My last job was as a Data Analyst and it suited me in the sense that I enjoy gathering and analyzing information. It’s my go-to skill when I am obsessing about a problem. My problem right now is that my blog isn’t getting enough traffic for my liking.
My strategy for tackling this problem was not at all scientific. It involved an Excel spreadsheet and as many YouTube videos on blog promotion as I could watch in a week. What I wanted to learn was which social media sites are best for increasing blog traffic. I ended up watching 41 videos.
Facebook narrowly beat Twitter for the top spot. While everyone agreed that bloggers should promote on Facebook, there were varying opinions on how to use Facebook to drive blog traffic. Possible options include: paid ads, blog sharing groups, personal promotion, promotion through a Facebook page dedicated to the blog, and sharing in groups related to the blog’s niche.
Since Twitter was ahead in my tally for most of the week, I signed My New Obsession up for an account. I still don’t know what I’m doing, but every blogger and vlogger that I follow is on there, so I think it was a good move and may be the subject of a future post.
Pinterest, Instagram, and Google + rounded out the top five. My New Obsession has had a Pinterest site for about a month and traffic from that site has steadily increased in that time. I am generally a fan of Google products, but I’ve just never cared for Google +. It hasn’t caught on in the same way that other social media platforms have. I’m going to focus my attention on other platforms for MNO for now, but that doesn’t mean that Google + wouldn’t be a great fit for other blogs.
My blog currently has an Instagram account. The Instagram page itself has had mixed success. One of the pictures has over 60 likes thanks to me sharing it in a group on Facebook. How much traffic did it drive back to my blog? Zero. The visual nature of Instagram and the fact that you can’t link out from the descriptions makes it a poor driver of blog traffic. I will keep the account since Instagram is so popular, but spend a minimal amount of time on it.
I’m not going to discuss the other six, but I do want to share what else I learned this week. Some of the bloggers and marketers had wildly different ideas on how to promote a blog, but some advice was nearly universal. Below are three pieces of advice that I heard over and over again:
- Know your target audience and their virtual hangouts. A food blogger will want to establish a presence on Pinterest, but an investment blogger’s time may be better spent on LinkedIn. If your target demographic is young, Snapchat may be worth looking in to.
- Interact with other bloggers, but not in a spammy way. Seek out other bloggers in a similar niche to your own. Read some of their posts and leave comments – meaningful comments that relate to their content, not thinly-veiled attempts to drive traffic back to your own site.
- Be patient. It takes time to build a blog following.
I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve learned a few things about blog promotion from this and my previous forays into blogging:
- Not all blog traffic is equal. Getting people to read your blog isn’t as difficult as getting the right people to read your blog. By this I mean your target audience – the people who are actually interested in your content. These are the people who will like, comment, and share your posts. These are the people who will come back.
- Creating content is only half of your job as a blogger. The other half is marketing. Marketing your blog is a must unless you are cool with your mom and your boyfriend being your only readers. Seriously, not marketing your blog is like painting a picture and hanging it in your bedroom closet.
- Be patient. It takes time to build a blog following. One of my previous blogs lasted nearly a year. I put almost no effort into promoting it and it showed. Despite this, about five or six months in, people inexplicably starting to find it and I slowly gained followers.
I hope that you found something in this article that you can use. What do you do to promote your blog on social media? If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments below.