How To Boost Your Blog Using Social Media

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Social media is here to stay, and cannot be ignored as a way to network. By connecting you with millions of users around the world, it is the perfect marketing tool – although many of us are still working out how to get the most out of it.

For blogging, it is one of the best tools you can use to increase your readership. Share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll immediately notice the increase in visitors – but that’s only the first step to using social media to boost your blog. By using social media to its full potential, you can transform your small, seldom-visited site into a buzzing blog with an avid community of readers.

Which types of Social Media are best suited to you?

There are many social networks, to all of which you can sign up, although in most cases certain ones will be better suited to the theme of your blog – the ones where you should put the bulk of your focus.

No blog can do harm from having a Facebook and Twitter page. These are the biggest social networks, appealing to almost every audience. You can create a Facebook and a Twitter page separate from your personal pages – and invite all your friends and family to like and follow.

Other social networks may be better suited to specific kinds of blogs. If you own a cookery blog, Instagram could be a great way to share pictures of your foodie creations, although not so suitable if you own a business advice blog (for this kind of blog, a site like LinkedIn would be more appropriate for promotion).

Automate Content Sharing

Once you have social media pages, the best practice is to automate your blog posts so that as soon as you publish them, they automatically share on social media (easier than having to manually post them each time). There are many social media automation programs that can do this, although WordPress users can use its built-in automation tool.

Add Social Media Sharing Buttons

Next, you should add social media sharing buttons to your blog, so that people who stumble across your posts can become regular followers. You can get sharing buttons for Facebook and Twitter. These require you to embed a code into your blog – there are sites that tell how to do this if you are unsure. Make sure that the share button is somewhere clear where readers can see it, such as the top of your blog’s homepage. 

Build up Likes and Follows

As already discussed, you should invite your friends and family to like and follow your social media pages. The more likes and follows you have, the more official your blog will appear. If you have a music blog that reviews bands, or a make-up blog that reviews cosmetics, contact the artists and brands that you positively review and get them to like and share. You can also join community groups and forums to gain followers.

Hashtags

Hashtags were made popular on Twitter, but have recently moved onto Facebook and Instagram. On Twitter and Instagram, you can use them to relate your posts to a theme so that others searching that theme will find your posts. It’s a great way of connecting to trends such as #catsofinstagram or #photooftheday or #music, although in each case your hashtag should relate to the post and not merely be annoying spam.

You can also use hashtags to create your own trending topics and to categorize posts. A music blog might create a #newmusicfriday hashtag to make people aware that it blogs about new music every Friday. If your blog covers multiple themes, you could separate each post with an easily identifiable label in the form of a hashtag, such as #travel or #tech. Note that tweets with hashtags ordinarily earn twice as many likes as those without, although more than two hashtags can have the opposite effect (lesson to self)!

Run Ads

You can run an ad on Facebook for your page or for an individual post. The promotional ad will appear on timelines around the world, alerting other Facebook accounts to your blog. Ads can also be run on other social media sites. You will often be asked about the demographic in which you wish to target your ad, so make sure that it is one that is likely to engage with the content of your blog.

Network with other Blog Owners

The best bloggers read other people’s blogs. Find a blog that you like and become a familiar reader by following their social media pages and regularly liking and sharing. You can also use social media to directly message other blog owners and offer the opportunity of cross-promotion. You could write guest blogs on one another’s blogs, share each other’s social media pages or endorse each other on LinkedIn. With many blog owners already doing it, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.

Repost

Don’t just post new content – give new readers a chance to see your old content too, by reposting it on social media. You can use automation tools to do this or manually choose and repost yourself at your leisure. Sometimes an old post may link in with a current trend. For example, a political or social issue that you blogged about might suddenly link in with current news events, or a product you reviewed may have suddenly found mass attention somewhere. Seasonal posts related to Christmas, Valentine’s day or Halloween can be reposted year-in-year-out, as they will always be relevant. Obviously, the more content you have, the more you have to repost.

Bloggers: do you have any other tips and tricks for boosting your blog?

Looking to Increase your Blog’s Audience? Some Dos and Don’ts

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Hello, fellow bloggers! This little post was written just for you.

I want my blog to reach as many people as possible, and I’m sure that you’re no different. Whether your blog is personal or lifestyle, an author website or a commercial site, once your blog audience increases significantly, you may find that many opportunities will open up.

This applies to noncommercial blogs too; you will meet more people, share ideas, and learn new things. You might even get companies approaching you about sponsorship.

So how exactly do you increase your blog’s audience? Well, it’s not just about the content of your blog posts (although, of course, that helps!). To give you a helping hand, here are my chief dos and don’ts for improving your blog’s audience.

Do: Improve The Design Of Your Blog

More and more web users are browsing sites on their smartphones and other mobile devices. That means your blog needs to be designed so it can be viewed on these smaller screens. If you aren’t sure how to do that, you can always enlist the help of a web design agency.

As well as being easily viewable on a mobile screen, the site also needs to be easy to navigate. If it isn’t, users might not find what they want and could move onto a different blog. Again, you can use a design firm to help you improve the navigation on your blog.

Do: Give Readers A Chance To Engage

There should be a number of ways that your readers can interact with you on your blog. For instance, leave a comments section underneath each article that you post, where your readers can leave their thoughts and opinions. You can use this feedback to tell which topics are the most popular.

You should also leave social media buttons on each article. Then readers can engage by sharing your content onto their social media profiles, which is a great way to reach more readers. Make sure your blog posts are fun and unique so that people will feel compelled to share them.

Don’t Spam Followers

You need to publish a lot of content to your blog, however, it is important that you don’t spam your readers and followers by posting too much. Otherwise, they may end up getting frustrated and could unfollow you. You need to get the balance right when it comes to posting.

Frequency depends on what type of blog you have and what your goals are. Try and aim to publish a new blog post every other day, or as I choose to do, about twice a week. That way, you’ll be giving your followers lots of fresh, new blog posts without overwhelming them.

Don’t Forget About Social Media

Social media is extremely important in the blogging world. It is crucial that you create social media accounts for your blog and share your updates on them, and be sure to use hashtags so more people will stumble across your updates.

One of your tweets or Facebook updates may go viral, and then you will be opening up your blog to thousands of people across the world! Try to follow as many bloggers who write about the same things you do. If they follow back, you’ll be able to create a network of bloggers where you can find support.

Hey, it seems to be working for me. 🙂

Are you actively trying to grow your blog’s audience?
Any tips you’d like to share?

Photo credit

Blogger Bouquet #32

 

Selfies and the people who take a lot of them often get a bad rap. Here is a refreshingly different perspective on the topic from a blog called The Belle Jar :

An Open Letter To All Of My Friends Who Take Selfies

Comments are closed here but you can share a comment on the blogger’s page.

Friday Bouquet #13

A departure from my usual “pat on the back” of fellow bloggers, I found this quote recently and it made an impression on me – as did its author.

“I am an optimist, and I believe that people are inherently good and that if you give everyone a voice and freedom of expression, the truth and the good will outweigh the bad.”

 – Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO, Automattic and WordPress Developer

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Matthew Mullenweg, born January 11, 1984 in Houston, Texas, is an online social media entrepreneur, web developer, philanthropist, and musician. He is best known for developing the free and open source web software WordPress, now managed by The WordPress Foundation.

After dropping out of college and working at CNET Networks from 2004 to 2005, Mullenweg quit that job and founded Automattic, the business behind WordPress.com, Akismet, Gravatar, VaultPress, IntenseDebate, Polldaddy, and more. In December 2012, Mullenweg was listed in 2012 Forbes’s 30 Under 30 in Media. His professional blog is ma.tt, a domain hack. ~ Wikipedia

Matt lives in San Francisco, California. His hobbies include photography and music. He turns 31 on Sunday.

 

*Photo from WordCamp San Francisco 2014 taken by Sheri Bigelow (ma.tt)