How To Promote Your Content and Grow Your Audience

By Kai • Get free updates of new posts here


Once you’ve written a great, educational piece of content, what do you do to make sure people see it?

You’d publish an article with the best of intentions — something great and educational that answered your audience’s questions or helped them solve a problem.

And then — nothing.

Three months ago, I decided to take control of content promotion. I started looking at what established writers, authorities, and product creators were doing to promote their new or best content and I started taking notes.

What started as a small list in a text file grew into a checklist in a Google Doc. And then that Google Doc grew into this article.

Evergreen Content Promotion Checklist

Next time you hit publish on an article, take a few moments and read through this checklist. Then, take a few key steps to promote your great piece of content to your existing audience or grow your authority online.

(And, if you’d like, I’ve included a quick downloadable PDF checklist for each of these steps for you to follow at the end of the article. Scroll down and enter your email to get it.

First, I’ll run through each of the steps, in order. Then, I’ll explain the why and how behind each step, so that you can both understand what to do, but why and how I’ve included it as a step.

Pre-Game Content Promotion

  • Set up a Click to Tweet URL.
  • Make a list of any brands, authorities, or influencers you mention in the article.
  • Write an ‘Influencer Outreach Email.’
  • Write a ‘VIP Outreach Email.’
  • Write an email to your general list promoting the article.
  • Add a contextual call to action to the end of the article.
  • Extract the actionable parts of the article and turn them into a downloadable guide: a lead magnet.

Content Promotion

  • Add the article to the relevant drip / autoresponder on your email list
  • Send a broadcast email to your list promoting the article, excluding anyone about to receive the article as part of an autoresponder campaigns
  • Tweet at brands or influencers you mention in the article, let them know that the article is live and ask them share it with their audience.
  • Send a short email to brands or influencers you mention in the article, asking them if they’d be interested in reading the article.
  • If you use Meet Edgar or another social media scheduling tool, queue up the tweet. (Bonus points if, like in Meet Edgar, you’re able to add the tweet to a rotating library)
  • If you’ve people tagged VIPs (friends or people who frequently comment) in your email service provider, send them an email about the article.
  • If the article is relevant to a past client or customer, email it out to them.
  • If you wrote the article in response to a question online, share the article in that thread.
  • Embed a tweet promoting the article within the article. If someone has already tweeted about the article, embed their tweet. If not, then tweet about it yourself and embed your tweet.
  • Share the article with relevant online communities that reach the same audience you’re trying to reach.

Why You Do It This Way

Pre-Game Content Promotion Explanation

Set up a Click to Tweet URL

You’ll want an easy to use one-click URL to include in your outreach emails to friends, family, VIPs, and brands that will pre-generate a Tweet for them to customize.

Make a list of any brands, authorities, or influencers you mention in the article

By identifying the brands authorities and influencers that you want to reach out to before you start outreach, you’ll make it easier on yourself when it comes to promoting the article.

Write an ‘Influencer Outreach Email’

You want to draft a short outreach email template to use when you outreach to any brands, authorities, or influencers to let them know about the article and ask if they’d be interested in seeing it.

Here’s a quick example from my swipe file of an outreach email that works when reaching out to influencers to promote a piece of content:

Subject: [Content Type] for[Website]
Body: Hi [Name],
Would your audience be interested in a [Content Description]? We thought you’d be interested because [Reason Relevant To Their Audience].

Let me know if you’re interested in seeing it and I’d be happy to forward it along!

Note well: we aren’t asking them to read an article. We’re asking them if they’d be interested in reading an article.

This subtle distinction — asking to verify their interest before sending the article along — will make it much more likely that we get a response, even a ‘No thanks!’.

Write a ‘VIP Outreach Email’

You’ll want to draft a short, actionable email to ‘VIPs’. These VIPs are friends and family, colleagues in the industry, and people you’ve identified who frequently share your content or comment on your articles.

Unlike the Influencer Outreach Email, you can be much more direct in this first email. You want to let these VIPS know the article is live, ask them to take one a specific action, and link to the article.

Here’s a quick example from my swipe file:

Subject: New article about [Topic]!
Body: Heya [Name],
Just a quick note! I published a new article about [Content Description] on my site.

You’ve always been so amazing at sharing my articles in the past, can you do one quick thing for me? (It’ll take less than 60 seconds, I promise).

Would you please share this article with your audience by clicking this link to tweet about the article? (You’ll be able to customize it before you send the tweet).

Thanks so much! You can read the full article here: [Link to Article].

Kai

If, instead of social shares, you’re looking for comments, swap out the call to action to ask for them to leave a comment. You can say something:

Would you please leave a comment on the article asking a question or sharing a comment?

Note well: We’re just asking the recipient to take one specific action.

It’s tempting to ask them to take multiple actions (Tweet! Share on Facebook! Submit to Reddit!). Be careful. The more actions that you ask someone to take, the fewer they will actually take action.

One clear call to action will result in more people following that clear call to action.

Write a ‘General Promotion Email’ to send to your mailing list promoting the article

Finally, you’ll want to promote the article to your general email list, letting them know you wrote something new.

You just wrote a great piece of content. The people on your email list are folks that signed up specifically to learn about your great content.

Send them an email about the content. Everyone wins.

Here’s a quick example from my swipe file:

Subject: [Article Title]!
Body: Heya [Name],
Just a quick note! I published a new article about [Content Description] on my site.

This article will help [Article Audience] overcome [Expensive Problem]

You can read the full article here: [Link to Article].

Thanks so much!

Kai

Note well: Similar to the VIP email, we’re just asking the recipients to take one specific action. In this case, it’s read the article.

Contextual Call to Action

I recommend adding contextual call to action to the end of the article.

What do I mean by a contextual call to action? I mean that if your article is about [Article Topic], then you want to make the call to action at the end of the article related to that topic.

Let’s compare and contrast two sample calls to action that we could see at the end of an example article to better understand what a contextual call to action is:

  • “Enter your email to get free updates of new articles in your inbox!”
  • Enter your email below and get a 10-page guide on [Article Topic] that will help you solve [Expensive Problem]

With the second example, we’re offering a call to action to the visitor that’s in alignment with the content they just read.

The more highly related the call to action is to the article they just read, the more likely they are to take action on the call to action.

Which of the following two calls to action do you think will result in the most conversions?

  • “Enter your email to get free updates of new articles in your inbox!”
  • Enter your email below and get a 10-page guide on how to promote content to increase your authority that will help you save time promoting your articles and content.

If the person who just read this article is interested in the article topic, then the contextual CTA will be more relevant to them than the generic call to action.

And the more relevant the call to action, the more likely they’ll take action.

Create A Lead Magnet

Are you sharing something particularly valuable to your audience in the article (a checklist, a tutorial, a guide, a bit of code, or something else)? If you are, you should extract that thing and turn it into a lead magnet.

You’re already solving a particular expensive problem for your audience. By extracting that solution and turning it into a separate downloadable resource, you’ll make it easy for your audience to ‘buy’ that resource from you with their email address.

For best results? Pair this lead magnet with a contextual call to action for maximum benefit.

Content Promotion Explanation

Add the article to the relevant drip / autoresponder in your email list

If you’re building an email list, add the article to any relevant drip campaigns, courses, or autoresponders. That way, future subscribers will get exposed to the content.

Think about it this way: in 6 months if someone new shows up at your site, reads two articles, and then subscribes, how can you expose them to your previous content?

Having an ever-growing educational autoresponder series that slowly drips out your articles to new subscribers ensures that everyone who signs up for your email list is slowly, persistently being exposed to your best content.

Send a broadcast email to your list promoting the article

If there are people in a course who will (shortly) be receiving the article, you’ll want to exclude those folks from the broadcast email.

Everyone else? Fair game.

Tweet At Brands, Influencers, and Authorities

For folks that you mention in the article (broadly, people or brands with established audiences that match your targeted audience), send them a quick tweet with a URL to the article.

Make the tweet relevant to them.

I wish I didn’t have to say that, but I sadly do. Make sure you’re adding value when you send that tweet.

Here’s a great example from the swipe file:

`@kaisdavis Hey, that article you shared on [Content Topic] was pretty good. Check this out, it’s another take on the topic: [Article Link]

Outreach to Influencers and Authorities

For authorities and influencers that that mention in the article (that you have a strong relationship with), you should send them a short email. Let them know about the article. Ask them if they’d be interested in reading the article.

You’ll want to use the ‘VIP Outreach Email’ from above:

Subject: [Content Type] for[Website]
Body: Hi [Name],
Would your audience be interested in a [Content Description]? We thought you’d be interested because [Reason Relevant To Their Audience].

Let me know if you’re interested in seeing it and I’d be happy to forward it along!

Social Media Content Promotion

If you use the tool Meet Edgar (or another social media scheduling tool), queue up the tweet and add it to your library. Then, send out a normal, non-scheduled tweet about the content.

Email Outreach to VIPs

If you’ve identified a segment of friends, allies, colleagues, or folks who just like to share your content online, drop them a quick email letting them about that the content is now live.

By promoting the article to these VIPs, you’ll be ‘seeding’ the article with comments (from your most prolific commenters) and social shares (from your most active fans). _

Subject: New article about [Topic]!
Body: Heya [Name],
Just a quick note! I published a new article about [Content Description] on my site.

You’ve always been so amazing at sharing my articles in the past, can you do one quick thing for me? (It’ll take less than 60 seconds, I promise).

Would you please share this article with your audience by clicking this link to tweet about the article? (You’ll be able to customize it before you send the tweet).

Thanks so much! You can read the full article here: [Link to Article].

Kai

If, instead of social shares, you’re looking for comments, swap out the call to action to be focused on leaving a comment. Something like:

*Would you please leave a comment on the article asking a question or sharing a comment?

Past Clients & Customers

If the article is relevant to any of your past clients or customers, send them a quick email with a link to the article.

I recommend using the ‘General Promotion Email’ from above

Subject: [Article Title]!
Body: Heya [Name],
Just a quick note! I published a new article about [Content Description] on my site.

This article will help [Article Audience] overcome [Expensive Problem]

You can read the full article here: [Link to Article].

Thanks so much!

Kai

Share the eBomb

If you write the article off of a question or pain that you discovered while studying an online community, you’ll want to promote the article there.

  1. Leave a meaty _(~200 – 400 word) _comment in the thread that answers the question or helps solve the problem
  2. Include a contextual link within the post back to your article
  3. Include a link with a clear call to action at the end of the post back to your article

Here’s an example of #3 from the swipe file.

Just a quick note! I expanded on this topic in an article that will help [Article Audience] overcome [Expensive Problem]

You can read the full article here: [Link to Article].

You want to make sure that you’re adding value to the conversation before you include your link.

Embed A Tweet Within The Article

Embedding a tweet promoting the article within the article offers a nice bit of social proof and makes it easy for someone reading the article to promote the article via ReTweet.

Share With Relevant Communities & Promote On Social News Websites

Hacker News. Specific Subreddits. Inbound.org.

If your audience congregates around specific online watering holes, take the time to share the article with those watering holes.

Be careful about asking friends to upvote (or similar) the article for you. These sites often have voting rings in place, so groups of people ‘spontaneously’ voting for the same article can frequently trigger voting ring detection scripts.

Play it safe. Submit the article. Tell one or two friends about the article. And if you must tweet about it, link to the category page or /new/ page and not the page for your specific post.

The Stunning Conclusion

You’re writing to grow your online authority and build an audience.

When you publish an article and follow these steps, you’ll expose your audience to your best content.

And, heck, if following these steps grows your authority by 1% every day, after 70 days, you’ll have doubled your authority.

And that authority? That authority translates into:
– Interviews on podcasts or radio shows
– Speaking gigs at conferences and conventions
– Guest articles on notable websites
– and, most importantly: A dedicated and devoted audience