There are so many blogs and podcasts on the internet today, that it can be tough for someone new to establish an audience in the noise of all the other content already out there. The “in” thing these days is to sign up for Social Networking sites and blast the same message over and over again, but here are much better ways to use your content and the power of Social Networking sites to extend your reach to new readers and listeners.
1. Establish a clear Social Networking “Voice”. When content creators are wanting to promote something, whether it will net them money or not, they will become a parrot repeating the same message over and over. That can be very annoying, especially if you have a small number of followers. Do you like to hang around someone who tries to sell you on the same thing all the time? Nope.
Think of Social Networking sites as an extension of you online. Share things about your day, your life, your new discoveries, peppered in with mentions about your blog and/or podcast. The best way to look at it is Social Networking posts should be 75% you, and 25% your content. Also, vary your posts about your blog and/or podcast. Don’t post the same exact message each time, find ways to adjust it each time to reach a different person.
2. Find groups of people on Social Networking sites that share common interests of your blog and/or podcast and add friends a bit at a time. If you never add new friends, you will never reach a new audience, right? I realize that Facebook now asks you, “Do you know this person personally?” before you add someone new, but I feel that Social Networking sites can be used (within reason) to market your content. You will need to decide how you will use it. I have created an intro note to use in the “Add a Personal Note” link on the Add a Friend popup box. The note says that we have a common friend, and I explain the blogs and/or podcasts I produce (and include the urls, too. Free publicity either way. :) ). I let them know that I wanted to friend them, but if they would rather not, no problem. I wish them a great day, and that’s it. The ball is in their court to friend me back.
3. Blogs and Podcasts are like pies. If you shoved an entire pie in front of someone and told them, “Here eat this whole pie, it’s really good,” normally they would not want all that. It’s the same thing to ask someone to read your blog or listen to your podcasts. That is alot of time and investment, but there is a better way.
Break your blog posts and podcast episodes into subject groups. Whatever your blog/podcast subject is, you surely have sub-topics that would appeal to some of the people you know that currently don’t read/listen to your content. Post something on your Social Networking sites about one post or episode that will appeal to a certain number of your friends or followers. You may even want to email them or send them a Private Message about the post/episode (Sometimes people miss posts in the main news feed).
4. Write posts about a certain time of year. This is a great way to have people search and find your content in search engines, then read/listen to your content year after year.
5. Write teaser notes in Facebook on certain blog posts or podcast episodes and make them accessible to everyone. Note: You can even use the Share function to repost the note at different times in the future, too.
6. Review your website statistics and write more content similar to those that had the most traffic in the past.
7. Remember a blog post or podcast episode should be a taste of the topic, and not an exhaustive coverage of it. Leave room for people to add to it with voice comments, post comments or email feedback.
8. Mention people that discuss your content on the Social Networking sites. People love to see or hear their name, and they will tell others to read/listen to your content, too.
9. Place your website address in your signature lines of your email, business cards, forum signatures, etc.
10. Be a great friend/blog reader/podcast listener to others, and people will come back to you. Tell others about their content, leave great comments on their posts, interact with them on Social Networking sites, and it will be returned in time.
Have fun with your content creation endeavors and best of luck to you.