The “Embassy MEXT Scholarships: How to Choose a University in Japan” guide that I published on TranSenz last week is not the first knowledge resource I’ve published, but it is the first time I’ve tried promoting content on other sites. In the first week, it has taken off, climbing up the ranks of popular posts on TranSenz and even garnering a couple of comments.
The post has climbed to the #7 most popular page on TranSenz over the past month, according to google analytics, despite the other pages being counted for a full month while this guide has existed only a week. This is less proof of success of my content sharing strategy than proof that I’ve never bothered in the past. The page has only just over 100 views as of this posting. So far it has not appeared in the top 100 of google search for my keyword, MEXT Scholarship. So, in terms of content promotion, it’s certainly not a success, even if it’s the best I’ve ever done.
The guide has been shared 12 times on social media (including twice by me, through my personal and TranSenz facebook pages) and has garnered a whole 2 comments- which is still one of my highes counts ever.
Promoting Content: My Strategy so Far
I’ve taken the lazy man’s approach to promotion so far. Since this is a timely guide, oriented to the stage of the MEXT scholarship application that occurs in July and August, I wanted to reach people who are talking about the scholarship right now. So, I set a google alert for any web pages, news, or forums that mentioned MEXT scholarship. I also shared the link on facebook through my personal and TranSenz pages. A friend who teaches at a university in Indonesia picked it up from there and shared it again.
The day I posted the article, the search found me one active forum thread and I posted the guide there. That single post has resulted in just over half of my views. Social media has accounted for another fifth and five whole views have come from organic search. The rest of the results have been “direct”, whatever that means.
Posting on the forum was a good way to reach the people who need the article right away and happen to be reading that forum. But it isn’t going to give me lasting presence and it doesn’t get my content in front of a majority of the people who need it. Forum links are, of course, no-follow, so unless someone who finds the link there decides to post it on their own site (they haven’t), then once that thread fades, I have nothing left.
Posting on the forum was a big first step for me. Nobody complained, and I got a lot of positive feedback, which was really encouraging. Now, I have a little more confidence to go and approach other website owners to get real backlinks and a lasting presence.
The other great bit of feedback was from my in-page anayltics, which showed that well over half the visitors read the entire 4500-word post!