Today, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to promote your blog posts to get thousands of social media shares and drive waves of traffic to your site (without spending a penny).
These are the exact tactics I’ve used to generate 20,109 social shares with just 15 blog posts, and send 33,178 visits to the blog from social media channels alone:
The best part:
I’m going to show you how I did it with:
A brand spankin’ new blog.
While working a full-time job.
With a solid game plan, the right tools and a little elbow grease, you can promote your blog posts and generate thousands of social media shares on autopilot...
In any niche.
A Taste of What You'll Learn:
- How to use other people's content to drive traffic to your site
- How to 7x the traffic potential of every blog post
- The formula I used to get over 2,000 shares in 7 days
- How to build an ARMY of highly influential content advocates
- The free tools I use to generate thousands of social shares and referral visits on complete autopilot...
This is a monster 10,000+ word blog promotion guide. Below you'll find a table of contents listing 32 actionable ways to promote your content. Feel free to use the links to jump to a specific section of the post. There will also be links at the end of each section to quickly scroll back to the top of the post.
Use the links below to jump to specific sections of the post.
32 Ways To Promote Your Blog Posts for INSANE Social Engagement and Traffic...
Below you will find a step-by-step walk through of each blog promotion tactic that will allow you to take them away and implement immediately on your site.
#1: SumoMe Share App
One of the easiest ways to drive more people to your blog content is to increase the amount social engagement each post receives.
The easiest way to do this?
Make it dead simple to share your content at all times, on any device.
Meet Sumome Share App.
This free app makes it incredibly easy for people to share your content across every social media channel.
You can create floating social share icons that scroll with the visitor as they read down the page, giving them the option to share your content at all times. The Share app is responsive, providing a great user experience across every device.
Since installing SumoMe Share on this blog, the amount of social engagement has skyrocketed. This post and this post combined for over 14,400 social shares:
This helped drive 8,272 social media referral visits to the posts:
Adding hundreds of subscribers to my email list.
It's a beautiful cycle!
Easy sharing = passive traffic = opt-in exposure = more email subscribers.
Some other cool features of the app include –
- Control the page and position social icons display
- Integrates with 16 different social channels
- Smart sorting to maximize which networks drive the most social traffic
- You can see which posts and social channels are getting the most engagement
Setting up Share
Head over to the SumoMe website. If you have a WordPress website simply download the plugin zip file.
If you use another CMS, copy the HTML code and add it to the <head> section of your website. They’ll walk you through the entire setup process.
Next, head back over to the plugins section of your WordPress website and upload the SumoMe zip file.
Activate the plugin.
Now, when you visit your website you’ll see the SumoMe crown displaying to the side of the screen. Click the icon and register your SumoMe account.
Next, enter the SumoMe store –
You’ll see all the different apps you can install on the site. Click the “Share” icon.
Once you have the Share app installed, navigate over to the “Layout” tab and select the areas you want to show your share icons –
Pro Tip: In the settings tab set the browser width to 1440 pixels. This will make the social share icons display along the bottom of the screen when visiting a site on a laptop device (example):
Next, select the different social accounts you want to feature on your Share bar –
To keep it clean, I include a maximum six channels - those I’m actively engaged on.
I also enabled Smart Mode so the most popular social networks (based on share count) are always placed at the top –
High visible share count = more social proof = more people will share it.
Finally, in the “Services” tab be sure to set your Twitter handle (do not include the ‘@’ symbol).
This will append your Twitter handle to the end of all the tweets generated by your Share bar.
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The tagline captures it perfectly: “Attach a call-to-action to every link you share”.
Sniply is a powerful new tool that allows you to use curated content to drive targeted traffic to your website.
I might want to use Snip.ly to promote my first post on the blog - my guide to identifying and recovering from Google penalties.
How to do it:
Head over to Google and type in a keyword related to your article.
I’ll use this post as an example:
It's usually good to start with the article ranking #1. This content will likely have a large number of quality links pointing to it:
And get a lot of social engagement:
This is the type of that will resonate with your target audience, making it a perfect candidate for Sniply.
Before you start using Sniply, check out Buzzsumo.
Buzzsumo is a great tool for quickly identifying the most shared content on social media across any topic.
Enter the search term, click the “top content” tab and filter by “article”:
This will return all the most shared content related the keyword you entered, broken down by channel.
Select the article that has received the most engagement on your targeted social media channel.
Twitter is one of the most engaged audiences for this blog, so I’ll choose the article published on Entrepreneur with over 1,100 shares:
Copy the URL of the article and paste it into Sniply.
Here comes the power play…
Customize the way you want the snip to appear:
Depending on the account, there will be a number of options available.
For this example we're just going to be using the free version. Select the “button” action type. This will place a CTA button on the source of the curated content that links back to your website.
Add an attention-grabbing message, customize the button text and color. You’re done!
Copy the Sniply URL and start sharing it across your social media channels.
Whenever someone clicks on your sniply link they will be taken to the original curated content, but this time they will see the CTA linking back to your site:
This is an extremely easy and effective way to use curated content to drive traffic back to your site. Anyone interested in clicking a link to read about “recovering from Google penalties” is probably going to be interested in learning about the tools needed to do it.
Whenever you’re sharing Sniply URLs, make sure to mention the source of the content and including any relevant or trending hashtags:
Also, use a tool like Tweet Jukebox or Buffer to schedule out and recycle a long list of snipped URLs.
This achieves three goals:
1. A nice balance between self-promotional and curated content
2. Engage influencers by mentioning them in shared content
3. Every social media share can be used to drive traffic to your site
Track the performance of your Sniply URLs
Want to know which sniply URLs are driving the most traffic to your website?
A great thing about Snip.ly is its clean and simple analytics reporting. For each snip you have created it shows the number of clicks and the conversions.
111 people clicked this snipped URL, and 54 of those people clicked through to my website!
Not bad for a minute of my time, right?
It gets better.
I decided to run an experiment to see if I could scale this traffic strategy.
I shared a handful of different Sniply URLs across my most active social media channels.
The results speak for themselves - over one thousand visits and 21 new subscribers added to my email list:
Not bad for sharing other people's content :)
I plan to scale this strategy a LOT more in the near future.
Note: Sniply keeps adding new features, including the ability to use retargeting pixels and triggered opt-in forms directly on top of curated content.
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BuzzBundle is one of my favorite tools for content promotion.
It allows you to monitor and track conversations related to specific keywords and brand mentions across a number of channels, including –
- Social networds
- Q&A sites
I’ve written a full tutorial here that will walk you step-by-step through how I use Buzzbundle to promote blog posts across numerous social media channels from a single account:
Enter a keyword related to your posts and Bunzzbundle will go out and find all the content related to that keyword. Your job is to engage with all the people sharing or commenting on that content:
This is a great way to build engagement and drive traffic.
BuzzBundle provides you with the ability to filter proven content.
If you notice a post related to your content is generating a ton of social shares, copy the URL and paste it into Buzzbundle –
Filter the conversations and recommend your content to all the people engaging with the content.
Reach out to these and promote your new post …
“Hey @person, if you liked [insert post name] then you will want to check this out [insert your link]“
This technique works really well because people who have already shared similar content are more likely to share your content.
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#4: List Post Jump Links
Evergreen list posts are an extremely popular content type.
And, for good reason.
They have social engagement baked into their DNA.
And can be used to rank for competitive search terms:
Just google a few of your top and mid funnel target keywords and you'll probably see several list posts ranking on the first page.
They are a powerful weapon in any content marketing arsenal.
But, there is one BIG mistake I see a lot of websites make.
They fail to leverage all that "social potential" that is baked into it.
Here's what it looks like:
You create a monster list post that is highly optimized for a target keyword. Then, you share it out on facebook, Twitter, Google + and wait for the traffic to come pouring in.
Only to hear crickets.
You didn't leverage the most overlooked element of your list post.
The truth is:
Only a small fraction of your social media audience will actually see the content you share, and an even smaller fraction will actually engage with it (i.e. share or click through to read the article).
You need to be aggressively re-sharing your list posts. But, I'm not talking about sharing the same post title and URL over and over again.
That'll awaken the SPAM trolls.
This is where the jump link strategy comes in...
The concept is simple.
Share the same content over and over again, without it looking like you’re sharing the same content over and over again.
Let me explain.
I have several gigantic expanded list posts on my site here, here, and here.
Let’s take the “list building strategies” post as an example.
This is a monster guide covering 25 different tactics I used to grow my email list from zero to 4,476 email subscribers in 10 months with next to zero budget.
Now, I could just continually re-share the same title and feature image over and over again. But, this would get old.
Instead, I leveraged each of the tactics and promoted it as its own blog post.
For example, if I click the “Popup Content Upgrades” link in the list:
It’s scrolls me down the page to the corresponding section:
But, here is where the magic happens. After clicking the jump link you can see a unique jump link is showing in the search bar:
I’ll promote this section as it’s own unique post.
A couple things to note:
1. Create a different title
2. Include the jump link (not the main URL)
3. Create a unique feature image for each jump link
I use Snappa.io to quickly create professional images for each social media profile:
Repeat this process for each jump link in your list post and schedule each one to go out two days apart.
This way, you could promote the same post for 50 days, without it looking like you're sharing the same content :)
This will help you increase the reach of your list posts exponentially.
Rinse and repeat.
Automate the jump link promotion with a free tool like Tweet Jukebox.
The tool allows you to create jukeboxes filled with pre-written content, set a promotion schedule and let it run through continuously.
Set it and forget. All you have to do is add new content when available.
The "Best SEO Tools" Jukebox has 22 posts in it:
Each post has a different title, feature image and mentions influencers cited in the post to help maximize reach.
The schedule so posts go out every 18 hours:
And there has to be at least 4 days before the same tweet can be promoted. This is great if you have a smaller list post, and when you want to increased promotion intervals. The tool gives you complete control.
Once the Jukebox cycles through all the content it will start over again.
Tip: I have jukeboxes set up to promote curated content from others as well. I have it set up so I am promoting 2 curated pieces of content for every one of my blog posts. This helps maintain a healthy balance, and allows me to engage with other influencers and bloggers when I mention them in the curated posts.
Make sure you are creating several custom images for each each list post (preferably each jump link). This will further help eliminate message fatigue as you promote the jump links.
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#5: Scale Link Roundups
Link roundups might be one of the most overlooked and underrated blog promotion tactics on the planet.
Where else can you find influencers who are actively looking to link to and send targeted traffic to your content?
If you’re not familiar, roundups are simply a curated list of blog posts. Here is a popular internet marketing roundup put together each month by Matt Woodward:
Another good one from Ana Hoffman over at Traffic Generation Cafe:
And a newer one from the team at ProBlogger:
Both roundups have a large following and can send a lot of referral traffic:
The key is finding roundups that have a large readership and get a ton of social engagement.
How to find link roundups:
Start by entering the following search operators into Google:
“link roundup” + your industry
“weekly link roundup” + your industry
~KW + “link roundup”
“KW” + inurl:roundup
“KW” + intitle:roundup
Make sure you set it to filter search results from the past month to find roundups that are consistently publishing new content.
Repeat this process in Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go and Yahoo. You'll find different results :)
Next, head over to Twitter and run the same queries in the search bar:
Check out the "Accounts" tab to find all the people promoting roundups in their Twitter profile:
HOW TO SCALE
The search operators shown above will only get you so far.
There are link roundups out there with some less obvious names. For example: “Friday Finds”, “Fetching Friday”, “Marketing Skinny”, “What I’m Reading”.
You would never find them using the operators above.
Luckily, the team at Siege Media came up with a workaround.
Basically, you leverage popular content from large publications to uncover hidden link roundups.
How to do it -
First, identify a large website in your industry and enter it into the Ahrefs content explorer and filter the results by "number of referring domains" (awesome, right?!!):
Select an article with a lot of referring domains pointing to it:
Select the "details" dropdown and select the the "referring domains" tab in Ahrefs to see all the domains linking to the content:
Scroll through the backlinks and you’ll likely come across some new opportunities:
Repeat this process for at least 10 articles, and reach out to the author with a template like this:
I was doing some research on TOPIC this morning and came across your weekly link roundup. Nice job!
I'm sure you get a ton of pitches every day, so I'll keep this short. I just published a post that covers 33 tactics I used to generate over 20,100 social media shares with just 15 blog posts. I thought it might be a good fit for your readers.
You can view the post here: INSERT URL
Keep up the good work!
Note: Only use this strategy if you have written an epic piece of content, otherwise it’ll be a huge waste of your time.
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#6: Buzzsumo-Buzzstream Outreach Hack
The people most likely to share your content are those who have already shared similar content in the past.
BuzzzSumo is an extremely versatile tool I use every single day for content promotion and link building. It allows you to quickly identify the most shared content in your niche…
…including the actual people who shared it.
People most likely to share YOUR content :)
Head over to BuzzSumo and enter a keyword related to your topic. Make sure you’re on the “Top Content” tab.
In this case, I’m looking for content related to content promotion strategies that has received a lot of social engagement.
Buffer's post has 3,500 shares to date.
This article providers a powerful outreach opportunity.
BuzzSumo also lets you filter the results by date and content type. I like to filter by “article” as this removes a lot of the promotional junk.
But, one of the best features of the tool is the ability to view “sharers”:
Click the button and you’ll be given a list of all the people who have shared the post on Twitter.
You’ll be able to sort the list by by user type (influencer, blogger, regular folks ...etc), as well as metrics such as domain authority, follower count and reply-ratio:
These are the outreach targets.
You can export the list into an excel spreadsheet, filter the results and harvest email addresses using a tool like Scrape Box.
However, I like to use BuzzStream for all my outreach campaigns because it allows me to run a more manual check on outreach prospects and scale more efficiently.
Let’s walk through an example of an outreach campaign I ran recently for my 6,000 word link building tutorial. This post now has over 6,500 social shares –
Generating almost 3,400 pageviews via social referral traffic –
Here is a video that will walk you through my BuzzStream outreach process –
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#7: Promote to Your Email List
I know..."Duh, Robbie!".
But, you'll be surprised how many people don't do this.
Your email subscribers are your most loyal fans. These people subscribed to your list for a reason...
They actually WANT to hear from you.
As soon as you publish a new piece of content send it to your subscribers. They are more likely to read it, and share it.
I don't care if you only have 10 people on your email list...
Send. The. Email. Now.
Then, check out this post to learn the single tactic I used to increase email signups 353%.
Sending out an email as soon as you hit publish is one way to promote blog content.
But, if the content really kicks ass add it to a relevant segment of your autoresponder so that every single person opting into your email list gets exposed to it.
For example, I have a content promotion autoresponder set up in GetResponse.
Anyone downloading this ebook.
Will receive an email promoting this very post exactly 9 days after signup:
Anyone who is interested in the content promotion strategies ebook is going to want to also learn about cost-effective ways to promote their blog content.
With 10-15 people downloading the ebook every day, I have hundreds of people filtering through the autoresponder each month, many clicking through to this post:
This creates a passive stream of highly engaged traffic.
Like it? Remind your friends to send the email...
#8: Re-Promote to the Non-Openers
What is your average email open rate?
If it falls anywhere around there you might be thinking you have a great email open rate.
The truth is:
50+ % of your email subscribers are NOT opening your emails.
Which means they are not clicking through to your content. Which means they are not reading it. Which means they are not sharing it.
Why would you settle for less than 1 in 2 people opening your emails.
You worked hard to get those subscribers. Don’t waste them.
I’m going to show you a simple email hack you can use to more than double your email open rate and send hundreds, maybe thousands of additional readers to your blog content.
It’s a strategy my friend Noah Kagan over at Sumome calls Double-Opens.
Here’s how to do it:
I recently emailed out one of my posts titled 25 list building strategies to a segment of my email list.
Here’s how the open rate looked:
Not too shabby. BUT...
69% of the people did NOT open the email.
Sound familiar?! :)
So, I used the Double-Opens formula to increase my email open rate by 61%.
The best part? It only took me 1 minute of work.
Here's how to set it up:
Step 1. Take the SAME email you sent and CHANGE the subject line to something new
Step 2. Email it out exactly one week later ONLY TO YOUR NON-OPENERS
The results speak for themselves:
21% more total opens which is 61%+ more opens than if I did nothing.
1 minute of work = 691 more people read my email.
And, an extra 166 people clicked through to my website.
This simple tweak can INSTANTLY boost your open rates and drive more traffic to your blog.
Before you do anything else, always maximize the traffic from your owned media channels.
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#9: The ER Framework
Expert roundups are used a LOT.
And for good reason.
They are the one content format that (almost) guarantees to send a tidal wave of traffic to your website. Not to mention connect you with powerful influencers in your industry.
Trust me, I’m speaking from experience…
This expert roundup generated 2,600 social shares (some data lost with Twitter omitting stats):
Has received 46,326 pageviews:
And now ranks #1 for the competitive search term “best keyword research tools”.
It sends over 100 people to my site every single day, and has captured over 2,000 emails.
The beauty of expert roundups is that they are extremely scalable. Once you have a proven process in place, you can implement them time and time again, across practically any industry.
This one generated 1,500 shares in 10 days!
This roundup generated more social engagement for a small property management company, than the previous two years of blog content...combined.
Success with expert roundups boils down to five key elements:
- The right topic
- The right question
- The right experts
- The right outreach
- The right structure
I wrote a monster 5,000+ word tutorial showing I plan, build and promote roundups in this Digital Marketer guest post.
Similar to list posts, the power of expert roundups lies in the outreach. As soon as you hit publish, use a free tool like Gmass to reach out to each influencer on the list and let them know they have been included in the post.
Here is the template I use:
Because each influencer has contributed to the post, many of them will be more than happy to share it with their large audience:
Getting influencers to share your content can quickly trigger an avalanche of social referral traffic.
Recycle the content while mentioning the influencers to maximize social engagement and traffic:
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If you mention influencers or tools in your posts make sure you mention them in your social media posts.
Often, these influencers have HUGE social audiences that you can tap into.
I recently wrote a post that listed 80 must-watch online marketing experts of 2015. In order to maximize the social leverage, I divided the post into 10 different sections, each with it’s own cover image.
For example, I listed SEO experts –
And, I listed top conversion optimization experts.
Each section acts as a unique post title. By dividing the post into 10 different categories I was able to get 10 times the leverage.
I mentioned influencers across Twitter and Google Plus.
Many of these influencers (some with tens of thousands of followers) shared the post with their followers –
This helped the post reach 1,000 social shares in 11 days!
And, has been viewed almost 21,000 times –
As you can see in SEMrush, this post is also ranking highly for dozens of keywords variations:
Next time you write a piece of content make sure you mention any influencers or tools you reference in the post on social media. You only need one person to take notice.
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#11: Amplify with Influencer Outreach
Whenever you can leverage the audiences of influencers…
One share some someone with tens of thousands of follows can get you a ton of visits and additional social engagement.
You’re probably asking, “how do I get an influencer to share my content if I haven’t mentioned or referenced them in my content?”
If you’ve written quality content in the past, there’s a pretty good chance an influencer or two has shared it at some point.
To confirm this, head over to Buzzsumo and enter the url of an old piece of content closely related to your new post.
As an example, if I was going to use this tactic to promote this post I would enter the URL of my content promotion article.
Then, I’ll pull up a list of all the people that shared the post and search for known influencers, or anyone who has a large social audience –
These people have already shared content of yours in the past, so there’s good chance they’ll be interested in checking out (and sharing) your new post.
Next, I’ll use my BuzzMarker chrome extension to quickly create a new prospecting list in BuzzStream that includes all the influencers/ people with large social audiences –
Then, I’ll write a simple outreach email that looks like this –
I just wanted to give you a heads up that I just published a new content promotion case study.
“How To Promote Blog Posts To Get Over 20,000 Social Shares (Without Spending A Penny): [INSERT URL]
As a sharer of my last content promotion case study, I thought you might like to check it out. This post is a monster 10,000 word actionable guide.
P.S. If you think it’s up to scratch, please feel free to share [insert click-to-tweet link]
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#12: Add Sectional Share Links
Adding share buttons to your articles is one the easiest ways to boost social engagement across your content.
Almost everyone adds buttons at the top and bottom of the article:
Most will use a free tool like SumoMe share to add sticky buttons to the side that scroll with the user as they read down the article.
But, there is one problem. Everyone is doing it now.
Readers are so used to seeing buttons in the same place on every article, they start to become blind to them.
Enter sectional share links.
Building off the jump links strategy mentioned above where you share each section as if it were it’s own separate blog post, this technique involves adding share links to every section in the post.
I use a tool called Thrive Content Builder to structure all my blog content and add the buttons:
When the reader clicks the button a custom share message pops up with the jump link and relevant hashtags included.
Thrive Content Builder makes it easy to include multiple share tabs with it’s drag-and-drop page builder:
An alternate method is to create your own button image and use a free tool like the Social Share Link Generator to create a link you can add to the button and trigger the share message.
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Forum marketing can be a juggernaut when it comes to content promotion.
Take a look at this referral traffic report in my Google Analytics account –
Inbound.org has sent almost 10,000 people to the blog.
My content promotion post got upvoted 124 times –
Generating 1,704 pageviews –
How about this seo tools roundup?
The more eyeballs you can get on your content, the more social engagement you’re likely to receive.
Inbound makes it really easy for people to share your content from within the forum threads –
How do you find relevant niche forums capable of sending thousands of people to your site?
Head over to Google and enter the following search strings –
“keyword” + “forum”
“keyword” + “forums”
“keyword” + “powered by vbulletin” (vbulletin is a software used to create and manage forums)
“keyword” + “hot thread with new posts”
“keyword” + “board”
These search strings should give you a bunch of relevant niche forums to investigate.
If you come up empty handed, follow the step-by-step instructions I provide in step #3 of this case study.
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#14: Twitter Cards
If you’ve ever viewed a YouTube video, clicked on a photo or downloaded an eBook directly within your Twitter feed, you’ve encountered a Twitter card.
They allow you to create a rich media experience far beyond the standard 140 characters.
And, they provide one of the easiest ways to increase social engagement.
More visual real estate = higher CTRs = more traffic.
For example, here’s how my Twitter card carried it’s information right into Brian Dean’s twitter feed when he shared my content promotion case study –
As you can see, this tweet is much more likely to get shared and clicked. It also provides a great mobile experience for your audience.
There are 9 different types of Twitter Cards. I like to use the “Summary Large Image” to leverage visual real estate and maximize social engagement.
Here’s how to set it up:
If you have a WordPress.org website there are 3 different plugins you can use that make adding the Twitter Card markup to your site super easy: Jetpack, JM Twitter Cards and WordPress SEO by Yoast.
I personally use Yoast, so I’ll cover it in this tutorial.
Once you have the Yoast plugin installed and activated on your website, navigate to SEO > Social > Twitter –
Select the Twitter tab, check the “add twitter card meta data” checkbox, enter your Twitter handle (follow me :)) and select “summary w/ large image” from the dropdown –
BAM! You’re done. No developers needed.
You’ll notice that you can also add Open Graph mark up for facebook and Google Plus. I highly recommend you do that too.
No matter which plugin you use, you’ll finish the process by taking a URL from your blog or website (not the main site name; a specific URL where you’d like your card to display) and running it through the Twitter Card validator.
You would get a message like this one –
Click the “Request Approval” button and fill out the form.
Twitter will tell you it can take a few weeks to get approval, but it’s typically an immediate approval.
You’ll get an email like this when it’s approved –
The next time you, or someone else tweets your link, it should look something like this –
And, help attract engagement rates like this –
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#15: Google Plus Communities
Google Plus communities provide a targeted channel to promote your content.
As the name implies, Google Plus communities are online groups where like-minded individuals interact and share content.
There are literally thousands of communities tailored to almost every niche imaginable.
Once you have written your piece of content, head over to Google Plus and select “communities” from the left navigation –
In the top search bar enter a keyword related to your industry or the topic of your content.
Join all the communities related to your niche –
Next, promote your content in relevant communities. Be sure to include a compelling title and description and mention EVERYONE you reference in the post.
This will send them a notification that you have mentioned them in your post…
….and many of them will plus one or share your content –
Again, many of these influencers will have large social followings you can tap to reach new readers.
And, drive a nice stream of traffic to your site –
Note: Only share your content in 2-3 communities at a time. Any more and your post risks being flagged as spam. Moderators will never let it reach a single set of eyeballs. Thanks Mark Traphagen for the self-check :)
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#16: LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful, yet underrated content promotion channels out there.
Similar to Google Plus communities, LinkedIn Groups allow you to promote your content to like-minded people. They want the content your are writing about and are therefore much more likely to engage with it.
Head over to LinkedIn and search for a keyword related to your content or industry.
Select “groups” from the dropdown –
Some of the groups will have hundreds of thousands of members –
I look at couple different criteria here –
1. How many members (I like groups to have a minimum of 10,000)
2. Are members engaged and do they share valuable content (not just self-promotion)
If the group has 10,000+ active members with plenty of quality content being shared around I’ll join.
Submit your post in relevant groups.
Make sure you engage with other content and members within the community. This is a fantastic way to build connections with industry influencers and build your personal brand.
I’ve generated thousands of social signals.
And, over 2,638 referral visits from LinkedIn using this simple strategy –
Capturing an extra 47 email subscribers. At just under a 2% conversion rate, it's nothing to write home about, but I'll take it.
I've found this strategy to work better in the B2B space.
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#17: Top List Posts... AKA Ego Bait
It’s human nature…
People love to be center of the attention.
And, this is why list posts are one of the easiest ways to generate loads of social engagement and traffic from your target audience.
I’ve used them over and over again to build powerful relationships with influencers and produce quick traffic gains for clients across healthcare:
Some of these posts now rank on the first page of Google for competitive search terms, driving continuous organic traffic.
Here’s how to do it:
First, head over to Buzzsumo and type in a broad keyword related to your industry:
Filter the results by “Influencers” to get a list of the most influential experts in that industry on Twitter.
Repeat the process with several related searh terms.
As you move through the influencers and find solid candidates for your list, click the "Save Influencer" dropdown and add to one of your lists:
You can access your list under the "Outreach Lists" tab:
This feature is a life saver when it comes to organization.
Next, head over to Google and type “top [niche] blogs” to get a list of pre-curated lists of influencers:
Add new ones to your list.
Next, head over to major niche sites and look through the contributors list to find experts writing about topics relevant to your target audience:
Add those folks to your list.
Finally, add any websites/ influencers you follow already.
Once you have a list of at least 40 experts, start building out the list post.
This is formula I like to use
- Website URL
- Description (why are they awesome?)
- Links to their best content
- Link to Twitter profile
Note: It doesn’t have to be a “top blogs list” every time. You can use “top [niche] experts on [twitter, facebook, google plus]".
These perform really well too:
In fact, Income Diary used top list articles to scale this strategy and grow their blog to 100,000 monthly visitors.
Once the post is live, send out tweets periodically until every influencer has been mentioned on Twitter:
Mention influencers on Google Plus:
And, reach out through email to let them know they have been included in the post using this template:
That simple process is a (near) guaranteed way to generate hundreds (maybe thousands) of social shares, exposing your business to a new audience of potential customers.
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#18: Email Outreach
Whenever I mention an influencer in a post without them knowing about it in advance, I’ll reach out with the following email:
I just published a monster list post featuring the top online marketers to watch in 2015. I featured you in the growth hackers section.
You can view where you are featured here: http://www.robbierichards.com/list/online-marketing-experts-to-watch/#growthhackers
Let me know if you want any info/links added, removed or updated.
This is the exact email I used when reaching out to Noah Kagan.
A man of his word :)
There are a few key elements to this type of outreach:
- Keep it short and personal
- Immediately let the person know you have referenced them
- Make it crystal clear what you want them to do
- Provide a naked URL linking to the post
Bonus Tip: In your outreach email create a knowledge gap. You will notice I do this in my outreach with the following message:
“Let me know if you would like me to tweak your introduction or website links…”
The idea is to make the influencer think “Hmm..I wonder what they said about me” and click through to check it out.
With the right on-site social optimization you’re chances of getting a high-profile social share (and fresh eyeballs on your content) are pretty good.
Again, I prefer to use BuzzStream to automate this outreach process.
But, if you don’t have any budget you can also use a free outreach tool like Gmass:
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#19: Videos + YouTube Cards
YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet with 4 billion daily views.
People flock to the site every day to find short how-to tutorials.
You can get more mileage out of your content by taking different sections or tips from the article and turning it into a short tutorial video.
I took my article showing how to do keyword research for an existing website and turned it into a how-to video tutorial:
Use YouTube Cards and description links to drive viewers back to your article for more in-depth information. I wrote about this process in greater detail here.
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#20: Use Pins for Added Exposure
A simple way to promote your blog content on Twitter and facebook is to pin it to the top of your news feeds.
You can use pinned lead generation cards or squeeze pages links to grow your email list.
Here’s an example of a tweet I currently have pinned to the top of my feed –
Note: This can also work really well for promoting lead generation cards, or links to ebook downloads.
The pinned tweet coupled with the markup stands out when people visit my profile. In the past couple weeks or so the tweet has received almost 100 engagements, including 32 link clicks:
Easy traffic :)
Here’s how to do it –
Log into Twitter and head over to your twitter feed.
Click the dots next to the “favorite” button and select “pin to your profile page” –
Next, pin your content to the top of your facebook page. Simply click the dropdown and select "Pin to Top":
Now, it will be the first thing people see when they land on your facebook page:
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#21: Timing is Everything
When it comes to engagement on social media, timing is (almost) everything.
This is especially true on the more popular social media channels such as facebook, Twitter and Google Plus where millions of people are posting and sharing content every day.
In order to get as many eyes on your content as possible, you need to be posting when people are online.
Tweriod is a free tool that tells you when the largest number of your followers are online and engaging with content –
Hit the “go to dashboard” button on the homepage and then sign in with your Twitter account.
Next, click the “my analysis” tab.
Now, you can see at what time, and day, the largest number of your twitter followers are online –
You’ll also be able to view when people are the most engaged.
Look for overlaps between high points of both exposure and engagement. These are the times you’ll want to be buffering your content :)
Log into your facebook account and click the “insights” tab –
Then, hit the “posts” tab –
Look for which days, and at what times, the largest number of your fans are online:
Timing + is a free tool that will give you a quick snapshot of the best times to post on Google Plus.
Head over to Timing + and sign in with your Google account.
You will then be able to see which posts have performed that best and which time of the day posts get the most engagement –
Now, head over to Buffer and begin scheduling your content when people are online –
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#22: Advocate Outreach
When someone shares your post on social media it tells you two things:
1. The person is interested in the topic
2. The person is likely to be interested in, and share your content again in the future
They are your content advocates; a powerful distribution channel few marketers properly harness.
Here’s how it works:
Instead of going out and finding all the people who have shared similar content to yours in the past, you’re going to identify all the people who have shared your content and reach out to them and ask if you can notify them the next time you publish a quality resource on the same subject.
First, we’re going to build out a Google Spreadsheet like this one:
You should be able to filter by the core content categories or post types on your blog.
For example, I have it broken out by SEO, content marketing and list building.
Now, I’ll go out and find all the people sharing my content.
Enter the URL of a post into the search bar:
Since this is a post I have updated, it makes sense that I build a list of all the people who shared the original version. They are likely going to be interested in looking at the new and improved version :)
Click “view sharers”.
Next, I’ll filter by follower count to get a list of all the most influential people.
Create an outreach list and add all the most influential people to your list. Once you have completed moving through, export the names and add to the content advocates spreadsheet.
Identifying the content advocates is only half the battle.
The next step is scraping their email contact information so you can reach out to them when the post goes live.
I use Voilanorbert for this:
This can be super tedious, so I outsource this prospecting task through Upwork.
Once the spreadsheet is full I’ll reach to each person on the list with the following email:
Many influencers will say yes:
This script works well for a few reasons:
1. It’s short and to the point
2. It reminds the reader of how they know me
3. It explains I will only reach out if the content is epic and related to what they already shared
4. It offers return value. I’ll share their content when needed.
The outreach process can scaled nicely with the free Gmass chrome extension, which is covered in this video:
Add each person that says yes to the spreadsheet.
Repeat this process once a week to keep expanding the list.
Soon, you’ll have a large list of influencers willing and ready to share your content as soon as you hit publish.
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#23: Scale What Works
It’s important to understand which types of content are generating the most social shares, visits AND conversions on your site.
Because it is the content resonating the most with your target audience.
It's simple math...
Publish more of it, and you’ll boost social engagement, traffic, leads and sales.
Here are a few quick ways you can identify what is and isn’t working.
First, open up your SumoMe Share app and look at the “top pages” report –
This will show you which content people are sharing the most while on your site.
From my report, I can see visitors are enjoying case studies related to list building and content promotion.
Next, I’ll open Google Analytics and filter my social referral traffic by landing page URL –
I can see that content promotion and link building articles are getting the best CTR on Twitter.
You can also filter the social referral traffic by channel.
Lets say you’re really interested in finding out which posts are getting the highest CTR on LinkedIn.
You would simply enter “linkedin” into the search bar and filter the results by that channel –
Pay attention to the time on site metric here. This will indicate which types of content people are reading the longest on the site.
Longer on your site = more opportunity for shares and subscriptions
I can see my SEMrush tutorial had a small number of referral visits from LinkedIn, but insane time on site –
I might focus on promoting this across more LinkedIn groups.
What about backlinks?
Quality backlinks help are one of the top search engine rankings factors. They help build domain and page-level authority on your website.
Truth is, certain types of content are "linkable" than others. So, finding out which content types and topics are attracting the most links on your site is one of the first things you consider before building a link building campaign.
How to do it:
Head back over to Ahrefs and enter your domain into the "Site Explorer":
I can see that case studies, list posts and article centered around content promotion have a proven track record when it comes to link acquisition. If I wanted to focus more on boosting domain authority, I'd start with those content types and topics.
Next, if you want to see which social channels are generating the most on-site conversions you can set up Google Analytics goals.
For example, I configured an event tracking goal for my sidebar ebook download link –
Event goals allow to track user interactions on the page such as button clicks.
When setting up these goals you’ll need to configure –
Category: The name you supply for the group of objects you want to track.
Action: Used to define the type of user interaction for the web object.
And, I recommend…
Label: Provide additional dimensions to the event data.
Here’s an example of the event goal I configured in Google Analytics for the eBook download link –
When I filter the event goalsI can see that Twitter traffic has the highest number of social conversions –
Interestingly, I can also see that facebook has a very high conversion rate over 7%. This is definitely a channel I should start giving more attention.
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I’m not going to go in-depth on this one here.
I recently wrote a monster 5,000 word case study showing step-by-step how I used the Kingsumo plugin to build and promote a giveaway that achieved the following results:
And get my personal brand in front of massive new audience.
Check it out. It is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic, while capturing and monetizing email subscribers.
#25: Parasite SEO
Don’t worry, I’m not getting all “black hat” on you.
This strategy can be very powerful, especially for newer sites trying to rank for competitive search terms.
How does it work?
Basically, you write a quality guest post for a high authority website targeting a keyword with a lot of search volume…
Add a link back to a target post on your site.
This way, the guest post uses the site's authority (hence the parasite term) to rank for high volume keywords. As the page collects traffic it will funnel some of this through to the internal link to your website.
Matthew Barby used this strategy to help Buildfire reach 1,000,000 pageviews.
And, I've started rolling out this strategy for some of my clients.
I used parasite SEO to help a small local property management site rank #1 for the search term "how to become a successful landlord":
I created a basic infographic with Canva and used it as a guestographic post on Landlordology.
The article now drives a steady stream of referral traffic back to my client’s site each month.
If you’re just starting out, it can be very difficult to rank for medium-high competition keywords.
But don’t let this stop you.
Write a guest post and piggy back off the authority of larger sites. If done correctly, you can get articles ranking #1 for large keywords and drive a steady stream of referral traffic to your site each month.
Not to mention, you get an authoritative link that will help boost your site’s domain authority and ranking potential, as well as generate great brand exposure.
Authority by association :)
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Scoop.It is a content curation platform where people collect their favorite content from across the web and publish it in a magazine format similar to Paper.li and Flipboard.
Many of these pages are curated by social media power users and have tens of thousands of active monthly readers looking to digest the exact content you’ve published.
The influencers curating the pages will typically share the content out to their social properties.
Get your content curated on Scoop.It and you could get:
- Quality backlinks
- Targeted traffic
- Social media exposure
Here’s what a Scoop.It page looks like –
How do you get your content featured on these pages?
Head over to Scoop.It and create a free account.
Enter a keyword related to your content.
Hit the grid button and see if there is a a high level category related to your niche.
Search for Scoop.It pages that curate content similar to what you have written.
Make sure the pages you target have at least 5K monthly views and are regularly updated.
Here is a Scoop.It page with almost 134,000 views.
Ideally, you will want to target curators that have a large Twitter following as well.
Because most “Scoopers” (creative, right?) are also active on Twitter, which opens a whole new opportunity for content amplification.
In fact, readers have the option to share your content to several social channels directly from within the Scoop.It interface.
Follow all the people with popular Scoop.It pages and large Twitter followings.
The next step is to “suggest” your content.
Navigate back over to one of the Scoop.It pages meeting the criteria and hit “suggest”.
Enter your URL and select the appropriate Scoop.It page from the dropdown.
This will notify the owner that you have suggested content for their Scoop.It page. If they like your content, they’ll post it to their page and you’ll have a link referring targeted traffic back to your site.
As an added bonus, many readers of the Scoop.It page will “re-scoop” the content to their pages, and share it on social media.
More social signals. More links. More traffic. Jackpot!
I’ve used Scoop.It to generate some pretty solid social engagement from influential Tweeps. Other Scoop.It users have also re-scooped my content onto their pages –
Helping promote my blog posts and open a nice stream of traffic –
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#27: Push It Real Hard
Many bloggers suffer from what I like to call “set it – forget it” syndrome – they write a killer post, identify the best times to post, and then only post the content once, right after its published.
What happens if your fans are offline when you first post? It goes unseen.
Remember, you’ll likely have followers living in different time zones, which means they’ll be online at different times.
So, you need to re-promote your content regularly.
Here’s a rough formula the month after publish:
- Twitter: 3 times/ week
- Facebook: 1-2x a month (depends on total post frequency)
- LinkedIn: 2 times/ month as a status update. Submitted to 5-10 relevant groups.
- Google Plus: Once public profile share. Submit to 8 relevant communities over a one month period.
Now, I’m sure some of you are asking the question….
“Robbie, how do you do this without pissing people off?”
Here’s how to do it –
Don’t use the same title when posting multiple times as this will look spammy.
For example, if I was going to promote this blog post I might try the following –
Tweeting the title:
Pose a question:
Quote an author:
Some other ideas include –
- Citing a statistic
- Mentioning influencers
- Making a bold statement such as “Why your blog traffic sucks and what you can do about it”.
You can also use post segments like I did in this list post.
Every category has it’s own unique header image I can use to promote the post in a different context –
By the time I cycle through the 10 different categories I can start over again without looking too repetitive.
The best part, I can cycle through mentioning 80 different influencers and keep it fresh. With my content scheduling framework, I’ll only mention each influencer once or twice in a post. This means they’ll be more likely to retweet or share the post repeatedly.
Go into your content and pull out at least 20 different snippets using the frameworks above.
Use Buffer or Tweet Jukebox to schedule your content at different times – using the insights you gathered from the "perfect timing" strategy mentioned above.
#28: Gated Sharing
As people are reading through your posts make it for them to share directly within the content.
You’ll see in this post, I place a “Tweet This Strategy” button at the end of each section.
If someone likes a particular section of this post they can quickly and easily share it with the click of a button.
The message is already pre-populated for the user –
Use a tool like Print-Friendly PDF to create a PDF of your post and give users access to it in exchange for a tweet.
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#29: Cite Additional Resources
As we've seen above, one of the easiest ways to get people to share your content is to either mention them, or their content. We're going to focus on the latter.
Think about all those posts you see with sections called "dig deeper" or "further reading".
Those sections aren't in there just to because the author is a nice person. There is a strategy involved.
It's an easy way to mention influencers in your post, and provide additional value to your readers.
With that said, there are a couple key points to keep in mind:
1. Choose resources written by influencers
2. Make sure it provides value to the reader
Here are some examples:
Adding additional resources allows your reader to dive deeper into topics that might not be the core focus of the post.
For example, in this viral marketing case study, Josue knew that the topic of “creating great content” had been written about a million times before, and trying to explain it in the case study would derail people from the main topic of content promotion.
So, instead of deviating from the main focus of the article, he added a helpful list of resources people could read if they wanted to explore the topic of content creation in greater detail.
What you need to do:
Every time you write a long form piece of content, break it down in chapters, or sub sections. Add an “additional reading” list at the bottom of each section.
Enter the subtopic into the Ahrefs Content Explorer:
Click through to the most shared articles. Articles with largest amount of social engagement resonated with the readers, so you can be fairly confident it’s a solid piece of content.
Make a note of the influencer who wrote the article.
Next, head over to Google and enter the search term.
Take note of highest ranking content. These pieces have likely been linked to a lot in order to rank for such a competitive search term. This is another indicator of popularity.
The final step in this blog promotion tactic is to reach out to the authors of the articles mentioned in your content.
Tip: Reach out to the authors before you publish the post to seed interest.
You can borrow Josue's script shown below:
Subject: NAME, I featured your work
Hello NAME, I know you're busy so I'll keep this short.
We are mentioning [brand] in a coming blog post and I thought you might want to know. It's a pretty epic guide about [your topic].
Let me know if you want a heads up once the blog post goes live :)
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#30: Strategic Guest Posting
I know, I know. Guest posts are time intensive.
But, if you approach them correctly, they can have a tremendous influence on your blog.
I’m not going to break down the whole guest post process in this article, there are countless great resources out there, including this one and this one (see what I did there? :)).
However, I will share a couple techniques I use to get qualified traffic from my guest posts.
Qualify with SEMrush
Writing a quality guest post is very time consuming. You want to make sure you’re time is well spent.
After you find a potential guest post target, drop the domain URL into SEMrush to get a high-level overview of the site’s organic traffic:
You can take it a step further and see which pages are driving the most organic traffic to the website:
Look at social engagement
Next, enter the domain into Ahrefs content explorer and see if the site has a track record of generating a lot of social engagement:
Top linked pages
Navigate to the top linked pages report in Ahrefs and find out which topics attract the most backlinks:
If you're looking to make guest posting a key part of your link building strategy, try to find content ideas with a proven track record of capturing quality links.
Ideally, you want to be targeting site’s with a lot of authority, as well as an engaged audience that will amplify your content.
Once you have found a site that gets a lot of organic traffic and social engagement, pitch your post with a contextual link back to your target blog post.
This part is KEY.
The higher placed the link, the more traffic potential.
For example, I managed to get a link from Digital Marketer in this guest post to my keyword research expert roundup post.
And, this guest post on SumoMe:
Combining for 1,352 visits and 143 new email subscribers at a 10.6% conversion rate!
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#31: Use the Highlighter App
Highlighter is another great free app from the team at SumoMe.
It is designed to encourage sharing on Twitter and facebook by letting readers easily select portions of your blog post to share as quotes on Twitter or facebook.
It’s an automatic click-to-share.
Log into the SumoMe app store and install the Highlighter app –
Important: In the settings make sure you enter your twitter handle. Highlighter will append it to the end of the lines of text people are sharing on Twitter. This will help build your follower count.
Now, whenever someone highlights a piece of text in your content they will see a popup that looks something like this –
People will also be able to share highlighted text on facebook.
Make sure you append your handle as a suffix to the Tweets –
This will help grow your Twitter following too.
Easy sharing = more sharing!
#31: Image Sharer
If you include a lot of quality images in your posts, install the Image Sharer plugin from SumoMe.
It will add social share icons over all the images in your post. As people hover over the images they’ll see something like this –
You can configure which icons display.
Understandably, this app tends to work really well for Pinterest.
#32: BONUS: Website Custom Audiences
This post is centered on free ways to promote your blog content, however I wanted to add a bonus tactic you can use to accelerate traffic with a small budget.
There are countless ways you can use facebook custom audiences to drive targeted traffic to your website. If you want to take a deep dive, check out this post by Jon Loomer.
Here are two low cost ways you can leverage facebook ads to seed your content with an influx of engaged readers.
Target facebook ads at your website visitors
This one is pretty self-explanatory. First, you’ll create a retargeting audience that contains everyone who has visited your website within a specified time period.
These people have already been to your site, know who you are, and will be much more likely to engage with and read your content.
Here’s how to set up your first facebook retargeting audience:
Add the retargeting pixel.
Within Ads Manager, select “Audiences” within the Tools drop-down at the top:
Grab the pixel and paste it between the <head> tags on your website.
Create the rules for the audience
Once the retargeting pixel has been added to your site, click the “Create Audience” and select “Custom Audience” from the drop down.
Choose “Website Traffic” from the options:
Select “Anyone Who Visits Your Website” and set the duration to 180 days:
Your audience will begin to collect users and you’ll be able to select the custom audience within the targeting section next time you set up a facebook ad promotion.
Note: If you want to get a little more granular, create custom audiences that contain visitors who viewed specific posts and categories on your site:
Or, create retargeting audiences that include viewers of specific content that DID NOT opt in to your offer:
These audiences are great for lead generation retargeting.
Which leads me to the next audience...
Target ads at your email list
People receive about 147 emails a day.
So, chances are pretty good they will miss your emails from time to time.
Luckily, there is a way to re-engage your email subscribers outside the inbox.
Upload your email subscribers into facebook and they will go out and map each email against the profile logins.
I see about a 50/50 match rate in most cases.
Here’s how to do it:
Navigate back over to the facebook ads manager, click “create list” and select the “customer file” option:
Upload a .csv of your email subscribers.
If any of the emails have a facebook login attached to them they will be added to the list, and you’ll be able to display ads directly in their facebook feeds.
This is not only a great way to engage your email subscribers outside the inbox, it also allows you to convert them into facebook fans, building out another powerful content distribution channel.
Note: You will need to continually upload updated email lists to add new subscribers.
Scale reach with lookalike audiences
If you have a new blog or website with little traffic, it will take a while to build out large facebook retargeting audience.
Luckily, there is an easy way around this.
This feature allows advertisers to build “similar” audiences off of existing audiences in their ad account.
You can ask facebook to find the top 1% (optimize for similarity) or 5% (optimize for greater reach) based on the audience interests.
You can build a Lookalike audience of similar users based on all the people who viewed your post about dog training.
Here is another post from Jon Loomer that gets further into the weeds.
Basically, this feature allows advertisers with little audiences to reach a MUCH larger relevant audience on facebook.
Here’s how to set it up:
Go to the Ads Manager and select “create audience”. Choose “Lookalike”:
From the source tab you have the option to build the Lookalike audience off a page you control, an existing custom audience or conversion pixel:
Once you have set the source, choose the level of “similarity” and click create audience:
This audience will be available in the targeting section next time you launch an ad campaign.
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Ready, Set, Promote
With a clear strategy, free tools and some hard work you can promote your blog posts to get thousands of social shares every time you hit publish.
As your social share count increases you open your site up to hundreds, maybe thousands of new readers, subscribers, and potential customers.
Best part of all, once you’ve optimized a site for social sharing using the tactics and tools listed above, you’ll start to receive a steady stream of passive referral traffic.
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3. Leave a comment below and let me know which tools or channels you’re using to boost social engagement and promote your blog posts.
Would love to connect AND hear your thoughts :)