Why distribution trumps content as king

There’s a ton of content swirling around online, and some of it is terrific. With all those crowns, though, how can your target audience find your stuff? Here’s how to build proper channels.

Ever come across a great blog post or slide share that surprisingly has only a handful of retweets or shares? Maybe you’ve created great content and found similar results.

You may have created one of the best resources in your industry and still not have made a dent. Don’t be discouraged. It’s not that your content wasn’t well written. It’s not even that your content is going after the wrong topic. It’s more likely that it’s something else holding your content back.

Before I dive into the real reason some content thrives and some barely survives, let me show you what led to this epiphany.

Over the last two years, I’ve written more than 500,000 words for a combination of e-books,blog posts,ultimate guides, and infographics. Some blog posts were shared 400 times on social media; some were shared 2.5K times. Some guides were shared more than 30,000 times; some were shared fewer than 5,000 times.

As you can see, the results were widely disparate from one piece of content to the next. Yet I started to notice a pattern that differentiated the content that generated the most traction as opposed to the content that went unnoticed.

C.R.E.A.M: Content rules everything around me

Everyone is screaming that content is king. Everyone wants in on content marketing, and brands from every industry are publishing content day in and day out.

How much content is created every single day? A lot.

How much content is created in your industry every single week? A lot.

In marketing, thousands of blog posts are published every day on topics similar to those I cover. This content surge is found in every industry. People have declared that content is king, but such quantity invariably hurts quality.

Organizations and businesses are pushing out hundreds of blog posts a week, just because they want to be part of this frenzy. Some great content doesn’t get the attention it deserves, because it’s lost in a sea of noise.

Content actually is not king; distribution is.

D.R.E.A.M: Distribution rules everything around me

I built up my distribution channels by hustling and by building relationships.

No tricks, no hacks, no quick and easy wins. Hustling to get guest blog posts and tweets from influencers and focusing on giving value to my audience helped me to establish a reliable, top-quality distribution network.

How can you build a high-quality distribution network?

It’s actually not very difficult. I know some people feel awkward about doing outreach and kick-starting blind relationships, but relationships are the backbone of business.

If you’re just starting out, don’t shoot for the stars.

Focus on people who have slightly larger followings and networks than you do, and build those relationships. Sure, it’s not going to land you 100,000 subscribers next week, but it’s a good start.

From there, look for credible channels where you can publish your content. Look for channels that will syndicate your content to larger audiences, and look for guest blogging opportunities.

Finally, you have to hustle. You have to submit your own links to channels such as Inbound.org, HackerNews, and Reddit. You have to ask your friends to vote for your posts so they generate more buzz. You have to promote your content as if it’s a business—because it is.

Content is important, but distribution will drive real results. Your distribution channels will help your content reach a larger, more relevant audience. Your distribution channels will help you reach the audience of your dreams.

When you publish your next great piece of content, spend double the amount of time you took writing it to promote it and get it in front of the right people.

A version of this post first appeared on Ross Simmonds.


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