15 Content Distribution Channels to Boost Traffic

Most marketers have got it all wrong.

They spend 80% of their time creating content and only 20% promoting it.

What’s the point of spending time creating content if you’re not going to make sure people see it?

There’s a checklist I keep of potential channels to tap into when distributing and amplifying my own content and that of my clients.

I’ve used these in several markets, and the channels that work depend on the buyer personas we target.

But they all work really, really well.

This sounds good – but why should I care?

A good promotion strategy drives instantaneous traffic to your site.

By tapping into existing channels, you attract an existing audience is active right now.

Looking for more distribution channels? Download 2 bonus content distribution channels to take your content to the next level.

Check out this screenshot from a Google Analytics account of a very young website I recently created content for. Do you see where we managed to get things right?


Then there’s the SEO factor. As you drive more traffic, you increase the likelihood of people naturally linking to your content.

More links = more search traffic.

Finally, there’s the networking potential. As you’ll see, content distribution can really put your name in the spotlight and bring opportunities to connect with relevant influencers.

There are dozens of other benefits which affect your entire marketing funnel. More traffic = more subscribers & leads.

So, now you know why you should be focusing more time on content distribution, but before I begin sharing these channels there’s something you ought to know.

Important: The truth about content distribution

It’s great you’re putting together a content distribution strategy.

But before you go promoting that blog post, you’ve got to have something that’s worth sharing.

If your content isn’t top notch, your promotion efforts can still flop. Your content must be unique and deliver incredible amounts of value.

So, let’s say you’ve got content that ticks all the boxes and it’s time to distribute.

Here are 15 of my best content distribution channels for driving 1,000 visitors to your website.

1. Your Email List


If you’re an experienced marketer then you’d expect this to be top of the list.

And yet…

Many marketers still don’t do it.

We overlook it and feel scared to bother our audience with our content. The truth is that most of us don’t email our lists enough.

Think about it – if you have something truly valuable then why wouldn’t you share it? Your audience is hungry for new information and anything that will improve their lives and their businesses will be much appreciated.

Creating goodwill and boosting your subscriber rate

When emailing your content out to your list, the most common practice is to send an email with a brief summary of the content followed by a link. This works, but why stop there? Why not deliver high-quality value right in the email itself?

When you do this, your audience feels like they’re getting in on something. They feel special, empowered and that they belong to an exclusive inner circle.

As a result, you create goodwill and your open rates and click-through rates increase. People are actually eager to open your emails.

Take Morgan Brown for example. Every weekday he sends out an email containing incredibly valuable and actionable growth hacking tactics. Things you can test immediately.


His audience feels excited when they see one of these emails land in their inbox. Do you know how powerful that is? It wouldn’t surprise me if Morgan had some way to measure this impact.

See if you can ramp up your email marketing game and test different approaches. Test what happens when you deliver value right to your audience’s inbox as well as to the content itself.

2. Forums & Communities

Marketing on forums is a fairly old school SEO tactic, but if you can contribute to a forum that’s relevant to your target market and has an audience that match your personas then it’s a channel worth pursuing.

Let’s say you sell a SaaS solution to the chiropractor market. If you wanted to find a forum or community you could do a Google search for the following:

  • “chiropractic forum”
  • “chiropractic community”
  • “chiropractic group”

Go through the results and find any communities that appear to be active and most relevant.

For example, you may find a forum that is full of people looking for advice on back pain, which probably wouldn’t fit your buyer personas. However, this community on Topix seems like it could be a good target:


There’s regular and recent discussion and is full of our target market – chiropractors. But before you can start to attempt to drive traffic you should add value to the community first. Join in the conversation and contribute.

Once you’ve racked up 30 to 50 posts and established yourself in the community, it’s time to strike.

I do this by creating a thread or discussion that provides a summary of the content I’m looking to distribute. A “mini version” of the article placed within the forum, with a link back to the main piece of content.

This process does two things. First, you’re providing value to the community and positioning yourself as an expert. Then, once you’ve established that positioning, you drive people who want to learn more to your content.

You’ll also receive feedback on how to improve the content and generate ideas for future content marketing efforts. You build an audience off the back of a community and drive lots of traffic as a result. Don’t underestimate the power of communities.

3. Influencers

Starting your content distribution from scratch can be hard. Instead of just tapping into your own audience and channels, you can also add value to the audiences of others.

Influencer marketing is quite an elusive art, but once you’ve created these relationships they’re invaluable. There are a couple of techniques you can use to do this but whichever approach you take be sure to keep this in mind:

Be a giver, not a taker.

In other words, your main goal for influencer marketing should be to serve. Give something that’s relevant to the influencer that will add value to their audience and, most importantly, they would find valuable themselves.

On a tactical level, there are several ways to do this. One of my favourites is a technique created by Alex Turnbull from Groove. He managed to get over 1000 subscribers from just one blog post thanks to his influencer efforts.

Image courtesy of www.groovehq.com

Image courtesy of www.groovehq.com

You should read the full blog post, but his technique involves first building a list of relevant influencers and then taking action to engage with them. This meant communicating with these influencers a total of seven times – over Twitter and through their own blog – before even asking for something.

Only once he placed himself on their radar did he make the approach. He emailed them regarding an upcoming blog launch and ended up getting some ridiculously huge names in the industry to share and comment on his content.

The trick here is to build the relationship first, and then position the “ask” in a way that gives more value than you take. In fact, he didn’t ask for anything at all. The influencers drove their audience to him anyway.

From this, he created invaluable relationships that keep serving him today.

4. Reddit

I’ve already talked about communities, but Reddit deserves its own section.

When joining in the conversation on Reddit, there’s a fine line between generating praise for your submissions and pissing everyone off beyond repair. Yet if you get it right, Reddit can be a huge source of traffic.


Because we used the same tactic we did with other communities (see channel #2), we generated a huge amount of upvotes and very encouraging comments on the marketing subreddit:



So, how did I do it? First of all I discovered a specific subreddit that was relevant to our offering (subreddits are the communities of Reddit in case you’re new to this).

You can find a subreddit for pretty much any topic – from marketing to cats giving high-fives.

Once I found a relevant subreddit, I made sure I understood exactly how it works. For /r/marketing, the most upvoted posts I could see were those that provided value within the actual post. This should seem familiar, as it’s exactly what we did with forums and communities.

From there, I provided a link to the post. When I delivered value upfront, these were the kinds of comments I received from a second post:


This is a great way to build credibility and goodwill with a new audience quickly. When doing this, the first step is always the most important.

If your audience does happen to enjoy gifs of people fist bumping cats then find a way to make your message relevant to this. It’s a delicate process, but you’ll soon figure it out.

Whatever you do, avoid shameless self-promotion. The Reddit community doesn’t take too kindly to it.

5. LinkedIn Pulse

Pulse is a publication platform created by LinkedIn. You might be wondering how creating content on another platform helps distribute your own, but are you seeing a pattern with the previous content distribution techniques so far?

It’s all about taking your content and re-purposing it for the platform you’re tapping into.

This works extremely well with Pulse. You can create a short version of the content you’re trying to amplify and publish it on LinkedIn. Then, doing the same thing we did with Reddit, provide a link back to your original content.


You can amplify these efforts using LinkedIn Groups. There’s pretty much a group for every industry out there, and if you can find one to contribute to, it can provide you with a new audience to serve.

Many group admins dislike people trying promoting their stuff, so try this technique instead: start a conversation relevant to your content and generate some conversation.

Most admins will approve discussions, and once the discussion has some traction you can chime in with a link to more information. It’s sneaky, but it means you’re relevant and actually add value.

One last note on groups – there’s a lot of power in owning one. It allows you to foster your own LinkedIn audience and gives you access directly to their inbox.

Neil Patel does this with his group “Marketing Leaders of America” and claims that you can generate 15,000 visitors to your site for every 5,000 group members you have. If you have the resources behind you then it’s well worth looking into.

6. Twitter Ads

Your own Twitter account won’t typically generate as many visitors for you as your email list. However, if you’ve put in some work to connect with influencers then this can give you a huge boost in traffic and backlinks.

If you’ve put in the groundwork then most of your Twitter traffic will come organically. People love to share stuff with their audience, and if you’re providing them with rockstar quality content they’ll likely do the same.

You see, the majority of people share content online to make themselves look smarter. As Angus Nelson said in his blog post on socialfresh, we share content out of our own self interest.

So if your content empowers people, then it’s more likely to get shared. Sometimes, however, we need to give it an extra push. This is where Twitter Ads come in.

Advertising on Twitter works well because they’re well targeted and sits within the main feed, where the rest of our organic content from our followers sits.


To make sure you get the most out of this advertising platform, make sure you get your targeting right. You can do this by targeting hashtags that people are using in their tweets.

Targeting hashtags means putting your content in front of those who are already talking about it. The message/market fit is already there.

Use images to capture attention. Text-based tweets don’t seem to convert as well as tweets with images attached to them.

We’re visual creatures, and so these kinds of ads can really grab your audience’s attention. Use something relevant that boosts the perceived value of what’s on the other side of the click.

7. Outbrain

We’re always on the lookout for cost-effective marketing channels, but we shouldn’t neglect the paid ones. When it comes to content distribution, paid amplification can have a huge ROI.

There are several paid amplification channels out there, but the one I’ll focus on today is Outbrain. This is what it looks like in action on CNN:

Image courtesy of www.outbrain.com

Image courtesy of www.outbrain.com

Have you ever got to the bottom of an article to see a bunch of suggested articles? These are usually served through a platform like Outbrain. They’re relevant to the genre of the publication they’re being served on and can drive highly targeted traffic to your content.

Step 1: Choose campaign & target audience

This will depend on the format of content you want to distribute. There are three:

Desktop – articles distributed across sites browsed on a desktop computer
Mobile – served to those consuming content on the go
Video – your video content distributed on the backend of other videos

Distributing through mobile is a popular strategy right now. If I’m on my commute reading an article and am served with another just like it, I’m probably going to read it.

Step 2: Set up your budget

Once you’ve got your targeting set up, it’s time to set your budget, which can be set by month, week or day.

You’ll want to experiment with this, as many marketers have seen a lower CPC curing certain times, such as early on in the week or certain times of the month. This is definitely something worth testing.

Set your daily budget and the amount you want to spend per click. You can edit these settings even after your campaign has started running, which is useful if you see people are digging your content and you need to drop the CPC to accommodate.

Step 3: Track & optimise

Right out of the box, Outbrain will primarily track clicks and the sources they came from. You can, however, embed a code on to your site to track specific conversions.

This means that, whatever your goal – be it retail or digital purchases or opt-ins – you can measure the effectiveness of your Outbrain campaign all the way down your funnel.

Although you can integrate your Google Analytics code, don’t look to Outbrain’s analytics dashboard alone. You should still be using GA to track page engagement (bounce rate, time on site etc.) as well as conversion goals.

Make sure you test paid amplification on a small scale first. I chose Outbrain here as it’s the system I use, but it’s a good idea to check out the market and see what other alternatives there are.

Looking for more distribution channels? Download 2 bonus content distribution channels to take your content to the next level.

8. Facebook Dark Posts

This technique has evolved a bit since the marketing community first dubbed them as “dark posts”, as it was something that you couldn’t create directly from the Facebook Ads platform itself.

Now, however, Facebook has made it super simple to create and promote private posts.

How does it work? Let’s say you want to promote 5 posts to 5 different segments of your audience. You could create a public post 5 times, but the problem with this is it makes your page look a bit spammy. Too much noise can lose likes.

So how do you get around it? Create posts that are only displayed to those you target through the ad platform.

This means that your “organic” Facebook feed shows only the things you want to share with followers, while posts that are tailored and targeted to a specific audience is delivered to them and them only.

Start by heading to the Facebook Ads Manager and clicking on “Power Editor”


This will open the Power Editor in a new tab. Along the navigation bar click “Page Posts” followed by the “Create Post” button. This will bring a pop-up that looks like this:


Notice the message at the top that says “If you use unpublished Page posts to create ads, you no longer need to.” – this is what I was talking about earlier. The whole concept of “Dark Posts” is installed right into the ads platform.

From this point on you should create your post as normal – using attention grabbing headlines and engaging imagery.

The key is to ensure you’re targeting the right people. Let’s say I wanted to distribute this particular blog post using the Dark Posts concept. For me, it’s best to target marketers and business owners interested in content marketing and blogging.

I might even want to segment those interests up, meaning the post text I use should be different for each audience.

9. Roundup Posts

This one fits nicely at the intersection of content distribution and SEO.

It’s been proven time and time again that manual outreach is key to a good SEO strategy, and roundup posts are some of the post content types you can target for your link building efforts.

These roundups are essentially lists of resources based on a certain topic or industry. They’re put together by bloggers who want to provide resources to their audience in one central resource.

Therefore, they’re a perfect target for your distribution and SEO efforts.

To find roundup posts, do a simple Google search for any of the following strings:

  • top “your topic” posts
  • best “your topic” resources
  • top “your topic” blogs

Or any variation of those. For this example, we’ll choose UX as our topic of choice. Here’s an example roundup post from a quick search on Google:

UX Roundup Post

Find as many of these as possible, making a note of the blog name, name of the blogger as well as Twitter and email address info.

Next, you’ll need to find a hook for each blog. If there are any dead links you can open your outreach by letting them know of it, followed by a gentle call-to-action about your post or blog.

No matter what hook you use, make sure your outreach is personalized to the blogger you’re reaching out to and their content.

Obviously, you’re not going to get a response from everyone, but many of those you reach out to will be more than happy to add your link to their post.

This can be an ongoing process, and should be part of your overall SEO strategy, but by targeting blogs with high quantities of traffic you should see traffic from these sources increase over time.

10. HARO

Getting featured in the press can be great for generating exposure for your brand and positioning you as a thought leader.

There are tons of benefits to getting in the press, but the most relevant to this guide have to be in its distribution potential.

HARO (which stands for “Help a Reporter Out”) connects journalists looking for sources of information. In this case, you are the source.

When you sign up, you receive emails with a list of source requests from various journalists (including those from Time, ABC and The New York Times) that you can respond to.

Head over to the HARO website and sign up as a source to get started. You’ll start receiving emails that looks like this:


Simply find the category most relevant to your business category and browse through the source requests. Categories include:

  • Biotech and Healthcare
  • Business and Finance
  • Education
  • Energy and Green Tech
  • Entertainment and Media
  • General
  • High Tech
  • Lifestyle and Fitness
  • Sports
  • Travel

As you’ve probably guessed, this is a very reactive content distribution strategy – but one that can get you a lot of attention.

Run through the list of source requests under your chosen categories. Let’s say, for example, we run a career guidance blog. This source request looks like a good hit:



Clicking the link will take you to the section of the email that displays more details. The key is to follow the request carefully and provide them with the information they need.

If your content can fill in this gap, then provide a link to it, but you should always respond with actual value that the journalist can use.

Taking the above example:


The most effective approach here would be to tell a story. Not just give 7 or 9 things to do during those 10 years, but an actual story of someone who has killed it in their career during their 40’s.

Of course, drop a link back to a relevant piece of content, but storytelling is key for this approach. Make sure you tell yours.

11. Quora

Communities are great, but it can be difficult to sift through the right threads to find people who actually need what you’re writing about.

Enter Quora. In case you’ve not used it, Quora is a Q&A platform where people can ask questions on a variety of topics and experts can chime in with their insights.

This puts you in a great position from a content distribution perspective.

If your content is covering something people want, then people are already going to be talking about it. With over 1.3 million monthly visitors from the US alone, it’s a platform you should experiment with.

1. Create your Profile

The most important part of your profile is your bio. Every time you answer a question, your name and bio is the first thing people see.

This gives you plenty of opportunity to build some authority and a little extra branding at the same time.

This bio can include the company you work for or the topics of expertise you cover. For me, I answer a lot of questions on digital marketing and growth hacking, so I make sure this is included in my bio.


Make sure you fill out your profile as thoroughly as possible. If you’re unsure how complete your profile is just follow the onboarding process to the right hand side of your Quora dashboard.

2. Follow topics

Quora’s community is made up of various different topics. These range from User Experience to Paleontology. There’s even one on Game of Thrones Memes.



Start by typing in a topic in the “Ask Quora” search bar at the top of the page. As you type, Quora will autocomplete with topic suggestions. Keep typing until you find what you’re looking for.

Once you’ve found your topic of choice, click the “Follow Topic” button. You’ll receive regular updates via email for new questions. Do this for all topics relevant to your business.

You can also follow thought leaders and other users to keep abreast of their activity, which is great for influencer engagement and competitor analysis.

3. Find questions & contribute

By following topics, not only can you be reactive on Quora but you also publicly display that they fall under your area of expertise.

However, you want to go on the offence. It’s time to run a few searches related to your content.

For example, if I wanted to find questions related to this very blog post you’re reading now, I’d search the following:

  • “content distribution”
  • “reddit marketing”
  • “blog promotion”

And the like. This will give me relevant discussions and questions on those topics:


This one looks like a good target. I could go in, provide an answer to the question and wrap it up with a link back to this very post.

The key here is very simple:

Find topics related to your content > Repurpose that content into a short answer > Provide a link

Rinse and repeat this formula until you have a network of Quora answers for your content. As for quantity, this is a matter of testing. Try 5 to 10 at first, then perhaps scale up further if you feel the needle needs moving harder.

12. Remarketing

Remarketing using tools such as AdWords and Perfect Audience is nothing new to marketers. We use them to bring visitors back to our website on a regular basis.

What you might be missing is that it can be a great channel for driving old visitors towards new content.

Most marketers, especially in the B2B world, focus on messaging that tries to guide previous visitors down the funnel. The calls-to-action usually contain a variation of requesting a demo, consultation or “get started”.

The problem is that most people you’re retargeting don’t trust you yet. They don’t understand the value you provide and you haven’t provided much goodwill, either.

Get around this by driving them to your content. I don’t just mean new eBooks and publications either.

That’s right – segment your data so that you target those right at the top of your funnel and drive them to your blog posts. Using retargeting as a content distribution channel.

The fact is, if they didn’t see the value in your content or lead magnets the first time round then they’re unlikely to take that action again.

By driving this traffic to fresh content you have a second chance to provide value upfront and create some goodwill. From here you can do a better job of converting them into subscribers and leads.

Be smart with your targeting. Tools such as Perfect Audience make it super easy to target the right people with the right content.

As always, test on a small scale first, get some feedback and then scale up once you see things working.

13. Email Outreach

Reaching out to your email list, influencers in your space and your existing audience is super important. We’ve made that much clear.

We can take that principle of connection one step further by baking these “hooks” right into your content.

Earlier, we covered roundup posts as a way of reaching out to influential bloggers and getting backlinks and traffic.

Now we’re going to take the foundational principles from that technique and expand on it further. Here are two email outreach techniques you can use to spread your content through new networks and influencers.

Outreach Technique #1: Linking to Bloggers & Influencers

These days, you can easily find just about anyone’s email address. Accessibility isn’t the challenge here. Attention is.

This is why it’s important to a) engage with your targets before ever reaching out and b) reaching out with a solid hook.

We talked about how to engage with influencers earlier in this post, and I gave you a good strategy on doing this from start to finish.

This technique is a little different. You’re baking goodwill into your content that’s aimed right at the influencers you’re targeting.

It’s a very simple technique. Simply link back to your target influencers’ content from within the content you want to distribute.

It’s a great hook when used alongside a good engagement strategy, and nobody gets bored of hearing their work is appreciated and note-worthy enough to link to.

Here’s an email I sent out recently for an article I wrote on the Seraph Science blog:


It’s a personalized approach, and doesn’t push for an action – but the ask is definitely there. And it works! The above email got a good response from many of the bloggers and influencers I reached out to:


See how you can add contextual links in your content that leads to other people’s content. Focus on those who have a large and loyal following and remember to lead with value. Value is they key to successful content distribution.

Outreach Technique #2: Expert Opinions

Does your content cover certain topics that could benefit contributions from relevant experts?

Influencers enjoy giving their thoughts on certain topics, and by reaching out to ask them for a short paragraph or two based on their thoughts and experiences can add a new element of authority to your content.

They’re investing in your content, meaning they’re more likely to promote it to their audience. They’re part of the content and they’ll want their audience to benefit from that – especially if other rockstars are involved. Here’s an example from an article on digital marketing on The Guardian’s website:


When it comes down to the content itself, you can either create a post that’s an expert opinion roundup in itself, or you can find ways to inject them into the existing content you’re looking to distribute.

14. SEO

If you think I’m going to cover the topic of SEO in its entirety in this blog post, you can think again.

It does, however, deserve a mention as it often gets overlooked. Sure, it’s a long game – but it’s still a game you should constantly be playing.

SEO is a complex beast. When it comes to content distribution, however, I like to get very specific with how I execute. Here are 3 of my best tips:

Content SEO Tip #1: Hit the long-tail

Content marketing is great for hitting all stages of the buying & sales cycles.

However, it’s especially good for targeting keywords that aren’t directly related to your value proposition. As long as the topic is relevant to your target audience and has ties to your industry, it’s fair game.

The key is to find the sweet spot. Find keywords that are too broad and the competition becomes fierce. Too narrow and the number of monthly traffic becomes too low to even bother with.

For the blog post I mentioned earlier, I wanted to find a strong keyword related to B2B marketing that had a good amount of monthly traffic and low enough competition to knock off the top spot. Here’s what the Google Keyword Planner came up with:


In the end we went for “b2b marketing strategies.” At the time, the competition strength was “Medium” and we had a confident chance we could create content that would beat (and out-teach) everything else out there.

Couple long-tail keyword research with good competitive research. Find keywords that are being under-served by content – i.e. content you know you can do better at creating.

Content SEO Tip #2: A regular & ongoing process

Content distribution isn’t a one-time thing. Sure, it’s important to do things that don’t scale at first, but links and page authority can decay over time.

It’s important, therefore, to try and scale your outreach and link building efforts over time. Keep an ear to the ground on new link opportunities and reach out as soon as they appear.

Whatever you do, don’t let a machine do the job of reaching out to another human. Always be as personal as possible – and I don’t meant the decreasing effectiveness of “Hi {firstname}”.

What I mean is, make sure it looks like you care. Show that you get them. A simple sentence or two telling them what you liked about their content will do.

Content SEO Tip #3: Compounded content distribution

Saying that, did you know you can quickly rank for certain keywords just by using some of these distribution channels alone?

As I mentioned earlier, we targeted the keyword “b2b marketing strategies” for a blog post. We then used several of these content distribution channels to drive traffic and build some links.

I knew this would strike a nerve, but what I didn’t know is the amount of organic backlinks that would come from it. So much so, that we’ve been ranking in the top spot for the target keyword for over a year without doing a single bit of email outreach:



It just goes to show that really, really good content coupled with a comprehensive content distribution plan can kickstart your SEO efforts for you.

We’ve since started doing some outreach, as we don’t want to lose the top spot for such a great marketing asset that brings in such high quality and quantity of leads.

However, I truly believe that the amount of work that went into creating the content in the first place is what made it so successful.

Let me repeat it one last time:

Great content + comprehensive distribution = conversions & results.

15. SlideShare

We’re going to wrap this article up with a final foray into re-purposing content.

This is technically slap bang in the middle of a Venn diagram between re-purposing and distribution. Yes, we’re creating new content, but we’re doing so to tap into a new channel.

SlideShare, which was bought by LinkedIn, is a social site for presentations. It’s super simple to create some slides and upload them to the network.

To get started with SlideShare, follow this SlideShare from SlideShare (very meta). It has everything you need to know to get set up.


Here are a few things to keep in mind to squeeze as much juice from your SlideShare efforts as possible:

  1. Include a call-to-action: Just like you do with all your content (right?) – be sure to include a call-to-action. This can include a link to the original piece of content you’re re-purposing or something further down the funnel. Stick it on the last slide and include a link in the description.
  2. Keep it short: You want to provide people with value, but you also want to leave them wanting more. Keeping the presentation nice and succinct will ensure they reach your call-to-action at the end.
  3. Make it heavy on visuals: When you’re sitting in front of a presentation at a conference or summit, you don’t see an awful lot of text on the screen, do you? This principle is the same with your presentations. Make sure it’s heavy on visuals and low on text. Refer to point 2 of this list to get the point.

As with all new forms of content, test first and then measure results. If you see great results – not necessarily in the form of traffic – then find ways to scale up.


I’ve given you 15 content distribution channels to test out here (and another 2 if you download the accompanying pdf here.

I’ve kept them broad and shown you how I use them, but it’s not always a cookie-cutter solution. Find the channels where your audience can be found – where their ATTENTION is first – and focus on those.

Just as important as attention is CONTEXT. I’ve given you some pretty actionable techniques here, but don’t simply copy an approach and apply it to another channel. Find out where your audience is and spend some time figuring out how they use it.

Hungry for more? Download 2 more content distribution channels here.

Content Distribution Bonus