You’ve finally finished writing your epic blog post.
It’s the most practical, the most actionable, and the most insightful post out there about your topic.
You’ve crafted the perfect headline for your post.
You’ve checked each detail, and now the post is ready to be published. In fact, you’re so proud to click on the “Publish” button.
But then, nothing happens.
You may get some visitors to your site, but it doesn’t do well.
You see other crap posts on the same topic get 100x more visitors, while your post, the epic one, gets a few hundred visitors.
So, why does this happen?
The Harsh Truth About Getting Traffic
People won’t be able to know about your epic post by themselves.
If I ask you how people would come to your site, you’ll answer from the shares and links of other people. But you know what? You won’t be able to get those first few people to kick off the shares, until you go and get them.
Traffic won’t come by itself. You need to go out there to promote your post.
At least, spend the same amount of time in creating your post to promoting it. You need to show your awesome work to the world.
Derek Halpern even advises, new bloggers specially, to spend only 20% of their time creating new epic posts and spend the other 80% of their time promoting the heck out of their posts.
And by promoting your post, I don’t mean just sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and you’re done.
But what should you do to promote your post?
The Only Promotional Strategy You Need to Focus On, at Least at The Beginning
If you would focus on one promotion strategy, you need to focus on blog outreach.
This is the strategy that worked for almost every popular blogger. It worked for Brian Clark in the early days of blogging in 2006, and it worked also for Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Jon Morrow and many others.
Its effect isn’t declining as in all other traffic strategies you know about.
That’s why I say it’s the only promotion strategy you need to focus on, at least when you’re starting.
But of course, it has evolved over time to be more effective.
Are you ready to know how to promote your post using blog outreach?
Here are the 4 steps you need to follow:
1. Find content that is similar to yours and is popular in your niche
The first step to make things easy for you is to find similar posts to yours. This will help you after that to identify the people to reach out to to promote your post. They’ve already shown interest in your topic (more on this later.)
Here are a few tools to help you in this step:
Google remains the fastest, easiest tool to search for anything on the internet. You can type your post topic and look for the results.
If a site makes it to the first page in a popular topic, then it’s linked to from authority sites, and it’s shared by popular bloggers in your niche.
These are the posts you need to go after.
And the best way to find a huge list of these posts without spending a lot of time is searching for content curators.
Search for posts that curates others posts and collects them in one post. They will do the difficult job for you.
Here is an example from Kristi Hines’s Top 100 content marketing articles of 2014.
Here are a few terms to use to search for these posts on Google:
- best (keyword) posts
- keyword + “all time best”
- keyword + “best 2013″
- keyword + “top 100″
- keyword + “top 50″
- best (keyword) posts 2014
BuzzSumo is a great tool to help you find popular content related to your topic.
You could sort it by likes or tweets or pins, if your audience is more in one of these sites. You could also sort it by total to find the most popular post in all of these sites.
Here is how to use it:
- Head over to BuzzSumo.com, create an account and then log in
- Under “filter by type”, check only content and uncheck the rest. Under “filter by date,” check past 6 months
- Enter the keyword and wait for the top posts out there in your industry.
For this example, I used Facebook ads.
Ahrefs is a great combo of tools. One tool that could help in this step is content explorer.
It’s nearly the same as BuzzSumo, but it could sometimes show results which you can’t find in BuzzSumo. It’s great to check results here, too.
Here’s how to use it:
- Head over to the content explorer.
- Enter your topic
- Sort data as you want to.
It’s that simple.
I’ve used the same example Facebook ads.
These 3 tools are enough to keep you busy.
Dig until you find at least 10 high quality posts with a lot of shares and links.
When you do find them, move to the next step…
2. Find people who linked/tweeted those articles
After you find the popular articles about your topic, the next step is to find the people who made these posts popular 🙂
You’ll find the people who linked to these posts to make them appear on the first page of Google, and you will find the people who shared these posts to rank higher in BuzzSumo.
There are also 2 tools that could help you in this process:
1. Ahrefs Site Explorer
I told you above that Ahrefs is a combo of tools. One of these great tools is Site Explorer.
It helps you know the pages that is linking to your competitors. After that, you could reach out to those people sharing your epic post (more on this below.)
“You may need to sign up to do a few research, but if you want to do more, you may need to purchase any of the packages they have. It’ll be worth it.”
Here is how to use this tool:
- Head over to Ahrefs Site Explorer.
- Enter the link of the page you want to analyze, choose exact URL, and click on search links.
- Wait for the results and Click on export and choose CSV or PDF as you want “this is only available for pro members.”
- Start digging into these sites.
Now, you know the people who linked to the popular posts similar to your post.
Let’s identify the people who shared these posts on Twitter.
Topsy is a great tool to help you identify people who shared a link. The best part in this tool is that it helps you identify influential people only.
This could save you a lot of time and make you focus on the 20% of the people who brings 80% of the results.
It’s very easy to use.
Just enter the link of the page on the site, choose tweets and then click search.
After that sort the results by influential only, and you’re done.
What to do with all this info
The 2 tools above will help you identify the people who linked or tweeted the posts you found in step 1.
Those are the people who will be more interested in sharing and linking to your posts.
Your job now is to gather this data and put it all in one spreadsheet. One spreadsheet for every post.
Yes, it may be time consuming at the beginning, but it’ll help you get several thousand more visitors to your awesome post, and the best part is that you won’t need to do it again when you create a post on a similar topic.
After you create spreadsheets with people who shared and linked to the posts you found in step 1, move on to step 3.
“Just a quick note before we continue: Yes, a lot of these bloggers may not see your email because they’re busy, and yes you won’t get 100% of them to link/share your post. If you could get 10%, that’s a good ratio. That’s why I’d suggest you to have 200+ people to reach out to for promoting your epic post. Just imagine what a tweet from the right person could do for you.”
3. Find the email address of the people who linked/shared the posts
After you know the people who you want to reach to and tell them about your post, now you need to find their email address to reach out to them.
Email is by far the best way to reach to influencers. Yes, they get a lot of emails, but not the same number as the number of tweets or posts on Facebook.
Most of the popular bloggers check their email in the morning before they start work, but they don’t care a lot about Twitter.
So you need to find it.
The easiest way to find the email address of a popular blogger is using this tool. It does all of the hard work for you.
Just enter the full name of the blogger, their site and you’re good to go. It’ll do a search to find their email address in the MX records.
It’s easy to use. Try it. It’ll help you get the emails of 99% of your targets.
4. Tell them about your article, the right way
After having their emails, you’re ready to reach out to them and tell them about your epic post.
But you need to do it the right way, so that you’re not ignored, and you would get higher percentage of people sharing/linking to it.
The most important rule you should keep in mind is that your emails should be short. Influencers are really busy, and if you get them to open your email, then you will benefit from every word you write.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is to keep your email personal and not generic. Yes, you could use a sort of template, but tell them that they tweeted an exact article, and that’s why this post might be of interest.
The third and most important rule is to focus on their audience. Tell them how this post might benefit their audience. After all, they’ll link to/share the post for their audience to see it.
Having these 3 rules in mind will help you get higher response rates and more shares and links to your post.
Here is a quick template you could model:
Subject: Quick question
Hey, I stumbled across your post, HEADLINE, and I noticed you linked to a post about TOPIC by AUTHOR. It’s a great post, but for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a new one that’s better.
Would you be interested in taking a look?
The Harsh Truth About Getting Clients From Your Blog
Writing a great post is a good thing, but it doesn’t guarantee you anything.
You need to spend at least the same amount of time to promote your post. You need to let others know about it.
You need to go to the leader who your audience follow and try to convince him or her to send you his audience.
This way, you’ll get clients.
You’ll earn a good living online.
But without promotion, blogging is a waste of time.
* Editors note: Tenacious promotion is the name of the game if you hope to earn a living online. Now that you’ve learned how to promote your epic posts (or even your simple posts), why not put the same tenacity to use in generating more clients?
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