7 Ways to Get Extra Mileage From Your Blog Posts
Summer is prime road trip season since it’s a great time to take the family on vacation. When planning a road trip, people often try to see a number of sights and/or other family members to make efficient use of the time and the journey.
Apply this logic to your blog to create more content and get broader reach from each posting effort. Instead of creating new, discrete pieces of content each time you sit down to blog, plan how you can extend the information.
Here are 7 tips to help you maximize blog content creation and reach and get that extra mileage from your posts.
- Plan post reuse in advance. Maximize blog content creation by effectively using each topic. This is particularly useful for bloggers who have difficultly coming up with new blog ideas. (BTW—here are 125 blog post titles to inspire you.) When you write your post, craft related, tailored pieces at the same time. Think tweets, images, emailings etc. Then drip out your content over time. Present a different aspect of the same topic with each piece. This can be very efficient when you’re developing content for other uses. (Here are what 20 content creators suggest for content reuse.) Actionable Blogging Tip: Write two complete posts rather than having a single post in two parts. In my experience, content performs better if it’s presented as being complete rather than as part of a series.
- Create content for different media entities at the same time. This is another spin on planning content reuse in advance. The difference is that instead of creating different articles on different aspects of a topic for one blog, you’re doing this for a variety of other blogs or media entities. Actionable Blogging Tip: Allow other media entities to reprint your content on their blogs. When done well, this often includes a different spin on your headline and any accopanying images. Brian Rice’s Business 2 Community is a great example of an entity that leverages the power of its community by reprinting articles.
- Incorporate visuals in your posts. Include photographs and/or graphics that can stand alone and that your readers will want to share. People take in visual information much faster than plain text. It’s eye candy that attracts readers by making it easy for them to get the meaning of your post quickly. Most visitors only read a small proportion of your post. Take a page from Peg Fitzpatrick who creates alluring graphics to pull readers and sharers in. The one change I’d suggest is adding the shortlink so that people can find your specific article if it gets separated from the permalink. Alternatively, use images as the core of your content like The Satorialist does. Actionable Blogging Tip: Break up your post with appropriate images and/or examples like I did here.
- Use other content formats instead of text. Think infographics, video, presentations and audio. The additional benefit is that you can build up your knowledge of another format such as audio or video while supporting your blog. Post this content to appropriate platforms such as YouTube, SlideShare, iTunes and Amazon. For example, Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner is a strong proponent of podcasting and has a weekly podcast every Friday that’s also posted on iTunes. Actionable Blogging Tip: Test the waters by participating in another blogger’s podcast or video. For example, Jon Loomer interviewed me on his pubcast.
- Get a little help from your friends. Ask a group of influential people an important question and gather their input into a post. You don’t need to limit yourself to bloggers. You can collect input from a wide group of people. Here’s a popular example of 31 PR definitions from this blog. Actionable Blogging Tip: Let the people who participated in your content roundup know when you publish the post and ask them to share it with their friends and social connections.
- Take the “Don’t Make Me Think” Approach. Ensure that your content looks easy-to-consume. Break it into bite-size chunks and use bullets and bolding. Actionable Blogging Tip: Make it easy for readers to help distribute your content. If your post has some sharable gems, use ClickToTweet so that readers can just click on the fact or quote to share it.
- Offer a variety of ways to share content. Give readers a variety of ways to share your blog posts. While you might want to interact with them on Facebook, they may be active on other platforms. Actionable Blogging Tip: Leverage the power of your email responder to encourage readers to join you on other social media platforms. According to Joe Pulizzi, this works well for Content Marketing Institute.
Invest some time in planning your blogging content and you’ll find that it’s easier to get extra mileage from each post both in terms of content creation and reach.
What other suggestions would you add to this list and why?
Join me at Social Media Marketing World this coming Spring in sunny San Diego, California, where I'll be presenting a session on Blogging.
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- Tire: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vagawi/2472531743/
- Pile of tires: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_salter/4379271193/