October 30, 2020
October’s Blog Audit Challenge 2020
This year I’m participating in Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!
I hope that if you are reading this that you continue to be well and that your area is opening up for business and recreation with social distancing precautions. Our county is off the state’s watch list due to a decrease in COVOD-19 cases. Hoping we can stay that way! Stay safe, blogging buddies!
October’s Challenge Focus: Social Networking
How do you participate in Social Networking?
Over the last few months, the challenges have allowed me to improve content, design, and readership. Now let’s discuss Social Networking as another aspect of developing readership and increasing your blog traffic.
Honestly, promoting myself is an area in which I feel the least amount of comfort or confidence. It took me about a year to connect social networks to my blog. In retrospect, I’m sorry that I didn’t have social networking in place from Day One. I wasted a lot of time!
Our host for this challenge has suggestions for Social Networking that I’ll discuss here. What I also share here is my personal strategy which is a work in progress and will not look like your process. However, I think it’s interesting for bloggers to get a behind-the-scenes peek. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Social Networking To Increase Blog Traffic:
Share Blog Posts
No one will know about your great content unless you share it! Just because you hit “publish” doesn’t mean your post will be seen. It’s important to use your blog name (or some close variation) for each social media or sharing platform. Every time I write a post, I share to:
- Twitter: (set up to automatically share when my blog publishes)
- PROS: easy to link up with your post; the Twitter community will generously retweet your content if you actively participate; easy to set up a retweet group; easy to gain followers (if you participate); sharing is easiest on this platform because retweeting is a simple click; it’s easy to find groups to join like The Write Reads.
- CONS: For me, it’s not as easy to make friends.
- Instagram: (Bookstagram for me) I use the LinkTr.ee app in my bio to include many links to my blog.
- PROS: (for me) it’s easy to make friends in the Bookstagram community; you can join engagement groups.
- CONS: it’s harder then Twitter to gain followers (lots of follow/unfollow shenanigans on Instagram); it’s difficult to get click throughs to your blog; Instagram is the most time consuming (in my opinion) because a great deal of engagement is expected…but the community is great.
- Pinterest: (change your personal account to a business account) Pinterest is a search engine (and not a social media platform) so don’t expect to make friends or to experience engagement.
- PROS: it’s easy and quick to pin posts (I do not use a scheduler); it’s easy to gain followers (although the number of followers is not as important as it is on Twitter or Instagram); you can join boards that will (ideally) connect you with others who will pin your content.
- Goodreads: (I copy my blog review to Goodreads and include my blog link at the end of the review)
- PROS: it’s easy to gain followers/friends, minimal engagement.
- CONS: very minimal number of click throughs to visit your blog because your followers have your review and that’s really all they are looking for (but it is an opportunity to keep putting your blog out there).
- Facebook: (you can set up a business FB page connected to but separate from your personal page)
- PROS: it’s easy to post a link to reviews.
- CONS: fewer click throughs and shares than Twitter; limited amount of engagement (at least in my experience)
Some bloggers suggest choosing only a couple of platforms and focusing on those. In my experience, I prefer to have a presence across ALL the platforms because each one reaches a different group of people. When I look at my stats, I have numbers that support using all the platforms. Granted, some platforms generate more click throughs than others, but I’m grateful for even one click through so it’s worth it to me to keep promoting on each platform. Certainly, this is a personal preference and you will find what works for you. Promoting your content across social media platforms is time intensive, so your choice here will reflect the time which you have available. This article has a list of a good selection of apps for scheduling. I haven’t used any of these apps and it’s my plan to look into it at some point!
Share Buttons on Your Blog
When setting up your blog, make sure that all your social media buttons are available and also activated! I’m grateful to Jennifer @ Tar Heel Reader for noticing that my Twitter wasn’t working properly and helping me troubleshoot! You will find that visitors to your blog will often want to share your content on Twitter!
Commenting and Linking
- One of the joys of blogging is the blogging community! Find your people! You will discover that other bloggers are willing to answer your questions and to share your posts when you share theirs. Building your blogging community and creating virtual friendships will be vital to your success! For two summers I have created a collaboration post with a group of bloggers I’ve come to know. Find those collaboration posts here and here. It even occurred to me recently that I need to add more blogging friends to this collaboration venture because my circle has grown!
- Joining a group on Twitter (for example, The Write Reads) will help you find your people!
- Commenting on other blogs will draw other bloggers to your blog (commenting is often recipricol). Other commenters might like your comment and become curious about your blog, so ensure that your avatar links back to your blog. Special shout out to Marianne @ Let’s Read for noticing that my avatar wasn’t linked and helping me troubleshoot that!
- Linking to other blogs: When you add a link to another blogger’s content on your blog, it encourages relationship and community between bloggers. They might link to your content in the future! Or they might share your post on social media.
Ideas For Other Ways to Share Content
- Dropping your blog link in comments on other blogs is not considered good manners unless the blogger has asked their followers to add a link or you are participating in a meme (like Top Ten Tuesday for example) where it is the norm to leave your own link to your post along with your comment.
- I have joined some FaceBook groups which sometimes provide opportunities for leaving links. (for example, one of my groups always asks us to post an end of the month reading wrap up and I’m ready to share my wrap up blog post) Read the rules of the group carefully so that you don’t get kicked out for posting unsolicited links! Sometimes FB groups will set up a special section for adding your blog link to a blog roll.
- If dropping your blog link is on the top of your mind, you might be surprised at how many opportunities you will find! Remember to keep it real and not spammy!
- Sometimes other bloggers will have a blog roll and add your blog. Other times bloggers will create a post and ask for link ups….for example, on the 15th of each month, the Modern Mrs Darcy website posts a Quick Lit link up opportunity. There are many memes like Top Ten Tuesday where it is possible to add your blog link to a linkup.
- I have given books (as Christmas gifts) to my dentist, my doctor, and hair stylist…..I always inscribe my blog’s website in the front….you never know where that book will travel!
- I have also created and (cheaply) printed bookmarks that advertise my blog and list all my social media information. I include bookmarks with any book I give away, and I also keep a stash in my purse for sharing with anyone who might ask about my blog. Thanks to Jaymi @ OC Book Girl for this inspiration!
To recap, this is my routine:
- 1. as I hit “publish” my blog automatically publishes to Twitter (before publishing, be sure to edit your twitter sharing message and include hashtags).
- 2. I copy my post link into LinkTr.ee and create a teaser post for Instagram (include a statement that encourages followers to visit your blog for the full post and remind them that the link is in your bio…also use hashtags….you’re allowed up to thirty!).
- 3. I hop over to Twitter and share my Tweet (from my blog post to my retweet group so that I receive additional shares)….in a few days I also return to twitter and tweet my post again…….I also check if there are other tweets from my reshare group that I need to retweet.
- 4. I copy my blog post link and open Pinterest to pin my post to several boards there (including my own).
- 5. Since I already have my link copied, I visit FB and post the blog post link to my blog’s FB page and to my personal FB page.
- 6. (this only applies to other book review bloggers) I copy my review from my blog and paste it into Goodreads and also give a Star rating….I always include my blog website at the end of my review (also make sure your blog info is in your GR profile).
- 7. After completing the above, I visit my blog notifications to see if I have any comments on my new post and respond to them….I check notifications for comments several times a day because I value timeliness in responding to comments….I also reply to every comment.
- 8. I also take time to check my WordPress Reader and comment on other blogs. All this can take 1-2 hours. I set this time aside every morning that I have a new post scheduled.
I heard once that blogging is 20% content creation and 80% promotion. I’m not sure if my time breaks down like this, but I do know that I spend a considerable amount of time on promotion and social networking. NOW…you will develop your own routine, and some of you will use an automatic scheduler. I have noticed that consistent promoting, commenting, sharing, etc. increases views, followers, and readership. If you are a beginning blogger, you might want to post only once per week until you have set up and established a routine for creating and sharing your content.
November’s Challenge will focus on Press and Collaborations.
I hope you are enjoying this Blog Challenge Series and finding it helpful! Please join the conversation in the comments!
How do you participate in Social Networking?
Tips or Comments or Questions?
Bloggers might be interested in my recent experience with the WordPress Block Editor:
A Week in the Life of the Block Editor and Me.
Find all the Blog Audit Challenge posts:
Find January’s Challenge Here.
Find February’s Challenge Here.
Find September’s Challenge Here.
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
Let’s Get Social!
Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.
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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.
Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.
Love these posts Carol, they’re so interesting and challenging! I use Twitter the most because it’s quick and easy, but also have Fb and Bookstagram accounts. I’ve gone off Instagram at the moment because it feels like a lot more work. I’m not interested in joining ‘like’ or sharing groups as it ends up being a pain remembering to hit those buttons and I end up feeling pressued to keep doing it. So Twitter it is! 😀
Thanks Nicki! 🙌 I agree that Instagram is a LOT more work! Twitter is much easier!
This was very interesting Carol! I’m always keen to hear how others do the whole social media promotion. I’m not nearly as organised as you but try to put my posts out and about as otherwise they may not be seen. I must say it’s my least favourite part of blogging! Your tips are all really clear and a good reminder to us all.
Thanks Debbie! It’s certainly not my fav part either but it gets easier with a routine, and since I’ve been more deliberate I see an increase in stats!
An interesting post, full of great tips. I do a minimum in terms of promotion to be truthful but a routine like yours helps
Thanks for commenting! Promoting is not the most fun but as I’ve been more consistent, I’ve noticed an increase in stats! So it can be rewarding.
Thanks Carol for the tips. I’m a frequent Twitter user and I follow The Write Reads. I haven’t noticed any difference. How is it helpful for ‘finding your people ‘?
There are a couple of blogs/bloggers I’ve found there that I now read regularly. But I don’t find Twitter as easy as Bookstagram for developing relationships. Actually I have found more of my people on Nicki’s weekly links post than I’ve found on twitter! Maybe that’s how I found you!
Excellent and instructive post, Carol💜 I deliberately disabled my Facebook account a few years ago as I’m unhappy with how the site is managed. Since Instagram is under the same hierarchy, I don’t have a presence there either. I do tailor my Twitter messages with each post and since publishers like the ease of sharing there, I’m there. So, I’m only on that SM platform along with Goodreads. Your suggestions are extremely thoughtful and productive for anyone desiring a robust presence on these platforms.
Thanks for sharing your experience Jonetta! Yes, I think Twitter is what many prefer and use! I find it so impersonal! But it gets the job done and people are more willing to reshare there than anywhere!
They’re all impersonal to me, which is why I spend my time on Goodreads. It’s better designed for engaged discussions.
Great post! I mainly used Facebook and Twitter to share my blog posts but more recently I have started to take Instagram more seriously as well.
I enjoyed reading about the various ways to be present on Social Media. I do have Twitter and occasionally post, but not all the time. I agree with you Carol, I found a lot of the bloggers I follow from Nicki’s Sunday Posts. I would love to have more interactions, but can barely keep up with the ones I have now.
It’s like a full time job! 🙌😂
Great job! I’m really pleased that you’re seeing an improvement in your stats. I love how well you’re doing with the challenges. Happy to have you participating in my Blog Audit Challenge 2020 ☺️
Thanks for your encouragement and insight and push! 🙌
Fantastic insights into your routine Carol. You are so much more organised than I am.
Agree with you about the importance of commenting on other blogs – when I fall behind on that, I see the level of traffic on my own site suffers.
I do have an Instagram account but rarely use it – it’s just such a pain that I can’t post to it from my laptop which is what I use predominantly.
Thanks for the link to the article on scheduling tools, it’s so timely because I am looking for a new solution right now!
Thanks Karen! Scheduling is one thing I need to investigate!
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Thanks so much Nicki! 🙌😍
This was really interesting and I sure can learn a lot from this. I am going to add you to my blogroll right now so that I can get even more great tips and ideas.
I’m not good with social media, will have to work on it a bit more! Time is just not always on my side. But like you say, make your link-ups so that it shares directly!
Thanks for this great post.
Thanks for commenting Mareli! I’m happy to hear you find this Blog Challenge post helpful! 😍🙌
[…] Find October’s Challenge Here. […]
[…] Find October’s Challenge Here. […]
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[…] Promote, promote, promote (develop a routine)This was so hard for me! I’m not one to toot my own horn…..however, no one will find your blog without promotion. Some bloggers choose one social media platform, but I promote across several (and find that each platform reaches a different group of supporters. How do you start promoting? In your blog settings, you can connect to your social media accounts and your post will automatically publish to those accounts when you hit publish. I have my Twitter account linked (for my other accounts I prefer to write a more targeted and specific message). As you tweet posts from other bloggers, they will likely reciprocate. My monthly stats reveal that I receive more blog visits from Twitter than other social media platforms. Pinterest (although not a social media platform) is often tied for first (or at times out performs Twitter. From the very beginning, set up your social media accounts and start promoting. It took me a while to get going on this and my delay is one of my blogging regrets. Here is a post I wrote about social media promotion. […]