Okay, so you have created a blog which is well designed, has great photography and you are writing stellar content as well. Now you'd like to gain an audience and create a community around your blog. But how? Social media can be an extremely helpful tool for growing your blog audience and here are a few tips and experiences from my blogging journey:
Make your blog social-media friendly: If you want to encourage your readers to connect with you on social media, the first step would be to make your blog social media friendly. If someone lands on your blog and likes what they see, they are likely to be interested in following you on other social media platforms as well. It is a 2-way street , use your blog to drive traffic to your social media and vice-versa. I wrote an entire post on how to make your blog social media friendly here . Also I have a FREE guide on how to make your blog social media friendly - Click below to download it right now!
Share and promote peer content: Social media is not only about promoting your content, but also about building and nurturing the community you are in. If you think the post you just read on your peer's blog is cool, and is something that your followers would love, share it. Social media is as much (or more) about giving as receiving.
Interact with influencers and peers in your niche: I know it can be intimidating at first when you sign up for a social media platform, the big question is where do you start? Find people in your niche who inspire you and connect with them on social media. If they post something that interests you, strike a conversation with a genuine response. Once you begin to make an effort to interact with others, you will see an increase in the people who are interested in engaging with you and your content.
Be consistent: As with anything else, being consistent is important for social media. Be present and interact with your social media friends on a regular basis. I know, it can be draining and distracting to be there all the time, and this is why I love Buffer. It is a super useful app that helps you schedule your social media posts. So just get scheduling and voila! even when you are asleep, buffer will make sure you are active on social media!
Bloglovin': I am not sure if bloglovin' counts as a social media platform, but it is has hugely helped me gain an audience so far. I remember signing up for Bloglovin' after a couple of months I started blogging, and since then it has been the biggest traffic driver to my blog. Bloglovin' helps you find and follow blogs that you like, and likewise it helps people discover and follow along with your blog as well.
Twitter was probably the first platform I signed up for when I started my blog. During my initial months of blogging, twitter was a great help in finding other bloggers in my niche. I have made some wonderful friends through twitter who I would otherwise not have found. Now I continue to use twitter to connect with like-minded bloggers and creatives and also to promote my content and Etsy design shop. I have to mention here, joining twitter chats has been extremely helpful in growing my audience. So whenever you can, join a few twitter chats in your niche, they are a lot of fun.
Pinterest is not just a social media platform anymore, but also a search engine. So if you want to reach a bigger and more varied audience, Pinterest is a great platform to consider. Sometime in November, this blog post of mine got pinned by a reader and I suddenly noticed a huge increase in traffic from Pinterest. However, while I know there is a lot of potential here, I am yet to explore and use it fully for my own blog.
Instagram: I've been posting photos on Instagram for a while now, and I 've noticed consistency is key when it comes to Instagram. In addition to posting great quality photos, using hashtags helps reach a bigger audience. Sharing my blog design templates on Instagram, has helped me gain a couple of design clients which is amazing. Again, Instagram is a platform I am trying to be more active on, and I'll be sure to share my experience with you soon.
There are probably a 100 social media platforms out there that you could use to grow your blog, but choosing and concentrating on 2 - 4 platforms is probably more effective in the long run. Managing social media can be really time consuming, but using it strategically can go a long way in helping you blog.