Social Media and Blogging – you don’t have to be everywhere

blogging and social mediaIf you are a blogger the chances are that you also use social media to promote your blog posts – but do you share smartly or do you exist in a state of fluster that you really should be getting round to getting on Google + and Stumbleupon but just haven’t enough hours in the day?

 

Picture the scene, I’m sure it may be a familiar scenario – you read in a forum that Whoopee Do’s blogpost on ‘How to bake the perfect Roast Potato’  has received 40,000 page views in the past few days through StumbleUpon.

Cue the following:

  • “Wow! Well done you! That’s great”
  • *Bugger me I need to get my arse into gear and get on StumbleUpon*
  • *Why can’t I get traffic like that – no one ever reads my blog*
  • Mild to moderate self pity coupled with mental note to join StumbleUpon

STOP! HOLD THE FREAKING PHONE! SOUND THE KLAXON OF ‘WAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!’

Ask yourself this:

Do I want to sign up?

Do I need to sign up?

Is that social media channel the best one to use for my ‘type’ of blog?

Do I have time to use that social media properly?

 

You see that’s the thing with social media – it’s kind of social.

 

That Whoopee Do blog with the 40,000 visits via Stumbleupon ? They are most likely an active member, sharing not only their own but more importantly other peoples posts on a regular basis. If you think you can sign up start adding just your own blogposts and get 40,000 visits each time you need a hot cup of reality.

 

Now that’s not meant to sound harsh, the point that I want to make is that you can use social media and get great results – but you need to consider two things:

  • What social media channel is right for my content?
  • Do I have time to be active on that channel? And by active I mean anything from half an hour a week dedicated to interacting with others – following, repinning, sharing, commenting.

As someone who uses more social media channels than I care to admit my advice is this:

Better to use one or two social media channels really effectively than it is to try and spread yourself thinly across six!

 

But how do you work out what type of social media channel is best to use for your blog? Sit down and work out just what your blog is mainly about and what sort of posts are best to focus on sharing.

 

Craft and Food blogposts –  Pinterest and Stumbleupon are probably best.

Personal posts, opinion pieces – Twitter and Facebook -The places that you speak to people directly  and interactions tend to be more personal.

Practical Parenting tips – Stumbleupon, Pinterest and to a lesser degree Google +

Photography – Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram.

 

Here are some examples of established bloggers talking about what social media channel works best for them:

 

Emily from A Mummy Too

- who writes about food and occasionally craft and parenting says: ” I probably do an hour a week on StumbleUpon and it brings in between 100 and 1000 visits a day depending on what I’ve posted that day”

Emily gives some great advice -

“if it doesn’t have a ‘how to’ element, or isn’t a round of something like ’50 most useful..’ then it’s probably not worth promoting on StumbleUpon as it just won’t get picked up”

“On Pinterest, make sure your images are properly Alt tagged because that’s what the Pin It browser toolbar button picks up and it’s not good if all it populates the description with is img_23423.jpg!”

Maggy from Red Ted Art

 

-who writes about children’s crafts and activites, says: “Pinterest is without a doubt my biggest traffic source. Very rough estimate probably 75% of traffic is derived from there. I am increasingly seeing Google search engine traffic, and I am hoping that that that is due to my G+ activity! In terms of time? I probably spend half an hour each on Pinterest and G+ every day (if that), interestingly I spend FAR more time on Facebook, which is a lower traffic provider – BUT the facebook groups (hopefully soon to only be G+ communities), provide me with the opportunity to get to “know my readers and my network” as well as generating a LOT of back links as people who do “round ups” put out calls for links on FB. So. Though traffic from FB is low, I still benefit significantly in terms of community, backlinks and thus my PR”

Anna from The Imagination Tree

-

- who writes about children’s crafts and activities, says: “Mine would be about 80% Pinterest. I do see a large referral from FB too, maybe my 3rd biggest source of traffic, and spend my most time there because it’s the most enjoyable and best way for me to interact with readers. I don’t nearly spend enough time on Pinterest (maybe 10 mins a week!) and rarely ever on Twitter, never used stumble. Too many ways to play…not enough hours in the day!”

Emma from Science Sparks

-who writes about fun science for kids says: “Pinterest for Science Sparks brings in over 1000 visitors a day, I probably spend less than an hour a week actually on Pinterest, but also spend time making sure images on my posts are suitable to be pinned.”

Jen from Love Chic Living

-who writes about home style tips and inspiration, says: ” For my home blog, Pinterest is amazing (as you’d probably expect) as long as the post has a Pinterest friendly badge. I’m spending more and more time on there but it’s no more than 15 mins a day on average. Stumble is also good for the ‘how to’ posts. Just getting to grips with G+ (one thing at a time!) and FB and Twitter bring in some traffic, enough to still be beneficial but the other two are the biggies.”

Helen from Kiddy Charts

-who writes about rewarding good behaviour in children says: “I get the most from Pinterest believe it or not, primarily from the US – considering I don’t have a very visual blog. that’s pretty amazeballs I think! There are not actually that may people on it than post original content, so us bloggers have a headstart. If the content it good, it’ll get re-pinned. I have also SOLD on there directly too, which I haven’t even bothered to do on the other channels. People are more in the mood to buy on Pinterest, an its set up for selling as well – hence the reason why if u put a currency in a pin description it goes onto the piccy. After Pinterest its Twitter, and those, plus Google+ are the ones I pay most attenion too…I am really moving away from FB for promotion as they made their changes, just doesn’t work too well for me at all.”

Jane from Northern Mum

-who writes about the high and lows and downright hysterical bits of family life, says: “Facebook, I cant really use anything else!  I think twitland is great when you are starting out as you ‘meet’ people but now I have some lovely blogger friends I tend to speak to them on the phone or text or in here so twitter not as relevant”

Tanya from Mummy Barrow

-who writes about the things that pop into her pretty little head, mainly topical opinions, says: “The only one I really use is Twitter. I rarely post my blog posts on FB and I fanny about on Google+ and Pinterest. I post my link everyday on Twitter, but maybe only once. And I do find it is the place I hang out most. It is a great resource for me. I look for links there from people I like and look forward to reading their posts”

Cas from Mummyneversleeps

-who writes about motherhood and depression in what I can only describe as a brilliantly funny way, says:”I only use twitter as frankly, I have no understanding of anything else”

Cass from Frugal Family

-who writes about budgeting, recipes, family life and more, says: “My blog Facebook page is quite engaged and converts into my biggest referral for page views from social media sites. I’ve started to get comments on the Facebook page for posts that I publish on the blog more than I used to as well – I think it’s just easier for people to comment on the Facebook page link to the post rather than on the post itself.”

Kathryn from Crystal Jigsaw

- who writes about life living on a farm, life, her family and blogging, says: “If I can’t reach out on twitter and Facebook and by getting around other blogs and leaving comments, then I give up. In my opinion, as a blogger who isn’t technical and doesn’t understand all these fandangled social media platforms, I found myself tied in knots after being unable to keep up. I think eventually, we have to make a choice; do we waste several hours fannying about and wondering why we bothered, or do we spend a few hours showing some blog love and supporting others, and hope people will do the same for us? I chose the latter and for the past 6 years it’s worked for me.”

Troubles Mum from Trouble Doubled

- who writes about parenting twins, craft and more, says: “I use Twitter over and above everything else. It’s the one I have the most fun on and I think (possibly) it shows. My FB page is there and I do update it but I’m not very disciplined at it. Google+ I don’t understand at all so I avoid, but I am trying a little. Stumbleupon I liked but now I don’t really read enough to have the time to make it effective. Pinterest is great for certain types of posts so I only use it on the kids days out reviews blog and not for Trouble Doubled which is more content based and wordy. Twitter enables me to talk rubbish all day long and people seem to be liking it, I think. Suits me perfectly.”

Aly from Plus2.4

-who writes about family life, recipes, craft and more, says: “My biggest traffic referral is Facebook (my personal profile), Red Ted Art , Twitter, Pinterest then Stumbleupon.I’m not very good at being consistent at any of them really.I took time out to schedule tweets Friday pimping my slow cooker recipes (just 3 a day) and that has had some engagement.My FB page is dead and I rarely get any engagement from it.I tend to use Pinterest and G+ most as it’s more visual, which I like.Stumbleupon is more a weekend thing when the kids are with their dad and I have time to read the articles properly.I really should come up with a plan/schedule and concentrate on the ones that the biggest referrals. Although I do it for fun so I don’t have a break down when all my pimping results in very little.It’s impossible to be everywhere, and I’d rather spend time on my blog making it better than spreading myself thinly and letting my blogging slip.”

Hannah  from A New Addition

-who writes about food, beauty, fashion and much more, says:” I think g+ food community’s are good for sharing food posts”

Naturally it pays to sign up for everything, just so that you have earmarked your brand (yup start thinking of your blog name as a sort of branding) – even if you don’t actively use it but keep your expectations realistic.

Oh yes and that blog, Whoopee Do? You probably won’t see them sharing the news that another post last week only got 200 visits – blogging isn’t a competition, don’t compare your blog to others – you’ll be happier for it!

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Comments

  1. says

    I totally agree with this, it can take more time sharing, tweeting, pinning, stumbling etc.. than it can actually writing the post and most of us write because we enjoy it. It then becomes a chore when you have to remember all the sharing you need to do.

    Great post Annie – thanks for reminding us all that blogging is what its about, not always every single sm platform x

  2. says

    This is a fricking fantastic post Annie, for someone as social media inept as me, it’s good to know that for my blogs content, I can’t really be doing anything more to rake in the views. I have a G+ and a StumbleUpon account, but I just don’t GET them.

    I simply try to make my ramblings as good as I can, and do the rounds on commenting on others posts… Simples :)

    Thank you for including me!
    MummyNeverSleeps recently posted..Are You Sure You’ve Got The Best Package?My Profile

    • says

      Some bloggers do awesome things just on one social media account – take Motherventing for example, she nailed Twitter. Red Ted Art has nailed Pinterest.

      Your personality shines through on Twitter and so when you do tweet out a link to your latest post people will want to go and read it – and more importantly you don’t generically tweet out just the title of the post and the link, you draw people in with a witty / funny /bonkers 80 characters – now that is effectively using Twitter missus!
      Mammasaurus recently posted..Social Media and Blogging – you don’t have to be everywhereMy Profile

  3. says

    I think quality of posts over rides quantity of social media coverage.After reading this I’m going to cut back on the amount of social media in one day.Facebook, Twitter and G+ are where I need to concentrate my time daily. Stumbleupon and Pinterest is more for the weekend for me.Tumblr and Instagram only takes 15 minutes each in the evening to go through and update me.
    Aly recently posted..The Obligatory Snow Day PostMy Profile

  4. says

    I totally agree with all of this, but it is sooooo easy to get sucked in, particularly when you are a bit of a geek like me. It also feels like there is something new popping up every five minutes an when I see shiny new stuff I am off, hang on, what’s that glittering over there….
    Helen Neale recently posted..Baby reflux is no fun!My Profile

  5. says

    Really interesting post, thanks!

    I think it’s good to always remember why it is we blog and to remain true to that. I try to approach the way I write with the way I read blogs in mind. I want good quality, interesting and regular postings from those I admire and find I’m turned off by too much self promotion, too many reviews or, simply, rubbish writing. I’d much rather a blogger engages with me than is unable to as she’s spread herself too thin. I’d rather build a smaller but loyal group of readers than have massive, transient readership but it’s horses for courses.

    Generally the advice I give to my clients is that, whatever your chosen platforms, use social media consistently and positively.
    Sarah @ Riding the Stork recently posted..When marriage makes you public propertyMy Profile

  6. says

    God I wish I got 200 visits for my individual posts! I love Twitter, but I’m trying to wean myself off it a little as I spend way too much time there; my Facebook page – not that much interaction so I need to work on that. I also Stumble, but not as much as I should and Google +… well, that’s my project for this week, to try to understand it! Great post.
    40s Chic recently posted..17/365My Profile

  7. says

    Great post. I keep meaning to get back on StumbleUpon and Pinterest and stuff but I don’t have the time or the inclination to be honest. It’s a lot of effort to keep up with all the social media networks so Twitter, G+, Facebook and Youtube is enough for me!
    Mrs Teepot recently posted..I’ve got the power…or notMy Profile

  8. says

    What a great, informative post. And I think it’s so true that certain types of post suit different types of social media. I don’t use Pinterest very much for blog stuff, because for the kind of blog I have I can’t really see any benefit. And it has definitely been my experience that stumbleupon works best for really general type posts and nothing too personal.
    I stick with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and I find they work well for me. Although I wish Instagram made it easier to share a link with a photo as I think that could be a great blog sharing platform if it did.
    X
    lucy at dear beautiful recently posted..snowMy Profile

  9. says

    I can’t tell you the sigh of relief I gave when I saw it’s not just me that sometimes worries I’m not ‘out there’ enough. It’s hard not to look at other bloggers and wonder how they get so much exposure, but sometimes getting caught up in that takes the enjoyment away from blogging. If I get too focused on increasing my traffic my blog quality deteriorates because I feel I have to get stuff out for the sake of keeping my numbers up. So I stick to twitter and facebook. Great post, thanks.

    • says

      I recently sat myself down and gave myself a good old talking to – I don’t write those practical tips posts, I think I have done about 2 craft posts ever so I can’t expect that the stuff I write, which is mainly my thoughts on things are going to be of vast interest to many people! And so I stick mainly for this blog’s social shizzle to Facebook and Twitter as that’s where I can be more personal and me I guess!

  10. says

    Good to read this, Annie. I think we all, at some stage, get carried away with the amount of social medial channels we can use to promote ourselves, but we often forget about promoting others as well. It has to work to benefit our blogs individually, and if we don’t show support of others, then it simply won’t work. It can be a win-win situation; in most cases, it’s a catch-22 situation.

    CJ x
    Crystal Jigsaw recently posted..Fancy BloggingMy Profile

  11. says

    Great post! As for parenting tips – so I’m totally on the wrong social media channels? I’m on neither of the suggested, I rely on Facebook and twitter.

  12. says

    Reading this made me feel sooo much better! I can now let go of the mild panic that’s been haunting me recently, thinking at some point, in between having a family, running a house and writing the blog posts themselves, that I needed to miraculously shoehorn in another few hours on other social media sites. I’m giving myself a firm talking to now too and will just stick to Facebook and Twitter, where I feel comfortable! Thanks :)

  13. says

    You have explained everything quite well in this post, this would be particularly good for newbies, who don’t know where to share their posts and sometimes end up oversharing which ticks people off. I have never had an interest in Pinterest and following your guidelines, it wouldn’t do my blog any good since I am just a good ole personal blog.
    AlwaysARedhead recently posted..ConfidenceMy Profile

  14. says

    Great summary for approaching Social Media. I think it is key to stick to 2-3 platforms and not get frazzled about all of them (though I find it handy to have an account on all of them and they can just tick along by themselves…).

    People should definitely focus on the platforms that they ENJOY and GET the most. Makes it for the most natural and thus *social* interaction.

    Thanks for the mention :-)

    Maggy

  15. says

    Thank you for this! It really is a strange thing, trying to figure out how best to promote yourself. I have also seen lots of bloggers use Instagram, as well, mostly screen shots, but still a good way to say it’s out now. Only issue, at first, is getting people to see your social media if they aren’t already a follower!!
    Jess recently posted..Not At All what I Was Looking For!My Profile

  16. says

    Great post! Thanks for sharing the feedback from so many amazing and talented bloggers.

    I’m trying to get to grips with finding the time to write a blog, be a Mum, understand the intricacies of social media and have a life!

    Lydia x
    Only Best For Baby recently posted..Outside GardenMy Profile

  17. says

    I used to spend over 5 hours every evening on facebook (and that was just on my own personal fb profile not the blog one) and i realised how much it was getting me down as i was awake til the early hours of the morning sometimes just trying to catch up on my fb newsfeed. I do virtually nothing on twitter other than join in with the odd twitter party and read the odd thing that catches my eye. In ‘real life’ I have never felt comfortable shouting about myself and so haven’t really promoted any of our blog posts either. Amazingly despite this, people do read the blog and your last point about not comparing your blog to others is just the best thing to remember! x
    The Beesley Buzz recently posted..Wot so funee – My favourite BearMy Profile

  18. says

    This is a great, informative post for a newby blogger like me to read. I think I’ll one back later with a cuppa, read it again and make notes. Still finding my feet…I don’t even know the bloggers’ code of etiquette yet, re: comments etc, so didn’t even know what name to comment as. New girl alert! 3childrenandit is coming over later to help me, snow permitting. Phew!

  19. says

    This is such good advice, I am crap at just about everything at the minute and I really do need to get my rear into gear and find a good medium and just use it. Taking a few weeks off at Christmas didn’t help really and I kind of feel like I’m back to square one. I do quite like Stumbleupon, so maybe I should concentrate on being more active there. I’m very guilty of reading and not commenting – daft I know, but this will change :)
    Nichola recently posted..Freshly Pressed: Friday FavesMy Profile

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