How much web traffic can you generate with 26K Twitter followers, 1K Facebook Fans and a few thousand people in your Google Plus circle? I share from experience: not a lot.
Distribution is challenging for publishers. You may write articles that are perfect for the topical pages on Facebook Paper, until you read the publishing sites for those articles: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mashable, All Things D, etc.
What is completely unfair about the distribution challenge is that content quality isn’t so disparate. Bloggers oftentimes write far more compelling and interesting pieces than writers for the bigger outlets.
What I want to do is share a few secrets of how you can increase distribution of your content now. It’s not going to bring parity to writing for a big publisher, but I get a few hundred thousand unique readers to this site every year and this is how I do it:
Triberr is a grassroots distribution network for bloggers. The idea is pretty simple: leverage the social networks of all bloggers (the aggregate of many distribution networks) to promote each piece of content.
If you look on my Twitter page, I share up to 80 unique pieces of content from the network although I may publish two articles max on any given day (I should point out that all sharing is manually done and voluntary). The Triberr sharing mechanism leads to amplification across many small distribution channels and the results are quite effective: compare my effective social network (described above) to fact that I have potential reach of 140 million people through Triberr. That’s quite a difference.
The creators of Triberr, Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo are also expanding the network by offering paid campaign opportunities for bloggers and a host of other cool stuff. It’s a pretty great distribution channel that has greatly amplified my traffic.
Incidentally, I hear a lot of people say that they tried Triberr and don’t “get it.” To this I respond that they should want to increase their distribution enough to learn how to use it (it’s really not so difficult, but I remember the learning curve).
When I get my haircut they ask me for my email. They may give me a haircut if I don’t give it to them, but I figure it’s not a big deal and I spew my email address for them to type into the computer.
The concept is pretty simple. If you use Google Analytics, you can see how many repeat visitors you have to your site. You’ll be surprised how many people visit only one time. If you had a pop-up email box that invited them to get your content via email on a semi-regular basis you could turn a stranger-o-blog into a friend-o-blog, proverbially speaking. Point being, you could do a heck of a lot more with an email address than a hair salon could.
If you don’t like pop-up boxes – you might be surprised to find out they are far more effective than any other method of capturing email addresses.
If you think you can do the same with social networks instead of email – you’re wrong. Email is much better than social to reliably have your stuff read. But by all means, feel welcome to do this with Facebook and enjoy the benefits of each Facebook Fan seeing your posts one out of every hundred times.
A last note about email, be careful to comply with CAN-SPAM provisions. Use a reputable email service such as AWeber, MailChimp or one of the social CRM SaaS tools, and give the appropriate disclosures and opt-out links. If a service like Gmail decides you are a spammer, then your email communication will never be received by its intended recipients.
If you’re not familiar with BundlePost, it is a solution that automates back-office social media content, curation and scheduling functions. In other words – they find and curate social content to help people and businesses maintain relevance in the social space. It’s a cool tool, and its founder Robert Caruso is both a social media fanatic and a champion of small publishers.
BundlePost announced last week that they are indexing blog content to potentially offer to their users. If you think about the Facebook Paper example (or LinkedIn), hopefully you’ll see why a platform like BundlePost indexing smaller blogs is a big deal. If you have quality content (relative to other writers), then there is a possibility you’ll gain distribution.
So, this solution isn’t going to get you a ton of traffic but there are a lot of great sites that will allow you to publish unique content or syndicate your content on their site. On leaderswest, you get full G+ author attribution, Twitter attribution through Twitter cards and on all Twitter / Buffer shares, Twitter follow in the headline and all social networks listed in the footer, email notifications, and pretty decent distribution of your content. You can write unique content or syndicate your previously written content (which is published with a “noindex” tag so that no one gets into Google’s doghouse for duplicate content). Send me a tweet if you’d like more info.
Also, you can submit your URL to Social Media Today or Business2Community to get access to even larger distribution networks (much larger compared to my site, actually). I have experience with the folks at Social Media Today and syndicating with them is easy and they are really great about keeping writers informed about publication.
I’m sure there are plenty of sites similar to these out there if you look, too. People need content.
One last tactic for increasing your distribution is to pay for it. The opportunities to pay for distribution are limited only by your imagination and your budget. AdWords, Facebook, Twitter… heck if you paid me enough I would read your content. Every. Single. Word.
If you have some experience with these platforms or if you have additional ideas, please take the time to leave a comment.