Blogger Beginnings Series,  Blogging

Blogger Beginnings – Social Media Beginnings

You have done everything from grasping strange aspects like SEO to applying excitedly for affiliate programs but now, you have realised that no one is going to click those ads that you publish on your blog unless you get the word out there. There are many ways to spread the word about your blog; but social media is one of the biggest!

Before you do anything, you NEED to GROW your social media profile. Now here is where new bloggers go crazy, they start to sign up for every network on planet Google. My advice to you is simple, DON’T DO IT.

There are too many social media networks out there, there is facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, linkedin, youtube, tumblr, google+, flickr, reddit, snapchat, digg, stumbleupon, vine – you know what this list is endless! Can you imagine handling all these social media profiles yourself? Maybe you can but it might not be as beneficial to you as it could be. Which brings me to my point:

Choose your platforms – Choose platforms that you understand well and that you have an ample amount of time for. Having a social media profile for your blog means that you should engage with your readers. If you have too many of these profiles, how will you engage with everyone at once? Stick to the platform you know best. I was tempted, like everyone else to start getting social media accounts on every platform known to Google, however, I just stuck with two: facebook & pinterest. With two little kids, a husband and a household, that is all that I have time for.

Know your target audience – Once you have decided on your platforms, and have created your profile, its time for you to do some research! You know when you don’t really like someone but you still go to their facebook page to take a look at what their doing? That’s what you’ve got to do now, but to your target audience.

Look out for communities, groups and/or even other bloggers. Follow them and pay special attention to the things they share, the way they engage with their followers etc. This information is beneficial to you because it will help you come up with your own strategy on how to address your potential readers.

Start a facebook page – If facebook was one of the platforms that you chose, then start a facebook page for your blog. It’s a great way of engaging with potential readers & clients if its a business blog.

Join the conversation – Join groups and communities that are relevant to your blog. For example, my blog is first & foremost a mom blog (see Mom Corner) so I have joined groups like Mamahood Natal and the South African Bloggers Network, which is great to be a part of! You learn so many things from so many other people. The blogging community is very helpful! Don’t be a silent bystander. The internet gives everyone a voice, use it! Start by participating in threads, answering questions or even introducing yourself as a new member in the group – if the admin allows it!

Once you start getting involved, you build up your credibility and authority. As people start to recognise you, share your content where it is relevant. For example, recently a wonderful mom posted a question about when other moms started getting their child into a routine, I responded to the question by mentioning my child’s age and the type of routine I followed. I highlighted the fact that I did not follow a strict routine and included a post that I had mentioned my routine in. Don’t just post random stuff out there, go about doing it in a good hearted way. Don’t be spammy. 

Another thing to remember is that when someone comments on your blog, REPLY. I personally find a blog site more appealing when I read through the comments and see that the author has replied to each one. It gives the blog a more personal touch.

Create a schedule – To keep up with your engagements, post promotions etc, you should create a schedule. We all know how time gets lost when sitting on social media, scheduling time to engage with your readers and promote your blog keeps your head on straight! It’s so tempting to start clicking away at all those interesting and trending things on social media, but setting time aside to dedicate to doing what needs to be done will be highly beneficial to you and the success of your blog! Schedule in time for reading posts, sharing content and engaging with your readers. Get your head in the game by focusing on those three things and you will maximise the productivity of using social media. Scheduling also helps to regulate your posts. As you gain readers/followers, your readers will begin to expect posts on certain days which keeps them coming back.

Share great content – Sharing content on social media is a great way to gain followers. Imagine, if you share your post, thereafter your friend likes it so much that they share it and their friend likes it even more, so they share it! Can you imagine the number of eyes that will see your post?

I have no doubt that you are creating good, quality content but most of the time, what you’re saying has already been said somewhere else on this planet. Create something new and share that to attract readers and followers. When sharing on social media use a catchy headline so that people just have to pause over that headline. To seal the deal of a click, add a visual. A video or image that baits the reader to click on down to your blog. In today’s world, it’s best that you put in a couple of hashtags when you’re posting. Hashtags (see Blogging Glossary for more blogging words) are like a description in one word. Try hashtagify to get the best hashtags.  Also, add in sharing buttons like the ones at the end of this post, to all of your own.

Subscribe – Make sure that your subscriber sign up is always visible. Ask for subscriptions at the end of every article or place the sign up box right at the top of the page.

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Simone Gobin is a 24 year old, it graduate, wife to Avi and mother to Yash & Ralee Gobin. She spends her days being a mother and a wife. She has decided to start a blog as a creative outlet as well as connect with other parents. Her belief is that there is a lot to learn from other parents out there and she welcomes all advice possible.

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