Staying Alive: How to Survive as a Blogger in the Social Media Era
Social media came on the scene and quickly changed the way brands connect with the ever-connected, trendsetting consumer.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites have essentially become two-way channels that allow communications and content to be shared between brands and their target audiences.
With each of these sites having massive audiences to call their own, the possibilities are virtually endless. The social media era has arrived, but where does that leave the blogging age that preceded it? Right in the thick of things and on the firmest of grounds.
The fact of the matter is that this exciting era gives bloggers more opportunities than they’ve ever had to get ahead. But since a significant number of internet users who once spent their time commenting on a blog now spend it posting status updates or tweets, the possibility of losing your audience to social media is very real. There are some things you must do in order to survive.
Don’t Fight It
How many times have you heard a friend or business colleague say something along the lines of “I refuse to tweet”, or “I’ll never give in to Facebook”. Statements like these often make for some interesting conversations, but as a blogger, you can’t afford to fall into that line of thinking.
So you built up your blogging empire without the aid of social media. That’s cool, but can you survive the next three to five years without it? Instead of running the risk, embrace it and give yourself an even better chance of succeeding.
Build a Social Presence
Where should you build your presence in the social space? That is a difficult question to answer when you have so much to choose from. Some bloggers choose a single site, others juggle a combination of multiple sites.
Here are a few more questions that if you’re able to answer, could help you decide where to lay your roots:
- What’s your goal? If you can see yourself sharing photos more than posting updates, an image-friendly tool like Pinterest or Instagram could be perfect.
- Who’s your audience? Facebook is a diverse mix, but Twitter is known for its tech-savvy population.
- How much time you got? Social media is a commitment. Being realistic about what you’re able devote could go a long way in deciding where you’ll invest your efforts.
Find Your Kind
Bloggers across a broad range of niches are active in the social media realm. In fact, there are several groups on Facebook and LinkedIn reserved for bloggers in different categories. Don’t hesitate to reach out and connect — even if it’s with those who specialize in an entirely different vertical.
Bloggers share a number of commonalities regardless of the niche aspect, so rubbing elbows with counterparts in a group like “WordPress Bloggers” could help you learn the do’s and don’ts of mixing blogging and social networking.
Get to Integrating
Once you decide that embracing social media is the answer, the next logical step is integrating that channel with your existing blogging strategy. How do you combine the two? There are plenty of ways. You could, for example:
- Add social media icons. Whether it’s a conventional network such as Facebook or a discovery tool like StumbleUpon, just about every social site has an icon that represents it, and at least one button that allows users to share content across its platform. Including these icons and buttons on your blog is a simple, yet effective way to integrate the two channels.
- Share blog posts on social sites. Although sharing content with the social networks is now a matter of pushing a button for your readers, there is nothing that says you can’t take a more proactive approach to the process. Make a habit of sharing a link whenever you post something new, and you can dramatically increase your exposure over time.
- Import your RSS feed via social apps. There are various applications you can use to share your blog posts on the social networks via RSS feeds. Blog Link is one such app that will display your most recent posts directly on your profile. This app is particularly useful for impressing visitors checking out your profile on LinkedIn.
Social media is much easier to embrace and integrate when you are combining it with an existing channel. This makes a blog a perfect candidate. The tools for intertwining the two are right at your fingertips. Will you reach out and grab them?
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