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 boost your blog's traffic.

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

Preparation:

Set up blog

Before you start creating, publishing and promoting content on your blog, you first need to set one up. So, the first step in this checklist is to set up (or verify) your company blog! Record the name and URL of the blog in the form fields below.

If you already have your blog set up, record the link and move on. If not, watch the below videoto see how you can setup your company blog in under 5 minutes.

Ensure your content is epic

The 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.

Take a long hard look at your content and make sure that (within reason) it is as good as you can possibly make it.

If you don’t know what epic content is, take a look at these guides:

Prepare your post

The next step is to prepare a summary of your content. Use the form fields below to record each section of the post summary for easy re-use across platforms. 

Post Headline

Remember to prepare a variety of headlines (5-10); keep the best for yourself 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. These are needed when submitting to many sites

Post Excerpt

Grab the first paragraph from your post or the intro

URL

Copy over the URL of your post - 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, it's time to start promoting! Keep going with the content promotion 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.

Content Promotion Checklist:

Share on social media

This one is fairly obvious; share the post across your social media channels. You can significantly speed up this process using a social media management tool. Record your progress with the sub-checklist below.

  • 1
    Facebook Profile (Status Update)
  • 2
    Facebook Page (Post)
  • 3
    Twitter – 3-5 post over a week, use #hastags
  • 4
    Google+ – Personal and Company profile
  • 5
    LinkedIn Status Update
  • 6
    Pinterest – Pin all images (all epic content has images)
  • 7
    Instagram – Post 1-2 images from the post
  • 8
    Ask team members to share
  • 9
    Ask friends and family members to share

Learn Social Media Basics

Not sure how, or what this social media thing is? Check out the below video for a great introduction to the basics of 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.

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.

Perform outreach

Outreach means manually emailing, tweeting and even calling people to tell them about your content. Yes, yes, 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.

Use the form field below to record the list of bloggers which you will be targeting.

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, your 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

Now you need to submit your content to social bookmarking sites and directories. Use the form field below to keep track of which sites you have submitted your content to.

Social Bookmarking sites can generate a huge spike of traffic; landing the front page of a large Subreddit can yield thousands of visitors. 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

Submit for syndication

Next up in the content promotion checklist is submitting your content for syndication. Remember to record the sites you submit your content to with the form field below; that way you'll never lose track of where your content is already uploaded!

Content syndication is where you allow another site to publish your content. There are some huge sites in the game of content syndication including Business2CommunitySteamFeedSocial Media TodayForbesBusiness InsiderInc 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, however, 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

Remember to use JustReTweet for some free promotion! Record the status of the post with the form field below.

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

Next up in the content promotion checklist is to post on related forums and groups. As always, record the forums and groups you've submitted to with the trusty form fields below.

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

Post on Q&A sites

Search major Q&A sites for posts related to your content and post responses in the answers when appropriate. Record links to the questions you answer with the form field below.

If you aren't already familiar with the top Q&A sites, see below for our pick of the crop.

Quora
Yahoo Answers

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

Use Scoop.it

The next step in promoting your content is to assign your post to the relevant lists in Scoop.it. As always, use the form field below to record which lists you submit your content to.

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
Find Popular Lists
Suggest Content

Reverse engineer your competition

Part of the content promotion checklist is not only about boosting your post - it's about combating the competition for the top search spot. Now you need to reverse engineer your competition and record all relevant information using the form fields below.

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 talked 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

Pay for promotion

If you are aggressively working to build a blog and audience, you should consider paying to promote your content. Remember to not blindly shove money at the most available source; do you research, spend slowly and record all relevant info with the form fields below.

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
Nstr

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).

Repurpose your content

Repurposing your content can be one of the most powerful ways to increase the number of views your content is getting. Whilst keeping the medium relevant to the content you are repurposing, aim to get as many different avenues out of a single piece of content as possible - maximum reward for relatively little extra input!

Record the avenues you utilize with the sub-checklist and form fields below.

  • 1
    Slide Deck
  • 2
    Video
  • 3
    Podcast
  • 4
    PDF
  • 5
    Infographic

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 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 Firehas 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

Celebrate

Congratulations! You've completed the content promotion checklist and can now watch that view count fly.

Celebrate with your team and get ready to start on the next post!