If you’ve ever wondered:
“I know I need to promote my content…but I’m not sure how.”
“My content is great. But my blog feels like a ghost town.”
“How can I email influencers in my niche without being a pushy jerkface?”
“I publish A TON of unique content on my site. But I still don’t rank in Google.”
Then you’ll LOVE today’s article.
Because today I’m going to reveal the secret to promoting your content (the right way).
I’ve got a lot to cover so let’s dive right in…
Why Most People Struggle With SEO (Real Talk)
Most people think the key to higher rankings is to “publish great content”.
So they open their laptop, crack their knuckles, and bang out article after article of “great content.”
And what happens when that doesn’t work?
They think,”I guess I haven’t published enough great content. Time to put a pot of coffee on and write another article…”.
Well, here’s the truth:
Publishing great content puts you in line with the thousands of other people doing the EXACT SAME THING.
Trust Me, I’ve Been There…
I’m not afraid to say it:
My first few sites were epic failures.
And looking back, it’s no surprise why.
At the time I thought the formula for white hat SEO looked like this:
Great content + more great content = #1 rankings.
Now I know better.
Today I’m laser-focused on content promotion.
In fact, I’d say that spend more time promoting than writing.
And thanks to my tested content promotion strategies, Backlinko generated over 100,000 unique visitors last month:
And because I know how to generate targeted traffic on-demand, I have the freedom to do what I want…when I want.
A few months ago I decided to go on a 5-week backpacking trip through Indonesia and Thailand.
Because I run my own business, I didn’t need to stress over budgets or schedules. The cost and dates were minor details.
I booked my flight figured out the rest later.
Here’s me at Borobudur temple in Java:
But this type of freedom is only possible if you know how to generate targeted traffic.
And bringing in targeted traffic is ONLY possible if you learn how to promote your content (the right way).
A Real-World Example of Content Promotion Done Right
Let’s face it:
For most marketers, content promotion is a HUGE struggle.
Despite that fact, there are people out there that promote their content with ease…
Take Sue Anne Dunlevie for example.
Sue runs SuccessfulBlogging.com, a blog that helps entrepreneurs get more leads and sales.
When Sue first started her blog, she’d publish a new blog post every week…like clockwork.
Instead of promoting her new post, she’d fire up WordPress and start working on NEXT week’s post.
And despite all this content creation, Sue’s traffic wouldn’t budge:
After months of banging her head against a wall, Sue decided to switch things up.
Instead of HOPING that her content performed, Sue committed herself to strategic content promotion.
And Here’s What Happened Next…
Thanks to strategic content promotion, Sue’s traffic has increased by 342% (compared to when she didn’t do any content promo):
Instead of the 21 email subscribers she used to get every week, she now brings in a baller 214+:
But most important of all, her business has grown like a beanstalk.
In the 3-months she started to take content promotion seriously, Sue’s sales increased by 283%:
How did she do it?
Let’s Zoom In and See a Recent Example
Because Sue strategically promotes her content, she consistently generates A LOT of traffic, backlinks and comments.
For example, Sue recently published (and promoted) a post called: How To Start A Blog And Make Money.
That post generated an impressive 776 social shares.
And because of all the buzz and shares, Sue’s post brought in a spike of traffic in the first week…
…and 4,500 total unique visitors to date.
She strategically promotes everything she publishes.
Now Sue may look like a natural content promoter, but the truth is bit more complex…
How Sue Cracked The “Content Promotion” Code
Like I mentioned to you before, Sue’s first stab at content marketing was a huge failure.
As Sue puts it:
I was consistently publishing a new post once a week. I would put the blog posts on social media and that’s about it. My numbers were depressing. I was getting about 5 comments per post and hardly any social shares.
For example, here’s one of Sue’s early posts:
Yes, that’s 22 shares…total.
Flash forward to today…
…and here are the social shares from one of Sue’s recent posts:
That’s 10x more shares.
How is this possible?
According to Sue, she invested more effort towards creating epic blog posts…
…but she also spent more time promoting what she wrote.
According to Sue:
Before I’d publish a post and share it on Twitter and Facebook. Now I also do blogger outreach – I contact other influential bloggers when I have a great post coming out and ask them to share it. And a lot of them do!
While Sue’s results may look remarkable at first (and they ARE impressive), her results aren’t mysterious.
It’s because she ditched The Publish and Pray Approach…
…and decided to embrace strategic content promotion.
And That, My Friend, Is The Clincher
Believe it or not, but I used to struggle with SEO and content marketing.
In fact, my first few sites were huge flops.
I remember one day I was staring at my laptop screen wondering if I would ever figure this “whole SEO thing” out.
I was this close to turning my back on SEO…for good.
Fortunately, I didn’t throw in the towel. Instead, I decided to test EVERYTHING.
And after years of experimenting, I learned a valuable lesson about online marketing…
…a lesson that I wish someone handed to me on Day 1:
Most so-called SEO “experts” tell you: “publish great content and the backlinks and rankings will take care of themselves”.
(This is what I call “The Publish and Pray Approach”)
Through years of testing I’ve found that first page rankings don’t come from publishing great content.
Instead, first page rankings are a direct result of strategically promoting your content the right way.
And that’s exactly why Sue succeeds where many others fail.
More Proof That Content Promotion Can Be “The Difference Maker”
Here’s the truth:
The strategies that Sue uses can be used by anyone that wants more traffic and higher Google rankings.
In fact, I’ve taught my proven content promotion strategies to over 850 students from 33 different countries.
And I’ve seen similar results from them, including:
Giovanni is the founder of LiveandDare.com.
He recently created and promoted a guide that generated 33k visitors and (most importantly) 1,500 email subscribers:
Not to mention an editorial backlink from The Huffington Post.
Not bad…not bad at all.
Chris runs EuropeanDomainCentre.com.
Chris strategically promoted an infographic about domain names that’s brought in over 34,000 total pageviews:
It’s also helped him build 35 contextual backlinks. Like this one from his competitor:
The question is:
How did they do it?
And more importantly, how can you do the exact thing?
It all starts with 2 simple steps…
Step #1: First, Find Someone That Wants to Share YOUR Content with THEIR Audience
A lot of people ask me for the word-for-word email scripts that I use to promote my content.
OK so I’m not afraid to brag a little bit here…
Considering the fact that I’ve sent (and tested) over 6,000 outreach emails, my scripts convert GREAT.
But here’s the truth:
Your email script is only one SMALL part of content promotion.
Here’s A Story To Illustrate What I Mean…
A few weeks back I get this email out of the blue:
What’s wrong with this guy’s email?
Well to be honest with you…A LOT.
But let’s focus on the issue that forced my hand to the “delete” button:
I wasn’t going to share his content…EVER.
My interest in smartphones begins and ends with me taking out my iPhone to read ESPN.com on the subway.
Not to mention the fact that I’ve NEVER covered smartphones here on the blog.
That means his script could have been damn-near perfect and it wouldn’t have mattered.
The bottom line?
Because his content wasn’t aligned with my audience’s interests, I wasn’t going to share it…
…no matter what he said in that email.
Now, Don’t Get Me Wrong Here
I’m not some jerk who laughs like a supervillian while deleting outreach emails.
In fact, I share people’s stuff all the time.
For example, here’s an outreach email I got a few weeks back:
Here’s the truth…
David’s script could definitely use some work.
But he nailed the most important element of content promotion:
David found someone who was already interested in his content’s topic (me).
And because of that, I happily tweeted it out:
The thing is:
Once you’ve found someone that’s interested in your content’s topic, content promotion gets 10x easier.
How About Another Example of Successful Content Promo in Action?
A few months back I published a post called 16 Actionable SEO Copywriting Secrets That Will Drive More Traffic To Your Site:
And to promote it, I reached out to a bunch of people that I KNEW were super-interested in the topic of “SEO copywriting”.
(If you’re curious about what I sent to these people, stay tuned. I’m going to cover that next week)
And because my content fit their interests (and their audience’s interests) like a glove, they happily shared and linked:
Takeway Lesson: If you’re serious about content promotion, step #1 is to find people that are already interested in your topic.
Step #2: Next, Give Them a Heads Up About Your Content
This might sound simple, but stay with me…
Now that you’ve found someone that’s genuinely interested in what you published, it’s time to give them a quick heads up.
Before I show you an example of what to do, let’s take another look at a bad outreach email that came across my desk this week:
Like I mentioned before:
Nailing the topic is KEY.
And Kristztina actually did a decent job in that department (I’ve published a lot of content about list building).
But here’s the part I want you to focus on right now:
Think about that for a second:
She’s asking me to share her post …before I even said I liked it!
That’s the online version of getting a business card shoved in your face.
And because she was waaaaay too pushy, I hit “delete”.
In Sharp Contrast, Let’s Look at a Great (Non-Pushy) Email I Received From Darren:
That email is so good I wanted to print it out, frame it, and hang it on my wall.
As you can probably guess from reading this post, I’m a big fan of the topic of “content promotion”.
So Darren definitely found the right person to reach out to.
And his email was personalized and non-pushy.
He didn’t say: “share it with your followers”.
He didn’t say: “link to it from a blog post”.
He said: “I’d love to know what you think”.
I thought the post was solid so I tweeted it out:
Also, because he shared something with me that I enjoyed reading, Darren has built a direct line with me.
The next time he publishes something similar, he can email me again and I’ll probably share it.
All from a single email that never asked for anything.
Takeway Lesson: Your goal with content promotion is to get your content in front of the right people. That’s it.