How to Put it All Together: Publish and Promote
We’re getting close to the end of the DIY Content series. Hey! No need to cheer so loudly!
As always, this is what I do. It is not "what you must do." It isn’t even "what you should do." This is just what I do. Take from it what you will.
It’s your choice, not mine.
It's your voice, not mine.
If you are here, then...
You figured out why you write. "Why I Write", #1 in the series is here. You can find similar posts from other authors under the #howiwrite Twitter hashtag. Many thanks to Trent Selbrede for starting that ball rolling.
You chose a topic. "How to Choose The Right Topic: Breaking Free of Disinformation", #2 in the series is here.
You wrote the piece.
You re-wrote it more simply. "You Really Are An Expert. Share Your Insights, Publish!", #3 in the series is here.
You added an optimized title and image(s). "How To Optimize: Dam Good Pictures and Provocative Titles", #4 in the series is here.
You did your prep work. “How To Get Your Ducks In a Row Pre-Post” is here.
Phew! So now, you can hit "Publish," right?
Not just yet.
Once your article is published, are you ready to promote it?
Double-check everything. Read it aloud. Yes, read it out loud. Strange wordings sometimes show up when you read it aloud.
Find them. Kill them.
Be ruthless. Remember The Writers'Law of Fang and Claw.
Reading aloud also forces you to slow down. That’s great for proofreading. Proofread for spelling errors. Don't trust your spell check.
I once intended to write, "A thorny question," and forgot the "T". That changes the meaning somewhat.
Freudian slip? Perhaps.
Did you make extensive adds or edits? If so, run it through hemmingwayapp.com again.
Keep it simple.
Are your images ready?
I use beBee, LinkedIn and Twitter. That means I need four versions of my main image.
- 700X400 pixels for the LinkedIn article's masthead.
- 525X410 pixels for later LinkedIn updates (Optional but suggested. More on that later). This size, and the process described here, now works for LinkedIn Groups too.
- 600X600 pixels for promotional tweets. That’s the maximum size. Twitter will accept anything 600px wide to a max of 600 high. Some images don’t work well as squares. For those, I make the actual image shorter and add text below it. That what I did for “How To Get Your Ducks In a Row Pre-Post.”
That method works well as a tickler. In fact, it seems to generate more Retweets and Shares.
You can use the same image for LinedIn updates as you do for the LinkedIn masthead. I did that until recently. I saw some larger images on the newsfeed. Larger images mean better visibility. I changed my method to accommodate them.
If you cross-post to multiple platforms, you will need image versions for them as well. If you automate your cross-posting, you won’t
Add tags to your post
For beBee publishing, you need to decide to which Hives you will post. Start typing in a name and a list will auto-populate. Keep it logical. Just because the Marketing Hive has 50,000 members does not mean you should post your Goulash recipe there.
Pissing people off is not good for engagement.
LinkedIn allows you to add up to three tags to help classify your post. The theory is that they will easier to find. I’m sure it’s bullshit, but I'll reserve judgment on that.Hey, you never know.
The tag box is way down at the bottom of the post. Start typing a subject and LinkedIn will provide suggestions as you type.
I have never found a list of available tags. If anyone knows of one, please add the link in the comments.
Do you have fifteen minutes of free time?
Once you hit "Publish" you will have a few things to do. For greatest effect, you will need to do many things in short order. Make sure you have that time available.
Now you're ready to pull the trigger!
A window will pop up saying that LinkedIn has published your post. It will also ask if you want to cross-post to Facebook and Twitter. Go ahead, if you like.
If you publsh first to beBee (and why wouldn't you?) you don't need to worry about that stuff.
It's published! Now push it.
You need the link to your post. On beBee it’s easy. beBee uses the SEO-friendly hyphen format. Just copy the URL as-is from the browser window.
On LinkedIn, many people use the one from their own view of the post. Like this...
Don't use the part in bold.
That's the part that lets LinkedIn give you analytics
Here's a hack for LinkedIn posts.
Go to your new post. Up at the top, there are sharing buttons. Hit the Twitter logo. A window will pop up with a pre-filled Tweet that includes a link to the post. Copy the link.
While you're there, you might as well tweet it as is. It can't hurt. You'll tweet again later.
Go to your favorite link-shortening tool. (I like https://bitly.com.) Paste your link and get a shortened version.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-put-all-together-publish-promote-paul-croubalian becomes http://bit.ly/1KYfXiz. Select the link and hit the copy button.
You'll need the link for Tweets and LinkedIn updates.
Share an Update on LinkedIn
I got this hack from Gary Sharpe (a.k.a. Gary Sharpe-est). It makes your updates pop.
Hit the "Share an Update" button. A panel opens up. Put in your title, any text you want to use and the shortened link to your post. I don’t like simultaneous tweeting from here. It’s too limiting. I uncheck that box.
Once the link is added, a small version of the masthead image will show up along with a short description.
There's an "x" near the post description. Click it to get rid of the small picture and the description. Important Note: Do this only after you are happy with the first part. Any changes you make in the main box will reset this box. Not a big deal. You'll just have to follow the steps over again.
(Hi Milos) Click on the image icon to add your nice big picture. If you made a 525X410, use it. Otherwise, your masthead picture will work.
It will now look like this.
That's the way it's supposed to look. Go ahead and hit the "Share" button.
Over to Twitter
Start a new tweet. Paste in your title, the shortened link, and any hashtags you want to use. Add in your Twitter optimized picture. It should now look something like this.
I can't remember where I got this one. I don't think I figured it out on my own. Apologies for the missing credit.
You will often mention people in posts. You may not have enough space to add their name to your tweet. You can add them to the picture.
See where it says, "Gary Sharpe and 1 other?" If you don't add any names to the picture it will say "Who is in this picture." I mention Gary and Milos there.
This is how a final tweet looks.
Ok, So NOW we're done, Right?
Sort of. If you are like me and you only use LinkedIn and Twitter, you are done for now. If you use other platforms. Post to them as well. The more you promote, the more engagement you get. Just don't spam!
Work out a schedule
You will need to regularly promote the piece. How you do that is up to you. I like to do a LinkedIn update every day or day and a half.
Twitter is a different beast. It isn't too much to tweet it six times a day for several days. Schedule those tweets with IFTTT or Twitter’s Tweet Scheduler.
I don't use other scheduling software. Many people swear by them. Some swear at them. It's up to you.
Post to LI Groups
Use the share buttons to post your article to groups where it will be pertinent. Be careful not to violate any group rules. I would suggest posting to groups individually so that you can customize your message. A customized message gives better response.
Be careful here. LinkedIn has made so many changes to Groups that you can get yourself in hot water in a hurry.
A beBee Hack
Thanks to Pam Williams for pointing this out. It's hard to tag people within posts. This is not limited to beBee. LinkedIn offers a means to send messages at publication. That's not a great fix.
Sure, I can provide links to their profiles, but I can't have the mentions zipped over to them. Unless Pam, Gary, Trent, and Milos actually read this post, they won't know they were mentioned.
The simple solution is to post a comment tagging everyone you mentioned. I'll be doing that in a minute.
NEXT UP: Bloggers’ Etiquette, How to Engage Post-Post
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