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Blog distribution strategies for growth



November 15, 2022


With over 2.5 million blog posts published every day, your content needs to cut through the noise to reach the right audience. Join Ross Simmonds, Founder & CEO at Foundation to learn how you can build a professional content distribution strategy—increasing the reach, visibility and performance of your content by getting it in front of the right audience at the right time.


Check out the webinar's decks:


an image of a content distribution toolkit. the text reads "Use Wix Blog's distribution features to drive traffic to your posts. Download now"

Free template: Download our content distribution toolkit to learn how to automate your posts with RSS, share on social with a single click, create email campaigns, and more.




In this webinar, we covered:

  • Getting more value from your existing content

  • Identifying opportunities to increase your reach

  • Useful tools to increase your blog’s visibility


Meet your hosts:

 



Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds

Founder & CEO at Foundation

Ross is the founder of Foundation, a marketing agency combining data and creativity to develop ambitious B2B brands. Foundation specializes in planning, creating and distributing content across the world's most competitive social channels—generating millions in revenue for their clients.



Crystal Carter

Crystal Carter, Head of SEO Communications, Wix

Crystal is an SEO & Digital Marketing professional with over 15 years of experience. Her global business clients have included Disney, McDonalds and Tomy. An avid SEO Communicator, her work has been featured at Google Search Central, Brighton SEO, Moz, DeepCrawl, Semrush and more.


George Nguyen

George Nguyen

Director of SEO Editorial, Wix

George Nguyen is the Director of SEO Editorial at Wix. He creates content to help users and marketers better understand how search works and how to use Wix SEO tools. He was formerly a search news journalist and is known to speak at the occasional industry event.

 

Transcript: Blog distribution strategies for growth


George Nguyen 0:00

I'd like to introduce you first to the person I see on my screen: Crystal Carter, my amazing coworker, the head of SEO communications here at Wix. She'll be speaking to you, kind of chiming in here and there, but a lot at the end there. And if you're watching now, and I will say this again, you will have questions about the Wix interface. How do you do this within Wix? Where do you go to? Those will be answered at the end with examples on screen, so you won't be left—we're not going to tell you how to do something, and then not show you in our own interface, how to do it. So if you have those questions, please hold on to them 'till the end. We'll get to them.


George Nguyen 0:36

Now, moving on to Ross Simmons. I asked him just earlier, how do you want me to introduce you? He said, it doesn't really matter, people don't really come here for the speaker, they don't want to know about me. But I'm very excited because he's the founder and CEO of Foundation Marketing. And he is a man that I tried to chase down when I was a conference programmer for SMX, unsuccessfully. I didn't get him to speak at our conference. But he's here now, in an even more intimate setting. And the best thing about this is that it's free. So say hello, Ross. I can't see you on screen. So just go ahead and say hello.


Ross Simmonds 1:12

What's going on, folks? Super excited to be here. I did do a nice wave, but super pumped to be in the house and chatting with you folks today. Thanks for the intro, George.


Crystal Carter 1:21

We're so pleased to have you. George, thank you for the great intro. Thank you so much, Ross, for joining us. I've been a big follower of Ross's for a long time. And when we were at MozCon I told him so, over and over again! So yes, I think Ross has some great, great insights on how to make the most of your content. And I highly recommend that you take notes, although we'll share the slides later. But take notes, pay attention because they're great insights, very actionable and won't steer you wrong.


George Nguyen 1:54

Just to continue embarrassing people—We met Ross at MozCon. I met him there for the first time. But as soon as we saw Ross, Crystal was like, "Here's my phone, take photos." We have so many photos of them at the booth. True stuff.


George Nguyen 2:12

I am George Nguyen, the director of SEO editorial, and I help manage the Wix SEO Hub, and I'm here in a moderating capacity. We're gonna go through some of the logistics with you. All right, cool. So yes, we are being recorded. So you're gonna get later on in your email a link to the YouTube video, so you can check anything that you might have missed out on. Please feel free to ask questions in the Q&A panel. And as somebody who has done the Q&A stuff in the background, I would say that your best chances of getting your question answered is if they are—first of all, seems obvious, but—relevant to what we're saying. So if you simply asked, like, how do you rank number one for something, or you ask us how an algorithm works—that is highly unlikely to get answered. And if so, it'll only be tangentially. So please stick to the topic, and you should be golden. But there are a lot of questions, we'll do our best. And you can check out future webinars at wix.com/seo/learn/webinars. Next month, we are talking about Wix SEO product updates. So if you're a Wix user, come join us there. You'll learn how to make use of everything that you're already getting, that you're already paying for with your Premium subscription. And hopefully you'll get more visibility out of it.


George Nguyen 3:29

So we've done the introductions. We're gonna get to everything that Ross has to show us right now. And then after that, we're gonna come back to examples from Crystal, and then we're going to do your Q&A. And so I think that's all you're going to be hearing from me for the next, maybe 30 or so minutes. Ross, feel like taking it away here?


Ross Simmonds 3:47

I would love to. I do want to make sure—I saw some comments. Someone said that they didn't see the slides. Everyone else—Are you able to see the slides? Could you just drop a quick "yes" in the chat if you are able, awesome. I'm seeing lots of "yes's". That's what I like to see. Let's keep it rolling. I'm going to ask another question, to make sure you can see mine. There we go. Can you see my slides?


Ross Simmonds 4:21

Yes, okay. We are in action. Love it. Super excited to be here. Super excited to be giving this presentation. As you would have heard earlier, I gave a big applause and thumbs up when I saw some folks from Halifax, Nova Scotia—that is where I am located. Super excited to be here. Super excited to chat with all of you today. Now, before we jump into it, I do have a question that I want to throw out there, also for the chat. On average, how much time per week do you spend creating content? Just drop a number—number of hours, number of minutes—how much time are you spending on a weekly basis creating content? Some answers here: 40, 3, 2, it's my job, 20, 20, 20, 15, 8, 10. Wow, lots. Okay, same question. Gonna ask a different way. How much time are you spending distributing, promoting and amplifying that same content? How much time do you spend a week promoting it? Answers: 0, not enough, 0, 1, 2, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 15. Love it. Cool. Somebody put 54—There's no way that you are doing 54 hours distributing. Lots of "not enough". Awesome. I love it. This is exactly what I wanted to hear. And the reason why this is exactly what I wanted to hear is because this is a situation that a lot of people are in, no matter if you are a small up-and-coming business, whether you run a restaurant, whether you run a cafe, a website that's dedicated to generating affiliate links, traffic, etc., a software company. This is the conundrum that a lot of people live in. It's a conundrum that is very real. And it's the simple, simple reality of over-investing in creation and under investing in distribution. Now my last question, then I'm gonna throw to you and then we're going to get into the fun stuff is this: What industry? What background? What business? What's your space? What type of world do you live in? What industry are you in? I'd love to get a glimpse. Answers: Medical, cool. Marketing, fitness, law, women's clinic, fitness, eSports, broker, art, interior design, cool, very cool. Let's jump in. Alright, I wanted to do that so I can set the stage for how I deliver this and some of the things that we talked about today. So I appreciate that context.


Ross Simmonds 6:37

Before we get in, now, I'm going to do something that's very real. I'm going to give you a personal confession, just like Usher would. I have a confession to make. You see, this is something that I've carried with me for a very long time. It's something that influenced for decades the way in which I operate and show up at events. That is why I love things like this because I don't have to tap into one of my biggest challenges. So when George reached out to me many moons ago, asked me to go to an event and I couldn't go, it was because of this confession that I'm about to make to you today. The confession is this: I am without question, a wanderer. You see, as much as I love going to events, as much as I love meeting people in the flesh, shaking hands, kissing babies, all of that good stuff, can't really do any of that too close now. But anyways, when I think about my experience at events, I am truly a wanderer. And some of you might be thinking, wonder? What do you mean? Like I'm not talking about that time I went to the local fair with my parents, and I got lost for like 25 minutes. That's not what I'm talking about. When I say I'm a wanderer, I'm a wanderer as it relates to information. Yes, I love going to conferences and hearing people speak. I love sitting there and absorbing and getting new insights, new information that I can apply in my work, and in my job, and in my career. I love all of that stuff. But what I do have a challenge with is when somebody is having a conversation with me, they can be inches from my face, and my mind will start to wander.


Ross Simmonds 8:02

I can remember a few years back now, I went to an event, it was in Stockholm–shout out to anyone who's from Sweden here—and I'm at this event chatting with this gentleman. And we're having a dialogue, we're talking about marketing, we're talking about video and how back in the day, if somebody uploaded a vertical video, you'd yell at them and tell them to flip their phone the other way, because you wanted to consume it horizontally. But now everybody loves vertical video. I can geek out about this stuff any day of the week. I love it, right? But I'm a wanderer. So my brain, while he's standing inches from my face, we're having this conversation, and it was just like Charlie Brown. All I could hear was wa wa wa wa wa, right? Like there was nothing actually coming out of his face. Because I was enthralled by a conversation happening completely outside of my area, about butter. There were two people having a debate about whether or not you should keep the butter in the fridge or on the counter. And my mind just wandered completely to this conversation. Marketing is cool. But hearing a dialogue around the debate between butter being on your counter or in the fridge was amazing to me, because I have firm beliefs on where butter should live. And I'm not going to disclose it in here because that'll be controversial, and everybody will get all upset. We'll have a full argument about it. But this conversation just completely enthralled my attention. It captured me, it hooked me and I was fully bought into this debate. And you folks, I want you to drop a comment in the chat. Where would you keep your butter—on the counter or in the fridge? But either way, this convo just completely caught my attention. So I'm listening to these dialogues. I'm just here. This man is standing in front of me. My wife who joined me at the event, she comes back and she's like, hey, honey, how are you doing? I'm like, oh, let me introduce you to this gentleman I just met. And I said, here's my *butter* half. It was that bad folks. I kid you not, I called her my butter half! It was hilarious. I would have been blushing if I could turn different colors, but I couldn't. So I was just like there, looking like I usually do but I was very embarrassed. I was so surprised that this happened. But this happens all the time. It happens all the time, because my brain has the ability to wander. It completely does this all the time.


Ross Simmonds 10:09

But it turns out, folks, this is where I want you to hear me out for a second—This is something that all of us can do. It's actually a superpower. Because after I embarrassed myself, I went home and I went to Google, the site that we all use to find out answers to questions, and I decided that I was going to learn what in the world is going on with my brain. And the scientists call this thing, the cocktail party effect. Amidst a bunch of chaos, amidst a bunch of noise, we have the ability as humans to isolate sound at a lower decibel no matter if it's relevant to us or not. But if we care about it, we're able to extract that sound and increase the decibels in our own hearing, mute other sounds to focus on sounds that we care about. It's amazing. When you go to a kitchen party, you go to a restaurant, we all have the ability to do this. When you're at a wedding and you're having conversation with someone, and you're supposed to be listening to the groom give a speech, but the speech isn't that good, and you're just focused on your conversation, you have the ability to tap into the cocktail party effect. That is a human superpower. The ability to focus on a particular aspect of sound in a sea of noise is a superpower that we all have as humans.


Ross Simmonds 11:19

But here's the thing. The internet is the loudest cocktail party ever. It's so loud. There's so many tweets, there's so many posts, there's so many shares, and so many blog posts, there's so many TikToks, and looms and videos and YouTube shorts. There's so much content, that it can very easily feel overwhelming. And I've got to say, I got one more deep, personal confession to make. It's all our fault. People like me, marketers who have preached at the top of their lungs for the last few years to create more content, write more content, build more content, and the world will be yours. We have created this mess. We've been preaching that "content is king", and the world has listened. Businesses have listened, you have listened. I looked at the numbers, you folks are creating content with 20, 40, 30 hours a week producing content. You've listened. And for good reason, right? Everyone has said "content is king", you have to create more content. And as a result, we're met with a field of new blog posts, LinkedIn stories, we've got a ton of content and podcasts, ebooks, resources, there's so so much, and I blame marketers. I blame marketers just like me, because all of us have fallen into a trap that I believe is hurting our approach to marketing. We've fallen into a trap that I call "CREAM", which is we believed that "Content Must Rule Everything Around Me". Right? Shout out to Wu-Tang, some of you will get that reference. But this is the essence and this is the problem that we all face every single day. We believe that if we create more content, the world is ours.


Ross Simmonds 12:57

But this is a mistake. The evidence, look at Google today, right? Like go online and do a search. Google is making our life harder, even though we're trying to create more content, and we believe that this is going to serve us. Google's going to our blogs, they're scraping the content, and then they're showing it directly in Google. You can write a blog post about a book. I remember one of my first blog posts, it was books on marketing. Google can now take that content directly from my site, and show it directly in the search engine results page. So when you get here and you're looking for marketing books, you're looking for keto books, you don't need to click on a blog post. You're reading it right here. You're consuming it directly here. I know now that I need to buy Contagious, I know now that I need to buy Simply Keto. So I go and buy it. I don't need to click on your blog post that you wrote to learn about it. I can just get it from this. This is the stuff that exists today. Right? Whether it's your skin—you go to Google and you're like, foods that can improve my skin health, right? Google's now using natural language processing to say, eat a tomato, eat salmon, drink water, have egg. They're still working on the robotic thing, like they don't really know how humans speak that well yet, but they're trying, right, and they're trying to essentially replace your blog as a way of saying, you don't need to click on these URLs. Just read it here, right? Google is becoming a destination. You can now go on Google and you can learn about quartz versus granite and they're going to tell you everything you need to know. You want to learn about an emergency fund? They'll break it all down for you. All of this information is there. The blog post that you wrote will no longer cut it alone. You can't just press publish and expect that the world is yours. Google is a destination and you have to respond accordingly. It's becoming more and more challenging to win at the game of digital marketing. And here's the thing: it's going to continue to become more and more difficult, unless you start to shift your thinking.


Ross Simmonds 14:47

When you look at social media channels. Over the last few years, there's consistently been more posts being shared by businesses and brands on Facebook, and guess what, the interactions are continuously going down, lower and lower. Why? Because it's a great bait and switch. They convinced us that we should pay for likes, and now they make us pay to reach the people that like us. This is an entire way that these businesses are able to generate revenue. So you can't fall into the trap of thinking that content is king. You need to start embracing distribution. You need to recognize that distribution is more important and we need to embrace the "DREAM", which is "Distribution Rules Everything Around Me". If you can embrace this philosophy and this idea, my hope, and my promise is that after this session, you will leave here empowered and with deep understanding of how you can spread your stories. That every blog post you create doesn't collect dust the day it goes live, but instead, it's something that you can create once but distribute forever.


Ross Simmonds 15:45

And that's what we're going to talk about today. We're going to talk about how you can use distribution to grow your blog. If you're running your site on Wix, Wix has an amazing feature within it that you can run your blog directly in the product. If you don't have it set up, I strongly encourage you to spend some time thinking about a blog, because a blog can ultimately differentiate you from your competition. It gives you the ability to answer questions, solve problems, show up in Google, so many more different things. But you might think what in the world am I supposed to write about? We're going to talk about that as well. You need to embrace this model folks: create once, distribute forever.


Ross Simmonds 16:18

Distribution has changed every industry across the world. When you think about music, and the way that it is now consumed by us as humans, and the way that he used to work, it has been fully disrupted. We now get access to music through aggregators, instead of record deals and distributors. If you're an artist, you can go directly to the consumer. When you think about distribution, it has also changed the media industry. Before, the newspapers used to have people who would drop off newspapers at your doorstep. And now, while that still exists, the typical way of consuming news is through our phone, right? This has been a shift. The distribution behind these businesses have changed. And we must change as well. Create once, distribute forever.


Ross Simmonds 17:02

Now before we get into this, I want to talk through a philosophy that I believe needs to be injected in every single blog post you write, as well as the way in which you tell a story about the blog posts that you create. And that is the four E's. The four E's are fundamental. And if there's one area that you should be taking notes, it's this one. The four E's are the key to creating pieces of content if you want that content to work.


Ross Simmonds 17:24

If you want that contact to have an impact on your audience, it needs to: Educate people, Engage them, Entertain them, or Empower them. What does that mean? Educational content provides people with new information. It's a how-to post. It's showing me how to do something. When I go to YouTube and I learn how to tie a tie for the first time—that's educational content. That's content that provides me with value. This brand has created this piece, and maybe they happen to be a tie company with a link talking about how I could buy that tie. You want to educate people. Engage: you want to tell personal stories, you want to have questions, have thought-starters. You could put up a post on all or any of your platforms today that just ask people a question, and they'll start to have a dialogue with you. And as that dialogue starts to happen, you have a community and the community happens to be associated with your brand, so goodwill is built between you and your audience. Then there's Entertain. If you can put a smile on someone's face, there's no better connection, right? If you can make people laugh, if you can make people feel good, feel inspired, etc., those are great feelings to invoke in people. But also, if you can entertain people by making them upset, calling out something that you don't agree with, to stir up something, whether it's throwing shade to something that's broken in your industry—all of these things are entertaining in nature, and they connect with audiences. And then finally, Empowering content. Content that celebrates your customers, celebrates others, celebrates and showcases people within your space, your niche, etc. All of these things generate tons of success on content as it relates to content that you can produce. And if you create a piece of content that doesn't fall into one of these four categories, I'm sorry to tell you but nobody probably wants to read that piece of content. You have to create pieces that educate, engage, entertain, or empower. And if you do that, you will be well on your way to creating pieces of content that are going to get shares on social, that are going to engage with your audience and ultimately give you a reason to take that next step of not allowing your content to collect dust.


Ross Simmonds 19:22

So create once, distribute forever. How do you do it? How do you actually distribute your content and get in front of the right people? You're pressing publish on these blog posts, they're educational, they're engaging, some of them are entertaining, and some of them are even empowering. You wrote a blog post that highlights the five best places in Maine that you should go if you are under 25 for a coffee, whatever it might be. You wrote that blog post. Now how do you get people to share it? Well, you should probably reach out to the people who you highlighted in it, the people who you're empowering and if they're those cafes, you should talk to them. Get them to share that piece on social. You should probably tag them on social, maybe share it on LinkedIn, share it on Reddit, share it on Facebook, all of these different channels.


Ross Simmonds 20:03

How do you do it? The first thing you need to do is understand your audience folks, who is it that you're actually trying to connect with? I love Facebook Audience Insights, it's a great tool that you can access directly in Facebook, where it will give you the insights around the demographics of a certain group that you're trying to connect with. I strongly encourage you to do this. If you have analytics setup, you want to use your own analytics as well, dive into that. Use this data to better inform you on who your audience is. You can dive into this stuff so deeply to better understand. If you're looking at dads on Facebook, in the US, they like the NFL, they like UFC, they like Kevin Hart, they like Buffalo Wild Wings, they like Bud Light. So clearly, dads don't like good beer. This is all very interesting to you, right? Like you can use this. I don't want anyone saying anything about Bud Light now and tell me that that's a good beer. But either way, what I'm saying is, this is the type of stuff that you can dive into to understand the way that your audience thinks, right? But it doesn't end there. You can do this for folks in Toronto and look at adults and be like, great, okay, I see that this audience is interested in BestBuy, they're interested in Fido, they're interested in Sephora. What else are they interested in? How can I use these insights to guide my approach to content? Right? It turns out ,when you look at a fashionable mother, so mothers who happen to like things like Gucci, etc.,they also follow this page called MEAWW. I don't know about you, but I never heard of MEAWW before in my life. But through this research, I was able to see that they have 12 million likes. So can I get MEAWW to share my blog posts on their site? Can I communicate and run ads towards people who like MEAWW, or to connect with this audience? These are the things that you want to think about.


Ross Simmonds 21:41

But it doesn't end there. On Facebook, you also have the ability to just go up to the search bar, and look at local groups. How many people in the course of your life have gone on Facebook and you've seen like a marketplace where somebody is selling their latest stroller because they just had a second child, or maybe they're selling a camera or they're selling something on Marketplace. These are things that you can see all the time, right? But Facebook groups have a billion people using them every single day. And there's a major opportunity here, right? Like there's a major opportunity here, because if I'm a brand that is trying to connect with Shopify entrepreneurs, I can go into this group with 113,000 members, and start to share in that group content that I've written for that. So I go into that group and I can say, hey, Shopify entrepreneurs, I just wrote a piece that's breaking down the top 10 tools that every Shopify entrepreneur needs to know. Or, if I'm selling a product that targets working-from-home moms and dads, I go into this group, and I'm like, hey, do you spend a lot of time sitting in your chair? I'm now selling an add-on that you can put on your chair, and it fixes your posture, whatever it may be. You go into these groups and you add value, you ensure that the content that you're sharing within them is educational, engaging, entertaining, and empowering. And these people will ultimately become fans and believers in your product. If some of you right now sell products to a local market, if you go to Facebook search, and you type in dads, moms, and your region, your city, etc., I can guarantee you, you will very likely find groups where you should be promoting your product—talking about yourself talking about your story, and distributing the blog post that you're creating. Create once, distribute forever.


Ross Simmonds 23:30

You also have the opportunity—because Facebook has been around for so long now—to find pages that have literally become graveyard pages. What do I mean by that? Well, let's say I'm trying to connect with engineers. This page, I Love Engineering, was created back in 2016. It's very old, but they hadn't put up a post since January 11. So what does that mean to me? It means to me maybe this account—I don't know about you but my life is a lot different now than it was in 2016—maybe this page is being managed by someone who just doesn't have the time to manage it anymore. They don't care about engineering. Maybe they graduated and they became an engineer and they're busy. Maybe you can reach out to them because no one else is following a page called I Love Engineering besides probably engineers, so you reach out to them. And you can say, hey, I noticed this page hasn't been active since 2015. Would you be able to sell it? Yes! For five grand. Okay, that's interesting. Right? Now, this is where it gets very interesting. You start to negotiate, ask for a lower price. Maybe they say 3K. That's like 10 cents a like. So for $3,000, you now have access to 92,000 people who have opted in to a page about engineering. What other spaces exist just like that?


Ross Simmonds 24:35

Now some of you probably had your cocktail party effect going for the last little bit and you're like, oh Ross is talking about Facebook. I don't like Facebook, I don't like Meta blah blah blah, my audience isn't on Facebook. Well look at this step. Look at this for a second. If you're in B2B—and that's my space. My lane is B2B. That's where I spend the vast majority of my time—and you're like, ah, professionals don't use Facebook. They do. The stats show that they do, because humans aren't always in our suit and tie. We are just humans. We're a ball of chemicals. And we have emotions and all of those things just like everybody else. So yes, while Monday nine to five, I might be wearing my suit. And I might go golfing and I might be on LinkedIn being all professional, probably looking at my grandkids on Facebook to see what they're up to as well. And that is why you have to think differently, and why you actually need to understand your audience, because your audience is probably using these channels, and you're overlooking it. So don't make the mistake of assuming that your audience isn't there, just because they're not doing business directly on those channels. That is why you need to embrace this idea of understanding your audience, and then creating once in distributing forever.


Ross Simmonds 25:41

It doesn't end there, folks. There's so many types of content that you can create. Today, I want to dive deep into tactical ideas that you can use in your business that go above and beyond just blog posts as well. Let's say you aren't someone who likes to write content. You have a voice for radio. You realize that radio doesn't get too many listeners anymore, so you're going to roll out a podcast. You decide that that's what you're going to do. You roll out a podcast. Take that podcast, and you're going to turn it into video content. Set up a camera while you record the podcast and share that on LinkedIn. Promote that content. Video is taking off. Maybe you write a blog post, and you describe what that blog post was into a microphone and you record it. And then you share that on social, right? That is an opportunity that exists. And you can take other pieces of content—things that are just status updates that are text—and turn them into long form pieces with graphics associated too. Turn them into a slide presentation. This one alone [shows screenshot] had over 100 and some likes on this piece. But essentially, it started as just this update. And then it turned into this and it was able to generate more engagement. If you are in the B2B world and you have data, research, visuals—share those on social in the blog post that you've written. If you've added imagery into that blog post, share the image, and then link to the blog posts later on in the piece, just like the folks at Gong are doing here. They're sharing this visual, there's no link to the blog until you click the See More button. And then you will start to see that there's a link inside of all of that content.


Ross Simmonds 27:14

And don't be afraid to take your old blog posts and turn them into something else. Turn your blog posts into LinkedIn articles. LinkedIn has the functionality directly in their site, where you can write your blog and publish it on Wix. And then fast forward three days—you're not going to do it on the same day because you want Google to index your Wix stuff and all that good stuff—but you're going to first publish it on your Wix Blog. Then you're going to take it over to LinkedIn, you're going to copy and paste the entire piece, you're going to slightly change the headline, and you're going to press publish on a new article. Because LinkedIn is more likely to serve up content that is living on its platform than another platform. So they're more likely to give you more reach with your content. So turn those blog posts into LinkedIn articles. And then this is where it gets really interesting, right? Because you're able to take a blog post, turn it into a LinkedIn article, and then turn it into a YouTube video. And then time and time again, you're able to distribute and amplify all of these different pieces of content to give you more reach. And then if you create a video on a piece of content that is really valuable for a long period of time—you notice how this says 2020?—you can just keep updating that date to 2021, 2023, 2025, and so on and so forth, and it continues to show up in Google, right? I know. This is the way that you can approach it. You can take that same blog post, that same YouTube video that you created, and you can then embed it into a blog post, embed it into an article that you've created on LinkedIn, or directly into your blog that you post on Wix. That is the opportunity.


Ross Simmonds 28:46

You want to plan though your distribution in advance, folks. You want to think about the blog post that you're going to write. You then want to think, ah, am I going to write a Twitter thread? Am I going to share this on LinkedIn or video, send it in an email. You want to think about all of these things in advance, and then you realize and recognize that okay, I got a sense of where I want to go, I'm going to distribute this forever. Now, some of you might be thinking, Okay, I got it. I do have a few bit more.


Ross Simmonds 29:10

There's also communities. And I think communities is also where you should be distributing your content. Whether it's Reddit or Quora, these are places that you should also consider. There are local communities on Reddit that are dedicated to local areas and regions. You can go in there, share your content, have conversations, have a dialogue, upload your links. People love that. In Quora, are people asking questions that are relevant to you? It turns out that Google loves Quora. So Google actually is showing people a ton of core results directly in the search engine. So if you can answer these questions and link to your blog posts, it's going to give you even an additional reach. This is something that Jason Lemkin does really, really well. Somebody asked this question: What are some easy ways to increase sales? And as you can see throughout, he's answering the question, but he's also dropping links to his blog. Now I want you to look very closely. And if you're like me, you might have bad eyes so it's hard to see. But they have 63,000 views on this piece, right? That's a lot. That's a lot of traffic on this piece, just from him embracing the idea of creating this blog post once but distributing it forever and linking to it on this question, right? You can find local newsletters, reach out to the people who run a local newsletter, reach out to the people who run a Substack, and either ask them to sponsor it, where they will feature your content, the blog posts that you just wrote within it, and then share it. Or you can reach out and just ask them to share for free. And maybe they'll say yes, because they like what you created. Or maybe you could just use good ol' fashion Google and find forums or find newsletters and start to seed your content there as well. There are so many opportunities out there, folks. There's so many opportunities if you embrace this mindset of creating once and distributing forever.


Ross Simmonds 30:54

Now, when I talk about Reddit, typically people start to break out into hives and get freaked out a little bit because Reddit will tell you where to go and how to get there very quickly. A lot of marketers are terrified by Reddit, and I get it. I've been banned three times from Reddit, I know. I've been there, I get it, it is not an easy place to crack. But what I encourage you to do is understand the audience and understand that, yes, Redditors do like links. We did a study at Foundation back in 2018. So we're going to do a new one, where we analyze 150 subreddits. And we found that the vast majority of the posts that we're generating upvotes are those in which they were sharing links, right? So these are the types of things that you want to do. And what you can also do is you can sort content by top posts and get insights into the type of content that individual communities want, and then give it to them. Create once, distribute forever.


Ross Simmonds 31:44

Now, this is another one that typically throws people off a bit. You can also find ways to distribute your content in Slack communities. Some of you are like, Slack communities? What in the world does that mean? I use Slack to communicate with my team. This isn't a place to distribute content. Correct. It was originally built for internal communication. But there's Slack communities today that are filled with people who are interested in things like music, interested in things like design, interested in things like SEO and growth. And you can go into these different Slack communities, where people are actively spending time, actively having conversations just like in a Facebook group, and share your content with them as well.


Ross Simmonds 32:21

There's also an opportunity that exists on medium.com. A lot of people have the wrong mindset around Medium. And I encourage you to check out toppub.xyz, it shows the top publications on Medium. And all of these are essentially sites that live on Medium.com. Some of them actually take contributions where you can submit contributions to their site. Why does that matter? Because to me, Medium doesn't replace your blog. Medium never replaces Wix, it doesn't replace the way in which you publish your content on your site. No, it's about reach. You view Medium as a guest blogging strategy, where you take the blog post that you've created, and then you upload elements of it to Medium, press Publish, and then have a call to action midway through it telling people to click on a link to read the rest, and it's on your website. View Medium as a guest blogging-style approach, not a replacement for your blog. Create once, distribute forever.


Ross Simmonds 33:17

Some of you are probably looking like this right now. You're like, Ross, you just said Medium, Quora, Reddit, Slack, Facebook groups, Substack—What in the world am I supposed to do? I hear you, I hear you. This is what you need to do. You need to start by understanding your audience, right? Because the endless opportunities are there, right? There are a ton of opportunities that exist when it comes to distribution. If you want a list that will overwhelm you even more, but might make life easier because it will help you identify the things that are right for you, check out this free distribution checklist. I've outlined over 100 different ways that you can distribute your content on channels that I didn't have time to cover today. But this will help you a lot in terms of figuring out where's your audience and how can you distribute content in the ways that are going to resonate with them. Check that out.


Ross Simmonds 34:05

Because recognize, right now, there is a ton of competition. You are competing with all of the new companies, all the new startups, all the new businesses trying to get your audience's attention. This is just martech alone. How many 1000s of companies are in there? In your space, there are a ton of competitors as well. Right? So this is what I encourage you to do. You feel overwhelmed, you're looking at this, some of you are gonna say I need to go distribute, distribute, distribute. I don't want you to. I don't want you to leave this and just start promoting things like wildfire because you're just gonna burn out. You're gonna get excited, you're gonna share, you're gonna share and then you're going to get a few crickets, might get one like from your mom, one like from your dad and say, oh, that's nothing. I've been there. Right?


Ross Simmonds 34:45

What you want to do is you want to start planning. You want to start thinking about the content you should produce, you should start thinking about what you need to have in place to be successful. And then you need to start educating yourself. Start teaching yourself. Keep showing up to webinars just like this. Keep showing up to more training and development, read the SEO blog that Wix is producing and all of that content. Consume this content, because it's going to help you. It's going to prepare you for tomorrow. And if you do that, if you stay committed to that process, you're going to look back at the next few months of learning and development and growth and training for yourself, or maybe even your team and ask yourself, was all of that work worth it? And you're gonna say one thing: you *butter* believe it.


Ross Simmonds 35:25

Thank you all so much. I hope you found this valuable. I'd be happy to stick around, answer some of your questions. I know that the team at Wix also wants to share with you folks some tactical insights around how you can use Wix to unlock some of this opportunity. So I'm going to pass the mic over to them. But thank you so much for the time. Be sure to check out the distribution checklist as well.


George Nguyen 35:45

See I told you. Didn't I tell you all that it was going to be so good, and that Ross was just downplaying his background? But I mean, it gave us more time to jump into it. This is one of the most lively chats that we've had, that I've seen, so very excited about. Thank you so much, Ross. We're gonna move on to Crystal.


George Nguyen 36:03

I just want to tell you all one quick thing. I want to put a little button on what Ross said. Yes, distribution strategies can seem really overwhelming at times. And there's a lot that you can do. But just like whatever your business is, you didn't start out by doing it all. I highly recommend maybe if it seems overwhelming, choosing one tactic, trying it once a week, and just setting that reminder to build up that momentum. Everything will seem more approachable. When you get familiar with the platforms that you're leveraging for your distribution. Once you know how that works, you'll know how to be successful or you'll know that this isn't the right channel and to move on. That's all I wanted to say.


Crystal Carter 36:38

Yeah, we got so many insights. Alright. Okay, I'm gonna jump in to sharing just a few. I'm gonna go quickly because we want to get to your questions. Can you see my screen everyone? Cool.So I'm just gonna go through a few things that you can do in Wix.


Crystal Carter 36:57

So these are five content distro features that are within your Wix blog. So number one: Every Wix blog is built in with an RSS feed. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's a little bit of tech from the 90s. But it's kind of having a bit of a resurgence. It can be used to help you to automate posts that allow you to connect with users very quickly. And this one is one that I've used. This was using a tool called Deliver it. And it can sometimes help you to get a little bit of the scale with regards to posting to Facebook or to LinkedIn or things like that, if you don't have lots of time. So this is something that you can use. And if you have a blog, then you can find your RSS at whatever your blog name is—this is mine. And then you put in this bit of information at the end. So blog-feed.xml, that's where your Wix RSS is, and every Wix blog has one. So they're really useful. You can also use it internally, if you want to tell everyone else inside your internal team, what new content that you've posted.


Crystal Carter 38:02

Simple social share: Every time you post a Wix blog, you will get a little pop up that reminds you that you should share your posts. And it allows you to share on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn. We're going to share this deck afterwards, but there is a link to the support documents from Wix, which will tell you exactly how to do this so you can get the pop up there. And then also, if you have already shared it and you want to go back, then what you do is you go into your Wix Blog Post section, and then you can click the little three dots and you can share the post and you get the same little pop up again, and you can do it again. So that's that one.


Crystal Carter 38:38

The other one that we have built into the Wix CMS is email campaigns. So easy email campaigns that you can do within Wix. Again, this document has a link here to some of the information for how to do that. Monthly plans allow you to publish and send emails from your CMS. So for instance, on my blog, if I was to use that one, then I would essentially click this little button where it says Create Email Campaign. And then I'd be taken to something like this. And this will take the blog that I've just posted, and it will format it already. And then I can use lots of different elements to customize it however I want to do, I can add different recipients, I can publish and send, I can also manage my mailing list from within the Wix CMS. And this is a great place to get started if you want to increase your distribution. And even if you're not not planning to do loads of it, like every single week, every single time, it's a great place to do big announcements. For instance, if you've got your big Christmas sale happening or your big holiday sale, then get in there and make sure that you're doing that. If you just launched a new blog, that's a great place to do it as well.


Crystal Carter 39:40

Social graphics: So you might have heard of something called Canva for instance. We have something very very similar built into Wix that allows you to make your own social graphics. So Ross talked about how he took a post from from social media and he remixed it and he made it into a post with some graphics. He also talked about some other graphics, using those in your social posts. You can do that in your Wix CMS. So you can create graphics from the content on your site. All of the images that you've uploaded to your site can be used within this particular framework. You can use enhance themes, templates and assets, you can download it or share it to your connected social media accounts as well. So this is one that I used. And then we have a few different templates that you can pick and then you can edit it, and you can increase lots of information there.


Crystal Carter 40:29

We also have an easy video maker. So Ross talks a lot about using videos and different channels. So with the easy Video Maker, you can again use information, some of the content from around your site to create videos in your Wix CMS. We have templates, we have lots of assets for audio, things like that to help you there. And you can connect it to your social media account. And these are some of the templates. We do square and vertical depending on which type of social media you're planning to use. And you can use either of those. And here is one that I made myself for my website [womeninthestars.com]. Oh you can hear the music, fantastic. So you, too, can make something that celebrates all of our famous astronauts! And then you can brand it at the end with your website when you share it to all those different places. So that's all I wanted to share with you just now. I hope that it's giving you lots of great ideas for how you can use Wix for your content distribution. And we'll now go to your questions!


George Nguyen 41:44

Alright, sorry, I was on mute. And I just found out that I've been trying to type in the chat, but I don't have access to type to everybody. So I've just been typing in myself. I've been on chat in mute. So my apologies, we're gonna jump right into this. I'm gonna take this opportunity to answer one very quick question I saw: Why can't you share on Instagram? There are no links in Instagram posts.


Crystal Carter 42:04

[Laughs] So with Instagram, you can share your graphics. And you can also share out via LinkedIn, LinkedIn bio, and things. There's a few different ways that you can do that.


George Nguyen 42:17

And I'm also going to show you all—I'm hoping that you'll all return to our webinars because we'd like to see people return and then you can build on the knowledge somewhat. And I'm gonna give you a piece of advice here. When you ask questions to be as specific as possible. So the first question I have here is one I want to use as an example. It just asks: How do you improve conversions from blogs? You can make this a little bit more specific for our experts by telling them well, what is your goal? What is a conversion to you? Are you trying to get a lead form? Are you trying to get them to book a call with you? What's your vertical? That piece of information is really important, because all that kind of changes. That's why we say "It depends" so much in SEO. But it's a very general question. And I'm sure many of you could use some help here. How do you generally improve conversions from blogs? Crystal, Ross, you're going into this without knowing this person's website, their business. So a general advice for everybody.


Crystal Carter 43:10

I'd love to let Ross start if that's all right.


Ross Simmonds 43:12

Sure, yeah. I would say you want to start by understanding the goal, which George spoke to nicely. And then from that, once you understand the goal, ensure that the blog post is subtly but not over-the-top selling, right? Like, you want to use the blog in a way that you would approach your audience, the same way that you would want to be approached at one of those networking events. If I went up to you and I was like, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, you would look at me like I had 20 heads. But if I went up to you, and I just introduced myself and told you a story about how I was listening to a couple debate about the conversation about butter being on the counter or being in the fridge, you would probably be engaged and we would have a conversation. Then if I suddenly referenced in that dialogue, that I also have a butter company, you would be like, oh, cool, and you would learn about the butter. And then maybe you'd say here's my business card, I actually run a restaurant, I'd be interested in buying that from you. So you want to make your blog posts flow in a way that adds value. And then subtly reference another value add to the reader that you have connected with. That would be my recommendation on how to increase the conversion of your blog posts as it relates to a commerce-driven conversion, CRO.


Crystal Carter 44:23

Absolutely. I think also thinking about the customer journey. So Ross has talked to you about a few different channels. So depending on which channel you're distributing your content on, also think about what that people will expect to see. So for instance, I've seen people where they've done lots of stuff on a Facebook ad for instance. And then people come to the website and then the content sphere—and the ad was like, we're selling things and it's on sale and there's a big sale!—and then they get to the website and it's like, hey, yeah, it's cool, everything's really nice. And it's like no! Where's the sale? People want to see the sale, right? So make sure that you're mindful of people's time and that you stay consistent with the messaging. If you have a post somewhere that's talking about selling, then make sure that the content they arrive to talks about selling. If it talks about conversation, talk about conversation.


Ross Simmonds 45:06

Definitely.


George Nguyen 45:07

I love when you tee things up for me, because now it gives me time to think about my answer to that. I want to contribute. I'm not really part of this, I'm the moderator. But, as a user from the other perspective, what's gonna stop me from converting? You might be in a very competitive niche where people are very suspicious. Some fields, some verticals, like I don't know, discount Bluetooth headphones, right? People are gonna be very cautious about buying things like that from manufacturers they don't know. Are you that manufacturer they don't know? Anything on your page that causes suspicion—from a typo in the first sentence to a lack of product images, or to no clear information about your return policy—all of those will get in the way of your conversions. Feels kind of ecommerce centric. But I feel like that's a good one to move on to the next one.


George Nguyen 45:54

Okay. So this is a Wix Blog-specific question, and it's about the way the Wix platform works. Is it better to create a blog post on Wix using the blog post product? Or should I just create a new page, just a straight up page like an about page, and then put the same information on it? Why should I do a blog versus just a static page or vice versa?


Crystal Carter 46:18

So one of the things that Ross talked about was that blogs are incredibly effective for driving traffic and creating channels for new content. What you get with a Wix blog, one of the benefits of a Wix blog is that you have an RSS for instance, which is a way for Google to read your content and to know that it's new, and to understand that it's part of the same sort of flow of all the other blogs in your content or on your website. I would say that sometimes there's a time and a place and a season for everything. So it might be that the content should be maybe summarized on an about page. But if you're going to go into more detail—for instance, if you had an about page that was like about this webinar, for instance—you might have the about page with a summary of who all of the three presenters are, then you might have a blog that goes into a bit more depth about, you know, like, where I grew up, and my favorite food, and that time Ross heard someone talking about butter. But I know, Ross, you've spoken a few times about different parts of the website that content best sits on.


Ross Simmonds 47:20

Yeah, no, I think having it in the blog section makes the most sense. Because the same way that we consume news as media, you should be thinking about your audience consuming your blog content. And when they come to your website, if they happen to click on a blog, they're going to expect to see a series of different types of information that is typically sorted by chronological order. And that is like a natural flow for humans now. We've kind of been trained by the Internet to consume content that way. So give people something they're familiar with.


George Nguyen 47:48

Also, you're gonna notice that you're in the blog—if you have a blog—you're in it quite often. Your static pages, they don't change that often. And the way you manage on the Wix back end, is also kind of different. We have the ability to manage things at scale. So you can manage all your pages in one place, all your blog posts in one place, all your main pages in one place. And not having something cohesive—like you can use one or the other, it's really up to you. But if you mix and match, and you want to go and make those adjustments, you're either going to have to find it manually, or you're going to be moving across the interface trying to remember how you created this page. Okay.


George Nguyen 48:22

So this is a very general question again: How do I target the right audience for my blog in Wix? So, everybody just take a step back. When we say target, I feel like people in marketing are like, oh, targeting, there's a way to do this very specifically, very precise. Yeah, you might have some, you know, customer relationship management software that helps you get more scientific. But generally think about if you're running a brick and mortar store, how do they get people through the door? It's not exactly a fine science. It's not a science, it's kind of more of an art. But how would you go about targeting the right audience with your blog? How would you go about that decision-making process? I think that's a more useful approach. Ross, want to kick us off?


Ross Simmonds 49:03

Yeah, so it's a tough one. Because when you think of targeting people, essentially, you just need to understand what your audience wants. And then you create that content. So if I know that my audience has a certain type of problem, I'm going to try to create that content for them on a regular basis. So if my audience says, yeah, I am interested in learning what the best mattress is for me and they're interested in sleep, then I'm going to write a blog post about five great things to consider when you are shopping for a mattress. Now, the way that you get a little bit more targeted, is that you go geo-specific. So if you are able to say in your piece, the best mattresses to buy in Boston, in New York, blah, blah, blah, that might increase your ability to show up in local search for those specific keywords, which can be more targeted with your blog content.


Crystal Carter 49:53

And I would also say to follow that up, within Wix we have a whole suite of analytics that can give you information about how your audience are responding to the content that you have. We also allow you to connect with Google Business Profile. So for instance, if you find that those local users are really connecting with you, then you can build on Google Business Profile, you can see which geographies you're getting a lot of traffic from, for instance, and so then you can then you can modify accordingly. And also you can see which channels you're getting a lot of audiences from. So for instance, if you shared on LinkedIn and you got a lot of traffic from LinkedIn, that's a great way to say okay, I need to do more of that. And things like that. So you can sort of build, as you said, like Ross was talking about brick [and mortar]—brick by brick by brick.


George Nguyen 50:41

Targeting is part of your distribution strategy, too. A lot of people like interior design. Pinterest is what we think of, right? So if you're in that vertical, that might be part of your targeting. You know, maybe if you're an—are we elder millennials, Crystal? Am I an elder millennial?


Crystal Carter 50:56

[Laughs] I'm not making any confessions right here. Ross has made some confessions, I will not be.


George Nguyen 51:02

A millennial, an elder millennial—I am on Facebook, although I don't use it. You know, that might be where you want to go to reach people in my audience. So think about where you're going to.


George Nguyen 51:10

I'm going to answer this question really quick, because I think I can get it out of the way: Is there a limit on how long your blog posts should be? And my answer, let's see if we get a consensus with Crystal and Ross, is that you should write to the length that the subject matter deserves. That's the rule of thumb that I use for the Wix SEO Learning Hub as the editor there. And honestly, the question too—When you ask your Google device or whatever, what's the temperature outside, you only want to hear two digits. Maybe three. More than one. You don't want to hear the whole sentence. That's what I'm thinking. Ross, Crystal, are we on the same page here


Ross Simmonds 51:45

Same page.


Crystal Carter 51:46

Absolutely.


George Nguyen 51:52

Okay. This is probably gonna be our last one. And we only have a few minutes left: Is distribution improved with original images versus stock images?


Ross Simmonds 52:00

Good question. I don't know. And that's not usually an answer that you would get from a marketer. They would probably come to a conclusion that would not be rooted in truth and just try to sound really smart. But I don't know. Because I think at the end of the day, you can find some good stock images that will alert people and capture their attention and be click worthy. But I would say the best practices would be that you get inspired by typical thumbnails that are filled with emotion, like you would see in a YouTube video, and try to capture that in your social sharing imagery. What you want to do is disrupt people's feed. So when I'm scrolling through Facebook, and I'm looking at pictures, and I'm trying to see all of my friends' puppy pictures and baby pictures, all this good stuff, I want to see something on my feed that just disrupts it. And if you can create a visual, or find a stock photo, that is shocking in nature, but is still very valuable, that might generate a click, and that might get you some traffic to your content that is of high value. So that's the way that I would think about balancing the act. If you have the time, if you have the budget to customize your graphics, get photography, get an illustrator, get a designer, etc., then of course, yeah, go that route. But if not, just try to find some very creative and interesting stock photos.


Crystal Carter 53:26

I would say that one of the things that's great—so just to do one more shout out to the Wix CMS—in your Wix CMS, [you can connect to] your Google Drive, which you can do with one click. You can say connect to Google Drive, and then you can see all of your Google Photos within Wix CMS, and you can just click and bring them in. And we also compress the images for you. So if you're out, for instance, and you've got your business, let's say you have a cupcake business, and you're taking pictures of your cupcakes, you don't even have to upload them onto your site. They're already on your site. So it makes the original stock images conversation easier. We also have Unsplash built into the back of your Wix website. So if you type in, you can just see all of the different stuff from Unsplash. So let's say you want a picture of a puppy, you can type in “puppy”, and then you can get it. But you can also edit those within there as well. So you can do some of what Ross was saying about, making it stand out a bit more. A lot of publishers will show a picture of a computer, and then put the word "Google" across the top of it. And that's how they've customized it to make it a little bit more disruptive, to make it a little bit more unique. So there's a few different methods that you can use to sort of do a combination of the two.


George Nguyen 54:38

Alright, we're gonna end this right here. I want to say about this final question though, this is the hierarchy if you really need to simplify it: The worst case scenario is having no image at all. Generally speaking, know your audience, right? But like, no image at all is the worst case scenario. Using a stock image is infinitely better than that. Using a stock image that you've edited yourself to maybe show your branding or make it different than other images is better than that. And nothing will ever be that unique image that you had commissioned that you wanted, you knew in your head would be the cover image. That's what you want. And then you go down that list depending on what your resources are, what your capabilities are.


George Nguyen 55:14

Okay, sigh of relief, we have got here, everyone. Thank you so much for your time.


Ross Simmonds 55:22

Thank you. Thanks for having me. I know you're about to do your sign off. But I'll say thank you Wix for having me. I hope everybody got a lot of value out of this. I'm easy to find on the internet, folks. So if you do, at any point, want to connect, I'm easy to find on LinkedIn. Just say that you were at the Wix webinar, and I'll be sure to connect with you. I'm on Twitter @TheCoolestCool. George, Crystal, thank you so much for having me and the entire Wix team. It's been a pleasure. I hope everyone got a lot of value out of this. This was great. I had a blast.


Crystal Carter 55:48

Thank you so much, Ross.


George Nguyen 55:50

Crystal, you want to sign off?


Crystal Carter 55:51

I just, thank you. Thank you so much to Ross. It's always a pleasure to hear you speak. And thank you so much to George for moderating, and jumping in at short notice. We appreciate you so much. And thanks so much everybody who's been answering some questions in the background. I hope everyone has a good day.


George Nguyen 56:07

We have people leaving. Very quickly: Next month, Wix SEO Product Update Webinar. If you liked what Crystal showed you with the video creator, please mark that on your calendar. We're gonna be announcing it very soon. Other than that, everyone have a great rest of your week and thank you.



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