"Content is king, but distribution is queen, and she wears the pants." —Jonathan Perelman, head of Digital Ventures at ICM Partners
You've decided to write a blog in your practice area, family law. You've had a lot of questions about adoption lately so you will write about the current trends in adoption. Your first step before you write should be to plan ahead about how, where, and when to announce the publication of your blog to get it in front of your target readers.
Learning the best distribution techniques is essential to make sure the time and thought you spent creating the blog is not wasted. It does little good to write a series of well-written blogs, only to have them languish on the shelf of unopened posts.
Distribution Planning Starts at the Content Planning Stage
Knowing where your content will perform best is vital to its success. Consider the readership, relevance of the topic to their interests, and the purpose of your content to help decide your distribution plan. Your content can't be all things to all people, so you must narrow its focus. For example, assume you're a personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents. Your topics could include research into the causes of accidents, dangerous stretches of highway in your area, or buying a used car after an accident. These are everyday concerns of accident victims.
Where & When to Announce Your Post
The key to effective content marketing is to get the right content to the right readers at the right time.
When to post. Studies have shown:
- Facebook gets more attention late in the week and on weekends. Posting between 1:00–4:00 p.m. works well.
- LinkedIn readers like to touch base on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, between 7:30–8:30 a.m., at noon, or between 5:00–6:00 p.m.
- Twitter readers perform better during lunch, work breaks, or during the commute to and from work.
For each outlet you choose, check their website to find the best hours for responses and clickthroughs.
Where to Find Readers
Start with the best possible source of readers—your firm's current clients. You know their interests and concerns. Remember that you should only send to those clients who have indicated their willingness to receive emails.
After sending to clients, consider the following to find readers:
- Join a forum, association, group, or listserv where you can find your readers, and be active in the group.
- Use social media—include links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email—so the reader can quickly and easily notify their followers of your blog posts.
- Add a link to subscribe to your blog. By subscribing, your readers will get a notification every time there's a new post.
- Get listed. Find a directory of the best examples of your kind of blog and add your blog to that list.
- Partner with organizations that your readers belong to, and offer to trade guest posts to reach a larger audience.
- Post on the publications page of your SBM member profile.
Establishing a blog post that is read takes time, consistency, and the right kind of distribution. Don't give up. The results may not be immediately apparent, but eventually your readership and practice will grow.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides legal content writing for lawyers. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers newsletter. Writing as Alexandra Hawthorne, she published a cozy mystery, Murder One in Midvale Corners.
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