If an article is posted on your website and no one is there to read it, does it make a sale?
Nope. It’s not a philosophical question. The numbers are the answer. If your content doesn’t have an audience, there’s no one to convert into sales opportunities or referrals. The article is lost like a lonely tree falling in a forest.
It doesn’t matter how good your content is if you don’t have an audience.
Distribute your content
The publish button on your blog or newsletter is deceiving. It’s not the end point, it’s just the beginning. The next question is, “Where else can I publish?”
Take a look at the celebrity consultants and experts in your industry. They’re not just blogging and writing books, they’re everywhere: Huffington Post, HBR Blogs, Forbes, TechCrunch, Medium, and the traditional media. They grow their brands by constantly seeking out new audiences.
Where else can you publish your content?
There are lots of content distribution opportunities (in order of difficulty):
- Guest post: Share articles on related blogs and websites.
- Trade journals: Pitch the editors of association and trade magazines with relevant articles for their publications.
- News sites: Get an intro or build a strategy to have an article posted on HuffPo, HBR, Forbes or similar mainstream sites.
- Traditional media: It will be hard to get published in a print newspaper, but you may find an opportunity to write for the digital platforms of mainstream media.
Double down on distribution
For every hour you create content, invest two more to grow your distribution. It’s a simple ratio, but largely forgotten.
I’m applying a 2:1 ratio to my content this year. I’m acknowledging there isn’t much point writing if I’m not prepared to promote and distribute my content. For every hour I create, I’m setting aside 2 more for distribution.
Set aside the appropriate amount of time to develop content distribution channels for your business. You’re not going to get an article in the Huffington Post or Business Insider by hoping and dreaming. It’s going to take work — a lot of work.
Not only will you have to be a strong writer, you’re going to have to have a compelling topic or angle. You’ll have to develop the relationships and the pitch to get noticed. And you’re going to have to pay your dues writing and publishing to establish your credibility to be taken seriously.
It’s a building process: pitch, write, publish, repeat. The more places that pick up your content, the more people will seek you out.
Don’t procrastinate. Look for new distribution opportunities every week. Take a look around, and choose 3 places to pitch.
If you’ve never written for another publication, start small. Go after a guest post. If you’re an accomplished content creator, look at the next level and figure out how to get there.
It’s a matter of sales. If you want your content to drive your marketing and business development, then keep seeking larger platforms to publish your work.