If you’re running a media or publishing website, and have a monetization model that focusses on featuring products or posts from brands and businesses, you’re probably always under the dilemma of driving more traffic to this featured piece of content.
Of course, setting aside a marketing budget to promote these featured posts is one way to get them more exposure. But how long can you run with just a bottle of water to hydrate you? Marketing budgets are just like that never ending, demanding aspect of every strategy.
11 hacks to monetize effectively from featured content
So while you try to earn more money by featuring posts, here’s taking a look at how to get more views on this special post without irritating your subscribers:
1. Retarget visitors who have shown interest in the theme on social media
If you have a contribution on your website blog, it most certainly suits the theme you’re following so far. This gives you the opportunity to retarget the readers who have previously shown interest in a theme, with a campaign on social media that directs them to the featured post.
This way you’re ensuring that you’re still contextual in your outreach, will only further add value to them. So make retargeting a prime part of your promotion strategy.
2. Submit it to active online communities and groups
Similar to the way you promote your own blog posts on various channels, it is important to put in as much effort when promoting featured posts.
So go ahead and submit these contributions on active online communities, groups, conversations and platforms to drive in traffic. We love using Viral Buzz Content, StumbleUpon, Inbound.org, GrowthHackers.com, Scoop.it and more for this!
3. Feature it on your homepage or a web page that gets high traffic
The thing with featured posts is that if you’re promising the contributor more views, more conversions, etc. So you need to make sure that the majority of your target audience is definitely viewing it.
The best way to ensure this is to feature the post on your homepage or on a web page that has been getting high traffic for a while now. Instead of tagging the post as ‘featured’, you could instead call it ‘popular’ or a ‘must read’.
4. Recommend it to website visitors heading out
Not all your visitors will discover this featured post on their own. They might land on your website via a specific search or a campaign, and leave as soon as they’re done consuming the information. But aren’t you charging for the featured article to be viewed more?
Using an exit intent campaign you can retarget these visitors right before they leave with a message that nudges them to read the post. You could give them a brief of the post, share why it’s so good and how it will add value to them.
5. Don’t forget the email
While we should have listed this down first, we chose to do it now so you can first focus on third party platforms. But you need to remember to send a message to your entire email list as well! Let them know of the new post on your website, tell them how popular it is and what it has in store for them.
Since these are people who are already subscribed to your emails, they are more likely to go ahead and read the post. And that’s exactly what you want.
6. Focus on the SEO
Another one that we should have listed right in the beginning, but didn’t. Because, well – it’s obvious, isn’t it? Not so much to many bloggers in the digital industry though.
It is important that you ensure your guest post is optimized for search engines as well. Use a focus keyword that you would be targeting to drive traffic to this page and ensure the blog can easily be searched for the same. This gives you the opportunity to actually play around with adwords as well, if you have a marketing budget set aside for promotions.
7. Aggressive sharing on social media
Don’t use social media for just retargeting ad campaigns, make sure you’re aggressively sharing this post on different channels, at different times to target different segments of your target readers. Remember to vary the hashtags and the messages you use for sharing – you don’t want to look like you’re going overboard with the spamming.
You should also focus on connecting with those you already know personally and professionally over the different digital channels – they are more likely to consume your content. Apart from this, look for influencers in the industry and try to draw their attention to your featured post. A share from them could take you a long long way! We personally love using CircleCount and FollowerWonk for this.
8. Make sure it has enough graphics
Another obvious one here, but not many pay heed to this when looking at contributed blog posts.
To make your featured post more appealing and shareable, you need to ensure it uses some compelling images – we say, a minimum 3. You want to make the content piece look consumable to the reader and not make it feel like it would take too long to read from start to end.
If the contributor hasn’t provided you with good graphics and you don’t have the resources for creating something, head over to websites like Unsplash, Gratisography and others to look for relevant ‘free’ stock images instead.
9. Reddit like never before
While Reddit does come under submitting your posts to groups and communities of your target audience, we consider it like a different task altogether.
The platform holds the most relevant traffic from across the internet, under various subreddits or topics that your post might fall into. You can not just submit your blog as a thread on the platform, but also participate in the on-going subreddit conversations. The only thing you need to keep in mind here is to stay ‘extremely relevant’.
10. Interact on other blog posts
While you’re keeping a watch on the conversations happening around the topic of your guest post, it is important to identify blog posts that others have written as well.
Shortlist those that you think your post can add more value to, and then strike a conversation with them by commenting on those posts. Here too, it is important that you stick to contextual suggestions and comments, else you’ll be blacklisted from all those blogs for being irrelevant.
11. Look and participate on Q&A sites
Just like the online communities and groups, there are Q&A websites that your target readers are trying to find answers on. Some of the most common and popular channels include Quora, Answers.com, Stack Exchange, etc.
The members here are looking for ‘no-bullshit’ answers to their queries. And this gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your niche by being the relevant one to answer/ resolve their issues.
The point is, that if you’re planning to monetize your website or blog with featured guest posts and product reviews, you need to ensure those posts get a good traction.
The higher the attention they get, the more likely are the readers to click through to the contributor and hence, you establish yourself as an effective ‘feature platform’ for businesses.
What other techniques do you make use of except paid promotions or boosting on social channels to give your guest posts more exposure?