Hitting Publish Is the Start, Not the End

If your writing goal is about more than just sharing your thoughts, you better have a strategy after you hit publish.

Photo by Mikito Tateisi on Unsplash

If your writing goal is about more than just sharing your thoughts, you better have a strategy after you hit publish.

We all write for different reasons. Some people do it to get a book deal, some to generate web traffic for their business, some to share their personal experiences, and others do it just for fun. No matter what your reasoning, if you are writing with the intent of having other people read what you’ve poured your heart and soul into, you need to understand that after you hit publish is when your journey begins.

There is no denying that writing something meaningful is a labor of love. It takes time, passion, and grit to push through the feelings of writers’ block and self-doubt. But no matter how beautifully crafted your piece of writing is if you just press publish and walk away, more often than not, you’ll be disappointed with the results.

This isn’t because you are a bad writer. It’s not because your idea isn’t any good. It’s solely because we live in a world where content is produced at an insane rate and the real difficulty is in ensuring your work is seen.

As a marketer, I love the part that comes after pressing publish. Although writing is a personal joy of mine, getting into the nitty-gritty of showing people why reading my articles is worth their time, really gets my brain turning. Over the years, I’ve found there are four key elements to getting the most out of your pieces that I’d like to share with you.

Disclaimer: These keys are not a guarantee of huge success. But they will get you thinking about how you can get your hard work in front of more readers and help you on your post-publishing journey.

Share your story more frequently than you are comfortable with

Most people don’t want to be a nuisance, but in the game of attention, you have to step outside your comfort zone of what annoying means.

No - this doesn’t mean spam your new article every hour for the next couple of weeks, but it does mean sharing it more than once. If you don’t have a following in the hundreds of thousands, only promoting your story once after you press publish is a surefire way to let that story die.

Going viral is not a strategy

You might get lucky. Going viral does happen, but it’s not a strategy. Writing quality articles means it might get picked up by the right people who disseminate it into an exponentially growing audience, but that isn’t a strategy to get your work seen. You’ll need to find a number of shares that works best for your readers, and knowing where your audience lives online is a key part of that, but the number of times you need to share your written words is almost certainly going to be higher than what you are thinking right now.

Spend a little money on boosting

You worked really hard on your writing. People should be reading it. But even though social media offers a gateway to views around the world, they are a business and that means making more changes to get more people to spend money. The good news is that boosting a post can have some really great advantages.

First of all, choosing who you boost your post to can help you discern what type of people are actually engaging with your posts. Because you can set interests, locations, and a whole slew of other demographic information, you can control who sees your post and track how many of those people actually engage with it. Though I would never suggest tailoring your message to those groups, I do think there is a lot of value in knowing who is reading what you write. It can help you identify free places, like Facebook groups or subreddits, that you can share your story with confidence that you are targeting the right people.

Secondly, nobody likes cold call emails asking for a link back to their article. But, if you pick the right people to get your article in front of they might start doing it themselves. For example, let’s say you are writing a novel but you don’t have a publisher. Well, you can select people who have publishing in the profiles and send out ads to some of your other work.

Lastly, boosting a post just gets you more eyeballs. There’s no denying that paying a little bit of money can get your article in front of eyeballs that just aren’t an option with a purely organic post.

Build an Email Newsletter

Getting seen is a long-term game and the best way to win is to own your audience. The benefits of social media are many, but having your own list, that you can reach out to and you can control is always going to be more beneficial in the long run.

Substack is a great way to do this because it makes sending newsletters free but you can move your list if you ever decide to use a different platform.

Don’t let the publish button be the end of your writing journey. Your labor of love deserves an audience so don’t be afraid to make sure it gets in front of them.