How To Use A Blog To Promote Your Business – This month we’re looking at five different methods I would use to gain an audience if I were starting a new blog. So far we’ve explored guest posting, advertising and networking – but today I want to turn our attention to the ever-changing realm of social media.
Social networking sites have exploded onto the online publishing scene in the past few years and can generally be divided into two types of sites:
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The above two categories of social networking sites are quite broad – in fact many different sites pop up every week, many of which feature all of the above plus some. For example, on Twitter, just posting links, photos, and content to your account means that you’re technically bookmarking them, and if you “like” certain tweets, you find them. can do and repeat them later. Pinterest works the same way.
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The purpose of this post is not to glorify social media, but to see it as an opportunity to gain new readers for your blog. The reason I included this in this series is because over the past few years I have seen many blogs started through social networking sites.
The reason for their success is that social networking sites are one of the biggest sites on the web right now (the amount of traffic they get is amazing), but their main purpose is to get people to new parts of the web ( especially social) is to help discover. bookmarks) – and therefore used by people actively searching for web content.
As a result, I would say that social networking sites are the best place to position yourself as a blogger. Let me say it again:
Social media sites have a lot of traffic and people use them to find content – so why not reserve that space for yourself?
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Credit: Let me qualify this last statement before I go on to say that social media is not the answer to finding readers for your blog. It’s not enough to just promote your content on social sites – this is one aspect that can help you gain many new readers.
Much has been written about using specific social media sites to drive blog traffic. Below I’ll include some links to things I’ve written for specific websites – however in this post I’d like to talk more generally and share some principles for using social media to drive traffic. .
1. Be an active participant – It’s important to see these sites for what they are – social sites designed for general use and interaction between readers. They’re not designed for people to come and post and leave their links – they’re designed for ongoing, real and meaningful interaction between people. So, people who spend time using these sites usually pay off in the long run. While it’s tempting to only use these sites when they’re useful to you, you’ll get the most out of them when you regularly share and interact with others.
2. Learn the rules and culture – Different social networks have different rules, standards, culture and acceptable behavior. It covers things like how you communicate with others, the language you can use and most importantly for this article – linking and promoting your content. Some sites allow (and even encourage) you to self-promote – others don’t. Some people might officially allow this, but there will be users who won’t like it and will “bury” your efforts if you will. The key is to share your experiences, explore and learn.
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3. Find Key Players – One of the best ways to learn about social media is to find and meet key players on various sites. Who uses them well? what are they doing? What can they teach you? How can you work with them for mutual benefit? Many social networking sites make it easy to find these key players by creating lists of “key users” – these can be strategic relationships.
4. Make friends – An extension of this is the rule of befriending others on social sites. This is an important part of what it’s all about and most of these sites rank you based on your link count. So get out there – connect and connect with your network. This can lead to many fruitful interactions. It’s also a great practice in branding to “connect” with people in these ways.
At this point I should say that I see people using their ‘networks’ on social sites in two main ways either as natural influences or in more tailored and coordinated ways. The first (influencer) is about building a network with whom you interact naturally and who will pay attention to what you do. This makes you a power user because the social site knows more about you, but also how others will. The second is something some users have been doing for a while now – joining together to vote on each other’s content. DoshDosh has great tips for making and interacting with friends on social sites (especially Digg).
5. Don’t be selfish – I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s a point worth making. If your main social media activities are selfish, you will reduce your fruit. I know many top Digg users and by all accounts they are the most generous and helpful people you will ever meet. They strive to help others achieve their dreams. By doing so, it is understood that they benefit themselves – but mainly others.
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6. Find out what works best for your blog – A frequent comment on posts where I write about the power of social media is people saying they “tried that” and it didn’t work. When I post these comments to people, I often find that they mean they’ve tried the social networking site once or twice — and it didn’t make much of an impact. There are many downsides to this idea (ie it takes time to get to know the social networking site, get to know the people, etc.) – but the main thing I would say is that not all social networking sites work for every topic. . For example on a blog, I think StumbleUpon works well here – but Digg works on other technically oriented sites I’ve worked with. Another thing I will say is that sometimes the big social sites aren’t always the best to use – but smaller and more focused sites can be more profitable. Every week new social bookmarking sites pop up in different areas – search and consider them too.
7. Social Media as a Marketing Exercise – While social media sites can get you traffic very quickly, they can also be a great place for branding. Every time a reader or potential reader meets you on a social media site, you strengthen your brand. Be active on sites like stumbleupon and promote content that others are posting and you can get on their radar and ultimately benefit in many ways.
8. Convert to Loyal Readers – One thing that many bloggers fail to do when they are successful in driving traffic to their blog from social media pages is to convert them into loyal readers. Getting readers to your blog is only half the challenge – getting them back tomorrow and every day after that is the other half – it can be the difference between a one-time traffic bump and a blog with steady readership growth. I wrote more about converting one-time visitors to regular readers here (and also here).
9. It’s All About Content – One factor that increases (or decreases) the impact of your social media efforts is your original content. Without content that engages social media users, you’re wasting your time because it will rarely capture their attention and motivate them to promote. Writing better content is the goal of tomorrow’s final post in this blog’s readership development series – so I’ll say more.
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If you’re serious about building your blog’s audience and want to increase traffic, the Find Readers course will give you a road map and walk you through 6 clear steps to getting readers.
Darren Rose is the founder and editor of Blog Tips and School of Digital Photography. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The initial launch phase is one of the most interesting and exciting parts of your journey. After putting
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