Publish and Pray Doesn’t Work: 6 Smart Ways to Promote Blog Posts

You just wrote an outstanding blog post. You’re ecstatic enough to climb a mountain and tell God himself how awesome your content is.

But you’ve had zero luck with the “publish and pray” approach.

You don’t just want a view here or there. You want real traffic. You don’t just want a share or two. You want to go viral.

And with the right marketing approach and a little luck, you can!

Are you ready to stop praying for the best and to take action instead? Start by using these six smart tactics to promote your next blog post.

publish and pray

1. Syndicate Your Content

Syndicating your content means that you’re simultaneously publishing it in multiple places. So when you hit “publish” on your own blog posts, it’s also publishing elsewhere on the web.

Social Media Today, for example, is one such site that syndicates social media related topics from experts in the field.

Hosting Kingdom syndicates its content at

By sending out your content to relevant networks, you can leverage their audience and pull more people in to your content.

But you have to do this smartly. You obviously don’t want to upset Google by having a bunch of copies of your blog post spread across the web. So you’ll want to syndicate your content with trustworthy networks that either don’t pull the full post or aren’t followed by Google.

Kathleen Celmins shares some insight on this topic on Hubspot, so check it out if you get a chance.

2. Reach Out to Your Network

Begging for social shares isn’t any more effective than praying for them, but there are ways to leverage your network to drive traffic without annoying anyone.

The first thing you should know is to never send out a request that looks something like, “Please share this post. It would mean the world to me!” Unless people truly feel sorry for you, no one is going to bother lending you a share.

Also, be smart about who you connect with. If you’re asking someone to share your post, it should be someone you know well. Otherwise, the request comes off spammy and will be anything but effective.

There are better ways to leverage your network without blatantly asking for shares. The key? You have to make it matter to them.

Here are a couple of tactics that can prove effective:

  • Tag people on social media whom you’ve mentioned or quoted in your blog post.
  • Ask a friend’s or colleague’s opinion on the position your blog post takes.
  • Tip-off a connection about a new post that might prove relevant and helpful to them.

Here’s an example of a blogger I know who used Twitter effectively to reach out to her network about her latest post:

3. Tap in to Influencer Marketing

The tactics you use to spread the word via your network are similar to the methods you can use to get influencers to share your content.

But since influencers receive tons of requests for shares every day, the process can be a bit more involved.

The first thing you should do? Start connecting with said influencer. Find a couple of people in your niche who have wildly popular blogs and a huge social following.

Then, follow their blogs and social profiles. Leave comments and share their content. You might even shoot them a helpful email or just a message to say “thanks.”

Make this a habit so that over time, they recognize either your name, face, or both.

Once you’re ready to ask them a favor, remember that again, it’s about making your request matter to them.

That’s why you’ll want to craft a blog post that will help you get the most out of influencer marketing before you ask for shares. Do this by including mentions of these influencers in your content.

For example, include a quote from them. If you can get in touch with them beforehand and snag a quick interview, that’s even better!

Another technique is to write a post that compliments one of theirs, such as by expanding on it or offering an opposing viewpoint.

Then bring your post to their attention through email, a blog comment, or a Twitter mention.

4. Share in More Places, More Often

You’re already sharing your content on social media, but let me ask you this: How many social networks are you sharing on, and how often are you sharing?

If you’re only sharing your link on one or two networks and only when you publish your post, you’re missing out on a lot of exposure!

Start by exploring places you can share your content.

There are the obvious platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest, but why not try sharing your links in groups as well, such as LinkedIn, Google+, or Triberr groups?

You can also add your links to bookmarking sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon as well as join industry-related forums.

Now that you’re in more places, get more actively involved. You can start by Tweeting the same link more often but with a slightly different message. In groups and forums, find questions that relate to posts you’ve recently published and use a link to your content as a resource.

5. Write a Guest Post or Series

So you’ve leveraged social media and influencers, but have you ever considered how you can leverage your own content to promote your other content?

It’s simple.

For instance, you write a guest post for a popular blog on a topic similar to one you’ve already written. Then, you use your blog post as a resource in the article.

Word of warning: Some blogs don’t allow you to include links back to your own content in guest posts, so be sure to carefully review the submission guidelines.

You can also promote your posts by writing a series on your own blog. That way, Part 1 can drive traffic to Part 2 and vice versa.

6. Leave a Comment

A final smart way to promote your content is to leave comments on other people’s content.

Not only is this a great way to build relationships and make other forms of marketing easier, but many blogs will link back to your site in the comment section.

Look for blogs with the CommentLuv plugin that will let you add a link to one of your latest posts.

While it doesn’t necessarily help search engine optimization, it can help with traffic if you post a thoughtful comment on a fairly popular and relevant blog.

Promoting your blog through these techniques can take a lot of work, but if you’re diligent and focus on providing value to other people, these tactics can work wonders.

Which one of these methods will you use first to promote blog posts?

Alicia Rades

Alicia Rades (@aliciarades) is a professional blogger for hire who specializes in blogging, freelancing, and lifestyle topics. Learn more about her at, where you can download her free blogging guide, 20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hitting Publish.
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