I’ve read some articles about how to promote a blog. Some of them are useful; other articles seem to make a lot of assumptions: I want to make audio/video (not really); I already have a pre-existing large circle of followers (not especially); or it’s outdated (Google+ isn’t a thing anymore). Below is a list of ways I try to promote my blog.
Despite multiple reasons against doing so, I still have a Facebook page for the blog. That said, I get little traffic from Facebook: Looking at the past six months’ worth of website analysis data, 63% of social media related traffic comes from Twitter, 27% comes from Facebook, and 7% from Reddit (generally one-off traffic spikes). I should note only 2% of site traffic is from social media; 89% is from search engines (read: Google), and almost all of the rest is from “direct entry”/websites linking to it.
Most of my Facebook traffic is likely from others sharing posts on their own, not from my own Facebook page. And thanks to Facebook’s throttling of organic traffic (unless you pay to “boost” it to a sliver of followers), Facebook pages aren’t that useful unless one’s already popular.
Still, Facebook’s the biggest social media network, so I keep the page up as a token presence. Still, if Facebook got hit by an asteroid tomorrow, my site wouldn’t be affected.
Frequency of use: I post to my Facebook page twice a week, when a new blog post is made. I also occasionally post links to older posts. Note I post as images/text, with the links in a comment below; this is to avoid Facebook’s throttling of external links.
As noted above, Twitter is my most heavily used social network, and the main source of any social media traffic. It helps that I heavily use Twitter, unlike Facebook.
That said, Twitter also has its own problems, and has also tried throttling external link traffic, though to a lesser degree than Facebook. Elon Musk possibly buying Twitter also casts questions over its own future, as I expect nothing good to come of this purchase if it goes through.
Frequency of use: For promoting the blog:
- New blog posts get tweeted three times on the day they’re published (usually in the early morning, mid-morning, and mid-afternoon Pacific Time), plus retweeted on non-new post days.
- Older blog posts get tweeted at least once a day on non-new post days.
As it’s owned by Facebook, Instagram shares most of the same problems, compounded by being visual-based and not allowing embedding external links into posts (save your profile bio). As such, while it’s useful for posting the occasional photos I take, it’s not very useful for generating site traffic. Still, I’ve been giving Instagram another go, by creating new custom images to post using Canva. An example:
Frequency of use: I post to Instagram twice a week, when a new blog post goes up.
My newsletter is one of the best ways to follow my blog, and avoid the downsides of social media. Email spam filters aside, I have the assurance followers will be able to see all of my blog posts. I also have the option of offering newsletter-specific features, though that’s currently under consideration.
One person I followed on Twitter, Robert Jones, says he’s dropping his Twitter account (for multiple reasons) and other social media, and switching exclusively to a newsletter. He wouldn’t be the first one; newsletters have seen a resurgence lately for good reason.
Frequency of use: I send the newsletter out twice a week, with new blog posts.
- I still have a Mastodon page, and treat it like Facebook, i.e. posting links to new posts, but not for much else. It’s mostly kept around in case something happens with Twitter.
- RSS feeds are still how some readers follow the blog, and why I keep a link to the RSS feed in the sidebar. There’s no reason to remove or block RSS feeds, plus it’s hostile toward users.
- I keep a link to the blog in the signature section of my email accounts.