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How Much Should You Promote Your own Content? (FS079)

We devote the whole show today to answering a great question from a listener.

Of course, there’s a little banter in there too.

The question is: how do you find the balance between creating content and promoting that content?

You made a post. (Or podcast or article or book or app or jelly or cooler or whatever.)

How much time should you spend getting the word out about it?

If you’ve ever wondered this, you’re not alone. We’ve struggled with it. Just about everyone online has too.

In this conversation we share the “System Approach” to promotion and our current system for promoting our content. Enjoy! And let us know if you have any questions in the comments.

Listen to the episode:

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“Have a system, do it every time you make something, then get back to work.”


Conversation Notes

  • An addition to the top 10 mistakes in starting an online business guidebook: “The only solution is to buy more lottery tickets. People often discount the factor that luck plays in success.” ~ Corbett on finding that thing you can make that will take off and get big.
  • 15 min: “You almost have to plan the NEXT 3 projects while you’re working on the current project just so you don’t get too hooked on any one of them. Keeping yourself lithe like that can be such a strategy to protect you from burnout and gear you TOWARDS how success often comes.” ~ Chase Reeves
  • “Out of a possible 47 alligators, I give it 49 alligators.” ~ Cajun Film Critic
  • 20: Grant’s question.
  • A potentially false dilemma: choosing between the entertainer or the artist. Do you have to pick ONE?
  • A real dilemma: “I made something good, it’s worth your time, it will help you, you are struggling with this and I’ve found a solution. How can I get this in front of you and all the other people who this was made for!?”
  • 28: “Am I a person who promotes made things or a person who makes things?” Some do more, some do less.
  • Come up with a system, making a list of things you do for EVERY thing you make. (Several listed below.) Make that list of promotion things simply the last part of every thing you make.
  • 38: quality vs popularity. Another false dilemma?
  • “As a creator doing this for a living, the challenge is this: I know all these tricks about trying to make things more popular/clickable/shareable, how do you turn that off and say, ‘ok, I’m going to make something that’s completely authentic now, no artifice at all’?” ~ Chase Reeves
  • What do you expect from this? Massive growth? Slow and steady? What do you think would be a good result? Your answer to this question will inform not only the decisions you make, but also whether or not you push through the dip.
  • 41: Notes on a great conversation Chase had with Matt Giovanisci.
  • “The marketing is part of buying the lottery ticket.” ~ Corbett Barr
  • 44: The trouble we get into is we say to ourselves, “I have to create something great — I have to write epic shit — and if it’s not I’m just not even going to publish it.” But we can’t know if something’s epic until we put it out into the world. You just have to show up. Say to yourself, “I’m going to show up and publish, show up and publish, show up and publish.” Then, simply fold in promotion system into your showing up… it’s part of the creation.
  • 45: The second stage of promotion: once you know something’s good because people have responded to it positively, then you can turn on the gas and try things that can get it out there even further. Good example of this is Scott Dinsmore’s TEDx talk.
  • 46: Our promotion list (below).
  • 50: Being creative about how YOUR specific article/post/video/etc. could be promoted, who it may be a good fit for, etc.
  • 53: Barrett’s Adequate Reach™ spreadsheet.
  • “Have a system. Do it every time you create something. And then get back to work, because you can’t do a lot to influence whether something takes off or not.” ~ Barrett Brooks

Our promotion list:

  • Email — we email everyone who’s signed up when we release a new post (every tuesday and friday). Some people choose to get the weekly digest and get an email only once a week.
  • Social Networks — multiple tweets, FaceBook posts, LinkedIn statuses and G+ goobles for each post. We use Buffer and customize different posts for different networks.
  • Link Aggregators — sites like Reddit, Hacker News, growth hacker, etc. Find some relevant to your topic; there’s a SubReddit for you somewhere.
  • Syndication — for posts that perform well we reach out to some larger publications and may also post articles to places like Medium, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Guide Books — if an article performs really well and it feels right, we will edit, revise, update, etc., and create a guide out of it. See some examples on our guides and handbooks page.
  • Email Influencers/Friends — this is one we don’t currently do, but I’d like to. For each post that does well, email someone who runs a large community that the article may fit with. “People are really liking this. Seemed like it may fit for your audience as well.”

Show Notes

Get the Guide: Top 10 Mistakes in Starting an Online Business A simple guide book to help you avoid the most common pitfalls.

2 Questions to ask Yourself About the “Equal Odds Rule” “Allen’s career makes me think of the “Equal Odds Rule.” The rule states the following…”

How did you get Into That – Grant Baldwin Grant asked the question on today’s show. Thanks, Grant!

James Clear We’re big fans of this up-and-comer.

Listen, Money Matters “Manage your money like a badass.”


XOXO Videos To Watch

Here’s a few talks we think you should watch. They’re from thoughtful, creative, experienced people who have gone through what you’re going through.

Justin Hall, a pioneer of blogging, shares a lot of things.


Jonathan Mann writes a song a day.


Darius Kazemi teaches us how to win the lottery.


Bonus: Josh Ruben makes me laugh something terrible! (NSFW language. Snape isn’t very good. But Hoffman!?)



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