Content Marketing – Secrets From an Entrepreneur Who Has Used It to Build a Successful Business

Content Marketing – Secrets From an Entrepreneur Who Has Used It to Build a Successful BusinessI’m really excited about this episode of the ProBlogger Podcast, as today I am sharing my interview with Dan Norris: serial entrepreneur and founder of WP Curve (which gives bloggers access to WordPress developers for unlimited small jobs). Dan recently spoke at the Australian ProBlogger event as part of the Small Business Bootcamp, which we ran in partnership with Telstra Business, and his session was one of the highest-rated of the whole weekend.

In today’s episode, we talk about content marketing, how to differentiate yourself from millions of others doing the same thing as you are, and how to scale your business. Dan also gives insight into how he came to start WPCurve and what they offer to bloggers who need quick WordPress tweaks and peace of mind.

We also discuss what exactly is content marketing (and why bloggers need to care about it), examples of people doing it just right, and how you at home can do it too. We talk about what mistakes Dan sees bloggers making, how he tracks metrics, niches, storytelling, monetization, and his top tips to get eyeballs on your content.

You can find the show notes to episode 64 of the ProBlogger podcast here – we’d love to hear your feedback on our chat!

Further Reading:


How to Build A Culture of Community on Your Blog

How to Build A Culture of Community on Your Blog

If you were listening to the episode 60 of the ProBlogger podcast, you would have heard me talking about why I think it’s so vital that bloggers create a culture of community on their blog to help deepen relationships with their readers and to drive engagement. I also promised a follow-up podcast on how to do just that!

Today’s episode is part two of building a culture of community and I wanted to talk about the strategy of how to create an atmosphere of belonging, what you should aim for, and how to go above and beyond just encouraging engagement, but to foster a sense of ownership and even collaboration with your readers.

There are 7 ways I think are useful in creating a culture of community to help your blog come alive. As i mentioned in the last podcast, there’s no real way to have it happen overnight, it just takes time as you build trust with your readers. These seven steps will help you on your journey though, so grab a pen and take some notes!

You can find the show notes of episode 61 here, and as always, I welcome your feedback on the podcast in the comment section. What have you done to create a culture of community on your own blog?

Further Reading:

Why You Should Make Building Community a Priority in Your Blogging

Why You Should Make Building Community a Priority in Your BloggingDo you ever feel as a blogger like you’re talking to an empty room?

I know I have definitely felt that way! Particularly when I first started Digital Photography School. But if you feel that way too, I want you to know: you’re not alone.

When you write a blog post, you hope that your readers will interact, leave a comment, acknowledge that you’ve even written something, and today I’m going to talk about how to do just that – deepen that reader engagement, and some reasons why I think this is so important (particularly for those just starting out).

Today’s ProBlogger podcast is the first of a two-part series, following up in the next episode with some really practical tips on how you build community.

The first thing I want to tackle is to talk about why you should try to deepen reader engagement. I know especially when first starting out there can be more of a focus on creating good content and promoting it (and there are a handful of established bloggers who make it a point not to encourage community on their sites), but most of the successful bloggers I know have invested time and energy in really inviting and facilitating a collaborative environment.

But back to the beginnings of Digital Photography School when I made a choice that really impacted how people responded to it: in this episode I discuss when (and how) I realised the choice I made meant I was missing out on the key factor that was really going to help my blog take off.

I also give 9 reasons why I think creating community is so incredibly important, and a couple of tips for getting through the negative flip side – building community takes real time and effort!

You can find episode 60 of the ProBlogger podcast show notes here.

Further Reading:




How to Promote Yourself without Coming Across as a Jerk

How to Promote Yourself without Coming Across as a JerkThe thing about blogging is that it’s not just blogging – you have to push your work out to others in order to be read. It’s an aspect of the job that is so intimidating for some that it totally holds them back from reaching their blog’s full potential. But without it, your blog is one of millions begging for attention and not getting it. “Build it and they will come” unfortunately doesn’t work here!

I was recently asked by a reader how to tackle this head on:

I’ve been blogging now for a few months and have built up an archive of posts that I think are useful for those who might find them – but I’m struggling with one big question – how to get people to read!
I’ve listened to some of your episodes on growing readership and understand the techniques I probably need to use – but my problem is that I’m scared to start.
More specifically my issue is that I don’t want to get too self promotional and come across as a complete jerk by over doing it and always be in people’s faces. Can you help?

In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I do just that.

The thing is, you do have to promote yourself, there’s really no way around it. From episode 33 to 37 of the podcast, we talked about finding readers but I guess what Samantha is asking is how do you do it the right way? In this episode I discuss the best ways of showcasing your expertise without coming across as a know-it-all.

I also touch on how to work to the best of your ability, why you should focus on exchanges rather than just broadcasting, what topic you should lead your blog with, where you should admit your knowledge deficits, the usefulness of storytelling, and more – including why you shouldn’t go overboard with the modesty thing. It’s all about what I think the secret to being a good influencer is and how it can make a difference between promoting yourself and promoting yourself so much you turn others off.

You can listen to this episode in the player below or over on the episode 55 shownotes.

I’d love to know – what are your favourite self-promotion tips? And is it something you struggle with, like Samantha does?

4 Methods To Get More Blog Traffic From Twitter

This is a guest contribution from Marc Guberti.

No matter how much blog traffic we get, we will always want more, right? More blog traffic opens the door to more opportunities, relationships, and sales.

Not only do we want more blog traffic, but we also want to get blog traffic from a variety of platforms. This is why many bloggers are active on multiple social networks.

I have experimented with dozens of different methods for gaining more blog traffic. I pin, post on Facebook, and write guest posts, but my most successful platform for driving traffic to my blog is Twitter.

Twitter alone is responsible for close to 50% of the traffic that my blog gets, and the amount of traffic I gained from Twitter has dramatically increased in a short period of time. In 2013, Twitter brought 3,408 people to my blog. The following year, Twitter brought 97,321 people to my blog. The big increase in traffic also led to a big increase in opportunities, relationships, and sales.

Many people ask me how I made such a quick transition. How did I suddenly go from getting 3,408 visitors from Twitter to almost 100,000 visitors from Twitter in just one year? I am going to share with you the methods I used to get more blog traffic from Twitter and make my big shift in just one year.

Pin A Tweet Of Your Most Popular Blog Post

When you pin a tweet of your most popular blog post to the top of your Twitter timeline, that tweet gets more exposure because its lifespan is infinite. The reason most tweets get some engagement when they are first posted but then get virtually no engagement a few days later is because most tweets have short lifespans.

Although the lifespan of each tweet differs, most tweets’ lifespans end in a day because other tweets take its place on your feed, and your followers’ home feeds are filled with other people’s tweets at that point. Pinning a tweet to the top of your profile page guarantees that the tweet will be seen by anyone who views your account. Thus, the lifespan of the tweet is infinite (until you unpin it from the top of your feed).

Pinning your most popular blog post to the top of that feed will lead to more traffic for that blog post, and all of that extra traffic for your popular blog post will equate to a better search engine rank.

The first tweet I pinned to the top of my feed was a tweet that promoted one of my free eBooks. While most of my tweets get around five retweets and favorites, the pinned tweets has been retweeted and favorited over 100 times.

Pinned tweets will get more engagement than your average tweet, so if there is a popular blog post that you want to give special attention, tweet it out and pin the tweet to the top of your feed.

Include Visual Content In Your Tweets

The value of visual content can no longer be overlooked. On every social network, including an image in the post leads to more engagement than not including the image in the post.

On Twitter, including the image in the tweet leads to a 150% increase in engagement for that tweet. It makes sense that tweets images get more engagement because the human mind processes images 60,000 times faster than text.

Buffer tested out what type of impact images have in tweets. Here’s what they found:


Including an image in your tweets is important, but not any image will do. The best images are often the ones that we create ourselves because we can create an image based on what we want in the image instead of trying to find the best (but not perfect) match on Google.

IT turns out that creating your own picture is surprisingly easy. Here are the two tools I use to create my own pictures:

#1: Canva

This free tool lets you create pictures in any pixel dimensions you want, and the tool also offers pictures perfectly sized for social media posts. Canva comes with numerous free features and images to choose from, and if you can’t find the image you are looking for on Canva, you can upload pictures from your computer to Canva.

Canva easily allows you to add text to your images and play around with the background.

#2: KeyNote/PowerPoint

Normally, when you think of KeyNote or PowerPoint, you think of creating a presentation. However, these tools also allow you to create your own pictures.

You can resize the slides in your presentation to any dimensions. You can make a slide 1000 pixels wide and 4000 pixels high if you wanted to. You can add shapes, text, and other pictures from your computer to the slide.

I primarily use KeyNote for creating Infographics because of the flexibility that KeyNote provides. I can easily move one part of the slide anywhere I desire, and I can see a full preview before I put the infographic on my blog.

Tweet The Same Blog Posts More Than Once

One of the biggest secrets about Twitter is that it is okay to tweet the same thing more than once. If you do it right, it is okay to tweet the same thing more than 100 times.

I schedule my tweets using the HootSuite bulk scheduler which means I send tweets in a cycle. Every 4-8 days, you will see the same tweets delivered in the same exact order, and these tweets always get engagement.

Since I send over 100 tweets every day, the identical tweets are barely noticeable. I get interaction for my tweets to this day as if I had never tweeted them before. Here are some reasons why it is okay to tweet the same blog posts (and for that matter, identical tweets) more than once:

#1: You are going to get new followers who have not read any of your tweets before. For these followers, your tweets are actually new.

#2: Many of your followers will miss your tweet the first time. If you send your tweet at 4 pm on a Monday, then your followers must be logged in at that time to possibly see the tweet on their crowded home feeds.

#3: The world has different timezones. If it’s 4 am in New York, then it’s 9 am in London. If you send a tweet at 4 am eastern time, many of your followers from New York won’t see the tweet. You can schedule the same tweet the following day at a better time for your followers on the east coast so they can engage with it all the same.

Optimize Your Tweets For More Engagement

Having an image in your tweet is just one step towards optimizing that tweet for more engagement. The more you optimize your tweet, the more engagement it will get. Here are some of the additional methods you can use to optimize your tweets for more engagement.

Twitter is the main reason my blog gets so much traffic. In one year, my blog traffic jumped leaps and bounds primarily because I focused my time on growing my Twitter audience and promoting my blog posts to that audience.

Getting hundreds of daily blog visitors from Twitter takes patience, but that patience will eventually allow you to get hundreds of daily visitors to your blog from Twitter alone. Constantly experiment with your tweeting frequency and what you tweet to determine what impact it has on your audience and blog traffic.

Do you use Twitter to get more blog traffic? And if you aren’t using Twitter to get more blog traffic, when will you start?

Marc Guberti is a teenage entrepreneur, author, and digital marketing expert who shares his advice on his blog His mission is to teach teenagers how to become entrepreneurs.

6 Actionable Content Promotion Strategies You Can Use Today

This is a guest contribution from Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard.

Have you ever published a piece of content and watched it flat-line?

Putting all of your effort into content which can help others, but you just can’t seem to drive enough traffic to it.

We’ve all been there.

So what’s the solution?

It all comes down to effective content promotion and in this post you’ll find some highly actionable tips that you can use to promote any piece of content more effectively.

Let’s dive in!

Identify hot topics in your niche

Content promotion starts right at the beginning, when you’re planning your piece of content.

This ensures that when your content is published, it has a solid foundation.

The reality is that there are certain topics that people just aren’t interested in, and others that are hot button topics that spark engagement, sharing and all of the traffic that follows.

So how can you identify these hot topics?

1) Identify which content people are sharing the most

Start off by making a list of your biggest competitors, then use BuzzSumo to find which of their blog posts are being shared the most.


Now pull out a small list of the most shared topics from your different competitors and you’ll have a good idea of which top level topics to cover.

2) Identify which content people are linking to the most

Looking at the most shared content is one avenue, but the one most people forget is figuring out which pieces of content are being linked to the most.

This is a significant indicator of topics popularity, providing your competitors are not engaging in any shady link building practices.

To do this, you’ll need to use a backlink analyser. I prefer to use Ahrefs, it is a paid tool but you can still get some actionable data from their free version.


Just type in the website in question, click “Top Content” on the left hand side and then click the “RD” column and you’ll find a list of the websites pages/posts ranked in order of which has the most referring domains.

Once you’ve collected the topics which are being linked to most, you can combine them with the list of most shared topics to create a more detailed list of ideas for your content plan.

Invite influencers to contribute to your content

There are people who have influence over your target audience.

You can put together a strategy to build relationships with these key influencers. And in time, that relationship will help you to expand your readership.

But, the key here is to focus on building mutually beneficial relationships – helping is essential to creating good will.

So how can you get started?

  • Identify who you want to build a relationship with – You may have a good idea who to connect with already, if you don’t tools like Inkybee and Ninja Outreach can help you (they’ll also help you throughout the process).
  • Connect with them – Follow them on Twitter, share their content, comment on their blog or even send them an email without asking them to do anything for you (hint: It works even better if you help them out with something).
  • Ask them for a quote or answer to a question – This will give your content some added social proof and the influencer will be far more likely to share your post with their audience as they’ve contributed to it directly.
  • Let them know when the post is live – If they don’t know the post is live, they probably won’t share it. So let them know and make it easy for them to share but don’t hassle them to share (that’s a sure-fire way to burn a relationship before it’s had chance to develop).

When you put the time and effort into creating a smart strategy to leverage the influence of others, you can see some impressive results. Groove used a similar approach to get 1,000+ subscribers from a single blog post in 24 hours.

Leverage online communities in your niche

The holy grail of content promotion is finding exactly where your target audience hangs out in large groups.

But, the idea isn’t that you find a great online community and start dropping your links everywhere – that’ll do more harm than good.

Instead, focus on becoming part of the community. Help others by sharing their content and answering their questions.

Focus on networking with others in that community and then you can start thinking about promotion (just without dropping links to your content all over the place).

This works best when the people you’ve built relationships with share your content without you having to ask – help enough people and publish the right content and this will happen.

How to get started with online communities

The web is full of online communities, which includes everything from Facebook and Google+ groups to online forums.

Below are a few to get you started:

  • org – Marketing
  • com – Growth Hacking
  • com – Business
  • com – Films
  • com – Gaming

Share to social networks at the right time

Sharing your content to social networks should be done no matter what, but aside from growing your followers on a network like Twitter, how can you get more traction from the following you have right now?

Here’s the answer:

Share to your followers at the right times.

So how can you do this?

First of all, forget about every infographic that you’ve seen which tells you when the best time to share is.


It’s someone else’s data – not yours.

If you want to figure out the best time to share on social networks, you need to use the right tools to help you.

This will ensure that your data is used instead of someone else’s.

The great news is that there are some free tools which can help you here such as Timing+ for Google+ and Tweriod for Twitter.

Repurpose your content for a different audience

We all have different preferences when it comes to content consumption.

Some people prefer written content, some like videos and others prefer podcasts.

If you’re just publishing one type of content, you can easily expand your audience by repurposing your existing content into something else.

Let’s say you’re publishing blog posts, you could turn a blog post into an infographic.

For example, last year I published a group interview which was detailed and while it performed extremely well (it got over 2K social shares), the information was difficult to consume as it took so long to read.

With the help of 24Slides and TweakYourBiz, we published an infographic which featured trimmed down responses from each expert.


What about the results?

Just by repurposing an existing post, we were able to expose it to 30,000+ more people. Not bad right?

Here are a few other content types you could use:

  • Slideshare presentation
  • Audio/Podcast
  • Video
  • Instructographic
  • Emails
  • Ebooks
  • Courses

The possibilities are endless.

Use paid traffic to give your content a boost

“Free traffic” does not exist.

This is because even if you aren’t investing money, you’re investing your time.

And that’s valuable!

There’s only so much time you have to spare so more often than not, buying cheap (but targeted) traffic can be a great way of seeding your content and driving more eye-balls to your blog.

If you only have time to invest then you might want to avoid paid traffic for a while.

However, when you have some budget to play with, it’s an option worth considering.

Especially when you can use the likes of Outbrain and StumbleUpon to get highly targeted traffic without breaking the bank.

It requires testing and you might find traffic prices change from one niche to another, but don’t discount it because it can be immensely effective.

Putting it all together

We’ve talked through some specific content promotion strategies and all of them can have a significant impact on the success of your next piece of content.

The key is to take one strategy, try it out and see how well it works for you.

The truth is that certain strategies will work better in different niches but it’s essential that if one doesn’t work for you, you ask yourself the important question – WHY doesn’t it work?

Most people quickly try out something and give up too soon.

It may be that you need to approach the strategy in a different way or give it more time to reap the rewards.

So, now I have a question for you – which content promotion strategies have been most successful for you?

Adam Connell is the Founder of Blogging Wizard. He helps bloggers get started and take their blog’s to the next level. If you want to blog smarter and not harder, click here to find out how you can get free access to the Blogging Wizard resource library with guides and checklists to grow your blog by 425%+.


5 Pop-up Creation Mistakes You Have to Avoid for Better User Experience

This is a guest contribution from Abrar Mohi Shafee of Blogging Spell.

Do you build email lists in your website? If your answer is yes, the chances are high that you are using a pop-up to collect emails.

Why is that and not anything else? Because pop-up is proved to be one of the high converting methods for building list and seems pretty everywhere.

You don’t have to look further; our own Darren Rowse made a huge jump up in email opt-in rate by using a pop-up that raised from 40 new subscribers a day to straight 350 subscribers a day.

But over the years, pop-up has started to have a profound impact on user experience and turned into a very controversial topic itself.

If we ask the visitors, 95 out of 100 of them will say pop-ups are annoying. But if we ask the same to a marketer, he will confess that but must be thinking how he could miss the great conversion by pop-ups.

the most hated advertising techniques

Source: NNGroup

It looks like we are trapped between two choices. But there is a third choice that we usually miss out, and that can get us a good relief. That is simple:

Pop-up should be polite but converting enough.

So here my task is to guide you what are the mistakes that annoy people and how you can solve them to achieve that prestige for your pop-ups.

Mistake #1: Solely depending on pop-up

Is using pop-up itself a big mistake? Well, it can be literally.

To tell the truth, a pop-up can silently kill your blog if that is not well-optimized.

Matthew Woodward ran an experiment how pop-ups affect blog’s bottom line. He set up the pop-up to show up after 7 seconds. He noticed significant drops in the following three factors:

  1. Pages per visit decreased by 9.29%
  2. Average visit duration decreased by 10.20%
  3. Bounce rate increased by 9.02% (lower is better)

pop-up effect on blog

Subscribers generated via pop-up forms are not stable and have very low engagement rate that are no good for your website except just increasing the number of subscribers.

So if you decide to autopilot your list building solely on pop-ups and do not use any other method, you will not be collecting all genuine subscribers who could benefit your website.

Solution: You should not wholeheartedly depend on pop-ups and use some other methods to collect engaging and stable subscribers, and eventually reduce the annoyance.

A lot of working list building methods are available of which you can choose yours. According to Social Triggers, here are some of the high-converting placements for your opt-in form (excluding pop-up):

  1. Top featured box
  2. Top of sidebar
  3. Bottom of post
  4. Site footer
  5. About page
  6. Top sticky bar

In fact, you can grow your email list amazingly fast using the following formulas of list building:

  1. Content Upgrade
  2. Lead Magnet
  3. Call to Action

Mistake #2: Triggering pop-ups too fast or too slow

Timing is another big factor for your pop-up. If it comes too fast, it will greatly annoy the visitors, and if it comes too slow, it will lose a number of subscribers.

So what is the perfect timing? Some will say 5 seconds converts the highest and some 10 seconds, if not some other will say 30 seconds is perfect.

best time to show pop-up

Source: AppSumo

But my opinion is different. To turn a visitor into a loyal subscriber, you need to give him enough time to understand your website. Five seconds, 10 seconds and sometimes even 30 seconds is not sufficient to comprehend a site correctly.

What would happen if you pop-up between this times? You will experience relatively high bounce rate and low user engagement.

Solution: Unbounce suggests that a perfect user-optimized pop-up should come at 60 seconds after a visitor enters your site.

If it comes before that, you will significantly lose conversion. If it comes after that period, you will miss a large number of audiences to show your pop-ups.

So the best time for pop-up is 60 seconds which will allow a visitor has fully understood a website and make him commit genuine interest to become a subscriber, after all, reducing the risk of annoying by more.

Mistake #3: Not using any improved pop-up technology

Although timed pop-ups could be optimized for not to make annoyance, it still retain some percent of chances to annoy visitors.

Because it appears suddenly and could behave like a barrier to reading up a content. No one would appreciate seeing a barrier in their way, especially when reading something online.

What would happen if a pop-up distracts visitors from reading a content? The chances are high that they will leave the site, if not it will hurt their attitude towards the site.

Solution: Thinking about this matter, some user-improved pop-up triggering technologies has come out. The main prospective of these technologies is adjusting with user’s behavior and triggering the pop-up in the safest time.

Here are a few pop-up technologies that can be found in the latest marketing tools, and what you can replace with your timed pop-up to potentially take the annoyance level close to zero:

  1. Pop-up when a user intends to exit (aka exit-intent)
  2. Pop-up when a user reaches the content end
  3. Pop-up when a user reaches a particular element
  4. Pop-up when a user scrolls a specific percent of a page
  5. Pop-up when a user scrolls down and goes back up

Mistake #3: Not controlling pop-up showing frequency

How many times do you show up your pop-up in a browsing session? Well, you are of the belief that the more we show up pop-ups, the more we get signups, right?

But this time it won’t go along your perspective because the more often you show your pop-ups (for example, show up on every page), the more you annoy your visitors.

If you trigger your pop-up in every page in a browsing session, it will feel real over promotion, and you will get significantly low subscribing rate.

So what’s the best frequency?

Solution: You don’t have to push hard to get the better conversion rate. You just need to understand your audiences and trigger pop-up at the right time.

Asking a visitor to subscribe multiple times in a browsing session might not work well and feel irritating. So first you should limit your pop-up to maximum once each browsing session.

And how often to repeat the pop-up after someone closes that? Concerning the user experience, you should not show pop-up more than once a week to the same visitor, and more preferably once in every 15 or 30 days. (Prove)

Mistake #5: Tricking visitors to get stuck on the pop-ups

You know what, you can attempt to get unbelievable email opt-in rate just doing a few tweaks. How? Here is what you need to do exactly:

  • Trigger pop-up just when someone enters your site
  • Remove the close button from the pop-up
  • Don’t leave any option to skip the pop-up without subscribing

But the thing I forgot to tell you is that after doing these tweaks, don’t expect your visitors ever to return and the bounce rate will be apparently around 90%-100%.

Intentionally trying to stick people to a pop-up form is the worst practice and result into losing those visitors for forever.

Solution: If you are serious about building up your email list, be clear and transparent. Display the close button and make sure that can be easily seen.

You do not have to be tricky to increase email opt-in rate, but you have to optimize the following three elements of your pop-up:

  1. Convince people at first sight using the pop-up title. Use power words like Free, Secret, Discover, to create good impression.
  2. Be visually attractive because visual elements can convince someone to subscribe faster than anything else.
  3. Optimize your pop-up’s call to action and tease the visitors to subscribe using text and buttons.

Here is a sample of pop-up how to play with pop-up contents to hack readers mind for subscribing to your email list without doing anything tricky:

Source: Social Triggers

social triggers pop-up copy

Do you know the hardest truth about pop-up? It converts the highest, and it irritates the highest as well.

The best approach with the pop-up is attempt to convert high but staying safe. Before doing anything with it, just ask yourself will you personally love it as a reader? If yes, just go with it and if no, configure it to be likable.

So what’s your opinion about pop-ups and how you safely use them without hurting the user experience? I am pretty much interested to know it.

Abrar Mohi Shafee is from Bangladesh, an inbound marketer, blogger and founder of BloggingSpell. His areas of interests are content marketing, social media marketing, and seo. Need his help to be more productive in blogging? Grab his personal blogging toolkit.


Study Shows: Blog Posts Published on Weekends Get More Social Shares

This is a guest post from Lior Levin.

You work hard to create relevant, engaging content for your blog and you want to be sure that it has as many eyeballs on it as possible. Sometimes, getting the job done can be discouraging and leave you feeling like you are completely reliant on your audience to do the job by engaging with your post on social media.

But the successful brands who keep blowing up Facebook with huge numbers of shares aren’t doing so by chance. There are strategies and tips that can guide you on when to post to your blog, how to best engage social media and how to create a killer title that will have your post making the rounds on every social media channel.

Weekend is The King

If you run a blog featuring professional content, it seems like a no-brainer to publish your content during business hours, on weekdays. Yet a study done by TrackMaven last year of over 4,500 blogs showed that blogs that chose to publish content on the weekend received the most shares on various social media channels. In fact, even though only 13% of blogs were published on the weekend, they saw 18% of the total social shares gathered in the study.


Aim For Leisure Hours

As it turns out, there is negative correlation between when a blog is posted and when readers have time to properly digest it. Readers may see your new post pop up in their inbox or newsfeed at 10am, and as engaging as your title is, they may not be able to get to it in the middle of their busy workday. This means that regardless of your content (whether it’s professional, educational, financial etc) you need to time your posts to go live during your reader’s leisure hours if you want to maximize engagement and shares.

weekend 2

A Bold, Brilliant Title With a Question Mark

Speaking of maximizing engagement, an interest-catching title is a must to increase your clicks and shares. There are a few strategies that can guide you as you craft titles that are sure to turn views into clicks and clicks into shares. First off, make sure your title is highly informative and speaks to the specifics of what readers are going to find in your post. Secondly, use strong, vivid words and phrases that grab a reader’s attention such as brilliant, love, hate and “you won’t believe.”

Don’t be afraid to try alluring alliterations as well, readers rarely ignore such lively language. Third, consider using question marks in your post-title or perhaps consider phrasing your title in the form of a question altogether. Studies show that posts which contain one or more question marks receive social shares 46% of the time.

weekend 3

Highlight Value

It’s a loud internet, so you need to have posts that speak to the real value that your blog and brand have to offer. You don’t want to get a reputation for deceiving readers and followers with hype and promises that your blog post won’t deliver. Consider illustrating the value found in your post by using brackets at the end of your title such as: Major Marketing Mistakes [Free Printable] or What Do Your Readers Need From You [An e-book that will change your brand-strategy].

Knowledge is, of course, power and the more you use your metrics and data, the more you understand how and when to reach your reader.

Lior Levin is a consultant to an rss feed api service and also works for a company called ily who invented a new phone for kids.

7 Crucial Parts of a Successful Outreach Strategy

7 Crucial Parts of a Successful Outreach Strategy on ProBlogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Jonathan John.

If you’ve been reading how-to blog and content marketing blogs for very long, then you’ve no doubt come across this buzzword: outreach.

Nowadays, all the big guns are talking about outreach and how it’s gonna revolutionize content marketing and take your latest blog posts from 0-100 real quick.

But what exactly is outreach?

Well, in short, outreach is the art of getting others to share or link to your posts. You’re basically leveraging other people’s blogs or social media followings to increase the popularity of your own.

And get this: the people who say that outreach is an effective content promotion strategy are 100% right. Outreach is a very powerful way to quickly get traction to your latest blog posts, an ideal traffic strategy for new bloggers.

That is, when you do it right.

In this post, I’ll discuss seven of the most crucial parts of a successful outreach strategy, and how you can leverage outreach to boost traffic to your blog posts.

1. Begin with the End in Mind

Before you begin your outreach process, you need to plan. You need to begin with the end in mind.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What are my goals?

Outreach is a great strategy to accomplish several things: increased traffic, more connections with influential people, better backlinks from quality sites, etc..

You need to know your goals (always try to write them down as well) before you start the actual process of outreach.

How much time do I have to dedicate to outreach?

Here’s the one pitfall of outreach. The impact from one successful outreach email (e.g. getting one blogger to share or link to your blog post) isn’t particularly high, especially in the short run. So in order to see significant results, you typically have to send out a lot of emails.

Case in point: Brian Dean from Backlinko emailed 160 websites to promote his post on Google ranking factors. Because of the backlinks and visibility he’s gotten as a result, Brian now ranks #1 in the SERPs for “google ranking factors”, which is by no means a low-competition keyword.


Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that you need to email 100+ people for every post you write. Due to time restrictions, that’s an unrealistic goal for many of us, particularly me.

But my point is that a successful email outreach strategy will take up a significant amount of time. So when creating a plan for your outreach strategy, you need to budget time appropriately.

2. Pick the Right Bloggers for Outreach

Here’s what doesn’t work in email outreach: randomly sending out emails to 100+ blogs that “seem” to fit your niche.

Picking the blogs you plan to do outreach to is a very delicate (and time-consuming) process. To be successful at outreach, you will need to spend time creating a list of blogs you’ll reach out to before each post is published (ideally before the post is even written).

Here are a couple ways to find the right blogs to reach out to.

Find Blogs that Have Linked to Similar Content

This method calls for Ahrefs Site Explorer, one of my favorite blogging tools. Site Explorer basically crawls the web to discover all the inbound links for a particular website or webpage.

So let’s say that you run a food blog, and your next post topic is on the dangers of excess soft drink consumption. A quick Google search will reveal several popular blogs that have written on a similar topic.


Pick one high-ranking post (I chose this one from Wellness Mama) and run it through Site Explorer to find the sites that have linked to the post.


You know that these sites have linked to a post on the dangers of soft drinks already in the past. Consequently, they are much more likely to link to your post on the same topic, provided that you ask nicely (more on how to do that later).

Find Influencers Who Have Shared Similar Content

This method works best with Buzzsumo, an incredibly popular content research tool. Buzzsumo allows you to see the exact people who have shared specific posts on your topic.

Let’s say that this time around, you’re on a digital marketing blog, currently writing a post on generating content ideas. You can use Buzzsumo to identify popular posts on this topic.


Buzzsumo then allows you to drill down and see exactly who has shared this post on Twitter.


Apply the same concept from the previous method here: since these people have already shared blog posts on content ideation before, they could be quite willing to do it again.

3. Do a Favor for the Influencer Beforehand

Email outreach is all about asking favors. When you send an email to an influencer asking for a tweet, a link, or a Google plus, you’re basically asking them for a favor.

Now, I want you to think back to the last time you did a significant favor for a stranger who’d come to you out of the blue.

No, seriously. Think about it.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

If you’re like me, then you probably can’t remember the last time you did so.

And guess what: the influencers you’re reaching out to probably can’t remember the last time they did such a favor, either. So when you ask them for a favor as a total stranger, how likely do you think you are to get the share/link?

Not very.

The key here is to make sure that by the time you send your email, you’ve already performed a favor or two for the blogger beforehand.

For instance, you could comment on 1-2 of the blogger’s latest posts. All bloggers love getting relevant comments on their posts, because comments prove two things to them:

  1. People are reading their content.
  2. People find their content engaging enough for them to take time out of their day to leave their thoughts.

However, DON’T just leave a generic “Great post, thanks for sharing” comment like a hundred others before you have already.

It’s easy for bloggers to see through this sort of comment; they know that it hasn’t taken any sort of real effort on your part.

Instead, leave a thoughtful, detailed remark about what you thought of their post — one that will set you apart from the other commentators to the post author.


Questions in particular make great comments because they coax a response from the post author. Besides that, all bloggers (you and I included) get an ego boost when people ask their advice.

A couple other things you could do is to share their post on social media or even link to it from the post that you are writing.

4. Write the Email

Here comes the difficult part: actually writing the email. You can find several email templates on the web for this step, but I recommend testing a few ones of your own to see which works best for you personally. What’s more, the email you send will also typically depend on what you’re asking for in your email: a link, a share, etc..

For instance, asking for a link from a well-known blog requires a very different email than a share request from an influencer with a mid-sized following.

But regardless of the type email you’re sending over, there are a few rules to keep in mind.

Keep it Short

Nobody wants to wade through a 50-sentence email when a five-sentence email would have done just as well. Least of all the busy bloggers who have a hundred-and-one other tasks demanding their attention.

I personally try to keep all my emails no more than five sentences long, although I’m often guilty of forgetting to cut down and instead sending in 6-7+ sentences. I’ve found that shorter = better 99% of the time.

Talk about What You’ve Done for Them

In my email, I typically reserve at one sentence close to the beginning to talk about what I’ve done for them (i.e. I linked to their post, shared it on social media, commented on it, etc.).

Always talk about what you’ve done for them before you discuss what you want them to do for you. Once the blogger realizes that you’ve taken the time to do something for him/her, they’ll be much more receptive to the request that’s about to come.

Be Informal, but Professional

You always want to be professional — especially if you’ve never emailed this person before.

There’s no need to be overly formal (ten dollar words won’t score you any points), but at the same time don’t let your inner-goofiness get too much out of reign.

Also, be sure to use their first name in your opening line (that way they know right off that your email is addressed specifically to them).

5. Contact via Multiple Channels

The biggest mistake I made in my early days of outreach was limiting my contact to one channel only: email.

While email is still the best way to get a response from share/link requests, it’s most effective when used in combination with other contact channels like social media.

Nowadays, whenever I send out an outreach email, I also tweet the blogger beforehand to let him/her know that I’m sending in an email.

This helps to create awareness of your coming email. Most influencers will be getting hundreds of emails per day, so it’s very possible that your email could slip through the cracks. When you reach out to them via social media before sending the email, though, they’ll be keeping an eye out for your email.

So instead of ignoring or overlooking your email when it comes in, they’ll instead think:

Oh yeah, this is the guy/gal who tweeted me about their coming email. I think he/she also commented on XYZ post I published a couple days ago. Hmm. I wonder what he/she is emailing about.

This contact strategy just plain works — I highly recommend that you try your best to get in touch via multiple channels (Google Plus, LinkedIn, or even Facebook can be good options depending on your industry). It’s helped me to nearly double my response rates, and I’m sure it will do the same for yours.

6. Time Your Contact Appropriately

I live in India — but since most of the bloggers I contact live in the US, UK, or Australia, I have to be sure that I’m keeping track of time zones. Otherwise, my email is likely to get lost in the pile of email that accumulates overnight.

I try to get my email in around 8-9 AM in the morning their time. That way, by the time they start their work day, my email is close to the top of their inbox.

I personally use Boomerang to schedule all my emails because I love its simplicity, but SideKickRightInbox, and Streak are popular alternatives.

For tweet-scheduling, I’m a huge fan of Buffer, but HootSuite is another excellent option.

7. Follow Up

The last step in the outreach process is to follow up. If your email doesn’t get a response within a week, I recommend sending either one email or one tweet as a reminder (not both).

I don’t recommend sending any more than one follow up, though; if a blogger hasn’t responded by then, it typically means that he/she isn’t interested in sharing or linking.

And if that happens (which it most certianly will), don’t worry about it. Just shake it off, and move on to the next blogger.

Wrapping Up

Outreach is a powerful content promotion strategy. It has the potential to take your latest blog post from 0-100 in no time.

However, outreach certainly isn’t an easy strategy to implement, and if you don’t do it correctly then you’ll end up spending a lot of time for little result. So the next time you’re promoting a post, remember these 7 crucial steps, and I guarantee your success rate will the better for it.

Do you have any questions about outreach strategy — or any tips of your own you’d like to share? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Jonathan John (@JRJohnWrites) is a freelance writer for hire and a digital marketing enthusiast. He helps business leverage the power of content marketing and blogging to increase traffic and boost brand authority.