We’re big fans of creating and sharing content at Whttl. We’ve set out to become the common glue of the sharing economy, and we are using blogging to establish our voice in the space. But writing content is one thing, having people actually read your post is another. So how did we make the leap?
Recently, I wrote a post about the data behind my 955 Lyft rides. Of all the posts I have recently written, I felt this one had the potential to really take off. So, I turned up the heat and developed what I called:
The Master Take-Over-The-World Blog Post Launch Sequence Plan
Short and sweet, right? In the end, the post was a success, and it culminated with an Entrpereneur.com write-up the very next afternoon. Below, I’ve put together my morning schedule that I use to promote a new post. I hope you can use some of these tips to get your very own posts picked up by leading national outlets. Even if you don’t, a proper execution of these tactics should nonetheless yield quite a bit more traffic for you.
10:00 AM Publishing
As I’ve previously written, I endorse posting to multiple platforms. For us, this means our company blog, and my personal Medium and LinkedIn. I post to them all nearly simultaneously. To minimize the workload needed in the morning, I have drafts cued up for each one, so all I have to do is click “publish.” I’ll assign our company blog as the “master”, and all promotional efforts are directed exclusively to this URL. The other platforms are just icing on the cake. With my 955 Lyfts post, I didn’t even actively promote on LinkedIn, yet I still tallied up a few thousand reads.
10:10 AM Sharing With My Audience
I share the master link via my personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. I use Buffer to pre populate these posts to run on autopilot, including both the original posts and an additional 5–8 posts that are sprinkled throughout the day. I direct around 70% of the total Buffer posts to Twitter, and 15% each to Google Plus and Facebook. I keep it fresh and I experiment with the copy; each post is slightly different than the last. I include different premeditated “@” mentions with each post, who in turn favorite and retweet to their large audiences, helping drive viewers.
10:15 AM Sharing To Community Outlets
I submit my master link to Digg and Hacker News. To cut down on time during my promotional blitz, I’ll have all of these links already open on separate browser tabs and ready to submit. Publications like Gizmodo and Valleywag allow users submissions, so I also submit to each.
10:22 AM Go Team, Go!
I’ve assembled a Go Team that I can count on to help spread the word about my posts. The members included myself, my wife, my cofounder, and his wife. Shocking, right!? I also have a good friend, Benji Hyam, who is an incredible growth guru. He usually joins in on the promotional efforts, too. (Thank you Benji!) When I give my Go Team a heads up that the posts are live, they do these three things:
- Share the link on to their respective Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts.
- Tag @Whttl, @GregMuender and @TimTT when appropriate.
- Like, favorite, recommend, reblog, and retweet the links all of my promotional efforts, including posts on Medium, LinkedIn, and the company blog.
10:28 AM Reddit
I use RedditList to identify the most popular subreddits that are relevant to my post. Starting with the most popular, I set a timer and post every 15 minutes (Reddit doesn’t allow posts in rapid succession) to a new subreddit for a couple of hours. In addition to my Go Team, I reach out to a few close friends to request that they upvote my posts. The window of upvoting opportunity starts to close within 10 minutes or so of the post, so time is of the essence to get the first few upvotes.
10:34 AM Google Plus Communities
I have identified a few dozen communities that are relevant to the content I produce. For the 955 Lyfts post, I posted my master link to about 15 sharing economy and data communities. Just like the aforementioned community outlets, I cue up each in a separate browser tab. When it’s time to post, I’m done in just a couple minutes. My guru Benji has been very adamant about the power of communities. In more or less words, he’s said, “Start with the communities. Leverage your post by gaining traction with your most receptive readers.” (I’ve got another post coming out that details my incredible hour long growth conversation with him. Follow me on Medium to get notified when that goes live.)
10:46 AM Facebook & LinkedIn Groups
Just like the Google + Communities, it is crucial to only post to groups that are relevant to the content. I suggest promoting to at least five groups for each post. You’ll know when you have connected with the right groups if you get comments like these:
11:01 AM Meetup Groups
After joining a group, many allow their members to post on the discussion board, and/or to send an email to opted-in group members. I’ll do both, if available. The crazy thing about mass emailing via Meetup is that, frankly, you are allowed to even do it in the first place! But, one must be cautious. With great power comes great responsibility. I’m hyper diligent to ensure that I’m sending to the right audience. Otherwise, guess what? I’m nothing more than a spammer.
11:15 AM Publications
Most publications have an email address that you can use to send tips to. I’m sure they get inundated with messages, so I don’t expect much out of it. However, it takes just a moment to send each one, so I usually fire off a dozen or so. Here’s the list I generally send to:
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
11:30 AM Reporters
Over the last few years, I’ve compiled a list of reporters, including their email address, publication, and genre. For my 955 Lyfts post, I found four journalists that had previously written about the sharing economy. I’ve learned the very hard way that sending emails to every journalist within a publication will not work. If you do this, don’t be surprised if they print a picture of your face and throw darts around the office! But I digress…here is the exact email I sent Catherine, a staff writer of Entrepreneur.com.
12:00 PM MailChimp
We’ve got a mailing list for a reason. Our recipients expect relevant quality content, so we share cherry-picked blog posts with them. We shoot for a weekly frequency, and also include some links to some previous posts that they may enjoy.
After the dust settles, it is important to look at the data. What worked? What didn’t work? Focus your efforts on the former. The Pareto Principle certainly applies here…you’ll find that a mere 20% of your input results in 80% of the output. Focus on the 20% for the next time, and you’ll consistently improve your craft without spending 50 hours per week doing so.
If you found value in this, it would be tremendous if you scrolled down a little further and hit the “Recommend” button.
Greg Muender is the cofounder of Whttl, described as the “Kayak.com for the sharing economy.” Use it to compare dozens of different providers and marketplaces at once, including RelayRides, DogVacay, and HomeJoy. Drop Greg a line via greg<at>whttl/dot/com. Read more posts like this on the Official Whttl Blog.