This is Part 4 of a multi-part series. If you haven’t read the previous posts, start here:
Who am I? My name is Pat Walls and I am the founder of StarterStory.com and I have built a successful business interviewing others. My website attracts 70k monthly visitors and generates $4K/month in revenue.
A lot of people have asked me for advice on this, so I figured I would write a series about how you get started and use these tactics to grow your blog, business or side project.
This is in conjunction with my new product, Pigeon, which is the tool I’ve built that has helped me scale and automate these interviews. If you’re serious about doing interviews to grow your business and want to try out Pigeon, please reach out.
Welcome to Part 4 - the final part of this series!
If you’ve read the last 3 posts you probably have some great content published, now it’s time to share it with the world!
Here’s what we’ll cover in this part:
- How to get others to share your content
- Following up
- How (and where) to share your content around the web & social media
- PROCESS and Final Words
There is no holy grail
The first thing I want to say is that when it comes to sharing your content around the web, there is no holy grail - the closest thing to holy grail is probably Google search, but that won’t be covered in this post.
Just like anything in life, there are no shortcuts or easy ways to get thousands of page views. It takes hard work and dedication to get traction for your content.
What will be covered in this post will not make you an overnight success - because it’s the little things (when all combined and working together) that will make the difference.
Optimize for sharing your content
Later in the post, I will talk about where to share your content, but first let’s talk about how to make your posts more shareable.
Have a good looking website
This is obvious, but often overlooked. If your website looks nice, and doesn’t have popups, banner ads, and crap all over it, then people are more likely to share it.
This isn’t a blog post about design, but in my opinion, simple design is good design.
By definition, blogs are really simple, it’s just text on a page. Keep it simple.
Here are a couple blog designs that I really like:
“Make it about them”
Everyone has an ego and you should take advantage of that.
If you’re doing interviews, make the post “about the interviewee”. Make it feel like it’s a Forbes feature on them.
If you make it about them, then they will share it! They will share it all across their social channels, they will share it with friends, and even use your article as a reference when others ask them questions about how they started their business (or whatever it is you are highlighting in your content).
Here’s what Starter Story’s header looks like (see how their image, name, and the word “Founder” is front and center:
Ask them to share
If you are doing interviews or there are people mentioned/involved in your content, let them know about it and ask them to share!
Here’s something I do with every blog post.
When the content goes live, I send a personalized email that looks like this:
^^ This email is 100% scheduled and automated by using Pigeon, including the social sharing links. Since I’m publishing new content every day, this saves me countless hours and I don’t need to remind myself to send this.
By using the one-click sharing options, this makes it really easy for them to share.
All they need to do is click a couple of buttons and they’ve shared it. To learn how to create one-click sharing links, check out this reference.
Make it as easy as possible for them.
I also ask interviewees to add a link to their own press page or blog. This is good for SEO (I think).
Provide great sharing assets
With every interview, I put together sharing images that look nice.
It looks like this:
And I even make one for Instagram:
These also work great at OG:images, which will make your Twitter / FB / Posts look beautiful. This will influence more clicks and shares as well.
To create these automatically, check out Placid.
I always make it a point to follow up with my interviewees, whether that’s a couple weeks after the blog post goes live, or maybe even a few months later.
In my case, I create an automated follow-up email (through Pigeon) that will ask for referrals.
It looks something like this:
This is how I’ve gotten countless warm leads, and even following up and asking for feedback is always a good idea in my opinion.
Sharing Your Content
And now for the big question - where to share your content?
I want to reiterate that this is by no means a comprehensive guide - this is just what has worked for me or what I have seen that has worked for others.
I also wrote a blog post a few months back that talks more about “how” to share that I think is worth reading.
Don’t be spammy
Again, read that post I linked to above, where I talk more about how to promote your content like a human being and not come off too spammy.
If you spam, you will just be kicked off platforms. Try to find ways to share your content without being spammy - sometimes this means getting a bit creative - have fun with it!
Where to share
I know it sounds obvious, but the best places to share your content is on your mailing list. It is guaranteed traffic and it is a great way to get rapid feedback from your most loyal readers.
Send newsletters often. I have done once a week since starting, and I’m moving to twice a week soon.
Work on increasing your mailing list as well. Look into ways to increase your conversion rate to your mailing list. I added a flyout popup thing to my site and now I’m collecting ~30 emails per day.
An email newsletter is one of the most powerful assets you can have and it is worth its weight in gold.
Reddit is one of my favorite places to promote content.
It is a very scary place because you will often get banned or heckled, but it can really pay off.
I have written extensively about promoting on Reddit, so check out the following posts:
- Sharing Your Stuff On The Internet In 2018 (blog post I already mentioned)
- Discovering The Power of Reddit And Increasing My Traffic and Mailing List
- After the #24hrstartup - Launching Your Startup
Create social media accounts for your blog, the main ones I use:
Set up Buffer and share all of your blog posts to all of your accounts. All of these little shares really do add up.
Automate this as much as possible. I automated all of my social media for Starter Story.
Although I never personally have had much luck on Pinterest, I have heard great things.
I would google around for a guide and look for a good system (hopefully automated or outsourced) that can help you get traction from Pinterest.
When I started out, I put together a spreadsheet of relevant Facebook groups for my niche, and I would post to these groups whenever I had a big story I wanted to share.
Unfortunately, there is no way to automate this, but I would at least automate the text and images and have a post that looked something like this:
Some other valuable websites
Again, this is just what worked for me. There are countless other platforms that I may have never heard of that might work for you.
So do your research and stay curious!
Here are some other places that might be good to check out:
The Balance of Process & Automation
To end this blog post (and this guide), I want to finally hit on the importance of developing your process and automation, yet staying agile enough to try and learn.
1 - First, you need to find what works.
A lot of people get trapped in one of two boats:
- Doing everything manually, never scaling.
- Prematurely designing/building process and automating, but not executing on actual work.
I believe you should try to be in the sweet spot of those two. This is where the magic happens.
Do things manually at first:
- Send variations of cold emails manually.
- Manually share on Reddit.
- Share on Twitter manually.
- Send follow up emails manually.
And find what works.
Embrace the manual work as it will be some of the best learning experiences and will teach you a lot.
2 - When you see something working - build process, automation, and/or outsource the work.
Utilize technology to organize your systems, reminders, etc. For example, schedule your blog posts ahead of time.
If it can’t be automated today, you should be sending yourself automated reminders to do manual tasks that must get done every day (i.e. sharing content on Reddit). Then, focus on automating and outsourcing these things so you can work on more things that are important to the business.
Never tell yourself you are the only one that can do something. Likely, a computer and/or another human will do a better job than you.
If you don’t eventually automate or outsource, then you will hit a ceiling - and you will eventually hit burnout which is what happens to most bloggers.
Thank you for reading!
Well, I guess that’s the end of this guide. I hope you enjoyed it.
Check out Pigeon if you haven’t already. It’s great for bloggers and it will save you countless hours on your email tasks and help you stay on top of things.