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Use Content Channels to Boost Your Readership

The first five articles in this series have made the case for some important concepts: treating content as an asset, seeing your posts as tools for meeting your (and of course your readers’ goals), and so on (see the full content series here).

The natural corollary to all this is the notion that while your blog is a content product, it’s just one of a number of channels through which you can put your content tools into action to promote the product itself. The best recommendation for your blog is your blog content, and your voice. How can you use it to reach more people?

Reaching Further

You have content — and lots of it. Use it wisely and not only will you enjoy an improved return on your content investment, which we talked about when we discussed content strategy, but you can expand your promotional efforts without a whole lot of extra work.

The idea is to take content you’ve already written, or small segments of it repurposed as required, and distribute them across other channels. This approach provides various opportunities to leverage your previous hard work, but also your headspace: if you’ve just written a post for your own blog, you might be in a good position to turn out related items — snippets, tips, or updates — for other channels, while the creative fires are still aflame. These channels include the following.

Social networks

While I’m no fan of the incomplete-teaser-as-tweet style of social network update that many major newspapers seem to champion, I do like to use a crafted version of my opening sentence, the post’s headline, or its key point as a brief, catchy announcement on social media.

Other blogs

We’ve discussed guest blogging as a way to expand your readership (and, on your blog, to offer variety, meet your goals, and reduce the pressure on you). You may not be able, or willing, to republish a post from your blog directly on another, but you may be able to reframe it, expand on a specific point it makes, or tackle the same topic from an alternative angle, very easily and quickly.

This variations-on-a-theme approach leverages your existing content and knowledge while providing in-post cross-link opportunities if they’re allowed by the blog on which you’re a guest. In any case, a reader who comes from your guest post on another blog to find a similar post that builds on that information on your own blog is likely to get the impression that you’re passionate and informed on your topic of interest.

Related websites

Presenting a key quote or idea from your blog as a comment on another author’s work on a website whose readership you’d like to attract is another possibility for content redistribution. You can use the same tactic in forums on the topics your blog addresses. Choose your topics, blogs, and posts wisely and you may find that a short paragraph from your latest post makes the perfect contribution to a larger conversation on the topic elsewhere online.

Other media

Earlier in this series, we talked about republishing your content in other formats, like print periodicals. While these kinds of opportunities may not be thick on the ground, they are out there, and they can make a good way to extend your content’s lifecycle and make the most of what you’ve written. Perhaps you could pull the key elements from a number of your posts and synthesize them into an authoritative piece on a given sub-topic?

These are just some of the ways you can reuse your existing body of work to promote your blog through different channels. Tell us about your experiences with content-as-promotional-tool.

Continue reading this series of articles on questions surrounding blog content.

About the Author: Georgina has more than ten years’ experience writing and editing for web, print and voice. She now blogs for WebWorkerDaily and SitePoint, and consults on content to a range of other clients.

About Georgina Laidlaw

Georgina Laidlaw is a freelance content developer, and Content manager for problogger.net. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Dave Doolin says:

    I call this technique “building parallel streams.”

    Currently, Amplify, Youtube, Tumblr and Posterous are my favorites channels.

    What I find most interesting is that each channel has a specific sort of personality or character, and content doesn’t usually translate exactly.

    For example, if I have an infographic, that goes on Tumblr.

    A list I’ll snip into Amplify.

    Chunks of text, Posterous, whence their discussed further.

    Excellent article, thanks!

  2. Harshad says:

    Very helpful post, especially for me. People say I have quality content but reaching out is a problem. Will read this post once in a week to get things going. Thanx!

  3. Josh Garcia says:

    Hey Georgina,

    I like how you expanded the ideas with this post. Especially about the guest posting. I’m going to do that. Write a guest post and go into it a little deeper on my blog…That is an awesome idea!

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  4. Hi,

    Good points.

    “The idea is to take content you’ve already written, or small segments of it repurposed as required, and distribute them across other channels. ”

    We may call this ‘leverage’. This would be thinking smartly. Writing once, and then making multiple use of it. It can be in different ways, like you mentioned. The web has made this quite easy.

    Kindest,
    Nabeel

  5. Thanks for sharing these tips – but do you think other bloggers generally accept these re-written posts?

    I would appreciate if you give a tip on how to win guest bloggers and a spot on another blog as a GP?

    Thanks :-)

  6. Hey Georgina,

    Really Awesome post. great points.
    I really like the idea of guest posting.

    Excellent article georgina.

    ~Dev

  7. Georgina,

    You made some great points especially the portion where you wrote,”Presenting a key quote or idea from your blog as a comment on another author’s work on a website whose readership you’d like to attract is another possibility for content redistribution”.

    Do you suggest simply leaving the key quote with a link back to the original content or just simply leaving the key quote.

    All of the ideas you’ve presented were a great expansion on the topic of building and online community. I think that some bloggers neglect to realize the power in guest blogging. When I first began blogging I saw it as giving away great content but have learned with time that it’s a great way to expand your reach and grow your blog.

    Thanks for such a great post.

  8. Jerry says:

    I like the idea of starting (or continuing) the article conversation through social media. It shows that the topic isn’t something that is just read and discarded, but rather an ongoing thought process.

    Thanks for the tips!

  9. Will Marlow says:

    Very good post. I would emphasize that the Martha Stewart approach works best here: if you use the same topic/content in multiple venues (her TV show/her magazine) make sure a slightly different value is delivered in each venue. The extreme side of “repurposing” content can become spam, but you’re never in danger of that if you have a policy of always delivering new value in each venue.

  10. Hi Georgina,
    All you points are well taken.

    I have written articles for local newspapers that ended up in corporate newsletters as well as in my globally read newsletter.

    I also look at what I have used successfully as content in my personal development business http://www.TheWonderTechnique.com and turned around and shared how I created the content in my wellness business development business http://www.GrowYourWellnessBiz.com to help people succeed in their own business.

    As you suggested they are many avenues to share. Thanks for the reminder.

    David

  11. Rebecca says:

    This is a reminder a newbie blogger needs to hear a lot. Thanks so much for the push to get out there. Just submitted for my first guest post!

  12. Ashley says:

    “The idea is to take content you’ve already written, or small segments of it repurposed as required, and distribute them across other channels.”

    What a great idea to maximize on a blog post. I’ve started to do more guest posting, and I usually try to build off something I’ve already written. I also try “snippets” out on Twitter and Facebook and build posts off the “snippets” that go viral.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Good ideas here. With a ton of stuff written, it’s really a shame to keep it locked up in the back room.
    Mike

  14. jason says:

    It’s all about the same goods in different packaging. There is a fine line between consumer manipulation and pulling off great branding exercises, and the great bloggers and merchandisers know how to tread that line with sufficient skill.

  15. Christian says:

    >the incomplete-teaser-as-tweet style of social network update

    I have tried that tactic with various social networks and have found it not very helpful. Taking the time to craft a good, short introduction is definitely worth it.

  16. krissy knox says:

    This was a very helpful post. While I already know most of this information, this was an excellent reminder to use it! Thanks again.

  17. YouTube is a channel that should be investigated. With more and more people able to watch YouTube on their TVs now, it’s gettting a lot more notice from a new demographic.

    It’s also worth seeking out podcasts in your niche and trying to get onto them as a guest or interviewee.

    Flickr is also great for the photos you use in your stories.

  18. Oh yeah, and email newsletters! There are still a lot of these around.

    It’s important to look outside of your niche, too. If you have a gardening blog, you might try targetting channels in the frugal living niche and come at gardening from a “saving money on food” angle. Or the health and wellness niche with a “grow your own healthy, organic food” angle.

  19. Hi Georgina,

    Thank you for this really useful information.
    I guess we could say we are recycling are Blog content for the benefit of others.
    I really like the idea of writing guest posts, and then expanding on them on your own Blog.

    Thanks
    Pete

  20. Carolee says:

    Great advice! Wish it didn’t take me years to figure all this out!

    THAT’S why I help others now :-)

  21. A great way to re-purpose content is to turn it into a huge e-book that you can give away as a list-building tool.

    Each of your posts already has a headline, which you just turn into as a title for each chapter/page of content. Do a little re-formatting, and voila!

    You can, in one day, create a 200-300 page MASSIVE e-book that you can give away and pass around as a list-building tool to build your list.

    On top of that, people also get used to the voice that you use to create the content, so they will know what to expect.

    Even better, you can do what the guys with “Rework” from 37signals did and just take your blog posts and turn them into a printed besteller without doing any extra work.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  22. I really like your point about using content you’ve already written in your comments on other blogs. Many people feel compelled to comment on posts, but are at a loss for what to say. Pointing out something you’ve already written or posted elsewhere, if used selectively and on relevant topics, is a great way to join in the conversation. Thanks for the tip!

  23. eNews says:

    I have learned a lot about the promotional facts of an online content. I have also emailed him and got good response. He is a nice guy and making lots of money from this blog I guess. Keep it up Darren.

  24. I love the mini social media posts idea. I use it but not to the fullest extent.

  25. Great post! I’ve been reading one of your posts if not more daily trying to get my word out as efficiently and effectively as possible. Keep the good tips coming!

  26. Its all about getting to that 1000 subscriber mark with 1000 visitors a day. Once you get to that point, then it is much easier to grow organically.

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    That is why we decided to create a compilation with 100 ways you can use to increase your website traffic. Apply some (or most) of them and we are sure your numbers will go up!
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  28. Sandeep says:

    Nice post Georgina!!

    Guest Blogging and reaching out to other related blogs are great ideas and you can never ignore them.

  29. I usually use Google Alert and all news is in my finger tips.

    Really nice to have Google alert everything under one roof.

  30. Guest blog only at a big blog, don’t guest blog on small blog, am I right?

  31. nick says:

    I like how you expanded the ideas with this post. Especially about the guest posting. I’m going to do that. Write a guest post and go into it a little deeper on my blog…That is an awesome idea!…All of the ideas you’ve presented were a great expansion on the topic of building and online community. I think that some bloggers neglect to realize the power in guest blogging.but Nice post Georgina