Make the Most of Your Post: Free Tools to Widen the Reach of Your Content

Maybe a blogger has just posted an interview with you that you’d love for the whole world to read, or maybe you’ve created some great content for your own website. Here are a few ideas you can experiment with to help increase your link’s chances of achieving the wide distribution you’d like it to receive.

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook what’s most obvious, so I’ll say what could almost go without saying: start with your own social media networks. Share the link on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, or any other networking sites you use to connect with family, friends, and colleagues. If the link points to something that’s not hosted on your own site (such as a guest post or article you wrote for another site), be sure to post about it on your own blog, too.

When you’re using Twitter to share your link, use relevant hashtags so that people whom you don’t know personally but who have an interest in your subject area might find it. Do a quick Twitter search of keywords you think might be relevant to your topic, and choose two or three to include in your tweet along with the url.

Don’t forget about email as a promotional tool. Many of us are used to sharing good news through Facebook, etc, and we forget two important facts: not everyone is glued to social networks, and a personalized email can sometimes attract more attention than a broadcast-like posting on a website.

When you don’t send mass-emails very often, generally people don’t mind the occasional one, especially if you use BCC to avoid sending out a long list of addresses. If you choose to email your link, another option is to write up a template with the information about the link you want to share, and then copy and paste it into individual emails that you send out, starting each email with a personal greeting and another sentence or two written specifically for each person you’re emailing.

If it feels like spamming to you to email out your link, why not just add the link to your email signature for a week or two? We get accustomed to people using the same old email signatures, and it can be nice to change them up.

Two other free tools you might try to share your link on the web are Craigslist and reddit. While Craigslist has a local focus, you can use it (with care) more widely and share your link on Craigslist sites for various cities if you feel your link has significance to people in different geographical communities: just be cautious and don’t over-post as this can cause your posts to get blocked.

You’ve probably used Craigslist for jobs or furniture or any number of things, but have you used the “community” section, located toward the top left of the screen? This area of Craigslist is a nice place to share a link in a brief post, possibly including a image, too. If none of the specific sections for community posts seems to fit your content, you can use the “general” section.

On reddit, users submit links related to various topics calls subreddits. You can usually find a subreddit related to the topic of your link; use reddit’s search tool to find subreddits where your content might fit. The reddit community is sensitive to spam, so read and follow the user guidelines in any subreddit where you choose to post, and add your link sparingly, taking care to use any tags requested by the moderators (often there is a tag to indicate that you’re sharing your own content).

I’ve mentioned only a few ideas; there are always more. The more you search on the web for places where people are discussing your subject area and sharing content, ideas, and links, the more avenues you can find for letting others know about your work. As a result, you’ll have more opportunities to make the most of your post when you’ve got something special to share.