A friend of mine recently wrote with a request for help. He had just finished writing an article geared towards professionals in his field, but just didn’t know how to get them to read it.
“I’m just struggling a bit to figure out the most effective ways of sharing it, other than emailing it to each of my contacts,” he wrote.
While there's no one solution to help one's content rise about the noise, there are certainly steps that can be taken to give it a fighting chance. Here are the seven tips I sent him:
1) Publish the darn thing An article won’t spread if you leave it in a word document or pass it around as text in an email. It may sound obvious, but step one is to get your article live online. There are plenty of free blogging platforms that will help you publish what you’ve written and make it look good too. WordPress and Tumblr are good options. And Twitter founder Evan Williams’ Medium recently opened up to the masses, its simple backend makes it worth a test run.
2) Or, pitch it out Editors everywhere are hungry for content, so if you’re article is not flacking for product or company, try offering it up to a few publications. It likely has a better chance of getting published than you think. After you hunt down the appropriate publications, send a description of who you are, why your article fits the publication, why you should be the one writing the article for them and the most important parts of the story. Don’t send the full article. Also, if you can, try to send it to a specific editor and not the
3) Pay You may be opposed to this option at first, but with so much ad inventory available today, it sometimes makes sense to take advantage of the depressed prices and run targeted ad campaigns to promote your content. LinkedIn LNKD +0%, for instance, will let you run self-serve ad campaigns targeted to different business interests, companies and groups. You can also run a promoted tweet through Twitter, which will surface a Tweet you write with a link in timelines of people that are not following you (yet). Put $50 dollars towards an advertising experiment and you might be surprised by the results.
4) Enlist friends Try to locate a select group of friends who will share your article. Most people, no matter what they do, have decent sized followings on social media. You may be able to convince them to share your article, especially if it’s something their followers and connections will like. They can help spread it to a larger audience, but you have to ask and make the case for why they should do it.
5) Submit to Stumbleupon: Though it may seem like a Web 1.0 startup, Stumbleupon has the ability to drive massive amounts of traffic to any web page regardless of whether it’s a media brand or not. A flood of 20,000 Stumbleupon visits hit one of my articles this week, easily helping to push it over 70,000 views. Definitely worth giving a try.
6) And Digg The betaworks-owned content recommendation site can also drive serious traffic. Submit a link here: http://digg.com/tools/diggthis/confirm
7) Keep writing There’s a snowball effect when it comes to writing. Writing something once is fine, but if you keep pushing your work out regularly, you can build an audience who will anticipate reading your next piece. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity, but there are few more effective ways to build readership than actually giving them something to dive into on the regular.