Blogging is noisier and more competitive than ever.
Even just getting people to notice — let alone actually read — your articles can feel almost impossible. Meanwhile, we all know that social media algorithms can change in a moment, disrupting even the few strategies we find that work.
So how can content creators stand out and find readers?
Fortunately, there are many underutilized blog promotion techniques most bloggers have no idea about. If you’re willing to invest a little more time, there are still powerful methods for consistently driving traffic back to your blog. It starts with thinking outside the box.
As a SaaS copywriter, I experiment every week to find new techniques for promoting articles. Here are 5 unconventional tactics you can try to attract new readers:
Share your article in Quora Spaces
I’ve been focusing a lot of my attention on Quora lately. I think in general that it is a very underutilized distribution tool.
In the last month I’ve had a few interesting wins, like an answer I wrote that was distributed to over 100,000 people through Quora Digest. I’ve also had a handful of answers get multiple thousands of views by simply responding to relevant questions.
But there’s one tactic that puts my other Quora distribution hacks to shame. It’s this simple: share a link to your blog post within a relevant Quora Space. If your article is accepted into the Quora Space, it can be sent to thousands of potential readers.
Quora Spaces are relatively new. They were only created late last year and, for the most part, seem to slide under the radar of most bloggers. I’ve shared several blog posts through Quora Spaces. These simple shares have resulted in hundreds of new readers to my own and my clients’ blog posts.
Incentivize shares using a double lead magnet
If you’ve been in content marketing for more than a few weeks, you’ve probably already heard the importance of having a lead magnet on your website.
Lead magnets are a value-added resource or tool that website visitors can download in exchange for giving you their email address. A good lead magnet can help you build an email list and grow your personal following.
But most bloggers create one lead magnet and stop there. Those writers miss out on the power of using what I call a double lead magnet. Here’s how it works:
When someone subscribes to your blog, they tend to be very enthusiastic about your ideas and work. In that moment, you can incentivize new subscribers to promote your blog, website, or brand in exchange for a second resource or tool.
On your “Thanks for Subscribing” page, include a second lead magnet. This time, tell readers that if they share your website, blog, or email list with their friends on social media, you’ll give them access to another valuable resource.
You immediately turn new subscribers into happy brand ambassadors.
Get influential people to share your content
I don’t have a large LinkedIn following. If I had to guess, Id say most articles I share on LinkedIn receive between 3-7 engagements — pretty uninspiring. But that number jumped exponentially a few days ago when I shared a recent post.
In the first 24 hours my article received 20+ comments and ~250 likes. How did I do it? By interviewing someone with a larger following than me and tagging them in the finished piece.
Here’s how it works: Many people — even people with large followings — are more than happy to contribute their opinion to someone else’s article. They see it as free publicity for their ideas.
Sometimes you can literally just DM or email the person you’d like to interview. But if you don’t want to contact people directly, you can also make others to reach out to you. You can use resources like HARO and Response Source. These are websites journalists and bloggers use to connect with industry experts for quotes, stats, and relevant stories. You can use these tools to connect with relevant experts.
Another tactic involves using Twitter. Simply write a post detailing the types of stories or facts you’re looking for. Before you publish, make sure to include the hashtag #journorequest. There are many people who follow this hashtag looking for opportunities to spread their ideas.
The key is, when you publish your article, make sure to tag your featured guests on social media. Often the guests you’ve featured will help spread the article within their networks, driving more readers to your blog.
Find article curation networks
Why waste time looking for high quality articles when someone you trust can do it for you?
That’s the idea behind curated blogs and newsletters. A newsletter or app will scour the internet for the best articles on a specific subject. When they find an awesome piece of content, they share it with their audience.
You know what that means? If your article is good enough to get past the gatekeepers, they may email your article to an enormous email list for free.
Since I work in the SaaS and digital marketing field, I often use a curation network called Zest.is. But there are many, many platforms like this across a breadth of industries. Depending on your field, you might have several curation networks to try.
Usually there are clear pitching guidelines on the network’s website. Follow those closely, click send, and cross your fingers.
Create teaser content
I recently listened to an inspiring webinar about content distribution. The webinar featured Chris Von Wilpert, a content marketer at Sumo.
Chris offered a lot of great advice, but one of my favorite ideas had to do with creating “teaser content” on social media before a new blog post goes live. Most of us only think of telling social media about our blog posts after they’ve been published. But Chris pointed out that you can stir a lot more views for your article by getting people excited early.
Keep track of the people who seem interested in your article. When it is finally published, you can literally DM or email the article to those people to make sure they get to read your article.
What content promotion tactics have been working for you lately? Let’s discuss in the comments!