From the moment we wake up, we consume a crazy high amount of content.
In just one minute: 7 million Snapchat videos are posted. Over 2 million Instagram posts get “hearted.” Facebook gets over 4 million likes. Nearly 350,000 tweets happen. Google translates 69 million words. (Contently)
In one day: almost three million blogs are posted.
So it only makes sense that you should share your awesome content on all of those platforms in order to have the greatest reach.
In a world of endless options for publishing content, we should publish anywhere and everywhere, right? (FOMO!)
Not necessarily. Let’s keep talking.
Where to Publish Content: Why The Answer Starts With Where NOT to Publish
One of the challenges we face as content marketers is the rise of social media platforms and the fact that readers don’t just start there – they never have to leave.
We use social media for news, to keep up with trends, to connect with other people, and to follow our favorite brands, which means we’re more engaged than ever before. But we also run the risk of getting stuck in a rut with the billions of others who are plugged in worldwide.
Your content may be magnificent, praiseworthy, and top-notch. But that doesn’t mean you should utilize every blogging and social media outlet known to the internet in order to share it.
The more content you publish, the better, but where should you sink all your valuable content marketing efforts into?
Here’s Where to Publish: 3 Areas of Focus We Recommend
When you are ready to share amazing content, here are three of the best places to create and publish on.
1. Your own blog and site
Honestly: this is your real best content publishing real estate.
Upkeeping a blog is key.
Look at these stats:
1) B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
2) Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
5) Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
6) Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
Treat it like your #1 content hub. Grow and expand it, weekly if not daily.
Here at Express Writers, we publish the majority of the content on our site. The combined abilities of our experienced writers allow us to create quality content that brings in revenue while also helping our audience. We post once a week minimum, with posts between 1,500 and 4,000 words. Once a month, a Twitter chat recap in our dedicated chat section is also created and shared. Our content is consistent, well-researched, and published following a specific timeframe. Topics are planned and thought out with care.
Our branded content has ended up being a major, major source of our entire company revenue (to the tune of 99%). More on that in my case study.
Your blog content can be an amazing resource for your audience. Here’s why:
- Blogging can increase your search engine optimization (SEO), especially when you use keywords in the right way and create content in long form.
- Blogging gives you content to promote across social media channels.
- Blogging allows you a space to put valuable calls-to-action, which have the potential to generate leads and grow conversions.
A. How to write a strong blog post?
Hubspot offers some simple tips on how to write a blog post that begins with understanding your audience and ends with choosing a catchy title. You can read more about that here and grab some free blogging templates while you’re at it.
The best blog posts always have a clear topic and engaging title; the audience is drawn in and stays engaged because they have been captivated by the introduction.
The content is well-organized and relevant to the issue being addressed.
Experts across the industry craft quality blog content for their sites, including:
- Neil Patel – co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmeterics
- Barry Feldman – speaker, author, and creative copywriter
- Seth Godin – author and founder of Squidoo
B. How often to post?
You may be wondering how often to publish on your company’s blog. While every company is different in size, strategy, and industry, there is some research that can help us answer that question.
In one study from HubSpot, the results showed that B2B companies that published over 16 blog posts per month received more than 3 times the amount of traffic as compared to companies that only published 4 times per month.
For B2C companies, those 16-times-per-month rate saw over 4 times the amount of traffic.
In another study, over 90% of Hubspot’s blog leads and more than 75% of post views came from old posts.
Posting quality content multiple times per week may be just what your readers are looking for, and if it’s awesome content, they will keep coming back for more. Read more about how to write content for a blog over here.
The time, effort, and work put into your own content makes your blog site YOUR real estate.
Why publish your best on someone else's real estate? - @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
2. Guest blogging in your niche
Before you decide where to guest blog, you should set a goal for your blogging.
These goals could include anything from setting yourself up as an authority in your industry to driving readers to your own site.
Check out how we achieve results from guest blogging: my content, for example a column I keep with 2 posts/week on SiteProNews, has netted us a lead worth $5,000.
When you begin with this sort of focus, it can help narrow your scope as you write.
Guest blogging in your niche is a great opportunity to share your authoritative view on a number of topics, but you must find platforms where your audience is already located.
You may find opportunities by searching for blogs that invite guests to post – just do a keyword search using words from your industry combined with “guest post” or “guest blogger.” From here, you’ll find guides, and the publications publishing them will more often than not accept guest bloggers in this industry. (See result #2: that’s CMI’s guest blogging guidelines!)
A recent Google search for “content marketing submit a guest post” presented almost 3 million results. (!!!)
You can also look on the social feeds of your buyers. Check out Facebook feeds and Twitter posts – what content does your demographic share? Your potential audience is already reading content across these mediums, so it’s a good place to start.
At Express Writers, we have seen some serious return on investment from just one guest blog post. I already showed you the Life Cycle graphic, but check out my post for more about it.
What are some of the “secrets”?
- Focus on less channels, not more.
- Focus on a relationship with a real person, not a contact form.
- Focus on the platforms in your niche.
- Focus on giving your best, most useful content.
Guest blogging in your niche is also a great way to connect with other marketers in your industry. You never know where a relationship may lead or when you will need their advice for your own content development.
3. Be on Two (Very) Authoritative Platforms
Sharing your content on authoritative platforms not only sets you apart as an expert, but allows your voice to be heard by a larger audience. There are benefits when you publish on sites like Medium and LinkedIn.
Why? Because you are demonstrating your expertise through the delivery of valuable content – it’s showing an audience versus just telling them.
Writing, publishing, and promoting content on this platform means you’ll join the likes of Sports Illustrated and the White House.
Yes, the White House. As in, the State of the Union addresses and policy announcements.
When founder Ev William first launched the site in 2012, he noted that Medium is a place where writers focus on the words while also serving as a place of collaboration so you can say what you want to say.
Wordstream shared 10 reasons content writers should publish on Medium. They include:
- The simple import process.
- A built-in audience through Facebook and Twitter.
- Engagement tools, so you can see who’s reading and how many.
- Minimum effort – no original content required.
Read more here, including how your valuable content can be discovered by publishers who scout for authors on Medium.
This virtual gathering of all types of professionals also serves as a publishing platform. In February 2014, LinkedIn Pulse went public, allowing writers from a variety of industries to share their thoughts with the click of a button.
In order to write successful content on LinkedIn, there are some suggestions noted on the site to help get you started:
- Offer advice for career advancement.
- Describe challenges in your profession, both current and future.
- Discuss how your industry has changed since you began.
- Give solid advice to one who hopes to enter your field.
Posts should be long-form and are bolstered by relevant images or videos. While there are no limits on word count, the more helpful content you can share, the more value you can bring to the table.
And don’t forget – editing is your friend!
Case Study: Where We Publish Content at Express Writers
I lead our inbound content strategy (and write a lot of it, with other staff members).
Here’s a visual representation of what my schedule when publishing content looks like.
As you can see, a large portion of our content is dedicated to our site. Hence the huge amount of inbound leads we receive (case study on that here).
What About New Platforms? Answer These 3 Questions to Make Sure it’s Worth Your Time
New platforms for content publishing may arise out of the night like a sparkly, shiny marketing tool that calls to you and beckons you to come forward and share your valuable writing.
Don’t fall for it.
When Blab.im was released as a video discussion website and livestream app, people loved it and spent a lot of time on the site – an average of an hour a day. The platform took three weeks to build and went from 0 users to just under 4 million in less than a year.
In August of 2016, the website was shut down, and along with its departure went all of its users’ content.
This is proof that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. So how do you decide what to keep and what to toss?
Ask yourself these three questions first:
1. Does this platform fit my niche?
If it does, you are more likely to attract qualified leads and find the right audience for your topic. Content shared on LinkedIn is not going to look the same as content shared on SnapChat, so think carefully before jumping into a new platform.
2. Who is my intended audience, and do they spend time there?
In order to know if your audience participates in a particular platform, you have to first know who they are. Define who you are trying to reach and then find out where those individuals spend their time.
Copyblogger reminds us:
“Before you can get someone to buy from you, you need to know what to say to them, and how to say it. You’ll never get that right unless you know who you’re talking to.”
3. Will my presence there help me meet my content goals?
If your goal is to increase brand awareness, a focus on guest blogging may be more worth your time than a case study. If you are looking for engagement, being active on social media channels could help your content go viral faster than a podcast.
The Downside to Being Everywhere
Content marketers are busy people, and we’re not just talking about the actual content creation part.
This may be your only job, or it may be in addition to that other job you work. You may or may not have a spouse, kids, a home, and other interests that demand your attention. It’s possible to stretch yourself too thin as you try to be every solution to everyone, and burn out.
There is a downside to being everywhere.
Can Being Everywhere Lead to Being Nowhere?
When you are just starting out – and even when you’ve been at this content thing for a while – it is easy to fall prey to the notion that your content should be everywhere.
After all, isn’t that how we make an impact?
Actually, the “Be Everywhere” strategy can take you down a long, winding road to the town of Nowhere. No one wants to be here. It’s marked by content creators who have spread themselves so far that they have little to give.
Nowhere is a land of few listeners and even fewer conversions.
Over at Entrepreneur, Jeff Stephens reminds us why trying to be everywhere can lead us to nowhere:
- Every platform requires time, focused effort, and a learning curve while you try to get to know a new audience.
- Focusing on too many channels distracts us from what really matters.
- Being everywhere wastes time and means you are nowhere fully.
For more inspiration on this, listen in to my podcast with Mark Schaefer, one of the top business bloggers in the world, where he discusses the downside of not focusing on and mastering just a few channels – for many years with Mark, it was just one channel, his blog!
The solution to being everywhere is to find the place where you really need to be, and target your content across those channels.
Does targeted content distribution matter?
Among marketers, 53% say that target content distribution is a factor that has contributed to their increased success.
At the same time, the average number of content marketing tactics used is seven, with the top being social media and blogs.
Graphic from Content Marketing Institute
Intentionality in choosing your distribution channels will not only benefit you – saving time, energy, and resources – it will benefit your audience, as well.
They will get your best content, the content that has been crafted with a focus on their needs and real solutions.
Only you can decide which channels are beneficial and which ones need to go. But whatever you do, don’t get lost in the land of Nowhere. It won’t bring value to your message and it certainly won’t benefit your readers.
Gain Focus with a Solid Content Marketing Strategy & Know Where to Publish Content
In order to know where you want to go, you need a plan for getting there. That’s where a content marketing strategy comes in, although the majority of marketers do not have one.
Only 37% of B2B marketers and 40% of B2C marketers have a content marketing plan in writing, while 70% of us are creating more content this year than in 2016.
Study after study has shown that success comes when we write down our goals, go back to review them, and share them with others. It is not different for content creation.
No matter how small or how big your team is, a written content strategy can make a huge difference in how you reach and who you reach with your message. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
- Define your goal – why are you producing content?
- Conduct your research – who is your audience?
- Evaluate your content – check out what you did last year, and see if you can switch it up.
- Secure a content management tool – try HubSpot’s software, CoSchedule, or WordPress.
- Brainstorm content ideas and types – outline the blog post that’s been simmering, start crafting that e-book, and put together an infographic if these types of content are what will work best for your audience’s needs.
- Publish your content – Post it on your website, social media channels, or on a guest blog. Create quality content on a consistent basis. Don’t offer your audience something generic that they can find anywhere. Be specific and be intentional.
The Truth About All Those Platforms
If we were to sit down over a cup of coffee and list all the platforms available to content marketers, it would be extensive.
- Social media sites
- Video sites
- Email marketing
- Graphic tools
- Paid promotion tools
- Blogging channels
In addition to the countless number of publishing sites we already have, there are new ones popping up all the time. Where you should focus your efforts depends on your goals, your audience, and your resources.
And all of those platforms? Just because they are there doesn’t mean they are the right ones for you. The last thing you want is to put all your efforts into something that doesn’t reach your target and ends up taking you to the town of Nowhere.
When you know your readers and you know where you want to go, where to publish will make much more sense. Combine this with a confidence in your abilities, and you can be on your way to publishing the right content in the right places.
Find Your Rhythm, Know Where to Publish Content that Works for You
Challenges for content marketers abound, whether you’ve been in this field for a week or a decade.
Where to publish your content can only be decided by you, but these tips can go a long way to help.
With a bit of thought and planning, find your rhythm, choose the best outlets for your audience, reach the right people – and do amazing things!