As I said in Part 1, Blogging isn’t Rocket Science. A third grader could blog.
Take a step back and you’ll notice that the act of blogging consists of three very specific, very different compartments. For lack of better terms I’ll refer to them as Content Creation, Distribution, and Response. Each of these is vital to the life of your posts and even that of your blog itself. I maintain that if all you do is the first (Content Creation) you’re only doing a 1/3 of your job. If that’s the case, why do it all?
Step 2: Distribution!
So you’ve written a fabulous post and hit the publish button. Yay!
Now what? Are you expecting people to find your post? While that may happen naturally we’re going to help it happen better and faster. How? We have a few ways to make that happen, some are automatic, some are not. (that’s ok, the manual ones take so little time)
Let’s start with your email delivery system. What? You don’t have a list that someone can sign up for to get posts emailed to them? Here’s an easy one. Go to Feedburner and set up an account. It’s free. Once you do, you can direct your RSS output there but for now we’re looking at just creating a mailing list. I’ll write a post on how to do all that if you want me to.
Once you’ve setup Feedburner, you post, Feedburner picks it up and emails it to everyone who has signed up for the list. They’ll give you a simple form to put on your sidebar, or you can get real fancy and create an image that links to it like I did.
That’s the automatic part. Next we’ll work on distributing our posts to various social networks. This is going to be done by you AND those that read your post.
Plugins. One of the greatest things about WordPress is the wide array of plugins. It’s a simple plugin that creates the series of icons at the top and bottom of this post for you to share with Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, and Twitter.
I could add more icons but I’m finding less means more these days. As for the plugin itself the one I’m using is called ‘Really simple Facebook Twitter share buttons‘ but there’s plenty of plugins available in the WordPress Directory. What these plugins do is allow people to easily share your post on their favorite social media platforms. When we post, we’re going to do exactly that! (it’s ok to be first)
Here’s a video of me doing that live, just after I had posted. I’m using Google Analytics in real time to also see if it’s working.
There’s another way. It’s old school. Once you’ve written your post, ask your friends to comment on it. You could do that via email, twitter, or like my friend Patrick Healy did, by tagging multiple people in a Facebook Post.
Does that really work? Yes, it could. The key to making it work is in having ‘banked’ enough social media favors so that when you ask a friend like this, they are receptive. Patrick has done this by commenting and sharing other people’s stuff. When he shares and likes and +1′s and tweets my stuff, he’s packing away favors he can redeem later (see The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt). Ask too often or too many times and you can guess what will happen. Out of whuffie, eh?
Now go, get your stuff out there!