Does that happen to you too? You wake up dreaming about traffic, go to sleep thinking about it, and are literally consumed by it during the day? Maybe its my OCD, but there’s something about the thought of traffic pouring into my site that makes me feel all warm and snuggly inside!
So today, I want to talk about more ways to get the traffic we’ve been dreaming about… In this post I’m sharing a short blog checklist of things you should do as soon as your posts go live, so that your amazing content is found by as many people as possible.
Before we dive in, I’ve already covered some things to do before you publish (14 to be exact!), so be sure to read that post too.
Now let’s get into some things you should do after you publish. You may notice that one of the steps (#4 below) is included in both the before and after checklist. If you’re curious, it’s because this step is something you want to do both before and after you publish. And if that sounds confusing, don’t worry, it’ll all be crystal clear in a few minutes!
I’m forcing myself to keep this list short, partly because my brain’s a bit whoozy today, but mostly because I really want you to have a hit list of simple, actionable steps to take right after your post goes live. I figure if you can count the steps on your fingers, they’ll be easier to remember. Plus, I’m committed to writing a blog post a week (how about you?), so looks like we have to jump in and do this. 🙂
And if you’re really want a deep dive on this topic, be sure to read this post where I show you over 32 ways to get FREE traffic to your blog.
Ready? Let’s get this hit list party started!
Step 1: Create a second pin
You might be thinking, do I really need to do this? It took me forever to publish my post with just one pin… Isn’t that enough? There’s no way I have time to create another one!
I’m with you. This is one of those things that is actually a biggie though. Trust me, having two pins will make a huge difference in your traffic. I know this for sure because I A/B tested two different pins and one of them was a complete dud, while the other one is my top performing pin of all time! If you’re curious, you can read my case study for that test here.
#MORALOFTHESTORY Don’t get left behind with a dud pin! Make sure you have a second pin so you can compare. Once you get into the habit of creating two pins for every post, it’ll go much faster and you won’t even think about it. Promise.
How different should your pins be? Great question! I recommend creating one short one and one longer one that highlights points from your post. My longer-form pins almost always get more traffic (and sign-ups) than the shorter ones. But you still need the shorter one for your blog post, so that readers don’t have to scroll too far to read your epic post.
Easier if I just show you, right? Here are two pins I created for my last post:
Wanna know how I hide that second longer pin so it doesn’t appear on my post? I picked up a ninja coding tip from Sarah at xosarah.com. Here’s how to hide images on your posts:
- In WordPress, use the text editor and locate your pin image
- Once you find it, put this code around it: <div style=”display:none;”><img src=”your image here” /></div>
- Make sure the first <div> is before <img and the last </div> is right after the />
Now both pins will show up when you save your pin to Pinterest, but the longer one will be hidden on your actual post. Cool stuff, no?
Step 2: Socialize it!
After you create your second pin, it’s time to get social with it. Don’t be shy here! Make sure you share your work everywhere so people can find it!
As soon as the post goes live, I share it a few times the first week, like this:
- The first day
- A few hours later (for Twitter)
- The next day
- A week later
- Then into SmarterQueue, where it cycles through every month or so.
I’ve already covered when and how often to share your posts here, so if you’re still feeling your way around a social media strategy, you definitely want give that a read.
I created this Blog Promotion Plan + Checklist to help you plan what types of content to share on social media and when. If you want, click the image below to download it.
One thing I haven’t covered clearly, I think, is how to create a time-saving blog promo system, so that every time you publish a post, you know exactly what to do with it.
Let me take a quick stab at it now and break it down into 2 parts:
- Part 1: Scheduling Tools
- Part 2: Manual Sharing
First up, Part 1 (Scheduling Tools)
Your bangin’ system starts with going into your scheduling tools and setting up your posting schedule. Whether you use Buffer, Hootsuite, Edgar, Tailwind, or other is really up to you. You just want to make sure you do that first. This way whenever you add a new post to your queue, you know when and where it’s being shared.
Next, Part 2 (Manual Sharing)
You need a way to track where and when you manually shared each post. All that really means is When did you add it to Hootsuite? When did you share it to Pinterest? What about Tailwind? You get the gist here! You want a system where you can say done, done and done, so you know your post is out there in the socialsphere. This part actually took me a while to figure out! I would lose track of where I shared my posts, and then a week would go by and I’d think Wait a minute, did I schedule to Buffer?
After some trial and error, I came up with this simple tracking spreadsheet:
See those notes there? That’s where I add my post text, so all I have to do is paste it into my tweet/comment/description, etc. Now for Twitter, I create 15-20 tweets to go out the first week. They all have to be slightly different, so I write them out ahead of time in a simple doc, like this:
Now you may be thinking I know I need scheduling tools, but I’m on a tight budget and really don’t want to pay monthly. I’ve got you covered! You will love this free way to automate and loop your posts using IFTTT and Google Calendar. I’ve tested it and still use it in my other business for Facebook, and Twitter. Be sure to watch the video tutorial and download the template and guide below. You may also want to check out Recurpost, which I haven’t used yet but it also free.
Step 3: Share with groups and communities
In step #2, we shared to our social media profiles, pages, and schedulers. Now it’s time to share your post to groups and communities!
Here’s the thing: you need to take a more personal approach when it comes to sharing posts in groups. Don’t just spam your groups and disappear (especially with Facebook)! Get in there and talk to people! Make sure you participate in the weekly promo threads too. It only takes about 15 minutes a day to go through your groups, share your post, like and share posts from other members, and you’re done!
How do you track of all your groups? I’m glad you asked! Here’s a separate spreadsheet I use for Facebook groups:
Step 4: Make it SEO-mazing!
Remember the step that gets repeated in both the before and after checklists? Here it is!
We’ve already used Yoast SEO to target a keyword before we published, so we should be all good.
Hmmm, or are we?
I highly recommend giving your post another look-see. The reason is because I’ve searched for my post months after it went live, and believe me when I say it was out there in the blogosphere. I’m talking waaayyyy out, like nowhere to be found. Come again? My keyword has zero competition and I’m on page 14? Nope, that’s not going to work.
So what’s happening here? Why was my post so far down in rankings?
Well, first off, I thought I was using a long-tail keyword but it turns out it was too broad, and therefore, highly competitive. I needed to go back into Yoast and narrow down my keyword so I could give my post a chance to get up there on page #1.
See where I’m going with this? This same thing may happen to you. You might think you’re all set with your keyword, but actually it needs tweaking, or maybe there’s an even easier keyword you want to go after. And really, SEO takes some time to get right. Nobody becomes an SEO wizard overnight, k?
You’re going to be learning as you go. And that’s why I want you to check your keyword twice, once before and once after you publish. Heck, maybe even twice after.Check your #SEO keyword, then check the keyword in your title, post, images and headings. Click To Tweet
You might be thinking, no way…I can’t even get my head around SEO. Now you want me to do it 2 times?
I get it! This is one of those things that once you get it right, it will pay you back double in your investment. Google is going to be like an employee for your blog, working hard to bring you leads and customers. I call that worth it!
So right after you hit publish, go back and give your post another once over. Take a look at your keyword, go back to Keyword Planner if you need, check your title, double- and triple-check keywords in your post, your image tags, headings, and so on.
Step 5: Repurpose it!
Repurposing your post is a fancy pants way of saying that you turn it into another type of content, like a podcast or video. I like to think of it as repacking one piece of content and making it unique for a new platform and audience.
The reason you want to get in a habit of repurposing is because it gives you a chance to reach more people. Anytime you can expose your content to more people, that’s the way to go! It also takes some pressure off you when you feel like you just can’t come up with another blog post idea!
This looks like: You write a post and pin to Pinterest, then you record a quick tip video and post it on Facebook and YouTube the next day. 10 people repin your post, 4 people share your video on Facebook, and 7 people share it on YouTube.
See how your reach is snowballing? Are you getting a sense of the greater impact you have on your audience this way? From one post, you now have 2 different types of content to share on at least 3 different platforms. You can actually share that same video to Instagram and Pinterest too. Woo! That’s what I call smart content…
But wait, there’s more, hehehe. Your new content will also help you rank higher on Google, because you’ll have different content linking back to it.
Have I convinced you yet? Great! Let’s look at some types of content you can create:
- A video
- A podcast
- Infographic – if you followed step #1 you already have this, you multi-tasker, you!
- Quick tip graphic
- Webinar or hangout
- Create a challenge
- A twitter chat – build off of your post idea
- turn it into an email series (this is great for popular posts)
- Create a freebie opt-in from it (perfect for popular posts too)
- Publish it on Medium or LinkedIn Pulse (more like reblogging, but still good)
Bonus: I created this social media cheat sheet and content calendar with 24 days of content to share, plus the best times to share it and which tools to use for each platform. Click the image below to grab a copy of it.
Don’t overdo it
Okay so, now you know that this is something you should be doing, buuut, not every post is a good candidate for repurposing. You can overdo it here, especially if you’re reaching the same audience with the same thing over and over again. We don’t want to burn our audience out! Let’s throw some randomness in there, so that our content doesn’t become formulaic.
So for every post, ask yourself How can I present in a different way for a different impact so people don’t see the same thing in the same way? How can I extend this idea?
And remember, it’s ok to be choosy with what you repurpose. You want to make sure whatever you create, you create it well. You don’t want to hurt your brand!
You probably have some more questions about repurposing, so let me give you some guidance here:
Which posts should be repurposed?
Great question! Popular posts are a good place to start. You know that people love them and now even more people can! Another thing to do is go back and look at older posts that you can turn into something else today, kind of bring it back to life in a new way.
When should I share my new content?
You don’t have to share you new content all at once. In fact, why not spread it out? Let people breathe and explore other ideas until they’re ready to come back to it. Maybe you share a slidedeck next week, then a video at the end of the month, then an infographic the next month. The more different types of content you have for each post, the more creative you can get with what and where you share. Make sense?
Oh, and I highly recommend investing in some tools to create amazing visual content. This makes such a huge difference, and when you think about it, we’re all becoming publishers these days, so the better your images are, the more traffic you’re gonna get. Pinky swear. It makes a huge difference.
Should I include a link back to my post?
Absolutely! Now you’re thinkin’. You can actually link between all your repurposed content, and this works like SEO fairy dust too. The more links you have back to your post, the better your post will rank on Google. How’s that for making our traffic dreams come true! Gotta love it!
What linking looks like: In YouTube you link back to our post, in your podcast you link back to it, and even in your slideshow you link back to it.
By now you can see how creating multiple pieces of content for your ideas starts to give you a library of things to share, which is something I cover (and tons more!) in this social media strategy post.
Step 6: Reply to comments
It’s super important to engage with people who read your blog posts! Watch how people respond to a post and make sure you reply to their comments. Let them know that you’re paying attention to them and that you value them.
When people feel like you really want to know their opinion (which of course you do!) it makes them feel important to you, and they are, right? Comments mean that people liked your post enough to invest their time in leaving a comment. That takes effort, friends! Try to deepen and expand on what they’re saying, maybe ask them for a question or for an example. Who knows? Maybe they’ll leave you a second comment!
The other thing you can do is to provide more info in your replies, or add a poll to your post, which gives you a perfect excuse to reshare it again on social media. I’m thinking something like I’ve added a poll and would love your opinion! Or you can highlight conversations and share that. So if, for example, you love Mary’s comment, share it! This way you highlight the community and show that you value these types of conversations.
Step 7: Extend it with future posts
Great blogs take their readers on a journey, which is a fun way to build momentum with your blog post ? Once your post goes live, ask yourself if there’s anything you can do with what you’ve just written to extend or follow up with on the idea.
Even if you’re taking a bit of a tangent and going off-topic, if there’s a relevant blog post you can write about that also. From step #6, readers may have questions in their comments that might make a great blog post. This is also a quick and easy trick to come up with new post ideas when you’re a bit stuck with what to write next!
Sometimes one post naturally triggers another post. Maybe your post gives you a question that you don’t know the answer to, you can follow up with a new post to answer it. Or you can even follow up with some new juicy nugget you’ve learned since writing the blog post, or maybe a similar to the one you mentioned.
And here again, check your analytics to see which posts are most popular! Similar to repurposing in step #6, brainstorm how you can extend on that post, because something in it resonates with people, so here you have a golden opportunity to extend on it, deepen it, and try to even mimic the style of that post.
Step 8: Ha, fooled ya, one last step!
Now I know you may be thinking How do I remember to do all this? It’s all I can do to stay on schedule with writing and publishing my posts!
This is another one of those things that once you put a system in place, it’s going to become a natural part of your blogging process. You’re not even going to have to think about it. Promise.
All you need to do is set up a checklist )and this can be a simple Google doc) of maybe some questions to ask yourself that will help you do these 7 things. And don’t worry! You may not get to all of these steps the minute your post goes live. That’s perfectly ok and nothing to stress about. The best way to approach this is to master one step at a time.
So at first, you might get into the habit of creating that second pin and socializing your posts. That’s a lot right there, no? Soon you’ll see how just focusing on steps #1 and #2 will help you get monster traffic and exposure for your blog. Anything that brings you more traffic is time well spent, in my book! So right there, you’re already increasing your reach and your traffic with those two steps.
Once you’re comfortable, move on to step #3, and so on.
The other thing to do is to keep your checklist of questions handy, so that every time you publish a new post, you can just reach for it. I find that when I have those questions right in front of me, even if I don’t get to it right away it’s making me think about it while I’m doing other things. Keeping your list front and center will naturally trigger some of these steps, so you’ll be doing them without even realizing it!
If you missed the first part of this series, the things to do BEFORE you publish your post, you can download that checklist below so you have it on hand for your next post.