Hi Everyone! Today I’m sharing some random thoughts about blogging.
The blogging world is constantly evolving, whether we like it or not. Technology has changed dramatically since I started my blog seven years ago. I’ve always been interested in how things connect and for me, blogging and connecting though other social media is fun, but time and patience have their limits, don’t they?
I’m not dreading the new WordPress editor. I’ve already used it on my new blog, Books to Pen, but I’m in no hurry to convert Book Club Mom.
My blog has grown slowly, but steadily over the years and my focus has changed during this time. I’d like to have unlimited content ideas, but I don’t! That used to bother me, but now I don’t worry about it and wait for an idea to come to me.
I have a good idea for a new YouTube video, so stay tuned for that.
As for growing a blog – I wish WordPress would make it easier to follow and be followed. Even when I search for blogs and get a list, it’s still cumbersome. And it would be nice to see what blogs my favorite bloggers follow. Twitter has it all figured out in that department IMO.
I see a lot of swishy new blogs out there and I’m always looking for ways to update my look. I like my basic blog design but I’ve recently changed some of my banners. Last year I tried displaying book covers in more creative ways, but I moved away from that. I like the creative displays, but doing them myself felt like a force.
I’m getting ready to start an Instagram account. I resisted at first, but now I’m ready.
Last month, I ran a post about how to expand my blog’s exposure by branching out into other areas of social media. After nearly two years of blogging and totally enjoying the experience of meeting other bloggers and trading likes and comments, I started to think about the bigger and connected world of blogging and promoting myself.
I’ve learned a lot in the last month. I’m in no way an expert. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. But here’s what I’ve discovered:
Twitter is very powerful, but it has taken some getting used to. To me, my Twitter feed seems like a raging river of Tweeters and they’re all saying, “Look at me!” It’s hard to believe anyone would notice if I Tweeted the same kind of thing, but I’ve learned from my live-in social media experts. They tell me to just get in there and interact. Here’s their advice: Favorite things you like. Retweet things. Actively seek out followers. When you have a short lull in your schedule, scroll through and see what might be relevant to your blog and Retweet or Favorite. I have to be in the mood to do this, though because sometimes it’s overwhelming.
Follow, follow, follow and you will get follow-backs. A good way to find Twitter followers is to see who follows a popular account that’s related to your own interests and follow the ones that make sense.
Don’t be afraid to message someone if it’s relevant. I’ve had people message me on Twitter and tell me they like my jacket!
Add a Follow me on Twitter button to your WordPress site.
Use the WordPress app to find your Twitter friends who have WordPress blogs. Follow those blogs to make new friends.
Always share your posts on Twitter when you write them, but don’t stop there. Share older posts too. Just because you wrote something six months ago doesn’t mean it’s old.
Include a link to your blog in your profile.
I created a Facebook page for my blog. It’s connected to my personal FB page, but the followers are separate. I used to post my blog on my personal FB page, but I always felt a little weird about it, barraging my friends with all my book review opinions, whether they liked it or not! Once I created the Book Club Mom FB page, I invited all my friends to “Like” my page. A good number did and now I feel better that my posts are reaching the people who really want to see them.
I found out it’s very hard to get other people to “Like” your Facebook page. So use the WordPress Widgets feature to include a “Like me on Facebook” button. Just like all social media though, lots of people will follow you if you follow them.
I’ve also noticed that when I follow someone on Twitter, they often send me a message suggesting I check out their FB page. And they include a link. Smart. A good way to get follow-backs.
Whenever I read the blogs I follow on WordPress, I check to see if they have a FB account, and I Like it when they do, hoping they will Like me back. (Do the same if they have a Twitter account.)
Once you follow a group on FB, “Like” and “Share” what’s interesting and relevant with the people who follow you. Lots of people will return the favor.
Link your FB page to your Twitter account so that anytime you update your status, you’re also sending out a Tweet.
And always share your WordPress blog with your FB page!
I started my Goodreads account about a year and a half ago, but all I really did with it was post my reviews. I recently started adding friends to my network. A great way to do this is to use the Twitter app through Goodreads to find friends who are your followers on Twitter. I made the mistake of inviting all my Twitter followers to be my Goodreads friends at the same time and my computer froze. Then I didn’t know if the requests went through or not, so I got caught up in trying to resend a block of requests at a time. Time consuming and tedious, though. I have to be in the mood to do it.
Goodreads has all kinds of groups you can join. In the beginning, I joined a couple book clubs, but I was too busy to even follow them and I got too many emails. So I dropped out of them for a while to keep things simple. I recently joined a couple new groups, for creative writing feedback. I’ll have to see how that goes.
I feel a little protective about my WordPress network. Do you? I feel like this is my golden group of my good blogging friends! For that reason, I don’t use the follow and like approach on WordPress in the same way. WordPress blogging and commenting is my way of interacting on a more personal and meaningful level. The other social media I’ve chosen is a lot less personal and that stuff is like a big marketing game.
As I’ve said above, I am learning as I go, and I have to be in the right mood to build these accounts. It’s basically a numbers game and it can really suck you in and eat up a lot of time. I’m very mindful of that. We all have responsibilities and lives outside of this world, so perspective is key.
What do you think? Are you trying to expand your network? What’s your strategy? What mistakes have you made? What other social media have you used? Have you ever gotten a little obsessed with the process?