Advanced Content Promotion Checklist and Guide

Content Promotion Checklist
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Introduction

Content marketing is not easy, it takes a lot of elbow grease to create valuable content and even more to promote it! The promotion part is something that many companies tend to miss when looking at a content marketing strategy. A general rule of thumb is you should spend 30% of your time creating content and 70% promoting it. That’s why I created this checklist you can use to promote the content you work so hard to create.

I’m writing this checklist for two purposes. Firstly, because I am interested in content promotion for my own company Process Street. Content marketing is something I’ve been experimenting with and seeing some great results with so far, writing this post is forcing me to research and learn more about content distribution. Secondly, because I want to make a template for this in Process Street so I can begin hand it off to my team. I am working towards a streamlined content marketing machine.

Eventually I want to have a ghostwriter, a blogger a designer and a team of promoters. I will still be creating the core content, but I won’t have to polish or distribute any of it. I’m confident this checklist will help my business, and I hope it’s useful for yours too.

Note, if you’re launching a website, check out our Website Launch Checklist. There is a little overlap but its targeted to a new website launch vs a piece of content on an existing site.

Prepare your Post

quote Bobby Unser success is where preparation and opportunity meet

This checklist will work for sharing all forms of content whether it is a blog post, eBook, video or whitepaper. However, if your content is some form OTHER than a blog post, you should also be writing a post about it on your blog. So while not all content has to be blog related, you should always be blogging no matter what your content type.

If you don’t have a blog, check out this video: How to Create a WordPress Blog in Under 5 Minutes

Next step is to prepare a summary of your content.

Make Sure your Content is Epic

There is a huge caveat to this checklist is that your content must be EPIC. If you create crap content, most of these techniques will yield little to no results and will be a huge waste of time. If you don’t know what epic content is, take a look at these guides:

Advanced Guide to Content Marketing
Write Epic Shit
The Research and Science Behind a Perfect Blog Post
Atypical Tips for Writing Awesome Blog Posts
What Makes Content Spread: The Anatomy of a Post That Got Over 500,000 Likes
Create Epic Content

Now you have your epic content, its time to prepare it for promotion. I use Evernote to do this, but you can easily use Notepad, Word etc..

Headlines

I usually prepare a number of headlines (5-10). I keep the best for myself then use the rest for posting on social media, content syndication and content repurposing (ie naming a slide show or pdf etc)

Brief Description

Write a few of these, one to three sentences long. This are needed when submitting to many sites

Post Excerpt

Grab the first paragraph from your post or the intro

URLs

Take the URL of your post and your blog, you can also add tracking IDs with Google Analytics to track different traffic sources.

Shortened URL

Bitly.com is the most popular

Once you’ve prepared your post, its time to start promoting! Follow the below checklist to generate a huge wave of traffic to every piece of content you create.

*Don’t forget you can get this as an interactive checklist inside Process Street, allowing you to track the promotion of multiple pieces of content, customize and hand off to your team. Start a free 30 day trial of Process Street to see it in action.

Share on Social Media

Share on Social Media

This one is fairly obvious, share across your social media channels. You can signficantly speed up this process using a social media management tool.

Sites to share on:

Facebook Profile (Status Update)
Facebook Page (Post)
Twitter – 3-5 post over a week, use #hastags
Gooogle+ – Personal and Company profile
LinkedIn Status Update
Pinterest – Pin all images (all epic content has images)
Instagram – Post 1-2 images from the post

Ask your team members to share

Ask all your team members to share across their social media networks

Ask friends and family to share

Ask close friends and family to share on social media

Email your Subscribers

Another pretty straight forward one. You should be collecting leads on your website and you should be promoting your content to those leads.

I use Mailchimp set up on an auto RSS feed to automatically email new blog posts out. Most email service providers such Aweber and Getresponse have this option too.

Here is my email template I use for Mailchimp, you can use it and modify it if you are a Mailchimp user.

Rss Mailchimp Email Template

Click Here to Download My Template (you may need to right-click and “Save As”)

While we’re on the topic of email, subscribe to the Process Street blog to receive new posts from us via email.

Outreach

blogger outreach

Outreach means manually emailing, tweeting and even calling people to tell them about your content. Yes, yes, I know this sounds like hard work and truthfully it is, but sometimes you have to do things that don’t scale to get the ball rolling.

Outreach is arguably the most important thing for a new blogger. Check out how Alex Turnbull got over 1,000 subscribers to his blog from one post thanks to blogger outreach!

To start with outreach, you first need to create a list of bloggers you want to target. There are a few considerations here. First, they should be relevant to your niche. Don’t contact bloggers who blog in a completely different area to you. Secondly, as always, you content must be awesome!

Another tip here is to look for “up and comer” bloggers as they may be easier to contact and get less requests than really popular bloggers.

Tools to Find Influencers

Technorati
Search on Twitter
Facebook Graph Search for Fanpages
Google Search for Blogs
AllTop
Scoop.it
We Follow
Topsy
Twello

How to Contact Them

Email – Preferred Method
Contact Page
Whois
Twitter
Facebook Page
Google+

Tools to Manage Outreach

Buzz Stream – Specifically designed for blog outreach
Trello is a great free organizational tool to help you track activities
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool will work if you already use one

Email Templates for Outreach

Outreach Letters for Link Building [Real Examples]
Blogger Outreach Email Template
How To Write A Blogger Outreach Email
How To Create a Killer Outreach Email With 4 Quick Steps and 3 Simple Tips
10 Hand Curated Blogger Outreach Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

More info on Outreach:

Blogger outreach is a big topic if you want more information on blogger outreach check out the below guides:
Advanced Guide to Content Promotion
How to Develop a Solid Blog Outreach Strategy
My Favorite Way to Get Links and Social Shares – Whiteboard Friday
5 Tips for Developing Better Blogger Outreach

Submit to Social Bookmarking Sites & Directories

Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking sites can generate a huge spike of traffic, landing the front page of a large Subreddit can yield thousands of visitors for example. But lots of them can generate a few hundred visitors here or there. If you get a few up votes on a rage of the sites below you can easily generate over 1000 visitors to your posts, great for initial shares to your page.

Top Tier General

Digg
Stumbleupon
Reddit*

*Reddit is a bit finicky so read the below guides before you go crazy posting all your links on there.
Reddit Marketing: The Complete Guide to Using Reddit
Reddit Hates Marketing. How to Market on it Anyway

There are a number of other general social bookmarking sites, some of them get some decent traffic, all of them are good for backlink juice. To automate your social bookmarking submissions, use OnlyWire.

Onlywire will submit to 30+ social bookmarking sites at once, you can even set it up to pull your RSS feed from the blog so you don’t have to post at all.

Plus you can pay someone on Fiverr to set it all up for just $5, an effective, cheap and automated way to do social bookmarking submissions.

Click Here for a Huge List of Social Bookmarking Sites

Top Tier Niche Sites

These are community sites like Reddit and should be treated the same. Participate in the community; don’t just share your own links.

Hacker News (Startups and Technology)
Inbound.org (Marketing)
Slashdot (Startups and Technology)
Growth Hacker (Marketing)
BizSugar (Business)
Blog Engage (Blogging and Business)
Triberr (Blogging)
Blokube (Blogging)
Kingged (Internet Marketing)
ManageWP (WordPress)
Dzone (Programming & Website Development)
Sharebloc (Business)
Filmwatch (Films)
N4G (Gaming)
Techspy (Technology)
11×2.com (Sport)
DesignFloat.com (Graphic Design)
TheWebBlend.com (Web Design, Programming, WordPress, & Photography)

Blog Directories and Misc submission sites

Newsvine
Technorati
Bloghub
Regator
Icerocket
Blog Lovin

Syndication

content syndication

Content syndication is where you allow another site to publish your content. There are some huge sites in the game of content syndication including Business2Community, SteamFeed, Social Media Today, Forbes, Business Insider Inc and a lot more actively publish syndicated content.

Content syndication can be a great way to get some solid spikes in traffic. You will need to pick your best content and pitch sites on republishing your posts. But, there are drawbacks…

You would think that Google would rank the original blog post before any syndicated versions. In a lot of cases – that doesn’t happen. The thinking behind this is that Google ranks the site where people prefer to read the post. So, there is potential that you could lose out on some search engine traffic.

If your blog is new then you may want to hold off using syndication until your blog is more established.

For a guide to content syndication check out these posts:

Syndicating your Content by Quicksprout
Syndicating Content Whiteboard Friday by Moz
The Ultimate Blueprint for Guest Blogging and Syndication by Buffer
500 Places to Syndicate your Content by BuzzBlogger

Self Syndication

There are a few publishing platforms popping up that allow you to “Self Syndicate” your posts onto a different platform. The biggest platforms at the moment are Medium and LinkedIn and Examiner. These platforms are more like blogging except your blog posts can gain additional distribution through the respective network of the site.

Gregory Ciotti recently wrote an awesome post on a LinkedIn publishing experiment he ran, if you are thinking about LinkedIn publishing, make sure to read it.

Use JustReTweet

JustReTweet is a kind of Twitter exchange, where you can earn credit re-tweeting other peoples posts and use that credit for others to retweet your posts. This is a great way to get some early re-tweets and social proof for your post.

This is a very easy task to outsource to a VA as part of their daily tasks to earn you credit.

Check out the below video to see how JustRetweet works:

Post on Related Forums and Groups

Forums

Finding forums in your niche and contribute to them can be a great way to drive traffic, just be careful not to spam!

Respond to threads that ask questions about the topic of your post with a short summary and a link back, you can also post new threads in relevant sections of the forum. Posting your content in forums is generally fine as long as it’s relevant and useful. If they think you are spamming you will probably be banned so tread with caution. But there are plenty of people who generate thousands of visits a month from forum marketing so it’s definitely worth testing.

Some forums also allow you to link to your website in your signature. These forums are great as every one of your responses will have a short pitch and a link to your site.

How to find forums:

Search Google for “Niche + Forum”
Board Reader
The Biggest Boards

Below is a video explaining forum marketing in more detail.

Groups

There are groups on all topics on many platforms. Find groups related to your content and post a link back to your content.

Facebook groups
LinkedIn Groups
Yahoo Groups
Google Groups

Comment on related Blog Posts

Posting on relevant high-traffic blogs can bring in a bit of traffic, it won’t be anything monstrous, but it can bring a steady stream of a few thousand visits a month if done well. If you want to really generate traffic from blog commenting, you will need to be the first commenter. To do that you can use a tool like Mention to watch for new posts in your on high traffic blogs, then quickly jump on to reply.

Vinay Blog Comment

I don’t do this at the moment. Generally what I do is after I publish a post, I search 2-5 variations of my post title. For example, on my post “Why I Moved from Dropbox to Google Drive” I did a search for “Dropbox vs Google Drive”, “Google Drive Review” and “Dropbox Review”.

I then searched just the first and second page of Google for articles that allowed comments, posted a quick response to the article and included my link. Don’t bother going past could of pages as 90% of people don’t visit the second page of Google. Sometimes your comment won’t get approved, but if your content is EPIC and RELEVANT you should get approved no problems.

If you don’t feel comfortable posting the URL to your post in the comment, most comment systems allow you to include a link to your website that will be attached to your user name. Here you can include a link to your content, although it will probably get a lower click through rate.

Post on Q&A Sites

Quora

Search the major Q&A sites below for posts related to your content and post responses in the answers when appropriate.

Quora
Yahoo Answers

Read this for more info on Quora marketing:
The Nearly Ultimate Quora Guide to Driving Traffic to Your Blog

Scoop.it

Scoop.it is a service that allows people to curate their own private lists of content from around the web. Other people can then follow these lists and read the suggestions of their owners. Scoop.it has many big lists in every niche.

To promote your content on Scoop.it, you will want to submit it to the top 25-50 lists in your niche. If the owner approves the article it will be published for all the followers to see and can generate a flood of traffic. Remember, your content needs to be epic and relevant to be approved for sites like this.

Select Topic

Choose Scoop.it Topic

Find Popular Lists

Scoop.it Recommended Users

Suggest Content

Scoop.it Submit Content

Reverse Engineer your Competition

Do a search on Topsy or Google and find where your competition is getting their backlinks for their most popular posts. Their top backlinks are also likely generating the most amount of traffic to their page.

To find the backlinks, use a tool such as Open Site Explorer or SEO Spy Glass. Look for backlinks from other blogs and social bookmarking sites. Then submit your content to the same sources, either via a submission link or by reaching out to the blogger/author as we talk about in the blogger outreach section above.

You can also reverse engineer who shared your competitor’s blog posts. Use a tool like Topsy to do a search on popular posts by your competitors and see who shared them, chances are they will share similar content. Contact them using the outreach strategies below to have them share your content.

Top Sharers with Topsy

Pay for Promotion

Social Media Advertising

If you are aggressively working to build a blog and audience, you can consider paying to promote your content.

There are a number of channels you can tap to do this including:
Facebook Ads
Linkedin Ads
Seed with a StumbleUpon ad Twitter Ads
OutBrain
Zemanta
SimpleReach
Taboola
Nster

Warning!

Before promoting on any of the above channels you should do significant research as to which ones are the best fit for your audience and how the mechanics of each network work.

The links above do not take you directly to the advertising pages; they take you to guides to learn how to advertise on these platforms. Start with one, start slow, track your results, watch your spend! But most importantly, learn (or pay someone who has already learned).

Deep-Link to the Content from Older Posts

If you’ve been blogging for a while you probably have a few older posts that get consistent traffic. Go back and try to find the most relevant/high traffic posts and work in a link to your new piece of content. Google likes this and it generates more traffic.

You can also find related post plugins on WordPress and most other blogging platforms. These are great for interlinking between posts on your site and driving traffic from your old content to your new stuff.

Yet Another Related Postsv Plugin
WordPress Related Posts Plugin
Jet Pack Related Posts
Disquss Internal Discovery

Submit to Link Roundups

Many blogs do a daily or weekly link round up where they post their favorite links from around the web.

Here are a few examples of link roundups:
Crowd Springs Twitter Link Roundup
Wix Roundup of Tools for Small Business Owners
Real Capital – Content Marketing News Roundup

Getting featured on a link round up is great, it will bring you traffic and backlinks.

The best way to manufacture a link on a link roundup is to manually submit your content directly to the blogger. To find bloggers who are posting in your niche, try some of these searches:

Link roundup + “fitness” / “niche world”
Daily link roundup
Weekly link roundup
“Niche+Weekend Reading”
“Monday link roundup” (Replace Monday with any day of the week)

You should also try doing the above searches on Twitter and Google+.

Repurpose Your Content

Repurposing Content

Repurposing your content can be one of the most powerful ways to increasing the number of views your content is getting. This is something I am working on myself and working hard to systemize and make as streamlined as possible. I might do a guide on it in the future, but basically I want to be able to turn a blog post quickly into a video, then have my team edit it and distribute it across all the below sources.

Turn into Slide Deck

The first step is to break down your post into a slide deck. This is generally pretty easy, have a different slide for each subheading or list point, however your post is structured. Add in your images and related links. A good ideas is to create a branded template that you can just plugin all of your posts to make this process smoother.

Once you have made your slide presentation, submit it to the below sites:

SlideShare
Scribd
SlideRocket
Authorstream
Slideboom
My Brainshark
PowerShow
Slideserve

Turn into Video

You can then take your slide deck, and use it to record a video. Draft up a script, then voice over it while reading your slides. You will want to make sure you have a good microphone before doing this as quality audio can make all the difference. Here is a link to the one I use.

If you don’t want to record the video yourself, you can write up a script and have someone one from Elance read it for you.

If you want some more inspiration on making videos, check out this post: How to Make a Startup Explainer Video on a Budget

Once your video is made, upload it to the following video sites:
YouTube.com
Tumblr
Flickr
4shared
Daily Motion
Photobucket
Imageshack
Multiply
Tu.tv
Wat.tv
Bebo
Flixya
VidiVodo
Esnips
Buzznet
Click here for a full list of video sites

Turn into Podcast

Strip the audio out of the video, and upload it to the following podcast directories:

iTunes Store
Micro Guide
Stitcher
Double Twist
Sound Cloud
BluBrry

If you want to learn more about optimizing your content for Podcasts, John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire has an awesome free course on How to Podcast.

Turn into PDF

Use PrintFriendly.com to turn blog posts into PDFs. There is also a chrome extension that makes it super easy.

Once your post is turned into a PDF you can distribute it to the below sites for a bunch of extra views:

Scribd – PR8
Slideshare – PR8
Issuu – PR8
Mediafire – PR7
DocStoc – PR6
4shared – PR6
Author Stream – PR6
Esnips – PR6
Slideboom – PR6
Rapidshare – PR6
Calameo – PR5
Edocr – PR5
Slidesix – PR5
WePapers – PR5
MyPlick – PR5
HotFile – PR5
Easy Share – PR4
PDF Cast – PR4

Turn into Infographic

There are a few sites out there that you can use to turn your posts into infographics, then submit to infographic directories. This can be a little more work but well worth it if you have already spent lots of time researching and writing the content.

Try these sites to turn your post into an infographic:
Vizualize
Easel.ly
Infogr.am
Visual.ly
Piktochart
Google Charts
InFoto Free
Venngage
Dipity
Get About

Then submit your infographics here:
Visual.ly
Daily Infographic
Cool Infographics
Infographics Archive
Infographic Journal
Visual Loop
Flickr
Pinterest

Get this as an Interactive Checklist

And there you have it. Follow the above checklist every time you publish a new piece of content and watch the traffic roll in.

You can also get the above as an interactive checklist inside Process Street. Just create an account and duplicate it from the examples area. You can download the PDF version by clicking here.

Content Marketing Checklist

About Vinay Patankar

CEO of Process Street. World Traveler, Seasoned Hustler, Tech Entrepreneur, Fitness and Food Enthusiast. Youngest Cisco Engineer in Australia. 3rd Internet Company. Find him on Twitter, Google+ or his Blog

21 Comments

  • Hi Vinay, this is a great post. Thank for referencing the Blogger Outreach Email Template.
    I’ll be back to follow your advanced tips!

  • Sam Barnes says:

    Wow Vinay this really is a fantastic guide.

    I’ve never thought of it that way, the 30/70 split but it really makes sense after reading through all these places to promote content.

    There’s certainly a few here I wouldn’t have considered in the past and you can never do enough promotion so thanks for the tip off!

    Thanks
    Sam

  • I suggest that you use a service like IFTTT and help pipeline/automate some of your social media / submissions for your content! It makes life a lot easier too.

    • Vinay Patankar says:

      IFTTT is an awesome service that you can definitely use for automating social media and self syndication (to tumblr etc). I use Buffer to do my social media posting tho so it takes just one click and I haven’t really seen much benefit from self syndication across tumbler, wordpress etc so I left it out of this one.

  • I’m leaving this comment before actual perusing your article because it’s too big to do it fast, but I really feel that it is of HUGE value. Plus I have one question for you. What are the most efficient methods of promoting and repurposing your content?

    • Vinay Patankar says:

      Thanks Vitaliy, for me I see outreach being the most efficient method for promotion if done right. For repurposing it depends on your content but a slide deck / video / podcast combo is working well for lots of people these days. Hope that helps.

  • Peter Kanayo says:

    Vinay Patankar, awesome article you have here. Really great pictures you inserted. I most say you do practice what you preach. Thanks so much for my post you included. Will certainly bookmark this site in order to come back to still some promotion tips

  • Zemanta says:

    Hey Vinay, good job you did there & big thanks for the mention. Hopefully this blog (post) will receive the traction it deserves! If not … well, if anybody, you know best what to do! ;-)

    All the best & have a nice rest of the day!

    Best,
    Silvo

  • WOW, great article and thank you for the kind mention…I am honored!

    http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/podcasting is where the ultimate guide lies :-)

  • Cool post! For my money the guys at Relevance are some of the best earned media people out there, and their blog is awesome. Of course I do tend to be partial to ShareBloc. Thanks for mentioning us.

  • WP Forest says:

    Vinay, I’ve seen your answer on Quora. This is one of the best article I’ve read recently. I’m gonna promote my website with the help of this article. Thanks for the well written article :)

  • Hi Vinay, This is an impressive list. We will include this in our upcoming community roundup this Saturday, to update our community on Small Business Trends.

    Thank you sincerely for including BizSugar.

    – Anita Campbell

  • Hi Vinay.

    What a great list! I will try some of these. There’s a lot to get through, but I have bookmarked the page, and will refer to it.

    Thanks!

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