Today, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to promote your blog posts to get thousands of social media shares (without spending a penny).
These are the exact tactics I’ve used to generate 19,011 social shares with just 14 blog posts…
Sending 20,498 visits from social media channels –
And, I’m going to show you how I did it with:
A brand spankin’ new blog.
A tiny social media following. I only have 347 facebook fans
And, a full-time job.
With some planning, free tools and a little elbow greese, you can promote your blog post and generate tens of thousands of social media shares on autopilot…
In any niche.
What You’ll Learn:
- How to set up your blog so it generates thousands of social shares (and passive traffic)
- How to optimize your blog for maximum social engagement
- How to generate over twelve thousand visits from social media with a handful of blog posts
- How to do it all without opening your wallet
Let’s get started. Below you’ll find a table of contents containing 20 ways to promote your blog. Feel free to jump to a specific section.
#1: SumoMe Share
#3: Social Markup
#6: Email Outreach
#8: LinkedIn Groups
#11: Pin It To The Top
#14: Push It Real Hard
#16: Email List
#18: Scale What Works
#19: In-Post Sharing
#20: Image Sharer
20 Ways To Promote Your Blog Post To Get Social Shares…
#1: SumoMe Share App
The SumoMe Share app makes it incredibly easy for people to share your content on social media.
The app allows you to 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 making it easy for readers to share content from any device. This functionality has helped me get over 3,700 social shares on a single blog post –
The key is to make social sharing easy at every touch point, on any device. After all…
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 (real-time optimization)
- You can see which posts and social channels are getting the most engagement
How to do it –
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 –
Here, you’ll see all the different apps you can install on your 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 –
Bonus Tip: Place a share bar on the far left side of the page. This will enable it to scroll with your visitors as they read down the page.
Also, be sure to place a share bar at the bottom-middle position on the screen. This is critical as it will make the social share icons visible along the bottom of the screen on mobile devices.
Bryan Harris used this exact strategy to generate 1,000 new passive readers to his site.
Next, select the different social accounts you want to feature on your Share bar.
To keep it clean, I choose to only include 6 channels for readers to share my content across. Channels I actively engage 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 that your content kicks ass = 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 –
I made the mistake of not including it when I first installed the app and missed out on a truck load of potential shares and Twitter followers.
Don’t make the same mistake
#2: BuzzSumo/ BuzzStream Outreach
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.
We can see one of the most shared posts around content promotion is ‘25 Creative Content Promotion Strategies’ –
With 1,341 shares on Twitter alone this post provides 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 filter “sharers”.
Click this 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 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 2,800 social shares –
Generating over 3,000 pageviews via social referral traffic –
Here is a video that will walk you through my BuzzStream outreach process –
#3: 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 –
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 –
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 now generated 3,336 pageviews –
1,704 of which came through social referral traffic –
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 networks
- Q&A sites
Enter a keyword related to your posts and Bunzzbundle will go out and find all the content related to that keyword. Then, engage with all the people that have shared or commented 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 that is generated 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.
#6: Email Outreach
Whenever I mention an influencer in a post I’ll reach out to them with an email that looks something like this –
There are a few key elements to this type of outreach:
- Keep it short, sweet and personal
- Let the person know you have referenced their work
- 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 service like YesWare or simple Gmail canned responses to get the job done.
Open your Gmail account and click “compose”. Type your outreach email, click “canned response” >> “new canned response” –
This will save your outreach email copy.
Then, all you need to do is manually enter the email and name for each person you are outreaching out to personalize the message.
This is more labor intensive, but an alternative if you don’t want to invest in a solution such as BuzzStream.
#7: 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.
#8: 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 –
- How many members (I like groups to have a mimimum of 10,ooo)
- 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 1,600 referral visits from LinkedIn using this simple strategy –
I’ve found this strategy works REALLY well from companies in the B2B space too.
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 –
So, 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 –
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 my blog 5,836 visits in the last 6 months.
My content promotion post got upvoted 124 times –
Generating 1,560 pageviews –
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.
#11: Pin It To Win It
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 –
It sends people to a lead capture page where they can enter their email and download my free content promotion ebook.
The pinned tweet coupled with the markup stands out when people visit my profile. In the past week or so it has been clicked on 60 times (3.4% CTR) –
And, is starting to see some social engagement.
More social engagement = more eyes on my ebook = more subscribers
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” –
#12: Outreach To Advocates
One of the easiest ways to promote your blog posts is to reach out to your pals and let them know you just published a new piece of content.
I’ve been fortunate over the past 6 months to have met some pretty talented people through social media. I regularly share their content, and luckily they return the favor.
Whenever I publish a quality post one of the first things I’ll do is reach out to a short list of people I have built a relationship with and ask them to share my content (if they like it).
Before reaching out, make sure you:
- Regularly engage with and share their best content
- Only ask for a social share if it’s your best work
- Limit the outreach to one per month
Again, I use BuzzStream for this outreach process.
Here’s the script I use –
I hope all is well!
I wanted to reach out and let you know I just published a new blog post:
“How To Promote Your Blog Posts To Get 10,000 Social Shares (Without Spending A Penny)”
You can view it here: [URL]
It’s a 6,000 word step-by-step tutorial. Thought your readers might enjoy it
If you like it, please feel free to give it some social love. Click to tweet
#13: Time It Just Right
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 –
#14: 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: 2 times/ month
- LinkedIn: 2 times/ month as a status update. Submitted to every relevant group I’m a member of.
- Google Plus: 2 times/ month public. Submitted to 8 relevant communities.
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. Instead, use snippets.
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 to schedule your content at different times – using the insights you gathered from the previous strategy.
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.
#16: Email List
This one is a “no-brainer”.
As soon as you publish a new piece of content send it to your subscribers.
These are the people signed up to get more of your content…
And are much more likely to share it.
#17: Outreach To Influencers
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 that 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’m just reaching out to give you a heads up that I just published a new content promotion case study.
“How To Promote Blog Posts To Get 10,500 Social Shares (Without Spending A Penny): [INSERT URL]
As a fan (and sharer) of my last content promotion case study, I thought you’d like to check it out
P.S. If you think it’s up to scratch, please feel free to share
#18: Scale What Works
It’s important to understand which types of content are generating the most social shares, visits AND conversions on your site.
This is the content resonating the most with your target audience.
Publish more of it and you’ll scale your 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.
Next, if you want to see which social channels are generating the most on-site conversions you can set up Google Analytics goals. As an 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 goals for the last 30 days I can see that Twitter traffic has the highest social conversion rate for my sidebar ebook –
#19: In-Post 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 –
#20: Install 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.
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 increase you open your site up to hundreds, maybe thousands of new readers, subscribers, and potential customers.
The best part of all, once you’ve optimized your 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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