping each content distribution channel is crucial for a distribution strategy.

β€£ Recognize what channels you already have access to to utilize your strengths. If your website gets a lot of organic traffic, double down on SEO. If you have a strong network, collaborate with fellow publishers. If you have a nice revenue stream, buy some ads. If you have a big social media following, use it. Always lean on your strengths to identify short-term and long-term successes.

β€£ Find your brand's tone of voice so that when promoting your publication, you always speak true to who you are and your work. Your marketing message should always be consistent, even when using different types of distribution channels. Remember, it's not always about what you say but how you say it. Make sure you have a plan on how you'll show your soul.

β€£ Track your promotion performance to see how your efforts are paying off. Depending on how you deliver your content, various tools can help you track its success. You can use web analytics to track your traffic, email analytics to see open rates and click rates for newsletters, and conversions for paid ads or sponsorships. Knowing the hard data will help you determine if you're on the right track.

Curator's pick ✍️

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