Once you have written an article for your business, you can take that article and proliferate – or spread – it across other channels to build your online presence. Following is the procedure I use when I have an article I would like to spread the word about.
1. Post the article to your own blog/website first, always. This ensures that Google and other search engines know that you are the primary owner of the information, and so that your website or blog receives the page ranking credit for the article. If you post it to another site first, when you do post it to your own site, Google will mark it as “duplicate content” and you will not receive the search engine benefits.
2. Set up an application such as Networked Blogs so that your blog post will feed into Facebook Fan Page and/or Profile automatically. Use facebook.com/twitter to set your Fan Page to post to Twitter automatically. This ensures that all new blog posts will automatically be proliferated onto Facebook and Twitter. If you have set up your LinkedIn account to accept Twitter posts, it will feed from Twitter into LinkedIn as a status update as well.
3. Go to your Linkedin account, log in and click on Groups. If you have not yet joined LI Groups that are appropriate to your target market, do that first and participate in conversations there regularly. Post your own discussions or questions, and reply to the discussions others have started so that you are part of the community. You will only want to share blog posts/links to articles in groups that accept this type of post. Some groups frown upon people sharing links to their own articles/posts so be sure you understand the culture/rules of the group.
4. Once you are participating in LI Groups, once logged into your account, find appropriate groups (depending on the article to be shared) to share your blog post and command-click (Mac) (right click on PC) to open each in a new tab or window.
5. In each LinkedIn Group find the status update box and click Attach Link and insert the link to the exact blog post (not the blog in general but click the article title to get the exact URL) and attach. You will need to paste the entire link including http:// for this to work so it will be something like http://www.myblog.com/blog/my-great-article/ This will pull up the title and description or first sentence or so of your blog post and an image, if any.
6. Toward the top, add a compelling question or title related to the article. It’s good to vary these between the groups as different headlines attract people and compel them to click. It is OK to skip this step once in a while and simply submit the link because it will pull from the page itself too. You can also add an additional comment or description about the article that will show up under the title. Since LinkedIn Groups are geared toward discussions, it is a great idea to make a statement or ask a question that will spark some discussion around your post’s topic. Then submit.
7. Look at Facebook Fan Pages or groups that accept and post links submitted by participants. Many do not, and consider this spam so be careful. (If you see others posting among the owner’s posts then it is usually OK, especially if you see the owner jumps into the comments and participates in the outside post’s conversations). When you find acceptable places to post, post in a similar way to LinkedIn – add a comment or question, and paste the link and submit. An easy way to start looking at the fan pages you belong to is by going to your Facebook profile and seeing the box of “Likes” on the left side. Those are your fan pages you would want to look at. Again be careful to only post to fan pages that allow or even encourage outside posts, as you do not want to be marked ‘spam’ on Facebook!
8. Submit the article to Ezinearticles.com if you would like your post to be reprinted by others either as blog posts on their own blogs, or articles in their newsletters etc. When you submit to Ezinearticles.com be sure to include an author bio box (2 or 3 sentences) so you are given credit when your article is reused somewhere. Be sure to read the editorial guidelines for Ezinearticles.com. Not all of your blog posts will qualify as an article.
9. Submit your blog post to other social networks. If you do not belong to any, check out Ning (use their search box – no need to start your own, simply search a topic in the search box on top such as ‘business’). Once you have your profile set up you can post your new blog posts as you write them, or some of them allow you to set up an RSS feed for your blog, if you have one (I hope you do!) so that your new posts are fed in automatically. Some other places to look into would be Biznik, Ryze, MerchantCircle, local forums or niche-specific networks.
10. Include an excerpt and a link to your blog post in your next email newsletter that goes out to your clients and customers. Some may have already read the article so there’s no need to include the whole thing, but a brief excerpt can alert those who may have missed seeing it elsewhere.
Other ideas – Create an audio of you reading the article and post as a podcast. Create a video about the article. Do you have any additional article or blog post proliferation tips? These are simply the things that I do. I’d love more ideas, please share in the comments!