How I promote my content

May 2019. I wrote my first marketing article. A year later my email list hit 19,000.

No ads. No connections. No existing audience.

The site grew because I learnt how to push my content round the internet.

Here’s the process

First, I found all the different places where marketers hang out.

Online marketing groups

Then, I asked myself, “how can I add value directly to these platforms?”

Adding value isn’t dumping links. People are busy.

Wow them on the platform they’re already using. Or get ignored.

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” formula. Twitter is not Facebook. I tailor my content to fit each platform.

The specifics

Twitter, Reddit and Indie Hackers are places where long-form sharing works.

My strategy is simple. I share my whole article. Then, I politely ask if the reader would like to join my email list.

Facebook and Slack groups are a different ball game. Attention spans are shorter. Self-promoters get lynched.

I break my articles into visual tips. Subtly branding each one. Upfront value. No hard sell.

How to share in Facebook groups

Then, there’s a bunch of sites where I share direct links: Hacker News, Designer News, Growth Hackers,

Same principle applies. Tailor content to fit the platform.

Hacker News Vs. Growth Hackers

The whole process takes me 8 hours. 4 hours posting. 4 hours replying.

The snowball effect

How other people share your content is just as important as how you share it.

You don’t want people sharing different things on different platforms. You want everyone sharing the same thing on the same platform.

Isolated sharing gets ignored. Concentrated sharing compounds.

I direct everyone who likes my article to the same Twitter thread. 50 retweets turn into 500.

Twitter compounds growth

Putting it all together

1) Create value on other platforms.

2) Transfer this value to your own platform.

3) Store value with your email list.

How to promote content online

Email subscribers are gold bars in the bank.

New media rise and fall. Email isn’t going anywhere. It’s been around longer. It will survive longer. Medium can’t paywall it. It’s the best place to build an audience online.

Here are the results of a year sharing content online.

Marketing Examples email list growth

It’s not rocket science:

The platforms where I add the most value upfront are the platforms that generate the most new subscribers.

People are busy. Don’t redirect them. Wow them.

One last thing

The best self-promoters aren’t self-promoters. They take the time to become a genuine member of each community.

Share others’ content. Write detailed comments. Make friends.

Give more than you take. It’s a positive-sum game.


Keeping with the spirits of the piece, if you enjoyed it, please do share the Twitter thread:

And if you’d like more case studies like this please do join the email list.

Thanks to Ahrefs for sponsoring. I rely on them to grow my own search traffic.

— Over and out, Harry