Content Writing Contest

You just wrote the most in-depth, original, practical piece of content you’ve ever written. You know the people reading it are going to love it, share it, and contact your business for more information.

So what?

It doesn’t matter how good your content is if you don’t have a reliable way to ensure that your target audience will see it. Getting eyes on your work is as important as making the work appealing in the first place, just as a well-cooked meal does nobody any good if it ends up in the garbage.

Ideally, once your post starts circulating, its quality will speak for itself; your initial audience members will start sharing your content and linking to it, and it has the potential to spread virally from there. The trouble is, most marketers and business owners don’t have a reliable way to catch the attention of that initial audience.

So how can you do it?

Visibility Hacks

Even if you don’t have much of a social media following, and even if your budget is limited, these hacks should be all you need to introduce your content to an audience of thousands:

  1. Earn an influencer’s attention.

    The idea behind influencer marketing is simple; get an influencer to mention you or talk about you, and your brand will instantly be displayed to thousands of new people. The premise is similar here, but you’ll need to think carefully about how to broach the subject; you can’t just reach out to a random internet celebrity and ask them to share your piece. Instead, find an angle that they’d appreciate—for example, you might have a statistic that contradicts one of their claims, or new evidence that supports one of their theories. If they’re interested, they’ll respond—and they might even share it with their followers.

  2. Use snippets to diversify your social sharing.

    It’s a no-brainer that you should share your content on social media—even if you only have a few dozen followers. The real secret to generating publicity for it is sharing it multiple times, with different “snippets” or lead-ins to your work. These can be snappy quotes, revised versions of your title, or statistics you offer in the body of your content. All of these variations are highly shareable, and can make your content circulate faster—especially if used multiple times in multiple ways.

  3. Recruit your sources to the cause.

    If your content is in-depth and authoritative, it probably links to several offsite authorities. Consider emailing those authorities and letting them know that your work references them. If you’re lucky, they’ll share it on their own social media channels, giving you a quick shortcut to success.

  4. Harness the power of social bookmarking.

    “Social bookmarking” is starting to become an antiquated term in this age of social media, but the underlying idea remains; post your content to sites that specialize in providing entertaining and informative content to other users (especially if those sites target your ideal niches). These include sites and apps like StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit—and they could be your gateway to thousands of views.

  5. Transform your work.

    Why settle for just one medium of content when you could have multiple mediums with just one piece of work? If you have a written article, consider adapting it into a video or an infographic, then turning it into a PDF, or making a podcast about it. It won’t take much effort, but it could open your potential audience to a much wider circle.

  6. Cite your work in answers, comments, and responses.

    If your content answers a specific question (as it should), consider spending some time lurking online to find people asking that question. You can pop into question-and-answer sites like Quora, browse social media, or contribute to niche groups, then find instances of this question and respond to it while citing your content as an answer.

  7. Cite your work in guest posts.

    Last, but certainly not least, consider writing guest posts for offsite authorities. If you have a personal brand in place, this shouldn’t be too challenging; otherwise, you’ll want to create a personal brand from scratch. When you find a viable publisher, send them a pitch that serves the needs of its community, and write up a post that their editorial staff will love. In the final draft, include a link to your content, citing a statistic or quote to justify its existence. You’ll get a stream of referral traffic and simultaneously boost your search rankings.

Ongoing Nurturing

As you might imagine, these strategies work best when used in conjunction with one another. The more channels you have feeding into your work, the larger your initial audience will be. From that point, much depends on the quality of your content; if seen by enough people, high-quality material should be able to develop on its own. Still, it pays to keep nurturing your work by engaging with the people who comment on it, sharing it regularly, and following up with more external links and citations.

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Chad Pollitt Partner, VP of Audience Native Advertising Institute
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Joe Beccalori CEO Interact Marketing
Douglas Karr Founder & CEO MarTech.zone & DK New Media
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Dan Steiner Co-Founder & CEO Elite Legal Marketing
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Fernando Cuscuela Founder & CEO Everypost
Kelly Smith Content Manager CourseFinder
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Kevin Bailey Co-founder DigitalRelevance
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Quin Woodward Pu Marketing Director Audienti
Greg Shuey Co-Founder Stryde
Jean Bansemer CEO My Web Writers
Owen Andrew Journalist
Luke Kintigh Global Content & Media Strategist Intel

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