01 Facebook Notes
I believe that you already have a Facebook account and maybe you have many friends that are engaging with you.
Maybe they are also very curious about your opinion on a specific topic. Or, you already know they are engaged with what you share and post due to their constant comments and the likes you receive. Therefore, why not try to share with them even more? Why not using Facebook as a publishing platform?
Before getting to the point, you need to know that there are two publishing features available on Facebook: Notes and Instant Articles.
What’s the difference between Facebook Notes and Facebook Instant Articles?
Facebook Instant Articles is a new feature, compared to Facebook Notes. “Instant Articles” was launched in 2015 and allows people to read entire articles from the Facebook app. This means that the feature is basically dedicated to mobiles and serves mostly websites and blogs who want to share full articles on Facebook.
Facebook notes, on the other hand, allows bloggers to publish teasers for their articles or publish Facebook hosted articles that may complement the content they post on their blogs. The feature can be used however as a standalone publishing platform. Basically, with Facebook notes you are blogging for Facebook and consequently, be more present than ever in your fans’ news feed.
Using Facebook Notes is very simple.
How do you activate Facebook Notes and write your first article?
In order to activate the feature, you have to first go to your profile.
Go to your Facebook profile. Observe the last button on the menu available right under your name. There’s a “More” button which in fact is a drop down button that hides a selection of extra features you can use right away. In there, there’s also a direct access to “Notes”. Click on it in order to start writing your first note.
How do you add images?
Once you click on the “Add a Note” button, a new window will emerge. It has three sections: a header, a content section, and a footer. The header section has a built-in feature for adding images through “drag and drop”. The content section is where you add your blog post. In the footer section, you get to select your audience, to save and publish your post.
You can save your notes and choose to publish later. In this case, they will be stored as drafts.
How do you promote Facebook Notes on social media?
Can you use these notes to market your business?
Considering that you don’t host your own blog and choose Notes as your sole way to convey information to your audience, there’s no need to use this feature in order to link back to a website. You can write, however, full blog posts here and market your personal brand or your business directly on Facebook.
Everything you post here will be added to your timeline. Your audience will notice it as if you have posted an update on Facebook. Also, Notes will appear on your profile page under a section with the same name. All your friends will be able to like, comment and share your note from the news feed or, from the note itself if they access it directly.
Can you promote Notes on other social media websites?
Can you do it on third party blogs and websites?
Yes, you can.
Once a note is published, you get access to a drop-down menu from which you can choose to get a direct link to it or an embed code that will allow you to place it into another web page. While the code is perfect if you have friends that are willing to share your notes on their blogs, a direct link will allow you to promote it on other channels.
There is another platform that it’s bringing up the writing level of the industry. And not only because of the content but also on its professional and stylish look. Also, there’s an entirely new and great experience to read something on this platform, especially for those who are landing here for the first time.
I’m talking about Medium.
When they first launched I was impressed by the simplicity of it. It should have been expected however since this is a platform that was developed by Twitter’s co-founder Evan Williams, in 2012.
This is what Evan is saying about Medium in a blog post from October 2015:
Medium has become an ideas exchange, where thinkers, creators, and those with a story to share come to find their audience, move people, and move us all forward.
Now with more than 30 Million visitors / month, Medium is a strong player in the blogging industry.
I’m using Medium as well but with a slightly different destination. Because I have a personal blog, I don’t need it for blogging. However, I always look for places where I can share my work and Medium presented itself as a great platform for this. In order to do it, I just need to simply import the story on my profile, update the featured image, make some minor adjustment and voila: It’s all ready.
How to start a Medium account?
This step is quite simple. You just need to navigate to https://medium.com/, click on the “Get started” button on the top right corner and sign up for either Google or Facebook.
How to write the first article on Medium?
Once you’ve signed up, you need to get into your account.
First, Medium will ask you to pick three topics of interest. These choices will help them feed your home page with interesting articles.
Click on “Start Reading” and you will get to your Medium private page.
From here, besides access to interesting articles to read, you can also start publishing as well. Go right to the drop-down menu available on the top right corner of the screen, right under your personal account icon.
From here, select the “New Story” option. A new window will emerge. It’s the actual editor, from where you can write your blog posts and publish them with just a few clicks.
Why are people using Medium instead of their blog?
Well, or starters, Medium is free. There are no extra charges, you are free to post as much as you like without the need to invest money in your content strategy. Moreover, you get access to an instant audience. Medium figures out which of your Facebook or Twitter friends are already using their platform and automatically connects you with them. Also, Medium gives you access to analytics data. This means that you know how many people read your posts and also, how many time they spent on each one of your pages.
Finally, publishing on Medium requires a minimal effort. You don’t need to worry about hosting, a blog theme, technical issues, and other related problems. You can sign in, write your post, publish and then relax as your audiences read your content.
03 Linkedin Publishing
In February 2014, Linkedin opened their platform to all its members, allowing them to publish their ideas, thoughts, and articles in a much longer form.
LinkedIn as a publishing platform is great when you want to perform B2B marketing. As you may already know it, the social media platform addresses professionals from all industries. This is a place where people with diverse skills come together for networking and exchange of ideas. At the same time, it’s a platform where professionals showcase their skills and meet their peers. All these things lay the perfect ground for B2B marketing. If you want to address other companies, LinkedIn it’s the perfect place to do it.
Now that we’ve settled the reasons to post on LinkedIn as well, how do you write your first article on this social media platform?
First, sign in into your account and click the “Write an article” button located at the top of the homepage.
A new window will emerge, which is the editing panel. From here, you can add an image, a title and of course, your content.How to promote your content on LinkedIn?
First, you need to consider posting regularly. Then, think about creating and sharing valuable content. Think about your audience and the stuff they may be interested in. Write about that.
Then, you have the direct link to your post which you can share with your friends and fans on other social media accounts. Do it.
Finally, you can also buy some sponsored updates advertising on the LinkedIn network. It’s not a cheap option, as you can expect to pay at least $2 per click. However, if you target the right audience, it may be worth it.
04 Contributing to other websites
Many marketers believe that they should write on other blogs and websites just to gain some new links to their websites. But what if you are not interested in getting those links? What if you are just a big fan of those websites and you want to contribute there because you believe that you can come forth with some new and valuable information?
You should contribute to that website.
Every year, a majority of bloggers are doing at least some guest blogging.
There are several websites, like for example Huffington Post, which allow people to write articles on their platform. Even blogs from different companies, such as MOZ, Content Marketing Institute, Bannersnack, HubSpot or Kissmetrics, allow guest posts from professional that can contribute to their websites with valuable content.
What do you need to know if you decide to become a contributor? What should you consider before guest posting on another website and how do you find the right blog or website for you?
- Study your favorite blogs. Study the tone of the authors’ voices, see where you can fit. Write a few drafts on your own and try to adapt to the different styles of the authors you dig.
- Subscribe to the blogs you like, especially to those who allow guest posting. Read them daily, comment on them, be a part of their communities. Try to always comment by signing with the same name and the same email address in order to make sure that in time, the author will know you. If you like specific posts, share them on social media. Subscribe to the social media pages of these blogs and integrate into the social communities as well. Comment, like, share.
- Find a topic that suits you. I am talking of course, about a topic that is also featured on your target website, one that you know a lot of things about and maybe, you are also an expert in. For example, I am writing on Content Marketing Institute about visual content. This is the topic I am good at and at the same time, the topic I am interested in. CMI also writes about a similar topic and therefore, they welcome writers who can add to their database with valuable information. For reference, you can find my articles featured here.
- Send them your pitch and tell them the importance of your topic for your own personal brand and of course, for their website as well. Maybe they already have a set of guidelines on how to write a guest post, maybe they don’t. Whatever the case may be, make sure you write a thoroughly researched article and a compelling email in which you state your reasons.
Tip: You can also get featured in newspapers and similar websites if you have something to offer to the community. Or, you can do it by engaging with the local community in a positive way. Take for example SloSmiles, a dentistry practice from San Luis Obispo. One of their social campaigns got featured here, and it is not the backlink to their website that matters but the way the community perceives the business and future recollects its name.
05 Send Newsletters
Let’s say that you don’t want to post and share blog posts or articles. At the same time, you own a small business and you are aware that you have some valuable information that you can share with your audience. What can you do?
Is there another way to share content without publishing online?
Well, of course, there is. It’s called a newsletter and I guess you already know what this idea encompasses. Therefore, if you really believe that you have something of value to share with your clients/friends/audience, why not start sending a weekly or monthly newsletter with your articles?
I found this strategy on Paul Jarvis’ Sunday Dispatches newsletter and it’s really great. I mean, it works great if you have something to say, you know how to say it and you have the required skills to convey a valuable and effective message. This may be the single long-form e-mail newsletter that managed to captivate me; a newsletter that I am reading always with the utmost attention like anybody would read a Sunday newspaper with a morning coffee. He does not write articles on a blog, either nor on a website. Everything he writes he posts in his newsletter and this is how he gets in contact with his fans and his dedicated audience.
Here are a few newsletters I recommend you to sign up.
How to get emails to sign up for your newsletter?
There are several strategies you can use at this point, all of them equally effective, depending on how you start your email newsletter business in the first place.
- First, you can consider adding your friends, colleagues, customers, business partners. If you have a lot of friends, if you know a lot of people, you have a starting point from which to go on with your content delivery.
- Secondly, you can think of something to offer to your audience. Then, you can advertise your offer via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms. If you own a store, you can give away some of your products or a gift card to every new individual who signs up for your newsletter. Or, you can advertise that you give access to unique, premium content, that will be available only via your newsletters, just like Paul Jarvis does.
- Be likable, be part of the community. The best way to find new followers and expand your audience is through social media. It doesn’t matter whether you try to market a business or just your personal brand. What matters is how you manage to integrate into the community you want to become part of your audience. It matters how you manage to keep them interested in social media, how you communicate with the audience and how likable you manage to be.
How to send email newsletters?
The best way to send your newsletters (especially if you don’t own a self-hosted blog or website), is via a professional online dedicated service.
For several years now, I consider MailChimp to be the best mail delivery tool available online and this is why I use it whenever I need to send a newsletter.
How to use MailChimp for your newsletter?
MailChimp is not an entirely free service. This is the first thing you need to know. However, you can start using it for free, because they will not charge you for their service for a list of emails of 2000 or less. Therefore, you get to familiarize yourself with the interface and MailChimp feature at first and pay for their services when you have a big community of readers only.
How does it work?
Once you signed up and uploaded your emails list, you can design your newsletters right away. The design panel is easy to use and it does not require special technical skills. Basically, it’s a drag and drop interface with unlimited options when it comes to how you design the look and feel of the newsletter.
First, you need to add your emails list, your email address, and a subject line. Then, you can get straight to the actual design of your email.
Then, you get to select a template for your design. I suggest starting with a pre-designed template at first, at least until you know exactly what you need and how your audience responds to your emails.
Finally, all you need to do is fill in with your content, add a few visuals and send your newsletter.
How often should you send a newsletter?
The frequency of your newsletter depends mostly on how much free time you have and how much content are you able to write in this free time. If you want to keep your audience engaged, however, I suggest sending a weekly newsletter.
7 days should be enough to come up with some interesting and valuable articles.
We’ve learned together through this article that you can publish online without hosting your own blog or website. There are several options available for you and you can use them all at the same time or, you can focus on just one of them. It all depends on where your potential readers are, what they are reading and of course, what type of content they favor.
Are there any other platforms suitable for online publishing you may add to this list?