How do you get your singular voice heard in all of the noise? Get insider knowledge from a man that has had his content featured on TIME, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable and TechCrunch. As a talented speaker, writer and entrepreneur, Josh Steimle gave the inside track on how to get content on some of the most widely-recognized platforms online in his session at Content Marketing Conference 2016. It is possible to get your content seen on Mashable, Forbes and more and Josh shows you just how to go about it.
Where Do You Start?
Not everyone has a friend on a coveted site so where does one begin to create a blog post that an audience will crave? The work starts with searching your topic and seeing exactly what your audience in looking for online.
- For those have access to customer support emails, this can be a big plus into gaining insight into the real problems and thoughts of a customer and potential future prospects. A good customer support email can serve as a jumping off point to a relevant and engaging blog post. As Jay Baer said, “Talk to your customers.” Email and your customer service department is one of the best ways to assess trending thoughts and concerns of your target audience.
- What about if you don’t have direct access? Never fear, Quora is available to locate those burning questions. Look up questions and topics within a given industry and see the latest trending issues. This will also make for another place for content ideation for a blog or article.
- Steimle shared that the most fundamental question was to consider, “Why should and how should [your audience] buy what you are selling?”
After the research is complete and you want to get your blog out there, there are two immediate ways to tap into two established platforms and begin gaining some awareness. First, look to capitalizing on publishing a blog on LinkedIn Pulse. According to Steimle, anyone can publish here and you can get more views on your content. As a side note, preliminary research shows that not everyone has immediate access so it is good to find out more about your own personal ability to post content there. Neal Schaffer, another CMC speaker, wrote on this in 2014 and LinkedIn has more information on who would be considered to be a publisher. The second platform to use is Buzzfeed. Enter the Community section and add your post. Anyone can share content here as well and Steimle points us to the post, “What Would 2016 US Presidential Candidates Look Like with Beards?” With a few graphics from Fiverr and you can easily put your first post together.
What Makes People Want to Share?
An important element of creating share-worthy content are graphics. The right image for your audience helps to engage and get them to read on. Infographics are easy to view and share quickly and can be the perfect addition to a blog or standalone content to get more shares.
After the blog or content is created, it can be boosted with amplification. This will increase your audience views and ultimately get you more reach with relatively little additional investment.
What is the Right Way to Pitch Your Idea?
A great topic that Steimle covered was how to pitch to journalists the right way. You can easily find emails of journalists on their profile in Twitter. I will focus on the cold pitches as he mentions having a friend or a friend of a friend in the industry, but that door is easy and it is the cold pitch that is difficult for content writers and marketers. Please avoid:
- The “Shotgun” pitch
- The “I’m special” pitch
- The words: revolutionary, disruptive, innovative and über of
Do not claim extraordinary status or send the same email out to entire list of journalists. They have been receiving pitches for some time and can smell the “Shotgun” pitch from a mile away.
Rather, you need to do your homework.
- “Stalk” the writer online online and read his publications to get a sense of what topics he writes about and what type of audience he caters to.
- Ask the writer about the stories he or she is currently working on. This will let you know if you can be of use to them and vice versa.
- Send an email to develop a relationship and when receiving a response follow-up with something that you can offer to them. This can be in the form of sources, data, infographics or an entire article. Do not offer to help with the writing but instead just give them the whole piece.
- Keep the pitch brief and targeted on the individual writer.
The entire outreach is personalized and is meant to develop a relationship with a potential contact. This is the best way to begin to dialogue with potential journalists. In answer to an audience member question, Steimle said that journalists will respond immediately or not at all to a pitch. He told us to wait 6 days, follow-up once and then move on.
Get Your Foot in the Door
Josh Steimle, in his Track 3: Distribution session, offers practical ways for developing writers and content marketers to begin to get their content out and build brand awareness on recognized sites. Slides show examples of pitches and what to include and exclude on a personalized pitch. Research, personalization and brevity are the keys to the process.