It’s one thing to create something and post it online, but it’s another to get websites to actually share what you’ve created with their audience.
No matter what you’ve created – a video, a podcast, a funny image, a tweet – the best way to get other websites to feature it is to reach out to them directly and make the ask. But you need to be smart about how you do that and there’s a number of things you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable making the ask and to increase the chances of success.
To help point you in the right direction, here’s some things to consider before you reach out and try to promote yourself around the web.
1. Don’t Be A Spammer
When you decide to promote your content, your first instinct is going to be to post it everywhere and send links to every site you can find. Don’t do that.
No matter how awesome your creation may be, not every piece of content is right for every audience. You should think about what audience is most likely to enjoy the content you’ve created and only send it to sites that reach that audience. It will be much more effective and you’ll be much less likely to piss off bloggers who are wondering why you’re sending them content that doesn’t fit their site.
2. Don’t Be A Stalker
In addition to not spamming people, you also don’t want to stalk people. If you send somebody a link to your latest video and they don’t respond or don’t choose to post it, that’s ok. Most times, that will be what happens. But that’s ok.
What you don’t want to do is keep bugging people about the same video and nagging them to respond to you – eventually you’ll get annoying and they’ll stop considering any of your future videos. Instead, just send them the next video you have that you think their audience will enjoy and be patient.
3. Provide Value
The best way to get somebody to feature your content is to provide value to them beyond just giving them your content. For example, if you’ve got a Facebook or Twitter following of your own, you may want to plug their blog as a way of thanking them for considering sharing your content with their readers.
You might even want to volunteer to help a particular site find funny content or contribute some posts to them, in exchange for them posting some of your own content on their site. The more value you can provide to a site, the more likely that site is to feature your stuff.
4. Become A Member Of A Community Before You Promote To It
The best way to ensure success in promoting your content to a community is to become a member of that community first. This is especially true on social media sites and message boards. It seems obvious, but shockingly few people actually do it.
If you’re thinking of posting your content on a site like Reddit or a message board, it’s a good idea to first join those communities and let people get to know you before you just start asking them to check out your stuff.
Plus, the more you get to know a community, the better sense you’ll have of what that community likes (or hates) which will ultimately help you know whether you’re stuff is a good fit for that site or not.
5. Build A Relationship, Don’t Just Ask For A Favor
This is a HUGE one. If there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be that ongoing relationships will serve you better than one-off hits.
In all of your promotional activity, you should think in terms of building an ongoing relationship with sites as opposed to just asking for short-term favors. Your goal should be to get to know the people that run the sites you target, or the most influential members of a community so that you’ll have a real relationship with each other as opposed to you just asking them for a favor.
The stronger a relationship you can build, the easier it will ultimately be to promote your creations.
6. Not Everything’s For Everyone
A lot of times comedians make the mistake of thinking that the whole world should/will like whatever they create. That couldn’t be further from the truth – even if what you’ve made is “good.”
You need to be realistic about who your potential fanbase is and concentrate your promotional efforts on connecting your content with that fanbase. Don’t waste time working to get your stuff in front of an audience that’s not likely to enjoy it anyway.
7. Be Honest With Yourself
No matter how brilliant you think you are, you probably know deep in your heart that not everything you create is awesome. Well, here’s a tip: you don’t have to promote everything you create just because you created it.
Rather than trying to promote a video you made that you know is just mediocre, you’re better off waiting to promote the next video you make that’s great. Every time you promote a piece of content, people will judge you. You want them to expect your next video to be amazing, not that there’s a 50% chance it will be amazing.
8. Headlines Are Huge
Whether on social media sites or in the subject lines of emails you send to bloggers you’re trying to get to post your videos, the headlines you write are extremely important. You want to write headlines that capture people’s attention, tease your content, and make people so curious that they absolutely have to click the link and watch the video.
Here’s some more suggestions on how to write great headlines.
9. Write Guest Columns
One of the best ways to get attention for yourself on other websites is to offer to contribute content to those sites for free. Whether it’s writing a guest column, shooting a video specifically for that site’s audience, most sites will accept contributions from outsiders.
And when they post those contributions, they will allow you to plug your own website, Twitter account, or Youtube channel. It takes a little work, but it’s a great way to introduce yourself to a new audience.
10. Don’t Send Mass Emails
Ok, you’ve read these tips and you’re all fired up and ready to go. So you go compile a list of sites that you want to reach out to and fire off a mass email to 20 sites and ask them to post your latest video. Don’t do that.
It may take a little longer, but you’ll get much further by personalizing each email to the individual recipient and demonstrating in your email that you actually are a reader of their site. And don’t fake it – actually spend some time reading their site so you know what you’re talking about because people can tell when you don’t.
It’s sounds cheesy, but just be a real person looking to connect with another real person and you’ll find that you wind up having a lot more success. If you can’t be bothered to take a couple minutes to send a personalized email, then why should the recipient bother to take a couple minutes to actually post your content?
Want A Little Extra Help From Me?
If you’ve got something in particular you want to pitch to other websites to feature and want a little extra help in figuring out who to reach out to and what to say to them, just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to give you some personalized tips.
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