February 22, 2013

Are You Selling Your Content Enough?

published this at 8:16 am

By Reese Jones

A lot of creative people often suffer from the problem of failing to market themselves efficiently, and by extension, the work they create. This is especially true when it comes to any content that makes its home on the internet, as quite frequently people are not fully aware of the options available to them.

Sure, there’s the more obvious choices – linking your WordPress account to Twitter or Facebook to ensure that all your content is appearing on the relevant social media platforms. But are you reaching out and actually offering your content to people in subtle or more proactive ways? Do you engage with other bloggers, network at events, reach out for interviews and go on blog tours? If not, you’re not doing your hard work enough justice.

It’s also arguable you might not be working hard enough, either, but that’s only the case about half of the time – some people simply aren’t aware of other techniques and assume that just writing posts and hitting “publish” will do the job. So here’s five ideas to get you started when it comes to getting your work out there and ensuring it receives the attention it deserves.

Blogger outreach.

It’s not often that people blog about a specific topic on a regular basis without being aware of the community that surrounds that topic. Social media, mental health, videogames – there are no niches devoid of discussion on the internet, so take advantage of this, and get involved with debates and conversations. Try commenting on blogs with similar topics and engaging with their writers – even offering them a guest post on your blog, should they be interested.

Engaging with the community.

Following on from the previous point, it’s also worth thinking about what you could be doing to better engage with the community. Connect with those who enjoy the topic and are deeply involved in and/or knowledgeable about it, but who don’t write about it themselves. These are your readers, and in order to appeal to them, there are many simple steps you can take. These include getting involved in your own comments threads, in forums, and also taking on suggestions for topics from readers who’d like to read your take on something.

Mix up your media.

Don’t just stick to writing unless you’re really not keen on doing anything else. These days, successful blogs are a balanced mix of text, images, video, and even audio. No one says you have to become a jack of all trades, but even using images to bolster a blog post with a little visual aid isn’t going to hurt – neither is looking up relevant YouTube videos and embedding them into the post. After all, it’s content for both you and the video producer, so your blog looks more enticing, and they receive more plays.

Go on tour!

If you’re not sure what a “blog tour” is, it’s pretty simple to get the hang of. You simply do a series of guest posts on various other blogs, in essence, touring the blogosphere and offering people your hard work – ie content – usually for free. Why for free? Because it’s an incredible way of making the audiences of ten sites aware of you in one big tour, and if you’ve got an article going up every weekday at a different site with a by-line that points them over to your blog, things will get busy for you, in a good way.

Keep improving.

Don’t just assume that you’re at the top of your game – there is no point in your career where that should be your mindset, and even if you’re blogging casually, it’s a bad attitude to have. Think about how you can improve your writing, your variety of content, the blog’s overall aesthetic – don’t give it 50%. People will always enjoy what you’ve got going on already, but by never evolving you’re damaging your chances of growing your audience.

Blogging isn’t easy. It requires hard work, commitment, scheduling, imagination, talent and intelligence. But after all that, if you’re not receiving any attention, something is wrong. Don’t be afraid to self-analyse and use these tips to improve things – you can only get better if you’ve got the right attitude. Happy blogging!

Author’s Bio: Reese Jones is a tech and gadget lover, a die-hard fan of iOS and console games. She started her writing venture recently and writes about everything from quick tech tips, to mobile-specific news from the likes of O2, to tech-related DIY. Find more about her and her work at Reese+ and tweet her @r_am_jones.

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