I got an email in my inbox this week from Ryan, a new friend who listened to me present at last week’s Berrett-Koehler Book Marketing Event.

He followed up on some advice I gave at the conference regarding NOT posting the same update to all your social channels at once.

He sent this statement/question:

Currently, whenever I post a new a blog entry, I programmed WordPress to send the title of the blog and the link to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Tumblr. Should I not be doing this?

I followed up with more questions:

Is that automated blast the only promo you are doing for each post? If so, I would encourage you to stop. If not, I would encourage you make sure that the other times you promote the content through your channels are highly customized and creative.

Ryan is looking for advice about how to promote his blog content most effectively.

Do you want to know, also?

Effective blog promotion is a topic I have written about many times over the past few years. You can find some of the advice gathered in my Website Basics and Blogging Handbook (free download).

I typically recommend that you invest as much time promoting your post as you spent writing it. If you spend a lot of time writing, this advice could be hard. As I try to write posts in under an hour, an hour of promotion seems reasonable! (You can even try writing a blog post in 12 minutes!)

Regardless of the time you spend writing a blog post, you need to promote the post, creatively, in multiple ways over several days, and then intermittently over time. (Sending your post out as an automated blast when you publish is not nearly enough.)

I recommend that you send a minimum of 6 (varied, creative) tweets over the first day, and 10 over the week that you release the post. These tweets can pull in excerpts of the post to entice people to read more.

It is important to tweet your post multiple times because Twitter is so ephemeral. The chances of people seeing the 1 tweet you send as an auto when the post is released AND clicking through is almost nil.

To get insight on the effectiveness of your promotion, be sure to regularly review Google Analytics. Where does the traffic to your site come from? Which social channels are driving traffic to you?

You may find that the traffic to your site from social channels is minimal. If so, that is a sign that you need to increase or diversify your social channels. When you notice a pattern of success in driving traffic to your site from a particular channel, you’ll want to maximize your social sharing and interaction on those sites. For me, Twitter is the most consistent driver. If yours is LinkedIn, then you will want to give more attention to your sharing there.

If you are going to invest the time to write, you must invest the time to promote.

Tell me something! What are your best practices for promoting your blog posts? What other questions do you have on this topic?