Promotion and social media marketing is as big a part of being a writer as producing the articles. Over the years I have tried several different methods, some have worked, others not.
On Medium, older posts appear to make more money when read, than those published that month. Every month when I study my income and statistics, older posts account for on average 50% of my earnings. This is no coincidence, as I promote my old articles as much as I promote my new articles. Those that have been lucky enough to be picked up in curation, promote themselves.
When people speak about curation, this is one of the factors they don’t always take into consideration. The initial boost to the post is not always obvious. Over the months though curation appears to extend the longevity of the post. By being curated they become evergreen articles.
Like many writers, I do not have a magic formula for being curated. I do, however, have tips and tricks that help me get curated. I share these monthly with my followers. I examine my curation and the reasons the posts were picked up.
If a post is not curated, then the work is up to you. With these three simple tips, you can make your posts evergreen. Earning from them long after they have been published.
Use Links on Posts
Some writers are brilliant at this and then others I see never use it. This method is quick and works well for months to come. You must post, your past articles as links in your new articles. You can do this through posts at the end of your articles, I speak about this later. Another method of achieving this is through hyperlinks within the article. I never publish these as full articles, instead, I connect these a hyperlink as I did with the curation topic above.
Not every link will be clicked on, but a proportion will be. For these links, I use a combination of posts from all my platforms. I don’t stick to Medium links on Medium and website links on my website, I mix it up. This mixture allows readers to discover my other platforms. I also add links to other articles I have read and learned from. As writers, we gain no advantage from being selfish and not supporting the work of others as well.
A word of caution, don’t load these links if they are not appropriate. There is nothing more likely to turn readers off than multiple rabbit holes that lead nowhere.
This question was asked on one of my Facebook groups. I have written multiple posts on social media marketing. Here is a quick rundown of what I do to advertise my posts. Before I speak about the specific platforms, some of these I do live and others I schedule a week in advance. At the weekend I always set up my posting schedule on Hootsuite. That provides one post a day to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This is the minimal I post. If nothing else I know my readers will see one post a day from me. I also schedule posts for a random time in the future, which is where the views on my older posts come from.
Facebook is one of the areas I receive a lot of click from. On Facebook, I will post to my page, not my profile and 2-3 groups. You need to describe the post, don’t just post a link. No one will read a post that you are not even passionate enough about, to add a couple of lines introduction. Then post to a couple of groups. When I post to groups I always read or bookmark 2-3 posts from other writers. Do not expect people to read your work if you do not read their articles. Many people have accused me of gaming the system using this approach. I believe these people are the ones with the problem. You have to be prepared to support others if you want support.
Use a maximum of two hashtags on Facebook, post 1-3 times a day.
Again I will add an introduction to my post, not just a link. Twitter has a very short attention span, so for posts that I want views on I always pin that tweet to the top of my profile. I change the pinned tweet regularly so other posts get a chance. There are two ways of working with hashtags on Twitter. For a start, if you are not using hashtags you are shouting into a void and few people will hear you.
The first way to use hashtags is to tag what the post is about. For example, if your post was a writing tip article type # and then start typing writing. As you type the relevant hashtags will come up with the number of tweets that are received daily. I pick a high count hashtag and a midway hashtag. I don’t tag people in my posts ever, it doesn’t work. If you continuously do this, people will get fed up and block you. I know this because I have blocked writers who did this to me.
Another way of writing is to use hashtags as a topic for what you write. Although, you have to have the time to do this. Search for trending hashtags and then write an article around that hashtag. Promote this using the hashtags and you will see an increase in views. Last week I did this when Windrush Day was trending and it increased my views by 100%. Robert Turner explains how to do this in his post on Twitter.
Use a maximum of 3 hashtags and tweet as often as you can.
The first thing to check on LinkedIn is how good are your profile and headline. Will it attract readers? Once this is well-produced you are ready to add your links. I do this in a very simple way. I write a longer introduction to the post, sometimes copy the first paragraph in and then link to the article. LinkedIn is not keen on links that send you externally, but there is no other way.
I would suggest you mix things up on LinkedIn and vary your posts, don’t make them all about links. Ask questions, use polls and produce articles for LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an area I am working on growing at the moment. It offers so much and a real working community.
Use a maximum of 5 hashtags and share a post 2-3 times a day
Many people ask me how I use Instagram to promote my writing. First, place your Medium profile link into your profile. If you want to advertise your website then place the link instead. There are two functions on Instagram and I use them completely different. The first is the timeline. On the main profile, I publish pictures, funny captions and information. I hardly ever link to my articles on there. Remember for this you can use a maximum of 30 hashtags. Use them, this is about growing a following.
On the story tab, however, I add my posts. I take a screenshot on my phone of the article – title, headline and first paragraph. I open up my story and put the picture in, shrinking it down so I have some writing space. To this, I add text that says link to full article in bio. That is why the link in your profile is so important. I link my whole profile, not individual posts. That way you don’t need to keep changing the link. I also add up to 2 hashtags to the story and publish it.
This works in two ways, first, your profile isn’t filled up with article after article. No one wants to follow someone who just links to another site. The other thing is that stories last 24 hours. After this, the post has had all the advertising it will benefit from on Instagram. If you want you can always publish the post later on, again.
Use all your hashtags and post as much as you can.
This is so simple I am shocked everyone isn’t doing it. Copy your article link into Many Stories, add three tags and walk away. One minute, but I get some brilliant views from it.
Personal Link Chains
I first learnt about this technique from another writer on Medium. Having looked on Medium I can’t find the original post from two years ago. If anyone can send me the link, I would love to accredit the writer for it.
Construct a link chain
Many writers on a variety of platforms will link to other posts they have written. This is a good technique for exposure as well as improving your SEO score. A link chain will help you get the maximum benefit from this. It is a technique I have used for a year. The posts I have included in my link chain make me money every month.
How to construct a link chain
You can have a huge link chain with a hundred branches. I am going to show you how to set up a basic three-branch chain. If you want to increase this, the theory is no different as it grows.
- Look through your posts and find seven articles that are your best, I would ensure they are all on the same theme. I have one link chain for writing tips and a second for parenting articles. They don’t cross over for obvious reasons, they are pitched at different readers.
- Once you have these seven, identify the most popular, this is your trunk if you like.
- Then select the next two popular.
- At the bottom of your most popular article put a link to your two next popular articles.
- Then go to each of these in turn and put two from your last group.
The theory being that the readers go from your most popular article, along the chain to another six articles.
If you have ever found yourself an hour later down a rabbit hole on social media you know this works.
Now all you have to do is add the link to your popular post to all your other posts and readers will follow the path. I have also pinned this post to the top of my profile for maximum exposure.
I was sceptically when I first tried it, but I urge you all to have a go. This is my first post in the tree if you would like to see the practical application of this. This process you can set up once and it keeps working for you, for years to come.
These three methods will help your posts, continue to earn you money. In today’s climate writers have to market their work. Even successful authors such as Stephen King market their writing. It may be the worse part of writing, but if you want to make money from writing then it is a skill you have to master.
If you write for pleasure, then social media marketing might not be so important for you. Although, all writers want their work to be read.
When I market my work I always use the friend link for all my articles on Medium. As much as I want to earn money, I also value my followers and readers. They would soon get fed up if they could read none of the posts. Friend links help with this. A proportion may join Medium, that is their decision I am glad they take the time to dive into my articles.
Try one of two of these techniques if time is short and see the increase in readers. The statistics will speak for themselves.
Sam H Arnold is a UK writer and blogger. Click here to take you writing to the next level and start earning three figures a month. To follow all her work find her on Facebook or join her Email List for a copy of her writing tips book.