When people say that writing is the easy part, what they’re really saying is that it’s only half the battle. Once you’ve hit “publish,” there are a myriad of things you need to do to make sure what you’ve written attracts an audience.
For some, getting an audience is easy, but that’s not the case for everyone.
So what should you be doing to keep pace with the rate at which successful creators are able to turn around new and interesting content — and attract an audience, at the same time?
Well, you came to the right place. Here are ten things you should consider doing the next time you send your latest creation to live on the web:
1. Share to Your Social Media Accounts
People are continuously wired into their social media accounts with one-touch logins, push notifications and downloadable apps like Messenger. The situation is such that many readers look to their feed for news about the next trending topic or hot product.
According to a recent report from Shareaholic, social media drove 31 percent of all internet traffic in the final quarter of 2014, a figure that has risen as more content marketers begin to take notice and turn to targeted strategies.
You can, of course, sign up for free services, like Buffer, to automate the social sharing process as long as you schedule your posts to coincide with optimal discovery times.
2. Update Your Newsletter Subscribers
If you’re going to go through the trouble of streamlining your subscriber process, you need to make sure you keep those readers happy. Remember that these are the people who are always going to be your most devoted fans.
Email communication is a powerful tool that opens a dialogue, and if you haven’t already done so, make sure you’ve optimized your subject line to leverage your hard work and increase your chances for conversion.
3. Promote Reader Engagement and Participation
Social sharing is the online equivalent of word-of-mouth, and its effect can be profound. Imagine if each member of your readership were to take the time to comment and alert their friends to your post in the process.
This becomes especially important where your website is concerned. According to HubSpot, 55 percent of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your site, which means the majority aren’t clicking around to see what else is there.
To improve this, you need to make it easy for your readership to invest in your ideas, and make a special effort to include your audience in the overall discussion.
4. Amplify the Post Using Twitter Sharing Tools
Though their processes differ, services like ViralContentBuzz and JustRetweet push your content to early adopters and industry influencers to increase its uptake. This extends your actual network to include that of others, and this produces a snowball effect that translates into more likes and shares.
So the next time you publish a post and send your links out into the void, give some thought to where they’re going and opt to take advantage of the new tools in Twitter sharing.
5. Practice Good Internal Linking
It wasn’t long ago that ACI released some truly astounding statistics to do with the rate at which content is uploaded and dispersed. According to the data, every minute sees around 2.5 million posts uploaded to Facebook. In addition, there are 72 hours of new video content added to YouTube, and nearly 220,000 photos shared to Instagram.
Because of this, new posts must always struggle against the competition. What ends up happening is that content becomes out-of-date almost immediately if it isn’t been picked up and latched on to.
A quick workaround is to update your older material with quality cross-links that direct traffic to your more recently published articles. If you can create a network of unbroken backlinks, you should start to see your site rise to the top of Google.
6. Leave Insightful Comments on Related Blog Posts
The internet is not a one-way street, and it never hurts to do the rounds and make friends with the competition. Ideally, what you want to do is try to find those posts that overlap with an area of your own, and leave a comment that’s both relevant and warrants a legitimate response from the author.
It may sound strange, but it’s actually the backbone of a commenting strategy that provides backlinks, drives traffic and generates awareness. After all, audiences very rarely go to only one source for information.
7. Reply to Comments on Your Own Post
The same goes for your own content. If your fan base is taking the time to voice their thoughts on the matters at hand, they expect the creator to engage with them on a genuine level. And truth be told, it’s easy enough to do.
When first impressions count for as much as they do in today’s rather impersonal world, positive public perception leads to greater brand recognition, higher readership levels and a more appreciative audience. Plus, it sets you up nicely for your next post.
8. Share It to Reddit and Other Social News Sites
Alexa ranks the Front Page of the Internet as the 31st most visited site in the world, and it’s no coincidence that having your content featured on Reddit is a recipe for success. However, there are a number of lesser-knowns in social news aggregators that can be just as effective.
These platforms are designed to boost the profile of your post through the use of algorithms that account for keywords and shares, getting them to the top of authority sites. The bottom line is that if you’re not sending your content to high-profile social news sites, you’re taking a risk.
9. Cater to New Mediums and Reader Preferences
Video is one of the fastest-growing content delivery mediums in modern times, and according to recent findings, 90 percent of all information is transmitted visually. This extends to other forms of visual communication like infographics and animation.
Google’s algorithms tend to favor mixed media and media-rich formats because of their higher standards for quality, and fortunately, there are a number of infographic directories around that can help with indexing.
10. Revise and Repost Your Original Content
Writing a blog isn’t always about creating and promoting innovative content. In fact a lot of the time, it is about revitalizing what you’ve already produced, amending any discrepancies and bringing it back into view.
Timing will be critical, and you should only aim to repost when it makes sense. For example, if a news item or current event brings attention to a particular issue you’ve written about in the past, take the time to dig it out of your archives.
12 Keys, a recovery center in Florida with a huge and highly-engaged online presence, regularly repurposes their content. For example, this infographic about the effects of drugs on pregnant women and their babies was later used to create this video. This kind of repurposing is great at capturing the attention of new audiences, and extends the reach of the original research.
Ultimately, you might not be able to commit the amount of time needed to consistently follow through with everything on this list, but that’s okay. In fact it’s preferable.
Focus on those areas you can actively pursue and improve, and watch your efforts take your content to places you never thought they’d be able to reach.
Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer who blogs at Design Roast. She has been blogging for the past 3 years and loves picking apart online campaigns to see what makes them tick. You can follow her on Twitter as @adrienneerin.