Figuring out how to manage your blog and social properties isn’t always easy or intuitive. Where do you focus your efforts? What should you post, and when?
I was doing some reading over at Matt McGee’s excellent Small Business Search Marketing blog when I came across the following question in the comment section of his post, “How Often Should I Blog?” The comment offered a rather neat summary of the dilemma that a lot of bloggers face.
I commented over there, but this also inspired me to write up a longer post about managing your content flow. Let’s look at the issue in greater detail.
The Blog is Your Foundation
Nothing you post on your blog is wasted. It can continue to draw traffic for years and years once you post it.
The amount of traffic that each post will draw depends on your keywords, your topic popularity, and the strength of the post itself. But it would be a mistake to think that the content is “wasted” if you don’t get a million visitors the day that you post.
A website is like a house. Each blog post is one individual brick in the wall.
It takes a lot of bricks and a lot of time to build a truly authoritative site that people care about.
Be consistent, but be patient.
Social Media: Low Hanging Fruit
Two social media channels make it easy for you to gather up a lot of followers quickly: Twitter, and Google+. So, at least at first, you need to focus your social media efforts on one or both of these channels – and not on Facebook, which is harder. More on Facebook below.
You also don’t have to recycle the entire blog post, as the comment suggests. In fact, on Twitter, you can’t summarize the entire blog post. You only have 140 characters to work with.
Instead, you want to focus on creating a snappy headline that gets attention and generates a click. On Google+ you’ll need to supplement this with an image and a 1-2 sentence “hook” that entices people to read more.
You don’t even have to repeat much work as all of this collateral should usually already be somewhere in your blog post. Every post should, for example, be accompanied by a picture of some kind.
As for the hook, you could just use your meta description, which should inspire people to click on your link when they run across it in search results. That means it should already be an enticing couple of sentences.
Easy WordPress plugins allow you to set your meta data without much fuss. WordPress SEO by Joast is my personal favorite.
Once you’ve set your meta description in your blog you can copy and paste the same information over to Google+.
You should plan on Tweeting each post at least three times. G+ doesn’t seem to tolerate repetition as much, but you can be sure to broadcast your content to the relevant circles and communities.
What About Facebook?
Facebook isn’t really a quick medium for gaining organic followers unless you’re a huge brand. You will gain some “likes” over time by putting the option next to every blog post. And you can interact with relevant Facebook posts and pages to gain a few more of those likes.
After that, you would need to turn to other methods such as Facebook PPC advertising, contests, and games. Don’t feel bad. Those big brands have to do this too.
However, there’s also no reason not to continue to add your content on Facebook,whether you have 1 follower or 1000 followers. Like the blog posts themselves, the effort is never wasted. It simply means that when people do get around to finding your page you’ll have created a lovely, useful place to be.
Consistency is Key!
You have to be just as consistent with your social sharing as you are with your blogging. It takes time to build a web presence, and the benefits of any given action aren’t always obvious until much, much later.
And as you do all of this sharing, remember that social media isn’t just a place to push your own content. It’s also a place to be social. So make sure you are sharing other people’s stuff and commenting on it. There’s simply no substitute for making yourself a big part of a larger community.