Unlike a typical blog post, I'll continually update this post as my promotion practices change. Here’s the 2017 update.
As you likely know from reading New Media for Designers + Builders, I've long been an advocate of building vigorously interconnected networks of many nodes. But I've now built enough Original Green nodes that I need this checklist to make sure I catch them all whenever I do new Original Green blog posts. The first several promotions are done from a net chiclet bar I place at the bottom of each post; the remainder are done elsewhere.
One note: This might seem like a daunting list. When I gave an earlier version to Hazel Borys a few years ago when she was setting up PlaceMakers' New Media presence, she told me that the first time she did it, it took her more than a half-hour. But once you get the hang of it, it goes much faster. I can do everything shown here in not much over ten minutes if it's not a post I'm submitting to Planetizen or Grist, which take longer.
Note: Digg just changed their format in early August 2012 and it's not clear how useful they'll be in the future. I may drop them. Stay tuned.
The first several promotions I do are made easier by the net chiclets at the bottom of each post on all my blogs. I go left to right and the chiclets are in alphabetical order, so DIGG is the first one I post. Clicking the DIGG chiclet takes you to the Submit a Story page, and it automatically fills in the URL, page name, and uses the first image (if there is one) as the thumbnail. You have to write a description of the page. Write something different from the meta description you wrote previously in your site-building software (Sandvox for me.) This description can be longer than the 156 characters of the meta description. Select a category and then Post Story. But don't close the window. You'll copy and paste the description on other sites in a moment. Sometimes I'll tweet the DIGG page, asking others to DIGG it as well. If it gets a lot of DIGGs, then it can go viral. I usually save this request for what I feel is my best work.
I tag each post on Diigo with keywords. To do so, go to each post and click the Diigo net chiclet at the bottom of the post. It will take you to the Add New Bookmark page, where it has already filled in the URL of your post and the title of the post. Copy the description you wrote on DIGG and paste it into the Description box. You should have already meta-tagged your post in your site-building software (again, Sandvox for me) with keywords. Rather than typing them all over again, just copy them from Sandvox (or whatever) and paste them into the Tags box in Diigo. You'll have to tweak them a bit, because tags in Sandvox are comma-separated, whereas tags in Diigo are space-separated so you'll need to put quotations around multi-word tags. This post tells you how to turn the tags into a tag cloud.
Click the Facebook chiclet and it allows you to post a link and story to your timeline. Or you could post the first comment on the Facebook Comments of your blog post, which might be more effective because people comment on your blog posts, not just on your timeline. But in either case (or maybe both) engage Facebook! Depending on who your friends are, you might want a somewhat different description here, as Facebook tends to be more relaxed and conversational than LinkedIn, for example.
The Google chiclet allows you to add a Google Bookmark. It automatically enters the URL and page name. Labels in Google Bookmarks are the same things as Tags in Diigo. Fortunately, Google's Labels are comma-separated so you can simply copy the meta tags from your site-building software and paste them into the Labels box. Next, copy your DIGG description and paste it into Notes, and you're done with Google.
The LinkedIn chiclet takes you to a Share News on LinkedIn page. Paste the DIGG description into the Comments box. I have an Original Green Group on LinkedIn, so I check the Post to Group(s) box and select this group. I also leave the Twitter box checked, although I'll tweet again later. Additionally, I'm a member of several other LinkedIn groups and, depending on the post subject, I may share it with one or more of these as well:
Institute of Classical Architecture & Art
International Network of Traditional Building, Architecture, and Urbanism (INTBAU)
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU)
The Prince's Foundation
Clicking the StumbleUpon chiclet takes you to their submission page, which is similar to several others above. Copy and paste tags and description like before. You also have to tell them if it's safe for work (no nudity, etc.) and select a category. Several of my posts have been picked up and featured by StumbleUpon, resulting in a good bump in traffic.
I use the bit.ly sidebar to tweet because bit.ly keeps analytics on your tweets, letting you see how many people have clicked on your link because of your tweets and also because of other people's tweets. You'll need a bit.ly account. It's free, and you can sign up in just a couple minutes at their home page. Sometimes, I'll do several tweets over the course of a couple days, each highlighting a different aspect of the blog post. Don't tweet the same stuff over and over, however, otherwise your followers will get annoyed and unfollow you.
This is the end of promotions I do from the chiclet bar at the bottom of each post. The following promotions begin elsewhere:
I'm starting to submit my best work to Planetizen. Their submissions web page is http://www.planetizen.com/news/submit. They don't always post submissions, but when they do, it normally results in a big bump in readership because their audience is huge. With Planetizen, you're not posting your actual post, but rather a short story about the post. Even if they don't pick it up, this "story about a story" is useful in other places as noted below, so it's not just wasted time.
Better! Cities & Towns
I have for some time been submitting my best work to Better! Cities & Towns. To do this, email Rob Steuteville and have him set you up as a blogger. If he knows and respects your work, he's happy to do this. If he doesn't know your work, he'll do some research. Once you're set up as a blogger, first log in and it will take you to your user page. Near the bottom of the sidebar, you'll see Blogger Admin. Just below that, click Post Blog Entry. The Create Network Blog Entry page is fairly self-explanatory, and mainly involves cutting and pasting from your existing post. A Better! Cities & Towns post, unlike Planetizen, is a full re-post of your blog post.
Original Green Yahoo Discussion Group
I email to email@example.com to post to this group.
Original Green Cause on Facebook
Facebook Causes haven't been as effective at generating action as I would have hoped, but with over 11,000 members in the Original Green Cause, I figure that it can't hurt to post links to new blog posts. And while the group as a whole isn't so active, I have met lots of interesting individuals there, some of whom I've stayed in touch with for years.
From my Google home page, I click the +Steve in the upper left corner which takes me to the Stream page, where I can share at the top.
I post to appropriate listservs like Pro-Urb, TradArch, NextGen, Urbanists, Transect, etc. If I submitted to Planetizen, then I use the "story about a story" as the content of the listserv post.
I email people who might have a special interest in the post.
I email people I'm linking to in the post.